Luke 5:17-39: Yeshua heals a paralyzed man lowered through Peter’s roof, calls Levi-Matthew, tells parables of cloths and wineskins

Yeshua had authority to heal paralytics, forgive sins and call tax collectors to His select 12 disciples. The punchline and the context of these stories and the parables Yeshua told are crucial clues to the meaning of Yeshua’s parables and miracles. A common interpretation of the parables of the cloths and wineskins is that Yeshua is teaching that one needs to unlearn the Torah to learn the gospel, but parables of the same time period employing the same symbols have a different point.

Texts: Luke 5:17-39; Matt. 9:9-17; Mark 2:14-22; Hos. 5:13-6:7; Matt. 8:5-12; 1st Kings 8:41-43; Mishna b.Avot “Fathers” 4:20; Talmud b.Nedarim “Vows” 50b

Yeshua noticed several examples of extraordinary faith:

  • The faith of the centurion in Matthew 8
  • The friends who broke into Peter’s house through his roof in Luke 5
  • Matthew’s faith to give up his lucrative tax collecting job and follow Yeshua, which meant a life of poverty and difficulty.

The Pharisees and scribes present at the healing of the paralyzed man in Peter’s house the were oblivious to these acts of faith, because they did not have mercy (khesed, Strong’s lexicon No. 2617) for their fellow Jews. In Luke, the pharisees were more concerned about Yeshua’s “blasphemy” and totally missed the blessing of being the witnesses to a very remarkable healing. They were more concerned about the possibility of Yeshua defiling Himself by entering a Gentile’s home and were more concerned about the propriety of eating a meal with “sinners” than the souls of those sinners who needed a Teacher to lead them out of their current life towards a Torah-filled life.

The parables of wine and wineskins and of a patch on cloth are directly connected to the questions Yeshua was receiving about the company He was keeping, like tax collector Levi-Matthew, and the “unlearned” men He was calling as core disciples. These parables have been often interpreted over the centuries as describing the tension between the “old testament” and “new testament.” What is the “old wine” v. “new wine”? Which is really better? What is better, a used wineskin or new one? A look at rabbinical writings of the same time period that use the same symbols, reveals that the parable is not about a tension between Torah and the Gospel. Rather, the point is being a disciple of Yeshua is easier when becomes like a child — a blank slate, rather than a “full slate” Yeshua has to erase and write over with new teaching.

Speaker: Jeff. Reader: Daniel Agee. Summary: Tammy.


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