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Bible Commentaries

The Fourfold Gospel

Luke 8

Verses 1-3


XLVII.
FURTHER JOURNEYING ABOUT GALILEE.
cLUKE VIII. 1-3.

c1 And it came to pass soon afterwards [i. e.,. soon after his visit to the Pharisee], that he went about through cities and villages [thus making a thorough circuit of the region of Galilee], preaching and bringing the good tidings of the kingdom of God [John had preached repentance as a preparation for the kingdom; but Jesus now appears to have preached the kingdom itself, which was indeed to bring good tidings-- Romans 14:17], and with him the twelve [We here get a glimpse of the tireless activities of the ministry of Christ. Journeying from place to place, he was constantly preaching the gospel publicly to the people, and as ceaselessly instructing his disciples privately. The twelve [296] were now serving an apprenticeship in that work on which he would soon send them forth alone. From this time forth we can hardly look upon Capernaum as the home of Jesus. From now to the end of his ministry his life was a wandering journey, and he and his apostles sustained by the offerings of friends. The circuit of Galilee here mentioned is peculiar to Luke], 2 and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary that was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out [What a change of service, from demoniac bondage to the freedom of Christ!], 3 and Joanna the wife of Chuzas Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, who ministered unto them of their substance. [As to the vile slanders with which commentators have stained the good name of Mary Magdalene, see John 19:25, Mark 15:47, Mark 16:1, Mark 16:9, John 20:11-18. Mary’s name indicates that she was a native of Magdala (Hebrew, Migdol, i. e., watch-tower). Of all the towns which dotted the shores of Galilee in Christ’s day, but this and Tiberias remain. It is on the west shore of the lake, at the southeast corner of the plain of Gennesaret, and is to-day a small collection of mud hovels. It still bears the name el-Mejdel, which is probably received from the adjoining watch-tower that guarded the entrance to the plain, the ruins of which are still to be seen. We should note that Mary Magdalene is not classed with restored profligates, but with those who were healed of infirmities. Joanna is mentioned again at Luke 24:10; of Susanna there is no other record, this being enough to immortalize her. Of Chuzas we know nothing more than what is stated here. There are two Greek words for steward, epitropos and oikonomos. The first may be translated administrator, superintendent or governor. It conveys the impression of an officer of high rank. The Jewish rabbis called Obadiah the epitropos of Ahab. This was the office held by Chuzas, and its translated treasurer in the Arabic version. The second word may be translated housekeeper, or domestic manager. It was an office usually held by some [297] trusted slave as a reward for his fidelity. Chuzas was no doubt a man of means and influence. As there was no order of nobility in Galilee, and as such an officer might be nevertheless styled a nobleman, this Chuzas was very likely the nobleman of John 4:46. If so, the second miracle at Cana explains the devotion of Joanna to Jesus. Herod’s capital was at Sephoris, on an elevated tableland not far from Capernaum. The ministration of these women shows the poverty of Christ and his apostles, and explains how they were able to give themselves so unremittingly to the work. Some of the apostles also may have had means enough to contribute somewhat to the support of the company, but in any event the support was meager enough, for Jesus was among the poorest of earth ( Luke 9:58, Matthew 17:24, 2 Corinthians 8:9). His reaping of carnal things was as scanty as his sowing of spiritual things was abundant ( 1 Corinthians 9:11). We should note how Jesus began to remove the fetters of custom which bound women, and to bring about a condition of universal freedom ( Galatians 3:28).]

[FFG 296-298]

Verse 4


LIV.
THE FIRST GREAT GROUP OF PARABLES.
(Beside the Sea of Galilee.)
Subdivision A.
INTRODUCTION.
aMATT. XIII. 1-3; bMARK IV. 1, 2; cLUKE VIII. 4.

a1 On that day went Jesus out of the house [It is possible that Matthew here refers to the house mentioned at Mark 3:19. If so, the events in Sections XLVIII.-LVI. all occurred on the same day. There are several indications in the gospel narratives that this is so], and sat by the sea side. b1 And again he began again to teach by the sea side. [By the Sea of Galilee.] And there is {awere} bgathered unto him a very great multitude, {agreat multitudes,} bso that he entered into a boat, and sat in the sea [that the multitudes might be better able to see and hear him]; and all the multitude astood on the beach. bwere by the sea on the land. c4 And when a great multitude came together, and they of every city resorted unto him, he spake by a parable: a3 And he spake to them many things b2 And he taught them many things in parables, and said unto them in his teaching, {asaying,} b3 Hearken [While Jesus had used parables [328] before, this appears to have been the first occasion when he strung them together so as to form a discourse. Parable comes from the Greek paraballo, which means, "I place beside" in order to compare. It is the placing of a narrative describing an ordinary event in natural life beside an implied spiritual narrative for the purpose of illustrating the spiritual.]

