Luke presents Jesus as the Ideal Man -- Chapter 05
Luke considers the calling of the disciples by Jesus.
Luke always gives us the human side of serving God, as well as God appearing in our midst as a Man amongst men, the supreme Head of the church.
Lesson 1: Jesus always does things differently to what we do.
We have our human free-will, which is a small circle or puddle in which we can do whatever suits our selfish short-term interests best. Our conscious mind operates in this little pool, which we frantically try to keep calm and placid as a personal comfort zone.
God’s will is the Big Picture that is an unseen spiritual river running strongly and disturbingly through the affairs and circumstances of life on Earth, that is aimed at the long term benefits of God’s salvation plan. We cannot consciously enter this realm as God’s thinking is too different to our thinking. God has to push or force us, usually protesting like Jonah, into this realm of His perfect will which disturbs our comfort zone that we foolishly value.
ISAIAH 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
EZEKIEL 3:14 So the spirit lifted me up, and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the LORD was strong upon me.
Ezekiel, that great prophet, did not always find it easy to serve God.
Let us see what Luke has to say.
LUKE 5:2 And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.
:3 And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.
Simon (later surnamed Peter) was not in the boat, he was on the beach washing his nets as he had given up trying to fish having caught nothing. This was the wrong place to be as Jesus entered his empty boat.
Washing his nets was the wrong thing to be doing because he was going to be using them again.
Jesus would send Simon back to where he had caught nothing in his own strength after having really tried hard. Simon had now despaired and given up.
LUKE 5:5 And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing:
When Simon was down on his luck having worked all night and earned nothing, then Jesus chose to use him when he was feeling useless. And we think that God is impressed with our talents and skills.
MATTHEW 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Our job is to pray that God will let us into His Big Picture and make us do something for His perfect will. Then He will add the things that we need for our personal survival. We must pursue His will, not our own will. If women, money or fame are our motives, then we pursue our own wills. Of course we humans are very good at deluding ourselves that we are thereby serving God. We are easily fooled into regarding self-gain as proof of being in God’s perfect will.
I TIMOTHY 6:5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
LUKE 5:3 And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.
Jesus first used the ship to teach the people. That was His first priority. Afterwards they could fish for material gain.
LUKE 5:4 Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.
:5 And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.
Simon obeyed Jesus even though this was completely opposite to his human thinking. He was a skilled fisherman but he now had to do something that made no sense to him. His natural skill had made him give up fishing for that day, but obeying the Word of God even when it was contrary to his accumulated experience, would reward him.
:6 And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.
Obeying the Word of God brought success. A greater success than he had ever had before.
LUKE 5:7 And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.
:8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.
This incredible success had nothing to do with Simon’s personal skills and talents, and thus left him with an overwhelming feeling of his own unworthiness.
I CORINTHIANS 1:28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
:29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.
If you and I ever truly get into the presence and the will of God, we will have no desire to glorify ourselves. In the face of great success we will still regard ourselves as most unworthy. Compared to Jesus, we are simply nothing. There is no reason why He should use us. It is only His grace if He does choose us. Thus we have nothing to brag about.
God’s biggest problem is that when He blesses a man, that man begins to think that he is something.
LUKE 5:9 For he (Simon) was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken:
Simon was astonished that Jesus had used him to achieve this great success. So were his friends and partners. This attitude impressed Jesus. The three men did not think they were something, because Simon felt totally unworthy. They were simply amazed that God had used them. Because of this humble attitude in the face of this huge success, Jesus chose them.
So the correct human attitude to God is to regard Jesus as everything, and ourselves as nothing in comparison to Him.
In their success they did not compare themselves to other men because Jesus had done it all, not them. Competitive Christianity is an ugly stain on the Gospel.
LUKE 5:10 And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.
They were trained fishermen, but these talents were of no real help as they now were to be trained for something far better, which was how to catch converts for Jesus.
:11 And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.
Their first step was to lose all interest in material success.
They had just brought in the greatest catch of all time.
Here was a heap of money that would make them rich, and they simply just walked away from it all. This was not a prosperity Gospel.
A true follower of Jesus is not interested in serving God in order to achieve material gain.
