Study Notes For Luke Chapter Five
Luke 5:1 “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,”
- “Pressed upon” [ἐπίκειμαι] meaning: “To rest upon (literally or figuratively): — impose, be instant, (be) laid (there-, up-)on, (when) lay (on), lie (on), press upon. To lie upon or over, rest upon, be laid or placed upon; on the burning coals; metaph. of things, of the pressure of a violent tempest; of men, to press upon, to be urgent” (Strong’s # 1945). Otherwise translated as “instant” (Luke 23:23), “lay” (John 11:38), “laid thereon” (John 21:9), “lay on” (Acts 27:20), “laid upon” (I Corinthians 9:16), and “imposed” (Hebrews 9:10).
- The crowded scene is liken to other times (Mark 3:9, Mark 5:24, and Luke 12:1). * “Throng” in Mark 3:9 means: “to crowd (literally or figuratively): — afflict, narrow, throng, suffer tribulation, trouble” (Strong’s # 2346). “Thronged” (Mark 5:24) is from that same Greek word simply meaning to crowd on all sides (Strong’s # 4918).
- By implication, they wanted to hear the word of God and that in itself is great (Proverbs 18:15, Isaiah 55:1-9, and Acts 13:7).
- There had been a drought of the word of God prior to John coming to preach as was prophesied of old (Ezekiel 7:26, Amos 8:11-12, and Micah 3:6-7).
- A desire to hear does not necessarily mean a desire to obey (Ezekiel 33:30-33, Luke 23:6-12, John 8:37 and Acts 28:17-31).
- There are much shorter accounts of this context in Matthew (Matthew 4:12-17) and Mark (Mark 1:16-20).
Luke 5:2-3 “And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. 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.”
- Interestingly, as at least another time, Jesus wants to teach from the boat off of the coast (Matthew 13:1-2 and Mark 4:1-2).
- Jesus being in a ship did not prevent people from seeking Him (Mark 5:21-23).
Luke 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. 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. And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. 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.”
- After Jesus ended His public teaching, he tells Peter to launch the ship. Simon is Peter (Matthew 4:18, Matthew 10:2, Matthew 16:13-18, and Mark 3:16).
- The word translated “drought” means: “a catching (of fish); also (concretely) a haul (of fish): — draught…” (Strong’s # 61).
- Peter’s reference to Jesus as Master means something. This Greek term [ἐπιστάτης], which is not always the same Greek term translated “master” means: “An appointee over, i.e. commander (teacher): — master. Any sort of superintendent or overseer” (Strong’s # 1988). Luke is the only writer to use this term (Luke 8:24, Luke 8:45, Luke 9:33, Luke 9:49, and Luke 17:13). Most often, when the term “master” appears in the N.T. referencing a teacher it is “διδάσκαλος”. It is more general meaning as an instructor, doctor, teacher, etc. (Strong’s # 1320). It used by writers referencing Jesus (Matthew 9:11), teachers in the temple (Luke 2:46), John the Baptizer (Luke 3:12), various teachers (Acts 13:1), teachers among the local body (I Corinthians 12:28), Paul the Apostle (I Timothy 2:7), etc.
- Though their fishing had been fruitless, Peter followed our Lord’s instructions and let down the net. This obedience is good right from the jump of this relationship (Luke 6:46-49 and Romans 2:13).
- Surprise! Surprise! They caught fish, a lot of fish, at the command of Jesus (Matthew 8:23-27, Matthew 17:24-27, and John 21:1-14).
- Their partners [James and John; vs. 10] had to come help and they had so many fish that both ships were filled to the point they began to sink. The point being a “notable miracle” so it could not be denied (cf. Acts 4:16).
Luke 5:8-9 “When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken.”
- Simon fell down at Jesus’ knees as a reaction to the miracle he just observed. The falling down there means: “to fall towards, i.e. (gently) prostrate oneself (in supplication or homage), or (violently) to rush upon (in storm): — beat upon, fall (down) at (before)… (Strong’s # 4363). It is otherwise translated as “beat upon” (Matthew 7:25), “fell down before” (Mark 3:11, Mark 5:33, Luke 8:47, and Acts 16:29), and “fell at His feet” (Mark 7:25).
