Thu, Feb 16, 2017

Luke 8

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TH3405 Luke 8

LUKE

            Please turn in your Bibles this evening to Luke chapter 8 as we continue our study through the Word of God. In our last study, we saw Jesus at the house of Simon, a Pharisee, who should have shown Him respect, but seems to have invited Jesus to his home as kind of a status symbol. On the other hand, a woman, known in the community for her sinful ways, approaches Jesus, washing His feet with oil and wiping His feet with her hair because of the forgiveness He showed her.

            Both had the ability to be forgiven by Jesus, but only one saw the need and received it. And then Jesus speaks a parable of two debtors and one owed more than the other and the question that Jesus gave to Simon was this, which one would love Him more? And Simon, kind of reluctant to answer said, I suppose the one whom he forgave more.

            And Jesus commends him on answering the question correctly but the problem for Simon was that he had the right information but he was not applying it to his life, he was not living what he said he believed!

            And Jesus forgave this woman of her sins and we see the last line in verse 50 of Luke chapter 7, as Jesus tells this woman, Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.

            Now as we get into Luke chapter 8 this evening we are going to pick up where Luke 7 left off, and, as you will see, the focus of this chapter is on faith.

            We see in the parable of the soils or sower different types of faith and really what saving faith is all about in Luke 8:5-21. The focus here is upon HEARING THE WORD!

            Then, in Luke 8:22-56 we see the testing of faith or how faith is applied to our lives, how we live out what we say we believe. The focus here is HEEDING THE WORD!

            With that as our background, let’s begin reading in Luke chapter 8, starting in verse 1 and let’s see what the Lord has for us as we study through His Word this evening.

 LUKE 8

VERSES 1-3

            As you listen to some people they think that Jesus’ ministry was healing people who were sick. That was not the issue because these people would get sick and die eventually. Jesus’ healing touch authenticated His ministry, it pointed to the fact that He is the One the Old Testament prophets spoke of, the Messiah!

            Then what was the focus of His ministry? The focus of His ministry was the coming Kingdom, the Good News in a world filled with bad news. That He will save man from his sins!

            Why many Christians have changed that focus today, I don’t understand. People today are interested in being entertained in church and that is what they are given, what they want instead of what they need, the Word of God! We are still to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ, the Gospel message and His coming Kingdom!

            And when you look at the variety of women that came to Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins, who received Him as Lord and Savior, it just shows me that the door to salvation is open for all to receive but that is the problem, you must receive that gift by faith.

            Let me explain it like this with this true story. We are told,

            “Convicted of mail fraud in 1830, George Wilson was sentenced to death. But since Wilson’s brother had done Andrew Jackson a great personal service, President Jackson wrote George Wilson a pardon. When the pardon was delivered to his cell, however, Wilson refused to take it. The man sentenced to die refused to receive the pardon.

            What to do? When the case went before the Supreme Court, Chief Justice John Marshall wrote this decision: A pardon is a slip of paper the value of which is determined by the acceptance of the person to be pardoned. If it is refused, it is no pardon at all, simply a piece of paper. Thus, George Wilson must be hanged.”

            How true that is. Jesus said that He paid in full the penalty for our sins and if we would take that pardon you might say, then you will be forgiven. But, if you reject the pardon, then you render it meaningless and you will be sentenced to the Lake of Fire for eternity, separated from God, the One you rejected!

            This is probably the second circuit through Galilee for Jesus, the first time the 12 were not part of the group yet, (Luke 4:42-44). But here we see Jesus traveling with His 12 apostles. But also keep in mind that He had many disciples who also followed Him.

            Thus, these women provided for Him out of their possessions, they loved Jesus, received His forgiveness, and served the Lord.

            One of the women was Mary from Magdala in Galilee who was set free from seven demonic spirits by Jesus. Seven, in the Scriptures is the number of completeness, her life was consumed by these evil spirits and Jesus came and set her free and now she serves Him.  Our lives were once controlled by the flesh and the Lord came and set us free. Can we freely serve Him as Mary did? 

            We also see Joanna caring for Jesus and she was the wife of Chuza, one of Herod’s stewards. Of this Barclay points out, “Herod’s epitropos. A king had man prerequisites and much private property; his epitropos was the official that looked after the king’s financial interests . . . There could be no more trusted and important official.”

