Luke 5

Jesus calls disciples and heals the sick
Call to fishermen. Luke 5:1-11; Matt. 4:18-22; Mark 1:16-20.
.1 ¶ And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,
2  And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.
3  And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.
 4  Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.
 5  And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.
 6  And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.
 7  And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.

  Sequence The first eleven verses in this chapter belong, chronologically, between verses 32 and 33. Apparently Luke wanted to group Jesus' two preaching events (Nazareth and Capernaum) and His call to the disciples with the first missionary tour.
  1 - Pressed ... to hear the word Jesus was popular.
  1 - The word of God As Jesus spoke. Also described  at jn0663,68, lu0422.
  1 - Lake Greek limne which is a "pool of water." Although the other writers used the word for "sea" Luke, who may have traveled on the Mediterranean, did not. The "Lake of Gennesaret" probably got its name from a plain along three miles (around 5 km.) of its northeast edge. The "lake" was known as the Sea of Chinnereth in OT times nu3411, jos1203.
  2 - Fishermen The four would soon be catching people. mr0120.
  2 - Casting a net Or "fishing" Also mt0421, mr0119.
  5 - Master From epistates meaning "one who stands over."
  5 - All night ... nothing At night the fish couldn't see the nets. No fish would have been an uncommon situation. Perhaps the angels were keeping the fish and a lot more for the miracle.
  5 - At thy word This is the key for us, too. Sometimes obedience to the Scriptures seems unwise. As we move by faith at the divine command, God works for us ge1501, ps00103.
Image from Hurlbut's Life of Christ, 1915.
To Matthew in his wealth, and to Andrew and Peter in their poverty, the same test was brought; the same consecration was made by each. At the moment of success, when the nets were filled with fish, and the impulses of the old life were strongest, Jesus asked the disciples at the sea to leave all for the work of the gospel. So every soul is tested as to whether the desire for temporal good or for fellowship with Christ is strongest. Principle is always exacting. No man can succeed in the service of God unless his whole heart is in the work and he counts all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ. No man who makes any reserve can be the disciple of Christ, much less can he be His colaborer. When men appreciate the great salvation, the self-sacrifice seen in Christ's life will be seen in theirs. Wherever He leads the way, they will rejoice to follow. (Desire of Ages).
.8  When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.
 9  For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken:
.10  And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.
.11  And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.
  11 - Forsook all They had been casual followers jn0135 Although this was no small decision, they didn't hesitate, waiting only long enough to bring in their ships. We expect they made some arrangements for the boats. In a transition to greater ministry, we can both act responsibly and promptly. God has given us both judgment and emotions. Prayer is especially important at turning points in life. mt1039, mt0819, mr0314.
The first leper healed Luke 5:12-16; Matt. 8:2-4; Mark 1:40-45.
.12 ¶ And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
 13  And he put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be thou clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him.
 14  And he charged him to tell no man: but go, and shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing, according as Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.
.15  But so much the more went there a fame abroad of him: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by him of their infirmities.
 16  And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.

 12 - Also mr0140.
Man let down through the roof. Luke 5:17-26; Matt. 9:2-8; Mark 2:1-12.
.17 ¶ And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them. Comments below.
18  And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him.
.19  And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus.
 20  And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.
.21  And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?
 22  But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answering said unto them, What reason ye in your hearts?
 23  Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk?
 24  But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house.
 25  And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God.
 26  And they were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things to day.

  17 - On a certain day Literally " in one of the days." We begin the story of the paralyzed man also begins at mt0902 and mr0201.
  21 - Blasphemies Blasphemy is basically speaking against God. Here it is forgiving sin. The Pharisees did not accept Christ's divinity and were accusing Him.
Levi Matthew called. Luke 5:27-28, Matt. 9:9; Mark 2:13, 14.
.27 ¶ And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him, Follow me.
 28  And he left all, rose up, and followed him.
  27 - Levi This was Matthew. mt0909.
Feast at Matthew's house. Luke 5:29-32; Matt. 9:10-13; Mark 2:15-17.
.29  And Levi made him a great feast in his own house: and there was a great company of publicans and of others that sat down with them.
 30  But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners?
 31  And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick.
.32  I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
  29 - A great feast See comments at mr0215. Also mt0910.
  30 - Publicans and sinners The same people according to the Greek.
Principles about fasting. Luke 5:33-39; Matt. 9:14-17; Mark 2:18-22.
.33  And they said unto him, Why do the disciples of John fast often, and make prayers, and likewise the disciples of the Pharisees; but thine eat and drink?
 34  And he said unto them, Can ye make the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them?
 35  But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.
  33 - The rest of the chapter is Jesus' response.
.36  And he spake also a parable unto them; No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old.
 37  And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish.
 38  But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved.
 39  No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.
    In the context we read at v27 Jesus' call to Matthew who was a publican prompting the Pharisees to accuse Him of having bad company. Jesus responded in a way that they could not argue against. Then they criticized the disciples for attending social dining events while their disciples fasted. Jesus could have argued that the fasts were worthless without heart commitment but argument would have only detracted from truth. He then told them about the futility of patching an old garment and of filling old wineskins (containers). Even though the wine would be good, people would complain. In other words, (a) His teaching and ministry could not be a patch on what they had already decided to be truth, and (b) they would not be happy with His teaching because they had already determined that their old way was the only way.
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