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Luke Chapter 8:1-56

Memory verses for this week:  Psa 46:7  The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

 Introduction: We continue our study of the book of Luke this week as we cover chapter 8.  In chapter seven we studied about the centurion’s servant being healed by the Lord.   Jesus then raised the widow’s son from the dead.  He later spoke about John the Baptist and said he was the greatest man ever born of women.   We closed with the study of the parable of the two debtors.


I.   Jesus Preaches and Heals in Galilee 

Luke 8:1  And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and showing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him,

Luke 8:2  And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils,

Luke 8:3  And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance. 

Jesus and his twelve disciples went throughout every city and village, preaching and showing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God.   While these small cities may seem insignificant to us, but all of these places were important to Jesus.  No town was too little and no people were too few for the Lord to be concerned about.   Mary Magdalene and some of the other women ministered to the Lord and provided for he and the disciples.  These were the ones that apparently had been healed by the Lord.


II.  Parable of the Sower 

Luke 8:4  And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable:

Luke 8:5  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.

Luke 8:6  And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.

Luke 8:7  And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.

Luke 8:8  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. 

We find the parable of the sower beginning in verse 4.  There were four kinds of hearers: 

v     Wayside

v     Rock

v     Thorns

v     Good Ground 

There were also four kinds of soil that the Lord relates these to.  Some of the seed was eaten up by the birds, while some fell upon a rock and dried up due to a lack of moisture.   Some seed fell among thorns and the thorns choked them.  But some of the seed fell on good ground and it sprang up and bare much fruit. 

Luke 8:9  And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be?

Luke 8:10  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. 

The disciples ask what the parable meant.  He tells them the reason that he spake in parables.  Some things are spoken that we (the saved) can know the mysteries of God where those lost can not understand. 

1 Cor 2:14  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 

Luke 8:11  Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

Luke 8:12  Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.

Luke 8:13  They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

Luke 8:14  And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.

Luke 8:15  But that 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. 

Jesus explains each to the four types of soil and what each meant.   As you can tell, only the seed that fell on good ground yielded any fruit. 

Matthew Henry said this about the good ground. 

(8.) The good ground, which brings forth good fruit, is an honest and good heart, well disposed to receive instruction and commandment (v. 15); a heart free from sinful pollutions, and firmly fixed for God and duty, an upright heart, a tender heart, and a heart that trembles at the word, is an honest and good heart, which, having heard the word, understands it (so it is in Matthew), receives it (so it is in Mark), and keeps it (so it is here), as the soil not only receives, but keeps, the seed; and the stomach not only receives, but keeps, the food or physic.

(9.) Where the word is well kept there is fruit brought forth with patience. This also is added here. There must be both bearing patience and waiting patience; patience to suffer the tribulation and persecution which may arise because of the word; patience to continue to the end in well-doing.  [i]


III.  Parable of the Lighted Candle 

Luke 8:16  No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light.

Luke 8:17  For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.

Luke 8:18  Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have. 

We are told that no man lights a candle and covers it.   Rather he sets it on a candlestick where others may see the light.  In the Matthew account of the gospel, it renders it as putting the light under a bushel. 

Mat 5:15  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 

A bushel speaks of food.  The lesson is that many get too concerned about the material things and forget God.  This not God’s plan for our lives.   We are told that a candle is not lit and then put under a bed.   A bed speaks of ease.   Some are interested in the work of the Lord as long as those things do not interfere with their private comfort zone.   We need to do whatever the Lord would have us to do.  Verse 17 assures us that all will be brought out in the open one day.   We need to heed the warning and seek God’s help to change if we are not serving the Lord as we should.


IV.  New Relationships 

Luke 8:19  Then came to him his mother and his brethren, and could not come at him for the press.

Luke 8:20  And it was told him by certain which said, Thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to see thee.

Luke 8:21  And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it. 

