Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Luke, chapter 5

Why would a man like Jesus need help? Why would Jesus need to pray? Why would Jesus tell people to be quiet about His ministry? Those are just some of the questions addressed in Luke, chapter 5 as we see today. This chapter deals with some of the early events in his public ministry, such as the calling of his disciples. In this, it is not so much an admission that Jesus needed help. Instead, we see that He is intrusting mankind with the dissemination of His message. Yes Jesus could have simply changed minds supernaturally, but by placing the responsibility in mankind's hands He allows for us to come to Him of our own free will.

8When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus' knees and said, "Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!" 9For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10and 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 catch men." 11So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him. – Luke 5:8-11

This is an important passage because Simon, later known as Peter, would go on to become the leader of the disciples. Simon is an interesting character. He knew his shortcomings at times, but other times he was reckless in following those shortcomings. His love for the Lord was unmatched, but it too caused him to be reckless. His calling is a metaphor for the work he would accomplish in his life. Peter would eventually go on to lead the disciples in spreading Christ's word throughout the globe. His efforts are still bearing fruit to this day each time the Word of God is testified.

15Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. 16But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. – Luke 5:15-16

Why would Jesus need to pray? He was already fully God, but this shows how he was fully man too. Because of this, He also had to rely on strength from the Father instead of His own strength. In the physical limitations of the human body He couldn't possibly hope to cope with the enormity of what He had to do. This shows us how much we need to rely on prayer. This also links in with the final passage on fasting. Fasting allows us to focus our minds and our spirits on that sustaining prayer. Without, our spiritual lives are directionless.

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