Luke 5:3
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.
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(3) He entered into one of the ships.—Our Lord would seem to have chosen this mode of teaching not unfrequently.

5:1-11 When Christ had done preaching, he told Peter to apply to the business of his calling. Time spent on week days in public exercises of religion, need be but little hinderance in time, and may be great furtherance to us in temper of mind, as to our worldly business. With what cheerfulness may we go about the duties of our calling, when we have been with God, and thus have our worldly employments sanctified to us by the word and prayer! Though they had taken nothing, yet Christ told them to let down their nets again. We must not abruptly quit our callings because we have not the success in them we desire. We are likely to speed well, when we follow the guidance of Christ's word. The draught of fishes was by a miracle. We must all, like Peter, own ourselves to be sinful men, therefore Jesus Christ might justly depart from us. But we must beseech him that he would not depart; for woe unto us if the Saviour depart from sinners! Rather let us entreat him to come and dwell in our hearts by faith, that he may transform and cleanse them. These fishermen forsook all, and followed Jesus, when their calling prospered. When riches increase, and we are tempted to set our hearts upon them, then to quit them for Christ is thankworthy.Which was Simon's - Simon Peter's.

Prayed him - Asked him.

He sat down - This was the common posture of Jewish teachers. They seldom or never spoke to the people "standing." Compare Matthew 5:1. It may be somewhat difficult to conceive why Jesus should go into a boat and put off from the shore in order to speak to the multitude; but it is probable that this was a small bay or cove, and that when he was "in" the boat, the people on the shore stood round him in the form of an amphitheater. It is not improbable that the lake was still; that scarcely a breeze passed over it; that all was silence on the shore, and that there was nothing to disturb his voice. In such a situation he could be heard by multitudes; and no spectacle could be more sublime than that of the Son of God - the Redeemer of the world - thus speaking from the bosom of a placid lake - the emblem of the peaceful influence of his own doctrines - to the poor, the ignorant, and the attentive multitudes assembled on the shore. Oh how much "more" effect may we suppose the gospel would have in such circumstances, than when proclaimed among the proud, the joyful, the honored, even when assembled in the most splendid edifice that wealth and art could finish!

3. taught … out of the ship—(See on [1571]Mt 13:2).Ver. 3-11. Here is a plain and orderly story, related with many circumstances, tending to show us the power and influence of God upon men’s successes, in their honest and ordinary callings, and also that God hath a command upon the fish in the sea; together with an account of Christ’s call of Simon Peter to be a preacher of the gospel. The only difficulty is to reconcile this to what Matthew tells us, Matthew 4:18,19, &c. Matthew’s words are these: And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. 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. And they immediately left the ship, and their father, and followed him. Mark’s relation doth much agree with Matthew’s. The differences are in these things:

1. Matthew and Mark speak of Christ’s calling these disciples as he was walking by the sea. Luke seems to mention it as done in the ship.

Answer: Luke doth not say that Christ spake so to Simon in the ship, though he doth indeed mention those words to Simon, before he mentions their bringing the ship to land, because possibly he would give account of all that Christ did or spake together.

2. a) They might be out of the ship, walking by the sea, before he called James and John, whose call Luke doth not mention, but Matthew and Mark alone.

b) Matthew and Mark mention no ships, nor going of Christ into any, nor any draught of fishes.

Answer: Matthew saith that he saw Simon and Andrew casting their nets into the sea. But there is nothing more ordinary than for one evangelist to relate more fully what another repeateth summarily.

3. Matthew and Mark speak of Andrew being with Simon; Luke mentions Simon alone.

Answer: Luke denies not that Andrew was there, and we are sure Simon alone could not manage the nets with such a draught of fishes.

4. Matthew and Mark speak of the calling of Simon, Andrew, James, and John; Luke only of the calling of Simon.

Answer: It doth not follow from thence that they were not called during Christ’s walk by the sea after he came out of the ship: Matthew and Mark assure us they were.

5. Matthew and Mark say that James and John were mending their nets.

Answer: Luke saith nothing to the contrary, for he doth not mention their call at that instant when Simon was. That immediately after such a draught of fishes their nets should want mending, and they be so employed, is nothing at all strange. So as it was like there was a little distance of time between the call of Peter and the others; yet Luke, omitting some circumstances mentioned by Matthew and Mark, as well as adding much to this history by them omitted, saith (at least) of more than one, they forsook all, and followed him. Hence appeareth that there may be a coherent history, taking in what all three evangelists say, only allowing that Christ came upon the shore, and walked by the sea side some short time, before he called James and John.

