Let’s turn in our Bibles tonight to Luke gospel chapter eight as we continue our journey through the scriptures.
And it came to pass afterward (8:1),
Now that isn’t really quite a place to start, is it? After what? In the last part of the seventh chapter, we find Jesus eating with the Pharisee whose name was Simon who was very ungracious, did not offer to Jesus the common courtesies of a host and after that,
he went throughout every city and village, preaching and showing glad tidings of the kingdom of God (8:1):
The message of Jesus was the coming kingdom of God. The good news of the kingdom of God. And as we look at the kingdom of man, the governments of man, and as we see how that man has proved himself incapable of governing over his fellowman, it makes us long for the kingdom of God. At this point, notice “He is going into every city and village, preaching and showing.” Not just preaching but also showing. How did He show it? By the healing of the infirmed and the sick. By the raising of the dead. You see when the kingdom of God is established, there will be no sickness. There will be no physical infirmities. No blindness, lameness. As Isaiah describes it in chapter thirty-five, how the blind will see and the lame will leap like the deer and the mute will be singing praises to the Lord. And so Jesus was healing the sick, cleansing the lepers, raising the dead and thus showing them the things of the kingdom of God. The restoration of man to God’s divine and original intent before sin marred the plan and the purposes of God.
Notice that Jesus is not now going into the synagogues. In the earlier scriptures we were reading how that He would go into the synagogues and would teach. But the synagogues are no longer open to Him. He is in now real combat with the religious leaders. And so now out in the highways, the byways, the public places, Jesus is teaching and showing the people the things of God as He begins His third year of His earthly ministry.
the twelve were with him, But also there were certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, there was Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils (8:1,2),
Mary from Magdala, a little city along the sea of Galilee midway between Tiberias and Capernaum, a woman whose life no doubt was totally miserable because of the power and the control of these demons over her. Jesus set her free and as the result, she committed herself fully, completely to Jesus. It’s as though I owe my very life to You.
This is in reality true of each of us. Not that we were delivered of seven devils but we were delivered from the power of sin and we were lost and undone in sin and without the salvation brought to us by Jesus Christ. We would all be lost and so we all of us owe our lives to Him. But hers was such a dramatic deliverance that she just felt that commitment and did commit her life to Him. She was standing by the cross when He was crucified. And she was one of the first to the tomb and the first to see the risen Lord. And the first who was commissioned by the Lord to go and tell the story of the resurrection. Mary of Magdala. There was also,
Joanna the wife of Chuza (8:3)
Chuza was the Herod’s steward, that is, he was the man who was in charge of Herod’s financial affairs. He had an extremely important position in Herod’s court. Look at the contrasting people that Jesus brings together. A woman whose husband is in Herod’s court along with Mary from Magdala whose life was just a total miserable mess before she met Jesus. And yet Jesus brings such opposites together.
In the days when our area had been invaded by the hippies, and we were the little country church on the edge of town. That song that was written by Chuck Girard concerning the church is illustrative of this particular thing in that he wrote that line, Long hair, short hair, some coats and ties. People finally coming around. What a mixture, what an odd mixture that God put together.
During that time we had a very famous proctologist from Pasadena area who couldn’t stand hippies. But his daughter and son-in-law have become sort of involved so he came down reluctantly to go to church but didn’t want to mix too much with these long-haired dirty-jean kids. So he came in and the church was just packed to the gunnels. When we opened the word he didn’t bring his Bible with him but this dirty hippie next to him shared the Bible and it just broke his heart. He thought, Oh my, how wrong I’ve been. But God brought together an interesting blend of people contrasting. Jesus has broken down the walls that separate men.
As Paul writes in his letter to the Ephesians, “He is our peace, who has broken down every wall” (Ephesians 2:14). And there was no wall that was higher or more impenetrable than the wall between the Jew and the Gentile. But Paul there in Ephesians speaks of how He broke down even the wall between Jew and Gentile “where there is neither Jew nor Greek, Barbarian, Scythian, bond or free: but Christ is all, and in all” (Colossians 3:11). And so He brings together opposites. He brings together an interesting blend of people.
