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Luke 5-6 Common English Bible (CEB)

Jesus calls disciples

One day Jesus was standing beside Lake Gennesaret when the crowd pressed in around him to hear God’s word. Jesus saw two boats sitting by the lake. The fishermen had gone ashore and were washing their nets. Jesus boarded one of the boats, the one that belonged to Simon, then asked him to row out a little distance from the shore. Jesus sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. When he finished speaking to the crowds, he said to Simon, “Row out farther, into the deep water, and drop your nets for a catch.”

Simon replied, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and caught nothing. But because you say so, I’ll drop the nets.”

So they dropped the nets and their catch was so huge that their nets were splitting. They signaled for their partners in the other boat to come and help them. They filled both boats so full that they were about to sink. When Simon Peter saw the catch, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Leave me, Lord, for I’m a sinner!” Peter and those with him were overcome with amazement because of the number of fish they caught. 10 James and John, Zebedee’s sons, were Simon’s partners and they were amazed too.

Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid. From now on, you will be fishing for people.” 11 As soon as they brought the boats to the shore, they left everything and followed Jesus.

A man with a skin disease

12 Jesus was in one of the towns where there was also a man covered with a skin disease. When he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and begged, “Lord, if you want, you can make me clean.”

13 Jesus reached out his hand, touched him, and said, “I do want to. Be clean.” Instantly, the skin disease left him. 14 Jesus ordered him not to tell anyone. “Instead,” Jesus said, “go and show yourself to the priest and make an offering for your cleansing, as Moses instructed. This will be a testimony to them.” 15 News of him spread even more and huge crowds gathered to listen and to be healed from their illnesses. 16 But Jesus would withdraw to deserted places for prayer.

Jesus heals a paralyzed man

17 One day when Jesus was teaching, Pharisees and legal experts were sitting nearby. They had come from every village in Galilee and Judea, and from Jerusalem. Now the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal. 18 Some men were bringing a man who was paralyzed, lying on a cot. They wanted to carry him in and place him before Jesus, 19 but they couldn’t reach him because of the crowd. So they took him up on the roof and lowered him—cot and all—through the roof tiles into the crowded room in front of Jesus. 20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”

21 The legal experts and Pharisees began to mutter among themselves, “Who is this who insults God? Only God can forgive sins!”

22 Jesus recognized what they were discussing and responded, “Why do you fill your minds with these questions? 23  Which is easier—to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24  But so that you will know that the Human One[a] has authority on the earth to forgive sins” —Jesus now spoke to the man who was paralyzed, “I say to you, get up, take your cot, and go home.” 25 Right away, the man stood before them, picked up his cot, and went home, praising God.

26 All the people were beside themselves with wonder. Filled with awe, they glorified God, saying, “We’ve seen unimaginable things today.”

Jesus calls a tax collector

27 Afterward, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at a kiosk for collecting taxes. Jesus said to him, “Follow me.”

28 Levi got up, left everything behind, and followed him. 29 Then Levi threw a great banquet for Jesus in his home. A large number of tax collectors and others sat down to eat with them. 30 The Pharisees and their legal experts grumbled against his disciples. They said, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”

31 Jesus answered, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor, but sick people do. 32  I didn’t come to call righteous people but sinners to change their hearts and lives.”

The old and the new

33 Some people said to Jesus, “The disciples of John fast often and pray frequently. The disciples of the Pharisees do the same, but your disciples are always eating and drinking.”

34 Jesus replied, “You can’t make the wedding guests fast while the groom is with them, can you? 35  The days will come when the groom will be taken from them, and then they will fast.”

36 Then he told them a parable. “No one tears a patch from a new garment to patch an old garment. Otherwise, the new garment would be ruined, and the new patch wouldn’t match the old garment. 37  Nobody pours new wine into old wineskins. If they did, the new wine would burst the wineskins, the wine would spill, and the wineskins would be ruined. 38  Instead, new wine must be put into new wineskins. 39  No one who drinks a well-aged wine wants new wine, but says, ‘The well-aged wine is better.’”

Activities on the Sabbath

One Sabbath, as Jesus was going through the wheat fields, his disciples were picking the heads of wheat, rubbing them in their hands, and eating them. Some Pharisees said, “Why are you breaking the Sabbath law?”

Jesus replied, “Haven’t you read what David and his companions did when they were hungry? He broke the Law by going into God’s house and eating the bread of the presence, which only the priests can eat. He also gave some of the bread to his companions.” Then he said to them, “The Human One[b] is Lord of the Sabbath.”

