Luke Chapter Eight


v.1  1And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and showing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him,”


            Jesus continues his mission in Galilee, now with the twelve working with him continually.  This particular section of Jesus ministry is not recorded by Matthew, Mark or John but Luke only. 


v.2-32And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils, 3And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance.”


            “Certain women”, specific people, women that had been healed by Jesus and that were prominent and apparently well known to Luke and many of Jesus disciples at that time were traveling and providing for him.  Mary Magdalene, whom he had healed of demon possession, and specifically the wife of Herod’s steward; Herod Antipas being the Roman appointed ruler over Galilee at this time.  We find Mary Magdalene and Joanna again later directly after Jesus resurrection::


Luke 24:1010It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles.”


We also find prominent members of the government, those that were involved in ruling this area under the direction of Rome, as we find also in the city of Antioch after the persecution at Jerusalem:


Acts 13:11Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.”


            These prominent women, also apparently people of some means, ministered unto Jesus providing for the physical needs of both Jesus and his the twelve who are now traveling with him.


v.44And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable:”


            Jesus waited for an opportune time; a time when multitudes of people had come to him from all of the cities round about that region, and then he teaches by the means of a parable.  What is the definition of a parable?  A current dictionary definition is “a short allegorical story designed to illustrate or teach some truth, religious principle, or moral lesson”.  The word in the Greek from which the prefix “para” is translated means to “lay alongside” or place “side by side” as in making a comparison.


v.5  5A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.”


            A sower went forth to sow.  This story or illustration is something that the people listening could readily relate to and remember.  They would not know how to apply this lesson at this time but would later understand the illustration.  Even the twelve would not be able to apply it until later time.  This sower broadcast his seed; many of us understand this method and may have even used it in the past ourselves.  In sowing by this method some of the seed would fall by the wayside.  The area around the field, in the farming methods used at this time in history, where the footpath was that went through the fields.  The ground was too hard to sustain it there.  It would be stepped on by those passing by and the birds would find and eat it before it could sprout or grow.


v.66And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.”


            Other of the seed sown fell on thin soil.  Those that have grown up in the Ozarks or other similar areas in this country would readily understand what this means.  The soil is too thin to support any real grown and when adversity or some other hindrance would arise (in the illustration the hot sun) the plant that started to grow will die and wither away.


v.77And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.”


            We also readily understand how that seed could fall among thorns, thistles, or other weeds where when it started to grow cannot overcome the competition and gets choked out.


v.8 8And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”


            Then, finally, we have the seed that falls on the good ground, ground that is rich, deep and well watered providing a place for the seed to grow and mature.  Matthew and Mark mention a variety of fruit bearing, thirty, sixty and hundred fold; Luke mentions only the hundred fold; the greatest harvest.

            Then Jesus says that those that have ears to hear, let them hear.  Why did Jesus say this?  He’s giving them a warning; first of all that they should hear, second that that hearing should be an active hearing, a hearing that would motivate them to become doer’s as well as hearers.  Even his disciples, at this time, didn’t understand how to apply, how to :”hear” what Jesus is telling them.  So, they ask him to tell them the significance of his teaching.


v.1010And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.”


            First of all Jesus reassures them that it is given, it is the purpose of God that these men should understand the “mysteries” of the kingdom of God.  What does he mean here by mysteries?  Is this some deep, dark secret that we have to have a miraculous measure of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us to understand?  Many denominations and some of our wayward brethren teach this.  Not at all; but rather this mystery is something that has been hidden from prior generations, the mystery which Peter described this way:


I Peter 1:10-11  10Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: 11Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.”


That mystery that Paul writes about to the Colossian brethren; a mystery that has now been revealed by God:


Colossians 1:26-2726Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:”


            The time has come for the disciples to understand these things but the time for others to fully understand has not yet come.  Even the apostles and other preachers and teachers had to wait until God’s plan called for them to fully comprehend, and proclaim this mystery to others.  But Jesus is going to explain it so that when the Holy Spirit opened their eyes and they understood they would remember and be able to teach others.  We today are better able to remember these principles because they are in parable form.


v.1111Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.”


