Today Jesus is teaching the multitudes from Peter’s boat. When He finishes teaching, Jesus tells Peter to cast the fishing nets and He performs a miracle by filling the nets. Peter is so overwhelmed by the power of Christ that he falls at His knees and says, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”
This is a common response when man encounters God because God’s holiness and our sinfulness are both magnified. But Jesus came to give His life for us so that we can be declared righteous based on His righteousness and commissioned for the work of the Lord by the power of the Holy Spirit. So Jesus tells Peter, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men”, meaning that God is going to use this fisherman in a mighty way to draw others to Him. We will see the Lord develop Peter over time into a great disciple maker because the God of Peter is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He is also the same God of anyone who puts their faith in Jesus Christ. Therefore, the Lord will constantly be at work in our lives, growing us to be more like Him and equipping us for the work of the Kingdom.
Jesus further reveals His power when a paralyzed man is lowered from a roof into the home where He is teaching. Jesus tells the paralytic, “Son, be of good cheer, your sins are forgiven you.” The paralyzed man and the people were probably thinking that the man would be of good cheer if Jesus simply healed his physical condition and said “stand and walk”. And later Jesus tells the man to stand and walk, but not before saying what is most important — that his sins are forgiven. Jesus knows we have a need far greater than physical healing. We need to be restored to Jesus’ Father, the Lord, by a final atoning sacrifice, and that is why Jesus is here!
The scribes question Jesus in their thoughts by thinking, “Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Jesus, knowing the thoughts and intentions of all, responds to them explaining that He said the paralytic’s sins were forgiven out loud instead of just saying he was healed so “that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins.”
Then Jesus eats with Matthew, a despised tax collector, and other sinners, which the uptight scribes and Pharisees frown upon. Jesus says to the religious leaders, “I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” So the sinners eat and drink with Jesus (the bridegroom) while He is here on earth. “But the days will come when the bride-groom will be taken away from them; then they will fast in those days.”
Jesus knows His time physically here on earth is short. So He explains with the illustrations of new and old garments and new and old wine skins, that He came to establish a new and better covenant and to form the church where Jews and Gentiles will come together as one (Ephesians 2).
Tomorrow Jesus continues to upset the religious leaders by living out His ministry in a way that pleases God and not man. Keep reading. (Luke 5:1-11, Mark 1:40-45, Matthew 8:1-4, Luke 5:12-16, Mark 2:1-12, Matthew 9:1-8, Luke 5:17-26, Mark 2:13-17, Matthew 9:9-13, Luke 5:27-32, Mark 2:18-22, Matthew 9:14-17, Luke 5:33-39)