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Gospel of Luke Chapter 5
Theme: Jesus calls the disciples for the second time; Jesus cleanses the lepers; Jesus heals man with palsy; Jesus calls Matthew (Levi); Jesus teaches parables on new garment and wine skins.
Jesus Calls the Disciples for The Second Time (Luke 5:1-10)
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, (KJV)
And it came to pass, that as the people pressed upon him . . . as Jesus went through Galilee, preaching in the synagogues there, great crowds of people attended, and they followed Him wherever He went. So large were their numbers, and so eager to see hear Him, that they even troubled Him, bearing down hard on Him. There was no ill plan against Him, they only wanted,
To hear the word of God . . . the Scriptures of the Old Testament explained, and the doctrines of the Gospel that He preached, which were preached by Him, as they never were before or since, and not preached the way the Scribes and Pharisees did. The manner of His ministry drew a multitude of people after Him where ever He went.
He stood by the lake of Gennesaret . . . this was the same as the sea of Chinnereth (Num.34:11; Josh.12:3; 13:27). It was a place chosen by Christ, and made famous by Him, for His preaching at it, His miracles upon it, and showing Himself there after His resurrection (Jn.21:1).
The lake of Gennesaret is also known as "the sea of Tiberias" (Jn.21:1; 6:1).
Luke 5:2 And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. (KJV)
And saw two ships standing by the lake . . . or two fishing boats; one belonging to Peter and Andrew, and the other to Zebedee, and his two sons, James and John. Two ships . . . the skips used on so small a lake were probably just fishing-boats without decks, and could easily be drawn up on the beach. Josephus says there were 230 of them on the lake, attended by four or five men each. That they were small is also clear from the account commonly given of them. A single large draught of fishes endangered them and came near sinking them. Standing by the lake . . . or anchored by the lake, or pulled up on the beach.
But the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets . . . the owners or their servants, 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. (KJV)
And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's . . . Simon Peter's, and Andrew his brother's, who were together at this time, although Andrew is not mentioned here.
And prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land . . . as Simon was the owner of the vessel, Christ asked asked the favor of him, to put out a little way from shore. And when when Peter had done as he was asked or ordered, and put off the ship a little way from the shore,
He sat down and taught the people out of the ship . . . something here for us . . . Jesus NEVER missed a chance to bring the Gospel to people no matter where He was! The boat was not carried out of sight, or beyond the hearing of the people. This same method Christ took at another time, and that for convenience, as now. See (Mat.13:1-3), and that He sat while He taught, was according to the then custom of the times with the Jews. Jewish teachers seldom or never spoke to the people standing. (Mat.5:1).
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. (KJV)
Now when he had left speaking . . . when He stopped teaching the people, and preaching the Word of God to them out of the ship, as they stood on the shore before Him.
He said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep . . . Jesus spoke to Simon Peter, being the master of the vessel, to take it out, or put it into deep water.
And let down your nets for a draught . . . take their nets and cast them into the sea, to take and draw up a quantity of fish, which was their business.
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. (KJV)
And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing . . . Peter knew Jesus to be the Messiah, the King of Israel, and a Teacher sent from God, but Peter’s answer carries in it an objection to what Christ advised and directed them to do; as they had been fishing all that "night", which was the best time for catching fish. They had been fishing all night, and had "labored" hard; and were tired; and what was most discouraging of all, their labor was in vain; for they had caught "nothing".
Nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net . . . this showed faith in Jesus, and obedience to Him. I think this is saying to us, that faithful preachers and teachers of the Gospel, sometimes labor and toil in the ministry of the Word a long time, with seemingly little or no success; and get discouraged, and tempted to stop, if it were not for the commission and word of command they have received from Christ (Mat.28:19-20; Mk.16:15-16; Lk.24:47-48), which they dare not be disobedient to; and for the Promise He has given them, to be with them, on which they depend.
Luke 5:6 And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. (KJV)
And when they had done this . . . Peter had put the ship out further to sea, and had let down their net:
They enclosed a great multitude of fish . . . in their net, which was by the secret divine power of Christ, were gathered together just in that exact place, where by his order they cast the net.
And their net brake . . . with the weight and number of the fishes, yet did not break so as to let the fish out.
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. (KJV)
And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship . . . Zebedee, and his two sons, James and John (Lk.5:10) who were some distance from them, probably still at anchor near the shore. They were not within hearing distance, but they had to make signs to them, and beckon with their hands to come to them.
That they should come and help them . . . to pull up the net, and take the fish out of it.