            The seed being sown is the Word of God.  Mark calls it “THE WORD” (Mark 4:14); Matthew, the “WORD OF THE KINGDOM” (Matthew 13:19).  It is the truth of the gospel, the good news of Jesus birth, death, burial and resurrection; the instruction that God has given us to enable us to become his children, to enter his kingdom, his family, to receive his mercy and salvation.  Incorruptible seed that will last forever:


I Peter 1:23Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.”


v.1212Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.”


            While we call this the parable of the sower; many preachers that I have heard think it would be more appropriately called the parable of the soils because that is what Jesus is describing.  The first is the wayside.  Some people hear the gospel of Christ like we hear the latest TV commercial; it may have caught our attention at that moment but then we discard it along with the rest of the audible garbage that we are bombarded with every day.


v.13  13They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.”


            Others when they hear the Word of God are like those rocks with very thin soil.  They will respond and maybe even be very enthusiastic for a short time but if another distraction comes, their living as a Christian becomes tiresome, or their enthusiasm diminishes they fall away and disappear from the congregation.


v.1414And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.”


            Then others are like that seed that fell among thorns or weeds.  They let their desires for the riches and pleasures of this word choke it out.  They may even appear to bear fruit in God’s vineyard for a time.  They may even have a conviction of sin and show signs of repentance from a past life but they are just not able to overcome the world around them.  They are not fully dedicated, they are not fully committed, and they fall away.


v.15But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.”


            Then there is the minority, if we divided this seed evenly about a fourth and in today’s world that’s a higher percentage than we experience.  They are the good ground where the seed sprouts, grows and matures bringing forth the fruit intended.  Luke says “WITH PATIENCE” and immediately we think of the encouragement found in Hebrews.  After giving us the examples of all those who lived faithful to God we are told:


Hebrews 12:1-21Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”


v.1616No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light.”


            Then Jesus gives his disciples, and us, an admonition.  When we light a light it is for a purpose.  It would do no good if we, as we know today, to turn a light on and then hide it.  We let it shine to light the world around us.  We should do the same with the seed of the kingdom.  We should sow it far and wide, at every opportunity, displaying the fact that we are children of God and providing an example to others.  And then Jesus tells them why.


v.1717For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.”


            God’s secrets, the mysteries that Jesus spoke about in verse 10; those mysteries that the prophets and teachers so diligently sought after I Peter 1:10 will now be revealed and revealed through them.  And then Jesus gives warning:


v.1818Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.”


            Take heed how you hear.  Be as James tells us:


James 1:2222But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”


            Mark in Mark 4:24 records for us to pay attention to what we hear; Jesus now tells us and Luke records that we should be equally concerned about how we hear; we are to hear as willing doers of God’s word.  Consequently the one who has this attribute will be given more but the one who only seems to be this way will have even that which he seems to have taken away.


v.19-2019Then came to him his mother and his brethren, and could not come at him for the press. 20And it was told him by certain which said, Thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to see thee.”


            Jesus mother, Mary, and his brothers come looking for him.  He is busy teaching and healing and the multitudes are pressed around him until they cant’ even get through.  We have no evidence that his brothers even believed in him at this time, in fact the indication is that they did not.  Word comes to him that they are there trying to see him.  He uses this situation to teach us an important truth.


v.2121And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.”


            There is a higher calling beyond that of our physical ties here on this earth.  Jesus says that his brethren at those “WHICH HEAR THE WORD OF GOD, AND DO IT.”  This emphasizes Jesus teaching in another place:


Matthew 19:2929And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.”


v.2222Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth.”


            Jesus is preaching and teaching in Galilee and he decides that it is time to go across on the other side of the Sea of Galilee or Lake of Gennesaret as Luke calls it in chapter 5.


v.23-2423But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. 24And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm.”


            Jesus fell asleep.  As is common with the Sea of Galilee at certain times, it can become very stormy and rough.  The small fishing boats are vulnerable when that happens.  Even through all of this Jesus continues to sleep and the sea has gotten so wild that his disciples, even though fishermen, accustomed to the sea are afraid.  They wake him and he stills the sea, it becomes calm.  His power is complete and absolute, even over the elements of the natural world.  He rebukes them for their lack of faith.


v.2525And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this!  for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.”


            Where is your faith?  Why are you afraid?  And because that now they are afraid of him they don’t answer.  Most of us have been in that position; where we’re being chastised and we know that this is the time to keep our mouths shut.  They had the added incentive of seeing Jesus control the storm, command the wind and the sea and have them obey.


v.2626And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee. 27And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs.”


