Luke 8

Introduction

‘After this, Jesus travelled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.’ Luke 8:1-3

As Jesus travelled from town and village to another, He preached the good news concerning the kingdom of God as He went. He had the twelve with Him, along with some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases.

Mary called Magdalene, was from Magdala, Jesus had driven seven demons from her, Mark 16:9. We know nothing about Joanna and Susanna except for what is written here but it does appear they were wealthy as they used their own resources to support Jesus and His disciples. They would go on to become great witnesses for Christ, Matthew 28:10 / Mark 16:1.

The Parable Of The Sower

‘While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.” When he said this, he called out, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” His disciples asked him what this parable meant. He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, “‘though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.’ “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.’ Luke 8:4-15

As the crowd became larger, Jesus takes advantage of the audience and shared with them a parable. The word ‘parable’ comes from the Greek word ‘parabole’, which literally means a placing beside, a comparison; equivalent to or to compare.

Some say that a parable is ‘an earthly story with a heavenly meaning’ but really a parable is more than that. The dictionary defines a parable as ‘a short figurative story, designed to convey some truth or moral lesson.’ Or ‘a brief story using events or facts of everyday life to illustrate a moral or spiritual truth.’

Throughout the gospels there are over 30 parables of Jesus recorded in some style or another. Most of them are well known to many people but all of them are classics and Jesus was the Master teacher when it came to parables.

Although this is called ‘the parable of the sower’, the key to understanding this parable is understanding that the seed is the Word of God and so maybe it should be called ‘the parable of the soil’. Jesus frequently taught in parables. A parable is a story with a spiritual application. Here, Jesus described a farmer who went out to sow seed in his field.

Naturally, as he went along scattering it with his hand, the seed fell onto different types of ground. The harvest depended on the kind of soil where the seed fell.

The disciples didn’t understand what Jesus meant, so they asked Him to explain. Jesus described four types of people who hear the word of the Gospel.

The first type is like hard-packed soil. These hard-hearted people do not let the word penetrate their life; they reject it immediately because they have closed their minds.

The second type is like seed sown in rocky places. The idea here is of a thin layer of topsoil covering a large rock. When the seed is sown in such a place, it will germinate and grow in the shallow soil, but it will not develop deep roots.

When the sun comes out and it doesn’t rain for a few days, the plant will wither and die. This represents a person who eagerly receives the word, but doesn’t develop roots through faith and Bible study. This person will not have the ability to withstand the temptations and persecutions that come along in life.

Third, Jesus described the thorny soil. In this ground, the plant is overshadowed by taller weeds which suffocate fruit production. This soil symbolizes people who receive the word and although they allow it to continue in their lives, permit competing interests to dwarf it.

These other influences may not be bad things in themselves, but they dominate the person’s life so much that the seed can’t bear fruit.

Finally, Jesus described good soil in which plants bear abundant fruit. This soil represents Christians who are diligent in the service of God.

Which Soil Are You?

Everyone has a place in the parable of the sower. Jesus wants us to evaluate which type of soil we are.

1. Hopefully, we won’t be the hardened, wayside soil.

If we are, we will close our minds to the truth and refuse to allow the gospel to penetrate our hearts and change our life.

2. Perhaps we’ll be the rocky soil. On the surface, we appear to be growing and serving the Lord enthusiastically.

But we aren’t deepening our roots through faith, study and a deeper personal relationship with Jesus Christ. When times become tough, we will fall away, and others will marvel because on the surface it looked like we were doing so well.

3. If we end up being the thorny soil, we will continue to ‘be a Christian,’ but our life will be dominated by other activities and we will never have much time or attention to share with spiritual concerns.

This is probably the most subtle danger because the plant in thorny soil never completely falls away. As a result, we can soothe our conscience and believe that we are still doing OK, when in fact, we aren’t bearing fruit.

4. Ideally, we will be the good soil that bears the fruit of righteousness for the Lord.

Thoughts About The Seed

Jesus explained that the seed represents the word of God, Luke 8:11. There are many lessons that can be learned by the analogy between seed and the word. For example, a seed always produces after its kind.

