The women that helped Jesus
1After this, Jesus went to visit many towns and villages. He told people the good news about the kingdom of God. The 12 disciples were going round with him. 2Some women were also travelling with them. These women had been ill, but Jesus had made them well again. One of the women was Mary from Magdala. Jesus had sent seven bad spirits away from her. 3Another of the women was Joanna, the wife of Chuza. Chuza had authority over all the people that worked in the house of King Herod. Another of the women was Susanna. There were many others also. These women were using their own money to help Jesus and his disciples.
A story about a farmer that planted seeds
4Lots of people were coming to Jesus from many towns. A large crowd had already come together when Jesus told this story:
5‘A farmer went out to plant seeds in his field. While he was throwing the seeds, some of them fell on the path. Then people walked on them. Birds came down and they ate those seeds. 6Some seeds fell on ground with rocks in it. They started to grow. But the young plants died because the ground was not wet enough in that place. 7Some seeds fell among thorn bushes. Those bushes grew up with the young plants. They stopped the seeds from growing into strong plants. 8But some seeds fell on good soil. Strong plants grew from those seeds. Each of these plants made 100 seeds.’
When Jesus finished the story, he said, ‘You have ears, so listen well to what I say!’
Jesus explains why he tells stories
9Jesus' disciples asked him about this story. They asked him what it meant. 10Jesus replied, ‘God has let you know what these stories mean. You understand how God rules in the lives of his people. But other people only listen to my stories. They look, but they do not really see clearly. They hear the words, but they do not really understand.’
Jesus explains the story about the seeds
11Jesus went on to say, ‘This is what the story means: The seeds are like the message from God. 12Some seeds fell on the path. That is like some people who hear the message, but they do not think about it. The Devil comes and he takes the message away from their minds. He takes it away so that they cannot believe it. Because they do not believe the message, God does not save them.
13Some seeds fell on ground with rocks in it. This is like people who hear the message from God and they are very happy for a time. But they are like plants that have not grown down well into the soil. They believe in God for a short time. But when they have any problems, they stop believing.
14Some seeds fell among thorn bushes. This is like some other people who hear the message from God. But they start to have many troubles in their minds about how they will live. They want to get more money and more things. They think that this will make them happy. So they do not let God's message change them. They are like plants that do not grow into strong plants.
15But some seed fell on good soil. This is like other people that hear the message from God. They understand the message and they keep it in their minds. They are good and honest. They continue to believe and do not go back. These people are like a good plant that grows well and makes lots of new seeds.’
16Jesus went on to say, ‘People do not light a lamp and then cover it. They do not put the lamp under a pot or under a bed. Instead, they put it in a high place. Then other people that come into the room can see the light from the lamp. #8:16 People burnt oil in a dish called a lamp. This gave them light at night. They put the lamp on a high place so that the people could see.
17God hides some things now. But there will be a time when people will see them. God keeps some things secret now. But there will be a time when people will understand those things clearly.
18So you should think carefully about what you hear. The person who has received some things will receive more. But some other people have nothing. They think that they have a little bit. But they will lose even that.’ #8:18 Jesus is telling people how to listen to him. As in the picture story about the seeds, many people heard the message about God. But not all obeyed what they heard. They lost it. Some people were careful to listen. They received more than they started with.
The mother and brothers of Jesus come to see him
19Then Jesus' mother and his brothers came to see him. But they could not reach him because of the large crowd of people who were there. 20Someone told Jesus, ‘Your mother and brothers are standing outside. They want to see you.’
21Jesus replied, ‘I will tell you who my mother and brothers really are. My mother and my brothers are those people who hear God's message and do what he wants.’ #8:21 People that believe in Jesus become part of the family of God.
Jesus stops a storm
22One day, Jesus got into a boat with his disciples. He said to them, ‘We should go across to the other side of the lake.’ So they started to cross the lake. 23While they sailed in the boat, Jesus began to sleep. Then a strong wind started to blow across the lake. Water began to fill the boat and they were in danger. 24So the disciples went to Jesus and they woke him. ‘Master, master, we are going to die here in the water!’ they said.
Then Jesus got up and he spoke strongly to the wind and to the water. ‘Stop!’ he said. The wind stopped immediately and the water became flat. 25Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Why do you not believe in me?’
All this frightened the disciples and they were very surprised. They asked each other, ‘Who is this man? He even tells the wind and the water what to do. He speaks and they obey him!’