[FFG 328-329]

Verses 5-18


LIV.
THE FIRST GREAT GROUP OF PARABLES.
(Beside the Sea of Galilee.)
Subdivision B.
PARABLE OF THE SOWER.
aMATT. XIII. 3-23; bMARK IV. 3-25; cLUKE VIII. 5-18.

aBehold, c5 The sower went forth to sow his seed [Orientals live in cities and towns. Isolated farmhouses are practically unknown. A farmer may therefore live several miles from his field, in which case he literally "goes forth" to it]: b4 And it came to pass, as he sowed, some seed {aseeds} fell by the way side, cand it was trodden under foot, and the birds of heaven acame and cdevoured it up. {athem:} [Palestine is an unfenced land, and the roads or paths lead through the fields. They are usually trodden hard by centuries of use. Grain falling on them could not take root. Its fate was either to be crushed by some foot, or to be carried off by some bird.] b5 And other {aothers} fell upon the rocky places, con the rock; bwhere it {athey} bhad not much earth; and straightway it {athey} bsprang up, because it {athey} bhad no deepness of earth: 6 and when the sun was risen, it was {athey were} bscorched; and because it {athey} bhad no root, it {athey} withered away. cand as soon as it grew, it withered away, because it had no moisture. [This seed fell upon a ledge of rock covered with a very thin coating of soil. Its roots were prevented by the rock from striking down to the moisture, and so under the blazing Syrian sun it died ere it had well begun to live.] b7 And other {aothers} bfell among {aupon camidst} bthe thorns, and the thorns grew up, cwith it, band [329] choked it, {athem:} band it yielded no fruit. [Palestine abounds in thorns. Celsius describes sixteen varieties of thorny plants. Porter tells us that in the Plain of Gennesaret thistles grow so tall and rank that a horse can not push through them.] 8 And others {cother} bfell into {aupon} bthe good ground, cand grew, and brought forth a hundredfold, band yielded fruit, growing up and increasing; and brought forth, thirtyfold, and sixtyfold, and a hundredfold. {asome a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.} [Thirty-fold is a good crop in Palestine, but it is asserted that a hundred-fold has been reaped in the Plain of Esdraelon even in recent years. These four several conditions of soil may be readily found lying close to each other in the Plain of Gennesaret. A sowing like this described may have been enacted before the eyes of the people even while Jesus was speaking.] cAs he said these things, he cried [a method of emphasis rarely employed by Jesus], b9 And he said, a9 He that {bWho} hath ears to hear, let him hear. [A saying often used by Jesus. He intended it to prevent the people from regarding the parable as merely a beautiful description. It warned them of a meaning beneath the surface, and incited them to seek for it.] 10 And when he was alone [that is, after he had finished speaking all the parables. The explanation of the parable is put next to the parable to aid us in understanding it], athe disciples came, bthey that were about him with the twelve c9 and his disciples basked him of the parables. cwhat this parable might be. aand said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? [Their questions show that as yet parables were unusual.] 11 And he answered and said unto them, Unto you is given to know the mysteries {bis given the mystery} aof the kingdom of heaven, {bof God:} abut to them cthe rest ait is not given. [save] cin parables; bunto them that are without, all things are done in parables. [Jesus adapted his lessons to the condition of his pupils; hence his disciples might know what the multitude must not yet know ( 1 Corinthians 2:6-11). [330] Jesus already drew a line of demarcation between disciples and unbelievers; which line became more marked and visible after the church was organized at Pentecost. The word "mystery" in current language means that which is not understood; but as used in the Scriptures it means that which is not understood because it has not been revealed, but which is plain as soon as revealed. Bible mysteries are not unraveled by science, but are unfolded by revelation-- Colossians 1:26, 1 Timothy 3:16, Matthew 11:25, Matthew 11:26, Revelation 17:5, Daniel 2:47.] a12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that which he hath. [To understand this saying, we must remember that it was the teaching of Jesus which was under discussion. In the beginning of his ministry Jesus taught plainly, and all his hearers had equal opportunity to know his doctrine and believe in him. But from now on his teaching would be largely veiled in parables. These parables would enrich their knowledge and understanding of the believers; but they would add nothing to the store of unbelievers, and their efforts to understand the parables would withdraw their minds from the truths which they had already learned, so that they would either forget them or fail to profit by them. If we improve our opportunities, they bring us to other and higher ones; but if we neglect them, even the initial opportunities are taken away.] 13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: b12 that seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; {cthat seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.} abecause seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. blest haply they should turn again, and it should be forgiven them. a14 And unto them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah [ Isaiah 6:9, Isaiah 6:10], which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall in no wise understand; And seeing ye shall see, and shall in no wise perceive: 15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, And their ears are dull of hearing. [331] And their eyes they have closed; Lest haply they should perceive with their eyes, And hear with their ears, And understand with their heart, And should turn again, and I should heal them. [The language here is an elaboration of the thoughts contained in the Matthew 13:12. The people saw Christ’s miracles, but not in their true light; they heard his words, but not in their true meaning. Jesus could thus teach without hindrance, but, unfortunately for the unbelieving, they were hearing without obtaining any blessing. In the original passage which Matthew quotes, Isaiah is apparently commanded to harden the hearts of the people. If read superficially, it might seem that God desired to harden their hearts. The true meaning is that God commanded Isaiah to teach, even though the people, by hardening themselves against his teaching, should be made worse rather than better by it. Thus, though rebellious, Israel might not be blessed by Isaiah’s teaching; they might, by their example, waken a wholesome fear in their posterity, and cause it to avoid like a sin.] 16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear. [Jesus here addresses his disciples, who were a cheering contrast to the unbelievers.] 