Daily Bible Studies
|Series Theme: Luke's Gospel Studies|
Chapter: Luke 5
Passage: Luke 5:1-11
A. Find Out:
1. Where was Jesus and what was he doing? v.1
2. How did he extend what he was doing? v.2,3
3. What did he do when he had finished? v.4
4. What was Peter's answer? v.5
5. So what happened? v.6,7
6. What was Peter's response to this? v.8,9
7. What did Jesus say and what then happened? v.10b,11
1. Why did Jesus use Peter's fishing boat?
2. What was it that shook Peter?
3. What does this tell us about Jesus?
This is the only Gospel that this account appears in. Perhaps that is because Luke was collecting together stories that revealed the power and authority of Jesus and this certainly fits into that category!
Jesus has been preaching to the crowd which has been growing. There is little room and it's difficult for the people to hear, so Jesus uses a fishing boat so that, anchored just off shore, more people can see and hear him. But perhaps there is more in it than that. He knows that this big fisherman is in God's sights, and this guy needs a power encounter with God of the sort that he can understand. So observe what happens.
After preaching Jesus wants to thank Peter for the use of his boat in the most practical way. Jesus, who knows everything, knows that last night the fishing had been poor. He tells Peter to throw out the nets and something in the way he speaks prompts Peter to do it, even though he knows there are no fish here but suddenly there are in abundance!
Questions flood Peter's mind, but one thing he knows there were no fish here, but now there are and somehow Jesus is the cause of this and Jesus knows all about Peter and more about his job than Peter does. This puts Jesus in a completely different category and he, Peter, is not in his league. So, when called, he goes!
1. Who knows best about your life?
Have I realised that Jesus knows more about me, my life and my job that I do?
2. The power to transform?
Have I realised that Jesus has the power to transform my life circumstances, to actually bring change where I can see no possibility?
Chapter: Luke 5
Passage: Luke 5:12-16
A. Find Out:
1. Who came, did what, and declared what? v.12
2. What did Jesus DO? v.13a
3. What did he say and with what effect? v.13b
4. What two things did Jesus tell him to do? v.14
5. Yet what happened? v.15
6. What did Jesus often do? v.16
1. What do you think the man's words indicate about him?
2. What was significant about Jesus' action?
3. Why do you think Jesus instructed him to go to a priest?
Jesus now goes to one of the surrounding towns (see 4:43) where he encounters a leper. To be a leper in those days meant to be a hopeless outcast. Yet even the lepers heard what Jesus had been doing (see 4:40) and so the man comes to Jesus.
Observe his manner of approach. He falls before Jesus and, in abject submission, he begs him for help. He realises something of Jesus' power and greatness and his own desperation. He knows Jesus can heal him but he's got such a low opinion of himself he's not convinced Jesus would want to do it. Isn't this how it is with so many of us?
Observe next Jesus' response. Mark tells us Jesus was moved by compassion (Mk 1:41). Jesus knows what the man feels, knows his sense of desperation and isolation, and so does the one thing the man needs even more than healing: he touches him! He could have healed simply with a word but he actually expresses his love with a touch.
He then affirms the man: I am willing. The man also needed that. In both these ways so far, Jesus is building up the man, encouraging him in preparation for what is about to happen. It's more than a physical healing that is needed.
He then heals him: be clean. With Jesus, because he is God's Son with all authority and power, he simply needs to speak a word. At Creation, the Father spoke and it happened. God only has to declare His will and it happens.
Finally he gives the man instructions on how to confirm his healing. The Law instructed that the priests act as doctors confirming the cleansing (see Lev 14:1-4). Thus Jesus reassures the man that he is healed by his instruction to get it confirmed officially. Again further caring. Authority and caring go hand in hand in God's kingdom!
1. We need affirming
Jesus knows our greatest need is to be loved and affirmed, and that even before any healing we may need. Jesus loves you as you are!
2. Stragetic healing
Everything Jesus does is to reassure his people of his love. Here he did it in stages. He does it for us in a variety of ways. Receive his love, know that he is for you (Rom 8:31). He loves you!
