Luke 5.1-39 will tell us about the first talmidim, the healing of a leper and a paralyzed man, the calling of Levi/Matthew, and fasting.
v 1…Now it came about (came to be as a result of the excitement of his teachings and miracles) that while the multitude was pressing around him and listening to the word of God (the Torah about the kingdom of God, etc), he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret (meaning “harp”-see our teaching called “Why Yeshua Taught in Galilee and the Sea of Galilee” on this site for a deeper meaning into this lake);
v 2…and he saw two boats (not engaged in fishing or commerce) lying (anchored) by the edge of the lake, but the fishermen had gotten out of them, and were washing their nets (cleaning them for the next day).
v 3…And he got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s (Hebrew “Shimon” meaning to hear), and asked him to put out a little way from the land (away from shore so that the crowds would not overturn the boat). And he sat down and began teaching the multitudes from the boat.
v 4…And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch (as a reward for using his boat as a platform to speak from).”
v 5…And Simon answered and said, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but at your word (advice) I will let down the nets.”
v 6…And when they had done this, they enclosed (encircled) a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break (tear apart);
v 7…and they signaled to their partners in the other boat, for them to come and help them. And they came, and filled both of the boats, so that they began to sink (too much weight).
v 8…But when Simon Peter saw, he fell down at Yeshua’s knees (feet), saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord (as defined by the Torah-he recognized he was in the presence of one sent from God)!”
v 9…For amazement (he was shook up) had seized and all his companions because of the catch of fish which they had taken;
v 10 and so also James (Jacob) and John (Yochanon) sons of Zebedee (Benai Zabbadai) who were partners with Simon. And Yeshua said to Simon, “Do not fear, from now on you will be catching men (literally “sons of Adam”).
v 11…And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him (their world as they knew it; they were being prepared all along for this by Yehovah so they were ready).
v 12…And it came about (occurred) that while he was in one of the cities, behold (see), there was a man full of leprosy (Hebrew “tzara’at” and one with tzara’at was called a “metzora.” This is not the modern “leprosy” called Hansen’s Disease. This “tzara’at” is something different because the symptoms don’t match, you went to a priest not a doctor, they change quickly, and one totally covered with tzara’at is declared “clean” in Lev 13.13. All of this makes no medical sense, but it is a hint to the spiritual nature of the problem; uncleanness contaminates and it is a heart issue) and when he saw Yeshua, he fell on his face and implored him, saying, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean (ritually).”
v 13…And he stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing, be cleansed.” And immediately the leprosy (tzara’at) left him
v 14…And he ordered him to tell no one, “But go and show yourself to the priest (lest out of ill-will for Yeshua they refuse to say he was clean) and make an offering for your cleansing, just as Moses (Torah) commanded (Lev 14.1-32) for a testimony to them (the Torah commands).”
v 15…But the news about him was spreading even farther, and great multitudes were gathering to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses.
v 16…But he himself would often slip away to the wilderness to pray (effective prayer requires this).
v 17…And it came about one day (“one of the days”) that he was preaching and there were some Pharisees (probably from Beit Shammai) and teachers of the Law (Torah) sitting there, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem; and the power of the Lord was present for him to perform healing (for the multitude).
v 18…And behold, men were carrying on a bed a man who was paralyzed, and they were trying to bring him in, and to set him down in front of him (in hopes that this would move him to compassion and heal him).
v 19…And not finding a way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down through the tiles with his stretcher, right in the center, in front of Yeshua.
v 20…And seeing their faith (by action, works-Jam 2.18), he said, Friend, (literally “adam” or man), your sins (have been and) are forgiven (this is not a command for sin to depart, but a proclamation of the man’s pardoned state).”
v 21…And the scribes and the Pharisees (from Beit Shammai who opposed Yeshua) began to reason (within themselves-religion always opposes faith), “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
v 22…But Yeshua, aware of their reasonings (within themselves), answered and said to them, “Why are you reasoning in your hearts (he said this to expose them)?
v 23…Which is easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk (obviously to say your sins are forgiven can’t be seen, so to heal the man could be seen, showing that for Yeshua, both were seen as easy; neither of these could be accomplished by a mere man)?
v 24…But in order that you may know that the son of Man (Bar Enosh of Dan 7.13 and a Messianic title) has authority on earth to forgive sins (so that you know his sins were forgiven because you will see him walk; and they can’t accuse him of blasphemy), he said to the paralytic, ‘I say to you, rise, and take up your stretcher and go home (you will see him walk, so you know his sins are forgiven too).”
v 25…And at once he rose up before them and took up what he had been lying on and went home (now they can’t accuse him of blasphemy), glorifying God.
v 26…Abd they were all seized with astonishment (shook up) and began glorifying God; and they were filled with fear (awe) saying, “We have seen remarkable things today (contrary to the natural order of things).”
v 27…And after that he went out (of the house), and noticed a tax-gatherer named Levi sitting in the tax office, and he said to him, “Follow me.”
v 28…And he left everything behind (the world as he knew it; he was being prepared beforehand for this by Yehovah so he was ready), and rose up and began to follow him.
v 29…And Levi gave a big banquet for him (a meal consecrated to God, or a “Lord’s Supper”) in his home; and there was a great crowd of tax-gatherers and other people who were reclining at table with them (to meet Yeshua).
v 30…And the Pharisees (from Beit Shammai and opposed Yeshua) and their scribes began grumbling at his talmidim (they found fault in this), saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax-gatherers and sinners (unlike these Pharisees who ate in what they called a “Chavurah” with select individuals who followed their halakah)?”
v 31…And Yeshua answered and said to them “It is not those who are well that need a physician, but those who are sick.
v 32…I have not come to call the righteous men but sinners to repentance (they should have found no fault in this).”
v 33…And they said to him, “The talmidim of John often fast and offer prayers; the talmidim of the Pharisees also do the same; but yours eat and drink.”
v 34…And Yeshua said to them, “You cannot make the attendants of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them, can you?
v 35…But the days will come; and when the bridegroom is taken away from them, then they will fast in those days (this will explain the following parable in v 36-40).”
v 36…And he was also telling them a parable (midrashic aggadah): “No one tears a piece from a new garment (fasting when Yeshua is gone) and puts it on a old garment (Yeshua’s teaching is from old and eternity and he was still with them-John 7.16), otherwise he will both tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old (a proper time for everything).
v 37…And no one puts new wine (fasting when Yeshua is gone) into old wineskins (Yeshua’s teachings were of old and eternity from Yehovah-John 7.16); otherwise the new wine will burst the skins, and it will be spilled out and the skins will be ruined.
v 38…But new wine (fasting) must be put into fresh wineskins (fast when Yeshua the bridegroom is gone).
v 39…And no one after drinking old wine wishes for new, for he says, ‘The old is good (there is a proper time for everything-for now, not fasting when Yeshua is present is a good thing because the Messiah is with you-there is a teaching in the Mishnah, tractate Nezikin, Avot 4.20 that compares a skilled Torah teacher to a wineskin, and his knowledge to “old wine” and says, “And he that learns from the aged, to what is he like? To one that eats ripe grapes and drinks old wine. Look not on the jar but on what is in it; there may be a new jar that is full of old wine and an old one in which is not even new wine”).”