- Think about what John did falling at the feet of Jesus (Revelation 1:9-20).
- Think about WHY Peter felt Jesus should depart from him [I am a sinful man] (cf. Isaiah 6:1-13 and Luke 15:11-32).
- Even if he did not perceive himself as a sinful man (Matthew 8:5-13 and Mark 1:7).
- The word translated “astonished” [περιέχω] means: “to hold all around, i.e. include, clasp (figuratively): — + astonished, contain, after (this manner). To surround, encompass; to contain: of the subject-matter, contents, of a writing; to take possession of, to seize” (Strong’s #4023). Otherwise translated as “after” (Acts 23:25) and “contained” (I Peter 2:6). For word studies: Θάμβος was astonished [g2285] γὰρ For [g1063] περιέσχεν (was astonished) [g4023] αὐτὸνhe [g0846] καὶand [g2532] πάνταςall [g3956] τοὺς- [g3588] σὺν that were [g4862] αὐτῷ,with him [g0846\ ἐπὶat [g1909] τῇ- [g3588] ἄγρᾳthe draught [g0061] τῶν- [g3588] ἰχθύων of the fishes [g2486] ᾗwhich [g3739] συνέλαβον·they had taken [g4815]
Luke 5:10 “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.”
- Going forward, we will see a close relationship between Jesus, Peter, James, and John (Luke 8:49-56, Luke 9:28-36, and Mark 14:32-42).
- We know Peter had a special place with Jesus (Luke 22:31-32 and John 21:15-19).
- Enough of a relationship that James and John sought a special place with Jesus (Mark 10:35-45). There mother is recorded as requested such too (Matthew 20:20-28).
- Later, these three seem to be pillars (Galatians 2:9).
- Fear not (Luke 12:1-7 and Acts 27:15-25).
- There was a purpose - they will catch men (Mark 1:17; cf. Matthew 28:16-20, Mark 16:14-20, Luke 24:44-49, Acts 2:41-42, etc.).
Luke 5:11 “And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.”
- Luke 9:57-62, Luke 14:25-33, Luke 18:18-30, and Philippians 3:3-21
- Are all Christians required to forsake all and go? No! Priscilla and Aquila were faithful saints that had a business and a home that was even used for the congregation there to assemble in (Acts 18:1-3 and Romans 16:3-5). Philemon had a home, servants, etc. and yet was a faithful brother (Philemon 1:1-25). Lydia owned a business and had a home, yet when converted was never told to forsake it all. The fact is, she was hospitable after her conversion and then again later towards Paul and Silas (Acts 16:13-15 and Acts 16:40).
- Peter and the Apostles were unlike any of us. They were going to take over the work of Christ, as His ambassadors (II Corinthians 5:18-20). They, being directly led by the Holy Spirit (John 16:1-13, Acts 16:1-10, I Corinthians 2:1-13, Galatians 1:6-12, etc.) were going to take the Gospel into the whole world (again; Mark 16:14-20).
- Evangelists, whom were/are not Apostles, did some traveling and teaching. However, they ultimately were permitted to have homes in a certain location (Acts 8:26-40 and Acts 21:8).
- There are things saints are expected to do that require us to have a place we call home and stable funds (Luke 10:25-37, Romans 12:13, I Corinthians 11:22; 11:34, I Corinthians 16:1-4, Colossians 4:15, II Thessalonians 3:10, I Timothy 5:8, I Timothy 6:17-18, I Peter 4:9, etc.).
Luke 5:12 “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.”
- Leprosy among the children of Israel (Leviticus 13:1-14:57 and Numbers 5:1-4). *More on this in verse 14.
- A leper would certainly look for mercy from the Lord (Luke 17:11-19).
- Thinking about his falling on his face - reverence (Genesis 17:1-3, Genesis 17:17, Revelation 7:11, and Revelation 11:16).
- In Matthew’s account, the word “worshipped” is used (Matthew 8:1-4).
