|dc.description.abstract||This study uses a narrative approach to consider Luke’s lake stories (Luke 5:1-11 and 8:22-39) as parallel accounts. It is argued that through the use of shared vocabulary, themes, and narrative structuring, Luke displays the journey upon the lake as a unique setting in which Jesus calls Simon and his companions to “put out into the deep water,” and then to journey with him “to the other side of the lake.” Luke’s structuring of these stories is persuasive and artful. Through his choice of vocabulary and the use of devices such as inclusio and the careful placement of direct speech, he narrates Jesus gathering and forming his disciples. Liminality is used in order to clarify the nature of the lake stories as formative discipleship journeys on the lake of Genesaret. On the lake the Lukan Jesus acts as guide or spiritual director, as he seeks to gather and then form a community of disciples who will join him in his jubilee mission (Luke 4:18-19).
Place and progress are important in the lake stories. Luke carefully narrates the movement from the shore of the lake, to a little way from the shore, out into the deep water, and back to shore in the first lake story. In the second lake journey Jesus and his disciples set out, and then arrive at the other side of the lake. Jesus steps onto the shore, encounters, delivers and sends the Gerasene demoniac. He then returns to the Galilean side of the lake. The movement from the shore, across the lake, and to the “other side” is echoed in the overall shape of Luke-Acts. Luke begins and ends in Jerusalem, while Acts moves from Jerusalem and crosses into the Gentile world, ending in Rome.
The discipleship cycles identified in this study give a setting or context for the two lake journeys. These cycles have been usefully considered both as three pairs of parallel episodes, and as six related episodes in temporal sequence. The cycles connect Jesus’ mission, the lake stories, and the choosing and sending of the twelve with the broader discipleship journey in Luke and Acts. The cycles also provide a way to track the disciples’ development and formation, which in the Galilean section of Luke culminates with the sending of the twelve in 9:1-6.
The lake journeys present Simon and his companions with tasks they are to achieve. In Luke 5:1-11 the task is fishing and the fishers put out “into the deep water,” where they work together successfully to complete the task. Jesus then commissions them to catch people alive. In so doing he transforms the first lake journey into a metaphor for the journey of discipleship. In Luke 8:22-39 the journey is to the other side of the lake. It is argued that the disciples are to pilot the boat through the storm to the far side of the lake, and then to confront the demon Legion. The many parallels, connections, gaps, and contrasts between the two lake stories reveal that the disciples’ failure to perform the tasks set before them on the second lake journey are a result of the misplacement of their faith, and that this is manifested in a lack of belief in Jesus and in a lack of co-operative action.
On the far side of the lake Jesus delivers the Gerasene demoniac, but he refuses to allow him to enter the boat with him. Instead, Jesus sends him to his home to declare what God has done for him. The man goes throughout his city proclaiming what Jesus has done for him. In this he anticipates the ministry of the apostles and Paul’s proclamation to the Gentiles in Acts.
Luke employs the contrast between Simon and the healed man both before and after their encounters with Jesus to show just how varied discipleship can be. For Simon, discipleship is abandonment of his former life and a new attachment to Jesus. This reflects the focus in Luke on the twelve and their journey with Jesus. The man is restored to his home, anticipating the pattern of discipleship that develops in Acts. Crucially, although he is sent home (Luke 8:39a) he goes proclaiming throughout the city (8:39b). He thereby demonstrates that discipleship, even for one who returns home, is active and involves the proclamation of what Jesus has done.||