17 For verily I say unto you, that many prophets and righteous men desired to see the things which ye see, and saw them not; and to hear the things which ye hear, and heard them not. [Our Lord here gives us a glance into the very hearts of the prophets, and reveals to us their desire to be witnesses of Messiah’s ministry. But knowing they were not to see their visions realized, they contented themselves with trying to understand the full meaning of their visions, that they might anticipate the days which were to come-- 1 Peter 1:10-12.] b13 And he saith unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how shall ye know all the parables? [This is a concession rather than a reproof. Parables could not be understood without a key; but a few examples of parables explained would furnish such a key.] a18 Hear then ye the parable of the sower. c11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of [332] God. b14 The sower soweth the word. 15 And these {cthose} bby the way side, where the word is sown; aare they that have heard; band when they have heard,; cthen bstraightway cometh Satan, cthe devil, and taketh away the word from their heart, bwhich hath been sown in them. cthat they may not believe and be saved. a19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the evil one, and snatcheth away that which hath been sown in his heart. This is he that was sown by the way side. [The four soils are four hearts into which truth is sown. The first heart, represented by the wayside, is one which is too hardened for the Word to make any impression. It represents several classes of people, as: 1. Those whose hearts have been made insensible by the routine of meaningless rites and lifeless formalities. 2. Those who had deadened their sensibilities by perversity and indifference. 3. Those whose hearts were hardened by the constant march and countermarch of evil thoughts. God’s word lies on the surface of such hearts, and Satan can use any insignificant or innocent passing thoughts as a bird to carry out of their minds anything which they may have heard. The preacher’s voice has scarcely died away until some idle criticism of him or some careless bit of gossip about a neighbor causes them to forget the sermon.] b16 And these {cthose} bin like manner are they that are sown upon the rocky places, {crock} bwho, when they have heard the word, straightway receive it {cthe word} with joy; b17 and they {cthese} bhave no root in themselves, but endure {cwho believe} for a while; bthen, when affliction or persecution ariseth because of the word, straightway they stumble. cand in time of temptation fall away. a20 And he that was sown upon the rocky places, this is he that heareth the word, and straightway with joy receiveth it; 21 yet hath he not root in himself, but endureth for a while; and when tribulation or persecution ariseth because [333] of the word, straightway he stumbleth. [This shallow, rock-covered soil represents those who are deficient in tenacity of purpose. Those who receive the word, but whose impulsive, shallow nature does not retain it, and whose enthusiasm was as short-lived as it was vigorous. Any opposition, slight or severe, makes them partial or total apostates. As sunlight strengthens the healthy plant, but withers the sickly, ill-rooted one, so tribulation establishes real faith, but destroys its counterfeit.] b18 And others are they that are sown {cwhich fell} among the thorns, these are they that have heard, bthe word, cand as they go on their way bthe cares of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. cthey are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. a22 And he that was sown among the thorns, this is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choked the word, and he becometh unfruitful. [This third class represents those who begin well, but afterwards permit worldly cares to gain the mastery. These to-day outnumber all other classes, and perhaps they have always been so.] b20 And those are they that were sown upon {c15 And that in} the good ground; these are such as in an honest and good heart, having heard {bhear} cthe word, hold it fast, band accept it, and bear cand bring forth fruit with patience. bthirtyfold, and sixtyfold, and a hundredfold. a23 And he that was sown upon the good ground, this is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; who verily beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. [Christianity requires three things: a sower, good seed or a pure gospel, and an honest hearer. All hearers are not equal in faithfulness. But we are not to take it that the diversity is limited to the three rates or proportions specified. Of the four hearts indicated, the first one hears, but heeds nothing; the second one heeds, but is checked by [334] external influences; the third heeds, but is choked by internal influences; the fourth heeds and holds fast until the harvest. Gallio exemplifies the first ( Acts 18:17). Peter and Mark for a time exemplified the second ( Mark 14:66-72, Acts 12:25, Acts 13:13, Acts 15:37-39). The rich ruler and Demas represent the third ( Matthew 19:22, 2 Timothy 4:10), as does also Judas Iscariot. Cornelius and the Beræans ( Acts 10:33, Acts 17:11) show us examples of the fourth.] b21 And he said unto them, Is the lamp brought to be put under the bushel, or under a bed, and not to be put on the stand? c16 No man, when he hath lighted a lamp, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but putteth it on a stand, that they which enter in may see the light. [A passage similar to this is found at Matthew 5:15. See page 235.] b22 For there is nothing hid, save that it should be manifested; {cthat shall not be made manifest;} bneither was anything made secret, but that it should come to light. {cthat shall not be known and come to light.} b23 If any man hath ears to hear, let him hear. [This passage is often taken to indicate the exposure of all things on the day of judgment. While all things shall be revealed at the judgment, this passage does not refer to that fact. Jesus did not come to put his light under a bushel; that is, to hide his teaching. All inner instruction and private information was but temporary. Our Lord’s design was to reveal, not conceal. What was now concealed was only to keep back that in the end it might be more fully known. Jesus covered his light as one might shelter a candle with his hand until the flame has fully caught hold of the wick.] 24 And he said unto them, cTake heed therefore how {bwhat} ye hear: with what measure ye mete it shall be measured unto you; and more shall be given unto you. cfor whosoever {bhe that} hath, to him shall be given: cand whosoever {bhe that} hath not, from him shall be taken away even that which he hath. {cwhich he thinketh he hath.} [Most of this passage has been explained just [335] above. See page 331. It warns us as to what we hear--things carnal or spiritual--and how we hear them, whether carefully or carelessly. As we measure attention unto the Lord, he measures back knowledge to us.]