Now these women that were with Jesus ministered to Him of their substance. It was a common thing to help support a Rabbi. It was considered to be a very honorable thing. These women went, you see, we think of the Bible stories in the light of our culture. We think almost that Jesus traveled in a Greyhound bus with His disciples or took a jet to Jerusalem. But we don’t think of the logistics of the whole thing where they were walking everywhere. And we think of each town having its Motel 6 where you just go and rent a room. But it just didn’t happen that way in those days. And as they traveled there weren’t just a lot of restaurants where you could go in and eat. And notice there isn’t just the twelve apostles but there were many disciples who were following Jesus, of whom twelve were named to be apostles.
But you remember that when Jesus rose from the dead and had ascended into heaven and the disciples had gathered in Jerusalem and they were talking about the necessity of choosing one to replace Judas Iscariot, how that they said, We need someone who has companied with us from the beginning, who can bear witness of the ministry of Jesus and of His resurrection. We need to choose one of these to become a part of the twelve.
So there were many who had companied with Jesus during His earthly sojourn and thus, there were meals to be prepared, there was the sewing of robes to be done, there were the washing of the clothes and things of this nature. And so with those that followed Jesus were a group of women also who were very devoted and committed to Jesus and committed to taking care of the meal preparation and the buying of the food, the preparing of the food, and things of this nature. Here we have three of the women named for us who were a part of that company whose lives have been impacted by Jesus. They had more or less received a new lease on life from Him because of His healing, either of themselves or of a close relation perhaps. And so,
they ministered unto him of their substance (8:3).
That is, they took care of those common, ordinary things.
And when many people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spoke to them by a parable: A 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. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. And 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 (8:4-8).
This is a common cry of Jesus oftentimes when He would make a very important pertinent statement, He would then declare, “He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear.” It’s an emphasis upon what’s been said. And thus, throughout the messages to the seven churches in the book of Revelation, as Jesus is addressing the churches, He oft repeats this phrase, He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.
Here we have the four types of soil or the types of individuals, the hearts of individuals, upon which the word of God falls or descends as seed that is sown. The hardened ground of the pathway, some of the seed as it is sown is blown onto the pathway. The ground is hard because it’s been trodden down by people. And there as the seed lies on the pathway, people come and walk over it and the birds then come and they eat the seed. It never penetrates. And there are some people that the word of God never penetrates their hearts at all. They have a total disinterest in the word of God and their hearts are so hardened that they just don’t listen and it doesn’t penetrate.
But then there is that stony ground and as I said this morning, He’s not referring to just rocky soil which Israel has plenty of rocky soil but the rocky soil is tilled and planted and thus grow great crops because the soil is fertile. But the hillsides are barren of dirt. Most of the dirt is in the valleys. The hillsides have been denuded and there are large flatstones but the flatstones have these little crevices that have been created and usually there are puddles of water in them in the wintertime, in the rain. Little potholes kind of on the hillside and the dirt in them is one inch to six inches deep but it’s over this rock, it’s just all rocky, flat rocky area with these little holes in it that the dust has blown in and fills up the holes. And the seeds of course blow and in the springtime, even now these places are beginning to green out.
Little wild flowers are beginning to pop up. But they are the first places where seed germinates in the wintertime. But it isn’t long lasting because there is no depth of earth. The plant soon withers and dies as the moisture goes and as they enter into the spring season where they don’t get as much rain. Quickly it dies and it never develops very high. The flowers that grow in these little chuck holes are always very stunted in their growth. The anemones are usually only about six inches high in these areas because they just don’t have any depth of earth.
Some fell there in that stony ground in these little potholes and all where the soil was very thin. But they can never come to maturity, they can never grow to the place of seeding even because of the shallowness of the earth and the lack of moisture as soon as it turns warm.
