Jesus Ministers throughout the Land
1Soon afterward, Jesus began a ministry tour throughout the country, visiting cities and villages to announce the wonderful news # 8:1 Jesus revealed fully what the law and the prophets did not fully reveal: the heart of the Father. This good news fulfills the ache of every human being to know a good Father who loves them. of God’s kingdom. His twelve disciples traveled with him 2as did a number of women who had been healed of many illnesses and set free from demonic power. One of the women was Mary who was from the village of Magdala, # 8:2 Or “Mary Magdalene.” The ancient village of Magdala has recently been discovered near the current town of Migdol. Some scholars believe Mary Magdalene could have been a rich widow since she financially supported the ministry of Jesus. In Luke 8:3 she is named first among the women who cared for Jesus out of their own means. from whom Jesus had cast out seven demons. # 8:2 The number seven means completeness. Mary was completely possessed by demons, but Jesus restored her true self and cast out her demons. Among the women were Susanna and 3Joanna, the wife of Chusa, who managed King Herod’s household. # 8:3 Some scholars believe that Chusa was the government official mentioned in John 4:46–53. Many other women who supported Jesus’ ministry from their own personal finances also traveled with him. # 8:3 To travel with a rabbi was considered a high honor. Yet it was not permitted in the culture and time of Jesus’ ministry for a woman to be mentored by a rabbi. Jesus elevated women into a place of honor and respect, in spite of the cultural limitations. It was these wealthy women who provided for Jesus’ care. Luke is the one Gospel writer who brings out the many times Jesus honored women. These women would later be present at the crucifixion (Matt. 27:55–56; Mark 15:40–41; Luke 23:49, 55) and at the resurrection (Luke 24:1–11). Mary Magdalene was the first human being to see the risen Christ (John 20:11–18).
Mysteries of God’s Kingdom Realm
4Massive crowds gathered from many towns to hear Jesus, and he taught them using metaphors and parables, # 8:4 One of Jesus’ preferred teaching methods was through story (Matt. 13:34). A parable required the listener to be humble, teachable, and open to truth. Revelation from God can be found through the doorway of an allegory. This parable is described in the Aramaic as “the parable of the seed.” such as this:
5“A farmer went out to sow seeds for a harvest. As he scattered his seeds, some of them fell on the hard pathway and were quickly trampled down and unable to grow and became nothing but bird seed. 6Some fell on the gravel, and though they sprouted they couldn’t take root; it withered for lack of moisture. 7Other seeds fell where there was nothing but weeds. They too were unable to grow to full maturity, for the weeds choked them out. 8Yet some of the seeds fell into good, fertile soil, and they grew and flourished until they produced more than a hundredfold harvest, a bumper crop.” Then Jesus added, shouting out to all who would hear, “Listen with your heart and you will understand!”
9Later his disciples came to him privately to ask him what deeper meaning they could find in this parable. 10He said, “You have been given a teachable heart to perceive the secret, hidden mysteries of God’s kingdom realm. But to those without a listening heart, my words are merely stories. Even though they have eyes, they are blind to the true meaning of what I say, # 8:10 This is taken from Isa. 6:9–10. See also Jer. 5:21; Ezek. 12:2. and even though they listen, they won’t receive full revelation.
11“Here, then, is the deeper meaning to my parable: The word of God # 8:11 Or “manifestation of God.” is the seed that is sown into hearts. 12The hard pathway represents the hard hearts of those who hear the word of God but the slanderer # 8:12 Or “the devil.” The Greek word diabolos (also translated “devil”) means “the slanderer.” quickly snatches away what was sown in their hearts to keep them from believing and experiencing salvation. 13The seeds falling on gravel represents those who initially respond to the word with joy, but soon afterward, when a season of difficulty and harassment of the enemy comes to them, they wither and fall away, for they have no root in the truth and their faith is temporary. # 8:13 From the Aramaic text. 14The seeds that fall into the weeds represents the hearts of those who hear the word of God but their growth is quickly choked off by their own anxious cares, the riches of this world, and the fleeting pleasures of this life. This is why they never become mature and fruitful. 15The seed that fell into good, fertile soil represents those lovers of truth who hear it deep within their hearts. They respond by clinging to the word, keeping it dear as they endure all things in faith. This is the seed that will one day bear much fruit in their lives.”