[FFG 329-336]

Verses 19-21


L.
CHRIST’S TEACHING AS TO HIS MOTHER AND BRETHREN.
(Galilee, same day as the last lesson.)
aMATT. XII. 46-50; bMARK III. 31-35; cLUKE VIII. 19-21.

a46 While he yet speaking to the multitudes, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without seeking to speak to him. [Jesus was in a house, probably at Capernaum-- Mark 3:19, Matthew 13:1.] c19 and there came {bcome} cto him his mother and bhis brethren; cand they could not come at him for the crowd. aand, standing without, they sent unto him, calling him. 32 And the multitude was sitting about him [We learn at Mark 3:21, that they came to lay hold of him because they thought that he was beside himself. It was for this reason that they came in a body, for their numbers would enable them to control him. Jesus had four brethren ( Matthew 13:55). Finding him teaching with the crowd about him, they passed the word in to him that they wished to see him outside. To attempt to lay hold of him in the midst of his disciples would have been rashly inexpedient. The fact that they came with Mary establishes the strong presumption that they were the children of Mary and Joseph, and hence the literal brethren of the Lord. In thus seeking to take Jesus away from his enemies Mary yielded to a natural maternal impulse which even the revelations accorded to her did not quiet. The brethren, too, acted naturally, for they were unbelieving-- John 7:5.] a47 And one said {bthey say} unto him, c20 And it was told him, aBehold, thy mother and thy brethren bseek for thee. cstand without, desiring to see thee. aseeking to speak to thee. [310] [This message was at once an interruption and an interference. It assumed that their business with him was more urgent than his business with the people. It merited our Lord’s rebuke, even if it had not behind it the even greater presumption of an attempt to lay hold on him.] 48 But he answered {b33 And he answereth} aand said unto him that told him, band saith, {cand said unto them,} aWho is my mother? and who are my brethren? b34 And looking round on them that sat round about him, ahe stretched forth his hand towards his disciples, and said, {bsaith,} aBehold, my mother and my brethren! cMy mother and my brethren are these that hear the word of God and do it. b35 For whosoever shall do the will of God, amy Father who in heaven, he {bthe same} is my brother, and my sister, and mother. [In this answer Jesus shows that he brooks no interference on the score of earthly relationships, and explodes the idea of his subserviency to his mother. To all who call on the "Mother of God," as Mary is blasphemously styled, Jesus answers, as he did to the Jews, "Who is my mother?" Jesus was then in the full course of his ministry as Messiah, and as such he recognized only spiritual relationships. By doing the will of God we become his spiritual children, and thus we become related to Christ. Jesus admits three human relationships--"brother, sister, mother"--but omits the paternal relationship, since he had no Father, save God. It is remarkable that in the only two instances in which Mary figures in the ministry of Jesus prior to his crucifixion, she stands forth reproved by him. This fact not only rebukes those who worship her, but especially corrects the doctrine of her immaculate conception.] [311]