That is, rice seed always produces rice plants, corn seed produces corn plants and pumpkin seed pumpkin plants. There are no exceptions. By the plant that results, one can determine what seed was planted. So, it is in the spiritual realm. When the pure word of God is planted, the resulting plants are Christians.

Seed Never Changes

It would be theoretically possible to eliminate pumpkin plants from the face of the earth. Yet if pumpkin seeds were preserved, someone many years later could plant them, and again produce pumpkins. So also in Christ. The seed is the word of God, 1 Peter 1:23-25.

Even if there had not been servants of Christ on the earth for a long time, when people returned to following the Bible only, they would become Christians. Our goal should be to reproduce pure disciples of Christ in the twentieth century, just like they were in the first.

A Lamp On A Stand

“No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they think they have will be taken from them.” Luke 8:16-18

Inherent in the purpose of a lamp is that it produces light. It’s therefore placed in a position to accomplish its purpose. Lamps exist for the very purpose of bringing light to men, Matthew 5:15-16. The function of light is to reveal that which is present in the house. There is nothing hidden that will not be manifested.

In reference to the preceding parable of the sower, the preaching of the Gospel will bring to light the true nature of the hearts of everyone who hears it.

It’s the light that both enlightens and brings to light, John 3:17-18 / John 5:34 / John 6:40 / John 12:48. Those who hear will be revealed to have open hearts. Those who reject the word of God will be revealed to have hardened hearts.

They must understand and respond to what they hear. They must be as the good soil, Mark 4:8, that brought forth abundantly. ‘It will be measured to you’ means those who are of a humble nature are receptive to the teachings of Jesus.

They hear with the intention of producing. As a result of their willingness to hear, they will grow. To the ones who grow, therefore, more will be given in the sense that the righteous will receive far more in eternal glory than they expect, Romans 8:18.

‘Whoever does not have’ means those who aren’t of the nature of the good soil will not produce. They will thus not receive the bounty of more.

That which unrighteous hearts possess will be lost in the final reckoning of all things. Their good works will be in vain because they aren’t in Christ, 1 Corinthians 15:58. The unrighteous will lose whatever they had.

The Bible is a light, but it’s useless if it remains closed on the bookshelf. In order to receive profit, we must open it up and read it. Although studying the Scriptures is essential, many read the Bible in vain, because they don’t read it correctly.

It’s significant that in the middle of a text stressing the importance of hearing the word, Jesus emphasised the need to be careful how we hear, Mark 4:24.

The fact that people who read the Bible come to markedly different conclusions about what it means demonstrates that many are not understanding it properly.

Some are careless and simply don’t put much effort into their study. Others twist the Scriptures intentionally, misinterpreting them to try to confirm the beliefs and practices they have already determined to follow.

Jesus’ Mother And Brothers

‘Now Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him, but they were not able to get near him because of the crowd. Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.” He replied, “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.” Luke 8:19-21

Matthew records that Jesus had four brothers, Matthew 13:55-56, and Mark records that Jesus had at least two sisters, Mark 6:3. As there is no mention of Joseph here, this could signify that he had died, Matthew 13:55 / Mark 6:3 / John 2:12 / John 7:3 / John 7:5 / John 7:10.

It’s clear that Jesus’ physical family have heard a lot about what has been going on but it’s also clear that Jesus’ family didn’t understand Him. They came to try to talk to Him, perhaps to persuade Him to take a break, Mark 3:31-35.

He refused to give them a private hearing, explaining that His family no longer had a special claim on His attention. Jesus’ true family consists of those who hear and do His will, 1 Timothy 5:1-2. This incident shows that Mary had no special influence or privilege, Jesus treats all of His obedient followers equally, John 1:12-13.

Jesus Calms The Storm

‘One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.” Luke 8:22-25

One of the reasons Jesus chose fishermen was because of their easy access to boats, they may even used a specific boat for Jesus’ ministry. Now, remember that most of the disciples were hardened fishermen and they would be used to being in storms.

