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Bible: What Does Luke 5 Teach Us About Jesus and His Apostles?

Updated on September 15, 2016

Jesus Speaking to a Multitude


Sea of Galilee


Jesus and His Apostles


Jesus Teaches His Disciples

By the Lake of Gennesaret (The Sea of Galilee), Jesus attracts a boisterous crowd hungry to hear the word of God (v. 1).

[Luke situates the Lord in Galilee, not in Judea (as the NU records it; see 4:44, NASB).]

To meet these needs, He asks Simon (also known as Peter) if he could use his boat as a platform from which to teach the “multitudes.”

Simon, taking a break from washing his fishing nets with the help of friends (one of these men is his brother Andrew; see Matt. 4:18), obliges his Master, and Jesus climbs into the vessel to address the people (vv. 2-3).

After His lecture, Christ, knowing that Simon had failed all night to catch fish, commands him to try again (v. 4).

His pride hurt, “the big fisherman” remonstrates until he (presumably) looks into Jesus’ eyes and realizes Whom he is addressing (v. 5).

[Notice Luke’s emphasis on listening to /obeying the “word” (vv. 1, 5).]

With his obedience comes great, overwhelming blessing (vv. 6-7), so much so that Simon had to enlist the help of his partners in the other boat (James and John, vv. 2, 10) to handle the great haul.

Suddenly, a wave of astonishment sweeps over Simon and his compatriots (vv. 9-10a), a wave submerging the former in the guilt of his own sinful unbelief (v. 8).

Seeing the man’s fear, Jesus first comforts him verbally, then informs him of his new calling (v. 10b).

The four apostles, having recovered their boats from a nearly catastrophic loss, leave their livelihood and follow the Lord (v. 11).

[This episode records the event surrounding their call into the ministry; Matthew recounts the call itself, but omits the story preceding it (cf. 4:18-22).

Luke inserted several incidents—the cleansing of the leper (5:12-16), the healing of the paralytic (vv. 17-26), the calling of Matthew (vv. 27-32), questions about fasting (vv. 33-39), the separate “breakings” of the Sabbath through plucking grain (6:1-5) and healing (vv. 6-11), the calling of the twelve (vv. 12-16), and the healing of a great multitude (vv. 17-19)—before writing his abbreviated version of the Sermon on the Mount (6:20-49).

Matthew placed the longer version of the Sermon (5:1-7:29) immediately after relating Jesus’ healing ministry (4:23-25).

Obviously, the two writers pursued different purposes, but no contradictions exist between them.]

Luke’s and Marks’s accounts of Jesus’ cleansing of the leper do not differ in the essentials, except that the former typically speaks of extensive healings (v. 15).

Matthew also does not vary from the basic data, except for omitting any reference to vast numbers coming for cures, leading to Jesus’ frequent withdrawals into the wilderness (v. 16).

Jesus with Pharisees


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Another day finds Pharisees and teachers of the law confronting Jesus after He grants forgiveness upon a paralytic’s sins (vv. 17-26).

[Only Luke focuses on these Jewish leaders from the start of the narrative, noting that they had traveled from all over Judah and Galilee to examine the Lord’s teachings.

He also states that God’s healing power was present with Jesus—an observation one would expect from a physician (v. 17).]

The details of this incident, again, do not vary from gospel to gospel (see Mk. 2:1-12; Mt. 8:5-13).

Matthew, however, inserts an account of a different healing here—that of the centurion’s son—after the cleansing of the leper.

He does not relate the story of the paralytic until after his accounts of episodes that Luke had already penned, viz., the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law and other assorted healings after the Sabbath sunset (see Matt. 9:1-8; cf. Luke 4:38-41).

Luke places the healing of the centurion’s son after his version of the Sermon (see 7:1-10); Matthew also places this healing almost immediately after the Sermon (see Matt. 8:5-13).

Regarding Jesus’ choosing of “Matthew”—so named only by Matthew, while Mark labels him Levi the son of Alphaeus (2:14), and Luke calls him Levi without including the lineage reference (v. 27)—the writers do not deviate much from one another in their reporting.

The only notable addition occurs when Matthew inserts Hosea 6:6 between statements (cf. 9:12-13)—something one would expect from an author writing to a Jewish audience.

A few textual details emerge from certain disciples’ “question” about the lack of fasting of Jesus’ men.

(1) Nestle version (NU) omits “Why do,” making the verse a statement; NASB follows the NU, while NKJV does not.

(2) Luke leaves vague the identity of those who “question” Jesus (“they”), whereas Matthew describes them as the disciples of John (9:14).

Mark adds the disciples of the Pharisees were also present (2:18).

(3) Luke includes that these men also “made prayers” (v. 33)—a detail the others omit.

(4) NU omits “and both are preserved” (v. 38).

(5) Luke alone mentions the superiority of “old wine” to new (v. 39).

Ryrie points out that the new wine represents the “new teaching of the grace of Christ” that “cannot be contained within the old forms of the law (John 1:17)” [New Testament Study Bible, 116].

© 2013 glynch1


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    • glynch1 profile image

      glynch1 4 years ago

      You are welcome.

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      Rayne123 4 years ago

      Another great hub and very informative

      Thank you