Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany

Jesus is Our Compassionate Savior

These are the readings for the Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.

God’s Word for This Week

In today’s gospel Jesus calls Peter away from his former career as a fisherman. From now on he will fish for people. Still today, God calls us to trust in Jesus. How does God call? Via strange feelings that pop up within us? No. God calls by messengers who speak his Word, by the power of his Spirit.

Traditional First Lesson – Isaiah 6:1-8

What did Isaiah see, and how did it make him feel?

Isaiah saw and heard the Lord’s glory filling the temple. Isaiah cried: “Woe to me! I am ruined!” He realized that he was a sinful man standing in the presence of the holy God.

What did the Lord do to ease Isaiah’s anxiety?

The Lord had compassion by assuring Isaiah that his sin was paid for and forgiven. Then he called Isaiah to be his prophet.

Supplemental First Lesson – Judges 13:6-24

Manoah and his wife found out about their son Samson via the angel of the LORD. Who was he? (See 13:22.)

The angel of the LORD is God himself, Manoah realized. (From 1 Corinthians 10:4 we deduce that the angel of the LORD in the Old Testament is God the Son.)

Why was Samson to be a Nazirite, set apart for God from birth? (See 13:5.)

God wanted Samson to be a Nazirite because God’s plan was for Samson to begin to deliver Israel from the hands of their oppressive neighbors, the Philistines.

Traditional Second Lesson – 1 Corinthians 14:12b-20

What gift did the Corinthian Christians most desire?

The Corinthians wanted to be able to speak in tongues (real languages that they had never learned, not the gibberish that one often hears).

What goal does Paul suggest we should have as we use our Christian gifts?

Paul says that we should strive to use our gifts to build up or edify the church—our fellow Christians. He also points out that speaking languages that people don’t know is not edifying for them because they don’t know what you are saying. Paul concludes that he “would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue.”

Supplemental Second Lesson – Romans 10:13-17

Who will be saved from God’s judgment on the Last Day?

Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved from God’s judgment on the Last Day.

Paul does not envision preachers suddenly feeling “called” into ministry in God’s church. How do they start preaching?

Paul says preachers cannot preach unless they are sent.

How does saving trust in Jesus first arise?

Saving trust in Jesus comes from the power of God’s Word to change hearts. Hearing that Jesus lived and died for us is the way faith arises.

Gospel – Luke 5:1-11

How did Jesus end up on Simon Peter’s boat?

Jesus was preaching to a crowd so large that he asked Simon Peter for the use of his boat so that the people could see and hear him better.

After Jesus finished preaching, what did he ask Peter to do, and what was Peter’s answer?

Jesus asked Peter to put down his nets for a catch of fish. While Peter suggested that they wouldn’t catch anything, he did it anyway because Jesus said so.

What happened when they let down the nets?

When they let down the nets, there was such a great catch of fish that the nets began to break.

When Peter saw the great catch of fish how did he react, and what did Jesus say to him?

In amazement and fear Peter fell at Jesus feet and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” But Jesus had compassion on Peter and called him and his colleagues to be fishers of men.

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