Jesus Brings Radical Change {Luke 5}

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By Becky Bramlett Austin

This chapter emphasizes that Jesus came to make radical changes.  In fact, His presence meant everything had changed.  The chapter begins with Jesus teaching the crowds from a boat.  It is specifically mentioned that he climbed into Simon's boat. “And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking.” (V 4-6)

Sometimes we feel like Simon.  We have toiled a long time and we are tired and perhaps discouraged.  But, when Jesus is present, anything is possible, and it's His instruction that we must heed. He may not want us to quit.  He may just want us to see how drastically different circumstances can be when He is controlling the outcomes.  Our obedience becomes a vital part of building our faith. We have to respond as Simon who took action based solely on the Word of Jesus.  Put the Word of God into action and see the amazing provision of blessings He wants to provide. 

Jesus came to change our circumstances and our priorities.  He called the disciples away from their vocation as fishermen to make them "fishers of men." He called Levi, the tax collector, away from his vocation of extorting money to seek his treasures spiritually.  Notice their responses, these common men called to greater things...they immediately followed him. They also celebrated him, wanting to share the life changing experience with others. 

With Jesus came the new and the better.  He came, not to add to old religious observance and law but to fulfill the old and usher in a new condition of salvation built on grace and forgiveness.  Jesus tried to explain this to the fault finding religious leaders.   If you use new fabric to patch an old garment, the new fabric will shrink more than the old when washed and just cause the hole to be bigger. The new garment would also be ruined because you took an unnecessary piece out of it. Better to discard the old (the incomplete, imperfect law of works) and put on the new, complete (salvation by grace). 

The same holds true with the parable of the wine skins. New wine put into old skins causes swelling as it ferments, causing the old, less expandable skins to burst. This radical concept of Jesus being the fulfillment of the Law, however will not be an easy one for the religious leaders to embrace. They will cling to the familiar and old ways with stubborn tenacity.  They will not let go of their positions of self righteous piety to humble themselves and recognize their need for God's mercy and grace. 

 Even today, there are those who try to remain enslaved to the old by adding works as the means of salvation.   But according to Jesus, He is our salvation and we just have to accept that freely offered gift.   When we trust Jesus to forgive us and be our Savior, he climbs into our boat to take us into the deeper and deeper spiritual adventures of a radically changed life.

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