Jesus consistently demonstrated His authority by doing things that were totally beyond human capacity. In this case, while the disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee by boat, Jesus fell asleep on a cushion. A great storm arose, and the disciples panicked, these hardened fishermen were scared, this must have been some storm!

In desperation, they awoke Jesus saying, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’ He got up and calmly rebuked the wind and the sea, the word, ‘quiet’ means to muzzle. The storm ceased.

Matthew also recorded that Jesus made this statement before the work of the miracle. This is the point that Jesus wanted the disciples to understand. At this time, all things were under the care and control of Jesus because He was head over all things, John 13:3 / John 17:2.

Jesus then turned to the disciples and reproved them for their lack of faith. Though they had seen Jesus perform many miracles, they were always amazed by each new one. They said, ‘Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?’

Once we recognise that Jesus is God and the Creator of all that exists, Colossians 1:16, then we will realise that nothing is outside the power of Jesus to control. For this reason, it is faith in Jesus that brings peace of mind, Philippians 4:7.

How Well Do We Sleep?

Considering the things that the disciples had already seen Jesus do, their doubts about His ability to quiet the storm are astonishing. They had seen Him heal multitudes of people, cast out demons and prove Himself equal to any task at hand.

Suddenly, they despaired because of a storm on the sea. Obviously, they didn’t really think Jesus could solve this problem because they were amazed when He did.

How could they have been so slow and so distrustful? What about us? Do we not believe that Jesus can handle any situation if we trust and obey His will? Have we not seen in the Scriptures how Jesus can solve every problem?

How do we react when we confront a fresh crisis in our lives–do we trustingly and confidently turn to Jesus, or do we throw up our hands in despair? How well do we sleep?

In the presence of Jesus, there should be a great emotional calm in our lives, Psalm 65:7 / Psalm 89:9 / Luke 4:39.

Jesus Restores A Demon-Possessed Man

‘They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee. When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!” For Jesus had commanded the impure spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places. Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” “Legion,” he replied, because many demons had gone into him. And they begged Jesus repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss. A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs, and he gave them permission. When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned. When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. Those who had seen it told the people how the demon-possessed man had been cured. Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left. The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.’ Luke 8:26-39

Jesus and His disciples went to the eastern shore of Galilee, a place called Gerasenes, this must have been a Gentile area as there were many pigs around and we know that the Jews saw pigs as unclean animals. And it’s here Jesus is met by a man with an impure spirit.

Coffman, in his commentary, says the following.

‘Mark and Luke mention only one of these people, Mark 5:2 / Luke 8:27, the principal one. Note that neither Mark nor Luke states that there was ‘only one’ of these men. The fact of demon possession is plain here. These were possessed not merely with one, but with many, demons.’

Gill, in his commentary, says the following.

‘Mark and Luke mention only one demoniac, probably the fiercer of the two.’

There are many views today concerning demonic possession, some argue that it still exists whilst others don’t.

It’s generally supposed that no such thing as demon possession exists on earth today and if that supposition is correct, it would simply mean that the power of Jesus Christ in destroying the works of the devil, which was His purpose in coming into this world, 1 John 3:8, was effective and that Satan’s demonic followers are not able to work the havoc upon the human personality in this age, as formerly.

The multiplication of such disorders in the times of Christ should, in such a view, have been expected as the demons recognised the holy Saviour and His purpose of destroying them.

Mark stressed the unnatural strength of this caveman, using two entire verses to stress it, Mark 5:3-4, but Matthew supplied the significant fact that his wildness had closed the area to human traffic, Matthew 8:2, and Luke the equally significant fact that he was naked. Such a person had no doubt cast a terror over the entire village, Zechariah 13:1-2.

Night and day, he would cut himself, which shows us how much self-harm this demon was causing him. The demon-possessed seem always to have been able to recognise Christ and the man’s worshipping Jesus is a reference to his falling down before Him and, in view of the man’s behaviour, after he was healed, it must also have included, on the man’s part, if not the demon’s, an adoration of the Lord spiritually.

The effect of his possession was that of splitting the personality, making it impossible, in each instance, to distinguish between what was done by the demon and what was done by the man.

