Lesson 46: Luke 5

“Lesson 46: Luke 5,” New Testament Seminary Teacher Manual (2016)

“Lesson 46,” New Testament Seminary Teacher Manual

Lesson 46

Luke 5


After miraculously catching a multitude of fish with the Savior’s help, Peter, James, and John forsook all to follow the Savior and become fishers of men. Jesus healed a leper and a paralyzed man. He called Matthew to be a disciple and taught that He came to call sinners to repentance. Jesus also taught the parable of new wine in old bottles.

Suggestions for Teaching

Luke 5:1–11

The Lord calls Peter, James, and John to become fishers of men

Write the following question on the board: When have you been asked to do something without knowing all the reasons for doing it? Ask students to ponder the question, and invite a few to share their experiences.

  • Why can it be difficult to follow instructions without understanding the reasons for them?

  • What commandments or counsel from Church leaders might some youth find difficult to obey if they don’t fully understand the reasons for them? (Consider listing students’ responses on the board.)

Invite students to look for a principle in Luke 5:1–11 that can help them when they don’t fully understand why they are asked to follow the counsel or commandments of the Lord.

Invite a few students to take turns reading aloud from Luke 5:1–5. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what the Savior asked Simon (Peter) to do after He had finished preaching. Ask students to report what they find. (If necessary, point out that verse 4, footnote a clarifies that draught refers to a catch or haul of fish.)

  • What did Simon tell the Savior about their previous efforts to catch fish?

  • What might Simon’s own fishing experience have led him to think when the Savior told him to let down the nets again?

  • What did Simon say that showed he trusted the Lord?

Invite a student to read Luke 5:6–9 aloud, and ask the class to look for what happened when Simon did what the Lord asked.

  • What happened when Simon did what the Lord asked?

  • What principle can we learn from Simon’s willingness to do what the Lord asked even if he didn’t understand why? (Students may use different words, but make sure they identify the following principle: If we do what the Lord asks even when we do not understand why, He can provide greater blessings than we could have anticipated. Using students’ words, write this principle on the board.)

  • In what ways does living this principle require us to trust Jesus Christ?

To help students understand this principle, invite a student to read aloud the following statement by Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Consider providing students with a copy of the statement:

Scott, Richard G.

“This life is an experience in profound trust—trust in Jesus Christ, trust in His teachings, trust in our capacity as led by the Holy Spirit to obey those teachings for happiness now and for a purposeful, supremely happy eternal existence. To trust means to obey willingly without knowing the end from the beginning (see Prov. 3:5–7). To produce fruit, your trust in the Lord must be more powerful and enduring than your confidence in your own personal feelings and experience” (“Trust in the Lord,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 17).

  • How can we develop this kind of trust in the Savior?

  • How have you or your family received greater blessings than you anticipated by following the Lord’s directions even when you didn’t fully understand the reasons? (Answers might include experiences that helped students eventually come to understand why the Lord gave such directions.)

On a piece of paper they can take home with them, invite students to write down counsel or commandments from the Lord that they could more faithfully follow even though they don’t fully understand the reasons for doing so. (If time permits, you could invite students to look through For the Strength of Youth [booklet, 2011] for ideas.)

Summarize Luke 5:10–11 by explaining that Peter, James, and John left their fishing boats and nets behind to follow Jesus.

Luke 5:12–26

Jesus heals a leper and a man with palsy

Show students the following items (or draw pictures of them on the board): syringe, bandage, soap, and icepack.

  • How can these items help heal people of an illness or wound?

  • Besides illness and physical injury, what else might someone need to be healed of? (List students’ responses on the board. Answers may include sin, addiction, despair, and bitterness.)

Invite students to look for principles as they study Luke 5:12–25 that teach us what we can do to help ourselves and others receive needed healing.

Draw the following chart on the board and invite students to copy it into their class notebooks or scripture study journals:



Write the following references on the board: Luke 5:12–15 and Luke 5:17–25. Explain that these verses relate that the Savior healed two men. One of the men had leprosy, and the other man had palsy, meaning he was paralyzed. Divide students into pairs. Ask them to read each account with their partners and discuss the following questions:

  • How are these two healings similar? How are they different?

  • What role did faith play in each account?

Ask students to record on their charts what they find. After sufficient time, invite students to report what they learned. Consider inviting students to mark the phrase “he saw their faith” in verse 20. Ensure that students understand that the faith of those who brought the man with palsy to the Savior contributed to this man being healed.

  • What principles can we learn from these accounts about how we can be healed and what we can do to help others be healed? (Students may use different words, but make sure they identify the following principles: As we exercise faith and come to the Savior, He can heal us. We can help others come to the Savior so they can be healed. Write these principles on the board.)

  • In what ways can we receive healing from the Savior? (Help students understand that the Savior may remove our infirmities from us, or He may give us the courage, faith, comfort, and peace we need to endure or overcome our infirmities.)

Ask students to consider the infirmities listed on the board that people may need to be healed of.

  • What could you do to help bring people to the Savior to receive His healing power?

  • When have you or someone you know been healed through exercising faith in the Savior? (Remind students that they should not share experiences that are too personal or private.)

  • When have you seen a person bring someone else to the Lord to receive the Savior’s healing power?