Chapter: Luke 5
Passage: Luke 5:17-26
A. Find Out:
1. Who were in the house with Jesus? v.17
2. Who came and did what? v.18,19
3. What did Jesus say and with what reaction? v.20,21
4. How did Jesus respond? v.22-24
5. What happened? v.25
6. What effect did this have? v.26
1. How would you describe the friends of the paralysed man?
2. What two needs did Jesus see the man had?
3. Why was that a problem for the Pharisees and teachers there?
Observe first the example of the friends of the paralysed man. First they had heard about Jesus, then they had believed and finally they DID something for their friend. In the doing these men were not put off by natural obstacles. They pushed on through to get to Jesus.
Second, note the way Jesus dealt with the man. First he forgave the man, then he healed him. That was his order of priorities. In coming to Jesus the man was willing to face God with his past. This is a sign of repentance, so Jesus forgives him. Then he meets his other obvious need.
Third, note the reaction of the religious people there. They understood that only God can forgive sins and they couldn't understand what grounds there were for this declaration of forgiveness, and they assumed Jesus was blaspheming. Their hard hearts prevented compassion for the man arising. They just thought the worst!
Fourth, see how Jesus handles this. He could have declared that he was God's son, but the time wasn't right for that, so instead he presents them with a conundrum: is it easier to declare sins forgiven or easier to declare healing? Answer, neither unless you have the power to do both! If he has the power to heal then that is an indication that he has the right to forgive sins as well, so he heals the man. The result? Total amazement, and no doubt some serious thinking.
1. Needing to be Forgiven?
Forgiveness is the first need of every one of us. It happened when I came to Christ. Have I fully received it? Do I realise that when I confess he promises to forgive (1 Jn 1:9)
2. Reconciliation opens the way
After being reconciled to God, then other matters can be dealt with. Very often we cannot receive God's blessing because we are still holding Him at a distance. Am I doing that? Am I frustrating His desire to bring greater blessing into my life?
Chapter: Luke 5
Passage: Luke 5:27-32
A. Find Out:
1. What did Jesus next say to who, where? v.27
2. With what result? v.28
3. What did Levi next do? v.29
4. Who objected by asking who what? v.30
5. What illustration did Jesus give? v.31
6. So how did he apply that to himself? v.32
1. How would you describe Levi's complete response?
2. What was the Pharisees' problem?
3. Why was this no problem to Jesus?
This all seems to be happening in Capernaum . Amazing things have been happening there and Levi (or Matthew) would have heard about these things. Then Jesus comes to him and instructs him to follow him. Again there is a simple leaving without question. But this is Levi's home so he invites Jesus to a meal and also invites all his friends to come along and meet Jesus. A good example!
Now the Pharisees, being a very 'religious' group are scandalised by this. This Jesus, who is supposed to be a religious man, is consorting with sinners! However can this be? There is always a tendency for the 'religious' to separate themselves off in order to be 'holy' but that is far from New Testament Christianity. For Jesus, unrighteous sinners, are the very ones he's come to save. They are the ones who have the greatest need. Look, he says, it's the sick who need a doctor, and it's the unrighteous who need me, that's why I've come.
We find some bold lessons in this passage. First there is the main lesson from Jesus: he's come to reach out to the sinner, the lost, the unrighteous. A challenge for us to do the same. Then there is the example of Levi, who just wanted to share Jesus with his friends. A further good example to follow. Then there is the example of the Pharisees, not to be followed, of self-righteous exclusion.
1. Jesus comes to save the lost.
Am I therefore open to those around me in life who are less than 'good' in my eyes?
2. Jesus comes to save the lost
Is Jesus able to reach out through me to the unrighteous (as I see them) around me?
Chapter: Luke 5
Passage: Luke 5:33-39
A. Find Out:
1. How was Jesus then questioned? v.33
2. What illustration did he apply to himself in answer? v.34,35
3. What did he say one doesn't do and why? v.37
4. What also did he say one doesn't do and why? v.37
5. What did he say must happen? v.38
6. And why do some not want the new wine? v.39
1. What point was Jesus making when speaking of the bridegroom?
2. What was he saying with the two parables?
3. And what warning was he giving at the end?
The Pharisees and teachers of the Law continue to challenge Jesus. Basically what they are saying is Why aren't you teaching your followers the spiritual disciplines that the rest of us spiritual people follow? Jesus' answer to this is very simple: at this moment it isn't appropriate for them to be fasting, it's party time! While Jesus was working people were getting saved, healed and delivered, lives were being transformed. It was a time for rejoicing, not a time for being serious and mournful. No, he says, when I'm taken away, that will be the time for fasting and prayer! He refers, obviously, to the time between his death and resurrection, which was a genuine time of mourning for Jesus' followers.
