Women Accompanying Jesus
8 Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means.
The Parable of the Sower
And when a great crowd was gathering and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable, “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the air devoured it. And some fell on the rock, and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it. And some fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold.” As he said these things, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
The Purpose of the Parables
And when his disciples asked him what this parable meant, he said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so that ‘seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.’ Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away. And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.
A Lamp Under a Jar
“No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light. Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.”
Jesus’ Mother and Brothers
Then his mother and his brothers came to him, but they could not reach him because of the crowd. And he was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see you.” But he answered them, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.”
Jesus Calms a Storm
One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” So they set out, and as they sailed he fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water and were in danger. And they went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased, and there was a calm. He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him?”
Jesus Heals a Man with a Demon
Then they sailed to the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. When Jesus had stepped out on land, there met him a man from the city who had demons. For a long time he had worn no clothes, and he had not lived in a house but among the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him and said with a loud voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me.” For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. (For many a time it had seized him. He was kept under guard and bound with chains and shackles, but he would break the bonds and be driven by the demon into the desert.) Jesus then asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion,” for many demons had entered him. And they begged him not to command them to depart into the abyss. Now a large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, and they begged him to let them enter these. So he gave them permission. Then the demons came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and drowned.
When the herdsmen saw what had happened, they fled and told it in the city and in the country. Then people went out to see what had happened, and they came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had gone, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. And those who had seen it told them how the demon-possessed man had been healed. Then all the people of the surrounding country of the Gerasenes asked him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. So he got into the boat and returned. The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him.
Jesus Heals a Woman and Jairus’s Daughter
Now when Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed him, for they were all waiting for him. And there came a man named Jairus, who was a ruler of the synagogue. And falling at Jesus’ feet, he implored him to come to his house, for he had an only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she was dying.
As Jesus went, the people pressed around him. And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians, she could not be healed by anyone. She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased. And Jesus said, “Who was it that touched me?” When all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you!” But Jesus said, “Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me.” And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.”
While he was still speaking, someone from the ruler’s house came and said, “Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Teacher any more.” But Jesus on hearing this answered him, “Do not fear; only believe, and she will be well.” And when he came to the house, he allowed no one to enter with him, except Peter and John and James, and the father and mother of the child. And all were weeping and mourning for her, but he said, “Do not weep, for she is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. But taking her by the hand he called, saying, “Child, arise.” And her spirit returned, and she got up at once. And he directed that something should be given her to eat. And her parents were amazed, but he charged them to tell no one what had happened.
Luke 8 Commentary
by Hank Workman
The ministry of Jesus continues to grow and expand. It’s noteworthy that as he went from one town and village to another the 12 were right beside him along with many women, which was unheard of in those days. His preaching was of power and focused on the Kingdom of God. He showed through His words and actions He was Lord of all creation as He calmed a storm; He was Lord of the heavenly realm as He delivered a man from possession who had a legion of demons in him and He was Lord over all sickness as He healed people.
But for those who would receive His message, it was dependent upon the soil of their heart.
This very well-known parable Jesus told found also in Matthew and Mark speaks of a farmer who sowed seeds and how where these seeds landed depended upon what growth or lack thereof took place. Jesus often spoke in parables which was a story of deep spiritual truth with something that resonated with His hearers from very common examples. They caused people to think, to dig into what He had said through story and wrestle with what they meant specifically for themselves in light of their own relationship to God.
At first glance, it would seem the farmer was careless as he tossed the seed here and there all willy-nilly. But in ancient times, this was a practice of throwing seeds by the handful as he walked through the field. His goal was to get as much seed as possible to take root.
Obviously, there would be inevitable waste with some of the seeds. The yield that would come was completely dependent upon where it landed. But as Jesus explained privately to His disciples each landing spot for the seed spoke specifically to how people responded to the Word of God and His teachings.
The path people were like many of the religious leaders who simply refused to believe. Those who had a soil of rock were those in the crowd who followed Jesus and believed what He said, but in the end, never got around to following through. The thorny ground were people so taken in by materialism, their life, worries that bombarded them, they simply made these things far more important than trusting in Him. It would be the good soil where growth was found. These were those who would hear Jesus’ words, take them to heart and follow no matter what the cost. For those that had the good soil, they would produce an amazing crop.
There’s a difference between hearing God’s Word and applying it. It really is the making of one’s relationship with Jesus and ultimately what brings the harvest of His work in our lives. This foundation is what ushers in growth in physical, mental and our spiritual lives. So, all that said, how are you using and applying what God has taught you? What does the fruit of your life reveal about the soil of your heart?
Luke 8 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
Starting in verse 26 we see an amazing story of casting out a legion of demons. The demons know who Jesus is, and are frightened by Him.
And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion”; for many demons had entered him. 31 They were imploring Him not to command them to go away into the abyss.Luke 8:30-31 NASB
Incredibly, they knew Jesus had the power to throw them into the “abyss.” We see this phrase used in Revelation as well.
Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.Revelation 20:1-3 NASB
It’s such a powerful story of the authority that Jesus possessed over all things, physical and spiritual. However, I want to focus on the unnamed man in this story. He is most certainly a Gentile, as Jesus would have been in Gentile territory after crossing over from Galilee. If we take a moment to study his transformation, a few things begin to really pop out. Outside of his demonic deliverance…
- He was naked before Jesus, but he was fully clothed after.
- He lived among the tombs before Jesus, but was told to “go home” after.
- He was thrust down in a raging fit when Jesus arrived, but voluntarily sat at Jesus’ feet after.
- He was out of his mind, under the control of the demons when Jesus arrived, but was witnessed by others to be in his right state of mind after.
When you consider all these points and the fact that he wanted to join Jesus’ disciples and travel with them, it’s astonishing that we don’t get this man’s name anywhere in the text! What do you see when you look at the list of how this man was delivered? I can say that I see parts of my own life.
In my old ways, I was naked and didn’t even realize it. I lived among the dead, filling my mind with finite pleasures and never really knowing where “home” was. I thought I was in control of my life but ultimately was being led by the spiritual forces of darkness. My mind, the control center for my attitude, decision-making, and life goals was completely lost!
My favorite part of this story, however, is that Jesus ventured into enemy territory to rescue this man. He went to Gentile land, a place He wasn’t welcome. Not only that, but it was a place of tombs where demonic possession ran rampant. Chained spiritually and chained physically, there was absolutely no hope in sight for this nameless Gentile man.
But Jesus made a specific trip TO him. He healed him, saved him, and commissioned him. In many ways, this is our story. Jesus has come to us to seek us out, save us, and use us in our region for His glory. Do you see yourself in the story?