He asks Jesus a question but in doing so, revealed He knew Jesus and His power and authority. This name of God, ‘Most High,’ is very ancient, appearing in connection with Melchizedek, Genesis 14:18, Balaam, Numbers 24:16, and in the Song of Moses, Deuteronomy 32:8. The Hebrews didn’t invent or evolve monotheism, that being the original view of the Father, even prior to Abraham.

The request of the demon seems here to have been predicated upon God’s prior promise that the demonic world would be vanquished at some time certain in the future, hence his invoking God’s name in the request.

A glimpse of God’s ultimate plan of destroying evil surfaces here in the demonic knowledge that such destruction is in store for them and that an appointed time for it has already been determined. Acts 17:31 / Zechariah 13:1-2.

There is no evidence that the impure spirit had the power to resist Jesus’ word. By the demon’s request to enter the swine, that evil being confessed the necessity of his obeying Christ’s command.

Christ asked, ‘the man’ his name, not because the Lord didn’t know it, but because He sought to bring the man back to a sense of his own identity, an identity of the demon had taken as shown in the reply.

‘My name is Legion; for we are many’. Notice ‘My’ is singular and ‘we’ is plural. This is a further indication of the separation that the demon had inflicted upon the man.

A legion was four or five thousand men and, although no truth may be certain in such a reply from such a source, it’s at least in harmony with the idea of multiple possessions in some cases, Mary Magdalene being another example, Mark 16:9.

Notice again in Mark 5:10 the confusion with the words, ‘he’ and ‘them’. It’s as if he cannot make up his mind where he is one or a Legion!

It has been suggested that the speaker was the leading demon speaking for all the rest, but the view is precarious. Of course, we don’t have the exact words of the petition, only Mark’s account which gives it indefinitely.

But one thing is clear, the demons were fearful of having to depart the dwelling they had seized in the poor man before the Lord, and they pleaded not to be sent away.

Notice again in Mark 5:11-12, ‘he’ begged the Lord in Mark 5:10, but it’s ‘they’ who do the pleading here, making it sure that the demons were the ones pleading.

Of all the lower creation, only the serpent and swine are revealed in Scripture as possessed of an evil spirit. The serpent is a symbol of intellectual cunning and the pigs of gross uncleanness, suggesting that in both categories there is a great temptation to the human family.

Notice that Christ didn’t destroy the pigs, the demons did. Christ’s permission of such a thing is no more than God’s permission of all-natural disorders like earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, droughts, tornadoes, etc., which kill millions of people, not pigs alone and yet all thoughtful persons find no difficulty reconciling this with God’s love and justice.

The pigs roamed the countryside as the result of a great multitude of people who gathered around the Lord, His disciples, and the man from whom the legion of demons was cast out and notice the contrast in the man.

He was naked, bleeding, furtive, dwelling in tombs, constantly crying out, etc. but notice the change, he is now clothed and in his right mind, sitting at the feet of Jesus! This shows what Christianity does, it really can transform lives.

But as one man’s life is transformed, the crowd seem to be scared, why were they scared? Possibly because they didn’t want Jesus’ kind of power in their midst. Possibly because they thought Jesus was going to wipe out every pig in the region which would mean a loss of property and revenue.

At first, it may seem incredible that the people of the town didn’t want Jesus to stay. But think about what they had just lost 2000 pigs. Some people owned them, some folks were planning to make money slaughtering, processing and selling them.

He had hurt the town’s economy. They evidently loved material possessions more than they loved Jesus, because of that, they missed out on the supreme privilege. They asked Him to leave. Do we ever invite the Lord to leave our lives because we love material things more than we love Him?

Whatever the reason, it’s clear they were so blinded by their physical loss, that they ask Jesus to leave the area. Jesus listened to them and left and would never set foot in the area again, how sad to see Jesus being rejected once again, despite doing a wonderful thing, not only for the men who were possessed but for those who lived in the area.

One can appreciate the feelings of the man whose life had been so distraught by the powers of darkness, and whose feelings of love and gratitude toward Jesus caused him to desire constant fellowship with the Lord. Those who have tasted the blessing of the Lord desire to be ever in His company and partakers of His companionship.

