Monday, October 25, 2021

Luke 5 Devotional Bible Study by Steve Wilson

Luke 5:1-11

One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.

 

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”

 

Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

 

When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

 

When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 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.

 

 

Are You Part of the Right Crowd?

Luke 5:1

…the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God.

 

People crowd around a lot of things that don’t matter: sports, movies, music, beer, drugs. It’s what they’re a fan of, what they’re drawn to and get sucked into. Their friends, their “crowd,” are people who enjoy the same things they do.


I don’t want to be a part of those fandom crowds. I don’t want the people around me to be people who are focused on things that don’t matter. I want to be part of the crowd of people who gather around Jesus, listening to the word of God.

 

 

How Much of Your Time Does Jesus Want?

Luke 5:1

…the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God.

 

The people were crowding around Jesus, listening to the word of God, but how long did Jesus’ teaching last that day? How long was the crowd expected to listen? How much of your time does Jesus want each day?


We all have daily duties to carry out, and if we’re in Christ, we should be performing those activities to honor God. But what about when those duties are finished? Are we free to spend our time however we like?

 

Jesus calls us to be His disciples. That means we are to follow Him. His first disciples were literally following Him as He walked around Judea and Samaria and Galilee, doing God’s work. And the thing is, as they were walking from town to town, Jesus never stopped and said, “Let’s take a break and binge the latest show on Netflix.”

 

You see, Christians have somehow gotten the idea that they can give God a couple of hours on Sunday, and if they want to be really good Christians, they can give God 10-15 minutes per day doing their devotions, and God is happy with that. Where did that idea come from?!

 

Anything in you or outside of you that tells you God is happy with you giving Him a daily pittance of your time is straight from the pit of Hell. Doing your devotions and going to work and doing your daily chores and then spending the rest of your time watching TV or playing video games or reading non-Christian material or sitting around drinking beer with your buddies is not what being a disciple of Jesus looks like.

 

…the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God.

 

And when it was time for Jesus to move on from there, the disciples were to go with Him and join Him in His work in teaching the next crowd.

 

 

Putting Out into Deep Water

Luke 5:4. 6

“Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”…When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.

 

Jesus told these not-yet-disciples to put out into deep water.

 

Deep water. What does that phrase make you think of?


Various online dictionaries define it as “being in danger,” “being in a scary situation,” “being in over one’s head.”

 

Anything can be lurking in deep water. You can easily drown in deep water.

 

And yet Jesus tells these men that if they want to be successful, they need to put out into deep water. They need to take their little dinghy of a boat out onto the unknown.

 

Some people haven’t been successful in their Christianity because they haven’t been willing to venture into deep waters with Jesus. He’s asked them to. He’s asked them to take a risk and trust Him, but they pulled back. They were afraid. They didn’t realize they really were safe because JESUS WAS IN THE BOAT WITH THEM.

 

The good news is Jesus gives us another chance to obey and be successful. So, what deep water is Jesus asking you to venture into today? Will you trust Him to be with you?

 

 

“But Because You Say So…”

Luke 5:4-6

“Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”

 

Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

 

When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.

 

Simon Peter didn’t think Jesus’ plan would work. He had already tried it. He had been working all night, doing the exact same thing Jesus was proposing.

 

“But because you say so…” Simon tried again, and this time, he was wildly successful.


What was the difference between all the times he had cast his net that night and this final time? Jesus hadn’t been in the boat with him. Jesus hadn’t been blessing his work. Simon hadn’t been acting out of faith in God’s Messiah.

 

Jesus is telling you to do something today. Maybe it doesn’t sound like it will work. Maybe you’ve tried before and failed. Will you put your faith in the Christ and say, “But because You say so…” and let Him give you success?

 

 

The Sinful Man Gets the Fish

Luke 5:8, 10

When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!”…Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.”


Simon Peter sees Jesus’ power and wants Him to go away. Jesus tells him not to be afraid. Why is Simon afraid and want Jesus to go away?

 

He sees Jesus, and he sees himself. He realizes that Jesus is holy and that he is not. He’s afraid Jesus is going to punish him for his sinfulness. It’s that old falsity that a holy God can’t be in the presence of sin or else the sinner would die.

 

But what does Jesus do? He doesn’t punish Simon for his sin. He doesn’t “go away” to not be in the presence of sin. Instead, He calls Simon to come closer! Ha! He makes Simon His #1 disciple and promises to use him in incredible ways. He doesn’t even say, “Let’s make you holy first.” He simply says, “I’m gonna use you to bring more people to Myself.”

 

Like the demon-possessed man at the end of Luke 4, if you have something inside you that says you need to run away from Jesus, that you need Jesus to go away from you, that’s a false spirit. What you need to do is run to Jesus. He’s inviting you to come to Him, telling you, “Don’t be afraid.”

 

Luke 5:12-16

While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”

 

13 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him.

 

14 Then Jesus ordered him, “Don’t tell anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.”

 

15 Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. 16 But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.

 

 

Have You Ever Felt Unclean?

Luke 5:12

While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”


 This man had leprosy. That made him unclean by Old Testament law. If someone was unclean with a skin disease, God said they were to…

 

“…wear torn clothes, let their hair be unkempt, cover the lower part of their face and cry out, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ As long as they have the disease, they remain unclean. They must live alone; they must live outside the camp.”- Leviticus 13:45-46

 

Yet here this man is in town! Why?

 

Because he knows his case is so desperate that only Jesus can help him. He comes into the town to meet Jesus.