MATTHEW 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
How do we know that we are in God's perfect will? When we learn to despise any motive of material gain as our reason for serving God. A genuine Christian serves God first and leaves it up to God to supply him or her with their needs. We serve God because we love Him and want to be part of His big plan. How successful we are in this world is a secondary matter.
Claiming to serve God while our motive is to serve for material gain simply means that we are not in God’s perfect will.
A leper (the worst of diseases) came to Jesus and said that if He wanted to, Jesus could heal him.
LUKE 5:13 And he put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be thou clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him.
Luke, as a doctor, is impressed with this miracle.
LUKE 5:14 And he charged him to tell no man: but go, and shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing, according as Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.
Jesus told him to tell no-one.
This teaches us that spiritually gifted people should desire no fame or publicity from the power that God has granted them. Fame is not something that does humans much good. Sadly, many people love to flaunt themselves as supernatural show-offs. Especially if they are successful. That is not how it should be. We should never be drawing attention to ourselves.
LUKE 5:15 But so much the more went there a fame abroad of him: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by him of their infirmities.
The fame of this healing attracted so many people to Him, that Jesus was not free to pursue God’s will but was hemmed in by large crowds who all wanted their own personal wills to be met. Fame had the unintended consequence of causing Jesus to be controlled by the fervent wishes and requests of the crowd. But Jesus is supposed to be in control of the events, not the crowd.
:16 And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.
Lesson 2: Withdraw from the praise of mankind, and follow God's will.
The second step that the disciples had to learn was to withdraw from the praise of mankind as that leads to a person having to satisfy the wishes of the people who bestow the fame, rather than following God’s will.
People will always be impressed with God’s power, but the human vessel that God used must withdraw from the human praise which bestows fame on a person. The wilderness is a lonely place away from people. There is no fame in the wilderness because there are no people. So we must learn to withdraw from the praise of people (which we as humans love) and then be in prayer to God for guidance. Contact with God will always remind us that only He achieves any worthwhile success and thus only He is worthy of praise, not us. Praying to God and reading the Bible is our best chance of finding God’s perfect will for the next step in our lives.
Listening to the praise of others will not guide us into the path of truth.
Once a Christian becomes famous, the end result tends to be that he or she has to respond to the wishes and demands of the crowd, rather than to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
The next incident was people trying to get to Jesus despite the crowd that surrounded Him. Again, this was an unintended consequence of fame. So many people with lesser needs surrounded Him that the one man who had a really serious need could not get near to Jesus Who was in a room. They eventually broke through the roof and lowered a paralyzed man down to Him.
LUKE 5:18 And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him.
:19 And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus.
:20 And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.
The human lesson we learn is that we should make every effort that we can to get people to Jesus. He alone can save and heal. Our job is to get people into His presence.
Sickness is a consequence of sin. If there was no sin there would also be no sickness. Only God can forgive sin. Jesus thus proved that He was God in the flesh. Jesus forgave him his sin and his paralysis disappeared. The disappearance of his sickness was visible evidence that his sin had gone.
But this miracle has a deeper meaning.
A lame man is heavy. To lower him down without dropping him will require at least four men, with one man holding each corner of the blanket or couch that he is lying on. The man himself is completely helpless. So we humans are helpless in our sin and unbelief. The four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, if we believe what they say, provide a spiritual blanket or couch ( what we would call a mind-set or a basis for our faith ) which can lower us into the presence of Jesus Christ.
Our main sin is unbelief. This is only forgiven in the presence of Jesus Who is the Word of God. As we begin to believe more of the Bible, so our unbelief gets less and our sins disappear. Then we must start walking according to what is written in the Bible.
Jesus then called a publican or tax collector to follow Him. His name was Levi. Tax collectors were hugely unpopular. It almost seems, from a human viewpoint, that Luke was shielding him by calling him by his name Levi. He was later known by his other name Matthew, and was famous as the author of the first Gospel. By calling him Levi, Luke may have been trying to spare Matthew from the embarrassment of his past reputation, as many people would assume that Levi was someone else.
Luke seems to be very human here in his attempt to protect his Gospel buddy. A nice human touch. A reminder to us to focus on the good in people, and not recall the errors of their past that they have repented of.
LUKE 5:27 And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him, Follow me.
:28 And he left all, rose up, and followed him.
:29 And Levi made him a great feast in his own house: and there was a great company of publicans and of others that sat down with them.
