Luke 5#Lu 5:1| XXX. JESUS CALLS FOUR FISHERMEN TO FOLLOW HIM. (Sea of Galilee, near Capernaum.) #Mt 4:18-22 Mr 1:16-20 Lu 5:1-11| The lake of Gennesaret. This body of water bore many names. It was anciently called Chinnereth (#Nu 34:11|), or Chinneroth (#Jud 12:3|), from a fortified town (#Jos 19:35|) and district (#1Ki 15:20|) in Naphtali bearing that name. It is here called Gennesaret, from a plain of that name upon its northwestern shore (which may be a corruption of the old name Chinnereth.) It received its name, Galilee, from the district to which it belongs, and in later times it bore the name Tiberias (#Joh 6:1|), from the city of that name on its western shore. Also see TFG "Mr 6:53". (TFG 163) #Lu 5:2| And he saw two boats standing by the lake: but the fishermen had gone out of them, and were washing their nets. We may conceive of the fishermen, in answer to Jesus' call, drawing their boats together to the point where he stood upon the shore. Then, as Jesus stood teaching, they occupied themselves in the shallow water behind by washing their nets while they listened to him. (TFG 163) #Lu 5:3| And he entered into one of the boats, which was Simon's, and asked him to put out a little from the land. He did this that he might avoid the press, and that the people might be better able both to see and to hear. And he sat down. The usual attitude or posture of a teacher. (TFG 163) #Lu 5:4| Put out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. "Put out" is in the singular, being addressed to Simon alone; "let down" is plural, being addressed generally to those in the boat. (TFG 164) #Lu 5:5| Master, we toiled all night, and took nothing: but at thy word I will let down the nets. "Master" is a broader word than "Rabbi"; it indicates a superior, but does not confine his superiority to matters of instruction. The words of Peter show a willingness to oblige or honor Jesus, but are devoid of hope as to the thing proposed. Night was the time for fishing (#Joh 21:3|); and the proper place to cast the net was near the shore; but if Jesus wished to fish by daylight in the middle of the lake, Simon was not too weary to humor the wish. (TFG 164) #Lu 5:6| And their nets were breaking. That is, the nets began to snap when they tried to lift them out of the water. (TFG 164) #Lu 5:7| And they beckoned unto their partners in the other boat, that they should come and help them. This indicates that they were well out into the lake, where it was easier to beckon than to shout explanations. Some think the marvel wrought by Jesus made them speechless, but they were so engrossed in the magnitude and value of the catch that the full glory of the miracle had not yet come upon them. And they came, and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. They probably ran a second net under the one which enclosed the fishes, and by thus doubling the strength of the net were able to draw the fish up between the boats. A great load thus suddenly dumped in the side of a boat will cause it to list, dip water and threaten to sink. Such appears to have been the case here until the loads were so distributed as to right the ships. (TFG 164) #Lu 5:8| Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. Peter's request shows how deeply the miracle impressed him. It gave him that sense of the divine presence which never fails to overwhelm the hearts of men. No man can behold God in his glory and live (#Ex 33:20-23 20:18,19|); and though there have been exceptions where men have seen God or his representatives and lived (#Ex 24:9-11 Jud 6:21-23 13:22,23 Isa 6:1-5 Da 10:16-19 Ge 32:30|); yet no man, not even the purest, has ever stood in the presence of God or his ministers without feeling such a sense of weakness and sinfulness as to almost extinguish life (#Re 1:17 Job 42:5,6|). (TFG 164-165) #Lu 5:9| For he was amazed, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken. This miracle came home to the soul of Peter because it was wrought in his own boat, with his own nets, and concerned his own business. Religion is only powerful as it becomes personal. (TFG 164-165) #Lu 5:10| James and John, sons of Zebedee. See TFG "#Mr 1:19|". Fear not. See TFG "#Lu 1:30|". From henceforth thou shalt catch men. Jesus here shows the purpose for which this miracle had been wrought. It was a prophetic type or picture which foreshadowed the triumphs of the day of Pentecost and other seasons when the apostles had great ingatherings of souls through the preaching of the gospel. (TFG 165) #Lu 5:11| And when they had brought their boats to land, they left all, and followed him. That is to say, Peter and Andrew. See TFG "#Mr 1:20|". (TFG 165) #Lu 5:12| XXXIV. JESUS HEALS A LEPER AND CREATES MUCH EXCITEMENT. #Mt 8:2-4 Mr 1:40-45 Lu 5:12-16| One of the cities. It was a city of Galilee, but as it was not named, it is idle to conjecture which city it was. A man full of leprosy. Some have thought that Luke meant to indicate one so completely covered with leprosy as to be clean (#Le 13:12-17|). But the fact that Jesus sent him to the priest, shows that he was not such a clean leper. Luke meant to describe a leper in the last stages of the disease--a leper past all hope. Also see TFG "Mr 1:40". (TFG 176, 178) #Lu 5:13| And he stretched forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou made clean. See TFG "#Mr 1:41|". Straightway the leprosy departed from him. See TFG "#Mr 1:42|". #Lu 5:14| And he charged him to tell no man, etc. See TFG "#Mt 8:4|". #Lu 5:15| But so much the more went abroad the report concerning him. See TFG "#Mr 1:45|". #Lu 5:16| But he withdrew himself in the