Two weeks ago, when we were studying the gospel of Mark, I wrote about abundance. The specific verses that I focused on revealed that Jesus sacrificed Himself on the cross so that we could have a full and abundant life in Him. When I first read Luke 5, our text for today, I noticed that the same theme of abundance is echoed in this chapter. This isn’t surprising. Abundance is a character trait of Christ’s, so we can expect this theme to pop up throughout the Bible.
In this chapter, Jesus responds to three different people by meeting their needs with more than was asked for or expected. In Luke 5:4, Jesus tells Simon (later known as Peter) to fish off the side of the boat. Simon hadn’t been fishing that morning because he had fished all night the evening before and caught nothing. Yet Christ, in his goodness, filled Simon’s net with more fish than he could ever have imagined. In fact, Luke tells us that the disciples and the onlookers were “astonished” (Luke 5:9) at the amount of fish that were caught.
Later in this chapter, Jesus heals a man with leprosy. In those days, people afflicted with leprosy were basically shunned because people were fearful of catching this untreatable disease. This man, though, walked boldly up to Christ, saying “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” (Luke 5:12). And again, Jesus did the unimaginable: He healed this man from this disease for which there was no cure, and He did this by reaching out and touching the leper. Some time later, a group of men brought their paralyzed friend to where Jesus was speaking, and Jesus told the man to stand up, walk, and go home (Luke 5:24). The people in the crowds following Jesus were first-hand observers of His early miracles, and as the news about His healings spread, Luke tells us that many “glorified God and were filled with awe”, calling what they had seen “extraordinary” (Luke 5:26).
Each of these examples – the overabundance of fish, the healing of the man with leprosy, and the healing of the paralyzed man – point to Jesus’ love for answering our prayers in overflowing ways. I think this chapter and its theme resonated with me so much because it reminded me of my favorite verse in all of Scripture, Ephesians 3:20-21: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Remember to ask, because He is abundantly capable. And let us respond with awe, reverence, and praise.