The tax collector who collected as much as he could squeeze out of people, now left all his ill-gotten gains and followed Jesus. Following Jesus just made people lose interest in money.
In addition he now made a great feast and generously spent money on people. This represented a complete about-turn in his attitude to money. He preferred God to Mammon. Such is the effect that Jesus has on people. He changes their lives.
Following Jesus has this changing effect on us humans. The amount that your life has changed tells us to what extent you follow Jesus. Are we still as greedy as we used to be before we met Him?
LUKE 5: 30 But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners?
:31 And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick.
:32 I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Christians easily become exclusive and condemn those outside their own specific church group, especially if people are sinners or people who disagree with them who they regard as heretics.
But the sick need help. Sinners also need help. Those in doctrinal error also need help. We should always be available to help anyone who is in need.
Thus we learn that Christianity is a club that exists for the benefit of non-members.
LUKE 5:36 And he spake also a parable unto them; No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old.
PSALM 104:2 Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment:
We do not really see people. Most of what we see of them is the garment or clothes that they are wearing. God covers Himself with the light of His Word, which is the meaning of His Word or the hidden message that people miss.
The more we understand the meaning of God's Word, the more we see of God.
I JOHN 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
God is light and He reveals Himself by illuminating what is written in the Bible.
I TIMOTHY 6:16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto;
We keep looking at Scripture and waiting for God to reveal it to us so that we can "see the light" and understand more of the Bible.
When Martin Luther in 1517 revealed that the just will live by faith, this revealed light ripped apart the Roman Catholic traditions of indulgences, purgatory, and the reverence for ancient relics and bones of saints. These old ideas just could not fit in with this new revelation of justification by faith. Thus Luther had to separate from the Catholics as they disagreed with him. Whenever God reveals new light the existing churches reject it, and prefer to defend their old wrong ideas, and a new movement has to start.
LUKE 5:37 And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish.
Wine represents the stimulation of revelation. The return of the spiritual gifts with the Pentecostal revival in the early 1900s was not something that the traditional churches could handle. These churches wanted the security of human order, tradition, and man-made controls. The freedom of the Spirit could not be confined within the human rules of the traditional church order. The Pentecostals had to separate from the traditional churches.
:38 But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved.
The Pentecostal believers had to move out of the traditional churches and start a new movement in order to preserve their initial leadership of the Holy Spirit.
:39 No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.
The Pentecostal movement was impressive in terms of the workings of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. They introduced the idea of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which was an excellent and vital step towards restoring the church back to the New Testament church of the original apostles.
But Bible teaching was the Pentecostals' weak point.
In terms of their understanding of such things as prophecy and of the two thousand years of church history, and of original sin, they were no real improvement on the non-Pentecostal churches. Original sin and the Book of Revelation were interpreted by them in much the same way as the the other churches who relied on teachers like Scofield and Larkin who published before 1925.
Imagine how far behind we would be if our science knowledge stayed at about the level it was it was in 1925? We would be rated as incredibly ignorant. So the same applies to our Bible knowledge.
In the manifestation of the Spirit, Pentecostals soared ahead of the other churches on eagle wings. When it came to understanding the mysteries of the Bible, the Pentecostals were just as much out of their depth as the other churches were. Their blurred and fuzzy insight is not represented by the incredibly clear eye of an eagle for fine detail.
Pentecostals have eagle wings but parrot eyesight. Parrots can only repeat what others had said.
Their main punchline to cover their ignorance of many issues in the Bible is "It is not important".
That is not the real truth. They are actually saying "I do not have a clue. And I am totally uninterested".
Pentecostals could not explain why God did not tell Adam and Eve to repent. Every other time that God came on the scene, He first called the sinners to repentance. He only sent judgement if they rejected His offer of mercy. Jonah told the very evil people of Nineveh to repent. When they did, God forgave them. Why then did God not tell Adam and Eve to repent?
Pentecostals could not explain why God required the shed blood of an animal to forgive the sin that began with Eve eating a fruit.
They could not explain why Eve was punished by having many conceptions. After all, she had been told to multiply and replenish the world and that would seem to require her to have many children. Or have we missed something?
They could not explain why Eve was punished with a difficult childbirth because she had eaten fruit.
