Luke Series- Session 9- Luke 5:1-11



  • This week our family moved to Findlay, and we are so excited about that.
  • We had a bunch of you come and help us to move.
  • At one point I was not sure if we would get our bed up the stairs, but with Kevin and Doc Berry’s help we made it.
  • One thing we did this week is went and toured the school that our girls will go to starting Monday.
  • It got me thinking about education, and the importance of it.  We live in an incredible nation, in an incredible time in History where everyone that wants to get an education can get it.
  • We have so many ways to learn and grow even beyond school today.  When we teach people how to think rather than just what to think, the sky is the limit.


  • When it came to the culture in Jesus’ day, you need understand that education, especially religious education, was highly valued.  Synagogues were used from an early age to teach kids in the law. 
  • Robby Gallaty, in his book “Rediscovering Discipleship” tells about how children, starting at age 5, went through the first of three potential stages of schooling.
  • The first stage was called Bet Sefer, which means “House of the Book”.  At this level boys and girls were taught to read and write using the Torah.
  • The second stage was called Bet Talmud, which means the “House of Learning”, where they would study the rest of the books of the Old Testament and some oral teaching.
  • The best of the best would go on to the third stage, called the Bet Midrash or “the house of study”. 
  • Not all that tried to get to this stage passed the test to get in.  Those who did not would end their formal education and go back to learn and take on the trade of their family. 
  • There is honor in good hard work in the trade that was taught by a parent and handed down to a child. 
  • Yet, we know that if a person was in one of those trades, they did not make the cut to be the best of the best. 
  • This level of study was entered into by a disciple following a rabbi. 
    • The disciple would go to the rabbi and try to make the cut. 
    • The rabbi would ask questions of the would-be disciple, and see if he was bright enough to become one of his disciples. 
    • The best rabbi’s would wait for the best students to line up and be considered a disciple. 
    •  He would ask them difficult questions.  If the pupil made the cut, the rabbi would tell him “Lech Aharai” which could be translated as “follow me” or “walk after me”. 
    • This meant that they would now be the disciple of that rabbi. 
    • By saying to them “walk after me”, they were saying “go where I go, act like I act, learn what I know, and do what I say”.    
    • The term “follow me” had that kind of cultural connotation. 
      • When you say the word “semper fi” in our culture you think of the marines.
      • In that culture everyone knew what “follow me” meant.  It meant that a formal relationship to become a disciple was being offered.
  • Names like Harvard and Yale carry weight in some academic circles.  In that day the best disciples wanted to follow the best and most well-known rabbis. 
  • Rabbi’s wanted to have notable disciples. 
  • Do you remember that the apostle Paul was a disciple of Gamaliel?

I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.
Acts 22:3 

  • If a disciple heard “follow me” from a rabbi, they would enter this relationship at about 14 and would learn until they themselves could become a rabbi, which happened at about 30 years old.
  • The words of Jesus were inspired.  So were His methods.
  • Jesus, a master-teacher and rabbi, is doing what rabbi’s do, but He is different.  He is not just a mere rabbi.  It is clear in this passage that He is God.
  • Jesus has a master plan.  Often it may seem that what He was doing was random, but we must remember that He was not random or arbitrary in His ministry.
  • His plan was to call disciples, but the good news is he was not waiting for the most qualified to come to Him. 
  • Instead, He went out to people who were not qualified as the world deems qualification. 
  • He looked for and called ordinary men, and then made them qualified. 
  • Men were His method.
  • Then he sent the men he discipled out on the same mission- to make disciples.
  • So today, this is your calling and mine as well.  God’s will for you and I is to not just be converts, but to be disciples.  How do we follow Christ in discipleship?

By observing 4 responses found in this passage we can know what it means to follow Jesus in discipleship.

Response #1- Identify. V.1-7


  • And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,  
  • Jesus is teaching.  He is an incredible teacher. 
  • Jesus teaches as one having authority. 
  • He does not have to appeal to other of his contemporary teachers.  He, being God in the flesh, teaches of His own authority.
  •  Here he is on the shores of the lake of Gennesaret, otherwise known as the sea of Galilee.

(2)  And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.  (3)  And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship. 

