Luke 5:5
And Simon answering said to him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at your word I will let down the net.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(5) Master, we have toiled all the night.—The word translated Master (epistates) is not the same as that (didaskalos, teacher) in the other Gospels, and often in this also, and is peculiar to St. Luke. It implies a less distinct recognition of our Lord’s character as a teacher or Rabbi, and was more the language of general respect, such as workmen might use of their master. Here, however, St. Peter’s language implies the previous discipleship which we learn from John 1:35-43.

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.Master - This is the first time that the word here translated "Master" occurs in the New Testament, and it is used only by Luke. The other evangelists call him Rabbi, or Lord. The word here used means a "prefect," or one placed "over" others, and hence, it comes to mean "teacher" or "guide."

At thy word - At thy command. Though it seemed so improbable that they would take anything after having in vain toiled all night, yet he was willing to trust the word of Jesus and make the trial. This was a remarkable instance of "faith." Peter, as it appears, knew little then of Jesus. He was not then a chosen apostle. Jesus came to these fishermen almost a stranger and unknown, and yet at his command Peter resolved to make another trial, and go once more out into the deep. Oh, if all would as readily obey him, all would be in like manner blessed. If sinners would thus obey him, they would find all his promises sure. He never disappoints. He asks only that we have "confidence" in him, and he will give to us every needful blessing.

5. Master—betokening not surely a first acquaintance, but a relationship already formed.

all night—the usual time of fishing then (Joh 21:3), and even now Peter, as a fisherman, knew how hopeless it was to "let down his net" again, save as a mere act of faith, "at His word" of command, which carried in it, as it ever does, assurance of success. (This shows he must have been already and for some time a follower of Christ.)

See Poole on "Luke 5:3". And Simon answering said unto him, master,.... Or Rabbi, as the Syriac version renders it: he knew him to be the Messiah, the king of Israel, and a teacher sent from God:

we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing; which carries in it an objection to what Christ advised and directed to: they had been fishing that "night", which was the best time for catching fish; and they had been at it all the night, and had "laboured" hard; and were even "fatigued", and quite wearied out; and what was most discouraging of all, their labour was in vain; they had caught "nothing":

nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net; which showed faith in Christ, and obedience to him: thus the faithful preachers of the Gospel, sometimes labour and toil in the ministry of the word a great while, with little or no success; and are discouraged from going on, and would be tempted to leave off, were it not for the commission and word of command they have received from Christ, which they dare not be disobedient to; and for the word of promise he has given them, to be with them, on which they depend.

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

(b) The word signifies someone that has rule over anything.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Luke 5:5. ἐπιστάτα: Lk.’s name for Jesus as Master, six times; a Greek term for Gentile readers instead of Rabbi = (1) Master, then (2) Teacher, “qui enim magistri doctrinae erant, ii magistri simul vitae esse solebant,” Kypke.—ἐπὶ τῷ ῥήματί σου, at Thy word or bidding. Success was doubly improbable: it was day, and in deep water; fish were got at night, and near shore. The order, contrary to probability, tempts to symbolic interpretation: the deep sea the Gentile world; Peter’s indirect objection symbol of his reluctance to enter on the Gentile mission, overcome by a special revelation (Acts 10). So Holtz., H. C.5. let down] Rather, let ye down. The first command is in the singular, and is addressed to Peter only as “the pilot of the Galilaean Lake.”

Master] The word is not Rabbi as in the other Evangelists,—a word which Gentiles would not have understood but Epistata (in its occasional classic sense of ‘teacher’) which is peculiar to St Luke 5:5; Luke 8:24; Luke 8:45; Luke 9:33; Luke 9:49; Luke 17:13. These are the only places where it occurs.Luke 5:5. Ῥήματί σου, at Thy word) Peter had become sensible of the power of Jesus’ words. The same faith is displayed on his part in Matthew 14:28, “Lord—bid me come to Thee on the water.”Verse 5. - Master. The word in the original so rendered is not Rabbi, as in the other Gospels, but ἐπίστατα, Teacher. The Jewish term would not have been understood by the Gentile reader for whom the story was especially intended. Master (ἐπιστάτα)

Used by Luke only, and always with reference to Jesus. He never uses Rabbi, as John especially. Wyc., commander.

Toiled (κοπιάσαντες)

From κόπος, suffering, weariness; and therefore indicating exhausting toil.

At thy word (ἐπί)

Relying on: on the ground of.

The net (δίκτυον)

A general term for a net, whether for fish or fowl. See on Matthew 4:18. Some, as Rev., read τὰ δίκτυα, the nets.

Brake (διεῤῥήγνυτο)

Some texts read διερήσσετο, from the later form of the verb. The difference is unimportant. The A. V. fails to give the force of the imperfect, were breaking, as Rev.; or even better, possibly, began to break. Trench suggests were at the point to break. The word occurs also at Luke 8:29; Acts 14:14, and only twice beside in the New Testament. Luke alone uses the two compounds περιῤῥήγνυμι, of rending off clothes (see on Acts 16:22), and, προσρήγνυμι to beat violently (Luke 6:48, Luke 6:49). See on those passages. All the words occur in medical writings.

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