Simon Peter encountered Jesus through a miraculous catch of fish and then left everything to follow Jesus. Levi (the sinner tax-collector) also put down his hustle to follow Jesus.
Sometimes following Jesus looks foolish (who would just leave their jobs in a split moment?), but faithfulness is never foolish from a Kingdom perspective.
In this episode, you will have moments to reflect and pray to consider the openness of your heart toward God and listen to the Spirit in how He might be calling you out to follow God more fully.
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Bible Study for Luke: Latte with Luke by Dr. Sandra Glahn.
Videos for Luke: Bible Project Luke 1–9, Luke 10–24
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Welcome to Luke Chapter 5 in our Certainty of Faith series through the Gospel of Luke.
Today we will see the contrast between people’s reaction to Jesus and consider the openness of our own hearts.
Simon fished all night—Casting nets and pulling. Casting and pulling. ALL NIGHT. With nothing to show for it. Simon and his business partners, James and John washed their nets after sunrise. We can imagine they are wet, exhausted, and frustrated. All that work and no pay.
As they wash their nets, Jesus was also along the shore, but with crowds of people, pushing around him to listen and to be healed. So, Jesus stands into Simon’s boat and tells Simon to push him out away from the shore, like a floating pulpit.
After teaching the crowd, Jesus tells Simon to put out the nets in the deep water for a catch.
Now, Peter just spent ALL night casting and pulling nets—with nothing. Not even one fish to barbeque for breakfast—but, he followed the religious teacher’s instructions—beyond reason.
And the nets began to break.
Peter calls over James and John, and they row out another boat to help pull in the nets—and both boats were so full of fish, they began to sink.
This is where we read our first verses for today.
Before I read let take a moment to breathe. Set aside all distractions to focus our minds and hearts completely on the Lord.
Come, Holy Spirit, Come. Wash us with Your Word.
8 When Simon Peter saw this (the catch), he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 9 For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.
Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything, and followed him.
What stuck out to you from these verses?
The men left everything.
They left their boats.
They left their miraculous catch.
They left their job to clean and mend the nets.
Peter, James, and John encountered a glimpse of who Jesus really is—
one with power over the fish of the sea—
and the only logical thing for them—was probably illogical to most—
leave everything and follow Jesus.
Sometimes following Jesus looks a little ridiculous, foolish, over the top.
We all are called to set aside whatever it is to obey God and the teachings of Scripture.
Take a moment of silence and reflection.
What is something you might need to let go of—walk away from—so you can follow Jesus more fully?
In the next passages of scripture in Chapter 5 Jesus continues to demonstrate who he is by what he does.
He heals a leper and tells the man to follow the Mosaic law, the Jewish religious rules on worship and daily life—to and make an offering as a testimony to others.
And then Luke records Jesus proclaiming the forgiveness of sins to a paralytic —and the religious leaders are aghast because “Who has the power to forgive sins, but God alone?”—and then Jesus heals the man so he can walk, once again demonstrating that He has the power of God.
Next Luke recorded Jesus calling Levi, the tax collector, to follow Him. Levi puts on a feast for Jesus and invites his tax collector sinner friends. This is where our passage picks up.
Listen for how Jesus describes sinners and those who consider themselves righteous.
30 And the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” 31 And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”
A Question About Fasting
33 And they said to him, “The disciples of John fast often and offer prayers, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours eat and drink.” 34 And Jesus said to them, “Can you make wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? 35 The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days.” 36 He also told them a parable: “No one tears a piece from a new garment and puts it on an old garment. If he does, he will tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old. 37 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. 38 But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. 39 And no one after drinking old wine desires new, for he says, ‘The old is good.’”
Luke 5 shows us the kind of people that Jesus calls—and that follow—are those who know they need him. And those humble enough to learn new things about God and themselves.
Take a moment to reflect and pray.
Is your heart more like an old garment, or new?
Talk to God about anything that is on your heart.
LET’S PRAY (live prayer)
Thank you for joining me on the Well Soul Podcast today.
Please review and share the podcast so more people can be encouraged in their walks with Jesus. I also invite you also to subscribe to the Well Soul Monthly, a digital newsletter that will encourage and inspire you to live a life toward cultivating a well soul—like a bucket of refreshment in your inbox. When you subscribe, you will receive a free digital copy of “8 steps to Create a Well Soul Rhythm” ,a guide to help you focus your priorities this season of life to help you cultivate a Well-Soul. Click the link in the show notes to subscribe.
There is so much more to the story in chapter five, so if you would like to drink in the scriptures more slowly than the podcast allows, I encourage you to look at the resources linked in the show notes.
I would like to give a special thanks to Dr. Sandra Glahn for her Latte with Luke Bible study and Brian Vasquez productions, who has made this podcast possible. This episode is sponsored by socialremix.co to SocialRemix.co, a social media generating website that saves you hours of content creation with just a click of a button. For more information, see the Links in the show notes.
God bless you and I pray that you have a well soul.