About Jesus     Steve Sweetman

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ch. 8:1-15   ch. 8:16-18   ch. 8:19-21   ch. 8:22-25    

ch. 8:26-39    ch. 8:40-56

The Parable Of The Sower  (ch. 8:1 - 15)


In chapter 8 verse 1 we see Jesus continuing to travel from town to town in Galilee .  With Him during these days are the 12  apostles and certain women.  One of the women is the notable Mary Magdalene.  She is called this because she is from the town of Magdala .  Luke says that Mary had 7 demons cast out of her.


There was another lady called Joanna, the wife of one named Cuza, who was the manager of Herod’s household.  She most likely was very well off financially. 


Luke says that “these women were helping to support them out of their own means”.   From the Greek text we understand that this work of supporting was voluntary.  These women wanted to help out, and Jesus let them help .  So it is very interesting to see that women were part of the team helping Jesus spread the “good news of the Kingdom of God ”, that is the rule of God on earth, as well as in Heaven.


Verse 4 shows the picture of yet another large crowd surrounding Jesus, listening intently to what He had to say.  So Jesus tells the parable of a farmer sowing seed.


The story goes like this.  A farmer goes out to plant some seed.  While he is planting some of the seed falls out of his hands onto the path he was walking on.  This seed never did take root.  Birds ate it before the seed had any chance.  Then some seed fell by the rocks.  The farmer later noted that these seeds did start to grow but because of the lack of soil, the water from rain could not benefit the seed, and it soon died.


Then still some more seed fell among thorns.  These seeds took root and grew but was quickly choked out by the stronger thorn bushes that used all the nutrients in the soil. 


The farmer did specifically plant some seeds in good soil and he had a very good harvest, a hundred times more plants than seeds planted.


In verse 8 Jesus said, “he that has an ear, let him hear”.  What Jesus is saying here is this.  You who hear what I am saying, just don’t hear the words, but understand their meaning.  Hearing with your ear and hearing with your understanding are two different things.


Obviously His disciples wanted to hear with their understanding so they asked Jesus what this parable meant.  Remember, the 12, and the other disciples were not that much different from the crowd in their understanding.  They were learning as they were following Jesus.


In verse 10 Jesus begins to answer this question by saying, “the knowledge of the secrets of the Kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables…”.  We need to understand that the knowledge of things pertaining to God and His Kingdom have to “be given” to us.  We cannot discover these things on our own.  They are spiritual truths, and we are carnal people.  The Holy Spirit reveals these things to us, and that is what was happening here.  Jesus, with the help of the Spirit, I am sure was revealing things to His chosen disciples. Still the vast crowd around could not understand much of what Jesus spoke about.


Jesus continues by quoting Isa. 6:9, “through seeing they may not see, and though hearing they may not hear”.  The crowd was hearing Jesus and seeing Him, but that is as far as it went.  They still did not see or hear with their understanding.  This could  only come about if Jesus so decided to give them this understanding. 


Jesus gives the meaning of the parable. The first thing He says is that the seed is God’s Word,  God’s Message that He is speaking.  The 4 types of ground the seed falls on are 4 types of people. 


The seed sown by the path is the word of God spoken to people.  It actually reaches their hearts Jesus says, but the devil soon takes it away causing them not to believe.  The devil therefore is an enemy to the gospel.  He does take the Word away before it gets a chance to grow.  This we need to know and deal with.


The seed sown in the rocks is the Word of God spoken to people who receive it with joy.  The devil does not get to the Word and take it away.  Yet for one reason or another the Word doesn’t get secured in the people and when times of testing come, they give up their faith.  They stop trusting in Jesus.  The lack of proper fertilization  of God’s Word in people is another enemy of the gospel.


Now some seed fell among thorns. In this case, the people receive the Word, and actually begin to walk it out in their life.  The problems comes when they allow the pleasures and riches of this life to choke out what the Word has done in their lives.  In short, they lose their love for the Word, and their love for the world takes over.  These people fall away and lose their trust in Jesus.  Thus the love of the world is another enemy of the Word of the gospel.