And then there is that which fell among the weeds, among the thorns. You know as well as I know if you’ve had anything to do with gardening at all. Weeds seem to grow so much easier than your plants. Grow faster and the thing is though we have to weed our gardens because the weeds draw the nutrients out of the soil. And of course there are some noxious weeds like morning glories that will entwine themselves around the plants and actually choke out a plant and the life of a plant. And so there is some of the seed that fell among the thorns, the weeds and the weeds grew up with it and choked it out and it never came to the place of actually bearing fruit.
And then there was that good soil and it brought forth a hundredfold. Now I think of evangelism today and how so often we hear Billy Graham criticized because of the fact that so many people go forward in the campaigns but then you hear the criticism, Where are those people? We don’t see them in our churches. He came to Orange county and 10,000 people went forward but where are those people? And what we don’t take into consideration is that Jesus said that it’s not going to all bear fruit. That there will be some that will immediately take hold and get excited but then they lack depth and they fall away.
And then there are some that it grows up with the thorns and the thorns choke it out. And Jesus, giving the four kinds of soil, if you get one in four well praise the Lord. At least you’ve got, and rather than being able to look and say, Yes, there are those, praise God for those that are going on and bearing fruit. We seem to want to criticize because so many of them don’t continue on in the faith. But rather than being negative and emphasizing those that don’t, it’s better to just praise the Lord for those that are going on, the fact that they have received the word of God and are growing and developing and bringing forth fruit.
And so we read that.
The disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be? And 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. Now the parable is this (8:9-11):
And He begins to explain the parable. I think that there has come confusion as though Jesus is deliberately trying to hide the truth from people. As He explains His use of parables, a cursory examination it would appear that He’s trying to hide the truth. But that is the very opposite purpose of a parable.
The purpose of a parable is to illustrate a truth allowing you to see the truth by illustration. And in preaching, we learn the value of illustrations. And share with you some of our secrets. When we see people beginning to nod off, we’re losing attention, then we’ll tell a story because perks people up. We like stories. Once upon a time, many years ago. And it perks people up. They start to listen. And the truth then is brought to them in a subtle way and oftentimes the truth is not grasped until the punchline of the story comes in.
Many of the times when Jesus used parables, the Pharisees realize, That one hit us. When the application came, they could see that it was applicable to their situation. So parables are not intended to hide the truth but to illustrate the truth so that a person will hear. He may not understand fully but it’s an illustration and something to draw his attention so that he’ll continue to listen.
To the disciples Jesus said, I can just talk to you straight. You understand the things of the kingdom. I can share with you. But to those that are without, I’ve got to use these stories. I’ve got to use the parables in order to keep them listening so that they can get the truth and hear the truth. Though some people deliberately close their ears and close their eyes and don’t want the truth. Yet they get it anyhow through the parable because they get interested in the story.
I cannot believe that the Lord is deliberately hiding truth from people. That’s not His purpose. His purpose is that the truth be known. So as He then explains the parable to the disciples,
The seed is the word of God (8:11).
There is in the law of biblical interpretation what they call expositional constancy. They use big words. They say hermeneutics, that’s the law of scriptural interpretation. They’ve got a big word for it so it sounds intelligent. And then expositional constancy. Expositional constancy just means that when a symbol or object is used to represent something else, every time that symbol or object is used in symbolic form, it always represents the same thing. In other words, if you are using the birds to represent something that is evil as in this parable, the birds come and pluck up the seed, then in parables where you have birds mentioned in an allegorical form, the birds are always bad. You don’t find the birds being good in some of the stories and bad in others. There’s a constancy.
So that if in this parable the seed is the word of God, wherever in a parable the seed is spoken of, it will be always a reference to the word of God, the expositional constancy. So “the seed is the word of God.”
Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil [the birds], and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved (8:12).
There is another parable of a mustard seed that was planted, one of the smallest of all seeds, but this particular mustard seed grew up into a tree and the birds of the air came and lodged in it. And Jesus is speaking in a series of three parables concerning the kingdom of God like a mustard seed and like the woman who took the leaven and hid it in three loaves. The same illustration on through.
