Jesus calls his first disciples. He heals a man with leprosy, and a paralyzed man. He calls Matthew to be his disciple. He is questioned about fasting.
VERSE 1. Now while the multitude pressed on him and heard the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret.
VERSE 2. He saw two boats standing by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them, and were washing their nets.
VERSE 3. He entered into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat.
VERSE 4. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep, and let down your nets for a catch.”
let down your nets. This is a metaphor for evangelism. The Ministry of Evangelism is a very high priority for us followers of Jesus Christ.
for a catch. In fishing, the goal is to catch fish. In Evangelism, the goal is to lead nonbelievers to initial faith in Jesus Christ:
This is clear in verse 10 below, where Jesus tells Simon: “From now on you will be catching people.”
VERSE 5. Simon answered him, “Master, we worked all night, and took nothing; but at your word I will let down the net.”
VERSE 6. When they had done this, they caught a great multitude of fish, and their net was breaking.
VERSE 7. They beckoned to their partners in the other boat, that they should come and help them. They came, and filled both boats, so that they began to sink.
VERSE 8. But Simon Peter, when he saw it, fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, Lord.”
VERSE 9. For he was amazed, and all who were with him, at the catch of fish which they had caught;
VERSE 10. and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid. From now on you will be catching people alive.”
VERSE 11. When they had brought their boats to land, they left everything, and followed him.
they left everything. They left everything behind.
Are you willing to leave everything behind to follow Jesus Christ?
VERSE 12. While he was in one of the cities, behold, there was a man full of leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell on his face, and begged him, saying, “Lord, if you want to, you can make me clean.”
full of leprosy. This probably means he was completely covered with the disease.
VERSE 13. He stretched out his hand, and touched him, saying, “I want to. Be made clean.” Immediately the leprosy left him.
VERSE 14. He commanded him to tell no one, “But go your way, and show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing according to what Moses commanded, for a testimony to them.”
VERSE 15. But the report concerning him spread much more, and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by him of their infirmities.
withdrew himself into the desert. Some translations say “withdrew to deserted places.”
and prayed. Jesus spends time in prayer on a regular basis. And also at key moments in his life and ministry.
Luke 3:21. Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus also had been baptized, and was praying. The sky was opened,
VERSE 17. On one of those days, he was teaching; and there were Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting by, who had come out of every village of Galilee, Judea, and Jerusalem. The power of the Lord was with him to heal them.
power of the Lord was with him. Does this imply the power for healing was sometimes NOT with him?
VERSE 18. Behold, men brought a paralyzed man on a cot, and they sought to bring him in to lay before Jesus.
VERSE 19. Not finding a way to bring him in because of the multitude, they went up to the housetop, and let him down through the tiles with his cot into the middle before Jesus.
Seeing their faith. There was visible evidence of their faith. The evidence was that they had taken such drastic steps to get the man in front of Jesus.
VERSE 21. The scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, “Who is this that speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?”
VERSE 22. But Jesus, perceiving their thoughts, answered them, “Why are you reasoning so in your hearts?
VERSE 23. Which is easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you;’ or to say, ‘Arise and walk?’
VERSE 24. But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” (he said to the paralyzed man), “I tell you, arise, take up your cot, and go to your house.”
VERSE 25. Immediately he rose up before them, and took up that which he was laying on, and departed to his house, glorifying God.
Immediately he rose up. The man was healed. Fully and immediately. And obviously. The Pharisees would not be able to explain it away.
VERSE 26. Amazement took hold on all, and they glorified God. They were filled with fear, saying, “We have seen strange things today.”
VERSE 27. After these things he went out, and saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the tax office, and said to him, “Follow me!”
Follow me. Are you a follower of Jesus Christ?
VERSE 28. He left everything, and rose up and followed him.
He left everything. Matthew left everything behind.
Are you willing to leave everything behind to follow Jesus Christ?
VERSE 29. Levi made a great feast for him in his house. There was a great crowd of tax collectors and others who were reclining with them.
VERSE 30. Their scribes and the Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with the tax collectors and sinners?”
VERSE 31. Jesus answered them, “Those who are healthy have no need for a physician, but those who are sick do.
I have … come to call … sinners. What was the mission of the Lord Jesus Christ? How did he himself define it? Here are the verses we find in the four gospels »
I have not come to call the righteous. Self-righteous people never want what Jesus has to offer. He does not waste his time on them.
VERSE 33. They said to him, “Why do John’s disciples often fast and pray, likewise also the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours eat and drink?”
VERSE 34. He said to them, “Can you make the friends of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them?
fast. Some people say that Christians are exclusively a “Resurrection People.” As such, they should not fast. Fasting, they say, is a type of grieving.
However, the overwhelming majority of Christians do indeed find the Spirituality of Fasting to be beneficial.
VERSE 35. But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them. Then they will fast in those days.”
the bridegroom will be taken away. According to the no-fasting interpretation we described in verse 34 above, this is a reference to when Jesus died on the cross. For three days he was taken away from them. That was the only time when it was proper for his followers to fast.
VERSE 36. He also told a parable to them. “No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old garment, or else he will tear the new, and also the piece from the new will not match the old.
VERSE 37. No one puts new wine into old wine skins, or else the new wine will burst the skins, and it will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed.
VERSE 38. But new wine must be put into fresh wine skins, and both are preserved.
new wine. The new wine is Jesus Christ himself. And also the things he calls us to do.
fresh wine skins. The new wineskins are people willing to embrace Jesus Christ. And anything he calls us to do.
In our day, most Christians see themselves as the new wineskins. They have accepted Jesus Christ into their lives. However, many are not willing to change their lives even if Jesus Christ called them to do so. Thus they have become old wineskins.
VERSE 39. No man having drunk old wine immediately desires new, for he says, ‘The old is better.’ ”
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.