And they came and filled both the ships . . . with the fishes they took out of the net, as full as it could hold, and which they could hardly carry.
So that they began to sink . . . the vessels were so heavy laden, with the huge quantity of fish that was taken, that they were about to sink with their burden.
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. (KJV)
When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees . . . saw the multitude of fish that was taken, and both vessels filled with them, and the danger they were in of sinking, he threw himself prostrate at Jesus’ Feet, to worship Him.
Saying, depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord . . . Peter was astonished at the magnitude of the miracle just done. He was awe struck with the almighty power of Jesus, and with the greatness of His majesty being so near Him; and completely aware of his sinfulness and unworthiness to be in His Presence. Peter had much the same feeling as the centurion had (Mat.8:8). Many believers have been struck with awe and fear, and a awareness of their sin, weakness and unworthiness, at the appearance of an angel, as Zacharias (Lk.1:12), and the shepherds (Lk.2:9), and at the presence of a holy man of God, as the widow of Sarepta was at Elijah, saying much the same as Peter does here. 1 Kings 17:18 And she said unto Elijah, What have I to do with thee, O thou man of God? art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son? (KJV) . . . It is no wonder that Peter should so express himself, in these circumstances. The Presence of Jesus can also take away all strength in a person. Fell at His Feet: (Gen.17:3; Lev.9:24; Dan.8:7,18,27-28; 10:8-9, 16-19; Eze.1:28; Hab.3:16; Acts 9:4; Rev.1:17)
Luke 5:9 For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: (KJV)
Far he was astonished, and all that were with him . . . Peter’s brother Andrew, and the servants they had with them to manage the vessel, and cast the nets; all were amazed.
At the draught of the fishes they had taken . . . the catch of fish being so large and numerous, the like which was never seen, nor known by them before.
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. (KJV)
And so was also James and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon . . . who were in the other ship, and had been signaled to them to come and help them, and did come, and were witnesses of the miracle.
And Jesus said unto Simon; Fear not . . . who was at His Knees, and conveyed his dread of Jesus’ majesty, and the alarm of his mind. Jesus comforts Peter telling him not to be afraid for
the boats would not sink, nor any damage come to any person, or to the boats.
From henceforth thou shalt catch men . . . with compassion and kindness, Jesus drove away all their troubled feelings, and to their surprise announced that in the future they would be appointed as messengers of salvation, which was fulfilled in the conversion of 3000 at one cast, under one sermon of his (Acts 2:41).
Jesus Cleanses the Lepers (Luke 5:12-13)
Luke 5:11 And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him. (KJV)
And when they had brought their ships to land . . . both Simon Peter's, and the other in which his partners were, and which were over loaded with fish.
They forsook all . . . even all their fish, which they could have made much money, and their nets, and their ships, and their servants, and their relations, and friends. Consider: How many people would do that today? Very few! (Mat.7:13-14).
And followed him . . . followed Jesus and became His disciples, all four of them: Peter, Andrew, James and John.
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. (KJV)
And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city . . . a certain city, some city of Galilee; probably Chorazin or Bethsaida. (Mat.8:1-4).
Behold a man full of leprosy . . . this disease was common at that time, a disease to which the Jews had many laws and rules (Lev.13:1 through Lev.14:57).
Who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean . . . he was sure of Jesus’ power, that He could make him clean, ridding him entirely of his leprosy, which the priest could not do. The priest could only, according to the law, pronounce him clean, so that he might be admitted to company, but he could NOT heal him of his disease. This poor leper was convinced Christ could heal him, and humbly submits totally to His will, of which, as yet, he had no indication that Jesus would heal him. And so it is with poor sinners . . . they believe Jesus has the ability to justify them by His righteousness (1 Cor.1:30), cleanse them by His Blood (1 Pet.1:2,18-19); and save them by His grace (Eph.2:8) to the uttermost . . . yet so many hesitate about His willingness, because of their own vileness and unworthiness. http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/9774-leprosy
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. (KJV)
And he put forth his hand and touched him . . . what a wonderful example both of the grace and goodness of Jesus, in touching this loathsome creature; and of His unspotted purity and holiness, which could NOT be defiled by it; and of His mighty power in healing by a touch, and with a word of His mouth,
Saying, I will, be thou clean . . . this immediately states Jesus’ willingness, of which the leper before was not certain. And by His power . . . a word of command, "be thou clean" reveals the readiness of Jesus to do it. There was no discussion with the man, no demanding a further trial of his faith, no objection to his uncleanness . . . but at once, immediately He stretches out His Hand, touches his filthy flesh, and commands the disease to leave. This is great encouragement for poor sinners to consider, we MUST go to Christ, under a sense of our guilt and filth; who shall readily receive us, and in NO wise casts them out (Jn.6:37). He gives immediate enlightenment of His power and grace to us.
