J.C. Ryle comments on Matthew 4:12-17 at Grace Gems:
Let us notice the class of men whom the Lord Jesus chose to be His disciples. They were of the poorest and humblest rank in life. Peter, and Andrew, and James, and John, were all “fishermen.”
The religion of our Lord Jesus Christ was not intended for the rich and learned alone. It was intended for all the world–and the majority of all the world will always be the poor. Poverty and ignorance of books excluded thousands from the notice of the boastful philosophers of the heathen world. They exclude no one from the highest place in the service of Christ. Is a man humble? Does he feel his sins? Is he willing to hear Christ’s voice and follow Him? If this be so, he may be the poorest of the poor, but he shall be found as high as any in the kingdom of heaven. Intellect and money are worth nothing without grace.