[FFG 310-311]

Verses 22-25


LV.
JESUS STILLS THE STORM.
(Sea of Galilee; same day as last section)
aMATT. VIII. 18-27; bMARK IV. 35-41; cLUKE VIII. 22-25.

b35 And that day, {cone of those days,} bwhen the even was come [about sunset], awhen Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment to depart unto the other side. {bhe saith unto them, Let us go over unto the other side.} [Wearied with a day of strenuous toil, Jesus sought rest from the multitude by passing to the thinly settled on the east side of Galilee.] a19 And there came a scribe [Literally, one scribe. The number is emphatic; for, so far as the record shows, Jesus had none of this class among his disciples], and said unto him, Teacher, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. 20 And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes [caves, dens], and the birds of the heaven have nests; but the Son of [341] man [Daniel’s name for the Messiah-- Daniel 7:10-13] hath not where to lay his head. [This scribe had heard the wonderful parables concerning the kingdom. He, like all others, expected an earthly kingdom and sought to have a place in it. Jesus so replied as to correct his false expectations.] 21 And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. [This disciple must have been one of the twelve, for these only were required to follow Jesus ( Mark 3:14). It may have been James or John, whose father, Zebedee, almost certainly died before Jesus did. He may have just heard of his father’s death. *] 22 But Jesus saith unto him, Follow me; and leave the dead to bury their own dead. [Let the spiritually dead bury the naturally dead. This was a very exceptional prohibition, intended to show not that it was ordinarily wrong to stop for burying the dead, but wrong when in conflict with a command from Jesus. God bids us recognize the claims of filial duty, but rightfully insists that our duties toward him are superior to those due our parents.] c22 Now it came to pass that he entered into a boat, himself and his disciples; a23 And when he was entered into a boat, his disciples followed him. cand he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake: and they launched forth. b36 And leaving the multitude, they take him with them, even as he was, in the boat. [They took Jesus without any preparation for the journey. The crowd, doubtless, made it inconvenient to go ashore to get provisions.] And other boats were with him. [The owners of these boats had probably been using them to get near to Jesus as he preached. They are probably mentioned to show that a large number witnessed the miracle when Jesus stilled the tempest.] c23 But as they sailed he fell asleep. [knowing his labors during the day, we can not wonder at this]: b37 And there ariseth cand there came down ba great storm of wind, con the lake; a24 And, behold, [342] there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the boat was covered with the waves: band the waves beat into the boat, insomuch that the boat was now filling. cand they were filling with water, and were in jeopardy. [These storms come with great suddenness. See McGarvey’s "Lands of the Bible," page 519.] b38 And {abut} bhe himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion [The cushion was the seat-cover, which, as Smith remarks, was probably "a sheepskin with the fleece, which, when rolled up, served as a pillow." The stern was the most commodious place for passengers. The tossing ship has been accepted in all ages as a type of the church in seasons of peril]: a25 And they came to him, and awoke him, {bthey awake him,} and say unto him, {asaying,} Save, Lord; we perish. cMaster, master, we perish. bTeacher, carest thou not that we perish? [There was a babble of confused voices, betraying the extreme agitation of the disciples.] 39 And he awoke, aThen he arose, and rebuked the winds, {bwind,} aand the sea; cand the raging of the water; band said unto the sea, Peace, be still. cand they ceased, bAnd the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. [In addressing the winds and waves Jesus personified them to give emphasis to his authority over them. The calm showed the perfection of the miracle, for the waves of such a lake continue to roll long after the winds have ceased.] c25 And he said unto them, Where is your faith? bWhy are ye yet fearful? have ye not yet faith? aO ye of little faith? [They had little faith or they would not have been so frightened; but they had some faith, else they would not have appealed to Jesus.] b41 And they feared exceedingly, cAnd being afraid they athe men marvelled, band said one to another, csaying one to another, aWhat manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him? cWho then is this, that he commandeth even the winds, and the water, and they obey him? [Jesus’ complete lordship over the realm of nature made his disciples very certain of his divinity.] [343]