            And look at the difference of these two women and yet, Jesus has brought them together just as He does with us! Also, keep in mind that Mary and Joanna were among the first witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection, (Luke 24:10).

            Now I want to touch on this point of the variety of people that work together. You see it with the apostles and here with these women, all willing to work together for Jesus! How can they all work together? 

            Because Jesus has broken down those walls we build up, be they cultural walls or whatever. Chuck Girard wrote a song about Calvary Chapel when it got started called Little Country Church. Listen to the words because they speak of what I am talking about here in Luke and what I feel this church is all about here in Manitowoc. The song goes like this:

             Little country church on the edge of town . . . people coming everyday from miles around . . . for meetings and Sunday School . . . and it’s very plain to see . . . it’s not the way it use to be . . . Preacher isn’t talking about religion no more . . . he just wants to    praise the Lord . . . people aren’t as stuffy as they were before . . . they just want to praise the Lord . . . and it’s very plain to see . . . it’s not the way it use to be . . . their talking about revival and the need for love . . . the little church has come alive . . . working with   each other for the common good . . . putting the past behind . . . long hair, short hair, some coats and ties . . . people finally coming around . . . and it’s very plain to see . . . it’s not the way it use to be.

- Chuck Girard, Little Country Church

             Isn’t that what Paul was speaking of in Ephesians 2:14-22, For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

            We are the body of Christ made up of many different types of people with a variety of gifts to be used to glorify God and build up the body of Christ. Thus, may the way people look or dress not cause us to put up walls and not work together for the common cause, bringing people to Jesus. Let’s not play religion, let’s praise the Lord and let others know of Him and see the love we have for Him! Isn’t that what it is all about? Of course it is!

 VERSES 4-8

            We see this same story in Matthew 13:1-2 and Mark 4:1-2 and we are told that the crowds were so large that Jesus got into a boat and taught the people so they would not press in upon Him.

            And we are told that Jesus taught them this parable. The word “parable” means “to set alongside.” Thus, it speaks of taking a spiritual truth and placing it alongside of an earthly story, like a sower and his seed. 

            And the story was something that the people can relate to, they could understand but the spiritual truth behind it, they needed to be open to what the Lord was showing them.

            Also, as we are going to see as we move on, the sower speaks of Jesus or anyone who takes and spreads the Word of God, like seed. As you do it will fall upon different types of soils or hearts, and depending on the make-up of that soil, it will either produce fruit or it won’t! 

            You see, a heavenly truth alongside an earthly story. Now we call this The Parable of the Sower but it should be called The Parable of the Soils because the seed never changes and the only thing that really does change is the way people receive the Word of God, how open they are.

            Listen to what the disciples of Jesus say to Jesus when they hear this parable and what Jesus tells them.

 VERSES 9-10

            Remember how Jesus ends verse 8. He said, He who has ears to hear, let him hear!  Now, in these verses, it is almost like He is hiding the truth. That is not the case, no way! I believe what Jesus is saying is that if you are open, you will receive the things of God. If not, you will not. The choice is yours.

            But also understand that this is not something that the human mind can figure out on its own, it is spiritually discerned. God wants to speak to us, He does all that He can to speak to us without forcing Himself on us. In Jeremiah 29:13 we are told, And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 

            Make no mistake about it, God wants to reveal more of Himself to us. Too often we are not seeking! Also, in I Corinthians 2:14 we are told, But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. You see, you must have spiritual eyes to see!

            Now Jesus is going to explain this parable of the soils to them. Listen to what He has to say.

 VERSES 11-15

            Here is the key to this parable and it is found in verse 11. The seed is the Word of God! We see this same idea in I Peter 1:23, which says, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever.

            Spurgeon put it like this, “The preacher of the gospel is like the sower. He does not make his seed; it is given him by his divine Master. No man could create the smallest grain that ever grew upon the earth, much less the celestial seed of eternal life.” How true that is.

            So it is the Word of God, the seed, that is falling upon different types of hearts and how they respond to the seed that is sown. Same seed, different response with the different types of soil!

            The first soil or heart condition is the wayside or the hard soil where the seed, the Word of God does not penetrate. This is speaking of the walking paths that are trampled and the soil is hard, nothing can penetrate it. And they are not saved. The Pharisees or the religious leaders can represent this heart. 

