Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Luke 5 - Disciples Called and Ministry Throughout Galilee

LINK: Luke 5


37. Jesus provides a miraculous catch: Luke 5:1-11

Luke 5 begins a new phase of Jesus' ministry about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 years into it. He is in the Galilee region -- settling into Capernaum. In this phase, He is concentrating on investing in a few key people and calls them to be involved with Him in ministry as "fishers of men" (Matthew 4:19; Mark 1:17). We see an increase in His miracles resulting in more followers because news about Him spread and great multitudes began to follow Him (Matthew 4:24-25). 

Many commentators see this as a "second call" by Jesus. The first call being in the same account described in Matthew 4:18-22 and Mark 1:16-20 (Event #33). They believe that Peter, Andrew, James, and John had gone back to fishing after the tour of Galilee with Jesus (Matthew 4:23-24, Mark 1:35-39, and Luke 4:42-44) but continued to watch Jesus as He established His authority in the synagogue, healed the sick, and drove out demons. 

The incident recorded here is obviously not the first time Jesus had been in contact with the men whom He called to be His disciples. Luke already had stated that Jesus had healed Simon’s mother-in-law which denotes previous contact with Simon and Andrew. This seems to be at least the third time Jesus had contact with these men. In John 1:41 Andrew told Peter that he had found the Messiah. Apparently the men at first did not follow Jesus on a “full-time” basis, for in Mark 1:16-20 (also Matt. 4:18-22) Jesus called Simon, Andrew, James, and John. Mark recorded that that call was before Jesus entered the synagogue in Capernaum and healed a man who was demon-possessed. It is no wonder Peter invited Jesus home after the synagogue incident.
Now, sometime later, Peter and the others were still fishermen. It was at this point, now that Jesus had established His authority (Luke 4:31-44), that He called these men to full-time discipleship.
(The Bible Knowledge Commentary: NT, p. 216)
Regardless of when it happened, the important point is that they followed Him!

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38. Jesus heals a man with leprosy: Matthew 8:1-4, Mark 1:40-45, Luke 5:12-16

Jesus demonstrated His power over disease, demonic forces, and men. He healed the man with leprosy. There had been no record of any Israelite being healed from leprosy other than Miriam (Numbers 12:10-15). Jesus instructed the man to go to the priest as a testimony. The priests were men of influence, and it was important for the man to go to a priest first (even though the Mark account records that he did not do so) so that he could be examined and the miracle eventually be known via influential channels.

39. Jesus heals a paralyzed man: Matthew 9:1-8; Mark 2:1-12; Luke 5:17-26

Jesus continues to demonstrate His authority. Apparently, the illness of the paralytic was a result of his sin. Only God could forgive sins (Mark 2:7; Luke 5:21). So, He was making a very bold statement about His divinity in this passage by forgiving the man's sin. 
I had always been confused about saying He has power to forgive sins but then saying "rise, take up your pallet and walk" instead until I read Luke 5:24 in The Message version:
Well, just so it’s clear that I’m the Son of Man and authorized to do either, or both.…” He now spoke directly to the paraplegic: “Get up. Take your bedroll and go home.” (Luke 5:24 

Of course, this enraged the religious leaders and caused them to begin to oppose Jesus. Jesus knew their thoughts (another example of His divinity) and questioned them. The religious leaders may not have been impressed, but the crowd was filled with awe! 

40. Jesus eats with sinners at Matthew's house: Matthew 9:9-13, Mark 2:13-17, Luke 5:27-32

This is the story of the calling of the author of the gospel of Matthew (also called Levi). He was a tax-collector but left this occupation to follow Him. Jesus accepted people from every level of society, even tax collectors and sinners.

Jesus was not going to follow the tradition of the Pharisees, but He was going to go to those who KNEW they had need because they were sinners. The Pharisees followed tradition without any sort of compassion for those who were spiritually sick.

41. Religious leaders ask Jesus about fasting: Matthew 9:14-17, Mark 2:18-22, Luke 5:33-39

John's disciples wanted to know why Jesus' disciples did not observe the tradition of the fast.  Pious Jews fasted on a regular basis as a sign of repentance and in preparation for the coming of the Messiah.  Jesus was saying there was no need to fast because the Messiah had already come! It was a time for feasting and celebration rather than fasting. Jesus was inaugurating something new by leading them out of Judaism and into the kingdom based on a relationship with the King (Him) and pursuing His righteousness (Matthew 6:33). 

By the way, there was really only one prescribed fast in the Old Testament, and that was during the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 23), but it was often practiced by the people (Remember Anna who served God by fasting and prayer in the temple from Luke 2?).


"When Jesus calls a man
He bids Him come and die"
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The call to these initial disciples meant that someday most of them would pay the ultimate cost for following Jesus: their lives. 

Read what happened to each of them HERE


Jesus' call to follow Him involves sacrifice even unto death. Read excerpts from The Cost of Discipleship clicking the link above. 


Lord, give us the courage to leave everything and follow You. Amen. 
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