Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
Not their first call, however, recorded in
nor their second, recorded in
but their third and last before their appointment to the
apostleship. That these calls were all distinct and progressive,
seems quite plain. (Similar stages are observable in other eminent
servants of Christ.)
3. taught . . . out of the ship--(See on
4. for a draught--munificent recompense for the use of his boat.
5. Master--betokening not surely a first acquaintance, but a
relationship already formed.
all night--the usual time of fishing then
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
6. net brake--rather "was breaking," or "beginning to break," as in
"beginning to sink."
8. Depart, &c.--Did Peter then wish Christ to leave him? Verily no.
His all was wrapt up in Him
"It was rather, Woe is me, Lord! How shall I abide this blaze of glory?
A sinner such as I am is not fit company for Thee." (Compare
10. Simon, fear not--This shows how the Lord read Peter's speech.
The more highly they deemed Him, ever the more grateful it was to the
Redeemer's spirit. Never did they pain Him by manifesting too lofty
conceptions of Him.
from henceforth--marking a new stage of their connection with Christ.
The last was simply, "I will make you fishers."
fishers of men--"What wilt thou think, Simon, overwhelmed by
this draught of fishes, when I shall bring to thy net what will beggar
all this glory?" (See on
11. forsook all--They did this before
now they do it again; and yet after the Crucifixion they are at their
boats once more
In such a business this is easily conceivable. After pentecost,
however, they appear to have finally abandoned their secular
15. But so, &c.--(See
17. Pharisees and doctors . . . sitting by--the highest testimony yet
borne to our Lord's growing influence, and the necessity increasingly
felt by the ecclesiastics throughout the country of coming to some
definite judgment regarding Him.
power of the Lord . . . present--with Jesus.
to heal them--the sick people.
19. housetop--the flat roof.
through the tiling . . . before Jesus--(See on
24. take up thy couch--"sweet saying! The bed had borne the man; now
the man shall bear the bed!" [BENGEL].
30. their scribes--a mode of expression showing that Luke was writing
The incongruities mentioned in
were intended to illustrate the difference between the genius of
the old and new economies, and the danger of mixing up the one
with the other. As in the one case supposed, "the rent is made worse,"
and in the other, "the new wine is spilled," so by a mongrel mixture
of the ascetic ritualism of the old with the spiritual freedom of the
new economy, both are disfigured and destroyed. The additional
which is peculiar to Luke, has been variously interpreted. But the
"new wine" seems plainly to be the evangelical freedom which Christ was
introducing; and the old, the opposite spirit of Judaism: men long
accustomed to the latter could not be expected "straightway"--all at
once--to take a liking for the former; that is, "These inquiries about
the difference between My disciples and the Pharisees," and even
John's, are not surprising; they are the effect of a natural
revulsion against sudden change, which time will cure; the new
wine will itself in time become old, and so acquire all the added
charms of antiquity. What lessons does this teach, on the one hand,
to those who unreasonably cling to what is getting antiquated; and, on
the other, to hasty reformers who have no patience with the timidity of
their weaker brethren!