Luke 5

1 And it came to pass, that when the multitudes pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Genesareth,
2 And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them and were washing their nets.
3 And going into one of the ships that was Simon’s, he desired him to draw back a little from the land. And sitting, he taught the multitudes out of the ship.
4 Now when he had ceased to speak, he said to Simon: Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a draught.
5 And Simon answering said to him: Master, we have laboured all the night and have taken nothing: but at thy word I will let down the net.
6 And when they had done this, they enclosed a very great multitude of fishes: and their net broke.
7 And they beckoned to their partners that were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came and filled both the ships, so that they were almost sinking.
8 Which when Simon Peter saw, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying: Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.
9 For he was wholly astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken.
10 And so were also James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were Simon’s partners. And Jesus saith to Simon: Fear not: from henceforth thou shalt catch men.
11 And having brought their ships to land, leaving all things, they followed him.
12 And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy who, seeing Jesus and falling on his face, besought him saying: Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
13 And stretching forth his hand, he touched him, saying: I will. Be thou cleansed. And immediately the leprosy departed from him.
14 And he charged him that he should tell no man, but: Go, shew thyself to the priest and offer for thy cleansing according as Moses commanded, for a testimony to them.
15 But the fame of him went abroad the more: and great multitudes came together to hear and to be healed by him of their infirmities.
16 And he retired into the desert; and prayed.
17 And it came to pass on a certain day, as he sat teaching, that there were also Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, that were come out of every town of Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was to heal them.
18 And behold, men brought in a bed a man who had the palsy: and they sought means to bring him in and to lay him before him.
19 And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in, because of the multitude, they went up upon the roof and let him down through the tiles with his bed into the midst before Jesus.
20 Whose faith when he saw, he said: Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.
21 And the scribes and Pharisees began to think, saying: Who is this who speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?
22 And when Jesus knew their thoughts, answering he said to them: What is it you think in your hearts?
23 Which is easier to say: Thy sins are forgiven thee; or to say: Arise and walk?
24 But that you may know that the Son of man hath the power on earth to forgive sins (he saith to the sick of the palsy), I say to thee to: Arise, take up thy bed and go into thy house.
25 And immediately rising up before them, he took up the bed on which he lay: and he went away to his own house, glorifying God.
26 And all were astonished: and they glorified God. And they were filled with fear, saying: We have seen wonderful things to-day.
27 And after these things, he went forth and saw a publican named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said to him: Follow me.
28 And leaving all things, he rose up and followed him.
29 And Levi made him a great feast in his own house: And there was a great company of publicans and of others that were at table with them.
30 But the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying to his disciples: Why do you eat and drink with publicans and sinners?
31 And Jesus answering, said to them: They that are whole need not the physician: but they that are sick.
32 I came not to call the just, but sinners to penance.
33 And they said to him: Why do the disciples of John fast often and make prayers, and the disciples of the Pharisees in like manner; but thine eat and drink?
34 To whom he said: Can you make the children of the bridegroom fast whilst the bridegroom is with them?
35 But the days will come when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them: then shall they fast in those days.
36 And he spoke also a similitude to them: That no man putteth a piece from a new garment upon an old garment: otherwise he both rendeth the new, and the piece taken from the new agreeth not with the old.
37 And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: otherwise the new wine will break the bottles; and it will be spilled and the bottles will be lost.
38 But new wine must be put into new bottles: and both are preserved.
39 And no man drinking old hath presently a mind to new: for he saith: The old is better.

Luke 5 Commentary

Chapter 5

The miraculous draught of fishes, Peter, James, and John called. (1-11) A leper cleansed. (12-16) A paralytic cured. (17-26) Levi called, Christ's answer to the Pharisees. (27-39)

Verses 1-11 When Christ had done preaching, he told Peter to apply to the business of his calling. Time spent on week days in public exercises of religion, need be but little hinderance in time, and may be great furtherance to us in temper of mind, as to our worldly business. With what cheerfulness may we go about the duties of our calling, when we have been with God, and thus have our worldly employments sanctified to us by the word and prayer! Though they had taken nothing, yet Christ told them to let down their nets again. We must not abruptly quit our callings because we have not the success in them we desire. We are likely to speed well, when we follow the guidance of Christ's word. The draught of fishes was by a miracle. We must all, like Peter, own ourselves to be sinful men, therefore Jesus Christ might justly depart from us. But we must beseech him that he would not depart; for woe unto us if the Saviour depart from sinners! Rather let us entreat him to come and dwell in our hearts by faith, that he may transform and cleanse them. These fishermen forsook all, and followed Jesus, when their calling prospered. When riches increase, and we are tempted to set our hearts upon them, then to quit them for Christ is thankworthy.

Verses 12-16 This man is said to be full of leprosy; he had that distemper in a high degree, which represents our natural pollution by sin; we are full of that leprosy; from the crown of the head to the sole of the foot there is no soundness in us. Strong confidence and deep humility are united in the words of this leper. And if any sinner, from a deep sense of vileness, says, I know the Lord can cleanse, but will he look upon such a one as me? will he apply his own precious blood for my cleansing and healing? Yes, he will. Speak not as doubting, but as humbly referring the matter to Christ. And being saved from the guilt and power of our sins, let us spread abroad Christ's fame, and bring others to hear him and to be healed.

Verses 17-26 How many are there in our assemblies, where the gospel is preached, who do not sit under the word, but sit by! It is to them as a tale that is told them, not as a message that is sent to them. Observe the duties taught and recommended to us by the history of the paralytic. In applying to Christ, we must be very pressing and urgent; that is an evidence of faith, and is very pleasing to Christ, and prevailing with him. Give us, Lord, the same kind of faith with respect to thy ability and willingness to heal our souls. Give us to desire the pardon of sin more than any earthly blessing, or life itself. Enable us to believe thy power to forgive sins; then will our souls cheerfully arise and go where thou pleasest.

Verses 27-39 It was a wonder of Christ's grace, that he would call a publican to be his disciple and follower. It was a wonder of his grace, that the call was made so effectual. It was a wonder of his grace, that he came to call sinners to repentance, and to assure them of pardon. It was a wonder of his grace, that he so patiently bore the contradiction of sinners against himself and his disciples. It was a wonder of his grace, that he fixed the services of his disciples according to their strength and standing. The Lord trains up his people gradually for the trials allotted them; we should copy his example in dealing with the weak in faith, or the tempted believer.

Luke 5 Commentaries