On some occasions, Jesus prohibited the beneficiaries of His miracles to speak of them, Mark 1:40-45 but here it was commanded, why?

Simply because this was a Gentile area, He was on the east side of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus didn’t want to be crowded by spectators in the Capernaum area, west of the Sea, but in this wicked town, He was in no danger of becoming too popular.

The people in this place needed someone to report the miracle. It’s of the greatest significance that Jesus here referred to Himself as ‘the Lord’ who had done for the man ‘great things’ and ‘had mercy upon’ him.

Attempts to get rid of Jesus in all ages have generally been as futile and ineffective as were those of the village of the Gerasenes. ‘Decapolis’ Mark 5:20, means ‘the ten cities’ which lay in the area, nine of them east of lake Galilee and it must have been a very effective witness indeed which was provided by that previous terror of the tombs who went up and down the area extolling the power and mercy of Jesus, whom he also, no doubt, identified as ‘Lord.’ No wonder it is said that ‘all the people were amazed.’ Mark 5:20.

Jesus Raises A Dead Girl and Heals A Sick Woman

‘Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him. Then a man named Jairus, a synagogue leader, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying.’ Luke 8:40-42

Jesus and His disciples went on to the western shore of Galilee and the view would have been amazing and the pulpit was the boat, which wasn’t far from the city of Capernaum. As we’ve already looked at Capernaum was Jesus’ home town.

Matthew 4:13 tells us that He had left Nazareth, and was now dwelling at Capernaum, thus fulfilling the prophecy with regard to Zebulun and Naphthalin, Luke 4:16-31.

Matthew 9:1 calls Capernaum His own city. Christ ennobled Bethlehem by His birth, Nazareth by His education, Jerusalem by His death, and Capernaum by making it His home town.

Jairus was a ruler of the Jewish synagogue in Capernaum, a prominent and respected leader of the people. His willingness to fall upon his knees before the Son of God emphasises the heartbreak which was crushing his soul.

Think about his situation for a moment, here is a man who sits in the synagogue and hears all the plans and plots to kill this same Jesus, but he comes to Jesus because he obviously believes in who Jesus claims to be and can do.

There can be no doubt that many of his peers despised him for humbling himself before the Lord, but what a blessing he is going to receive.

The phrase, ‘my little daughter’, Mark 5:23, suggests that this was not only his only daughter but his only child. Notice Mark says, ‘she is dying’, Matthew quoted Jairus as saying, ‘she is even now dead’ Matthew 9:18 and Luke recorded that ‘she was dying’.

A useful timeline would be this when the father left the child, she was at her latest gasp, and he didn’t know whether to regard her now as dead or alive and, because he didn’t receive any certain knowledge of her death, he was perplexed whether to speak of her as departed or not, expressing himself one moment in one language, and at the next in another. Jesus agrees to go with him, but it seems a large crowd had got in Jesus’ way.

‘As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped. “Who touched me?” Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.” But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.” Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.” Luke 8:40-48

A synagogue official named Jairus requested Jesus to come and heal his daughter who was dying. As Jesus was journeying to his house, a desperate woman in the multitude touched the Lord.

She had been bleeding for 12 years, had gone to many doctors, and spent all of her money, but had only worsened. She thought that by touching Jesus she could be healed. Sure enough, when she touched Jesus’ coat, she could sense that the flow of blood immediately dried up and she was well.

1. Physically she has suffered from a debilitating haemorrhage for 12 years, as long as the daughter of Jairus has been alive, and all the doctors have been unable to help her, she was physically exhausted.

No doubt the doctors tried all they knew, which by our standards wasn’t very much, but they had done their best. They had probably recommended such medication as ‘locust eggs’, ‘powdered eggs of grasshoppers’ or ‘the fingernail of a man who had been hanged’.

All of which were expensive medicines in those days! Indeed, she had spent all the money she possessed, and Mark doesn’t speak very flatteringly of the doctors when he says, ‘instead of getting better she grew worse’.

