Read Luke Chapter 8
The narrative interspersed between the familiar stories often at the beginning or end of the chapters are useful reminders of the reality of life being with Jesus. Here Luke highlights the women who accompanied Jesus, their changed lives, the useful, but perhaps unnecessary, tidbits that help paint a picture (and point to authenticity, as the readers of the time would have likely known who these people were, even if we don’t), like Joanna, who was a servant in Herod’s service, and others who contributed to the cost associated with Jesus campaign. These are touches of realism and insights into life on the road.
Jesus told parables, the use of current life, often cryptic, illustrations to make a spiritual point so that not everyone would understand His message – only those who are really paying attention. A further indication that understanding is as much a work of God as of the intellect. Perhaps, had the Religious Jews ‘got it’, they may have recognised Him as their Messiah and not made plans to have Him crucified – it was Gods plan that they be unable to see, just as it was God’s plan that Jesus be hung on a tree.
The parable of the sower shows that not all who hear His message will truly hear and take the gospel to heart. Those of us who sow the seed of the gospel should take courage because not all our labour is wasted; some seed does take root in good soil. But, again: we are reminded that not all who associate with Jesus are His:
Luke 8:21 “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.”
As if to demonstrate Jesus’ power and authority again, Luke highlights the calming of the sea and the deliverance of the Demoniac, absolute power over all physical elements and over spiritual entities.
Luke 8:25 “Who then is this, that He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him?”
In the two healings that follow we see that it is by their faith that Jesus acts. This is most striking in the case of the woman who fought through the crowd simply to touch the hem of Jesus cloak. It’s remarkable to think that Jesus knew that power had gone out from Him. The woman had likely suffered with a problem relating to her reproductive system and was instantly healed. It’s touching to note that Jesus tells her, referring to her as daughter, to go in peace, since she was probably in a lot of distress and anxiety, and perhaps even shame, over her condition.
Luke 8:48 “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.”
It is inherently human to live with fear, there is so much we don’t yet understand. Death is one of those things, and I often wonder whether it is because we were not created to suffer it, therefore when it comes our grief is unbearable – like it’s all wrong. But, Jesus has authority over death, and is able, as will be demonstrated, to overcome it.
Luke 8:50 “Do not be afraid any longer; only believe, and she will be made well.”
Believe and live…