Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
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,CHAPTER 5
1. The Miraculous Drought of Fishes. (Luke 5:1-11) 2. The Leper Healed. (Luke 5:12-16) 3. The Paralytic Healed. (Luke 5:17-26) 4. The Call of Matthew and the Feast (Luke 5:27-29) 5. The Scribes and Pharisees Answered (Luke 5:30-35) 6. The Parable of the Garment and the Bottle. (Luke 5:36-39.)
2. The Leper Healed. (Luke 5:12-16)
3. The Paralytic Healed. (Luke 5:17-26)
4. The Call of Matthew and the Feast (Luke 5:27-29)
5. The Scribes and Pharisees Answered (Luke 5:30-35)
6. The Parable of the Garment and the Bottle. (Luke 5:36-39.)
Two miraculous draughts of fishes are found in the Gospels. The one here at the beginning of His ministry; the other after His resurrection. (John 21:1-25). Both demonstrate His power as Lord over the animal creation. Here the net broke (or began to break), in the other miracle it did not break. Peter is prominent in both. Here he falls at His feet crying out, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” The divine presence, made known by the miracle, showed Peter his own condition. The Lord graciously calms his fear. The soul that sinks down at the blessed feet of the Lord and owns his sinfulness is safe. He came to seek and to save what is lost. And more than that. He calls into service. “Fear not, from henceforth thou shalt catch men.” They left all and followed Him. It would have been strange if they had done anything else. The highest and best besides knowing the Lord as our Saviour is to follow Him and to be obedient to His call.
Luke describes the leper as being full of leprosy. The terrible disease had advanced so as to cover the entire body. Leprosy is the most awful, incurable disease. It is a living death and one of the best illustrations of sin and its ravages. He has the power, and He alone, to heal the leper, as He is the only One who can heal the spiritual leprosy. Then great multitudes came together to hear and to be healed. How men were attracted to Him and sought Him! But He went instead into the wilderness to pray. He felt the need as the perfect man to seek the Father’s presence. He has given us an example. It is the pattern we should follow.
“Why is it that there is so much apparent religious working, and yet so little result in positive conversions to God,--so many sermons, and so few souls saved,--so much machinery, and so little effect produced,--so much running hither and thither, and yet so few brought to Christ? Why is all this? The reply is short and simple. There is not enough private prayer. The cause of Christ does not need less working, but it does need among the workers more praying. Let us each examine ourselves, and amend our ways. The most successful workmen in the Lord’s vineyard, are those who are like their Master, often and much upon their knees.”--Bishop Ryle
The Publican Levi is Matthew, the writer of the Gospel of Matthew. He was a tax-gatherer and as such despised by his own brethren, because he was serving the hated Roman government. Tax-gatherers and sinners the Son of Man came to call. Levi left all and followed him. That he became at once a witness for the Lord is seen by the feast he made and the large number of tax-gatherers he had invited.
The concluding verses of this chapter we have already considered in the preceding Gospels.