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Bible Commentaries

Brown's Commentary on the New Testament

Luke 5

Introduction

  1. Introduction
    READ: Luke 4:13-21
    1. Last week, we spoke of our lives as a journey – and that the Bible tells us we are sojourners…strangers in a strange land!
    2. We looked at the mission statement for Jesus’ ministry…found in chapter 4 and Isaiah 61. Jesus came to preach the good news, heal the brokenhearted and set the captives free.
    3. We summed it up as, “The Lord came to bring hope and help to the lost world”.
    4. We took that one step further and evaluated this idea in regards to our own lives…we are to follow after Jesus denying ourselves and live and act and talk and serve as He did. Thus, our mission statement is to bring hope and help to the lost world…similarly to Jesus.
    5. The other side of this that we briefly discussed is that we are each made individually, separately, with differing gifts, backgrounds, strengths and weaknesses. Within that framework, we have the responsibility to seek the Lord as to how “HE” would like us to fulfill our mission.
    6. Today, as we begin chapter 5, we will see some of the ways that Jesus brought help and hope. Sometimes hope comes through increasing faith…sometimes through physical healing or the forgiveness of sins.
    7. As we read and seek to understand the first two vignettes in chapter 5…let’s be asking the Lord how He would have us – both individually and collectively – to bring help and hope in our world.

Verses 1-11

  1. Obedience to the Call
    1. Hungry for the Word
      Luk 5:1-3 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.
      1. As we look at this passage…what stands out to me is (v. 1) – the people “PRESSED” to hear the Word!
      2. They were hungry for the Word…they wanted more and more. Do we? Do we read to know God’s heart…Are we here every time the Word is taught?
      3. When Yvette and I first discovered Calvary’s verse by verse teaching in Georgia, we would drive 47 miles one way 3 times per week to hear the Word taught…we were hungry!
      4. What brings this hunger? The Holy Spirit, a growing faith, and the desire to know God more intimately! This comes when we see the goodness and blessings of the Lord! Do you “Press” to hear the Word, grow in the Word, know the Word and share the Word?
      5. We should be asking God to make us hungry!
    2. The Wisdom of God
      Luk 5:4-7 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 enclosed 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.
      1. As we continue this account of Jesus with His disciples…we seen Peter tasked with an action that doesn’t make sense in his own mind (probably not in the others, either)…
      2. After a long night of catching NOTHING, Jesus asks him to launch back out into the deep and let down his nets…
      3. Here is a situation where the flesh would have at least two reasons to oppose Jesus’ request:
        1. ​​​​​​​It doesn’t make sense with regards to Peter’s wisdom and experience…if he didn’t catch fish earlier (meaning all the previous night), why would he catch them now.
        2. Peter is tired…and Jesus is asking him to “work” and he’s probably thinking he just wants to go to bed. He has his flesh going against him!
      4. How many times have we ignored the voice of the Lord because it either didn’t make sense or we were too tired? Walking by faith sometimes means serving when we’re tired because we believe God and love Him more than ourselves!
      5. And yet, look at what happens when Peter obeys the Lord regardless of his flesh….he & and the others are blessed! Our obedience to the voice of the Lord is a key to being blessed and seeing those around us blessed, as well. Also, think of how Peter would have missed this blessing had he said, “NO”! Jesus knew what he needed – what would bless him and what would grow His faith! Character is always of the utmost importance to Jesus!
      6. Plus, our obedience is an example to those around us! Our obedience also gives us the ability to help encourage others that it is possible, despite our circumstances. Joh 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
    3. ​​​​​​​Fishers of Men
      Luk 5:8-11 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.
      1. The result of seeing the Lord and His goodness is a newfound humility and awareness of how great our sin is in the face of how Holy God is…
      2. Isa 6:1, 5 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. 5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.
      3. Sometimes God works on our behalf…and reveals himself, and shows His strength because He is placing a call on our lives…
      4. The next part of the Isaiah 6 passage says: Isa 6:8-9 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. 9 And he said, Go…
      5. Here, with Jesus, the result of Peter seeing his condition is that Jesus called him (and them) to be fishers of men…
      6. And, upon hearing this, Peter and the others forsook all and followed Jesus. That is a call for all of us… are we willing to forsake all and follow Jesus. Do we see the blessings of obedience as greater than the pleasure of our flesh for a moment?
      7. Heb 11:26 (Esteemed)Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.