GENESIS 3:17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
God used the word “because” when He spoke to Adam and the serpent and thus explained to them what they had done wrong. Then He punished them. But God never explained to Eve what she had done wrong. He never used the word “because” when speaking to her. He just mentioned her punishment without giving a reason for her punishment. Pentecostals cannot explain this.
GENESIS 3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
Notice. There is no "because" in this sentence.
Why as a punishment was her desire to be to her husband? Surely the desire of any wife is towards the husband that she loves.
Today, church women object to being in submission to their husbands. So they do not like the submissive role that God has given women. The woman of our "selfie" age are not interested in God's Word. They demand equality as their right. "Laodicea" means "Peoples' rights". This is the blind and apostate last church age.
Notice. When God speaks to an animal, the serpent, He explains the reason for the punishment by saying "because".
GENESIS 3:14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
God then turned the serpent into a snake. The serpent was an animal, the "missing link" between monkey and man. The serpent was able to reason, and speak and understand words. The snake can no longer do this.
So God explained the punishment He was giving to the man and to the animal, but not to the woman.
The woman was thus actually rated as below the animal in terms of her complete inability to understand what she had done wrong. No wonder women are allergic to being referred to as animals like cows or she dogs.
But both Adam and Eve ate of the same fruit. Why could God explain to Adam what he had done wrong, but God could not explain to Eve what she had done wrong?
Pentecost cannot explain this.
So Pentecost was magnificent with spiritual gifts and restoring the Holy Ghost baptism. But they still failed, like the other churches, to answer basic questions on original sin and many other topics, especially prophecy concerning the two thousand years of church history.
Thus their new wine was unimpressive in terms of revealing the mysteries of Scripture.
Pentecost, great spiritual movement that it was, was just a preparation stage for the final teaching ministry ( the former rain or teaching rain ) that would unlock the mystery of God's Word before He sends the latter rain or harvest rain.
Pentecost failed to produce the end time prophet who could reveal the mystery of God.
A prophet who could take us back to the teachings of the New Testament church and revive the old teachings and revelations of the original apostles. That is the only way in which we will get answers to these questions.
REVELATION 10:7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.
The better we understand Scripture, the more chance we have of avoiding the oncoming great Tribulation. The better prepared we will be for the Coming of the Lord.
Today churches do not want Bible teachers. They want interpretations of quotes and traditions of men.
No church wants a Bible teacher who would tell them that they are wrong.
No-one wants to change. But change is what we have to do.
JOHN 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
Pentecost restored how to worship God in Spirit. But now we must also learn how to worship God in truth, so that we can answer the questions that arise in the Bible.
But we can only interpret a Scripture in the light of other Scriptures that are linked to it. Whatever the end time prophet teaches, we must take his revelations back to Scripture and prove the ideas from Bible verses, not from his quotes.
If we believe quotes just because he said so, then we have also gone off into error.
The fact that Jesus, the Word of God, is outside the church door means that revelation in the "Message churches" is based on quotes and interpretation of quotes, not on Scripture.
No body can have two heads. As soon as the pastor is the head of the church, Jesus has to move outside.
The Bible says He is outside the church in this age. Thus all the churches, including the "Message churches", are in deep trouble but "knowest not" that this is the case because they think that they "have need of nothing" so they certainly don't want correction. Nor do they think they need correction. Being blind, they cannot see their own faults.
REVELATION 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write;
:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
REVELATION 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock:
The saddest picture in the Bible.
An apostate church that is smugly comfortable and arrogantly complacent because of their successful pursuit of wealth.
Outside stands an unwelcome Jesus. There was no room for Him in the inn at the beginning and there is no room for Him in the church at the end.
I CORINTHIANS 16:22 If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.
"Maranatha" means our "Lord has Come".
"Anathema" means "bind under a great curse" .
A curse lingers on, like the long-lasting radioactivity from nuclear radiation that we have seen at Fukushima in Japan, Chernobyl in Ukraine, and the atom bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan.
If we do not love and follow Jesus Who is the Word of God then when He Comes, saved Christians will go into the great Tribulation, which is the day of the Lord, and be bound under the great curse of that widespread future nuclear holocaust. When those nuclear bombs start exploding, life on earth will be hell.
II PETER 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
Once in the great Tribulation, Death and Hell take their final ride. You don't want to go there.