But there are those who say, Well you see, the church is going to start off very small like a mustard seed but it’s going to grow until it covers the whole earth and then the birds are going to come and lodge in it. And people will find shelter under it and so forth and it’s that glorious church expanding in the kingdom of God so that we the church are going to expand until we control the world and we bring in the kingdom of God.
That’s one interpretation of that. But if there is expositional constancy, the fact that you have birds lodging in the tree shows that the church is going to become corrupted, infiltrated by the enemy. Now what does history show us as far as fact is concerned? The church has become infiltrated by the enemy.
So here the seed is the word of God, it’s planted in the various soil and that which fell by the wayside, hardened heart. Satan comes and plucks the word before it even has a chance to penetrate.
They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; [they spring up quickly] but they have no root, and in time of temptation [time of trial, because they have no root] they fall away (8:13).
They turn away. I’m only going to seek to stimulate you to think. I’m not making any declaration one way or other, I’m only asking questions to provoke you to thinking. Obviously, in this first aspect of the parable, the seed that fell on the wayside, there was never any life that came forth. It never germinated. There wasn’t new life at all. Jesus said, “Lest they believe and be saved.” Obviously they were never saved.
But how about the seed that fell on the stony ground. And there was apparent life but stunted and died quickly. Were they saved? I only ask the questions, I don’t answer them. I’m not going to answer it, because I don’t know.
There is that which fell among the thorns, they are they which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and they bring no fruit to perfection or maturity (8:14).
Those who remain in a stunted spiritual state, those who never develop beyond infancy, those who after years in the church are still babes in Christ, those who have been around long enough that they ought to be able to teach the word of God but they still need to be taught. And rather than being able to receive and grow by the meat of the word, still require milk. Those that are spoken of by Paul when he wrote to the Corinth church. And those that are spoken of in the book of Hebrews who have never developed, matured in their spiritual walk. But because of the cares of this life and because of their desire for riches, and their pursuit of pleasure, they’ve never developed to the point of bearing fruit.
But that which fell 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 (8:15).
The keeping of the word of God is a thing that’s being emphasized here. Those that hear it and keep it. “Be ye doers of the word and not hearers only” (James 1:22). And thus it’s important that we examine ourselves at this point and ask what kind of soil is my heart. Is it good soil? Am I keeping, am I bringing forth fruit? Is the fruit of the Spirit evidenced and manifested in my life? Am I loving? Filled with joy and peace? Am I patient and long suffering? Am I gentle? Good, kind, faithful? Do these characteristics mark my life? Am I keeping the commandment of the Lord to love one another? And only you can answer that question because, I don’t know that you even know yourself, but allow the Holy Spirit to show you what is truth.
And then Jesus said,
No man, when he has lighted a candle, covers it with a vessel, or puts it under a bed; but he sets it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light (8:16).
In other words, there’s one purpose of a candle and that’s to give light. You don’t cover it, you don’t hide it. You are the light of the world and the purpose is to give light to those that come into the house. And thus the light is not to be covered. It’s inconsistent.
For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad. Take heed therefore how you hear (8:17,18):
Take heed. Jesus cried out you remember, He that hath hears to hear, let him hear. Now he’s saying, Be careful how you hear.
for whomsoever hath, to him shall be given; and whomsoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seems to have. Then came to him his mother and his brothers and they could not get into the house where He was teaching because of the crowd of people. And it was told him by certain ones that were there which said, Your mother and your brothers stand without, desiring to see you (8:18-20).