And immediately his leprosy was cleansed . . . he was not only pronounced clean, but was clean! He was completely healed of the disease of leprosy. Mark, says it more emphatically: Mark 1:42 And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed. (KJV) . . . Perfectly and instantaneously. What a contrast this is to all the modern day pretense! (Mat.8:3).
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. (KJV)
And he charged him to tell no man . . . see thou tell no man . . . not that this fact could be concealed, for it was done publicly, before the multitude. Possibly it was Christ's design that he would speak of it to no man, before he came to the priest, lest out of ill will to Christ, they should refuse to pronounce him clean. Tell no man . . . see Mark 1:44, for more information.
But go thy way, show thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them . . . the man was now in one of the cities of Galilee; and Christ orders him to go directly to Jerusalem; and present himself to one of the priests, to be examined, whether he was free of his leprosy. Then the man was to offer what was ordered by the law of Moses in such cases: for as yet the ceremonial law was not abolished: and therefore, as Christ was subject to it Himself, so He instructs others to observe it. There was a twofold offering, according to the law of Moses, on the cleansing of the leper (Lev.14:1-57). The one was on the first day of his cleansing, when he first showed himself to the priest, and consisted of two birds, alive and clean, cedar wood, scarlet, and hyssop; the other, and which was properly the offering on the eighth day, was, if the man was able, two he lambs and one ewe lamb, with a meat offering; but if poor, one lamb, with a meat offering, and two turtle doves, or two young pigeons.
Of his cure, and by whom he received it. (Mat.8:4).
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. (KJV)
But so much the more went there a fame abroad of him . . . the more He told the man to keep quiet, the more he spread it abroad, being thrilled with the cure he had received, and filled with gratitude to his Benefactor (Mk.1:45).
And great multitudes came together to hear . . . to hear Him and the doctrines of the Gospel preached by Him.
And to be healed by him of their infirmities . . . their bodily infirmities, weaknesses and disorders.
Luke 5:16 And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed. (KJV)
And he withdrew himself into the wilderness and prayed . . . into a secluded desert place, that He might have rest from the weariness of preaching and healing diseases. Being alone and free from the multitude, He might have an opportunity for private prayer to God, His Father. This is to be understood of Christ, as Man: for as God, He is the Object of prayer, and petitions are often addressed directly to Him; and as Mediator, He offers up the prayers of all saints, and presents them to His Father; which are acceptable to Him, through His mediation. As Man, He prayed Himself. What He prayed for here, is not known. Many times He prayed for His disciples, and for all those that would believe; for their conversion, sanctification, perseverance and glorification; and sometimes for Himself, that the cup might pass from Him, but His prayers were always with submission to the will of His Father. Another lesson for us.
Jesus Heals Man with Palsy (Luke 5:17-26)
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. (KJV)
And it came to pass on a certain day . . . when He was at Capernaum, as it seems from Mark 2:1.
As he was teaching . . . in the house where many were gathered to hear the Word of God preached by Him, that there was not room for them, not in the house, nor about the door (Mk.2:2).
That there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by . . . who were sometimes called Scribes, sometimes lawyers, and were normally of the division of the Pharisees.
Which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judea, and Jerusalem . . . because they had heard much of His doctrine and miracles, they came from all parts to watch and observe Him, and to take all opportunities and advantages against Him, that they might expose Him to the people.
And the power of the Lord was present to heal them . . . not the Pharisees and doctors of the law, for they did not come to be healed by Him, neither bodily or spiritually . . . but this means the multitude, who came to hear His doctrine, and others to be healed of their infirmities (verse 5).
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. (KJV)
And behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy . . . carried on a bed by four men, as if he was a dead man; so weak and exhausted was he by his disease, that he could not walk. The palsy is a disease, whereby the body, or some of its parts, lose their motion, and sometimes their sensation or feeling: the causes of it are an impeded influx of the nervous feelings in the muscles, which may come from some fault either in the brain, the nerves, muscles, or the blood vessels. The palsy is said to be "perfect" or complete, when there is a lack of motion and sensation at the same time; "imperfect", when one of the two is destroyed, the other remaining. Now this man's disease seems to be the perfect and general palsy, which affects the whole body. (Mk.2:3).
And to lay him before him . . . at Jesus’ Feet, in hope of moving His compassion, and to get a cure for him.