  • The word “ships” here is a good translation, because these were fishing boats that were large enough to have several fishermen, plus helpers. 
  • This was Simon’s boat, which we know later there were 12 disciples plus Jesus in either this ship itself or a ship like it. 
  • There were so many people coming to see Jesus and hear him speak that they were pressing him toward the water. 
  • Jesus gets on to Simon’s boat to use it as a sort of makeshift platform.  Being on the water creates great acoustics.   
  • He gets in the boat and asks Simon to push him out into the water to give enough distance between the crowd and him.
  • Now here we see two parts to Jesus ministry.
  • Jesus taught publicly to large crowds, but He also poured His life into a small group of men. 
  • It is obvious He has been working in the life of Simon, who He will later rename Peter. 
  • He does something in his life here to help Him respond rightly to His call of discipleship.
  • Look at Jesus’ command.

(4)  Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. 

  • Think about this imperative. 
    • He is telling them to go back out, which means
      • taking the boats back out,
      • fishing in the middle of the day, and
      • getting their nets that they were just cleaning dirty again.
  • In a sense they could have been thinking, “You’re a rabbi, not a fisherman.  You’re good at Bible things, and we know about lake things.”
  • Jesus was asking them to do something that tested their faith in him. 
  • I am sure they did not totally understand why He was asking them to do something like this. 
  • Look at Simon’s response:

(5)  And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.

  • The term “master” would have been a traditional way to address a rabbi. 
  • Simon had a respect for Jesus, but His perspective on Jesus was about to grow. 
  • He tells Jesus reasons why this command made no natural sense. 
  • If they had not caught anything at night when fishing was good, why would they catch anything in the day, while the fishing was bad?
  • Yet, Simon obeyed.  Notice what happened as a result of his obedience. 

(6)  And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.  (7)  And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.

  • What an incredible miracle!
    • They did what did not make sense to them because they were obeying Jesus.
    • They were overwhelmed at the catch. 
    • They called the other ship over to help with the catch.
    • They filled up both boats until they were both riding exceptionally low in the water.
  • Jesus Christ demonstrated his knowledge and control over the natural world. 
  • It is clear through this miracle that Jesus is not just any other rabbi.
  • Jesus is God, and He wants his disciples to know it. 
  • He wanted them to identify Him correctly.


  • When it comes to following Jesus as one of His disciples, we must identify Him correctly. 
  • He is not just another teacher. 
  • He is not just another religious figure, like all the others. 
  • He is not just a good example. 
  • Jesus Christ is God. 
  • He teaches of His own authority because He is God. 
  • He is in control over the created universe because He is Creator God. 
  • As Creator He has a right to call us to follow Him in discipleship.  It is His grace and mercy to call us to this high calling.
  • To follow Jesus rightly, we must identify Him correctly.  He is the Lord Jesus Christ!

By observing 4 responses found in this passage we can know what it means to follow Jesus in discipleship.

Response #1- Identify.

Response #2- Submit.

  • Simon Peter saw the evidence of the working of Jesus. 
  • They saw His Work and properly identified Him as more than a rabbi. 
  • When He experienced the power of God, and recognized Him as Holy, the right response was to submit to His authority, and recognize His own sinfulness. 
  • The very presence of Jesus became a testimony against the sinfulness of Simon Peter. 
  • And so, his right response to this miracle was an attitude of submission.

(8)  When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. (9)  For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken:  (10)  And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.  Luke 5:8-10

And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. Matthew 4:19 


  • It is one thing to identify Jesus correctly. 
  • This is absolutely necessary. 
  • But it is not enough to just identify Jesus as God. We must respond in submission to Him.
  • We must recognize who we are in relation to His identity.
  • When we recognize Him as Lord then we must recognize ourselves as sinful. 
  • This is much like Isaiah’s response when He encountered the Holiness and power of God in His call in Isaiah 6.

In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.  (2)  Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.  (3)  And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.  (4)  And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.  (5)  Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.

Isaiah 6:1-5 

  • The right response to the identity of Jesus is submission to Him.  We recognize our sin and confess Him as Lord and Savior.

Luke 9:23

(23)  And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself

By observing 4 responses found in this passage we can know what it means to follow Jesus in discipleship.

Response #1- Identify.

Response #2- Submit.