Yet not all is lost.  Some seed falls on good ground.  These people are like those who hear the word, retain it, and let it mature “by persevering”.  This obviously tells us that one cannot grow and survive as a Christian without “persevering” through trials.  If what Jesus is saying is true, and it is, then part of the gospel message should be the idea that there are times of testing to persevere through.  Things won’t always be easy.  Yet fruit will result from these times of testing.


One thing Jesus is telling us here is that we can expect that not all of our attempts to win people for Him will immediately succeed.  And even when it does, not all will succeed to the same degree.  We do not see ii in Luke’s account, but in the other gospel accounts Jesus says that the seed sown on good ground will produce 30, 60, or 100 fold.  Some will do better than others at producing good fruit from the Word of God.  This is an important bit of understanding to have as we deal with people today and share with them the good news.


 Lamp On A Stand (ch. 8:16 - 18)


Jesus now tells His audience that no one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or under a bed.  This is not hard to understand.  His words make only good common sense.  Jesus says that one lights a lamp so when people come in the room they will be able to see.  Light dispels  darkness.


In verse 17 Jesus says, “for there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open”.  Light causes us to see what was once hidden in the darkness. 


The question is this, “what is Jesus getting at in the above statement”?  In the New Testament Jesus is considered “the light of the world”.  We too are to be light to a dark world. Who Jesus is, and what He is telling these people will bring light to many things in their lives.  He and His teachings will cause hidden sin to be revealed.  For example, Jesus exposes the hidden sin of the Pharisees. 


In the final analyses at the return of Jesus, He is seen as lightning flashing across the skies, that great and final light that will expose everything everywhere in judgment.


Because Jesus and His teaching is compared to light, He then says in verse 18, “consider carefully how you listen”.  Jesus is saying to the crowd that they should listen attentively to what He is saying, and do as He says.  Be not hearers of the word, but doers. 


Then Jesus says, “whoever has will be given more, whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him”.  This sentence is not an isolated sentence.  It fits into what Jesus has been saying.


We have all heard the phrase, “use it or lose it”.  This is close to what Jesus is saying.  He first says to listen closely to what the light brings.  Put it into practice.  When putting the truth into practice, you will grow, you will produce more of what the truth wants.  But if you don’t put the truth into practice, then even what you think you have, which is little to none, you will lose.


We thus see the importance of growth as a Christian. One cannot stand still for long without sliding backwards.  We must keep moving closer to Jesus.  Some may move faster than others, but we must be moving.


Jesus’ Mother And Brothers (ch. 8:19 - 21)


Luke now tells Theophilus  that Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see Him.  Luke doesn’t tell us why they wanted to see Jesus, but Mark does, in Mark 3:21.  They thought Jesus was beside Himself and they most likely wanted to take Him away.  We do know that Jesus’ brothers were not disciples of Jesus at this point.  Yet you might wonder what Mary thought about Jesus.  Did she think that Jesus was beside Himself?  We don’t really know.  She could have easily gone with the brothers to makes sure that they treated Jesus properly.  I don’t believe that the brothers had evil intent for Jesus.  They most likely wanted to rescue Him from the crowds and from Himself.  They wanted to bring Him to His senses.  Mary, a loving mother, would naturally want to come along, not because she thought Jesus was beside Himself, but because she loved Him, and wanted to keep an eye on things.


The crowd was too large for Mary and the brothers to get through to Jesus.  Some told Jesus that they were trying to get to see Him.  Jesus responded by saying, “my mother and brother’s are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice”, exactly what He had been talking about.


By saying these words Jesus was shedding light on who He really was.  He was more than Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Mary.  He was Jesus, the Son of God.  Yes, he had an earthly mother and brothers and sisters, but in the long run His family was much larger.  Beyond the physical relationships that Jesus had were the spiritual relationships, and in the end, these were the important relationships. 


Not to minimize family, but the Bible teaches that in Heaven people will not give or be given in marriage.  Family ties will be different in Heaven.  Our spiritual relationship will take priority over biological relationships.   Jesus says, “hear what I say and do it and you will be my brother”.  Even on earth, many time people’s spiritual family are closer than their biological family. 


Jesus Calms The Storm (ch. 8:22 - 25)


One day Jesus suggests that He and His disciples (how many we don’t know) go across a lake in a boat.  While in the boat Jesus fell asleep.  Jesus did get tired from all of His activities.  While He was sleeping a great storm arose and began to swamp the boat.