The Revelation Light
16“No one lights a lamp and then hides it, covering it over or putting it where no one sees its light. No, he places the lamp on a lampstand so others benefit from its brightness. 17Because this revelation lamp now shines within you, nothing will be hidden from you—it will all be revealed. Every secret of the kingdom # 8:17 Implied in the context of Jesus’ teaching on the mysteries of God’s kingdom realm (v. 10). will be unveiled and out in the open, made known by the revelation-light. 18So pay careful attention to your hearts as you listen to my teaching, for to those who have open hearts, even more revelation will be given to them until it overflows. And for those who do not listen with open hearts, what little light they imagine themselves to have will be taken away.” # 8:18 This verse contains a complicated ellipsis, which is a literary function of omitting certain information to invite discovery. The ellipsis of the text has been supplied by making explicit what is implicit in the context. The parables of the sower and of the lamp are similar, in that they speak of the heart that receives truth. The word of the kingdom is a “seed” that grows within us and a “lamp” that glows within us.
Jesus’ True Family
19Jesus’ mother and his brothers # 8:19 Mary had other sons and daughters. These were the half-brothers/sisters of Jesus. Jesus’ father was not Joseph, but the Father of eternity. See also Mark 6:3. came to where Jesus was teaching, but they couldn’t get through the crowd that had gathered around him. 20Someone told Jesus, “Your mother and brothers # 8:20 See John 7:5. are standing outside, wanting to speak with you.”
21Jesus told the crowd, “These who come to listen to me are like my mother and my brothers. They’re the ones who long to hear God’s words and put them into practice.”
Peace in the Storm
22-23One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s get in a boat and go across to the other side of the lake.” So they set sail, and soon Jesus fell asleep. But a fierce wind arose and became a violent squall that threatened to swamp their boat. 24Alarmed, the disciples woke Jesus up and said, “Master, Master, we’re sinking! Don’t you care that we’re going to drown?”
With great authority Jesus rebuked the howling wind and surging waves, and instantly they became calm. 25Then Jesus said to them, “Why are you fearful? Have you lost your faith in me?”
Shocked, they said with amazement to one another, “Who is this man # 8:25 The answer to that question is found in Jer. 31:35, “He is the Lord of hosts!” who has authority over winds and waves that they obey him?”
A Demonized Man Set Free
26-29As soon as they stepped ashore on the eastern side of the lake in the land of the Gerasenes, the disciples were confronted by a demon-possessed madman from a nearby town. Many times he had been put under guard and bound with chains, but the many demons inside him had repeatedly thrown him into convulsions, breaking his shackles and driving him out of the town into the countryside. He had been demonized for a long time and was living naked in a cemetery among the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet and screamed out, “What are you doing here? You are Jesus, the Son of the Most High God!”
Jesus commanded the demons to come out of him, and they shouted, “We beg you, don’t torture us!”
30Jesus asked the man, “What is your name?”
“Mob,” the demons answered. “We are a mob, # 8:30 The Greek word used for “mob” is literally “legion,” which was the largest unit of the Roman military and represented up to 6,800 soldiers. for there are many of us here in this man. 31We beg you, don’t banish us into the Abyss!” # 8:31 See Rev. 9:1; 20:1–3. The Abyss is the place of imprisonment for Satan and his demons.
32On the hillside nearby, there was a large herd of pigs, and the demons pleaded with Jesus, “Let us enter into the pigs.” 33So Jesus ordered all the “mob” of demons to come out of the man and enter the pigs. The crazed herd of swine stampeded over the cliff into the lake and all of them drowned.
34When the herders tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off in fear and reported it to the nearby town and throughout the countryside. 35Then the people of the region came out to see for themselves what had happened. When they came to where Jesus was, they discovered the notorious madman totally set free. He was clothed, speaking intelligently, and sitting at the feet of Jesus. They were shocked! 36Then eyewitnesses to the miracle reported all that they had seen and how Jesus completely delivered the demonized man from his torment.