Response #3- Forsake and Follow

  • Once the disciples saw the miracle of Jesus they could not help but identify Jesus as something much more than a rabbi. 
  • They identified Him as God. 

(11)  And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.

Luke 5:11

  • This was not always the case during Jesus life.  Often when Jesus did His greatest miracles people rejected Him.
  • After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, the religious leaders were so afraid that people would believe in Jesus instead of following them that they began to plan his execution.
  • This is not the response of the disciples. 
  • Their identification of Jesus caused them to respond in submission to His authority, which lead logically to the third response. 
  • Jesus called them to “follow Him”. 
  • Going after Jesus, or “walking after Jesus” meant that they were to go where He went, do as He did, and learn what He knew.
  • In verses 27 and 28 we see Jesus’ calling of Levi, also known as Matthew, the tax collector. 
  • Jesus went to this publican, a tax collector, who was defrauding his fellow countrymen on behalf of their foreign oppressors to enrich himself. 
  • Jesus went to this guy, with all his issues, and called him to discipleship.  “Follow me”.  Notice what he said he did:

And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him, Follow me.  (28)  And he left all, rose up, and followed him.

Luke 5:27-28

  • By leaving, these men were forsaking what they were doing before. 
  • They could not follow Jesus the way He was demanding and not leave the things they were currently doing behind. 
  • Following the master meant leaving the ships. 
  • Matthews account said this about James and John.

Mat 4:21-22   And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.  (22)  And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.

  • Jesus said much about what it meant to follow Him. 
  • He often connected following Him with forsaking their current life.

And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.  (20)  And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.  (21)  And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.  (22)  But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.

Matthew 8:19-22 

And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?  (19)  And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.  (20)  Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother.  (21)  And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up.  (22)  Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.  (23)  And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.  (24)  And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!

Luk 18:18-24 

  • After that rich young man made the decision to not follow Jesus because of His possessions, and Jesus made the point that this often kept people from following in discipleship, Peter noted something about their response to Jesus’ call:

Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee.  (29)  And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake,  (30)  Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting. 
Luke 18:28-30 

  • There is a reward, it is just not always in the right here, right now.  Our reward is in heaven!

And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.  (24)  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.

Luk 9:23-24 


  • You cannot go north and south at the same time.  You cannot go east and west concurrently. 
  • To follow Jesus, to become Jesus’ disciple, means that you must forsake the things that keep you from being His disciple. 
  • There is a sacrifice. 
  • We must deny ourselves.

By observing 4 responses found in this passage we can know what it means to follow Jesus in discipleship.

Response #1- Identify.

Response #2- Submit.

Response #3- Forsake and Follow.

Response #4- Fish.

  • The call to follow Jesus did mean that there was a call to forsake, but it was also a call to something else. 
  • Here Jesus alludes to what He was calling them to do. 
  • He was not just calling them to be better people for the sake of just being better people. 
  • He was not calling them to just deny themselves to make them more pious, religious, or better citizens. 
  • No, he was calling them to His mission.  Why did Jesus come?

For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.  Luke 19:10 

  • Jesus told Peter that the result of His identifying Jesus as God, submitting to His authority and forsaking all to follow Him would be that He would partake in his mission. 

(10) And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.

  • To follow Jesus means we will fish for men.


Over the years I have learned that there is a learning by telling, and there is a learning by doing.  There is a young man that was loosely connected with our church, coming from time to time, but not super faithful. 

We had a visitation program called “GROW” where we would go connect with people that visited our church.  We must have visited his house half a dozen times and never caught them home.  Then we made a phone call and invited him to our class and He came. 

At the end of the first time He was in class He started asking me questions.  I noticed he was hungry so I set up a time for coffee.  Coffee led to more conversations.  Over time we started doing a discipleship group together.  His wife got saved and baptized.

Then one day I was like, hey Josh, we’ve been doing these lessons on sharing your faith.  Let’s go do that on GROW.

The first night he went with me and we got to lead a young lady to the Lord and witness to her husband.  Josh was pumped!  He was like, can we go again?  So he came back that Saturday morning and we got to lead a young man to the Lord.   That rarely happens.

After that, Josh barely missed our GROW outreach time.  I remember the first night where he didn’t go with me and he took someone else.  He called me to tell me that he had lead someone to Christ, and I it was so cool because we had that same night as well.