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. (KJV)
And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude . . . no access by door or window to Jesus, in the house.
They went upon the housetop . . . by a ladder, or stairs, which usually were on the outside of houses; (Mat.24:17). The houses of the Jews had flat roofs.
And let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus . . .into the midst before Jesus; meaning they untiled the roof, or took away the tiles which were around the trap door, or passage into the inside of the house; making it wider, to let down the man upon his couch, or bed, into the middle of the room and of the people, just before Jesus, where He was sitting (Mk.2:4).
Luke 5:20 And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee. (KJV)
And when he saw their faith, he said unto him . . . when Jesus saw the faith both of the paralytic man, and of the men that brought him, which was clearly shown in the pains they took, and trouble they were at, in getting the man to Jesus.
Man, thy sins are forgiven thee . . . Matthew says He said "son" (Mat.9:2), however, they agree that Jesus pronounced the forgiveness of sins, which were the cause of his disease; and which being removed, the effect must cease; so that the man had healing both for soul and body.
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? (KJV)
And the Scribes and the Pharisees began to reason . . . to think and say to one another, in a private was.
Saying, who is this which speaketh blasphemies? . . . they accused Him of being a vain boaster, and blasphemer, who takes that to Himself, that belongs only to God.
Who can forgive sins but God alone? . . . if Jesus were not God, He could not forgive sins; and His claiming this authority would have been blasphemy against God. The Scribes and Pharisees rightly assign forgiveness of sin to God alone, yet they fatally sinned, in charging blasphemy to Jesus. They had wrong ideas of Jesus, thinking Him to be just a mere man, against and evidence of His works and miracles; and also of His office as Redeemer, who came to save His people from their sins; and seem to confine the power of forgiving sin to God the Father, while all the time the Son of God, being equal with Him, had the exact same power, and even on Earth, to forgive sin. not only did Jesus have ability as God, He also had the authority to do it as Mediator, even while He was on Earth, in a state of humiliation, fashioned as a Man, in the form of a servant, living and speaking with sinful mortals. (Mat.9:5-6; Mk.2:7).
That ONLY God alone can forgive sin, is very clear, because it is against Him, and Him alone that men sin. Sin is a transgression of God’s law, and is contrary to His nature. Sin is a contradiction of God’s will, sin is an insult to God’s holiness, justice and purity, and sin is a horrible disrespect of WHO God is! http://www.hisservants.org/is_jesus_god_h_s.htm
Luke 5:22 But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answering said unto them, What reason ye in your hearts? (KJV)
But when Jesus perceived their thoughts . . . God is omniscient, knows all things, so Jesus knew what they were thinking.
He answering said unto them, What reason ye in your hearts? . . . this He said, not as being ignorant what their thoughts were, for He really did know their thoughts, but to expose the wickedness of them; or the evil in them (Mat.9:4).
Luke 5:23 Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk? (KJV)
Whether is it easier to say . . . Mark adds, "to the sick of the palsy" (Mk.2:9); to whom Christ had said that his sins were forgiven him, which had given offence to the Scribes and Pharisees, imagining that Jesus had assumed too much to Himself, and He adds,
Thy sins be forgiven thee, or to say, Rise up and walk? . . . neither of these could be said by a mere man, with the result being that sins would be really forgiven just on them saying so; and neither could a man sick of a palsy, by speaking these words, be able to stand on his feet and walk . . . BUT . . . both of these were equally easy to Jesus, who is truly God. He could say: Thy sins be forgiven thee, and the person’s sins would be remembered no more (Heb.8:12; 10:17). He could also say: Rise up and walk and the person would be healed. (Mat.9:5; Mk.2:9).
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. (KJV)
But that ye may know, that the son of man . . . Whom the Scribes and Pharisees took for a mere man, in which they were wrong; for although Jesus was really a Man, and the Son of Man, yet He was God as well as Man; He was God manifest in the flesh (2 Cor.4:11; 1 Tim.3:16).
Hath power upon earth to forgive sins . . . Jesus could forgive sins even while He was in His humble Form on Earth; for He NEVER ceased to be God by becoming Man, nor did He lose even a tiny part of His power for forgiving sin, by appearing in the Form of a Servant.
He said unto the sick of the palsy . . . these are the words of Luke, suggesting, that Jesus turned Himself away from the Scribes and Pharisees to the paralytic man, and spoke to him,
I say unto thee, arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house . . . what awesome power! Only God has this power! Jesus IS God!
