…and certain women…
· [Guzik] Why does Luke specifically mention the women who followed and served Jesus? Because in that day, Rabbis generally refused to teach women and almost always gave them an inferior place - but not Jesus.
explanation of the parable
· [Adapted from Guzik] The natural tendency of any audience is to critique the preacher. But here, Jesus the preacher is critiquing His audience. How you hear is the heart of the issue.
…but the ones on the rock…
· [Guzik] Some people are like the ground that is rocky, but covered with a thin layer of topsoil. They receive the seed of the word with a flash of enthusiasm that quickly burns out.
…that those who enter may see the light
· If I have received – truly received – the truth of the Word, then I have an obligation to spread and share that truth, not hide it under a bushel.
o My life is to be a lampstand that God can put the truth of His Word onto so that His light reaches as many as possible.
o God didn’t light your lamp so that it would be hidden.
· And He didn’t set you where He set you so that you can live for yourself and just “pass the time.”
…whoever has…whoever does not have…
· There is a sort of “momentum” in spiritual growth – both in the positive and in the negative direction.
o When I cultivate the godly habits of receiving the Word and then living it, more is built onto that, and I grow and become spiritually mature and strong and fruitful.
o But when I don’t cultivate those godly habits, when I lose them, they are extremely difficult to get back.
· Therefore, “take heed how you hear.”
o If I want to hear more from the Lord, if I want to walk in close fellowship with Him, if I want to grow in grace and grow into spiritual maturity and no longer be tossed to and fro on the waves of circumstance, I must obey what I’ve already heard.
But He answered them…
· We might expect and assume that Jesus’ earthly family might have had special access or special privileges with Him
o …so it might surprise us to discover that in fact they didn’t – not even His mother
o (It is interesting, though, to ponder that His brothers didn’t seem to be supportive of His ministry until after His death and resurrection.)
…these who hear the Word…and do it.
· Those who are the closest to Him – His closest family – are those who hear His Word, and obey His Word.
o How can I draw close to the Lord? By hearing His Word and doing it.
o I can pray and sing and fast and help little old ladies across the street all day long, but if I’m not hearing His Word and doing it, I’m not really drawing close to Him.
He fell asleep.
· Jesus’ true humanity shows through in a very poignant way.
o Jesus, it seems, was always “on the go.” He lived for His Father’s will and purpose, and because of that lived for others, not Himself…so He was always ministering.
o As a result of that, He seems to have become weary often – and He’d then need to catch some sleep whenever He could.
· So much for those who make a big “todoo” about a “balanced life!”
a windstorm came down on the lake
· The Sea of Galilee is well known for its sudden, violent storms.
· The severity of this storm is highlighted by the fact that the disciples, many of which were experienced fishermen on this very sea, were terrified (Mark 4:40).
He arose and rebuked the wind
· There’s a lot more going on in this scene than what we can directly perceive.
· Jesus doesn’t merely quiet the wind and waves – He rebuked them.
o This, along with the disciple’s great fear, and what Jesus is about to encounter once He arrives at the other side of the lake, gives the sense that there’s something ominously spiritual involved – something demonic.
“Where is your faith?”
· Interesting…the storm, even though it was demonically driven, had no ability to disturb Jesus – He went right on sleeping. But the lack of faith of His disciples could disturb Him…and did.
· [Adapted from Guzik] How is it that the disciples were unbelieving and faithless? Because Jesus didn’t say, "Let’s do the best we can and maybe we’ll all drown” – His Word to them was “Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.”
o He promised them a safe arrival – He never said anything about and uneventful journey.
· Just because you have a tough time in a tough circumstance doesn’t mean that you are walking in unbelief. Unbelief is when you ignore or reject a promise or command of God given to your situation.
· By the way – this account offers all of us a gentle rebuke.
o In the words of one commentator: “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.”
· Jesus’ Word to the boys was “let us go over.”
o Jesus’ Word to us:
§ And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God and are the called according to His purpose [Romans 8:28]
§ For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. [Jeremiah 29:11]
§ He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it [Philippians 1:6]
§ That He will restore the years the locsusts have eaten [Joel 2:25]
§ No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me,” says the Lord. [Isaiah 54:17]
§ But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. [Matthew 6:33]
§ And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. [Philippians 4:19]
description of the demoniac
· This is the most detailed description of demon possession that we have in the Bible.
o [Guzik] It is the classic profile of demonic possession. The man has been demon possessed for a long time; the effect was to cause this man to live like a sub-human, wild animal
§ wore not clothes . . . in the tombs . . . bound with chains and shackles . . . broke the bonds . . . driven by the demon into the wilderness.
o …curiously, there are many Christians today who think the Holy Spirit operates the same way – overwhelming people, taking over their bodies and making them do all sorts of strange, bizarre things.
…and was driven by the demon into the wilderness
· [Courson] Who else was driven into the wilderness? Jesus—not by the devil, but by the Spirit to overcome the devil. The Spirit drove Jesus into the wilderness for His development. The devil drove these men into the wilderness for their destruction. If you find yourself in a hot, dry, wilderness situation, the devil means to destroy you—but the Spirit will use it to develop you. If you say, “I’m going to sit in front of TV and be mad at life,” you’ll be dominated by the forces of darkness. If, on the other hand, you say, “Lord, I know You brought me here. It’s hot and barren and dry, but I will look to You in order that this desert experience might do in me what it did in Your Son—that it might give me victory for greater ministry,” you’ll be blessed indeed. Whichever you choose, you’ll be in the same desert. But, oh how different will be the result.