  • It’s one thing to tell someone to share their faith, but it’s another thing to go do it with them. 
  • This is what Jesus did.  He took these disciples with them.  They followed Him, and the result was that they learned how to reach people.
  • We also see this as the result of the calling of Levi in our passage.

And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him, Follow me.  (28)  And he left all, rose up, and followed him.  (29)  And Levi made him a great feast in his own house: and there was a great company of publicans and of others that sat down with them.  

  • Once Levi followed Jesus, everything He had was being used to point people to Jesus. 
  • Notice in verse 29 he used his house, his possessions, and his connections to get people to Jesus.
  • This is even the nature of Jesus’ process with the disciples. 
    • At the beginning he tells them to “follow me”.  Be with me.  Walk where I walk.  Do what I do.  Learn what I know. 
    • The scripture says:

Mar 3:14 And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him,

  • But notice, at least in part why they should be with him.

and that he might send them forth to preach, And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils: 

  • They were with Him so that He could send them out to do His mission.

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.  (19)  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  (20)  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Mat 28:18-20 

  • Do not miss the last part of verse 20. 
  • “And, lo…”.  Lo, means “behold”, “look at this”, or “take note”.  Take note of what?  “I am with you alway”.
  • They were with Him so that they could become fishers of men, so that then they could be sent out to make disciples of all nations.  And when they were sent, He went with them.
  • “Them with him” lead to “him with them”.  His mission became their mission.
  • The end of discipleship, following Jesus, is always sending and service.


  • It is not enough to just grow in your walk with the Lord to be a little nicer, kinder, better with your money, or have a better marriage. 
  • Clearly all these things are possible, desirable, and even necessary. 
  • But if Jesus wanted to make us perfect alone, He would take us to heaven right when we got saved. 
  • In the rest of this passage, we will see Jesus’ mission. 
  • He has called us to be on mission where the people who need Him are- in the here and now, with those who need him most.
  • Look at the difference, again, between the religious leaders and Jesus and His disciples.

(30)  But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners?

  • The scribes and the pharisees were very pious. 
  • They studied the scriptures intensely.  They knew the scriptures.  They memorized whole books of the Bible. 
  • They were zealous for Judaism and for the Old Testament at a level.  But they also missed the whole point.
  • The scribes and pharisees loved Bible study.  They loved the temple.  They loved gathering with people in the synagogues.  They loved preaching.  They even loved people who looked godly like they did.
  • The scribes and pharisees believed that they had it all together.  They thought that they were good with God because of their own righteousness.
  • These people asked Jesus, “Why are you hanging out with tax collectors and sinners?”
  • One could reword it this way, “Jesus, why are you calling someone that is a publican into discipleship?  What kind of rabbi are you?  Our disciples are the best of the best.  It seems like your disciples are the worst of the worst.  And look at the outcome- now you are even hanging out with the worst of the worst.”
  • Notice Jesus response:

(31)  And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick.  (32)  I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

  • Let me ask you a question:  Were the publicans sinners, but not the pharisees?
  • Of course not. 
  • The Bible says, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
  • Jesus was not saying that the pharisees did not need forgiveness.  Jesus was saying that the ones that He could save were the ones that recognized their need for a Savior.

 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:  (10)  Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.  (11)  The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.  (12)  I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.  (13)  And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.  (14)  I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Luke 18:9-14 

  • Jesus reserved his harshest criticism for people who refused to understand their own sinfulness.
  • To Jesus, these men were asking, “Why are you eating with the mission field?”  The answer, “The mission field is who needs to be reached.”


  • When we spend our time trying to be righteous without growing to be fishers of men, we are being more like the pharisees than the disciples of Jesus Christ. 
  • This does not mean that we are for sin.  We hate the sin that causes people to be separated from God.  We hate our own sin and pursue Jesus.
  • But in the meantime, we do not hate the sinner.  We do not hate our own mission field.
  • The point of discipleship is to glorify God by observing everything Jesus taught so that we can be sent on His mission.


Who do you need to fish for today?


By observing 4 responses found in this passage we can know what it means to follow Jesus in discipleship.

Keyword: Response


Response #1- Identify.

Response #2- Submit.

Response #3- Forsake and Follow.

Response #4- Fish.