From the other gospels we know that Mary came down with Jesus’ brothers to rescue Him from these demands of the crowd. We are told in Matthew’s gospel that Jesus didn’t even have time to eat. The people were pressing on Him and coming, wanting to be touched or wanting to touch Him. There was such demanding people that He really didn’t have any time, and they thought that He was going to lose His mind, that He would be beside Himself. It was a term they used for a person having lost his mind. When you’re beside yourself, you’re talking to yourself. You’re conversing with yourself and so they thought that He was getting to that state of going to be worn out. No time to sleep, no time to eat. The pressures of the people were so great. And so actually theirs was a mission of mercy, it was a mission of love. She was seeing her Son being overtaxed and she’s worried about Him. And so she’s actually coming to attempt to rescue Him with His brothers. And so when they brought in word to Him, Your mother and your brothers are outside and they want to see You,
He answered and said unto them, My mother and my brothers are those which hear the word of God, and do it (8:21).
Again, the emphasis is not just hearing. Take heed how you hear. Now how should you hear? You should hear with a responsive heart and do it. The good soil, they are the ones that heard the word of God and kept it. The ones who are not just hearing but the ones who are doing and keeping the word of God. And so it is important that we are here hearing the word but what is more important is that we go out and put it into practice because if we don’t put it into practice then it doesn’t have value. If it isn’t practical, if it can’t be applied, if it can’t be worked out in our life, then it is not of value to us. So take heed how you hear that we hear with an open, honest heart ready to put into practice the things that the Spirit teaches us out of the word. And those, He said, those are the family, those are the real family. My family are those that hear the word and do it. They are the real family.
Now 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. But 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. And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we’re perishing. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm. And he said unto them, Where is your faith (8:22-25)?
These storms are quite common on the sea of Galilee. The sea of Galilee is actually surrounded by mountains. It is six hundred feet below sea level. There are canyons that have been carved out by water erosion through the years and when you get weather changes, the sea of Galilee being six hundred feet below sea level, you have a situation more or less like you have in Palm Springs, Indio where it gets very warm. But you have not far away the coastal area of the Mediterranean and so you oftentimes get these weather changes and violent winds like in Banning. The Banning Pass, it’s usually windy there and if you travel that area very much, you’ve probably had your car sandblasted on an occasion or two, because the wind always seems to be howling through that Pass. And so you have that kind of condition where the wind will come howling down on the sea of Galilee, just in ten minutes can turn a calm sea into a raging sea. We saw that one day when we were there. We crossed the sea of Galilee and while we were eating lunch, one of these winds came down and the whole lake was just churning. I was glad we had our crossing of the sea before lunch. I’d hate to have tried to cross it after lunch because of the way the sea was whipped up by the winds.
Jesus was no doubt physically tired and worn. Mary had come to sort of rescue Him but the interesting thing is He gets into the ship and wants to go over to the other side, and no doubt to just relax a bit with His disciples. And as soon as He gets into the ship, He falls asleep. But He is sleeping so soundly that when this vicious storm comes up, He doesn’t even wake up. You talk about really dead in sleep, Jesus was really gone. And here this horrible storm, the ship is tossing, the water is coming over the bow, the ship is beginning to sink and Jesus is asleep. To be able to sleep in a storm like that, you have to really be tired. And so the disciples woke Him up and when they said, Master, don’t You care if we perish? That was sort of Him included. Lord, if we all drown here, what’s going to happen to the kingdom? You’ve been teaching us about the kingdom and all, don’t you care if we perish? The whole thing goes down the tubes? That song, Master the Tempest is Raging. That one line, No water can cover the boat where lies the Master of earth and wind and skies.
And Jesus first rebuked the wind and literally He said, Be muzzled. Same words that He used sometimes when casting out demons which may indicate that this storm was sent by Satan to try to destroy. But having rebuked the winds and there suddenly is a great calm, then He rebuked His disciples for their lack of faith. “Where is your faith?”
And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commands even the winds and the water to obey him (8:25).
The Master of earth and wind and skies.
And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes [across the northern end of the lake from Capernaum], which is over against Galilee. And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils for a long time, he wore no clothes, neither did he abide in any house, but lived in the tombs. When 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 (8:26-28).