Jesus makes a man well
26Jesus and his disciples went to the place where the Gerasene people lived. This place is across the lake from Galilee. 27When Jesus got out of the boat there, a man from the town came towards him. Bad spirits were living inside him. He had not worn any clothes for a long time. He did not live in a house. Instead, he lived in a place where they buried dead people. 28When he saw Jesus, he screamed. Then he went down on his knees in front of Jesus and said in a loud voice, ‘Jesus, you are the Son of the powerful God above! We have nothing in common! Please do not hurt me.’ 29He said that because Jesus had already said to the bad spirit, ‘Come out of this man.’
The bad spirit had often taken hold of the man and people watched him carefully. They held his feet with metal chains. But when the bad spirit took hold of him, he often broke the chains. The bad spirit then caused him to go into the wilderness.
30Jesus asked the man, ‘What is your name?’ The man replied, ‘My name is Army.’ He said this because very many bad spirits had gone into him. #8:30 There were 6,000 Roman soldiers in a group called a legion. The man told Jesus that his name was Legion. He had many bad spirits that were living in him. The spirits used the voice of the man to speak to Jesus. 31These bad spirits asked Jesus not to send them away to the world below. #8:31 The world below is the place where the Devil and all the bad spirits will have to go.
32There was a large group of pigs there and they were eating on the hill. The bad spirits asked Jesus, ‘Let us go into the pigs.’ Jesus replied, ‘You can go into them.’ 33So the bad spirits came out of the man and they went into the pigs. All the pigs rushed together down the hill into the lake. They all died there in the water.
34The men who were taking care of the pigs saw this happen. They ran away. They told the people in the town and in the villages what had happened. 35So the people went out from these places to see what had happened. They came to Jesus. The man that the bad spirits had come out of was sitting there, beside Jesus' feet. Now he was wearing clothes and his mind was well again. When the people saw this, they were afraid. 36Some people had seen Jesus make the man well. They told the other people how he had done this. 37Then all the Gerasene people who lived in that place said to Jesus, ‘Please go away and leave us.’ They said this because they were very afraid. So, Jesus got back into the boat so that they could leave that place. 38Then the man that the bad spirits had gone out from said to Jesus, ‘Please let me come with you.’ But Jesus replied, ‘No. 39You must return to your home. Tell everyone about all that God has done for you.’
So the man went away. He went everywhere in the town and told all the people, ‘Jesus has done very good things for me.’
Jesus makes a young girl well
40When Jesus returned to the other side of the lake, the crowd was very happy to see him. They were all waiting for him to come back. 41Then a man called Jairus came to see him. He was a leader at the Jewish meeting place. He went down on his knees at the feet of Jesus and said, ‘Please come to my house. 42I have one daughter. She is 12 years old and she is very ill. She will die very soon.’
So Jesus went along. A crowd of people went with him and they were pushing against him. 43There was a sick woman in the crowd who had lost blood for 12 years. She had paid all her money to doctors and she had no money left. But nobody could help her to become well again. 44She came in the crowd behind Jesus and she touched the edge of his coat. Immediately she stopped bleeding. 45Jesus asked, ‘Who touched me?’
Everyone round him said, ‘It was not me. I did not touch you.’ Then Peter said to Jesus, ‘Master, there is a big crowd round you. Many people are pushing against you.’
46Jesus said, ‘Someone did touch me. I felt it when something powerful went out from me.’ 47The woman knew that she could not hide herself. So she was very afraid. She came to Jesus and she went down on the ground in front of him. She spoke so that all the people could hear her. She said, ‘I wanted to be well again, so I touched him. When I did that, I became well immediately.’ 48Jesus said to her, ‘Young woman, you are well again because you believed in me. Do not have any more troubles in your mind.’ #8:48 A woman with this problem should not have been in a crowd. She should not touch other people and they should not touch her. She was very afraid because people would know her secret.
49While Jesus was still speaking, someone arrived from Jairus' house. ‘Your daughter is dead,’ he told Jairus. ‘Do not ask the teacher to come now.’
50Jesus heard what the man said. So he said to Jairus, ‘Do not be afraid. Just believe in me. Then she will become well again.’
51When they arrived at the house, Jesus would not let everyone go in. He took only Peter, John and James. He also let the mother and father of the girl go into the house. 52All the people there were crying loudly because they were very sad. ‘Do not cry,’ Jesus told them. ‘The child is not dead. She is only asleep.’
53But the people knew that she had died. So they laughed at him. 54But Jesus went and held the child's hand. He said to her, ‘My child, get up.’ 55Then she became alive again. Immediately she stood up. Jesus said to her parents, ‘Give her something to eat.’ 56They were very surprised. Jesus said to them very strongly, ‘You must not tell anyone about what has happened.’