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 with Jesus. Here Luke highlights the women who accompanied Jesus: The changed lives; useful, but perhaps unnecessary, tidbits that help paint a picture, like the woman Joanna, who was a servant in Herod’s service; and of those contributing to the cost of Jesus campaign. Touches of realism and insights into life on the road.
Jesus told parables, the use of live often cryptic illustrations to make a spiritual point so that not everyone would understand His message. A further indication that understanding is as much a work of the God as of the intellect. Of course had the Religious Jews ‘got it’ they may have recognised Him as their Messiah and not made plans to have Him crucified.
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. Those will go on to become lights to the world, since their light cannot be hidden due to the remarkable change which Jesus makes within those who belong to Him. 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 the physical elements and the 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 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. She had likely suffered with a problem relating to her reproductive system and was instantly healed. It’s touching to note that Jesus tells her 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, it hurts really badly.
Luke 8:50 “Do not be afraid any longer; only believe, and she will be made well.”
Believe and live…