The history instructs us:

1. How good a thing it is for men to be employed in their honest callings, though never so mean. There God meets people with blessings.

2. How much it is our duty to yield obedience to God’s commands, and how advantageous it will prove, how contrary soever they appear to our sense and reason.

3. Upon whom our blessing depends, let our labour be what it will.

4. That it is the work of the ministers of the gospel to catch men, to gain souls to God.

5. How powerful God’s calls are: They forsook all, and followed him.

For the difference between what John saith, John 1:40,41, of the call of Andrew and Simon, from what the other three evangelists say, we have spoken something in our notes:

See Poole on "Matthew 4:18", and shall add more when we come to that place in John. In short, John speaketh of another time, before that either of them were called to follow Christ.

And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's,.... Simon Peter's, and Andrew his brother's, who were both together at this time, though the last is not here mentioned:

and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land: as Simon was the owner of the vessel, Christ desired him; he asked the favour of him to put off a little way from shore; though the Arabic and Ethiopic versions render it, "he commanded him", being his Lord and master: To which the Syriac and Persic versions agree; only they make the orders to be given not to Simon singly, but to others, to all in the boat; the former rendering it, and he said, or ordered, that they should carry him a little way from the dry land to the waters; and the latter thus, and said, carry ye the ship from dry land a little into the sea. And which adds, agreeable to the sense enough, though it is not in the text, "when they had executed his command": had done as he entreated, or ordered, and put off the vessel a little way from the shore:

he sat down and taught the people out of the ship; for the boat was not carried neither out of sight, nor beyond the hearing of the people: this method Christ took at another time, and that for conveniency, as now; see Matthew 13:1 and whereas he sat while he taught, this was according to the then custom of the times with the Jews; See Gill on Matthew 5:1.

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.
Luke 5:3. ἐμβὰς: this action of Jesus would be noticed of course, and would bring the owner to His side. It was Simon’s boat, the man whose mother-in-law, in Lk.’s narrative, had been healed of fever.—ἐπαναγαγεῖν, to put out to sea, here and in Luke 5:4 and Matthew 21:18 only.—ὀλίγον: just far enough to give command of the audience.—ἐδίδασκεν: this teaching from a boat took place again on the day of the parables (Matthew 13:2, Mark 4:1). But that feature does not appear in the corresponding narrative of Lk. (Luke 8:4). Did Peter’s call attract that feature from the later occasion in the tradition which Lk. followed?

3. he sat down] The ordinary attitude (as we have seen, Luke 4:20) for a sermon.

Luke 5:3. Ὃ ἦν, which was) Even then already his privilege of priority was given to Simon. [The other ship was that of Zebedee.—V. g.]—ἠρώτησεν) begged, as being not yet intimate with Him. [It seems that in different cases He used a different way of asking: for instance, Mark 3:9; Luke 19:5; Matthew 21:2-3; Matthew 26:18. Therefore it is not altogether likely that the call which we read of in Matthew 4:18-19, and in Mark 1:16-17, combined with the cure of Peter’s mother-in-law (Mark 1:30; Matthew 8:14 : comp. Luke 4:38), was prior to this call of Simon, related here by Luke.[55]—Harm., p. 211.] The Lord does not immediately promise to them the draught of fishes: He first puts to the proof the obedience of Simon.—ἐπαναγαγεῖν) to thrust back again. So Luke 5:4, and Matthew 21:18. The prepositions have the same force in ἐπάνειμι, ἐπανέρχομαι, ἐπανήκω, ἐπανακάμπτω, κ.τ.λ. (viz. again, or back again).

[55] Consult, however, Birks’ Horæ Evangelicæ, in which the probability is shown, that the call of Simon, recorded Matthew 4:18, Mark 1:16, preceded this call, Luke 5:1, when the Lord, after the first preparatory call, now, at the close of the intervening circuit of Galilee, ch. Luke 4:44, Matthew 4:23, by the striking miracle, Luke 5:8-9, draws Simon into closer and more permanent union with Him. The call here comes after, that in Mark and Matt. before, Simon’s mother-in-law is cured. As to the word ἠρώτησεν here, there is nothing in it inconsistent with His having given Simon the preparatory call previously: He asks a favour from Simon, as one already a disciple.—ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 3. - And he sat down, as in the synagogue of Capernaum - the usual attitude of the Jewish preachers. Luke 5:3Thrust out (ἐπαναγαγεῖν)

Rev., put out. The special nautical word for putting out to sea.

Taught (ἐδίδασκεν)

The imperfect. He continued the teaching he had begun on the shore.

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