Here is the Link for Today’s Passage: http://bible.oremus.org/?ql=323067793
A lot happens here in Capernum. Apart from his rejection in Nazareth, we aren’t told a whole lot about Jesus’ ministry up until this, only that he was teaching in the synagogues. Capernum adds another layer to the work of Jesus, specifically healing. There are two kinds of healing presented here, first appears to be the healing of something akin to mental illness, as the first man in the synagogue started to stand up and yell. The second healing appears to be the healing of physical illness, as Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering a high fever. I don’t know enough about the ancient world’s understanding of mental vs physical illness to speak a whole lot about this, but even by today’s standards, we see a kind of complete healing picture here, since these days we tend to divide mental and physical illness into separate categories.
Its also interesting that it is the demons that know him as the Messiah, it is the first reference to anyone calling Jesus the Christ (christ is greek for messiah, and should be understood as interchangeable). Again not 100% sure what to make of that, but I think its important to note
This pericope ends with Jesus heading off to be by himself. I wonder if this is added to highlight the importance of self care, or added because Jesus was known for going off by himself every so once in a while. Either way, some personal alone time is good for just about everyone once in a while, to re-charge one’s batteries. When the crowd finds him, he knows its time to head on to the next place.
- Before this passage, Luke only tells us about Jesus’ teaching. Do you think the healing was something new Jesus was doing, something that developed after he started engaging in ministry, or do you think Luke just didn’t mention it before, even though it was present all along?
- A Simon is mentioned here, but it is not clarified whether this is Simon Peter (one of the disciples) or just someone who happened to be named Simon. The fact that Luke names him is important. But if it is Simon Peter, its a rather subtle way to start including the disciples (compared with the clear call of the first disciples in the other gospels) What do you think, is it Simon Peter, or another Simon? How does that decision affect your understanding of the calling of the Disciples? What might is also say about the power of healing on those around the person healed?
- How do you find time for yourself to ‘re-charge’? How do you determine when it is time to ‘move on to the next town’?
Miraculous Catch of Fish 5:1-11
This is quite the dramatic version of Jesus calling the disciples. In other gospels, Jesus simply calls out to the soon to be disciples, but here, we encounter Simon, whom Jesus has already interacted with, and hear about a Jesus taking him and his fellow fisherman out into the sea of Galilee, where there they begin to haul in so many fish, the nets break. It is here when Jesus is referred to directly as Lord for the first time, and it is while Simon is declaring himself unworthy of what Christ is doing, cowering in his own boat, as more and more fish are being pulled aboard.
Jesus’ response is to tell him Simon, and his fellow fisherman in the boat that day, to not be afraid, and that they will now catch people. Unsurprisingly, following this tremendous event, the fisherman drop everything and follow Jesus. What an introduction Jesus makes!
- Has this ever happen to you, have you ever felt worthy in the presence of God’s Grace? What followed? How did you react?
- Does it take a full blown miracle, like this, to drop everything and follow Jesus? Is God’s grace always this bold?
- In reality, the fisherman probably didn’t have a lot to leave behind, fishing the Sea of Galilee wouldn’t have been particularly profitable. What are other ways people today can follow Christ in a meaningful way, maybe without having to leave everything behind in the process?