I am reading Luke 5 from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible. Here are a few of my thoughts. What are your thoughts?
- While Luke’s author said that the book of Luke was going to be an orderly account, we cannot assume that Luke’s author expects us to read this book as a day to day history. In verse one, we read, “once while Jesus was beside the Lake…” In verse 12, we read, “once, when he was in one of the cities…” In verse 17, we read, “one day…” Time and place are less important than Jesus’ actions and teachings.
- In chapter 5, two different call stories exist with two healing stories in the middle of the calling. First, Jesus called Peter, the fishermen, who according to Luke’s author, was a small business owner with many boats and other coworkers. He gave up everything and followed Jesus. Levi, a tax collector who was probably not well liked because of his profession, left everything at the tax booth and followed Jesus. Then, he threw Jesus and his friends a banquet. Following Jesus demanded that their priority was to follow Jesus, but they did not have to give up all of their possessions. We are to be obedient with all of our life, including our possessions and finances.
- If you choose…” Jesus touched the desperate man with leprosy. To have leprosy carried quite a social stigma, and Jesus reached out and touched the man. Jesus reaches beyond all of our social stigmas in our society and helps to cure. Are we willing to reach out beyond our cultural norms to be God’s love to all people in all places? Where is God calling you and to whom does God ask you to reach out your hand and touch?
- Even when crowds of people went to Jesus, wanting to be cured, Jesus withdrew from them and prayed. Jesus must have known that he needed time away from the crowds and time to pray and center himself for the work ahead. Even Jesus needed rest. If Jesus, the King of the world, can take time away from the crowds, so can we!