            And keep in mind that Satan loves to keep people in darkness so they don’t respond to the seed that has been sown. We see that in II Corinthians 4:3-4 where Paul tells us, But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.

            And again, they are not saved!

            The second soil or heart condition is the shallow soil, there is no depth to it, and when the heat comes, when persecution starts, they wither away. They too are not saved and an example of these people are those who gathered around Jesus for the miracles He did but as soon as persecution, difficulty arose, they departed, withered away you might say. We see this in John 6:66 where we are told, From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.

            And again, they are not saved!

            The third soil or heart condition is the one that is filled with weeds or is worldly. They come to Jesus until the cares of this world choke out any life that may have started. They too are not saved and an example of this is the rich, young ruler who let the cares of this world get in his way of receiving Jesus.

            It is as John said in I John 2:15-17, Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world - the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life - is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

            And once again, they are not saved!

            The fourth soil or heart condition is the good soil that bears much fruit, this person is saved as the fruit shows. An example of this is all those that followed Jesus regardless of the cost! It is as Jesus said in John 3:16-17, For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

            It is a choice we make, to either receive Jesus as Lord and Savior of our lives or reject Him. But if we receive Him Jesus said, By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. John 15:8.

            So this is the only group of people that were truly saved out of the four types of soil that received the seed or the Word of God!

            And here’s the thing. We need to keep in mind that as we share the Word of God. Many times only 25% of the people that hear the truth will receive it into their lives! Don’t be discouraged, sow the seed of God’s Word and let God bring forth the fruit!

            Now how can we apply this to our own lives. One writer put it like this. He said,

             We benefit from seeing bits of ourselves in all four soils.

            Like the wayside, sometimes we allow the word no room at all in our lives.

             Like the stony places, we sometimes have flashes of enthusiasm in receiving the word     that quickly burn out.

             Like the soil among thorns, the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches are      constantly threatening to choke out God’s word and our fruitfulness.

             Like the good ground, the word bears fruit in our lives.

             We notice that the difference in each category was with the soil itself. The sower cast the same seed. You could not blame the differences in results on the sower or on the seed, but only on the soil. “O my dear hearers, you undergo a test today! Peradventure you will be judging the preacher, but a greater than the preacher will be judging you, for the Word itself shall judge you.” (Spurgeon)

- David Guzik

             I think it is good to do an inventory of our lives to keep our walk in line with the Lord and not close the door to what He wants to do or burn out in the work or let the things of this world get in the way of what the Lord wants to do. But surrender our lives to Him, placing our lives on the altar of sacrifice for Him to use as He pleases!

 VERSES 16-18

            I think the point that Jesus is making is simple. You don’t hide the truth of God that you have received, but you let it shine forth so all may see it. People today like to say, “When it comes to religion, God, that is personal, between you and God!” Jesus is saying, “No it’s not! It is for all to see, so don’t hide it!” 

            Now, because we have the truth of God it is our responsibility to spread that truth in whatever way God gives us the opportunity to. God does not want you to hide your lamp but to let it shine!

            In fact, notice what Jesus said in Matthew 5:14-16, You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.  You alone are the light of the world, so shine forth for Jesus!

            And verse 18 makes it clear that we are not just to gain knowledge, information about God but we are then to take that information and share it with others, apply it to our lives. And Jesus is saying that if we want to hear more from God then we must be obedient to what we already know. There is a responsibility. People want to grow spiritually but many times they are unwilling to put into practice what they already know, and thus, they remain spiritual infants.

            And as we will see when we get to verse 22, it is not just hearing the Word of God, it is applying it to your life, living out your faith!

 VERSES 19-21

            Please understand that Mary and the brothers of Jesus were not being mean by coming and trying to get Jesus, to bring Him home. This was an act of love on their part. They were concerned for His safety and they thought He was going too far, that He had lost His mind.

            You see, His brothers did not believe until after His death and resurrection. In John 7:5 we are told, For even His brothers did not believe in Him. So this was a mission of mercy to come and get Jesus and bring Him home.

            Now the big question here is did Jesus have brothers and even sisters? The Roman Catholic Church says that He did not for Mary was a virgin all her life. The only problem with that is we see it mentioned several times in the Scriptures that Jesus did have brothers and sisters!