2. That wasn’t the only effect of her illness, according to Jewish Law, this illness rendered her unclean so she was banned from entering the temple or the synagogue. She was cut off from her religion and the support it should have given her.

3. And it didn’t stop there, there would have been a domestic consequence, maybe she was now divorced, Deuteronomy 24, at some point in those twelve years she would have lost her husband and according to Jewish Law, her husband had the right to divorce her and considering the fact that if he had continued to live with her, he would also have contracted uncleanness and the consequences of it, I have no doubt this is what had happened.

4. Think about the social consequences, she had lost all her friends and relatives, because they also wouldn’t dare to associate with her lest they became unclean.

According to Leviticus 15, anything with which the woman came into contact with was unclean, and anyone who had contact with her also became unclean. Indeed, they wouldn’t sit on a chair that she had sat on.

Think about this woman for a moment, she’s a widow, a woman with an incurable disease.

1. She was unclean.

2. This would give her husband the right to divorce her.

3. She was penniless. Spent all she had on doctors looking for a cure. Locust eggs were given; the nail of a dead thief was another remedy but these all cost lots of money.

4. Ex-communicated from her religion.

5. Ex-communicated from society.

Put all this together and you see the terrible consequences of her sickness, we can understand how desperate she was. There was no one to help her, it seemed no one cared, nobody wanted to know her, she was a ‘nobody’.

She’s a nobody at this moment in time but when she heard that Jesus was back in Capernaum, this appeared to her, to be her only hope of a cure and she is determined to reach him. Mark 5:27 in the Greek says, ‘if she could get to ‘The Jesus’.

As Jesus was a common name, she knew ‘the Jesus’ she was seeking, the Jesus who had the power to cure her. I don’t think that she expected to be able to have a conversation or a consultation with the great Teacher, but she told herself, ‘If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.’

Now, like all male Jews, the outer garment of Jesus, something like a shawl, had tassels of Blue on its corners. They were there to serve to remind the wearer to keep the Law, and they were regarded as holy. Not surprisingly, this poor woman thought that, with such a holy person as the Teacher, they would be especially holy, if only she could manage to reach Him.

Of course, the problem she faced was immense! Weak and frail and fragile as she was, what chance of reaching Him did she stand, when faced with such a crowd of pushing, jostling, excited, noisy healthy people, milling around Jesus?

But she persisted and somehow managed to reach Jesus and she touched Him, and immediately she was healed. She not only knew it, but she felt it and so did Jesus.

Now, she would then have quietly gone away, but Jesus stopped and said, ‘who touched me?’ Not surprisingly His disciples were astonished! ‘Master, you see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’

Well, I believe that Jesus already knew who touched Him, and He was giving this poor woman the opportunity of coming forward and declaring herself! In any case, Jesus knew the difference between the touch of the jostling crowd and the touch of faith, and He said, ‘somebody touched me.’

Do you see what has happened? The ‘nobody’ has become a ‘somebody’! Luke records this story in Luke 8:43-48. She’s gone from being a nobody, ‘who’ to a ‘someone’, to a ‘daughter’.

And the woman came forward and told Him everything. No doubt she was apprehensive as she had broken the law by deliberately touching Jesus and furthermore, in Jewish society of that time, you didn’t touch such people as Priests or any religious leader! They were looked upon as holy men, and they liked it that way!

She probably expected a rebuke from Jesus, but, there was no rebuke, there was the compassion about which Jesus knew that the heart of that woman was beating fast.

She was afraid of the consequences and she may even have feared that Jairus, the ruler, would speak sharply to her for having touched the Teacher.

But Jesus looked at her and gently spoke some of the tender words of His ministry record, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering!’ Notice again what Jesus called her, ‘daughter’! She came to Jesus a ‘nobody’, for whom nobody cared.

She heard Jesus refer to her as a ‘somebody’, but her status has now changed and now she hears Jesus call her ‘daughter’, she is everybody. This is the change that occurs when we come into faith in Jesus.

This poor woman had been cut off from the Jewish faith, but she was received into the faith of heaven. She was rejected by her family, but was received into the family of the Son of God. she was excluded from the fellowship of human society but was received into the fellowship of those who believe. She was reconciled back into society and her religion.