In the middle of these teachings, Jesus’ mother and brothers come and desire to see him.   Isn’t this normal?   Anytime we are busy about the Lord’s work, you can be sure something will come up to interrupt us.  Jesus tells the person that “My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.”  He was not being disrespectful to his family, but rather was pointing out how that the will of the Father was His most important mission in this life. 

Luke 14:26  If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

Luke 14:27  And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.


V.  Jesus Stills the Waves 

Luke 8:22  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.

Luke 8:23  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.

Luke 8:24  And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm.

Luke 8:25  And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him. 

This was one of the greatest miracles Jesus ever did.  He manifested His power as Lord of all creation in a way that has never been duplicated or surpassed.   Perhaps the greatest miracle Jesus ever performed was the raising of Lazarus after being dead for four days.   Corruption had surely set in on the body by the fourth day, and yet he came back out of the sepulcher at Jesus’ command.  No one else has ever stilled the waves as Jesus did, just as no one has ever raised to life someone who was dead for four days. 

John 14:12  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. 

Perhaps in the Millennial Kingdom we shall do greater works than these that Jesus did.   No matter what we face, Jesus can overcome anything that faces us in our life.  Even the wind and seas obey the voice of Jesus. 

In verse 22, Jesus told them “Let us go over”.   We do not always know what dangers and difficulties we may face in this life, but we know Jesus will carry out his purpose and see us safely over to the other side.  Jesus was in perfect peace in the midst of that storm.  He was not concerned one bit about the winds and the boisterous sea.  The disciples were filled with fear, but not Jesus.  After Jesus rebuked the wind, it says there was a great calm.  That is how it is when a sinner accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior.  The life full of turmoil is filled with peace and tranquility.   Jesus asked the disciples, “Where is your faith?”

 Isa 57:21  There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked. 

J. Vernon McGee said this about Jesus calming the sea.

 Jesus gave a command to cross the sea. An unordinary storm arose. The intensity of the storm suggests the savagery of Satan. The Lord went to sleep because He was weary—so weary that the violent storm did not disturb Him. The disciples became frightened and felt that everyone in the boat would perish. The storm did not disturb the Lord, but the attitude of His disciples did. He rebuked the wind and the sea as one would speak to dogs on a leash. Literally His command was, “Be muzzled.” The miracle lies in the fact that the wind ceased immediately, and the sea, which would have rolled for hours, instantly became as smooth as glass. How often He puts us in the storms of life in order that we might come closer to Him and learn what manner of Man He really is.  [ii]


VI.  Jesus Casts Out Demons 

Luke 8:26  And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee.

Luke 8:27  And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs. 

While Christ was here on earth, he encountered many people who were possessed of demons.  While we may not understand all of this, and the terrible power that overcame these people from Satan, we can certainly be assured that Jesus is always victorious over demons and Satan.  The man said he had devils for a long time, and ran naked in the tombs.   This might be a reminder how that all things are open and naked to the Lord.  He knows all about us.  It says the man lived among the dead in the tombs.  This is the condition of the lost man or woman, dead in trespasses and sins.  In the account of this in Mark, it mentions how many of his friends had tried to restrain him, but with super-human strength he broke the shackles asunder.   When Satan has us under control, it is a horrible thing.   We can actually be our own worst enemy. 

Mark 5:1  And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes.

Mark 5:2  And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,

Mark 5:3  Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains:

Mark 5:4  Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him.

Mark 5:5  And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones. 

Luke 8:28  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.

Luke 8:29  (For he 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 brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.)

Luke 8:30  And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him.

Luke 8:31  And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep.

 It isn’t clear how the demons had entered this man, but there were many that lived inside this poor man.  The demons speak through human lips, and acknowledge that they know who Jesus is… thou Son of God.   Jesus asks the man what was his name, and he says his name is Legion because many devils were entered into him.  While we do not know the number of devils or demons in the man, we know a Roman legion was made up of 6,000 men.   Most likely it was not this great number, but it says ‘many devils’ were entered into him.   The demons ask that they not be command to out into the deep, perhaps fearing they would be chained in darkness awaiting the day of judgment.    

