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Luke 8 Preaching the Gospel with authority and power

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Luke 8 Preaching the Gospel with authority and power

This guide contains verses 1 – 39.

Chapter 8 contains several topics that are also present in Matthew and Mark; powerful parables and miracles that need to be witnessed to, over and over again.

Verses 1-3 Women who supported Jesus

• In addition to the disciples, Jesus had others, including the women listed here who traveled with Jesus. These women learned from Jesus, followed Him, and supported Him financially

• Luke mentioning the women was not by accident. Leon Morris writes; “The rabbis refused to teach women and generally assigned them a very inferior place.” Luke wants us all to see that Jesus did not see women in this way at all. Women played and continue to play a vital role in the Ministry of Jesus Christ.

• Barclay points out (like the disciples) that these women came from varied backgrounds. He writes; “It is an amazing thing to find Mary Magdalene, with the dark past, and Joanna (wife of Chuza – Herod’s steward), the lady of the court (Herod’s steward), in the one company.”

• Luke points out that these women supported Jesus and His ministry from their own pockets; Jesus just didn’t make money appear. The example of stewardship is seen here from the beginning.

Verses 4-15 Parable of the soils and its meaning

• Luke points out that Jesus is teaching a very large group here and taught using a parable (an earthly story or metaphor with translated to a heavenly meaning).

• Barclay notes that it is important not to confuse a parable with an allegory. Allegories are stories in which every detail has an inner meaning; parables on the other hand, teach one point or theme.

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• It is important to note that many, call this the parable of the sower, it is better titled the parable of the soils; after all, the sower and the seed are the same, the soil is what changes.

• Some seeds fall on the path and that seek gets trampled and eaten up by birds, other falls on rocky ground and while it sprouts – it burns up from lack of moisture, other seed falls on soil that is fertile – but it gets choked out by thorns and other weeds, and other seed falls on good -group and produces a great crop (in some cases 100-fold).

• Jesus ends the telling of the parable with the words; “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” This call is specific, not general. This call is for those who are of the faith to listen and learn; not a general call for everyone. • The disciples then ask a great question; what does this parable mean? The

meaning is obvious to most of us, because of time spent in Bible study, but think about the disciples who are new to all of this.

• God wants people who want the things of God to know the things of God. Jesus could have spoken this plainly; but this is one of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God and it something that we are not meant to understand unless God reveals it to us. This is the Holy Spirit at work in us now, allowing us to understand the mysteries of the Kingdom God wants us to know.

• “Seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.” This is a direct quote from Isaiah 6:9. Guzik explains; parables were not intended to make difficult things clear to everyone that heard them. Instead, they were a way of presenting a Kingdom message so the spiritually sensitive would understand. The parable was a doorway for people to know and reflect on a truth that was revealed through the parable.

• Think about parables; if you don’t know the key behind it; you can’t

possibly understand it. A farmer might hear the parable and think; “I have to be more careful about how I cast my seed, I’m wasting too much…” That couldn’t be further from the truth; as we see in Jesus’ explanation

beginning in verse 11.

• “The seed is the word of God.” This is the key to understanding the

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• Jesus is telling us to spread the Word, spread the seed. It isn’t our job to worry about whether the seed takes root; some will and some won’t, some will root and die, some will root and be choked out by other things in life, and then others will grow and multiply and wow, bear more fruit!

• As Charles Spurgeon notes; the seed isn’t our seed, it is given to us by God. His Word will never run out; spread the Word everywhere; don’t be shy and pick and choose. Sometimes it will take root in places we don’t expect and other times it won’t.

• Satan will take God’s Word from people in strange ways; but we can learn from this. Think about this; if Satan is so busy trying to distract us, we can know that if we stay in touch with the Word of God, then a relationship with Jesus, repentance, baptism, a faith journey, and eternal life will follow and many will be saved.

• Spurgeon emphasizes; “We need the Holy Spirit; and if the Lord does not water us daily from the living springs on the hilltops of glory, we will certainly die.” We must stay connected to the vine to receive moisture from the Holy Spirit!

• This parable has always encouraged me when people seem to be not responding to sermons or care and compassion in ministry. It is a true reminder not to dwell on the results, but focus on scattering the seeds!! Share the Word, share your faith; led God worry about the results!

Verses 16-18 Response to hearing the Word

• Jesus uses another parable to explain the responsibility of those who hear the Word of God.

• Jesus explains; no one lights a lamp and then covers it up. Just the opposite; you place it high up so it can be seen.

• He goes on to state that truth will be revealed, it is supposed to be. • With these two statements Jesus is telling us that when one has the truth

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• We are accountable as faithful Christians to share the Word of God, to share our salvation.

• Jesus then takes things one step further; “Therefore take heed how you hear.” In other words, take heed in how one responds. Our actions are indicative of how we hear the Word of God.

• God will give us what we need to share the Word and to the level we share, the more we will be given. Jesus is telling us to be active listeners. We cannot be passive; we must engage!

