Luke 5:1-5

Luke 5:1 (KJB)
And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,

Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, which is one of the four names for the Sea of Galilee. The other two names are Sea of Tiberias and the Sea of Chinnereth. It is not strange that one place would have four names. The father in law of Moses had three names: Jethro, Hobab, and Reuel. The people had followed Jesus and wanted to hear more of the Word of God. They pressed upon Him so closely that they could have pressed Him into the sea.

Luke 5:2 (KJB)
And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.

Jesus knowing that He could be moved into the water because of the crowd had seen two ships which were moored by the lakeside. The fishermen had left them and had gone out to wash their nets from the dirt which would have collected on them while they were trolling. They had just come in from fishing at night and were tending to their nets.

Luke 5:3 (KJB)
And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.

To prevent from being cast into the lake, Jesus had entered into one of the boats which belonged to Simon Peter and asked him if he would take the boat out a short distance from the coastline. Once they were settled a few feet from shore, Jesus then sat down in the boat and had continued to teach. It was the Jewish custom for a teacher to sit while he would teach. This is how it was done in the synagogue. Jesus did not just randomly select Peter’s boat because Peter was about to receive his own lesson from Jesus.

Luke 5:4 (KJB)
Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.

Once Jesus had ceased His teaching to the crowds, He then turns to Simon and tells, rather commands him to take his ship and to launch out into the deep part of the lake. The lake had a depth of between 80 and 160 feet (24 and 48 meters). The disciples who were fishermen would concentrate their efforts at the north end of the lake where the Jordan River connects and daily that would supply a good load of fish being brought in by the Jordan. Once they arrive at the deep part, then Jesus gives a second command and that was to let down their nets. Now Jesus was not only speaking to Simon but also to other fishermen who went with Peter in their ships. The word “draught” (pronounced draft), carries with it the meaning of “a catching or a thing caught.” It also means to “draw a net.” When trolling for fish, one method would be to draw a net between two ships.

Luke 5:5 (KJB)
And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.

Peter then tells Jesus that they have been fishing all night. The word “toiled” in the Greek carries with it the meaning of “labor, worked hard, fatigued, and become weary.” Fishing was not a business for those who were weak of body because each day it can yield tremendous fatigue but they are about to learn a great lesson. Peter continues his response graciously that even though they worked hard at night, nevertheless, he would obey Jesus and let down the net where He told him to. This was also an act of great faith since they toiled all night and caught nothing. Now their nets were clean and if they caught nothing, they would have to clean the nets again which was a very tedious task. Peter showed his love for Jesus by not allowing his personal judgment in the matter hinder his obedience.