* I do not concur in this statement.--P. Y. P.

[FFG 341-343]

Verses 26-40


LVI.
JESUS HEALS TWO GERGESENE DEMONIACS.
(Gergesa, now called Khersa.)
aMATT. VIII. 28-34; IX. 1; bMARK V. 1-21; cLUKE VIII. 26-40.

b1 And they came to the other side of the sea [They left in the "even," an elastic expression. If they left in the middle of the afternoon and were driven forward by the storm, they would have reached the far shore several hours before dark], c26 And they arrived at the country of the Gerasenes, which is over against Galilee. a28 And when he was come into the country of the Gadarenes. c27 And when he was come forth bout of the boat, cupon the land [Midway between the north and south ends of the lake, and directly east across the lake from Magdala, was the little city of Gergesa. In front and somewhat to the south of this city Jesus landed. Some sixteen miles away and to the southeast, and seven miles back from the lake, was the well-known city of Gadara. Further on to the southeast, on the borders of Arabia, and at least fifty miles from Gergesa, was the city of Gerasa. The name Gerasenes is, therefore, probably an error of the transcribers for Gergesenes, as Origen suggested. The region is properly called "country of the Gadarenes," for Gadara was an important city, and the stamp of a ship on its coins suggests that its territory extended to the Lake of Galilee], bstraightway there met him out of the tombs ca certain man out of the city [Gergesa], bwith an unclean spirit, cwho had demons; b3 who had his dwelling in the tombs: cand abode not in any house, but in the tombs. [The sides of the mountain near the ruins of Gergesa are studded with natural and artificial caves which were used as tombs.] band no man could any more bind him, no, not with a chain; 4 because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been rent asunder by him, and the [344] fetters broken in pieces: and no man had strength to tame him. 5 And always, night and day, in the tombs and in the mountains, he was crying out, and cutting himself with stones. [The natural spirit of the man seeking to throw off the dominion of the demons would cry out in agony, and the demons themselves, in their own misery, would use him as a vehicle to express their own grief. It would be hard to imagine a more horrible state] cand for a long time he had worn no clothes, b6 and when he saw Jesus from afar, che cried out, bhe ran cand fell down before him, band worshipped him; 7 and crying out with a loud voice, he saith, {csaid,} What have I to do with thee [on this phrase, see Romans 10:7, Revelation 9:1, Revelation 9:2, Revelation 9:11, Revelation 11:7, Revelation 17:8, Revelation 20:1, Revelation 20:3. How these demons escaped from the abyss is one of the unsolved mysteries of the spirit world; but we have a parallel in the releasing of Satan-- Revelation 20:1-3.] a28b And there met him two possessed with demons, coming forth out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man could pass by that way. [Matthew tells of two, while Mark and Luke describe only one. They tell of the principal one--the one who was the fiercer. In order to tell of two, Matthew had to omit the name "legion," which belonged to one; and conversely, Mark and Luke, to give the conversation with one, did not confuse us by telling of two.] 29 And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time? [The judgment-day, the time of punishment and torment-- Matthew 25:41, 2 Peter 2:4, Judges 1:6.] b11 Now there was there aafar off from them bon the mountain side a great herd aof many swine feeding. 31 And the demons besought him, cand they entreated him that he would give them leave to enter into them. asaying, If thou cast us out, send us away into the herd of swine. bthat we may enter into them. 13 And he gave them leave. a32 And he said unto them, Go. And they bthe unclean spirits cthe demons came out of the man, and entered aand went into the swine: and behold, the whole herd rushed down the steep into the sea, {cthe lake,} bin number about two thousand; and they were drowned in the sea. aand perished in the waters. [About a mile south of Khersa a spur of the mountain thrusts itself out toward the lake so that its foot is within forty feet of the water line. This is the only spot on that side of the lake where the mountains come near the water. The slope is so steep and the ledge at its foot so narrow that a herd rushing down could not check itself before tumbling into the water. [346] Skeptics have censured Jesus for permitting this loss of property. God may recognize our property rights as against each other, but he nowhere recognizes them in the realm of nature. What was done to the swine was done by the demons, and the owners had no more right to complain than they would have had if the herd had been carried off by murrain, by flood, or by any other natural cause. All animals have a right to die, either singly or in numbers. The demons evidently did not intend to destroy the swine. Their desire to have live bodies to dwell in shows that they did not. But the presence of the demons in their bodies made the hogs crazy, as it had the demoniac, and they ran the way their noses were pointed at the moment. For discussion of demoniacal possession, see Mark 7:31-37.] cand he went his way, publishing throughout the whole city [Gergesa] how great things Jesus had done for him. band began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him [for the cities which constituted Decapolis, see page 173]: and all men marvelled. 21 And when Jesus had crossed over again in the boat unto the other side, a great multitude was gathered unto him: and he was by the sea. c40 And as Jesus returned, the multitude welcomed him; for they were all waiting for him. [They could see the sail of his boat as he started back.] a1 And he came into his own city. [Capernaum.] [348]