The other gospels give us a graphic description of the man, living there in the tombs, howling day and night, cutting himself with rocks, body no doubt scarred. People were afraid to come hear him. At times they had attempted to imprison him, to tie him with chains, but with demonic powers he broke the chains and thus he could not be controlled. Miserable, miserable existence indeed. There was another man out there with him, they both of them shared the same kind of fate but Luke only mentions the one because he was the dominant of the two. And Luke tells us that,
(Jesus 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 broke the bands, and was driven by the devil into the wilderness.) And Jesus asked him, saying, What is your name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him (8:29,30).
A Roman legion was usually around 6,000 soldiers and so he had many demonic spirits possessing his body. He was totally out of control.
And these demonic spirits begged Jesus that he would not command them to go out into the deep (8:31).
The word deep there in Greek is abusso. Now the abusso is also mentioned in Paul’s epistle to the Romans and then several times in the book of Revelation. It is interesting that from the book of Revelation, the abusso meaning a shaft and in Revelation is translated bottomless pit. It seems to be the place from the book of Revelation where evil spirits, demonic spirits are incarcerated. And that in the book of Revelation there is an angel that comes with a key to the abusso. And he opens it up and the earth is invaded by hordes of demonic spirits during the Great Tribulation, as they are released from the abusso.
We read of “angels which kept not their first estate, but are reserved in chains of darkness awaiting the day of judgment” (Jude 1:6). Could be a reference to these angels or to these demonic spirits or fallen angels. And most believe that the demonic spirits are fallen angels, those that went with Satan in his rebellion against God.
When Jesus returns to the earth to establish His kingdom, the nineteenth chapter of Revelation tells us that Satan will be bound with a great chain and cast into the abusso. So that it seems to be the place of the incarceration of angelic type spirits. Men are incarcerated in Hades or the Greek Sheol. But the evil spirits are incarcerated in the abusso. These demons that possess this man realized that that is their ultimate fate. And so they are begging Jesus that He would not command them to go out into the abusso.
There was nearby a herd of many swine who were feeding on the mountain: and they begged Jesus that he would allow them to enter into them. And he allowed them (8:32).
Here is where some people find fault with Jesus. They said that’s not right that He allowed those swine to be destroyed. Hucksley who has done a lot of damage had a great argument on this and he tried to show where Jesus was very wrong really in destroying life. This guy who destroyed so many but yet he argued with Gladstone over this issue and it was quite an argument in England some years back on the propriety of Jesus in doing these things.
What you need to take into consideration is that number one, these people were living in the territory of Israel where eating swine or keeping swine was unlawful. What Jesus was doing was getting rid of an unlawful industry. It’s like Jesus calling down fire on a warehouse filled with cocaine. Oh, He destroyed the building. My, what a shame! How can He do that. Destroying someone’s property. So it all depends on how you look at it.
And the devils went out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and they were choked. [Those that were feeding the swine, those that were keeping them], when they saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country. And they [that is, the people of the city and the countryside] went out to see what was done; and they came to Jesus, and they found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, and he was sitting at the feet of Jesus, he was clothed, and he was in his right mind: and they were afraid (8:33-35).
What an insight this gives to us of mankind.
They also which saw it told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed. And the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about begged him to depart from them; for they were taken with great fear: and he went again into the ship, and returned back again (8:36,37).
Imagine, these people begging Jesus to depart. They were upset at the swine being destroyed rather than rejoicing for the man that was healed. They had more interest in the spotted owl than in man himself. They’ll let families be hungry in order to save the kangaroo rat. They’ll let houses burn, won’t allow proper kind of cutting of the sage and so forth because gnat catchers might be nesting there. Well they don’t nest there now. But when people put the interest of animals or things like that above man, then something’s wrong with that society. Man is God’s crowning creation. And yes, I believe in being kind to animals. No, I’m not a hunter. I’m not even a fisherman. But I think that the interest of man supercedes the interest of pigs. And I don’t think that animals should ever be put above the welfare of man. Now I know I’ll get a lot of letters from you environmentalists but write them, I don’t read them so. But you get it off your chest when you write it so it’s good for you. It’s good therapy, so you go ahead and write them.