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. (KJV)
And immediately he rose up before them . . . as soon as Jesus spoke these words, the man whom had been very sick of the palsy, found himself perfectly well! He rose up from his bed, or couch, and stood up on his feet before the Scribes and Pharisees, and all the people.
And took up that whereon he lay . . . picked up his bed, and went to his own house.
Glorifying God . . . both for healing his body, and for the pardon of his sins . . . each of which none but God could do. This situation is mentioned only by Luke, and shows the feeling the man had of the great favors (blessings) bestowed upon him! He glorified God, by ascribing his blessings to Jesus’ goodness and power; by offering the sacrifice of praise (Heb.13:15), by giving thanks to Him for them. He published it all among his neighbors, to the honor of Jesus’ Name; and by living a holy lifestyle. He glorified Jesus Christ as God, he proclaimed His divine power, and he confessed him as the Messiah, owned Him as his Saviour, and became subject to Him as his Lord.
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. (KJV)
And they were all amazed, and they glorified God . . . not the Pharisees, and doctors of the law, but the common people.
And were filled with fear . . . of the Divine Being, this Person whose Presence and power they had witnessed in this case.
Saying, we have seen strange things today . . . strange things, extraordinary things, wonderful things, unthought-of things, unexpected and incredible, things which were never seen or known before. This poor man who was so weakened by the palsy, that he had to be carried on a bed by four men . . . but then, just on a word from this amazing Man, suddenly rose up, and carried his bed, on his back, and went home. There are some tremendous Truths in God’s Holy Word!
Jesus Calls Matthew (Luke 5:27-35)
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. (KJV)
And after these things he went forth . . . after His discourse with the Scribes and Pharisees, and His healing the man, sick with the palsy, He left the city of Capernaum, and went to the sea side; not only for retirement and recreation, after the work of the day before, but in order to meet with, and call one that was to be a disciple of His.
And saw a publican named Levi . . . who is said to be the son of Alphaeus (Mk.2:14), and who was also called Matthew (Mat.9:9).
Sitting at the receipt of custom . . . at the place where custom was received, and toll taken, near the sea side, of such that went over.
And he said unto him, Follow me . . . of all the publicans that were there, Jesus singled out Levi (Matthew), and directed His speech to him, and called Levi to be a follower of Him; an example of powerful, special and distinguishing grace (Mat.9:9).
Luke 5:28 And he left all, rose up, and followed him. (KJV)
And he left all rose up and followed him . . . there was an unseen and divine power that went along with the call to Matthew. He immediately left his job, no matter how profitable it might have been to him, and became an apostle of Jesus Christ.
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. (KJV)
And Levi made him a great feast in his own house . . . at Capernaum, in the house of Levi; not in the custom house, or toll booth, but in his home, where he had prepared a meal for Jesus, as a sign of gratitude for the high favor bestowed on him.
And there was a great company of publicans, and of others that sat down with them . . . all were invited by Levi, and were NOT objected to by Christ (Mat.9:10; Mk.2:15). This had the full consent of Christ, who was far from being displeased with their company. Jesus gladly embraced every chance of doing good to the souls of the worst of men; for such as these He came to call and save . . . you and me, my friend.
Luke 5:30 But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners? (KJV)
But their Scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples . . . the feast Matthew made, the guests that were invited, and most of all, that Jesus so willingly sat down to eat with such vile and wicked company. The Scribes and Pharisees were normally together, of the same nature being enemies to Christ, and inspecting carefully everything that He did. They pretended to have a more strict and religious way of life, and were offended at all this. Murmured against his disciples . . . which they chose to do, rather than to Christ Himself . . . WHY? Because they were afraid to take part in a dispute with Jesus, who had given them full proof of His omniscience, that He knew the very thoughts of their minds (Eze.11:5), and had so badly confused them already both by His arguments and miracles; and too, because they might think they were a match for the disciples, and might hope to stumble and ensnare them, and make them quit their profession, and stop following Him.
Saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners? . . . no doubt they included both Christ, and His disciples; although they mainly meant Jesus, and to bring an accusation against Him in order to reveal Him as sinful to the people.
Luke 5:31 And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. (KJV)
And Jesus answering, said unto them . . . He knew that their target was Him; although, according to Luke, they only mentioned His disciples, however, Jesus takes up the cause, and vindicates both Himself and them, by witnessing to them the following proverb.
They that are whole need not a physician, but they that are sick . . . this seems to mean that He WAS a Physician; and that these publicans and sinners were sick and needed His assistance . . . BUT the Scribes and Pharisees thought that they were in perfect health, and needed no help . . . just like millions today! This really gives a overall view of all mankind, in their different opinions of themselves and of Jesus.