 

Have you ever felt like this man? Have you ever felt like you were covered in uncleanness before God? Do you know that your only hope of being cleansed is to come to Jesus?

 

 

He’s Willing. Are You?

Luke 5:12-13

While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him.


What I love about this story is Jesus’ willingness to help this man. A lot of people know they need help, but they’re not sure if someone is willing to really help them. Jesus shows He’s ready to get into the messiness of our lives. He touches a man who is unclean. Touching someone who was unclean would have made Him unclean. Yet His compassion for this man moves Him to forfeit His own status as “clean” in His society.

 

Are you willing to do as Jesus did and help the “unclean” around you? Are you willing to “touch them” and get involved in their lives enough to give them the extent of help they really need? Where can you start?

 

 

Do You Want Immediate Change?

Luke 5:12-13

While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him.

 

Do you want to be clean? Do you want to be set free from your sin? Do you want to stop being a slave to yourself?


Let Jesus touch your life. Listen to Him say, “Be clean!” and you will be changed immediately.

 

Jesus changes our hearts, which then changes our actions.

 

 

Be Lonely

Luke 5:15-16

Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.

 

Jesus was becoming very popular. He was becoming very successful in His ministry. People were flocking to Him, and He was doing God’s work.

 

But He also needed to go be lonely. Often.

 

There’s something to be said for lonely places. When we feel lonely, God comes to meet us. When we separate ourselves and go off on our own, we find there’s no one else to talk to except God. And that’s a good place to be.


Don’t be afraid to feel lonely. Seek it. Embrace it. Go there often. Because it’s then that you’re most in the Presence of Another. God is a personal God, and He likes to get us alone so that He can really talk to us.

 

 

Luke 5:17-26

One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick. 18 Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. 19 When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.

 

20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”

 

21 The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

 

22 Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? 23 Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 25 Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. 26 Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.”

 

 

God’s Timing, No Forcing the Spirit

Luke 5:17

And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick.


The question that immediately comes to mind when I read this verse is: Were there times the power of the Lord was NOT with Jesus to heal the sick?

 

We never read of Jesus not being able to heal someone and sending them away, so I would say that because of who Jesus was, the spiritual gift of healing was always active in Him. But what about us?

 

Think about your spiritual gift or gifts for a moment. If you’re not sure what the spiritual gifts are, read Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12. Spiritual gifts are abilities and talents that are not natural to you. Once you become a Christian, the Spirit gives you these gifts to help build up the Church.

 

Now let’s say you have received a spiritual gift; does that mean the gift is always available for you to use? Is it now part of your repertoire of abilities that you can call on at any moment? I don’t think so. If I could call on and use a spiritual gift any time I chose, that would put it too much in my power. Rather, I need to stay in tune with the Spirit and know when the power of the Lord is with me to use the spiritual gift He’s given me.

 

If I’m faithful in using my spiritual gifts as the Spirit moves me, God will give me other spiritual gifts. As Paul says, we are to “eagerly desire the greater gifts.”

 

So, I encourage you to pray and ask the Spirit, what is the power of the Lord present for you to do today?

 

 

Heavy Lifting is Hard

Luke 5:18-19

Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.


I’ve heard quite a few sermons and Bible study messages pointing out how this passage teaches us we need to bring our friends to Jesus. And that’s true.

 

But what I’m seeing here is how difficult that can be. These people had to carry their friend to the house where Jesus was teaching. (How far did they have to come?) Then they had to lift him up onto the roof of the house. (Have you ever tried to lift a heavy load up onto a roof?) Then they had to carefully lower him down in front of Jesus. (Can you imagine the strain on their backs lowering him down like that?)

 

The question is, Are we willing to do all that for someone? Are we willing to put in the hard work and keep carrying them step after step until they finally get to Jesus? Or do we get frustrated when our friend refuses to “come to Jesus” as quickly as we would like, and give up on them?

 

Who are you trying to bring to Jesus? Are you willing to keep carrying them to Him, even if you have to carry them for years? Even if they keep paralyzing themselves with bad decisions? Even if they do nothing to help themselves get to Jesus?

 

These people did. You can too.

 

 

One Requirement

Luke 5:20

When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”

 

Jesus doesn’t make us jump through a lot of hoops. He doesn’t make us perform any rituals. He doesn’t tell us to change our lives first. All that’s required for our sins to be forgiven is to have faith in Him!


All the rest comes after we’ve been forgiven. After all, we can’t ask someone to be a disciple and do what Jesus requires if they’re still in their sin. The first step needs to be inviting them to get rid of those sins, free them from the guilt, take away their shame. Then, once the slate is clean and they’re not burdened by sin, show them how to live in a new way.

 

Are you frustrated with someone because they’re not living up to God’s standards? Are you frustrated with yourself? Ask yourself, Have my sins truly been forgiven? Have I truly put all my faith in Jesus?

 

 

There’s No Difference to Jesus!

Luke 5:23-24

“Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.”

 

Try it. Say both phrases: “Your sins are forgiven” and “Get up and walk.”

 

They’re both pretty easy to say, aren’t they? They both take about the same amount of time. Jesus could have said either one and produced the same effect.

 

Jesus is teaching us here that He can solve any problem in our lives just as easily as any other.

 

Do you need forgiveness for your sins? Easy.

Do you need healing? Easy.

Do you need to change your life? Easy.

Do you need help reconciling with someone? Easy.

 

You can come to Jesus with anything and know He has the power to help you. Keep in mind, though, that some things He will always do for us in this life. Some things He waits to do in the next life.

 

 

 

No comments:

Post a Comment