Now the man out of whom the devils were departed (8:38)
And interesting, isn’t it, that the devils wanted to be embodied. Jesus said When evil spirit is driven out of a man,” they go out looking for a house to inhabit, a body. It seems like they cannot accomplish their nefarious deeds unless they are embodied in an animal or in a man. And thus they go out through the dry places, looking for a house to inhabit; and finding none, they’ll come back to the house from whence they’ve been driven. And if nothing has replaced their place in that body, they’ll come back and a person can be again taken over by the demon forces unless that place has been filled by the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:24-26). So interesting, there’s a world out there that we know very little about and I really don’t care to know too much about it. But there’s a lot that we don’t know.
Now the man out of whom the devils were departed,
begged Jesus that he might be with him (8:38):
First of all, the demons were begging Jesus not to torment them. And then the people were begging Jesus to leave their country. And now the man is begging Jesus to go with Him.
but Jesus sent him away, saying (8:38), Return to your own house, and show how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done unto him (8:38,39).
Jesus left a witness. They say, Get out of here. Well Jesus is going to leave His witness. The work that He did, it’s going to stay there. They’re going to be reminded that Jesus was here. You may reject Him, you may ask Him to leave, but here’s a man who was a living testimony of the power of Jesus Christ and you can’t deny it. As he is living in the community now healed and whole by the power of Jesus Christ, you can’t deny what the Lord has done. And so his life remains there as a witness as he publishes abroad everything that Jesus had done for him.
In contrast to these people that were saying, Please leave, get out of here,
It came to pass, that, when Jesus was returned [that is, to Capernaum, back the other side], the people gladly received him: for they were all waiting for him (8:40).
Isn’t that interesting, the contrast of crowds. One saying, Hey get out of here and the other saying, Oh great that You’re here. Glad to see you. You don’t have to go very far to find places where Jesus is not welcome. Many times the demons would cry out to Jesus, Let us alone. “What have we to do with Thee, Thou holy One of God?” And I think of how a while back when members from West Los Angeles community came down to the church and what was their cry? Let us alone. Don’t come up to West Los Angeles to witness. Let us alone. They don’t want Jesus.
But yet how glorious when there is a reception. People are glad to see Him.
And, behold, there came a man named Jairus, he was a ruler of the synagogue (8:41):
It’s interesting that there in Capernaum today, there is a synagogue—not the one that was standing there when Jesus was there but one that was built in the second century—over the top of the synagogue where Jesus stood and where Jairus was a ruler.
and he fell down at Jesus’ feet, and he besought him [again the beseeching] that he would come into his house: For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she was dying. But as he went the people thronged him (8:41,42).
The crowds were pressing, wanting to get close.
And a woman having an issue of blood [or hemorrhaging] for twelve years, which had spent all of her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any of them, She came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her hemorrhaging stopped. And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude is thronging you and they’re pressing you, and you say, Who touched me (8:43-45)?
Come on, Lord, you got to be kidding. We’re getting pushed and shoved all over the place and then You say, Who touched Me?
And Jesus said, Somebody has touched me (8:46):
There is a vast difference between thronging around Jesus and touching Jesus. The multitudes and the crowds throng Him but in the crowds there are those who actually touch Him. And how glorious it is when you touch Jesus. You’re not just pressing and being a part of the presser, the throng, but you’re being that one who in faith reaches out to touch. He said, “Somebody’s touched Me,”
for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me. And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all of the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately (8:46,47).
She gave her testimony.
And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace (8:48).
This woman had this condition for twelve years. Twelve years earlier she began hemorrhaging, losing blood, sort of life going out. Twelve years earlier, life came into the home of Jairus in the form of a beautiful little girl. Being the only daughter, just no doubt the apple of her daddy’s eye. The one who made life worth living. The one who brought joy and blessing and just such excitement into the home. Twelve years earlier, this woman began that long track of weakness. Searching for answers, the life had gone out. As she was going from doctor to doctor, spending all of her money, none of them could help her.