Jesus must have been a deep sleeper for the storm and the water that began to fill the boat did not wake Him.  His disciples had to wake Jesus up and tell Him that they were all about to drown in the lake.


Upon awakening Jesus rebuked the wind and the water resulting in everything being  calm once again.  Then in verse 25 He asks, “where is your faith”?  Simply put, Jesus is saying, “where is your trust that you say you have in me”.


Maybe Jesus wasn’t a sound sleeper after all.  Maybe He simply trusted in His Father to the extent that He could sleep through anything.


Then “in fear and amazement they asked one another, ‘who is this man?   He commands the winds and the waters and they obey Him’”.  These same disciples who woke Jesus up by calling Him “Master Master” now asked, “who is this man”.  It is possible that the disciples thought they knew who Jesus was, yet once seeing this great miracle wondered that maybe they didn’t know Jesus as good as they thought they did.  You and I would be no different.  These men were trying to get a handle on who Jesus is.  They think they have figured Him out and then He goes and does something that make them have to figure Him out all over again.  That’s just like Jesus, isn’t



The Healing Of A Demon Possessed Man (ch. 8:26 - 39)


After Jesus calms the storm they sailed to the region called Gerasene.  As soon as Jesus stepped on to the shore he was met by a demon possessed man.  This man did not live in a house but in tombs, and wore no clothes. 


Tombs in those days were dug out of rocks along hill sides.  This is where dead people were buried.  These demons chose to live in these dark and deadly tombs. 


When the demon possessed man saw Jesus he fell at Jesus’ feet.  You might ask, “why did the demon not cause the man to run from Jesus, knowing what would happen”?  The probable answer may be that Jesus had great authority over evil spirits and they were unable to run from His presence.


The demons caused the man to fall at Jesus feet and shout out, “what do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?  I beg you, don’t torture me”.  We see that the demon uses the voice of the man to speak.  We see that the demon fears Jesus.  He is far from happy being in the presence of Jesus.  He knows that his home, that is, the body of this man will no longer be his dwelling place. 


Many people believe that demons need and crave a body to live in.  Some believe that demons are disembodied spirits from a pre-creation time.


The demon says these things to Jesus because Jesus had already commanded the demon to leave the man.


The demon petitions Jesus to not torture him.  We learn from Matthew that this meant that the demon did not want to be sent to “the abyss” before the proper time. I understand the abyss to be the Lake of fire – the final place of punishment.  The demon seemed to understand that at some future point, him, other demons and the devil would be thrown into the Lake of Fire . He did not want Jesus to send him there now.


We also should note that the demon recognized who Jesus was, the Son of the Most High God.  This is always the case in Scripture. Demons fall under the authority of Jesus when in His presence.


In verse 29 Luke states that this demon had caused the man to have great physical strength. At times this man was tied hand and foot with chains, probably for the protection of himself and others, yet the demon would cause the man to break free and run into a “solitary place”.


Jesus asks the demon his name.  The demon says that his name is legion, for the man actually had a legion of demons, not just one, and the demon doing the speaking seems to be the leader. 


Some people in the past have doctrinalized this question that Jesus asked and say that every time you cast a demon out of someone, you need to ask his name.  Yet Jesus doesn’t always ask the name of demons, and why He did at this point is unknown. 


In verse 32 we see the demons asking Jesus “repeatedly” not to throw them into the Abyss, a reference to the Lake of Fire that we mentioned above. This is the dreaded fear of all demons, the devil included.  They know that their fate will end in the fire of God’s judgment, and they fear that immensely. 


In verses 32 and 33 we see that the demons asked Jesus to send them into the pigs, instead of the Abyss.  They knew they had no chance of staying in the man so the body of pigs would be the next best thing because they were grazing on a nearby hillside.  Luke says that there were about 2000 of these pigs.                  


Jesus honours the requests of the demons, and allows them to go into the pigs.  As the demons caused the man to be violent in nature, so the same result occurred in the pigs.  The pigs literally went crazy.  They ran off the side of the cliff and into the lake and drowned.