- He besought [made request; word that can mean prayer; Acts 4:31] with Jesus that if Jesus wilt to make him clean (I John 5:13-15).
- We know it was, then, the will of Jesus to cleanse lepers (Matthew 10:5-8 and Matthew 11:1-5). It proved who He was (Acts 2:22). Thus, the next verse is not a big surprise.
Luke 5:13 “And he put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be thou clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him.”
- Jesus had a healing touch (Luke 22:47-53).
- He didn’t even necessarily have to initiate contact (Luke 8:40-48).
- Of course, healings did not require Him to touch or even be present to heal (Matthew 8:5-13).
- The healing was immediate (Matthew 20:29-34, Mark 10:46-52, Luke 4:38-41, Luke 13:10-13, John 5:1-9, and Acts 3:1-7).
Luke 5:14 “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.”
- Rather than talking about his cleaning with others (more on this in verse 15), Jesus instructed Him to follow the law of Moses and go to the priest (Leviticus 13:1-14:57 [as noted in notes on verse 12]; cf. Deuteronomy 24:8-9).
- Lepers were put out of the camp (Numbers 12:1-16) as we briefly discussed in the notes on verse 12.
- As we read in the previous chapter of Luke, there were many lepers in Israel during the time of Elisha (Luke 4:27).
- Uzziah the king was a made to be a leper and he dwelt in a several [separate] house until death (II Chronicles 26:16-23).
- As the notes on verse twelve stated, there is another occasion with the same instruction to go show themselves to the priest (Luke 17:11-19).
- For a testimony [something evidential; evidence given; witness (Strong’s # 3142)] to them (Mark 1:44).
Luke 5:15 “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.”
- In the previous chapter we read about the spread of the fame of Jesus (Luke 4:14).
- The word translated “fame” [λόγος] here in this passage is different. The definition of this term is very broad and long. Here is a brief part of the definition: “Something said (including the thought); by implication, a topic (subject of discourse), also reasoning (the mental faculty) or motive; by extension, a computation; specially, (with the article in John) the Divine Expression (i.e. Christ): — account, cause, communication, x concerning, doctrine, fame, x have to do, intent, matter, mouth, preaching, question, reason, + reckon, remove, say(-ing), shew, x speaker, speech, talk, thing, + none of these things move me, tidings, treatise, utterance, word, work…” (Strong’s # 3056). That Greek word appears 330 times in the New Testament. Most often, it is translated as “word” (218 times).
- What we do see is that when Jesus said not to talk about healings, the opposite sometimes occurred (Mark 7:31-37).
- In Mark’s account (Mark 1:40-45) we read: “But he went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter, insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in desert places: and they came to him from every quarter” (Mark 1:45).
- As word spread, more came to hear and to be healed as we will continue to see in our Lord’s work on earth (Mark 3:1-12 and Luke 6:17-19).
Luke 5:16 “And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.”
- We have seen Jesus do this already in the previous chapter (Luke 4:42).
- Jesus withdrawing Himself to pray is not a prohibition on public prayer. He later prayed with His disciples (Luke 9:28 and Luke 22:14-20) and prayer was offered in public assemblies (I Corinthians 14:14-17).
- There is a time however wherein one should go into private places to pray (Matthew 6:6).
- Consider why Jesus sought to get away. Think about how trying it would have been to perform miracles and many come for the wrong reasons (cf. John 6:1-71).
Luke 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.”
- A Pharisee was part of a strict sect among the Jews (Acts 26:5) differing from the Sadducees (Acts 23:6). We have to be careful not to label them all as one thing or another. For example, some were all about outward appearances (Matthew 23:25-28). Some were self-righteous (Luke 18:9-14). However, such was not the case with all of them (Luke 13:31, John 3:1-5, John 7:40-52, John 19:39-42, Acts 5:27-40, Acts 24:14-16, and I Timothy 1:12-16 [cf. Philippians 3:5]).
- By all means though, understand that being a Pharisee was not a good thing (Matthew 5:20 and Matthew 16:1-12).
- Some “believed”, but became problems among the saints (Acts 15:1-40).