The majority of people today see absolutely NO need of Christ Jesus, either for themselves or anyone else, and because of this, preachers of these people leave Jesus out of their ministry completely, or they lessen the glory and dignity of His Person, devalue His divine offices as Prophet (Deut.18:15-19; Acts 3:22-23; 7:37), as Priest (Rom.8:34; 1 Tim.2:5; 1 Jn.2:1), and as King (Jn.5:27; Rev.19:16). These preachers reject His righteousness (1 Cor.1:30; Rev.19:11), and deny His satisfaction and atonement (Rom.5:9; Eph.1:7; Col.1:14; 1 Pet.1:18-19). Some people think that everyone will go to Heaven, which is NOT true (Mat.25:41,46; Mk.9:46).
Then there is the ‘other side of the coin’ . . . they that are sick . . . those who are sick, are sick, quite sick of themselves! They see the sin in their lives, they see the impurity of their nature, they see just how flawed and unhealthful they really are . . . from the top of their head to the bottom of their feet! They see that their soul has a deadly disease, and they realize that NO earthly doctor can cure the disease. They also know that they are completely powerless to cure themselves (Eph.2:8-9; Rom.3:24; 6:23). NO mortal doctor, no matter how much education he has, is able to cure the deadly disease of the soul! Only the Great Physician prophesied of in the Old Testament (Isa.57:15; 61:1; Ps.147:13; Hos.6:1), can heal the soul! Mortal physicians are of NO value whatsoever; and neither are these false preachers and false teachers! BEWARE!!! (Mat.9:12; Mk.2:17).
Luke 5:32 I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. (KJV)
I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance . . . Jesus' ministry was especially aimed at sinners, not just to sinners in the sense in which most people will admit that "all have sinned" (Rom.3:23), but to sinners in the sense that their lives offend God, and that they have accepted the moral code of the world. 1 Timothy 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. (KJV) . . . Paul speaks of himself as first and foremost among sinners . . . this simply underlines his claim on the saving grace of Christ Jesus.
During Jesus’ ministry, it offended many respectable people, that He, a religious teacher should have so little regard for what was expected of Him, as to associate with those who were “sinners” in their eyes. Luke 7:39 Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner. (KJV) . . . The Pharisee said that IF Jesus was a Prophet, He should know who was touching Him and what kind of woman she was. Jesus knew perfectly well WHO touched Him, and WHAT sort of woman she was! It was for that very reason, that He would not stop her from doing what she did (Lk.7:47).
Such as the Scribes and Pharisees were in their own apprehension, and in the esteem of others, Those who trust in themselves, that they were self-righteous, and did NOT submit to the righteousness of Christ (Rom.5:21; 1 Cor.1:30; Phil.1:11; 2 Pet.1:1) . . . these Christ did NOT come to call by His grace (Ep.2:8-9), and therefore, He did not associate Himself with them. It is for to call sinners to repentance, such as the publicans and others that He came, and therefore He chose to be among them. These He not only called to repentance by the outward ministry of the Gospel, but brought them to it; having power to bestow the grace of repentance upon them, as well as to call them to the duty of it. (Mat.9:13; Mk.2:17).
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? (KJV)
And they said unto him, Why do the disciples of John fast often, and make prayers, and likewise the disciples of the Pharisees? . . . some of Jesus’ apostles were originally disciples of John, we know that Andrew and Philip were. John the Baptist was an Old Testament prophet. He walked out of the Old Testament into the New Testament to make the announcement that the Messiah had come. Isaiah and Malachi had predicted that a messenger would come to prepare the way for the Lord Jesus Christ (Isa.40:3; Mal.3:1). Now our Lord is going to pronounce a great principle and reveal the fact that the dispensation is going to be changed, from law to grace (Rom.6:14). NOT that they wanted to know the reason why they and the Pharisees fasted; they knew that. They wanted to know why Christ's disciples did not fast. They did not say this because they wanted to know, but to criticize.
But thine eat and drink? . . . instead of fasting and praying. They felt that Christ's disciples should fast, just as John’s disciples and the Pharisees did, and not eat and drink and feast in the manner which they did. The fasting referred to here was not the public fasts commanded by the Law of Moses, or in any writings of the Old Testament; but private fasts. This was done only to sow discord between them, and to bring Christ and His disciples into contempt. (Mat.9:14).
Luke 5:34 And he said unto them, Can ye make the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? (KJV)
And he said unto them . . . the disciples of John, and/or the Scribes and Pharisees.