The question has often been asked, “why did Jesus allow these demons to go into these pigs”?  The pigs were obviously the livelihood of someone.  Did Jesus not care for the people who owned these pigs?  Some suggest that these  pigs were owned by Jews.  If this was indeed the case, this would have been against the Law of Moses.  Jesus would have in effect upheld the Law by His actions.  But this is only conjecture.  We really don’t know.


When those attending the pigs saw what had happened they ran into town and told everything they had just seen and the towns people came out to see the man, fully clothed and in his right mind, sitting at the feet of Jesus.  Jesus was clearly teaching this man how to live since he got his life back.


Luke tells us that everyone was afraid, and why not.  This was a major event.  No one had ever been able to cast demons out of people.  Then to allow them to go into 2000 pigs and destroy the pigs would cause even greater fear.  Jesus was a man of love and peace but He caused much fear in many people.   Verse 37 tells us that the people of that region were so afraid that they asked Jesus to leave.  Can you believe that.  Jesus does a good thing to a man.  It caused fear among the people, and they ask  Him to leave.  And so he did.  “He got into the boat and left”. (ch. 8:37)


In verse 38 we read that the man wanted to go with Jesus.  This too is very natural.  This man’s life had just been drastically changed by Jesus.  He wanted to be with Him, and follow Him, but Jesus says no.  Jesus wanted him to go home, someplace where he hadn’t been for a long time and be a witness to the power of God.


Often, and especially in evangelical circles, when someone gets saved they are encouraged to pursue a life of ministry for that is the highest calling.  Go away to Bible School .  Go away to the mission field.  Yet as in this case, often the best thing to do is to go home and be a living witness to the power of God.


A Dead Girl And A Sick Woman (ch. 8:40 - 56)


Verse 40 says, “now when Jesus returned…”.  Jesus returned to Capernaum .  When Jesus reached the city there was a crowd waiting for Him as usual.


There was one man in the crowd named Jairus.  He was a synagogue ruler, another word for an elder.  These elders would look after the affairs of the local synagogue.  When Jairus met up with Jesus he fell at His feet and pleaded with Jesus to come to his house.  This was serious pleading.  The prostrate position of the man tells us this.  The Greek sentence structure tells us that this pleading was in deed “much pleading”.


Jairus had a sick daughter and she was on death’s door step.  Even if Jesus ran to the house, she was so sick that it might be too late.  This girl was twelve years old and his only daughter, making her very special to Jairus. 


It is obvious that Jairus wanted Jesus to come to his house as quick as possible, if not quicker, but his trust in what Jesus could do was going to be tested. On the way to his house a woman that had a bleeding problem ran up to Jesus, just as Jairus did.  She touched Jesus, hoping to be healed of this problem that she had for twelve years, after spending most of her money on doctors and remedies that didn’t work.  It is interesting to note that when Jairus daughter was born, this woman started bleeding.  Yet as soon as she touched Jesus, she was healed.


This woman had faith.  She did not even ask Jesus to make her better.  She figured that she simply had to touch Him and she would be healed.


In verse 45 Jesus asked, “who touched me”?  This surely seemed like a weird question for the crowd was  pressing in on Jesus and there’d be lots of people that could have touched Him.  Yet the people around Jesus denied touching Him, at least knowingly and intentionally.  Peter reminded Jesus of the crowd pressing in on Him, suggesting that Peter did not understand why Jesus would ask this question.


Yet Jesus always has a reason for everything He says, and every question He asks.  In verse 46 Jesus persisted and said, “someone touched me; I know that power has gone out of me”.  In fact, probably many people touched Jesus unknowingly, but one person knowingly touched him on purpose.  Because of this faith, power went out of Jesus into the sick lady, making her better. 


Jesus felt power going out of Him.  Some feel that this power left Jesus automatically. Others feel that this power could only leave Him as a result of His will allowing it to happen. They say that Jesus knew someone touched Him in order to be healed.  He might have even knew who touched Him.  Whatever the case, power left Jesus, He felt it leave, and this lady was healed because of her touch of faith.


