Public Ministry of Jesus.
(Read Luke 5:1-26)
Luke records the preaching ministry of Jesus on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. From Peter’s boat Jesus taught the multitudes who stood on the shore. Great crowds gathered to listen him. Jesus performed miracles to bring about spiritual changes in the lives of people. He preached the good news to people from all walks of life. Jesus commanded Peter to let down his net into the deep for a catch. He obeyed the irresistible command of Christ and caught a large number of fish. This miracle proved the deity of Jesus and the sinfulness of Peter (Luke 5:8). It helped Peter to to understand his sinfulness and opened his eyes to see how great and gracious Jesus truly is. This is what gospel does in our lives. If we see only our sinfulness, it will lead us to despair. But Peter saw Jesus is the gracious and forgiving God. Jesus invited Peter and his partners to follow him. Jesus said to them “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men”. They left everything and followed Jesus (John 1:41-42). Jesus healed a man of leprosy by touching him. He asked him to go and show himself to the priest as the law required. Jesus never sought popularity. His primary ministry was to meet the spiritual needs of others. In the case of the healing of the paralytic, Jesus said “Son, your sins are forgiven”. Pharisees said to each other, “This is blasphemy, who but God forgives sins?” Jesus then proved he had the authority to forgive sin by healing the man. People were amazed and glorified God by saying “We have seen amazing things today”. Only God can change us in ways that we cannot change ourselves. To know more read notes on Mark 1:16-20.
Jesus Calls Levi (Matthew).
(Read Luke 5:27-39)
Levi was a tax collector who worked for the Roman government. Jesus said to him “follow me”. So Levi got up, left everything and followed Jesus. To know more read notes on Matthew 9:9-15. Pharisees criticized Jesus for eating with sinners. The Pharisees took pride in their own righteousness and despised tax collectors and sinners. They failed to recognize that they are as spiritually sick as the tax collectors. Jesus said “I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance”. The reason Jesus has not come to call the righteous is because there was none righteous, no not one (Rom 3:10). It is spiritual pride to think that we are better than others (Rom 3:23). Those who recognize their spiritual sickness and trust in the Great Physician, Jesus Christ, will find eternal cure for their sin problem (Isaiah 53:5). Jesus also discussed about fasting to those who complained that his disciples are not fasting. There may be some benefits to fasting but in the New Testament, fasting is always voluntary and never mandatory.