Verses 12-16

  1. Jesus is Lord
    1. Submission & Healing
      Luk 5:12-13 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.
      1. Here we find a man with leprosy who calls Jesus – “LORD”. How do we know if he means it?
      2. He humbles himself by falling on his face, and then he submits himself to the will of Jesus…
      3. “Lord, if thou wilt…” NOT, Jesus make me clean! Not, “Lord, I have the faith to believe you WILL HEAL ME”. Simply, Lord, if thou will…”.
      4. Mat 6:9-10 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
      5. Jesus gives the man help through healing…this, in turn, brings him greater hope. As we run to Jesus humbly, with a broken and contrite spirit, He hears, heals, blesses and grows us. Not always the way we think, though…
      6. The bigger picture here is that…Leprosy is a picture of sin in the Bible – Leprosy starts by desensitizing our nerves until we lose feeling and begin to have damage to our body through the inability to feel. Ultimately, the body dies because the nervous system no longer can control our actions.
      7. Sin is the same, when we allow ourselves to become desensitized to sinful actions and activities; we open ourselves up to temptation and sin. This ultimately can kill us as we lose the ability to feel emotions. We then can no longer discern the leading of the Holy Spirit. Ultimately, we can die from our choices.
      8. This is why Paul, in 1Co 5:5 said of the man actively sexually sinning, “To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.”
    2. The Example for others
      Luke 5:14-16 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.
      1. Sometimes the Lord uses trials and good things in our lives as an opportunity to minister to others as well.
      2. Lev 13 & 14 are the chapters that the Priests would have to consult to figure our how to do the ritual cleansing. There had never before been a “Jewish” leper who had been healed. The ritual includes blood and water, wood and hyssop, sacrificial death and being set free: all these would hopefully speak to the death and resurrection of Christ and how we are set free!
      3. Also, it would hopefully point the priest’s eyes to the marvelous work that Jesus was doing!
      4. All of our trials, our infirmities, our healings and our blessings are opportunities for us to testify of how Jesus has work and is working in our lives and how He can work in others if they will allow Him to be their Lord!
  2. ​​​​​​​Conclusion
    1. ​​​​​​​Do we see God’s goodness and allow Him to be our Lord…not just our Savior?
    2. Do we choose to obey the Lord’s voice even when we are tired or don’t understand?
    3. Have we seen God’s hand of favor when we have walked in submission to Him?
    4. Have we acknowledged the ripple-effect of our choices, good or bad?
    5. Do we understand the Father’s heart and that He desires to bless His children?
    6. Rom 11:33-36 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! 34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? 35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? 36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