Verse 47 tells us that “the woman  “seeing she could not go unnoticed came trembling and fell at his feet”.  Her sickness could have been an embarrassment to her.  More than an embarrassment, the woman would have been ceremonially unclean, and did not want people to know that she was in the crowd.  She didn’t seem to want a big fuss made over her.  She simply wanted to be quietly healed, and now Jesus was bringing her out into the attention of the crowd.  She, like so many others when meeting Jesus, “trembled and fell at His feet”.  The trembling suggests a measure of fear, if not great reverence.  The falling at Jesus’ feet does show that she had great respect for Him.  Even today, when someone meets Jesus for the first time he senses the greatness of Jesus. Meeting Jesus is not really a casual affair.


The lady told Jesus in front of everyone why she touched Jesus and that when she did touch Him she was instantly better.  It is a good possibility that Jesus thought that the  woman’s  verbal testimony was important for her, as well as the crowd.


In verse 48 Jesus responded to her by saying, “daughter, your faith has healed you.  Go in peace”.  Our simple definition of faith is “trust”.  Jesus was telling this lady that because she trusted in Him, she was healed.  I am sure that as Jesus told her to go in peace, that she had a great sense of peace within her as she left, something that is the result of anyone who really meets Jesus.


It is interesting to note that Jesus told this lady to “go”.  I often wonder what happened to all of these people who were influenced by Jesus in one way or another.  Jesus did not spend hours discipling these people.  Somehow He trusted His Father to look after them.  Hundreds if not thousands of these people were spread throughout the region.  In Acts 1 and 2 we see only 120 in the upper room receiving the Holy Spirit.  Did all of these hundreds or thousands receive the Holy Spirit as well at some point in their lives? 


Now before you forget, this is not the end of this chapter.  We still have Jairus’ sick daughter.  Was it too late now?  Did Jairus feel frustrated?  Did he feel like giving up? 


In verse 49 someone came from Jairus house to tell him that his daughter had already died.  The messenger said, “don’t bother the teacher anymore”.  I can hear the tone of voice that these words were spoken in.  I picture the messenger being very disponded, greatly let down. Jairus probably felt the same way.  Jairus probably thought that it was too late now, his daughter had died.  If only Jesus had not have been delayed.   


Jesus hears what the messenger said, and in verse 50 says to Jairus, “don’t be afraid, just believe and she will be healed”.  Jesus was giving Jairus a choice, to keep believing, or to give into fear.  Keep believing, or keep trusting is the key here. 


These words must have reached Jairus’ mind with some confusion.  The girl is dead.  Its too late.  But Jesus tells him not to be afraid, and trust Him instead.  The idea of his daughter being healed after she had already died had not entered into his thinking.  On the way to his house with Jesus he must have been in a quandary, trying to figure out what Jesus meant, and sad about his daughters death. 


We see that when Jesus arrived in the dead girls room He only allowed her parents, as well as Peter, James and John in with Him.  Peter James and John seem to be special to Jesus, almost like an inner circle of the Twelve.  On 2 other occasions that we know of, the Transfiguration, and the Garden of Gethsemane prayer, these 3 mean were selected to be with Jesus.


There were many people crying and weeping over the death of this girl.  Some of these people would have been professional weepers.  In those days you would hire people to help you weep when a person dies.


Yet Jesus told these people to stop weeping because this girl was not dead, but only sleeping.  The weepers suddenly shifted gears and laughed at Jesus because they knew she was dead.


Now was she simply sleeping, or was she really dead?  And if she was dead, why did Jesus say that she was sleeping?   Well she was dead.  After Jesus takes her by the hand, and told her to get up, “her spirit returned”.  She was indeed dead. Her spirit had left her body.  Yet in the eyes of Jesus, and of God, there is no real difference between sleeping and death.  In fact, death means nothing to God.  It is simply a person passing from one form of existence to another.  Death seems final to us humans, but it is not final to God.  We need to adjust our thinking accordingly.


Jesus then told Jairus and his wife to feed their daughter, and not to tell anyone about this.  Once again, we see Jesus telling someone not to tell others what had happened.  We don’t really know why at times Jesus tells some to go and speak of the things He did, while at other times He said not to speak.  It is clear that the word of this miracle would get out.  I don’t think Jesus did not want anyone to know what had happened.  He would have known from experience these things get talked about by everyone. 

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