            They arrive at the country of the Gadarenes.  A part of Palestine found at the southeast corner of the Sea of Galilee across the length of the sea from Capernaum.  There they find a man who lives in the tombs, or burial grounds, of the area.  This man is demon possessed, has been possessed for a long time and does not wear clothes nor does he live in a house or shelter; he just lives in the tombs and catacombs like an animal.  A wild, dangerous animal.


v.2828When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not.”


            The demon possessed man recognizes Jesus, knows who he is, calls him the “Son of God most high”.  The demons know that Jesus has power over them, they want him to go away, leave them alone, not torment them.  Then Luke tells us why.


v.29 29(For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.)”


            Jesus had commanded the demons to leave this man.  These evil spirits has mistreated this man horribly.  When the people in that area bound him and tried to restraint him and his activity he had broken those bonds.  These demons, or evil spirits, caused this man to live in the tombs and be such as he was.  They lived in him and were in control of his mind and body.


v.30-3130And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him. 31And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep.”


            Then Jesus does a curious thing.  He asks the demons their name.  They reply that it is Legion as they are many.  How much is a legion?  In the Roman army a legion was 6000 men, but we probably don’t have that many demons do we?  Why?  Because in Mark 5:13 we’re told that there were only 2000 hogs in the herd that drowns.

            They don’t want Jesus to consign them to the deep.  They know what is going to happen to them.


v.32-33And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them. 33Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked.”


            A herd of hogs were being kept on the mountain side, an unclean animal that a Jew wouldn’t be caught near.  Obviously they were being kept to feed the Gentile population of that country and they were being kept across the Jordan River from Judah or any part of the land that would be occupied by Israelite descendants.  The demons ask Jesus to allow them to enter into these hogs, he permits that to happen and the herd destroys itself in the sea.  There are going to be some repercussions as a result of the destruction of the herd of hogs.


v.3534When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country.”


            When the caretakers of this herd sees what has happened, Luke says they fled, ran away.  I guess if we had seen a herd of two thousand hogs stampede, run off a cliff and drown we would be a little afraid as well.  Especially since the herd was their responsibility to keep and provide care for.  They go into the city, possibly Gadara, which is not far and tell their story along the way and to their employers.  This is a pretty heavy financial loss.  Just to keep it simple, a 200 lb hog a couple of weeks ago was bringing 50 cents a pound in Little Rock; 2000 hogs at $100/hog adds up to $200,000.  The owners are understandably upset.


v.35-3635Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. 36They also which saw it told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed. “


            When they arrive at the scene to see what has happened, they find the man, healed, fully clothed, in his right mind and sitting at Jesus feet.  Now they are the ones afraid.  They probably have heard of the power of Jesus and his healing.  Strange things have happened, things that they don’t understand.  The power of God has been demonstrated and they know enough that they aren’t going to raise too much of a fuss.


v.3737Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought him to depart from them; for they were taken with great fear: and he went up into the ship, and returned back again.”


            This demonstration of Jesus power and the healing of this man brought a multitude of people from the surrounding countryside as well as the city.  As noted in verse 36 they fear Jesus.  So like the city officials in Philippi told Paul and Silas in Acts 16:39; they decide that they just want him to leave their vicinity. So Jesus accommodates them, goes and takes his disciples back to the ship and returns the way they came.


v.38-3938Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39Return to thine own house, and show how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him.”


            We see the difference between the man who was healed and the people of his city.  He prays or begs Jesus to allow him to accompany him but Jesus does not give him permission.  He tells him to return to his own house.  He does and Mark tells us in Mark 5:20 that he publishes his healing throughout the entire region of the Decapolis, with is the region west of Jordan, west and south of the Sea of Galilee.


v.4040And it came to pass, that, when Jesus was returned, the people gladly received him: for they were all waiting for him.”


            What a contrast between the people of the country of the Gadarenes and those at Capernaum.  One group wants Jesus to leave, the other welcomes him gladly.


v.4141And, behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue: and he fell down at Jesus’ feet, and besought him that he would come into his house:”


            It was the responsibility of the ruler of the synagogue to convene the assembly, keep order, and invite those that read from the Word of God and spoke to the congregation, Acts13:15.  They had some of the same responsibilities that elders do in the church today.  Frequently they were elders in the Jewish order of things.