- That’s the problem with the sect [heresies; Strong’s # 139] mentality (I Corinthians 11:19, Galatians 5:20, and II Peter 2:1).
- “Doctors of the law” (Strong’s # 3547) were, as translated elsewhere, teachers of the law (I Timothy 1:7).
- We can see here that Jewish leaders were willing to travel to see and hear Jesus. To what end though at times (Matthew 19:1-12, Matthew 22:15, and Mark 7:1-13)?
- The power of the Lord was present [italicized] to heal them (cf. Matthew 10:1, Mark 3:13-15, Matthew 12:28, John 3:31-35, and Acts 10:36-38).
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.”
- Parallel accounts (Matthew 9:1-8 and Mark 2:1-12).
- The term translated Palsy means: “To loosen beside, i.e. relax (perfect passive participle, paralyzed or enfeebled): — feeble, sick of the (taken with) palsy…” (Strong’s # 3886). See: Acts 8:5-8 and Acts 9:32-35. Also could just mean “feeble knees” not related to a physical illness (Hebrews 12:12).
- It was common for the sick to be brought to Jesus (Mark 1:32). The Apostles saw this too in various ways (Acts 5:15 and Acts 19:11-12).
Luke 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.”
- Jesus was oft surrounded and oft had great multitudes following Him (Matthew 13:2, Matthew 15:30, Matthew 20:29, Mark 3:32, Mark 5:24, Luke 5:1, Luke 8:40-48, Luke 12:1, etc.).
- Wouldn’t it have been and now be great if people would gather and put forth such efforts as we read here for the Gospel as they did to be healed of physical ailments (Psalms 19:7-11, Psalms 119:9, Luke 11:27-28, Matthew 7:21-27, Romans 1:16-17, I Corinthians 1:18, I Corinthians 15:1-4, I Thessalonians 2:13, II Timothy 3:15-17, James 1:21-27, and Revelation 22:14)?
Luke 5:20 “And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.”
- Jesus saw their faith (Matthew 9:20-22; cf. John 2:23-25).
- Their faith is in reference to all involved (Mark 2:1-5).
- That does NOT mean faith was required for a miracle to occur (John 10:37-38, John 12:37, Acts 13:7-12, Acts 14:1-4, Acts 28:1-6, and I Corinthians 14:22; cf. Mark 16:15-20).
- The reason why Jesus said “thy sins are forgiven thee” is stated later in this context (Luke 5:24).
- That is NOT to infer that he was ill with the palsy because of sin (Luke 13:1-5).
Luke 5:21 “And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?”
- The word translated “scribes” [γραμματεύς] is defined as: “a writer, i.e. (professionally) scribe or secretary: — scribe, town-clerk. A clerk, scribe, esp.a public servant, secretary, recorder, whose office and influence differed in different states; in the Bible, a man learned in the Mosaic law and in the sacred writings, an interpreter, teacher. Scribes examined the more difficult and subtle questions of the law; added to the Mosaic law decisions of various kinds thought to elucidate its meaning and scope, and did this to the detriment of religion. Since the advice of men skilled in the law was needed in the examination in the causes and the solution of the difficult questions, they were enrolled in the Sanhedrin; and are mentioned in connection with the priests and elders of the people…” (Strong’s # 1122). Also translated “townclerk” (Acts 19:35).
- Regarding Scribes see: Ezra 4:8, Ezra 7:6; 7:11-12, Nehemiah 8:1-4, Nehemiah 8:13, Jeremiah 36:32, Matthew 8:19-20, and Matthew 13:51-52.
- Many times the scribes were trouble in and during the time Jesus was on earth (Matthew 5:20, Matthew 16:21; 20:18; 21:15; 23:13, Mark 3:22, Mark 11:15-19, Mark 12:38-40, Luke 19:47, Luke 20:46-47, etc.).
- The scribes and Pharisees together was a formula for trouble (Matthew 15:1-14, Luke 6:7, and John 8:1-11).
- Some scribes were also Pharisees (Acts 23:9).
- They accused Jesus of blasphemy as Jesus did something that only God could do (cf. John 10:30-33).
