Luke Chapter 5: Fishing for men and healing bodies and souls.

Luke Chapter 5

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, And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.

“Lake of Gennesaret”: I.e., the Sea of Galilee, sometimes also called the Sea of Tiberias (John: 1; 21:1). It is actually a large freshwater lake, over 690 feet below sea level, and serves as the main source of water and commerce for the Galilee region.

For clarity’s sake just let me iterate this – right here. Gennesaret, the Sea of Galilee, and Chinnereth are all one and the same. “Gennesaret” means garden of riches. There were small towns on several sides of the lake. Capernaum was one of the towns. Jesus’ fame as a preacher and healer has grown and now there is a great press of people.

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.

It was a well-known fact that in the Sea of Galilee, fishermen caught fish at night in the shallow water—not in full daylight in deep water. Peter, Andrew, James, and John were all fishermen. This was their thing. They just did not understand why the Lord would try to tell them how to do their job. But they still followed his directions Look at the posture that Jesus took. “He sat down!” That is the posture that most teachers took during this time of history. It was a cultural stance. Jesus taught from the boat because the heavy press of the people on him was a distraction to the message. His voice carried better to a larger number of people on the water because the acted as a microphone. Jesus all borrowed the boat to show the fishermen that he was not just The Messiah, but he was also a God of miracles. They could relate to that because they know about all of the miracles that occurred before their people left Egypt, and also the sustaining miracles that occurred after they left Egypt.

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. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.

(Exodus 20:19; 33:20; Judges 13:22; Job 42:5-6). Peter uttered the same words that so many chosen leaders of YHWH have uttered in the past. 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. The Lord chose something that they understood to get a point across to them. 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. They got the message and accepted their calling. Sometimes I wonder if we get the message and we understand our calling.

The mission commences.

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. ]It is important to note at this juncture that Luke who wrote the Gospel According to Luke and the Acts of the Apostles, a companion of St. Paul the Apostle, and the most literary of the New Testament] As I write this devotional we are in the middle of a pandemic. When I got to the part of the lepers. I immediately realized that we are currently living a “leper” type of existence. You see they had to live in a separate place from the rest of the people. They had to proclaim that they were lepers when they walked through town to buy food etc., Can you imagine who they felt? They could not just wear a mask. Neither could the people around them. They had to isolate themselves from the rest of their family, their city, their people. They could NEVER go anywhere near the temple let alone go into the temple. Even a person who came close to a leper, or their clothing, had to be isolated. Here we are in 2020 and we think that it is an affront to our independence to wear a mask to protect ourselves and our community. Over the centuries we are supposed to have to gain more knowledge, but sometimes I wonder. The protocols of the Old Testament work just as well today.

13 And he put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be thou clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him. This man can now live among his brethren, 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. In Leviticus 4:4 he was told to give a specific offering. And he shall bring the bullock unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the Lord; and shall lay his hand upon the bullock’s head, and kill the bullock before the Lord. Going to the priest and making the offering was testimony unto the people that he was clean. But he already knew that he was clean. Jesus followed the cleansing rituals of the time. So, 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. He needed a power recharging maybe. I know that when I am spiritually drained prayer and worship fills me up. Sometimes we forget that Jesus was operating through a human body at this time. He set an example for us here. Rest and then move on.

When religious leaders show up you know something is up.

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.

Pharisees

“For the Pharisees and Sadducees their daily rituals and traditions were sacred. The Pharisees were a Jewish group that flourished in the late Second Temple period. Despite constituting but a fraction of the Jewish population, the Pharisees elicit historical fascination because (a) they are generally understood as the forerunners of the rabbis and (b) the Gospels portray them as among Jesus’ primary rivals. Yet what sort of group the Pharisees were and what role they played in Jewish life elude scholarly consensus. Historians have portrayed them as a religious sect, a political party, a philosophical order, a bureaucratic or scholarly class, or some combination thereof.”

Citation: Bible Odyssey

Sadducees

“The Sadducees were elitists who wanted to maintain the priestly caste, but they were also liberal in their willingness to incorporate Hellenism into their lives, something the Pharisees opposed. The Sadducees rejected the idea of the Oral Law and insisted on a literal interpretation of the Written Law; consequently, they did not believe in an afterlife, since it is not mentioned in the Torah. The main focus of Sadducee life was rituals associated with the Temple. The Sadducees disappeared around 70 A.D., after the destruction of the Second Temple. None of the writings of the Sadducees has survived, so the little we know about them comes from their Pharisaic opponents. However, the Sadducees first appear in the historical record not as priests but as a political group. The Jewish historian Josephus mentions them in the context of John Hyrcanus, the Hasmonean high priest and ruler of Judah from 135-104 B.C.E. (Antiquities 13.10.5-6). According to Josephus, a guest at a banquet for the Pharisees accused Hyrcanus of being a bastard child, unfit for the high priesthood. In the uproar that ensued, a Sadducee convinced Hyrcanus to abandon the Pharisees for the Sadducees. Citation: Jewish Library

Living proof of Faith: They would not be denied

This demonstration of faith is world renowned today, but back them they were probably thought of as usurpers.

18 And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: [palsy is a crippling disease that presents one from being able to walk.] 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. In Matthew, Mark, and Luke this happening is told. Some illness is brought on by sin; however, faith is a very important factor in getting healed and being forgiven of sin. NO human being has the power to forgive sin. So, right here Jesus displays that he is indeed, God.

21 And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone? They are right. Only God can forgive sins. They are also wrong in that Jesus is God and he can forgive sins.

22 But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, [ HE COULD READ THEIR THOUGHTS. He knows ours before we even formulate them into prayers.] 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? 24But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) STIMULUS: “I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house.” [ I love how He clarifies who He is and who Son of Man is.] This is funny to me, not only does he heal the man he gives him enough strength to pick up his own couch and walk it back to his house.

RESPONSE: 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 today. The people gave God the glory for it all. Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. There was no way to explain away what had happened. Matthew came immediately he didn’t think twice.

The calling of the Disciples

LEVI: 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.Levi” was Matthew’s name prior to his conversion. 28 And he left all, rose up, and followed him. 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, These publicans were hated by the Hebrews. Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners? This is the same question that people ask today. Consorting with outcasts on any level, even merely speaking to them, was bad enough. 

31 And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need, not a physician; but they that are sick. Salvation can’t come to the self-righteous. 32 I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Jesus works on the Pharisees’ self-righteous attitudes.  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? These Pharisees raised this question because they thought of fasting as a public exercise to display one’s spirituality. But, the Old Testament rebuked hypocritical fasting (Isaiah 58:3-6).

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. Fasting is just an extension of prayer to the YHWH. The disciples were still with Jesus so they did not need to fast.

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. People who quilt follow this philosophy. I sow so I understand this concept. There are still people who think that we should be following the old covenant of the Old Testament. Col. 2:17 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.

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