            In fact, in Matthew 1:24-25 we are told, Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus.

            Matthew is telling us that Joseph and Mary did not have sexual relations until after the birth of Jesus and then he did know her and they had children!

            Carson puts it like this in regards to this idea of Jesus not having brothers, “The most natural way to understand ‘brothers’ is that the term refers to sons of Mary and Joseph and thus to brothers of Jesus on his mother’s side.” Efforts to make brothers mean something else are “nothing less than farfetched exegesis in support of a dogma that originated much later than the New Testament.”

            And Pate tells us, “The erudite Catholic scholar Fitzmyer concedes this point. He writes about the supposed perpetual virginity of Mary, ‘There is no indication in the New Testament itself about Mary as aei parthenos, ‘ever virgin.’ This belief in one form or another can only be traced to the second century a.d.’”

            So don’t let tradition led you astray, listen to what the Word of God has to say over the words of men!

            When they tell Jesus that His mother and brothers are looking for Him He tells them, My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it. Luke 8:21.

            Kind of a strange answer but Jesus is telling us who are the people who make up the family of God, not just blood relatives! And He says it is those who not only hear the Words of God but are doing them, applying them to their lives. In Matthew chapter 7 Jesus speaks of those He doesn’t know even though they think they are saved by their work efforts. A salvation by works instead of by grace through faith.

            And starting in verse 24 we read, Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. Now everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall. Matthew 7:24-27. 

            You see, first you must know Him as Lord and Savior and then fruit will be born in your life. You first have to believe that He is the way, the truth and the life or you are not saved and all your religious efforts are of no use because you are not hearing and applying the truth of God into your life, your foundation is built upon shaky ground, and not upon the Rock, Jesus Christ!

            So we have been looking at hearing the Word of God and now, through the rest of the chapter, since we have ears to hear and we have taken these things to heart, now we must apply that faith to our lives, we must live what we say we believe. And as we will see, storms are things that can challenge our faith or they can help us to grow. It all depends on how we apply them to our lives!

 VERSES 22-25

            We are not told what day but, . . . on a certain day Jesus got into a boat, His disciples followed Him and He told them that they were going OVER to the other side of the lake!

            Now the Sea of Galilee is only some 8 miles wide and 15 miles long and violent wind storms are very common there. You see, Mount Hermon is only some 9 miles away and has an elevation of some 9,280 feet. 

            On the other hand, the area around Galilee is very warm, so as this cold air hits the warm air, you can get some very violent wind storms. And as this storm hit, the disciples of Jesus were afraid, they were in trouble, they were sinking. The boat was filling with water faster than they could bail it out? It was a hopeless situation and they were frustrated, discouraged and afraid for their lives. Now where was Jesus in the midst of all this turmoil? 

            Jesus is sleeping in the back of the boat while this violent wind storm is beating down all around Him. I am sure He was exhausted from all the work He was doing and His body needed to rest, but now, in the middle of this storm with the boat rocking and rolling and taking on water?

            I guess you can say there is rest in Jesus as we go through the storms of life, a good lesson we can take away with us from this story. Now keep in mind that at this point His men are bailing or trying to bail the water out and they are giving up because it isn’t working and they have come to the conclusion that Jesus doesn’t care what happens to them. 

            Obviously that is wrong. And as they awaken Jesus, rebuking Him, He awakens and calms the storm and rebukes His men for their lack of faith. Why would He do that, this was a violent storm and they were in trouble, their lives were in jeopardy. Because Jesus told them Let us cross over to the other side of the lake. He didn’t say, “UNDER!” 

            Have you ever felt that way when the storms of life come upon you, that maybe Jesus just doesn’t care what is happening in your life right now? I bet you have, we have all probably felt that way at one time or another or maybe we are feeling that way now!

            Here’s the thing. The disciples of Jesus let fear destroy their faith, and so can we. Be careful. Keep your eyes focused upon Jesus. It is as Paul said in Colossians 3:1-2, If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.

            Or as The Living Bible puts it, Since you became alive again, so to speak, when Christ arose from the dead, now set your sights on the rich treasures and joys of heaven where he sits beside God in the place of honor and power. Let heaven fill your thoughts; don’t spend your time worrying about things down here.