- They were right. The Law taught that forgiveness belongs to God (Exodus 34:6-7, Psalms 130:3-4, and Daniel 9:9).
- What they didn’t realize is the deity of Jesus (Isaiah 9:1-7, Matthew 1:23, John 8:56-58, John 20:28-31, Acts 20:28, Romans 9:1-5, Colossians 2:8-9, I Timothy 3:16, Titus 2:13, Hebrews 1:8-12, I John 3:16, and I John 5:20) and His place in the forgiveness of sins (Acts 5:31).
Luke 5:22 “But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answering said unto them, What reason ye in your hearts?”
- The term translated “perceived” [ἐπιγινώσκω] is defined as: “to know upon some mark, i.e. recognize; by implication, to become fully acquainted with, to acknowledge: — (ac-, have, take)know(-ledge, well), perceive…” (Strong’s # 1921). This term is most often translated as “know” (i.e. Matthew 7:16; 7:20).
- Jesus knows the thoughts of men (Jeremiah 17:10, Matthew 9:4, Matthew 12:25, Luke 6:6-8, and John 2:23-25).
- Matthew’s account says, “Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts” (Matthew 9:4)?
- That is why faith and obedience come from the heart (Romans 6:17 and Romans 10:9-10).
- That tells us we are talking about the mind of man and not the organ that pumps blood (Mark 7:21-23).
Luke 5:23 “Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk?”
- Matthew’s account: “For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk” (Matthew 9:5)?
- Mark’s account: “Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk” (Mark 2:9)?
- The overall point is really that they are hanging on words (Matthew 26:59-66, Mark 12:13, and Luke 11:53-54) rather than seeing the work being done (John 14:11).
Luke 5:24 “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.”
- Jesus reveals His reason for His word choices. He wanted them to know that He had authority (Matthew 28:18) to forgive sins while here on earth (John 5:22-23).
- Jesus does this again later (Luke 7:36-50).
- An underlining point that needed to also be realized is that the main purpose of the work of Christ was the forgiveness of sins (Acts 13:26-39).
- Regarding the healing, He said arise and go (John 5:1-9 and Acts 9:32-35).
Luke 5:25 “And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God.”
- As we discussed in Luke 5:13, the healing was immediate (Matthew 20:29-34, Luke 4:38-41, Luke 13:10-13, John 5:1-9, and Acts 3:1-7).
- He glorified God for His being healed (Luke 7:11-16 and Luke 23:44-47).
- Jesus worked to the glorification of God and the Father to the glory of Jesus (John 13:31-32, John 17:1-4, and Acts 3:13).
- The works of the faithful are supposed to glorify our Heavenly Father (Matthew 5:14-16, John 15:1-8, I Corinthians 10:31, and I Peter 4:11-14).
Luke 5:26 “And they were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things to day.”
- They were all amazed. The word translated “amazed” [ἔκστασις] means: “A displacement of the mind, i.e. bewilderment, “ecstasy”: — + be amazed, amazement, astonishment, trance. Any casting down of a thing from its proper place or state, displacement. A throwing of the mind out of its normal state, alienation of mind, whether such as makes a lunatic or that of a man who by some sudden emotion is transported as it were out of himself, so that in this rapt condition, although he is awake, his mind is drawn off from all surrounding objects and wholly fixed on things divine that he sees nothing but the forms and images lying within, and thinks that he perceives with his bodily eyes and ears realities shown him by God. Amazement, the state of one who, either owing to the importance or the novelty of an event, is thrown into a state of blended fear and wonderment” (Strong’s # 1611). This is what happened with Peter as he was “in a trance” (Acts 10:9-10; 11:4-5). Paul likewise was “in a trance” (Acts 22:17-18). At the tomb of Jesus they were amazed like this (Mark 16:1-8). Like amazement occurred when the lame man walked (Acts 3:1-11).
- Like in verse 25, we see God glorified (Jude 1:25).
- They were filled fear [alarm or fright: — be afraid, + exceedingly, fear, terror; Strong’s # 5401] (cf. Matthew 14:22-27, Matthew 28:1-4, Luke 1:11-13, Luke 21:20-26, Acts 2:43, Acts 5:1-11, etc.).