“What have I to do with You…”
· it is the demonic spirit speaking, not the man possessed. The demon did not want to leave its "host."
· Demonic possession is when a demonic spirit resides in a human body, and at times will exhibit its own personality through the personality of the host body.
o Demonic possession is a reality today, though we must guard against either ignoring demonic activity or over-emphasizing supposed demonic activity.
o We are not told specifically how a person become demon possessed, other than the inference that it must be by some sort of invitation, whether offered knowingly or not.
§ Superstition, fortunetelling, "harmless" occult practices, spiritism, New Age gobbledy-gook, magic, drug taking and other things open doors of deception to the believer, and real demonic danger to the unbeliever.
· People often get involved in the occult or demonic things because there is something there that seems to work. Unfortunately it is not something at work, but a someone who’s at work - a demonic spirit.
· Why do demons want to inhabit bodies? For the same reason why the vandal wants a spray can, or a violent man wants a gun - a human body is a weapon that they can use in their attack against God.
o Demons also attack humans because they hate the image of God in man, so they try to mar that image,
o Demons have the same goal in Christians (to wreck the image of God) but their tactics are hugely restricted
§ in regard to Christians, demonic spirits were "disarmed" by Jesus’ work on the cross (Colossians 2:15), though they can both deceive and intimidate Christians, binding them with fear and unbelief.
o So a true believer can’t be demon possessed – but we can be demonically oppressed – especially when we’ve moved outside the circle of close fellowship with Jesus, especially when we’ve foolishly opened ourselves to demonic influence by what we’ve allowed into our lives.
o But unbelievers can be indwelt by demonic entities – possessed.
…the herd ran violently down the steep place into the lake and drowned.
· The destructive nature of demonic spirits is shown by their effect on the swine. They are like their leader, Satan whose desire is to steal, and to kill, and to destroy (John 10:10).
…and begged Him to come to his house…
· When the centurion came to Jesus in a similar situation back in chapter 7, Jesus didn’t even go to the centurion’s house to heal the servant - He simply pronounced him healed from a distance, because of the centurion’s great faith.
o But Jesus does not here demand that Jarius show the same faith as the centurion. Jesus responds to the faith that we have.
the woman with the issue of blood
· Levitically, a flow of blood made one unclean – not a sinner, but ceremonially unclean.
· The religious scholars of the day taught that this woman’s hemorrhaging was due to some deep, dark sin or immorality that she was being punished for; this woman would have been excommunicated from the synagogue, divorced from her husband, and ostracized by the community. For twelve years, her life was a miserable tragedy.
And immediately her flow of blood stopped
· When she touched His garment, Jesus wasn’t made unclean, the woman was made whole. When we come to Jesus with our sin, and lay it upon Him, it doesn’t make Him a sinner, but it makes us clean.
Master, the multitudes…
· I love this from Jon Courson: “The disciples were impressed by the masses surrounding them. Jesus was intrigued by the one who touched Him. All too often, we evaluate ministry by the masses around Jesus. Jesus, however, is interested in the one who touches Him.”
Jairus and the Woman with the Flow of Blood
· As chapter 8 closes, we’re confronted with a stark contrast.
o For Jairus, his home for the last twelve years have been filled with the sounds of joy and laughter that only a child can bring.
o For the woman, the last twelve years have been continual, unremitting tragedy as she’s been barred from her home, from joy, from fellowship or comfort of any sort.
o And yet, for Jairus, the day came when tragedy struck; for the woman, the day dawned when a desperate hope presented itself to her.
o Jesus met them both where they were, entered into both of these lives, and radically changed both of these situations.
· Both lives and what happened give us some very critical, very needed lessons.
o [adapted from courson] If like Jairus, you’re experiencing joy and peace, a good life with few problems if any…know that:
§ difficulty and tragedy will strike every one of us at some point because it rains on the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45), because no temptation comes to us but that which is common to all men (1 Corinthians 10:13), because in this world we are promised to have tribulation (John 16:33).
§ If you’re in a good season, rejoice—but prepare. Now is the time more than ever to be in the Word, to be worshiping the Lord, to be growing in faith because tomorrow when tragedy strikes, it will be too late. You will not have the resources necessary to see you through the time of difficulty if you don’t prepare in the day of prosperity.
o However, if like the woman you’re experiencing pain, sadness, grief, loss, darkness, despair…hold fast, be of good cheer; you don’t know what tomorrow holds.
§ You don’t know what miracle is about to happen.
§ I promise you, the Lord will enter your situation in a way that will blow your mind if, like this woman, you seize the opportunity to draw near to Him.
§ We need to be in the place where we know the Lord is traveling. Where is that?
· He promises to be in the midst of His people (Hebrews 2:12).
· He promises to be heard in the Word (Hebrews 10:7).
· He promises to be responsive to prayer (Jeremiah 33:3).
§ This woman heard where He was and said, “I’ve got to get to the place where Jesus is moving and see what will happen.” As a result, she was be healed miraculously and will be studied throughout history because she had the wisdom, the courage, the faith to expend the energy and break through the crowds to touch Him even in her weakened state.