Verses 17-26

  1. Introduction
    READ: Luke 5:17-26
    1. We’ve been speaking of Jesus’ mission statement – summed up for us as bringing help and hope to the world. And…we’ve been speaking of this as our mission statement as well – as individual Christians and as the church – we should be individually and collectively bringing help and hope to the world.
    2. Being able to bring Help and Hope in a way that is NOT of our flesh means it will be the fruit of Spirit working in our lives. As we walk in the Spirit and pray for God’s leading…He will show us those who are in need.
    3. Our job is to respond…to listen and obey what the Word and the Holy Spirit lead us to…
    4. Remember, Luke 19:10 “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
    5. Today, we’re seeing Jesus healing a paralytic and extending forgiveness in the face of the religious leaders of the day…He will give help and hope to a man in need.
    6. As we study, be asking the Lord how YOU can bring help and hope for God’s kingdom as well.
  2. Forgiven and Free
    1. The Context
      Luk 5:17 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.
      1. Jesus, since He shared His mission statement from Isaiah 61:1-2, He has been teaching and healing as He goes…
      2. And, what we find here is that Jesus is now teaching in Capernaum (as we find in Mark 2:1). The Pharisees were the “called out ones” – those who were supposed to be in the world but not of the world. What they really were, however, were legalistic hypocrites who were intimidated by Jesus’ authoritative teaching. They were evaluating Him as He taught…
      3. Note, here: these so called experts had come from all over the region to hear Jesus – and the power of the Lord was present to heal them.
      4. But, understand, God has a plan to glorify Himself in every situation – this is a setup for the religious leaders…
    2. Paralyzed!
      Luke 5:18
      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.
      1. Knowing this is a setup…what happens next is telling: men (the Gospel of Mark also tells us it was 4 men) brought their friend to Jesus!
      2. Their friend had Palsy (in the Greek speaks of being physically paralyzed) and in this account is a picture for us of someone who has been paralyzed socially by sin, by guilt, by shame and thus hindered from being the person that God wants them to be.
      3. Hindrances in our lives come in many forms… what have you done in your life that you’re ashamed of? What has happened in your life that haunts you?
      4. What keeps you from being all God wants for you (in your marriage, in your job, in society in general, most of all: in the Kingdom of God)?
      5. What sin, what guilt, what shame, what idols, what is of greater priority to you than God’s heart for your life?
      6. If you’re paralyzed, Jesus is here, today, to set you free from your chains and bondage!
    3. Faithful Friends
      Luk 5:19 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.
      1. Here we find good friends – friends who care…friends who are less concerned about what people think of them than they are about the welfare of their friend.
      2. Let’s talk about what they did… Houses in that culture were built out of stone and the roofs had beams or big sticks lain across the walls. It was then cross-hatched with smaller sticks… they were then filled in with mud mixed with straw and sometimes tiled either under the mud or on top of it or both.
      3. Thus, this was a big deal…they had to dig through the roof. Inside, there were people crammed in all around, and Jesus was teaching.
      4. Imagine if I was teaching right now and someone dropped down through the ceiling…the distraction would be significant!
      5. BUT: What’s the picture for us? How bad do we want our friends to be introduced to Jesus? What lengths will we go to so that they see Him, hear from Him and ultimately get saved and set free? Will we put legs to our faith?
      6. Is your faith great enough to believe that Jesus can save them if they are brought to Him?
      7. Do we invite people to know Jesus? Do we invite them to church? We have bagels and coffee but do you tout Jesus as needing to be our center? I encourage you to invite people to church…but invite them to Jesus as well. Then, we can make them into disciples at church.
    4. Forgiven
      Luk 5:20 And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.
      1. What did the man need more: forgiveness or physical healing? From the eternal perspective it was certainly forgiveness!
      2. Heb 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment (it will be a scary thing to stand before the Lord on our own good deeds – God doesn’t use a good/bad scale…He judges based upon His law!)
      3. Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
      4. And…who can forgive sins but God? No one! Thus, we find the man’s forgiveness coming from God…Jesus IS God
      5. Psa 103:8-14 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. 9 He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger forever. 10 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. 11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. 12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. 13 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. 14 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.
    5. Visible Proof
      Luk 5:21-26 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.
      1. And…This is not just forgiveness for sins…this is not just a healing for a paralytic –
      2. This is an “In Your Face” demonstration of Jesus’ power to the religious leaders of the day!
      3. The leaders should have known the scriptures…they should have equated the prophets writing to Jesus; unfortunately, they were blinded by their pride. We can come though…
      4. Isa 55:6-7 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
      5. Eph 1:7 In (Jesus) whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
  3. Conclusion
    Luke 4:18-19 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
    1. Jesus shows us here how He both helped and brought hope with a broken and hopeless man…
    2. How can we bring help and hope? How can we be like the friends of the paralytic?
    3. Who can we invite to church or share Jesus with?
    4. Take Church cards and invite everyone you encounter – waitresses, cashiers, co-workers, friends, neighbors – Who do you know who needs Jesus?
Copyright Statement
Brown's Commentary on the New Testament is reproduced by permission of author. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Brown, Jim. "Commentary on Luke 5". "Brown's Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bnc/luke-5.html. 2017.