[FFG 344-348]

Verses 41-56


LVIII.
JAIRUS’ DAUGHTER AND THE INVALID WOMAN.
(Capernaum, same day as last.)
aMATT. IX. 18-26; bMARK V. 22-43; cLUKE VIII. 41-56.

c41 And a18 While he spake these things unto them [while he talked about fasting at Matthew’s table], behold, there came, {bcometh} ca man named Jairus, {bJairus by name;} cand he was a ruler {bone of the rulers} of the synagogue [He was one of the board of elders which governed the synagogue at Capernaum. These elders were not necessarily old men-- Matthew 19:16-22, Luke 18:18-23], and seeing him, che fell {bfalleth} cdown at Jesus’ feet, aand worshipped him [It was a very lowly act for the ruler of a synagogue thus to bow before the Man of Nazareth. But the ruler was in trouble, and his needs were stronger than his pride], cand besought him to come into his house; 42 for he had an only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she was dying. b23 and beseecheth him much, saying, My little daughter is at the point of death: ais even now dead [he left her dying, [352] and so stated his fears in the very strongest way]: but bI pray thee, that thou come and lay thy hands on {ahand upon} her, bthat she may be made whole, and live. aand she shall live. 19 And Jesus arose [From Matthew’s table. Jesus did not fast for form’s sake, but he was ever ready to leave a feast that he might confer a favor], and followed him, and so did his disciples. b24 And he went him; and a great multitude followed him [The ruler, of highest social rank in the city, found Jesus among the lowliest, and they were naturally curious to see what Jesus would do for this grandee], and they {cBut as he went the multitudes} thronged him. a20 And, behold, a woman, who had {chaving} an issue of blood twelve years, b26 and had suffered many things of many physicians, and cwho had spent ball that she had, call her living upon physicians, band was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, cand could not be healed of any [Medicine was not a science in that day. Diseases were not cured by medicine, but were exorcised by charms. The physician of Galilee in that age did not differ very widely from the medicine-man of the North American Indians. One in easy circumstances could readily spend all during twelve years of doctoring with such leeches.] b27 having heard the things concerning Jesus [her faith rested on hearing rather than on sight], came in the crowd behind, chim, and touched the border of his garment: a21 for she said within herself, If I do but touch his garment, {bgarments,} I shall be made whole. [The nature of her disease made her unclean ( Leviticus 15:26). Her consciousness of this made her, therefore, timidly approach Jesus from behind.] 29 And straightway {cimmediately} bthe fountain of her blood was dried up; cthe issue of her blood stanched. band she felt in her body that she was healed of her plague. [The feeble pulse of sickness gave way to the glow and thrill of health.] 30 And straightway Jesus, perceiving in himself that the power proceeding from him had gone forth, turned him about in the [353] crowd, and said, Who touched my garments? cWho is it that touched me? And when all denied, Peter and they bhis disciples cthat were with him, bsaid unto him, cMaster, the multitude press thee and crush thee, bThou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? c46 But Jesus said, Some one did touch me: for I perceived that power had gone forth from me. b32 And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. c47 And {b33 But} cwhen the woman saw that she was not hid, she came bfearing and trembling [because being unclean, any rabbi would have rebuked her severely for touching him], knowing what had been done to her, came and fell {cfalling} down before him band told him all the truth. cdeclared in the presence of all the people for what cause she touched him, and how she was healed immediately. [To have permitted the woman to depart without this exposure would have confirmed her in the mistaken notion that Jesus healed rather by his nature than by his will. Hence he questions her, not that he may obtain information, but rather as a means of imparting it. By his questions he reveals to her that no work of his is wrought without his consciousness, and that it was himself and not his garment which had blessed her.] a22 But Jesus turning and seeing her said, cunto her, aDaughter, be of good cheer [Faith gets a sweet welcome]; thy faith hath made thee whole. cgo in peace. band be whole of thy plague. [Be permanently whole: an assurance that relief was not temporal, but final.] aAnd the woman was made