And Jesus still changes people and many of those who have done the most good in the world started out as ‘nobodies’ but they learned through the Gospel of Christ that they really are a ‘somebody’ for whom God declares, that they realised that in the eyes of God they are ‘everybody’, the most important people on earth.

‘While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” he said. “Don’t bother the teacher anymore.” Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.” When he arrived at the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child’s father and mother. Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. “Stop wailing,” Jesus said. “She is not dead but asleep.” They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!” Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat. Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.’ Luke 8:49-56

Perhaps some of Jairus’ fellow rulers of the synagogue had been embarrassed by one of themselves appealing to the humble Prophet of the poor and there seems to be a kind of calloused argument here to the effect that, ‘Look, she’s already dead, and we all know that this Teacher cannot raise the dead; why bother (with) him any further?’

Whether or not this was exactly what they had in mind, that was certainly the attitude of their class. It’s as though they had said, ‘we are already proceeding with the funeral,’ which from Mark 5:38 it is plain they were actually doing!

When Jesus said, ‘don’t be afraid’, He means, don’t fear for your daughter’s life, don’t fear the scorn of your peers, don’t fear that our purpose has been upset by this delay in healing the woman. Jairus was instructed to retain his faith.

This marked a new milestone in Jesus’ ministry; already the abilities of these three had earned them a closer relationship with the Lord.

That relationship, however, wasn’t predicated merely upon ability, but upon the role, each of these would have in the future spread of Christianity.

James would set the grand example by being the first of the apostles to die for the faith. Peter would preach the first sermon. John would be the last witness and write the fourth Gospel.

Other instances in which these three were singled out for greater intimacy with Jesus were in the transfiguration and the Garden of Gethsemane. The probable task assigned to the other apostles was that of controlling and dispersing the multitude.

We are surprised to find so quickly the presence of the ‘hired mourners’ who were raising such a tumult in the house of Jairus, which might be explained by supposing some further delay necessitated by the dispersal of the multitude, during which Jairus had returned home and initiated this phase of the funeral himself, but this is denied by the fact that Jairus evidently remained with Jesus.

This leaves open the possibility that preparations had been made to become effective on the daughter’s death, or the additional possibility suggested under Mark 5:35, namely, that Jairus’ peers were proceeding with the customary funeral activities, the latter being the view accepted here.

When Jesus says, ‘the child is not dead but asleep’ He certainly didn’t mean these words as a denial that the daughter’s death had actually occurred, but it was His customary language regarding death, John 11:11.

In context, it also meant that He intended to raise her to life again. The attitude of the ‘professional mourners’ shows conclusively that the girl’s death had indeed occurred and had been proven.

The scorners were put out by Jesus, the spiritual implications of this being profound and perpetual. Their conduct here denies any other status to them except that of hired performers at a funeral.

Scornful laughter is never the behaviour of broken-hearted friends and relatives. Jesus’ questioning of the noise they were raising also supports the same conclusion.

Mark records the actual syllables that Jesus used in this calling of the little girl back to life, Mark 5:41. The words are Aramaic, supposed to have been the language Jesus used and from Peter who was present in that inner room, Mark remembered the very words that Christ used. The words, ‘little girl’ can also be translated as ‘little lamb’ which again shows the tenderness of Jesus’ voice to the young girl.

It is a strange coincidence that the age of this child corresponded exactly with the twelve years of suffering endured by the woman, suggesting some connection here that is not apparent to us. All commentators are intrigued by it, but none has a solution.

It has been pointed out that there was no way to prevent public knowledge of a funeral in progress having been broken up by Jesus. From this, it is clear that Christ intended merely that Jairus and the other witnesses of it should make no announcement of it, thus leaving Jesus’ earlier statement that the child wasn’t dead to remain fixed, to some degree at least, in the popular mind concerning the incident.

That they indeed cooperated in this charge of Jesus is seen in the fact of there being no great clamour, nor any extraordinary efforts of the hierarchy to put Jesus to death.

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