Luke 5 = The First Disciples
Bible Background: Since being driven out of Nazareth, Jesus has been teaching and healing around the Sea of Galilee. Jesus has been to Peter’s house and healed his mother-in-law. Now, he gets into a boat to teach the crowds, and reveals his power to a few ordinary fishermen!
Digging Deeper: 1. In Luke’s account, Jesus’ “call” to these fishermen does not come out of the blue. Jesus has been to Peter’s house in Capernaum, and he visits these regular, working guys “on the job”.
2. How ‘regular’ are they? They’re tired from work. Their work was disappointing that day (no catch of fish). And yet a part of them is still willing to loan Jesus the boat; and then still able to listen to Jesus as he asks them to cast the nets one more time! They might be discouraged, but they have not given up! When are you ‘tired’ from your work/daily routine? What keeps you from giving up?
3. Clearly, this is a miraculous catch of fish. Simon understands he is in the presence of divine power! A typical response to God’s presence in the Bible is to shy away from God. Simon’s sense of being a sinner is to say: “I am not worthy of such an amazing presence.” What does the super-abundance of fish say about God’s abundant love? When have you been overwhelmed by a sense of awe or a sense of God’s presence?
4. Jesus says to Simon the words he will say again and again to his followers: “Do not be afraid!” Why are these words so important to hear? When do you need to hear them…and believe them? How can you share this message with others?
5. Luke makes this ‘call’ story more of a ‘pronouncement’ story, as in, Jesus doesn’t really ‘call’ these fishermen to follow him. Instead, he declares “You will be catching people!” Then, these 3 leave everything and follow him! (BTW, Simon doesn’t really get the name “Peter” until Luke 6:14.)
6. Compare this story to a similar story in John 21:1-14, where the risen Jesus surprises his disciples by the lake; with a miraculous catch of fish; and re-issues the call for them to be doing his work.
Next week: read Luke 6:1-16. See St. John’s Facebook for more notes on the readings!