• Guzik states; “Jesus reminds us that spiritual growth follows momentum, positive or negative. When we have the Godly habits of receiving the Word and living it, more is built on to that. When we lose those Godly habits, they are extremely difficult to get back.”

• Keep in mind we are talking about spiritual matters here; look at the

churches in Laodicea and Sardis. They thought things were fine; they were wealthy and thought they needed nothing. The truth is, they were

spiritually blind and poor. Don’t think because someone or oneself is rich in earthly things, that they are on the right road. The Pharisee’s were a prime example.

Verses 19-21 True Family

• Jesus reminds us in these three verses of who he considers His family; it is those who hear and follow His Word.

• Jesus didn’t mince words here; His family didn’t get any special breaks. • Guzik reminds us; “The brothers of Jesus never seemed to be supportive of

His ministry before His death and resurrection.” (John 7:5 and Mark 3:21) • We can’t read this separate from the preceding verses; we are called to

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Verses 22-25 Jesus Calms the storm

• Jesus and the disciples get into a boat to cross over the Sea of Galilee. Jesus falls asleep during the voyage. Jesus is human, He got tired after all His teaching.

• A storm came up; violent storms often come up in the sea of Galilee and it had to be very violent for experienced fisherman to be scared.

• They woke Jesus; “Master, Master, we are perishing.”

• Looking at this situation, the disciples were scared and didn’t find any peace in the fact that Jesus was sleeping. Jesus was calm and they should have known that if Jesus was calm enough to sleep, things would be just fine.

• Jesus calms the storm and asks; “Where is your faith?” We can learn an awful lot here. Do we panic in certain situations or do we trust in the Lord, always? Fear is one of Satan’s great tools; fear causes doubt, panic, and lack of trust. Haven’t we all fallen victim to this?

• Jesus rebuked the wind! He didn’t just stop it, He rebuked it. Adam Clarke even suggests that Satan may have been responsible for the storm; after all, kill off the disciples and Jesus and the mission, the journey is over. • We can never think that the Kingdom of God is going to perish because of a

storm, because of a new government, because someone does something wrong; the Kingdom of God, the Christian Church is going to survive and thrive. We just read Revelation, God Wins!!

• The disciple’s response to the calming of the storm is as shocking as being afraid of the storm. The disciples are scared; even after the great catch of fish, the healings, the demons exercised, this terrifies them.

Verses 26-39 Restoring the Possessed Man

• The sailed east to the Gerasene region and were immediately met by a man possessed with demons. He had been possessed a long time and was living in the tombs and wore no clothes; obviously driven out of the city because He was uncontrollable.

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• The demons obviously knew Jesus and the authority He had over them and they didn’t want to leave their host. They did not understand that Jesus could save; they only thought that He would torment them.

• His name was Legion, emphasizing the many demons that lived in the man; they begged Jesus not to send them into the abyss. The abyss is a prison; the bottomless pit of inactivity, described in Revelation 9:11.

• Instead, they asked Jesus to let them go into the heard of pigs nearby. Jesus has authority over all, even animals.

• This passage also tells us that this was a Gentile community; the pigs tell us that. One never saw pigs living in a Jewish community.

• Jesus allowed the demons to go into the swine and we see the disaster and destruction the demons cause in the reaction from the pigs.

• The reaction of the people is interesting; they were less interested in the healing and deliverance of the man possessed with demons than what happened to the pigs.

• They asked Jesus to leave because they were more concerned with the economic disaster of losing the pigs than they were about the life of the demon possessed man.

• Once again; the people are more concerned with their temporary economy than with their salvation. The demon possessed man presented not threat compared to Jesus.

• Like the Pharisees; if they could only see the salvation Jesus could provide to them, they would not be afraid.

Question: Does fear of going without affect our faith? Does this type of fear affect our giving of time, talent, and treasure?

• We often see this; people will either turn away from Jesus or push Jesus away from them because they are afraid how Jesus might change their life. • The possessed mans response is very different; he wants to go with Jesus! • Jesus on the other hand says no; go to your own house as tell them what

the Lord has done.

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traveled with Jesus, his story wouldn’t have had near the impact. Instead, his story gets repeated over and over and stays with the people there. If he traveled with Jesus, he could tell his story; but in this community they would have a memory of Jesus and His healing burning for a long time.

The healed man wanting to follow Jesus was a good and right thing; but Jesus’ ministry needed him with this community.

• The healed man did just as Jesus asked; he proclaimed Jesus and what He did for him in the whole city. This is what Jesus asks us to do; proclaim how Jesus has healed us.

Question: We have to ask here; what healing can we proclaim from Jesus? What is Jesus asking us to share with others in our community?

Sources:

Guzik, David; Luke Study Guide, blueletterbible.org Bock, Darrell L.; The Luke NIV Application Commentary Matthew Henry Commentary

Spurgeon, Charles; Commentary on Luke

Morris, Leon; Tyndale New Testament Commentaries Barclay, William; The Gospel of Luke

References

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