            Now I am not saying we need to be like the stoics, just ignoring everything that is happening around us. “Praise God, I lost my job, my wife ran away with another man, the kids are in jail, I have cancer!” I know, it sounds like a country song but if you play it backwards, everything gets better!

            But seriously, we can’t change those things but we can rest in the Lord and that is what they needed to do and that is what we need to do. Give it to Jesus and rest in Him!

            We too have a choice to make, to rest in Jesus as we go through the storms of life or to tremble in fear and labor for nothing. It is as Morgan said, “There are many Christians today who seem to think the boat is going down! I am tired of the wailing of some of my friends who take that view. The boat cannot go down. Jesus is on board.”

            If the storm did not disturb Jesus then don’t let the storms of life disturb you, trouble you, cause you to take your eyes off of Jesus! I like what David said, “Hear my cry, O God; Attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been a shelter for me, A strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings. Psalm 61:1-4.

            And the question for us, as Jesus said to His men, “Where is our faith?” May it be in Jesus and may we find shelter in the shadow of His wings!

            Yes, His men were fearful of the storm and when Jesus calmed the winds they were fearful of Him but it was not the same kind of fear. This fear was one of reverential fear and it is the kind we should have towards the Lord!

 VERSES 26-29

            Now they are on the eastern shores of the Sea of Galilee in the area of the Gadarenes, called Kursi today. It was an area that was mostly Gentile in Jesus’ day but there were some Jews who lived in this area. And they had a good business going on, caring for pigs, an illegal trade for a Jew, but it didn’t seem to bother them. They cared for them in this mostly Gentile area. 

            So as Jesus gets off the boat He and His men get a greeting from this demon possessed man, Matthew tells us there were two of them, Luke probably focused on the more violent one.

            And these demonically possessed men lived in the tombs like the dead, they even were shackled with chains by the people as they tried to control them, but they just broke those chains in pieces. And these men were in bondage to these demons for a long time.

            Now as these demons recognize Jesus, they ask Jesus not to torment them, which is interesting when you consider the torment they not only brought to these men, but their family and friends. These demons understood who was in control, and it was not them, it was Jesus, He had the authority and they recognized their time is short, and it is getting even shorter today! They recognize that there is coming a day of judgment for them but mankind seems oblivious to this coming judgment for them!

 VERSES 30-33

            This man was not possessed by just one demon, but many, for a Roman Legion was made up of some 6,000 men! Now we don’t know how many demons had control of this man, but as these demons entered these pigs, these swine, 2,000 of them, all of them in that area ran into the Sea of Galilee, drowning. 

            Interestingly enough, John 10:10 tells us, The thief [Satan] does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. . . And that is what we see here, death and destruction. Secondly, this was an illegal pig business according to Leviticus 17, and Jesus just ended this illegal business, at least for a time.

            One more point here. If you go to this area today there is a spot, only one spot where there is a cliff where these pigs could run into the Sea of Galilee, the only spot like that in the area, which just helps confirm the story we have read!

 VERSES 34-37

            I don’t care how many times I read through this, I am still troubled by the response of the people here. You see, instead of people rejoicing over what Jesus did, setting this man free, they want Jesus to get out of town! Can you imagine that?

            Now, before you say anything, think about this nation with its Christian heritage and now we tell God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government, and we now are reaping what we have sown. 

            Also, they were more interested in these animals than this person. Can you imagine that?  Before you say anything, think about what lawyers are trying to do right now, getting laws passed to give monkeys equal rights with man! I have seen some bozo drivers but I truly don’t want to see a monkey behind the wheel talking on a cell-phone! 

            I know, hard to believe, but listen to this CBS report from 2015 and you will see how American’s are changing their minds about animals having the same rights as humans. We are told,

            Nearly one-third of Americans believe animals should have the same rights as people, a recent poll finds.

            Thirty-two percent of the people surveyed believe animals and humans should have equal rights, up from 25 percent in 2008. Another 62 percent believe animals deserve some protection from harm and exploitation, but it is “still appropriate to use them for the benefit of humans.” Only 3 percent believe animals don’t require protection from harm and exploitation “since they are just animals,” according to the poll.

- http://www.cbsnews.com/news/should-animals-have-the-same-rights-as-people/

 

            So we have not changed much, have we! They put possessions in the way of people and so have we! They thought more of their swine than they did of the Savior! They thought more of their sows than of their souls!