Can ye make the children of the bride chamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? . . . by the "bridegroom" Christ means Himself, who stands in such a relation to His church, and to all believers. He is betrothed to TRUE believers from all eternity, in the covenant of grace; and openly supports in the effectual calling; and will still do it in a more public manner at the last day. John the Baptist, the master of those men, who put the question to Christ, had recognized Him under this character (Jn.3:29). "The children of the bride chamber" means the disciples, who were the friends of the Bridegroom, as John also says He was; and therefore rejoiced at hearing His voice, as these did, and should do. Their present situation was having the Presence of Christ the Bridegroom with them, and required delight, not mourning, John, their master, being witness. The reference is to a nuptial solemnity, which is a time of joy and feasting, not of sorrow and fasting; when both bride and Bridegroom have their friends attending them. (Mat.9:15).
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. (KJV)
But the days will come . . . and that, in a very short time,
When the bridegroom shall be taken away from them . . . just as their master, John, was taken away from them, and was now in prison, and therefore it was no wonder they mourned and fasted; meaning that in a short time that He, the Bridegroom of His people, should be taken away by death.
And then they shall fast in those days . . . mourn and be mortified, of which fasting was a sign, for the death of their Lord, and on account of the many afflictions and persecutions they should endure for His sake. (Mat.9:15).
Jesus Gives Parables on New Garment and Wine Skins (Luke 5:36-39)
This is the first parable in the Gospel of Luke.
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. (KJV)
And he spake also a parable unto them . . . to the Scribes and Pharisees; illustrating what He had just said.
No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old . . . the Lord is saying that the old covenant, the old dispensation of law, was ending, and He had not come to continue under that dispensation. He had come to provide a new garment, and that new garment was the Gospel of grace, the robe of righteousness which He gives to all those who do nothing more than to believe and trust Him. Jesus is really saying "I have not come to sew patches on an old garment. I have come with a new garment, something completely new." This was very drastic and radical. John summed it up in his Gospel when he said, "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" (Jn.1:17). The doctrines of Jesus do NOT match the old rites of the Pharisees.
If otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old . . . refers not only to the fastings of the Pharisees, but to the other traditions of the elders, which they held; those respecting their eating, drinking, and speaking with other persons. They looked upon themselves as very righteous, and all others as sinners. To expose their folly, Christ delivers this parable. "The old garment" means their moral and legal righteousness, or their obedience to the moral and ceremonial laws, which were imperfect as well as impure, and might be rightly called "filthy rags" (Isa.64:6) or be compared to an old worn out garment, filthy and torn, and full of holes. The "piece of new cloth" put onto it, or sewed upon it, mean the traditions of the elders that these men were so fond of, concerning eating, drinking and fasting, and many other idle and trifling things. By putting, or sewing the new cloth to their old garment, is their loyalty of these traditions to their other duties of religion, to make up a justifying righteousness before God . . . all done in vain and to no purpose. The old garment is their own works, their obedience to the moral and ceremonial laws of God, was bad enough, but much worse, by joining this new piece of men's own plan to it. The rent is made worse . . . their new obedience to the traditions of men (Mk.7:8; Col.2:8), makes void the law of God, and instead of mending, it marred their righteousness, and left them in a worse condition than it found them. There is absolutely NO relationship between the observance of the commandments of men (Mat.15:9), and obedience to the laws of God (Mat.22:36-40), than there is between a piece of new unshrunk cloth, that has never been washed and worn, and an old worn out garment. NO one can join the righteousness of Christ on their own, to try to make up a justifying righteousness before God. My friend, there is only ONE justifying righteousness, and that comes from Christ alone (Rom.5:1; 1 Cor. 1:30). It and it alone is whole and perfect, and NOTHING needs to be added to it ever! There is absolutely NO justification by works, either in whole or in part. The old garment of man's righteousness must be thrown away, and replaced with the righteousness of Christ! Christ's righteousness and man's righteousness are completely opposite! There is NO similarity whatsoever! Trying to add your righteousness will make a patched garment that will pull apart at the seams! (Mat.9:16; Mk.2:21).
Luke 5:37 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. (KJV)
And no man putteth new wine into old bottles . . . "bottles" were wineskins in that day. They were made of animal skin. When new wine would be put into a new wineskin, it would expand. An old wineskin would have reached its maximum expansion; and if it was filled with new wine, it would naturally burst open and the wine would be lost. The Scribes and Pharisees may be meant by these old bottles, not having been regenerated, and renewed in the spirit of their minds.
