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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Luke 5

 

 

Verses 1-11

Luke 5:1-11. The Call of the First Disciples (cf. Mark 1:16-20*, Matthew 4:18-22*).—The eager crowds that attend Jesus show His need of assistants. The simpler story of Mk. and Mt. is here replaced by one which introduces a miraculous catch of fish. The similarity with John 21 leads us to think that Lk. (who has no Galilean appearances of the Risen Jesus) may have used that incident here. Nor is it difficult to discern symbolism in the story; the deep water is the Gentile world, but Peter, though the preaching of the Gospel to the Jews had been a failure, is reluctant to enter on a wider mission (cf. Acts 11:1-18). The concentration of the narrative on Peter (James and John are only just mentioned, Andrew not at all), may be due to the growing interest in Peter at the time when Lk. wrote. The tradition about his call would tend to become longer and fuller.

Luke 5:1. lake of Gennesaret: Lk. gives the "sea" of Galilee its correct name.

Luke 5:4. put out: singular, addressed to Peter.—let down: plural, to all in the boat.

Luke 5:5. Master: Lk. uses this Gr. term in reference to Jesus six times in place of the Jewish "Rabbi."

Luke 5:6. If we press the symbolic interpretation this may refer to the threatened rupture between the narrower and wider sections of the Church (cf. Acts 15).

Luke 5:8. The name Peter is introduced at this critical point in the apostle's experience. His exclamation of dread at the near presence of Divine power recalls Judges 6:22, Isaiah 6:5; cf. 1 Kings 17:18. Note the use of "Lord," recalling OT "Yahweh." Lk. is careful to record the words as setting in sharp contrast the sin of the disciple and the holiness of the Saviour (cf. Luke 5:32).


Verses 12-16

Luke 5:12-16. The Healing of a Leper (Mark 1:40-45*, Matthew 8:1-4*).—Lk. keeps closely to Mk., but adds (Luke 5:16) that Jesus in His retirement gave Himself to prayer. It is characteristic of him also to speak of Jesus simply as "he"; perhaps the disciples did so (cf. 1 John 3:3; 1 John 3:5), as was the case with the followers of Socrates and Pythagoras.


Verses 17-26

Luke 5:17-26. The Healing of the Paralytic (Mark 2:1-12*, Matthew 9:1-8*).—All three accounts are in close agreement. Lk. however introduces at the outset "Pharisees and teachers of the law" from all over Galilee as well as from Judæa and Jerusalem. The last clause of Luke 5:17 is peculiar; literally, "the power of the Lord was present for Him to heal with." In Luke 5:19 Lk. rewrites Mk.'s description of how the sufferer was lowered through an aperture in the tiles (none were removed). Mt. omits it. Lk. makes the patient (Luke 5:25), as well as the onlookers, "glorify God." On Pharisees see pp. 624, 666.


Verses 27-32

Luke 5:27-32. The Call of Levi (Mark 2:13-17*, Matthew 9:9-13*)·—There are no noteworthy differences. In Lk. it is clear that Levi gives the feast (in his own house); the words "to repentance" (Luke 5:32) are omitted by some MSS. They weaken the saying.


Verses 33-39

Luke 5:33-39. The Question of Fasting (Mark 2:18-22*, Matthew 9:14-17*).—Lk.'s interest in prayer is again (cf. Luke 5:16) seen in Luke 5:33, with which cf. Luke 11:1. The recasting of the saying about the patch (Luke 5:36) reflects a later age; Christianity was now a made-up garment, when Jesus spoke it was only in the piece.

Luke 5:39. Lk. only. If it was spoken on this occasion it means that John's disciples may rightly continue their own practices. It was not unbelief that kept them from the new wine of the Gospel. They did not set the one against the other ("good" not "better" is the true reading); but in the revival and repentance due to John's preaching they had found the old order good (as indeed it was), and they craved nothing more (Hort, Judaistic Christianity, 24). But perhaps it is simply put here by Lk. because it has to do with wine, just as Mark 9:49 f. collects sayings about salt.

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Luke 5:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/luke-5.html. 1919.

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