Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Luke 5:27-39

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Luke 5:27

tax collector. See note on 3:12. Levi. Also named Matthew (6:15; Matt. 9:9). One who would become an apostle and author of the Gospel that bears his name. Follow me. Phrase used by Jesus to call people to be his disciples (5:11; 9:23, 49, 57, 59, 61; 18:22, 28). This is essential Christianity, not a second level of maturity (see 5:32).

Luke 5:28

Levi had likely heard and seen Jesus's ministry because being called to follow him (vv. 15, 26). His committed response was similar to other disciples (v. 11) and indicative of basic discipleship (see 14:33; Matt. 19:27; Mark 10:28).

Luke 5:29

The large meal was given in honor of Jesus. Given who was in attendance, Levi probably intended them to hear his teaching as well. This is an example of Jesus identifying with society's outsiders (see 7:34; 15:2).

Luke 5:30

complaining. The word used by the Greek Old Testament to describe the Israel's wilderness grumbling (Exod. 15:24; 16:7-9, 12; 17:3; Num. 11:1; 14:2, 27, 29, 36; 16:11; 17:10). This was a regular complaint against Jesus (15:1-2; 19:7). eat and drink. In the culture of the day, one didn't invite enemies home for a meal. Table-fellowship was fellowship before God. This was about intimacy and friendship. Thus, Jesus's critics cannot fathom why he would be eating with tax collectors and sinners.

Luke 5:31-32

Jesus used a proverbial statement to respond to his critics. The religious leaders presumed they were righteous before God. Spiritually speaking, they were healthy, not in need of help. Only sinners who understand their spiritual sickness would be willing to accept help. This is why Jesus associated with the lowly who felt the depth of their sin (see 18:11-12; Ezek. 34:4).

Luke 5:33-39

disciples of John. Like Jesus, John had disciples. These men followed him and learned from him. John's disciples apparently made it a regular practice to fast. This was often seen as a sign of repentance and mourning (1 Sam. 7:6; Joel 1:14; Jon. 3:5). disciples of the Pharisees. Elsewhere we see that they fasted twice a week (18:12). However, this was done to impress others (18:14). Their hollow religion lacked a genuine heart for God (see Isa 58:4, 6; Matt. 6:16). your disciples. Pointing out that Jesus's disciples were never seen fasting was a criticism.

Luke 5:34

wedding. Since weddings were marked by joy, a religious act of mourning was inappropriate. bridegroom. An Old Testament picture of God in relationship to his people God (Isa. 54:5-6; 62:4-5; Jer. 2:2; Ezek. 16:8-14; Hos. 2:19-20). This imagery is applied to Jesus in the New Testament (2 Cor. 11:2-3; Eph. 5:24-27; Rev. 19:7-9; 21:2). His presence with this people was a time of joy, thus fasting wasn't appropriate.

Luke 5:35

taken away. A word of violence, which anticipates Jesus's death by crucifixion. Though Jesus would rise from the dead, he would also ascend back to the glory of his Father. they will fast. The time between Jesus's ascension and return is marked by joy (24:41, 52; Acts 8:8; 13:52). Nevertheless, it will be appropriate to long for his return with fasting (see Matt. 6:16-18; Rev. 22:20).

Luke 5:36-39

Jesus further explained why his disciples did not fast while he was with them (vv. 32-35). He used a parable to emphasize discontinuities with the past due to the newness of his kingdom. It would not fit the traditions and patterns of what came before. Jesus used two images to make this truth clear. new garment. A piece of cloth from an old garment had been used and washed. If used to repair a new garment, it would tear away when the new garment shrunk after washing. new wine. Wineskins were made of tanned animal skins. These were flexible and ideal for the gases produced by fermented wine. However, the skins eventually dried out and became brittle. If new wine was put into them, the skin would crack and break from the fermentation process. No one. The Pharisees had lives built completely around the old covenant. But the old covenant was pointing forward to something new, which had come in Jesus (22:20; Heb. 8:13). This new gospel could not simply be sown onto the old. But they could not see that and missed what Jesus was offering.

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