            One last point. Think about this. These people were more afraid of what Jesus would do in their lives than what the Devil was doing! How about you? You see, they asked Jesus to leave them, to move on, and He did! 

            Be careful, you may get what you want! The Lord is molding and shaping our lives and many times we don’t like it. We want to do our own thing as these people were doing. It is best to submit to the will of the Father and allow Him to make you into a vessel of honor for His Glory!

            I would be more afraid of what Satan will do in my life if I let him than what God will do in my life because I know Satan wants to destroy life while Jesus wants to give me life, abundant life!

 VERSES 38-39

            This man who was set free by Jesus now wants to go with Him, and you can’t blame him. But Jesus doesn’t let him, why? Because Jesus is going to send him to his family and friends to share the Good News. 

            You see, Jesus has a witness in a Gentile area, the Decapolis or the 10 cities located on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee! Was there fruit from his labor? I believe so, for in Mark chapter 7, as Jesus heads back to this region, multitudes come out to meet Him. I believe this is the fruit of his ministry!

            I think we want no less. We just want to spend time with Jesus and what does Jesus say to us? Return to your own house, and tell what great things God has done for you. In other words, we will spend eternity with Jesus but for now, we are His witnesses in a world that is dying in sin. We need to shine the light of Jesus upon the people! And folks, as we spend time in His Word, as we spend time in prayer we are spending time with Jesus but one day it will be face-to-face!

            One more point in regards to what Jesus said here in Luke 8:39, Return to your own house, and tell what great things God has done for you. I thought Jesus freed this man? He did and He is God! No contradiction here!

            Now listen to how Darby concludes this section. He says, “The world beseeches Jesus to depart, desiring their own ease, which is more disturbed by the presence and power of God than by a legion of devils. He goes away. The man who was healed . . . would fain to be with Him; but the Lord sends him back . . . to be a witness of the grace and power of which he had been the subject.”

 VERSES 40-42

            So as Jesus leaves the Gentile territory on the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee He makes His way to the western side of the Sea of Galilee, Jewish territory now. And as He is traveling crowds of people are not only waiting for Him but then they are following Him.

            And here comes a man by the name of Jairus. Jairus was a ruler in the Synagogue in Capernaum and now he is risking it all to come to Jesus for help. You see, his only daughter is dying. 

            Religion couldn’t help him at this point, but he believed that Jesus could, so he was willing to risk his position in the Synagogue to save his daughter! And as Jesus hears the request of this man, He begins to follow him home through the crowds of people. Jesus will never leave us or forsake us. He is there in our need! Remember that!

            But we are told that as He went, the multitudes thronged Him. The ancient Greek word that is translated thronged means “almost suffocated him-so great was the throng about him.” (Clarke)

            This is the same Greek root word that is used in Luke 8:7 that describes the choking of the seed of the word! All these people pressing in upon Jesus as He is trying to make His way to the home of Jairus and heal his daughter who is dying!

            Now as we read on we will see another interruption that will stop Jesus from continuing on, at least for a time.

VERSES 43-48

            Keep in mind that Luke was a physician and he tells us that this woman spent all she had to be cured of this bleeding problem with no help at all from these doctors. For 12 years she has been ceremonially unclean, untouchable and unable to touch anyone. In fact, according to the Jewish ideas at this time, if this woman touched anyone, she imparted her uncleanness to them, an uncleanness that would not allow them to take part in any aspect of Israel’s worship (Leviticus 15:19-31).

            And yet, like Jairus, she was willing to risk it all to be touched or to touch Jesus. Now, please understand that when she touched the hem of His garment Jesus was not made unclean, she was made whole! The same is true with us as sinners, as we bring them to Jesus it doesn’t make Him unclean but He makes them clean!

            Now some are troubled by what this woman did, touching the hem of His garment. One writer put it like this,

            “The word ‘fringe’ [border] is the Greek word kraspedon, the Septuagint term for the tassel which male Jews were to wear on the corners of their outer garments.” (Pate)

            The woman approached Jesus with a degree of superstition, thinking there was power in the border of His garment. Yet there was also an element of faith, because there is no evidence that Jesus had ever healed that way before.