whole from that hour. [Faith healed her by causing her to so act as to obtain healing. Faith thus saves; not of itself, but by that which it causes us to do. It causes us to so run that we obtain.] b35 While he yet spake, they come from {cthere cometh one from} the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying, Thy daughter is dead: bwhy troublest thou the Teacher any further? ctrouble not the Teacher. [The delay caused by healing this woman must have sorely tried the ruler’s patience, and the sad [354] news which followed it must have severely tested his faith; but we hear no word of murmuring or bitterness from him.] 50 But Jesus hearing it, bnot heeding the words spoken [not succumbing to the situation], canswered him, {bsaith unto the ruler of the synagogue,} Fear not, only believe. cand she shall be made whole. [Thus, with words of confidence and cheer, Jesus revived the ruler’s failing faith.] b37 And he suffered no man to follow with him [into the house with him], save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James. [These three were honored above their fellows by special privileges on several occasions, because their natures better fitted them to understand the work of Christ.] c51 And when he came to the house, he suffered not any man to enter in with him, save Peter and John, and James, and the father of the maiden and her mother. b38 And they come to the house of the ruler of the synagogue; a23 And when Jesus came into the ruler’s house, bhe beholdeth a tumult, and many weeping and wailing greatly. aand saw the flute-players, and the crowd making a tumult, 24 he said, Give place [Mourning began at the moment of death, and continued without intermission until the burial, which usually took place on the day of the death. Even to this day Oriental funerals are characterized by noisy uproar and frantic demonstrations of sorrow, made by real and hired mourners. Flute-players, then as now, mingle the plaintive strains of their instruments with the piercing cries of those females who made mourning a profession]: c52 And all were weeping, and bewailing her: but he said, {bsaith} unto them, Why make ye a tumult, and weep? cWeep not; she bthe child athe damsel is not dead, but sleepeth. [Jesus used this figurative language with regard to Lazarus, and explained by this he meant death-- John 11:14.] And they laughed him to scorn. cknowing that she was dead. [His words formed a criticism as to their judgment and experience as to death, and threatened to interrupt them in earning their funeral [355] dues.] a25 But when the crowd was put forth, bhe, having put them all forth [because their tumult was unsuited to the solemnity and sublimity of a resurrection. They were in the outer room--not in the room where the dead child lay], taketh the father of the child and her mother and them [the three] that were with him, and goeth in {ahe entered in,} bwhere the child was. [Jesus took with him five witnesses, because in the small space of the room few could see distinctly what happened, and those not seeing distinctly might circulate inaccurate reports and confused statements as to what occurred. Besides, Jesus worked his miracles as privately as possible in order to suppress undue excitement.] aand took {btaking} the child {cher} by the hand, called, saying, {bsaith} unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, {cMaiden,} bI say unto thee, Arise. [Mark gives the Aramaic words which Jesus used. They were the simple words with which anyone would awaken a child in the morning.] c55 And her spirit returned b42 And straightway the damsel rose up, {aarose.} cshe rose up immediately: band walked [her restoration was complete]; for she was twelve years old. cand he commanded that something bshould be given her to eat. [Her frame, emaciated by sickness, was to be invigorated by natural means.] c56 And her parents were amazed: bthey were amazed straightway with a great amazement. [Faith in God’s great promise is seldom so strong that fulfillment fails to waken astonishment.] 43 And {cbut} bhe charged them much cto tell no man what had been done. bthat no man should know this [A command given to keep down popular excitement. Moreover, Jesus did not wish to be importuned to raise the dead. He never was so importuned]: a26 And the fame hereof went forth into all that land.

[FFG 352-356]

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
Bibliographical Information
J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on Luke 8". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/tfg/luke-8.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.