Ask students to ponder what they can do to exercise greater faith in Jesus Christ to be healed, forgiven, or comforted or what they can do to bring a friend or someone else to the Savior. Encourage them to act on any promptings they may receive.

Luke 5:27–35

Scribes and Pharisees question why Jesus eats with publicans and sinners

Invite a student to read Luke 5:27–28 aloud, and ask the class to look for the Savior’s invitation to Levi. Ask students to report what they find.

  • What impresses you about how Levi responded to the Savior’s invitation?

Remind students that Levi was also called Matthew (see Matthew 9:9). He was a publican, meaning he collected taxes from his fellow Jews for the Roman government. The Jews generally hated publicans and viewed them as outcasts, sinners, and even traitors to the nation of Israel. Summarize Luke 5:29–35 by explaining that while Jesus was eating with Levi and others, the scribes and Pharisees condemned Him for eating with sinners. Jesus taught that He came to call sinners to repentance.

Luke 5:36–39

Jesus gives the parable of new wine in old bottles

Explain that the Savior used a parable to teach the scribes and Pharisees. Invite a few students to take turns reading aloud from Luke 5:36–39. Ask the class to follow along and look for the objects the Savior used in His parable.

  • What objects did the Savior use to teach His parable?

Show students a new piece of cloth and an old piece of cloth with a hole in it. Explain that the “new garment” in verse 36 refers to cloth that had not yet shrunk. One cannot patch an old garment with new cloth because when the new piece shrinks, it would make the hole worse than before. In a similar way, the gospel of Jesus Christ was not just a patching up of old beliefs and practices but a complete restoration of truth.

Invite students to read verse 37, footnote a in the LDS edition of the King James Bible to discover that bottles referred to “leather bags or wineskins,” and if possible, show students pieces of new and old leather.

  • What is the difference between new and old leather? (New leather is soft and pliable; old leather is hard and brittle.)

Explain that as new wine fermented in leather bags, gases would build up inside and stretch the leather. Once a wineskin had already been stretched in this way, attempting to ferment new wine in it again would risk bursting it.

In the parable, the new wine represents the Savior’s teachings and the fulness of the everlasting gospel, and the old wine represents the practices, traditions, and beliefs of the Pharisees under the law of Moses.

  • In what way could the “old bottles” represent the scribes and Pharisees? (Just as old bottles are too inflexible to hold new wine, the scribes and Pharisees were hard-hearted and unwilling to change to accept the Savior and His teachings.)

  • Who could the “new bottles” represent? (Those people who were humble and willing to change to accept the Savior and His teachings.)

  • What can we learn from this parable about what we need to do to receive the Savior and His gospel? (Students should identify a principle similar to the following: To accept the Savior and His gospel, we must be humble and willing to change. Invite students to consider writing this principle in the margins of their scriptures next to Luke 5:36–39.)

To help students to understand this principle, invite them to review Luke 5 and look for examples of how individuals were hardened and unyielding in their attitude toward the Savior and His teachings as well as examples of how individuals were humble and willing to change and grow by following the Savior. Invite a few students to report what they find.

Conclude the lesson by sharing your testimony of the principles taught in Luke 5.

Commentary and Background Information

Luke 5:23. “Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk?”

President Harold B. Lee taught the following about the greatest miracles today:

“The greatest miracles I see today are not necessarily the healing of sick bodies, but the greatest miracles I see are the healing of sick souls, those who are sick in soul and spirit and are downhearted and distraught, on the verge of nervous breakdowns. We are reaching out to all such, because they are precious in the sight of the Lord, and we want no one to feel that they are forgotten” (“Stand Ye in Holy Places” Ensign, July 1973, 123).

Luke 5:21–24. “Who can forgive sins, but God alone?”

Commenting on the scribes’ and Pharisees’ questioning of the Savior’s authority to forgive sin, Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught the following:

“This event in the life of our Lord was visible and irrefutable proof that he was the Messiah; and it was so recognized by those among whom he ministered. He had borne frequent verbal testimony that God was his Father and had supported that personal witness with an unparalleled ministry of preaching and healing. Now it was his purpose to announce that he had done what no one but God could do and to prove that he had done it by a further manifestation of his Father’s power.

“Both Jesus and the ‘doctors of the law’ who were then present knew that none but God can forgive sins. Accordingly, as a pointed and dramatic witness that the power of God was resident in him … , Jesus did what no imposter could have done—he proved his divine power by healing the forgiven man” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [1965–73], 1:177–78).

Luke 5:20. “When [Jesus] saw their faith”

Referring to the account of the man with palsy and the phrase “when [Jesus] saw their faith” (Luke 5:20; italics added), Elder Chi Hong (Sam) Wong of the Seventy taught:

“Our combined faith will also affect the well-being of others.

“Who were those people that Jesus mentioned? They could well include the four who carried the man with palsy, the man himself, the people who had prayed for him, and all those who were there listening to the preaching of Jesus and cheering quietly in their hearts for the soon-to-come miracle. They could also include a spouse, a parent, a son or a daughter, a missionary, a quorum president, a Relief Society president, a bishop, and a faraway friend. We can all help one another. We should always be anxiously engaged in seeking to rescue those in need” (“Rescue in Unity,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2014, 16).