Luke 5

Jesus asks some men to go with him

1 One day, Jesus was standing on the shore of Lake Gennesaret. A crowd was pushing to get near to him. They were listening to him. He was speaking God's message to them.

5:1‘Lake Gennesaret’ is another name for the ‘Sea of Galilee’. Capernaum is a town on the shore of this lake.

2 Jesus saw two fishing boats at the edge of the lake. The fishermen had left the boats there and they were now washing their nets.

5:2A fisherman is someone who catches fish. Many of Jesus' disciples were fishermen. They included Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John. The fishermen caught fish from the lake with nets.

3 One of the boats belonged to Simon. Jesus climbed into it. He asked Simon to push it away from the shore. Jesus sat in the boat and he started to teach the people.

5:3The boat was a good place for Jesus to sit. The people on the shore could see him and hear him.

4 When Jesus had finished teaching, he said to Simon, ‘Now take the boat out into deep water. Then put the nets into the water to catch some fish.’

5 Simon replied, ‘Teacher, we worked all last night and we did not catch anything. But because you say it, I will put the nets into the water again.’ 6 So they went in their boats and they put the nets down into the water. When they did that, they caught many fish. There were so many fish that the nets began to break. 7 So they made signs to the fishermen in the other boat. They told the other fishermen to come and help. So the other men came in their boat. They filled both boats with the fish. There were so many fish that the boats began to go down under the water. 8 When Simon saw all the fish, he went down on his knees in front of Jesus. ‘Sir,’ he said, ‘I am a bad man. So please go away from me.’

5:8Simon saw all the fish. Then he knew that God was with Jesus. He knew that he was not good enough to be Jesus' friend.

9 Simon and his friends were very surprised. They were all surprised because they had caught so many fish. 10 Zebedee's sons, James and John, were fishermen who worked with Simon. They were also surprised. Jesus said to Simon, ‘Do not be afraid. You have been catching fish. From now on you will catch people!’

5:10Jesus wanted to teach Simon, James and John about ‘catching men’. They would learn how to tell people the good news about Jesus. They had brought fish out of the water. Now they would bring people to Jesus, so that they could believe in him.

11 After that, they went and they pulled their boats up on the shore. Then they left everything behind and they went with Jesus.

A man with a bad disease of his skin

12 One day, Jesus was in a certain town. A man with a bad disease of the skin was there.

5:12People with this bad disease of the skin could not live near to other people. They lived outside the town.

When the man saw Jesus, he threw himself down on the ground in front of him. He said, ‘Sir, you can make me well again if you want to do that. Please do it.’

13 Jesus put out his hand towards the man and he touched him. He said, ‘I do want to help you. Be clean again!’ Immediately, the disease left the man. 14 ‘Do not tell anyone about this,’ Jesus said to him. ‘Instead, go and show yourself to the priest. Take a gift to him for God. Moses taught the people what gift to take to God when they are clean again after this kind of disease. This will show everyone that you are now well again.’

15 After this, more and more people started to hear the news about Jesus. Crowds were coming to hear him teach. Sick people also wanted him to make them well. 16 But Jesus would often go away from the crowd to pray in quiet places.

Jesus helps a man who cannot walk

17 One day, while Jesus was teaching in someone's house, many people were sitting there. Some of them were Pharisees. Other people were teachers of God's Law. They had come from many villages in Galilee, and from Judea and Jerusalem. The power of the Lord was there with Jesus to make sick people well.

5:17The Pharisees were a group of Jews. Many of them thought that they were obeying all God's rules. But they were also obeying many of their own rules. They did not like the things that Jesus taught. They did not like him because he did not obey all their own rules.

18 Then some men arrived. They were carrying a man on a mat. The man could not walk or move his legs. They tried to get into the house because they wanted to bring the man to Jesus. 19 But the house was full of people and they could not get in. So they carried the man onto the flat roof of the house. Then they made a hole in the roof. After that, they put the mat down through the hole. The man was still lying on it. He came down in the middle of the crowd, in front of Jesus. 20 Jesus saw them. He knew that they believed in him. So he said to the sick man, ‘My friend, I forgive you for the wrong things that you have done.’

21 The Pharisees and the teachers of God's Law were there. They heard what Jesus said. So they began to think among themselves, ‘Who is this man? He is speaking as if he is God. Only God can forgive people for the wrong things that they have done.’ 22 Jesus knew what these men were thinking. He told them, ‘You should not be thinking these things. 23 I said to this man, “I forgive you for the wrong things that you have done.” Instead, I could have said to him, “Stand up and walk.” Which one is easier for me to say? 24 But I want you to know this. I, the Son of Man, have authority here on earth. I can forgive people for the wrong things that they have done.’

5:24Jesus often spoke about himself as the Son of Man. He used this to cause people to think about some messages in the Old Testament. See Daniel 7:13-14.

Then he said to the man who could not walk, ‘I am saying to you, “Stand up. Pick up your mat and go home!” ’

25 Immediately, the man stood up in front of them all. He picked up the mat that he had been lying on. He went home. He was praising God as he went. 26 What had happened surprised everyone. They said, ‘God is great and powerful! We have seen very strange and special things happen today.’

Jesus asks Levi to come with him

27 After this happened, Jesus went away from that house. He saw a man that took taxes from people. He was working in his office. His name was Levi. Jesus said to him, ‘Come with me and be my disciple.’ 28 So Levi got up and he went with Jesus. He left everything behind.

29 Soon after this, Levi made a large meal for Jesus at his house. Many people also came and they were eating with them there. Some of them took taxes from people, as Levi did. 30 Some Pharisees and teachers of God's Law saw them there. So they said to Jesus' disciples, ‘You eat and drink with these bad people and with men who take taxes from people. That is not right.’

31 Jesus answered them, ‘People who are well do not need a doctor. It is people who are ill that need a doctor. 32 Some people think that they always obey God. I have not come to help people like that. Some people know that they have done wrong things. I am asking those people to come to me for help. I want them to change how they live.’

33 Then the Jewish leaders said to Jesus: ‘The disciples of John the Baptist often choose to fast for a time. Then they can pray to God a lot. The disciples of the Pharisees also do that. But your disciples never do that. They continue to eat and drink every day.’

5:33John the Baptist and the Pharisees taught the people rules about prayer. They taught them to fast sometimes, so that they would have time to pray.

34 Jesus answered them, ‘When a man marries a wife, you cannot stop his friends from eating. They will continue to eat while he is with them. 35 But there will be a time when people take that man away from his friends. Then they will decide to fast.’

5:35Jesus is teaching that his disciples will be happy while he is still with them. But he will not always be with them. Then they will be sad and they may choose to fast.

36 Jesus told them this story: ‘Nobody tears a piece of cloth from a new coat to mend an old coat. If he does that, he will have torn the new coat. Also, the piece of cloth from the new coat will not look the same as the old coat.

5:36Men were teaching people about the rules that God gave to them. In this picture story the old cloth is what these men taught. The new cloth is what Jesus was teaching. God gave his rules to his people by Moses. Those that taught these rules often taught their own ideas instead. This was why Jesus so often spoke against them. He also spoke against what they taught.

37 And nobody pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does that, the new wine will tear the old wineskins. He will lose the wine and the wineskins will also spoil. 38 Instead, you must put new wine into new wineskins.

5:37Wine grows bigger while it is getting older. But old wineskins become hard. New wine would cause them to break as it gets older.

39 Also, nobody wants to drink new wine after he has drunk old wine. He will say, “The old wine is much better.” ’

5:39Jesus is teaching that the old rules are like old wineskins. What he is teaching is new. It needs a new wineskin.