- They said they had seen “strange things” [contrary to expectation, i.e. extraordinary (“paradox”): — strange. Unexpected, uncommon, incredible, wonderful; Strong’s # 3861].
Luke 5:27 “And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him, Follow me.”
- Matthew and Mark record this too (Matthew 9:9-13 and Mark 2:13-17).
- The “receipt of custom” was: “a tax-gatherer's place of business: — receipt of custom. Customs, toll; toll house, place of toll, tax office; the place in which the tax collector sat to collect the taxes” (Strong’s # 5058).
- Tax collection was/is lawful and followers of the Lord are expected to pay taxes for certain reasons (Matthew 17:24-27, Matthew 22:15-22, Romans 13:1-7, and I Peter 2:13-16).
- Publicans [tax collectors] were not collectively described in a favorable manner (Matthew 5:46-47).
- Having said that, some obeyed John’s preaching and our Lord (Luke 3:12-13, Luke 7:29, and Luke 19:1-10).
- Like with Peter, Andrew, James, and John (Matthew 4:18-22), Jesus said “follow me” to Levi [Matthew; (Matthew 9:9)].
Luke 5:28 “And he left all, rose up, and followed him.”
- The disciples of our Lord, the Apostles, left all to follow Jesus (Mark 10:28-31).
- We discussed this in the notes on Luke 5:11. Leaving everything and going somewhere is not expected of all saints (see the notes on verse 11).
Luke 5:29 “And Levi made him a great feast in his own house: and there was a great company of publicans and of others that sat down with them.”
- A great feast signifying a celebratory mood (i.e. Genesis 21:8, Genesis 29:20-22, Exodus 13:3-6, Ester 2:18, Daniel 5:1; cf. Proverbs 15:15).
- In his own house (Romans 12:13 and I Peter 4:9).
- The company kept at this feast was not notoriously faithful people. Think about that (I Corinthians 5:9-11 and I Corinthians 10:27).
- At the same time, does this mean we should just through caution to the wind and keep bad company (Psalms 119:115, Proverbs 13:20, Proverbs 29:27, I Corinthians 15:33, and James 4:4)? Like I often say - BALANCE!
- Jesus was not opposed to being social (Matthew 11:7-19).
Luke 5:30 “But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners?”
- The scribes and the Pharisees could have reason for concern from what they may have been properly taught (Psalms 1:1-2, Psalms 26:4-5, Psalms 119:115, Proverbs 13:20, and Jeremiah 15:17).
- The problem is, their motives were wrong. They were not concerned for the right reasons (cf. Luke 6:7).
- Think about our Lord’s reasoning for keeping the company He did (Luke 15:1-32).
Luke 5:31 “And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick.”
- The scribes and Pharisees might recognize the principle of this point. The principle of this goes all the way back to the days of Judah going into captivity in Babylon (Jeremiah 8:4-22).
- An illness that only the Lord could remedy (Jeremiah 30:12-17).
- Sin is a spiritual illness (Isaiah 1:1-6).
- Consider the progress of sin and what is caused by sin (James 1:13-16; cf. Revelation 21:8).
Luke 5:32 “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
- An unrepentant sinner cannot be saved (Luke 13:1-5, Acts 17:30-31, and II Peter 3:9).
- Repentance is a turning away from sin (Acts 26:18-20). Yes, that means ceasing to sin (Ezra 9:10-14, John 5:14, John 8:1-11, II Corinthians 6:14-7:1, and II Timothy 2:19).
- This is even true of those who have been converted and have erred (Revelation 2:1-3:22).
- Not to take the ability to repent as a given that you are okay with God (Acts 8:13-24 and II Timothy 2:24-26).
- Jesus came to save sinners (Matthew 1:18-21, Matthew 4:17, Matthew 18:7-14, Luke 4:14-19, Luke 19:1-10, Luke 24:44-47, Acts 2:36-41, Acts 3:19-26, Acts 5:30-31, and I Timothy 1:12-16).