            This man fell down at Jesus feet in a position of worship and begged him to come to his house.


v.42  42For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying.  But as he went the people thronged him.”


            Then Luke explains what the man wanted.  He has an only daughter and those of us who have daughters can fully understand how that they can become the apple of their daddy’s eye.  Matthew says she’s dead, Mark says she is at the point of death and Luke says that she is dying.  Luke tells us early that she is twelve years old, Mark in the latter part of his record.  Jesus responds to the man’s request but the people are pressing around him until it was hard to move and he isn’t making a lot of progress.


v.43-44 43And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, 44Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched.”


            As Jesus is making his way to the house of Jairus a woman comes to him that has a issue of blood, a chronic problem, a problem that has been with her for twelve years.  A problem that physicians and doctors have taken her entire living to cure but have made no progress.  Luke, being a physician himself, leaves with us the impression what she has is incurable.  Her condition also creates other problems for her doesn’t it?  Do we remember what?


Leviticus 15:2525And if a woman have an issue of her blood many days out of the time of her separation, or if it run beyond the time of her separation; all the days of the issue of her uncleanness shall be as the days of her separation: she shall be unclean.”


So this woman reasoned in her mind that if she could but touch the border of Jesus’ garment that she would be healed.  So that is what she does.


v.45-4645And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? 46And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.”


            When the woman is healed Jesus knows, knows what happened and knows why it happened.  He asks, who touched me.  He in the middle of a throng of people, being pressed on every side; people are probably touching or bumping up against him every step of the way.  But this woman’s touch was different, she touched him for a purpose and was healed.


            Peter, as usual the first to speak, tells Jesus that he’s being pressed by a multitude of people, of course he’s being touched.  But Jesus persists in his questioning those around him, he has a purpose.


v.47-4847And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately.”  48And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.”


            At this point in time, the woman realizes that she can’t hide, Jesus already knows who she is.  So she comes forward and confesses that it was her that touched him, the reason why she touched him and how that she was instantly healed.  All the people around him also hears this good woman’s confession.

So Jesus tells this woman that her faith had healed her, her belief that if she could but touch the hem of Jesus garment, her affliction would go away has caused her to be made whole; to be healed and that she is go to her way in peace and be comforted.


v.49  49While he yet spake, there cometh one from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying to him, Thy daughter is dead; trouble not the Master.”


            While Jesus is dealing with the woman in the multitude that was healed by touching him messengers come to Jairus from his house and break the news to him that his daughter has died.  That Jairus should no longer trouble Jesus because it’s too late; she’s already dead.  But Jesus doesn’t turn back.


v.50-5150But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole. 51And when he came into the house, he suffered no man to go in, save Peter, and James, and John, and the father and the mother of the maiden.”


            When Jesus heard that the maiden has died, he tells the father not to worry; she will still be made whole.  He continues to the house and when he gets there he allows only Peter, James, John and the girls parents to go in.


v.52-53  52And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth. 53And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead.”


            At this point everyone is weeping and wailing.  Jesus tells them that this is not necessary; this little girl is just asleep.  They apparently don’t think he can tell the difference.  The scripture says that they laugh him to scorn, they make fun of him.  They reacted the same way we do sometimes when we someone tells us something that is just so incredible that we know it cannot be true.


v.5454And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise.”


            So he puts them all out, takes the young girl by the hand and tells her to get up.  Mark, in Mark 5:41, records the actual Aramaic words that Jesus spoke “TALITHA CUMI”.


v.55-5655And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and he commanded to give her meat. 56And her parents were astonished: but he charged them that they should tell no man what was done.”


            Her spirit comes back.  She was dead.  Her spirit had already departed to the place where the spirits of the dead go (Luke 16:19-31), but it comes back.  She gets up and Jesus commands them to give her something to eat.

            Luke records that her parents were amazed and astonished at what they have seen and Jesus tells them that they are not to tell anyone what they have seen.  Do you think that they obeyed Jesus instruction?  Matthew implies that they didn’t :


Matthew 9:26  26And the fame hereof went abroad into all that land.”