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Proof of Jesus's Deity

February 4, 2018 Speaker: Dr. Rick Gregory Series: Luke

Topic: Authority of Christ Verse: Luke 5:1–5:11

“Proofs of Jesus’ Deity”

Luke 5:1-11

Theme: The more someone comes to know Jesus, the more motivated they become to serve Him. 

I. Jesus Is the Source of Truth – 5:1-3

A. Jesus Powerfully Announced the Truth – v. 1

  • Jesus’ popularity continues to grow as He preaches and performs such dramatic miracles as they were able to observe Him do.
  • The number of miracles performed, and messages proclaimed by Christ far exceeded what was recorded for us – even in the cumulative record of the four Gospels – cp. John 20:30-31; 21:25
  • Yet, as Jesus continued to seek the glory of the Father, “it happened that while the crowd was pressing around Him and listening to the word of God …”
  • In an era when there was very little that was spectacular, Jesus provided an attraction to people who lived otherwise boring and monotonous lives.
  • They all wanted to be within reach of Jesus, “pressing around Him” [ἐπίκειμαι] – a reference to coming into contract with something or pushing or shoving.
  • What compelled them was that they were “listening” [ἀκούω] – to what He was saying – wanting to hear every word.
  • What they heard is here described to be something very special – “the Word of God” – [τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ] – most likely a “subjective genitive” meaning that the source of the word is God – they heard God when Jesus spoke.
  • They were hearing things that they’d never heard before, or if they had heard it, they were hearing it differently – with an awareness of the truth of what was being said.
  • Something that was a great privilege for them – and they didn’t fully grasp the significance of their blessing – was that they were hearing truth from Him who was the truth – cp. John 1:14, 17; 14:6
  • There was little more important to Jesus than to announce the truth of God – for the glory of God and constantly devoted Himself to this proclamation .

B. Jesus Prioritized Availability of the Truth – vv. 2-3

  • He was “standing by the lake of Gennesaret” – a reference to the Sea of Galilee & “Gennesaret” denotes the plain on the northwest section of the Sea of Galilee.
  • Apparently, Peter had been fishing and had come ashore there where Jesus was preaching (they were living in nearby Capernaum).
  • "He saw two boats lying at the edge of the lake; but the fisherman had gotten out of them and were washing their nets” – their fishing for the day was finished and they were doing the necessary mainten-ance to care for their nets.
  • Since the boats were not being used, Jesus saw an opportunity to use them for His own purpose – to enable more people to hear – “And He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little way from the land.”
  • This was a very significant moment in the relationship between Jesus and Peter, as we shall see, Peter didn’t use the boat again in the same way as He had done previously as he “left everything and followed” Christ after this event.
  • Jesus innovation provided Him the freedom from the pushing by the crowd, visibility by more people, the ability to sit down, and amplification off the water (acoustics improved) – “And He sat down and began teaching the people from the boat.”
  • Jesus wanted to most number of people possible to hear what He had to say – His commitment was to the preaching and teaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom so that salvation could be made available to the maximum number of people!

Application:

  • Think about the phrase “listening to the Word of God;” What does that look like in your life?
  • What does Jesus action of getting into the boat and moving offshore tell you about His desire for people to hear the Word of God?
  • How eager and faithfully do you pursue the ability to listen to the Word of God? 

II. Jesus Is Sovereign over Creation – 5:4-7

A. The “Farfetched” Command by Jesus  – vv. 4-5a

  • As mentioned above, Jesus’ & Peter’s relationship changed dramatically during this event.
  • “When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, ‘Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.’”
  • Every job has its least favorite responsibility and washing the nets was one.
  • Peter had already washed the nets after a long night of fishing – “Simon answered and said, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing …”
  • The inference of this statement is that it seems like such a waste to have to soil the nets again.
  • Additionally, fishing was most productive at night and then fisherman would use the mornings to wash and repair their nets, taking time to rest in the heat of the day before going back out at night.

B. The Faithless Compliance by Peter – v. 5b

  • Peter was apparently tired, discouraged, and eager to rest but in response to Jesus farfetched request, he said “I will do as You say and let down the nets.”
  • There are times in our walk of faith when what God asks of us from His Word seems to be totally futile and fruitless as we have tried (in our own strength) to resolve problems, revive relationships, or gain success only to fail.
  • Then we come across some instruction in Scripture that seems to us to be senseless – “Really? Should I expect to catch fish in the middle of the day?”
  • Peter basically felt that doing what Christ asked him to do was futile, but he did it because Jesus had asked him to.