Luke 5:33 “And they said unto him, Why do the disciples of John fast often, and make prayers, and likewise the disciples of the Pharisees; but thine eat and drink?”
- Fasting occurred in the Old Testament for various reasons (Deuteronomy 9:9, Judges 20:24-26, I Samuel 7:1-6, II Samuel 1:11-12, II Samuel 12:1-23, Ezra 8:21-23, Nehemiah 9:1-3, Jeremiah 36:1-10, and Jonah 3:1-10).
- Some New Testament Scriptures on fasting (Matthew 15:32, Acts 13:1-4, Acts 14:23, and I Corinthians 7:1-5).
- Those asking Jesus this question were making what was supposed to be a private practice a spectacle, which was wrong (Matthew 6:16-18 and Luke 18:9-14).
- They also made “make prayers” a public spectacle which too was wrong (Matthew 6:5-8).
- John had his disciples (Matthew 11:1-3, Luke 11:1, and John 3:25-4:2).
- The disciples of the Lord being charged as eating and drinking just as Jesus was (Luke 7:24-35).
Luke 5:34 “And he said unto them, Can ye make the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them?”
- The Greek word translated “bridechamber” [νυμφών] means: “the bridal room: — bridechamber. The chamber containing the bridal bed, the bridal chamber; of the friends of the bridegroom whose duty it was to provide and care for whatever pertained to the bridal chamber, i.e. whatever was needed for the due celebration of the nuptials; the room in which the marriage ceremonies are held” (Strong’s # 3567). Cf. Matthew 9:15 and Mark 2:19
- Jesus is referred to as the bridegroom (John 3:28-29).
- Remember, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son (Matthew 22:1-14).
- The bride to be is the church (Ephesians 5:22-33; cf. Romans 7:4).
- In Matthew’s account the wording clarifies fasting and more: “And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them…” (Matthew 9:15).
- The marriage is a time of festivity, not of mourning.
Luke 5:35 “But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.”
- When Jesus was taken away (Acts 1:1-11).
- That is when they would have purpose to mourn and thus fast (John 16:5-22).
Luke 5:36 “And he spake also a parable unto them; No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old.”
- Mark’s account: “No man also seweth a piece of new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up taketh away from the old, and the rent is made worse” (Mark 2:21).
- This thus signifying that the new ways in Christ are not to be attached to the old, but to be entirely new (Hebrews 8:7-13).
Luke 5:37-38 “And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved.”
- As the wine expands, an old container (i.e. Joshua 9:3-4) that has already stretched would burst (Mark 2:22).
- While the old law was passing (Hebrews 9:15-17), it was not going to be destroyed (Matthew 5:17-19, Romans 15:4, and II Timothy 3:15-17).
- Jesus, the Apostles, and evangelists used the law and prophets in teaching (Matthew 13:14, Luke 24:44-45, Acts 3:22, Acts 7:37, Acts 8:30-35, Acts 13:33-35, Romans 1:17, Romans 10:1-21, II Corinthians 4:13, Hebrews 11:1-40, etc.).
Luke 5:39 “No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.”
- Herein is an illustration about how there would be a struggle for some to accept the new law opposed to the old law and their old ways (Matthew 19:3-12, Mark 7:1-13, John 9:1-29, Acts 6:8-14, and Acts 15:1-5).
- Interestingly though, in the past the Jews were willing to make changes for the wrong rather than go back to the old paths (Jeremiah 6:16).
- By no means is this illustration authority for alcohol usage then or now (Proverbs 20:1, Proverbs 21:17, Proverbs 23:20-21, Proverbs 23:29-35, Proverbs 31:4-5, Isaiah 5:11, Isaiah 5:22, Isaiah 28:7-8, Isaiah 65:8, Hosea 4:11, Habakkuk 2:15, Luke 21:33-34, Romans 13:13, I Corinthians 6:9-10, I Thessalonians 5:7-8, Titus 2:1-6, I Peter 4:1-5, and I Peter 5:8).
© 1999-2021 Words of Truth is edited and published by Brian A. Yeager. No one has the right to sell or edit this material!