5:4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and lower 1 your nets for a catch.” 5:5 Simon 2 answered, 3 “Master, 4 we worked hard all night and caught nothing! But at your word 5 I will lower 6 the nets.” 5:6 When 7 they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets started to tear. 8 5:7 So 9 they motioned 10 to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they were about to sink. 11 5:8 But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Go away from me, Lord, 12 for I am a sinful man!” 13 5:9 For 14 Peter 15 and all who were with him were astonished 16 at the catch of fish that they had taken, 5:10 and so were James and John, Zebedee’s sons, who were Simon’s business partners. 17 Then 18 Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on 19 you will be catching people.” 20 5:11 So 21 when they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed 22 him.
1 tn Or “let down.” The verb here is plural, so this is a command to all in the boat, not just Peter.
2 tn Grk “And Simon.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.
3 tn Grk “answering, Simon said.” This is redundant in contemporary English and has been simplified in the translation to “Simon answered.”
4 tn The word ἐπιστάτης is a term of respect for a person of high status (see L&N 87.50).
5 tn The expression “at your word,” which shows Peter’s obedience, stands first in the Greek clause for emphasis.
6 tn Or “let down.”
7 tn Grk “And when.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.
8 tn In context, this imperfect verb is best taken as an ingressive imperfect (BDF §338.1).
9 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate consequential nature of the action.
10 tn That is, “they signaled by making gestures” (L&N 33.485).
11 tn This infinitive conveys the idea that the boats were at the point of sinking.
12 sn Lord is a term of high respect in this context. God’s presence in the work of Jesus makes Peter recognize his authority. This vocative is common in Luke (20 times), but does not yet have its full confessional force.
13 sn Peter was intimidated that someone who was obviously working with divine backing was in his presence (“Go away from me”). He feared his sinfulness might lead to judgment, but Jesus would show him otherwise.
14 sn An explanatory conjunction (For) makes it clear that Peter’s exclamation is the result of a surprising set of events. He speaks, but the others feel similarly.
15 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Peter) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
16 sn In the Greek text, this term is in an emphatic position.
17 tn Or “business associates.”
18 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.
20 tn The Greek term ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo") is used here in a generic sense, referring to both men and women, thus “people.”
sn The kind of fishing envisioned was net – not line – fishing, which involved a circular net that had heavy weights around its perimeter. The occupation of fisherman was labor-intensive. The imagery of using a lure and a line (and waiting for the fish to strike) is thus foreign to this text. Rather, the imagery of a fisherman involved much strain, long hours, and often little results. Jesus’ point may have been one or more of the following: the strenuousness of evangelism, the work ethic that it required, persistence and dedication to the task (often in spite of minimal results), the infinite value of the new “catch” (viz., people), and perhaps an eschatological theme of snatching people from judgment (cf. W. L. Lane, Mark [NICNT], 67; D. L. Bock, Luke [BECNT], 1:461). If this last motif is in view, then catching people is the opposite of catching fish: The fish would be caught, killed, cooked, and eaten; people would be caught so as to remove them from eternal destruction and to give them new life. With the statement “You will be catching people” Jesus turns the miracle into a metaphor for mission.
21 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the result of Jesus’ pronouncement.
22 sn The expression left everything and followed him pictures discipleship, which means that to learn from Jesus is to follow him as the guiding priority of one’s life.