Luke 8:32  And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them.

Luke 8:33  Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked.

Luke 8:34  When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country.

Luke 8:35  Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.

Luke 8:36  They also which saw it told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed.

Luke 8:37  Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought him to depart from them; for they were taken with great fear: and he went up into the ship, and returned back again.

 The Lord gave consent and sends them into the herd of swine feeding there on the mountain.  When the devils entered the swine, they ran headlong down the mountain and ran into the lake and were killed.  All of these swine could not contain the powers these demons possessed.   But at the word of Jesus, the man if made free from his demon possession.   We now see him seated at the feet of Jesus, fully clothed and in his right mind.   We who are saved are clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ.   It isn’t our righteousness that let’s us approach God, but is the imputed righteousness of Christ.   The man has a request in verse 38. 

Luke 8:38  Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying,

Luke 8:39  Return to thine own house, and show how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him.

Luke 8:40  And it came to pass, that, when Jesus was returned, the people gladly received him: for they were all waiting for him.


While the man desires to go with Jesus, he tells him to go to his own house and show the great things God had done for him.   But the people there wanted Jesus to leave because of their fear.   Also, the loss of the swine probably was more important than seeing the poor man healed and in his right mind.  But when Jesus returned later, the Gadarenes gladly received him, most likely due to the witness of the man Legion.   You and I need to tell others what great things God has done for us.    Each of us has a unique story about how God saved us, and the things he has accomplished with our lives.


VII.   Healing of the Woman and Jairus’ Daughter 

Luke 8:41  And, behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue: and he fell down at Jesus' feet, and besought him that he would come into his house:

Luke 8:42  For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as he went the people thronged him.

Luke 8:43  And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any,

Luke 8:44  Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched.

Luke 8:45  And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? 

This poor daughter of Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, was 12 years old and was about to die.   As Christ went to her, a woman who had been sick 12 years of her life with a blood issue, comes up and touches the border of Jesus’ garment.  At the moment she touched it, the woman was cured.   This woman had spent all the money she had on doctors, and none had done her any good.  But one touch of the master’s garment, and she is healed.  Jesus realized that virtue had proceeded from him, and asks who touched me?   Peter and the others question why the Lord asks this since the press was so great with so many people about them. 

Luke 8:46  And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.

Luke 8:47  And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately.

Luke 8:48  And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace. 

The woman admits that it is her, and she comes forth trembling.    She was healed immediately, and Jesus tells hers to be of good comfort… thy faith hath made thee whole, go in peace. 

Luke 8:49  While he yet spake, there cometh one from the ruler of the synagogue's house, saying to him, Thy daughter is dead; trouble not the Master.

Luke 8:50  But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.

Luke 8:51  And when he came into the house, he suffered no man to go in, save Peter, and James, and John, and the father and the mother of the maiden.

Luke 8:52  And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth. 

As Jesus and his disciples approach Jairus’ house, one came and told him that his daughter was dead.   Jesus tell them to ‘Fear Not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.’   He lest only Peter, James, John, the father, and the mother enter into the house.      When Jesus told them to weep not, she is not dead, but sleepeth, it stays the began to laugh him to scorn since they all knew she was dead. 

Luke 8:53  And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead.

Luke 8:54  And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise.

Luke 8:55  And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and he commanded to give her meat.

Luke 8:56  And her parents were astonished: but he charged them that they should tell no man what was done.

 Sometimes Jesus referred to death as sleep.   But at his word, he tells the young girl to arise, and it says here spirit came again, and she arose straightway.   He tells them to feed the girl, and to not tell any man what was done.   What a great blessing this was to this family.   Like the poor widow woman who we read about whose son had died and was raised again, this family receives their daughter back alive.



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Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


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[i]Henry, Matthew, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Bible, (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers) 1997.

[ii]J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.