- David Guzik

 

            I do disagree with that. I think she was acting in faith here. I believe she knew what the prophet Malachi said, “But to you who fear My name The Sun of Righteousness shall arise With healing in His wings; And you shall go out And grow fat like stall-fed calves.  Malachi 4:2. The Hebrew word for wingscan speak of the hem or edge of a garment and I believe that is how this woman saw it!

            You see, Malachi is saying that the Messiah will bring healing in the hem of His garment and thus, she understood what the prophet had said and she now believes that Jesus is the Messiah and touches the hem of His garment and she is instantly healed! It was a step of faith on her part. We too, by faith, obey what the prophets and the apostles have said and there is healing in Jesus and we are instantly healed of our sins as we come and touch Him, as His blood cleanses us!

            So as this woman touches Jesus He responds by saying, Who touched me? You have to love His disciples because they thought that was a ridiculous question for the crowds of people were all around Him, touching Him.

            Yes, many people touched Jesus but this was different. You see, there is a difference between thronging, like the people were doing, and touching Him, like this woman did. Many people today are thronging in churches but they are not reaching out in faith and touching Jesus, there is a difference!

            Now think about this for a minute. For the last 12 years this woman’s life was being drained from this bleeding problem. But now she is healed. But, 12 years earlier Jairus had a blessing, a new life, a daughter was born to him and his wife and she was full of life for those 12 years. But now she is sick and we read that it is worse than we thought, for Luke tells us . . .

 VERSES 49-50

            Jairus knew time was of the essence, and all the delays and now the news no one wants to hear, “It is too late!” Jairus was told these heartbreaking words, . . . ‘Your daughter is dead. Do not trouble the Teacher.’

            And maybe he felt that Jesus took too long and now it is too late. There is no more hope! Have you ever felt that way, that God is waiting too long to act and now it is too late to fix the situation? Don’t! Listen again to what Jesus said in verse 50, Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well.

            Jesus is telling Jairus not to fear, not to panic, it’s not too late, just believe. How could he? By what he just saw with this woman being healed. Jairus needed to see that because of the news he was going to receive, that his daughter is dead.

            When we are going through situations that seem hopeless, we need to keep our eyes on Jesus and stop fearing. To look back on what God has done in the past to give us strength for the present situation. 

            A great illustration of this is seen in the life of the godly King of the Southern Kingdom of Judah, Jehoshaphat. He had a hopeless situation before him. The Moabites, Ammonites and others gathered to attack the Southern Kingdom of Judah. 

            The armies of these enemies far outnumbered the armies of Judah, they couldn’t win. So what did Jehoshaphat do? It was a hopeless situation. With men, this was impossible but he did not bring his request before man, he brought his request to God in prayer and said, . . . ‘For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.’ II Chronicles 20:12. We need to recognize we have no power in ourselves, all we have comes from the Lord; thus, we need to give it to Him to intercede for us.

 VERSES 51-56

            As they were approaching the house of Jairus, they could hear the many professional mourners wailing and the flutists playing. How hard a journey that must have been for Jairus. 

            All those sounds meant his daughter was dead! And as they get to his house Jesus says she is not dead, but asleep. That caused these professional mourners to mock and laugh at Jesus, they knew when a person was dead, it was their job. Thus, Jesus puts them outside for those that laugh and mock the Lord will be put outside, they will not see the power of God, as we see here.

            As Jesus, Peter, James, John and this girl’s parents are alone in this room with the girl who is dead, Jesus calls for her to arise and she does! Only God can restore life as Romans 4:17 tells us,. . . God, who gives life to the dead . . .

            We were all dead in our trespasses and sins and God has brought us back to life through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! What is impossible with man to accomplish is very possible with God!

            As I bring this study to a close this evening, let me say this. Jesus stretched the faith of His disciples, of this woman with the bleeding disorder and Jairus, and He does the same with each of us. Our faith, our walk, is not to be stagnant but growing, and to do that you need to step out and believe that God can! Trust in His promises and see the salvation He will bring! Let others see that your faith is real, that you are living what you believe. Let your light shine! 

            Remember where we started this evening, hearing the Word of God. And from there we moved to applying the Word of God to our lives or putting feet to our faith and walking the walk of faith! Lord, help us to walk worthy of that high calling by which we have been called!

 

 

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