But then he goes on. He pictures an old garment that needed patching. You don't patch it with new material because that won't match (or it will shrink differently - Mk 2:21). Then he pictures trying to contain new wine. You don't put it into old wineskins because they will be rigid and inflexible and won't be able to cope with the ongoing fermentation of the new wine.
Very simply what he is saying is that you can't mix the new and the old, and indeed when you are used to the old you may not want the new. The life that Jesus was bringing was incompatible with the old form of religion that the Pharisees knew about. Their religion rested on rules and ritual. Jesus came bringing life and change. The two don't mix! Be clear about that.
1. Rules or Life.
Rules and ritual bring spiritual death. Jesus brings life, effervescence and change. Is my life based on rule keeping or on the wonderful love and activity of Jesus?
2. Rigid or Flexible.
Am I so fixed in my way of thinking that it hinders Jesus doing things through me that run contrary to my understanding?
RECAP: "A Spectrum of Ministry" - Luke 5
In this final group of 5 studies we have seen Jesus :
In this chapter Luke has been opening up Jesus' activities and focussing on people. Peter is the first person who Jesus gradually involves and then envelops with a miracle. Peter is staggered by it and then leaves all to follow Jesus.
The leper is the next one encountered by Jesus and he is first touched by Jesus, as if to heal his isolation, before he is healed of his leprosy. What a picture of sin that isolates.
This is followed by the paralytic brought by four friends, who is first of all forgiven by Jesus, as if to remove his guilt, before he is enabled to walk again. What a picture of sin that cripples us.
Levi, the sinful tax collector is next and he is simply accepted by Jesus as he is called to follow. A picture of sin that abuses others.
Finally there are the grumbling Pharisees , a picture of sinful, legalistic religion.
In every case Jesus comes to deal with the sin or the effects of sin and bring life transformation. What a Saviour!
1. Jesus knows best about every aspect of our lives.
2. Jesus comes bringing transformation by power.
3. Jesus' power is accompanied by compassion and caring.
4. Jesus' power is accompanied by forgiveness and restoration.
5. Jesus' power is to redeem and transform sinners.
6. When Jesus is moving in power, it's a time for rejoicing.
7. Old legalistic religion cannot exist with the new life of Jesus.
Thank, praise and worship the Lord for the wonder of His love that comes to us with life transformation. Thank Him for His word (truth) and His power.
SECTION SUMMARY - Luke 1 to 5
In these chapters we have seen:
CONCLUSION - Luke 1 to 5
As we come to the end of these five chapters, the following may be some of the things we may wish to consider further:
Jesus' Supernatural Arrival
From the outset of Luke's Gospel (which, he explains, he's gone to some trouble to investigate and compile), Luke leaves us no room for complacent half-belief. From the outset Luke shows again and again that we are considering here the intervention of God, on this His planet. There are angelic encounters, and miraculous conceptions. If you are not happy to believe in a God who can speak and act into His world, this Gospel is not for you! But if there is such a God, then you would expect Him to be able to do these sorts of things.
Jesus' Gradual Revealing
The Old Testament prophecies had clearly warned that at some point in the future God would be sending His Chosen One to the nation of Israel . Now angels start appearing and speaking about what is about to happen. Next we are shown the life of one we refer to as John the Baptist, preparing the people to meet this One. Then The One is revealed at His baptism. The we start seeing him teaching in synagogues, the gathering places of the religious Jews. More than that we see his authority as he casts out demons. Yet even more, he starts healing people in large numbers. Then the focus becomes sharper and we see his personal encounters with disciples he calls, people he heals and religious people who objected. Bit by bit Luke reveals to us the wonder of this One who has come from heaven to bring the rule of God to earth.
Our Personal Responses
How have we responded to what we have read in these incredible chapters? It may be that we are new to the Bible and so we have come with total surprise at what we have read. Let the down-to-earth nature of Luke's introduction and his geographical and historical context, help you understand that the incredible events recounted DID ACTUALLY HAPPEN in time-space history.
If you have been a Christian for some time, may it not be that you have grown over familiar with some of these passages that are read every Christmas. If need be, go back and read these five chapters out loud at one sitting and capture again the shear wonder of what we are being told. Worship the Lord!