On another Sabbath, Jesus entered a synagogue to teach. A man was there whose right hand was withered. The legal experts and the Pharisees were watching him closely to see if he would heal on the Sabbath. They were looking for a reason to bring charges against him. Jesus knew their thoughts, so he said to the man with the withered hand, “Get up and stand in front of everyone.” He got up and stood there. Jesus said to the legal experts and Pharisees, “Here’s a question for you: Is it legal on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?” 10 Looking around at them all, he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he did and his hand was made healthy. 11 They were furious and began talking with each other about what to do to Jesus.

Jesus chooses apostles

12 During that time, Jesus went out to the mountain to pray, and he prayed to God all night long. 13 At daybreak, he called together his disciples. He chose twelve of them whom he called apostles: 14 Simon, whom he named Peter; his brother Andrew; James; John; Philip; Bartholomew; 15 Matthew; Thomas; James the son of Alphaeus; Simon, who was called a zealot; 16 Judas the son of James; and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

Jesus’ popularity increases

17 Jesus came down from the mountain with them and stood on a large area of level ground. A great company of his disciples and a huge crowd of people from all around Judea and Jerusalem and the area around Tyre and Sidon joined him there. 18 They came to hear him and to be healed from their diseases, and those bothered by unclean spirits were healed. 19 The whole crowd wanted to touch him, because power was going out from him and he was healing everyone.

Happy people and doomed people

20 Jesus raised his eyes to his disciples and said:

“Happy are you who are poor,
    because God’s kingdom is yours.
21 Happy are you who hunger now,
    because you will be satisfied.
Happy are you who weep now,
    because you will laugh.

22 Happy are you when people hate you, reject you, insult you, and condemn your name as evil because of the Human One.[c] 23 Rejoice when that happens! Leap for joy because you have a great reward in heaven. Their ancestors did the same things to the prophets.

24 But how terrible for you who are rich,
    because you have already received your comfort.
25 How terrible for you who have plenty now,
    because you will be hungry.
How terrible for you who laugh now,
    because you will mourn and weep.
26 How terrible for you when all speak well of you.
    Their ancestors did the same things to the false prophets.

Behaving as God’s children

27 “But I say to you who are willing to hear: Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. 28 Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on the cheek, offer the other one as well. If someone takes your coat, don’t withhold your shirt either. 30 Give to everyone who asks and don’t demand your things back from those who take them. 31 Treat people in the same way that you want them to treat you.

32 “If you love those who love you, why should you be commended? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 If you do good to those who do good to you, why should you be commended? Even sinners do that. 34 If you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, why should you be commended? Even sinners lend to sinners expecting to be paid back in full. 35 Instead, love your enemies, do good, and lend expecting nothing in return. If you do, you will have a great reward. You will be acting the way children of the Most High act, for he is kind to ungrateful and wicked people. 36 Be compassionate just as your Father is compassionate.

37 “Don’t judge, and you won’t be judged. Don’t condemn, and you won’t be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38  Give, and it will be given to you. A good portion—packed down, firmly shaken, and overflowing—will fall into your lap. The portion you give will determine the portion you receive in return.”

Avoiding self-deception

39 Jesus also told them a riddle. “A blind person can’t lead another blind person, right? Won’t they both fall into a ditch? 40  Disciples aren’t greater than their teacher, but whoever is fully prepared will be like their teacher. 41  Why do you see the splinter in your brother’s or sister’s eye but don’t notice the log in your own eye? 42  How can you say to your brother or sister, ‘Brother, Sister, let me take the splinter out of your eye,’ when you don’t see the log in your own eye? You deceive yourselves! First take the log out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take the splinter out of your brother’s or sister’s eye.

43  “A good tree doesn’t produce bad fruit, nor does a bad tree produce good fruit. 44  Each tree is known by its own fruit. People don’t gather figs from thorny plants, nor do they pick grapes from prickly bushes. 45  A good person produces good from the good treasury of the inner self, while an evil person produces evil from the evil treasury of the inner self. The inner self overflows with words that are spoken.

46 “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’ and don’t do what I say? 47  I’ll show what it’s like when someone comes to me, hears my words, and puts them into practice. 48  It’s like a person building a house by digging deep and laying the foundation on bedrock. When the flood came, the rising water smashed against that house, but the water couldn’t shake the house because it was well built. 49  But those who don’t put into practice what they hear are like a person who built a house without a foundation. The floodwater smashed against it and it collapsed instantly. It was completely destroyed.”

Footnotes:

  1. Luke 5:24 Or Son of Man
  2. Luke 6:5 Or Son of Man
  3. Luke 6:22 Or Son of Man
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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