Else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish . . . the “new wine” is the love of God, the Gospel of the grace of God, and the abundant blessings of it. IF they are NOT received and retained by natural men (unrepentant sinners), by self-righteous persons, they shall perish. The Gospel of grace does NOT suit or agree with their old carnal hearts and principles. Unbelievers slight and reject them, and like the new wine in an old skin, it runs out, which proves their greater condemnation (Mat.23:14). Unrepentant sinners are not able to receive and bear these things, nor understand them: these were hard sayings to them, they could not hear them with patience, much less receive them in love, but were immediately filled with wrath and indignation, and rejected them. And the [old] bottles shall perish . . . remember, the old bottles represent unrepentant sinners . . . and their condemnation shall be the greater.
Luke 5:38 But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved. (KJV)
But new wine must be put into new bottles, and both are preserved . . . the "new bottles" are repentant sinners whom Christ calls by His grace, and the Spirit regenerates and renews. These are made new creatures in Christ; who have new hearts, and new spirits (Jn.12-13; 3:3-8), and new values of light, life, love, faith and holiness, implanted in them. These have new eyes with which to see, new ears with which to hear and who live a new and righteous life. To these, the love of God is manifested and shed abroad in their hearts (Rom.5:5); by these the Gospel of Christ is sincerely received and highly valued. These new ones greatly enjoy the spiritual blessings of both the doctrine of the Gospel and the grace of God. They are preserved eternally, and shall live in their mansion in Heaven on day (Jn.14:2; 1 Pet.1:4-5).
Luke 5:39 No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better. (KJV)
No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new . . . like old wineskins, the Pharisees were too rigid to accept Jesus, who could not be contained in their traditions or rules. The Gospel brought in new approaches and new traditions. We must be careful that our heart does not become so rigid that it prevents us from accepting new ways of thinking that Christ brings. We need to keep our heart pliable so we can accept Jesus' life-changing message.
For he saith, the old is better . . . this is a proverbial expression, and which only Luke records, which may be applied to natural men, who having drunk the old wine of their carnal lusts and pleasures, do not desire the new wine of the Gospel, and of the grace of God, and of spiritual things, but prefer their old sins and lusts. Carnal lusts may be signified by old wine, both for the age of them, being as old as men themselves, and therefore called the old man (Eph.4:22; Col.3:9), and for the appreciation of them; and who may be said to drink of them, as they drink iniquity like water (Job 15:16); which expresses their great desire and thirst for it, and delight in it. As long as people stand firm in their sin, they have no desire for the new wine of the Gospel, nor anything that is for their spiritual good, to which their carnal minds are hostile. Unless a person is regenerated by the Spirit of God, and their tastes changed, they prefer their old lusts and former course of life.
The natural man likes his old ways. He likes his old wine, his old ways. A great Truth we must be aware of, that being that the Lord Jesus brought something new to mankind . . . the Gospel. He did NOT come into the world to do any patching up of old garments. Jesus did NOT come to patch up the Law. He came to pay the penalty of sin by dying on the cross. But He did more than that. He arose from the dead so that He could place upon us His robe of righteousness. He gives us the new wine of the Gospel. The new wine of the Gospel must be placed in the new wineskin of grace, not into the old one of law. Eph. 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; (KJV) . . . This is the message of the Lord. He came to save us by faith in Him.
Jesus used these descriptions in these parables to explain that He had NOT come to patch up the old religious system of Judaism with its rules and traditions. His plan and purpose was to bring something new, that which had been prophesied for centuries. This new message, the Gospel of grace (Rom.6:14-15), tells us that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to Earth to offer all people forgiveness of sins and be reconciled to God (Rom.5:1-2). This Good News did not fit into the old rigid legal system of religion. It needed a fresh start. The message will always remain "new" because it must be accepted and applied in every generation. When we follow Christ, we must be prepared for new ways to live, new ways to look at people, and new ways to serve. Our old ways just will not do. (Mat.9:17; Mk.2:22)
Luke chapter 5 points in one direction, to present the glorious Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ in as many ways as possible so that men might hear and have an opportunity to decide if they will accept Him or reject Him. All of us must make this decision for ourselves. We must have a personal relationship with Jesus!
Gospel of Luke
ch.1 . . ch.2 . . ch.3 . . ch.4 . . ch.5 . . ch.6 . . ch.7 . . ch.8 . . ch.9 . . ch.10 . . ch.11 . . ch.11 . . . ch.12 . . ch.13 . . ch.14 . . ch.15 . . ch.16 . . ch.17 . . ch.18 . .ch.19. . ch.20 . . ch.21 . . ch.22 . . ch.23 . . ch.24