#914. Luke 5. review - Jesus calls His first disciples (6/10/23)
This week, in our devotionals, we are revisiting certain aspects of the Gospel of Luke as we prepare to resume this series. Today, we will review some of the key insights we have gained from Luke Chapter 5.
To listen to this devotional, go to:
i. The Miraculous Catch of Fish (Luke 5:1-11)
In the opening of this chapter, we witness the miraculous catch of fish when Jesus instructs Simon Peter and the others to let down the nets one more time after a night of futile fishing. As they obey, they have a miraculous and overwhelming catch of fish. This incident ends with Jesus commissioning them and their following Him:
‘“Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.’ So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.”’ (Luke 5:10-11)
ii. Jesus heals a man with leprosy (Luke 5:12-16)
Next, Luke records the account of Jesus healing a man with leprosy. We read of his desperation and level of faith that implored Jesus, 'Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.' To which Jesus responded:
‘“Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. ‘I am willing,’ he said. ‘Be clean!’ And immediately the leprosy left him.”’ (Luke 5:13)
ii. Healing the Paralytic (Luke 5:17-26)
Jesus encounters a paralyzed man whose friends bring him to Jesus by lowering him through the roof of a crowded house. Jesus responds to their faith by forgiving the man of sin, which creates consternation among some who say, ‘“Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”’ To which Jesus proves His authority to do so by healing the man:
“But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.’ So he said to the paralysed man, ‘I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.’” (Luke 5:24)
iii. The Call of Levi (Luke 5:27-32)
Jesus calls Levi, a tax collector, to follow Him. Levi immediately responds as he leaves everything to follow Jesus. Jesus follows this up by having a meal with Him and many like him. Again, this causes the religious leaders to criticise Him by saying, “why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus explains His actions as He refutes their attitude:
‘“Jesus answered them, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but those who are ill. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”’ (Luke 5:31-32)
iv. Fasting and New Wine (Luke 5:33-39)
Finally, we encounter a discussion about Jesus’ approach to fasting. People are concerned that He doesn’t seem to fast enough for their liking.
Jesus explains Himself and teaches them by using an analogy about new and old cloth, new and old wine and new and old wine skins. Jesus wants the crowd to understand that He is bringing in the New Covenant that will entail many changes in how one lives for God and, although they may love the old way of doing things (the ‘old wine’), those who follow Him will have to adjust rather like learning to like new wine from new wineskins.
‘“And no-one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins.”’ (Luke 5:37-38)
In response, what are some of the things that God wants us to learn from this chapter? Here are 2 ideas:
i. Put out into deeper water! Jesus is calling all of us to obey Him, even if it seems illogical. In particular, we are to obey Him in 'fishing for people' - helping to bring our community to Jesus - as He leads us by His Spirit.
ii. Ask Jesus to heal. Just as with the leprous man, our faith may not be perfect, but Jesus will listen to your imperfect prayers with imperfect faith for healing. Similarly, like the friends of the paralyzed man who brought him to Jesus for healing, let's bring ourselves to be prayed for, and let's continue praying for others to be healed.
Note: I won't say anything about the important subject of 'new wine and wine skins' because this is the subject of next week's message and devotionals.
Finally, I encourage you to read Luke chapter 5 and pray about the aspects that the Spirit brings to your attention.
COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY -SIV WEEK
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
Let's use the icebreaker that we talked about in our vision series: How has God been speaking to you from His Word this week and how has this helped you?
3. Study and pray together - This week is 'SIV' Week.
Last Sunday, it was a joy to have a child dedication and a number of baptisms. It was also very encouraging to have so many guests amongst us to celebrate and hear the gospel. I hope we can see that this Sunday was a snapshot of what every Sunday could be like if we all got serious about SIV and praying about it.
Let's spend this time sharing, thinking and praying about how God wants to work through us to help our communities to come to Jesus. As we begin, and sorry if this is a bit repetitive, let's ensure that we understand what our SIV strategy is.
SIV stands for Serve, Invest, and Invite. This is our very simple strategy to help bring our community to Jesus. We believe that God has placed us in relationships and in specific locations to be 'salt and light.' We can effectively bring people to Jesus by 'Serving' them, demonstrating the love of Christ in practical ways; by 'Investing' in the people to whom we feel the Spirit is leading us; and by 'Inviting' them into our homes and hospitality, to church events, to Alpha, and ultimately, inviting them to come to Jesus through the gospel.
Discussion and prayer
As we look to restart our Luke series this coming Sunday, please read Luke 1:76-79.
How are we to continue the ministry of John the Baptist?
What does this text teach about our message and the source of our confidence?
Do you have any encouraging stories of how you've been serving, investing and inviting?
Do you have any plans for how you plan to serve, invest and invite in the places and people that God has given to you? Why not make a note so that you can pray and hold yourself accountable?
Let's pray for ourselves and our community together. Let's pray for the particular people that God is putting on your heart. Lets pray for the Holy Spirit to empower and direct us in how to Serve, invest and invite.