Luke 5:8

ESV But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”
NIV When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus' knees and said, 'Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!'
NASB But when Simon Peter saw this, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, 'Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!'
CSB When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus's knees and said, "Go away from me, because I'm a sinful man, Lord! "
NLT When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, 'Oh, Lord, please leave me — I’m such a sinful man.'
KJV When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.

What does Luke 5:8 mean?

Peter knew that John the Baptist—the first prophet of God since Malachi, 400 years before—identified Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah who would rescue the Jews (John 1:35–42). When Jesus felt too crowded on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, Peter willingly took Jesus onto his boat. They cast off from shore so people could better hear Christ's teaching. And when Jesus told Peter and his brother to go into the deeper part of the lake, they did so, despite the fact their night had been fruitless and it was the wrong time of day to fish in deep water (Luke 5:1–5).

It's not clear what the fishermen expected, but clearly they didn't anticipate so many fish that two cooperating boats were at risk of sinking (Luke 5:6–7).

Peter's attitude toward Jesus immediately transitions from respect for a rabbi to fear of a prophet. The fish, the breaking nets, and the sinking ship are forgotten. Peter doesn't fully understand who Jesus is, and he won't until after the resurrection. He calls Jesus "Lord" because of Jesus' relationship to God as an agent of His authority. He's not necessarily grasping every nuance of Jesus' role as the Christ, just yet. But Peter knows for sure he does not deserve to be in Jesus' presence.

That's exactly what Jesus is looking for in a disciple: someone who knows they don't "deserve" status or power. Later, Jesus will tell the Pharisees, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance" (Luke 5:31–32). This sinful man will be such an important part of Jesus' mission that He gives him the nickname Peter—the rock (John 1:42).

Peter's humble acknowledgment of his unworthiness in the presence of Jesus is the first of several attributes Luke illuminates as necessary for discipleship. When Jesus heals a man's leprosy, He grants ceremonial cleanness necessary to worship God. When Jesus heals the paralytic, Luke points out the faith of the paralytic and the forgiveness of his sins. And when Jesus calls Levi the tax collector to follow, Luke is sure to focus the story on repentance. Luke's conclusion is that being in the presence of Jesus and experiencing His new way of life is worthy of celebration (Luke 5:12–39).
What is the Gospel?
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