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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Luke 5

Verse 1

Luke 5:1-11. Miraculous draught of fishes - Call of Peter, James, and John.

Not their first call, however, recorded in John 1:35-42; nor their second, recorded in Matthew 4:18-22; but their third and last before their appointment to the apostleship. That these calls were all distinct and progressive, seems quite plain. (Similar stages are observable in other eminent servants of Christ.)

Verse 3

out of the ship — (See on Matthew 13:2).

Verse 4

for a draught — munificent recompense for the use of his boat.

Verse 5

Master — betokening not surely a first acquaintance, but a relationship already formed.

all night — the usual time of fishing then (John 21:3), and even now Peter, as a fisherman, knew how hopeless it was to “let down his net” again, save as a mere act of faith, “at His word” of command, which carried in it, as it ever does, assurance of success. (This shows he must have been already and for some time a follower of Christ.)

Verse 6

net brake — rather “was breaking,” or “beginning to break,” as in Luke 5:7, “beginning to sink.”

Verse 8

Depart, etc. — Did Peter then wish Christ to leave him? Verily no. His all was wrapt up in Him (John 6:68). “It was rather, Woe is me, Lord! How shall I abide this blaze of glory? A sinner such as I am is not fit company for Thee.” (Compare Isaiah 6:5.)

Verse 10

Simon, fear not — This shows how the Lord read Peter‘s speech. The more highly they deemed Him, ever the more grateful it was to the Redeemer‘s spirit. Never did they pain Him by manifesting too lofty conceptions of Him.

from henceforth — marking a new stage of their connection with Christ. The last was simply, “I will make you fishers.”

fishers of men — “What wilt thou think, Simon, overwhelmed by this draught of fishes, when I shall bring to thy net what will beggar all this glory?” (See on Matthew 4:18.)

Verse 11

forsook all — They did this before (Matthew 4:20); now they do it again; and yet after the Crucifixion they are at their boats once more (John 21:3). In such a business this is easily conceivable. After Pentecost, however, they appear to have finally abandoned their secular calling.

Verse 12

Luke 5:12-16. Leper healed.

(See on Matthew 8:2-4.)

Verse 15

But so, etc. — (See Mark 1:45).

Verse 17

Luke 5:17-26. Paralytic healed.

(See on Matthew 9:1-8).

Pharisees and doctors … sitting by — the highest testimony yet borne to our Lord‘s growing influence, and the necessity increasingly felt by the ecclesiastics throughout the country of coming to some definite judgment regarding Him.

power of the Lord … present — with Jesus.

to heal them — the sick people.

Verse 19

housetop — the flat roof.

through the tiling … before Jesus — (See on Mark 2:2).

Verse 24

take up thy couch — “sweet saying! The bed had borne the man; now the man shall bear the bed!” [Bengel].

Verse 27

Luke 5:27-32. Levi‘s call and feast.

(See on Matthew 9:9-13; and Mark 2:14.)

Verse 30

their scribes — a mode of expression showing that Luke was writing for Gentiles.

Verses 33-39

Luke 5:33-39. Fasting.

(See on Matthew 9:14-17.)

The incongruities mentioned in Luke 5:36-38 were intended to illustrate the difference between the genius of the old and new economies, and the danger of mixing up the one with the other. As in the one case supposed, “the rent is made worse,” and in the other, “the new wine is spilled,” so by a mongrel mixture of the ascetic ritualism of the old with the spiritual freedom of the new economy, both are disfigured and destroyed. The additional parable in Luke 5:39, which is peculiar to Luke, has been variously interpreted. But the “new wine” seems plainly to be the evangelical freedom which Christ was introducing; and the old, the opposite spirit of Judaism: men long accustomed to the latter could not be expected “straightway” - all at once - to take a liking for the former; that is, “These inquiries about the difference between My disciples and the Pharisees,” and even John‘s, are not surprising; they are the effect of a natural revulsion against sudden change, which time will cure; the new wine will itself in time become old, and so acquire all the added charms of antiquity. What lessons does this teach, on the one hand, to those who unreasonably cling to what is getting antiquated; and, on the other, to hasty reformers who have no patience with the timidity of their weaker brethren!

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 5". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". 1871-8.