In these chapters, and often throughout his book, Luke presents plenty of images of Jesus in daily life. Yesterday He was invited to teach in the synagogue, which was quite an honor but not an extraordinary one. Today Jesus goes fishing… for both fish, and men. He has dinner with acquaintances and picks grain in a field. Twice He withdraws to desolate places to pray. And almost daily He teaches and heals the crowds who come to Him.
I encourage you to not just look at these as human-interest tidbits, but rather to imagine the purpose they serve for the author. Remember that Luke set out to write an orderly account, compiling a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us. He would not have unlimited parchment at His disposal, nor would his readers have an unlimited attention span. It’s safe to assume that he is executing a plan to show details that he believes are important.
Today’s reading breaks neatly into three basic sections. In the first, short narrative, Jesus heads out on the lake with Simon, James, and John, where He not only astonishes them but invites them to leave everything and follow Him. The middle section, which crosses between chapters 5 and 6, is highlighted by four encounters with the Pharisees. Tensions had surely simmered in the background since His escape from the Nazareth synagogue, and today they take issue with Jesus declaring forgiveness of sins, dining with tax collectors, healing and even plucking grain on the Sabbath.
The third section is launched when Jesus sets aside twelve in the middle of chapter 6 – calling them Apostles – or “Ones who are sent.” He then teaches them what it means to be His apostle – what it means to “call Him Lord:” “As you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.” Pull out of this collection as much as you can; read it again, and often: For “everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them… is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.”
Our verse for this week is Psalm 27:1: The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
Luke chapters 5 and 6. Now let’s read it!
27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?