deserts. That is, the the remote grazing-lands like that desert in which he afterwards fed the five thousand. Such was our Lord's unexampled meekness that he preferred the silent deserts to the applause of multitudes. His meekness was as high above the capacity of a merely human being as were his miracles. And prayed. Luke's gospel is pre-eminently the gospel of prayer and thanksgiving. (TFG 181) #Lu 5:17| XXXV. JESUS HEALS A PARALYTIC AT CAPERNAUM. #Mt 9:2-8 Mr 2:1-12 Lu 5:17-26| And it came to pass on one of those days, that he was teaching. See TFG "#Mr 2:1|". And there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by. The fact that they were sitting, shows that they were honored above the rest: Jesus did not increase their ill-will by any needless disrespect. Who were come out of every village of Galilee and Judaea and Jerusalem. It is not likely that such a gathering came together by accident. Capernaum was known to be the headquarters of Jesus, and these leaders of the people had doubtless gathered there to wait for some opportunity to see or hear Jesus. They recognized the necessity of coming to some definite judgment regarding him. We shall see in this scene the beginning of their hostility to Jesus, which developed into four objections: 1. Alleged blasphemy; 2. Intercourse with publicans and sinners; 3. Supposed neglect of ascetic duties, such as washings, fastings, etc.; 4. Alleged violation of the sabbath. And the power of the Lord was with him to heal. That is to say, the power of God the Father was then working in Jesus to perform miracles (#Joh 14:10|). Some take this as implying that other miracles had been wrought that day, before the arrival of the paralytic. But the words are more likely a preface for what follows; in which case the meaning is that the cold disbelief of the Pharisees did not prevent Jesus from working miracles, as disbelief usually did (#Mt 13:58 16:1-4|). (TFG 182-183) #Lu 5:18| And behold, men bring on a bed a man that was palsied. See TFG "#Mr 2:3|". And they sought to bring him in. That is, into the house. #Lu 5:19| And not finding by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude. See TFG "#Mr 2:4|". They went up to the housetop. They went up by means of the stairs in the porch, or by ascending to the roof of an adjoining house, and stepping across to the roof of Simon's house. Many commentators assert that they went up by an outside stairway, erroneously believing that such stairs are common in Palestine; but they are almost unknown there, and their presence would only expose the inmates of the house to violence and pillage. And let him down through the tiles with his couch into the midst before Jesus. See TFG "#Mr 2:4|". (TFG 184) #Lu 5:20| And seeing their faith, he said, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee. See TFG "#Mr 2:5|". #Lu 5:21| Who is this that speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone? See TFG "#Mr 2:7|". #Lu 5:22| But Jesus perceiving their reasonings, answered and said unto them, Why reason ye in your hearts? See TFG "#Mr 2:8|". #Lu 5:23| Which is easier, to say, Thy sins are forgiven thee; or to say, Arise and walk? See TFG "#Mr 2:9|". #Lu 5:24| But that ye may know that the Son of man hath authority on earth to forgive sins (he said unto him that was palsied). See TFG "#Mr 2:10|". #Lu 5:25| And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay. See TFG "#Mr 2:12|". #Lu 5:26| And amazement took hold on all, and they glorified God, etc. See TFG "#Mr 2:12|". We have seen strange things to-day. Literally, "seen paradoxes": things contrary to common thought and ordinary experience. They had seen a threefold miracle: sins forgiven, thoughts read and palsy healed. (TFG 189) #Lu 5:27| XXXVI. THE CALL OF MATTHEW. (At or near Capernaum.) #Mt 9:9 Mr 2:13,14 Lu 5:27,28| And after these things. After the healing of the paralytic. A publican. See TFG "#Mt 5:46|". Named Levi, sitting at the place of toll, and said unto him, Follow me. See TFG "#Mr 2:14|". (TFG 189) #Lu 5:28| And he forsook all, and rose up and followed him. See TFG "#Mr 2:14|". #Lu 5:29| LVII. MATTHEW'S FEAST. DISCOURSE ON FASTING. (Capernaum.) #Mt 9:10-17 Mr 2:15-22 Lu 5:29-39| Levi. Another name for the apostle Matthew. A great multitude of publicans and of others. Matthew had invited his old friends. On publicans, see TFG "Mt 5:46". (TFG 349) #Lu 5:30| Why do ye eat and drink with the publicans and sinners? See TFG "#Mr 2:16|". #Mt 5:31| They that are in health have no need of a physician; but they that are sick. See TFG "#Mr 2:17|". #Lu 5:32| I am not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance. See TFG "#Mr 2:17|". #Lu 5:33| The disciples of John fast often . . . but thine eat and drink. See TFG "#Mr 2:18|". And make supplications. Single penitential prayers with their fasting. #Lu 5:34| Can ye make the sons of the bride-chamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? See TFG "#Mr 2:19|". #Lu 5:35| But the days will come, etc. See TFG "#Mr 2:20|". #Lu 5:36| No man rendeth a piece from a new garment and putteth it upon an old garment, etc. See TFG "#Mr 2:21|". #Lu 5:37,38| And no man putteth new wine into old wine-skins, etc. See TFG "#Mr 2:22|". #Lu 5:39| And no man having drunk old wine desireth new; for he saith, The old is good. The thought here is that as wine should be put in skins suited for it, and as, at an entertainment, the different kinds of wine should be served in appropriate succession; so, fasting should be observed on suitable occasions--not, for instance, at a wedding. (TFG 352)
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