I think that there is a tie here and I think that the reason why Jesus stopped and said, Who touched Me? was in order to give to Jairus hope and faith because of the news that he was to receive in just a moment. He’s concerned about his little twelve year old daughter who’s dying. Here is a woman who is now giving testimony of how Jesus brought life to her after twelve years of slowly dying as she is hemorrhaging. And Jesus said, “Your faith has made you whole; go in peace.”
While he yet spake (8:49),
Jesus knew that this news was going to be coming right now. And He let this women give the testimony to just bolster the faith of Jairus. And “while He yet spake,”
there came one from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, and said to him, Your daughter is dead (8:49);
What a blunt way to just give the news.
trouble not the Master (8:49).
It’s too late, your daughter’s dead. Don’t trouble the Master.
But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole (8:50).
Don’t fear, don’t panic. Just believe, she shall be made whole.
And when he came to the house, he did not allow any man to go in, except for Peter, James, and John, and the father and the mother of the maiden. And they all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleeping. And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead. And he put them all out, and He took her by the hand, and He called her, saying, Little dear, arise (8:51-54).
Interesting again as we pointed out before, how that Jesus addressed dead people as though they were alive. Talking to this little girl who is dead, He talks to her as though she is alive. He says, “Little dear, arise.” Interesting. To Lazarus He said, Lazarus, come out of there. To the widow’s son of Nain, He commanded the son to arise. Talked to the dead as though they were alive.
And her spirit came again (8:55),
Death is the separation of your spirit from your body. Basically you are a spirit and you live in a body. The body isn’t you, you are spirit. The body is the tent in which you live. It has been designed by God to be the instrument or the medium by which your spirit can express itself. We’d have a hard time relating to each other tonight were it not for our bodies. But because of the medium of the body, we can relate what we are, what we feel, what we think. And as we relate to each other, we can come to know each other. We come to understand each other. We come to appreciate and admire and love each other. And that’s exactly what God intended. That we come into deep loving, meaningful relationships through the medium of our bodies. But the body designed to express me.
Now when through age, accident, illness, disease, the body can no longer fulfill the functions for which God designed it, then God releases our spirits from our bodies. And that’s a gift of love from God. Lest my spirit go on in a body that’s no longer capable of expressing me, a body that gives me restrictions of movement, a body that gives me pain and suffering, a body that is not fulfilling the purposes for which God designed the body, then He in love releases my spirit from the body. And as Paul said, “Not that I would become an unembodied spirit, but that I might be clothed upon with the body which is from heaven”. So we who are in this earthly tent do often groan earnestly desiring to be delivered from this earthly tent, not to be unembodied but to be clothed upon with a body which is from heaven. For we know as long as we’re at home in these bodies, we’re absent from the Lord. We’d rather be absent from these bodies and be present with the Lord.
So this little girl’s spirit had departed from her body, dead. But now her spirit came back into her body.
and she arose immediately: and he commanded to give her some food. And her parents were astonished: but he told them that they shouldn’t tell any man what was done (8:55,56).
He did not want again a premature attempt of forcibly trying to acclaim Him the Messiah and develop a revolt against Rome. That was not His purpose in the first coming. Not to overthrow the governments of man but to establish His government in the hearts of those where the seed fell on the good soil and would bring forth fruit.
He will come again to establish His kingdom. But that was not the purpose of His first coming. He came first to destroy the works of the devil and to destroy the power of sin and to bring liberty to those who were bound and captive to the enemy. He’ll come again and establish the kingdom.
Father, we thank You again for Your word and the privilege of studying, delving in, learning. And Father as we look again at these things which Luke recorded, little episodes out of Your life, bringing forth the teachings, the principles, help us Lord as we hear the word, to also be doers. Help us Lord to be careful how we hear. Help us Lord to receive the word. May it find fertile soil and may it bring forth fruit. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #8052