Luke Chapter 5
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,”
“Lake of Gennesaret”: I.e., the Sea of Galilee, sometimes also called the Sea of Tiberias (John: 1; 21:1). It is actually a large freshwater lake, over 690 feet below sea level, and serves as the main source of water and commerce for the Galilee region.
Gennesaret, the Sea of Galilee, and Chinnereth are all one and the same. “Gennesaret” means garden of riches. There were small towns on several sides of the lake. Capernaum was one of the towns. Jesus’ fame as a preacher and healer has grown and now there is a great press of people.
Luke 5:2 “And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing [their] nets.”
“Washing their nets”: Having fished all night with nothing to show for their labor (verse 5), they were drying and mending their nets for another night’s work.
These were actually fishing boats. Peter, Andrew, James, and John were all fishermen. Peter and Andrew were brothers, and James and John were brothers. Perhaps this is who these 2 boats belong to. Fishing time was over, because they were washing their nets.
Luke 5:3 “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.”
This was the normal posture for rabbis while teaching, sitting.
Jesus having to get away from the heavy press of the people was one reason for going on the boat. Another reason was His voice would carry better to a larger number of people on the water. Water acts like a microphone.
The third reason Jesus borrowed this boat was to show these fishermen that He was the God of miracles, to build their faith to follow Him. Jesus can teach anywhere. He taught from the ship to the people on shore.
Luke 5:4 “Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.”
“Let down your nets”: Normally, the fish that were netted in shallow water at night would migrate during the daylight hours to waters too deep to reach easily with nets, which is why Peter fished at night. Peter no doubt thought Jesus’ directive made no sense, but he obeyed anyway, and was rewarded for his obedience (verse 6).
Jesus is about to teach Simon Peter a very important lesson. Our toil, even if it is in the ministry, will fail unless we do it exactly the way the Lord directs us. Simon must believe in the drought or he will not put the nets out. Sometimes the Lord sends us to an area to minister; and we, in the natural, believe it is hopeless.
We must have faith to throw out the net, even if we believe there are no fish, Simon was to learn a very good lesson here. Our feelings are deceiving. If the Lord tells you to do it, do it. Put action to your faith, and it will happen.
Luke 5:5 “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.”
In the physical, Simon cannot see the fish, but is obedient to the Lord’s command.
Luke 5:6 “And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.”
Obedience of the Lord brings great rewards. These fish had to obey the Lord. They had to be exactly where He wanted them. They had so much weight in fish that the net broke.
Luke 5:7 “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.”
This would be James and John. Perhaps, this whole thing happened to show James, John, Peter, and Andrew who Jesus really is. This is enough fish to finance them for a good while.
Luke 5:8 “When Simon Peter saw [it], he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”
“Depart from me”: The remarkable catch of fish was clearly a miracle, astonishing to all the fishermen in Capernaum (verse 9). Peter immediately realized he was in the presence of the Holy One exercising His divine power, and he was stricken with shame over his own sin (Exodus 20:19; 33:20; Judges 13:22; Job 42:5-6).
This miracle to a fisherman sets Jesus aside as God manifest in the flesh. Peter knew that no mere man could do this. Peter suddenly compares himself. He looks inside and sees his errors. He bows his knees, knowing Jesus is Messiah. Peter suddenly repents of his past life. He calls Jesus, Lord.
Luke 5:9-10 “For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken:” “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.”
This miracle, shown to these future disciples of Jesus, gave these men the courage to leave their nets and go with Jesus to fish for men. We see in this call of these fishermen, that Jesus deals with us at the level of our understanding. They understood catching fish, so He speaks to them of catching men.
Luke 5:11 “And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.”
“Forsook all, and followed him”: Luke gave a more detailed account of the second call of these disciples.
This above just means that they left their boats and followed Jesus.
A fish even now symbolizes Christianity.
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.”
“Full of leprosy”: Luke’s emphasis suggests this was an extremely serious case of leprosy.
Leprosy is symbolic of sin. This is the first account of Jesus dealing with someone who is totally rejected by society. They were to cry “unclean” when anyone came near them. This man had a humble spirit (he knelt before Jesus).
This man had great faith. He says to Jesus. “I know that you can heal me, if you will”. His faith will be rewarded.
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.”
“Immediately”: One of the characteristics of Jesus’ healings was immediate and total wholeness (17:14; Matt. 8:13; Mark 5:29; John 5:9).
It is the will of the Lord to heal us. Just as He told this man “I will”. He will save us too. We believe, and He will. This leprosy had to leave when Jesus touched the man. Disease is subject to the Lord the same as everything else.
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.”
“Tell no man”: Publicity over such miracles might hinder Christ’s mission and divert public attention from His message. Mark records that this is precisely what happened. In this man’s exuberance over the miracle, he disobeyed; as a result, Christ had to move His ministry away from the city and into the desert regions (Mark 1:45).
When a person had leprosy, and was healed, he must be examined by the priest and declared clean before he could go back around people. In the (13th chapter of Leviticus), you can read about leprosy. In the (17th verse), it tells you that the priest must declare him clean.
In (Leviticus 4:4), you can see the offering he is to make. Notice that going to the priest and the offering is for a testimony unto the people. The man is already clean.
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.”
There is no way to keep something like this quiet. It spread from one person to the other, until the whole country heard of it. This multitude that came wanted healing and came curiosity seeking.
Luke 5:16 “And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.”
Jesus went aside to rest and to talk with His Father. He sought out a private place (in the wilderness). Prayers, when you pray to God alone, are very effective. When you pray in private to God, you are not trying to impress anyone.
Many times, public prayers are for those people listening, and God is not impressed when we pray for that reason. God wants to fellowship with us. When we pray privately, that is what we are doing; fellowshipping with Him.
Luke Chapter 5 Questions
1. What lake was Jesus standing by in verse one?
2. What other two names is it known by?
3. What does “Gennesaret” mean?
4. What was one of the towns near by the lake?
5. How many ships were nearby in the sea?
6. Who did they belong to?
7. What were the men who owned the boats doing?
8. Whose ship did Jesus enter into?
9. What were three reasons why Jesus used this ship to preach from?
10. When Jesus finished preaching, what did He tell Simon to do?
11. What is Simon’s other name?
12. What lesson is to be learned here?
13. What did Peter tell Jesus about putting the net out again?
14. Why did Simon do what Jesus said?
15. What happened when he let the net down?
16. What happened to the net?
17. Who did Peter call himself?
18. When Peter saw this miracle, what did he do?
19. What did Peter call himself?
20. What did Peter call Jesus?
21. What two words did Jesus speak to Simon?
22. How does Jesus deal with each of us?
23. What did they do when they brought their ships to land?
24. What does a fish symbolize?
25. What did the man with leprosy do when he saw Jesus?
26. What is leprosy symbolic of?
27. What showed the man’s great faith?
28. How did Jesus answer him?
29. What happened when Jesus touched him?
30. Who did Jesus tell him to go show himself to?
32. Where can you find the offering he was to take?
33. What two reasons did great multitudes come to follow Jesus for?
34. After all of this, where did Jesus go?