After hearing about such amazing power, the townspeople became frightened. 37Soon all the people of the region of the Gerasenes and the surrounding country pleaded with Jesus to leave them, for they were gripped with fear. So Jesus got into the boat, intending to return to Galilee. 38But the man who had been set free begged Jesus over and over not to leave, saying, “Let me be with you!”
Jesus sent him away with these instructions: 39“Return to your home and your family, and tell them all the wonderful things God has done for you.” So the man went back and preached to everyone who would listen about the amazing miracle Jesus had worked in his life.
More Miracles of Healing
40When Jesus returned to Galilee, the crowds were overjoyed, for they had been waiting for him to arrive. 41-42Just then, a man named Jairus, the leader of the local Jewish congregation, fell before Jesus’ feet. He desperately begged him to come and heal his twelve-year-old daughter, his only child, because she was at the point of death.
As Jesus started to go with him to his home to see her, a large crowd surrounded him. 43In the crowd that day was a woman who had suffered greatly for twelve years # 8:43 The daughter of Jairus was twelve years old; this woman had suffered for twelve years. Jesus touched the girl; the woman touched Jesus. from slow bleeding. Even though she had spent all that she had on healers, # 8:43 Translated from the Aramaic text, which states literally “the house of healers.” This phrase is not found in many Greek texts. she was still suffering. 44Pressing in through the crowd, she came up behind Jesus and touched the fringe # 8:44 This was on the corner of the prayer shawl, and the tassel was meant to symbolize all of the commandments and promises of God. The woman was laying hold of a promise for healing. of his garment. Instantly her bleeding stopped and she was healed.
45Jesus suddenly stopped and said to his disciples, “Someone touched me. Who was it?” # 8:45 Jesus already knew the answer to his question. He wanted the woman to come forward and acknowledge her healing.
While they all denied it, Peter pointed out, “Master, everyone is touching you, trying to get close to you. The crowds are so thick # 8:45 There were many crowds around Jesus, the living Word. Many today crowd around the Bible, the written Word. But only those who “touch” the Scriptures in faith receive its promises, just like the sick woman received her healing. we can’t walk through all these people without being jostled.”
46Jesus replied, “Yes, but I felt power surge through me. Someone touched me to be healed, and they received their healing.”
47When the woman realized she couldn’t hide any longer, she came and fell trembling at Jesus’ feet. Before the entire crowd she declared, “I was desperate to touch you, Jesus, for I knew if I could just touch even the fringe of your garment # 8:47 She was touching the hem of the robe of our anointed High Priest, Jesus. See Ps. 133:2. I would be healed.”
48Jesus responded, “Beloved daughter, your faith in me released your healing. You may go with my peace.”
49While Jesus was still speaking to the woman, someone came from Jairus’ house and told him, “There’s no need to bother the Master any further. Your daughter has passed away. She’s gone.”
50When Jesus heard this, he turned to Jairus and said, “Don’t yield to your fear. Have faith in me and she will live again.”
51When they arrived at the house, Jesus allowed only Peter, John, and Jacob—along with the child’s parents—to go inside. 52Jesus told those left outside, who were sobbing and wailing with grief, “Stop crying. She is not dead; she’s just asleep and must be awakened.”
53They laughed at him, # 8:53 They did not realize that Jesus was using “sleep” as a metaphor for death. knowing for certain that she had died.
54Jesus approached the body, took the girl by her hand, and called out with a loud voice, “My sleeping child, awake! Rise up!”
55-56Instantly her spirit returned to her body and she stood up. # 8:55–56 This chapter contains four great miracles of Jesus Christ: (1) over nature, for he stilled the wind and waves; (2) over demons, for he cast out a mob of evil spirits; (3) over disease, for he healed the hemorrhaging woman; and (4) over death, for he restored the life of this twelve-year-old girl.
Jesus directed her stunned parents to give her something to eat and ordered them to tell no one what just happened.
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