Bible Studies for Life Sunday School Lesson for January 14

Here’s the Bible Studies for Life Sunday School lesson commentary for Jan. 14, written by Rony Kozman, Ph.D. Assistant professor of Biblical Studies, Samford University.

Bible Studies for Life Sunday School Lesson for January 14

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By Rony Kozman, Ph.D.
Assistant professor of Biblical Studies, Samford University


LUKE 5:1–11  

Faith begins when we hear God’s Word. (1–3) 

Throughout Luke 4 and 5, we see two related themes. We see Jesus doing miracles, and we see different responses to Jesus’ miracles.

Before Jesus’ signs we read that He was “full of the Holy Spirit” (4:1), tested by the devil in the wilderness (4:1–2) and then “returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit” (4:14). When He then arrives in Nazareth and goes to the synagogue, Jesus reads from Isaiah 61:1 and announces that “the Spirit of the Lord God is on Me,” and so He has been anointed to proclaim good news, liberate the captives and oppressed and heal the blind (Luke 4:18–19).

After this announcement, Jesus performs a number of signs. He casts out demons, He heals Simon’s mother-in-law of her fever, He heals those sick “with various diseases” (4:40), He instructs Simon so that Simon catches an abundance of fish, He heals a man with a skin disease and He heals a paralyzed man.

All of these miracles are to show that Jesus is the Son of David, the awaited ruler of God’s Kingdom whose reign brings peace since He is the one who defeats the evil powers that have usurped God’s reign and subjugated the world. Jesus is liberating creation from the rule and tyranny of these demonic powers.

Faith is simply acting on what Christ calls us to do. (4–7)

The various miracles that Jesus performs are also met with various responses. We read of the response of the demons in 4:34 and 4:41 who recognize Jesus’ Messianic identity and so obey Jesus’ authority.

Once Simon’s mother-in-law is healed of her fever “she got up immediately and began to serve them” (4:39).

When Jesus enables Peter, James and John to catch the multitude of fish, Peter prostrates himself before Jesus, recognizing his own sinfulness, and all three of them leave everything to follow Jesus.

The man healed of his skin disease acknowledges Jesus’ ability to heal him.

And when Jesus forgives (and then heals) the paralyzed man, the Scribes and the Pharisees question Jesus’ authority to forgive sins while the healed man goes home “glorifying God” (5:25).

Jesus calls us to a life of trust in Him. (8–11)

How do we respond to Jesus’ authority as the Son of David, the Messiah who has regained God’s Kingdom? How do you compare to these different characters? Are we like the demons who recognize Jesus’ authority but obey unwillingly? Or are we like the Scribes and Pharisees who deny Jesus’ authority? Are we like Peter’s mother-in-law who served Jesus or like the paralyzed man who was healed and glorified God?

These latter two are commendable, and so is the response of Peter who recognized that he was sinful and submitted himself to the One who has authority to free him of his sins. But Peter, James and John exemplify the response that Luke wants us to emulate, leaving everything and following Jesus. This is the response that counts Jesus — and following Him — as far more valuable than anything we already have.