C. The Fruitful Consequence of Obedience – vv. 6-7.

  • The result was overwhelming! – “When they had done this, they enclosed a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break.”
  • Nothing could have prepared them for such a catch – exceeding anything that they had ever experienced even at night.
  • But Jesus, having both the knowledge and power to control even schools of fish, causing the need for reinforcements – “… so they signaled to their partners in the other boat for them to come and help them.”
  • They kept hauling fish into the boat until they were at capacity + “Andy they came and filled both of the boats, so that they began to sink.”
  • They had to stop bringing the fish into the boat or imperil their vessels – such an overwhelming display of Christ’s power and sovereign control over His creation.
  • Obedience had brought the full blessing of God upon them so that they couldn’t handle the gracious provision of God.

Application:

  • How does Jesus’ instruction to Peter re: fishing demonstrate His sovereignty?
  • Peter’s initial response to Jesus was one of doing what Jesus asked was futile - do you ever feel similarly? Why do we do this with God’s Word?
  • What lesson was taught to Peter and the others about Jesus in this experience?

III. Jesus Is the Sanctifier for His Followers - 5:8-11

A. The Convicting Power of Grace – vv. 8-9

  • Jesus’ purpose in this miracle is to demonstrate to Peter and the other disciples exactly who Jesus is – the Son of God in whom the fullness of the godhead dwells in bodily form – cp. Colossians 2:9
  • The demonstration of Jesus’ omnipotence provides Peter the glimpse of God’s glory and it completely unnerved him – “But when Simon Peter saw that, he fell down at Jesus’ feet, saying, ‘Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!’”
  • Peter realized that he was in the presence of God and he was crushed by the unworthiness and inadequacy to be there.
  • “Peter fully aware that if he saw deity, deity saw him too, and realizing that the One who could see the depths of the lake could see the depths of his heart, felt exposed.”[1]
  • We are told that not only Peter, but the others were also overwhelmed – “For amazement had seized him and all his companions because of the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon.”
  • “Amazement” [θάμβος] – is the same word used in verse 4:36 and refers to “a state of astonishment brought on by exposure to an unusual event” caused by deity.
  • Encountering the grace of God always energizes a sinner to address sin as one’s first interest – cp. Titus 2:11-12.
  • As we look at other biblical accounts of encountering the glory of God, it always results on a profound sense of unworthiness and fear:
  1. Abraham – Genesis 18:27
  2. Job – Job 42:5-6
  3. Manoah – Judges 13:22
  4. Israel – Exodus 20:18-19
  5. Isaiah – Isaiah 6:5
  6. Ezekiel – Ezekiel 1:28
  7. John – Revelation 1:17

B. The Compelling Call to Serve – vv. 10-11

  • Yet, God’s grace – while allowing us to perceive the mortal liability of our sin, also provides us deliverance from our sin – “And Jesus said to Simon, ‘Do not fear, from now on you will be catching men.’”
  • The impulse of a sinner is to somehow escape the terrifying presence of a holy God – yet Jesus desires to reconcile and deliver from sin so that fellowship with Him can exist.
  • Here Jesus assures Peter that His grace provides the solution for His sin – and not for his alone, but for any others who Peter can reach with the good news of salvation.
  • “catching men” is a reference to evangelizing those who are in need of salvation – an analogy to the great catch of fish they had just seen supernaturally provided.
  •  The fear that is created by our violation of the holiness of God is handled through the grace of God whereby we are able to instead do His will.
  • We are told that from here on in Peter’s life, he was devoted to following Christ – “When they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him.”
  • At the height of their careers as fisherman, they “left everything and followed Him,” a very significant step as they themselves noted – cp. Matthew 19:27.
  • This marks Jesus’ formal call for them to become full-time followers as the initiation of their ultimate role as Apostles.
  • Yet, this is the very “career” to which all of us are called – to serve the Master as those who seek to win the lost to faith in Him – Matthew 4:19; 1 Peter 2:9-10.

Application:

  • What is a “normal” response to encountering the majesty of Jesus?
  • How do we overcome our “fear” in response to Jesus?
  • Have you ever “fished” for someone? Should you be?

 

[1] MacArthur, p. 307.

More in Luke

August 12, 2018

What Makes Great Faith?

August 5, 2018

Wise Men and Fools

July 29, 2018

Fruit Inspection (Part 2)