[Jesus said,] “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” — Luke 5.4
“Master,” Peter replied, “we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” The other masters of the world lorded their power over people like Simon Peter; he was a mere fisherman, dependent on what he pulled from the water for his well-being.
Christ revealed himself as a master worth following—a master who provided for the needs of the day while calling Peter to a life of sacrifice, service, and meaning beyond what he would have achieved on his own.
And when Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” — Luke 5.20
There were many then, and now, that Christ would not stand in front of to touch and heal, so in his healing he drew attention to something greater. Jesus taught it is sin that is our deepest and most debilitating pain. In healing pride and brokenness—which have paralyzed our true nature—Jesus shows himself as the true Lord and Healer.
Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” — Luke 5.31-32
Tax collectors were notoriously corrupt. Eating at Levi’s table is the equivalent of sipping wine from Bernie Madoff’s cellar—it’s offensive to even think of an upright person partaking in the fruit of corruption. Jesus wasn’t there to enjoy exquisite food and drink, he was there to give himself as a friend.
Jesus befriends outcasts to his own detriment—sacrificing reputation as the elite scorn him and offering his life as the proud reject him. Jesus is the living example that there is no greater love than a man laying down his life, even while we are yet sinners.
[Jesus said,] “And no one after drinking old wine desires new, for he says, ‘The old is good.’” —Luke 5.39
Instead of unapproachable power, Simon Peter found blessing. Instead of a God removed from the pain of life, the sick found intimacy and healing. Instead of judgment that precluded relationship, Levi found sacrifice that allowed for embrace.
Christ shows himself as our greatest provider, the solution to our deepest problem, and loving friend who lays down all to live in relationship with us.