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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
Luke 8

 

 

Verses 1-21

Discourse: Jesus Teaches on Obeying His Word (Galilee) - In Luke 8:1-21 Jesus teaches parables that reflect an emphasis on the Word of God and how it operates in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Outline: Here is a proposed outline:

1. Jesus Ministers with His Disciples — Luke 8:1-3

2. Jesus Teaches the Parable of the Sower — Luke 8:4-15

3. The Parable of the Light Under the Bushel — Luke 8:16-18

4. His Family is the One Who Obeys the Word — Luke 8:19-21

Luke 8:1-3 — His Disciples in Service (The Women) - Luke 8:1-3 emphasizes the fact that many other disciples ministered to Jesus, especially women. Women are practical in that they understand a family's daily physical needs. They understand the need to dress the children, to cook the food and to have comforts in life. Although they were not ordained as were the twelve apostles, they joined together and began to do what they can do, which was to give financial and material support to the ministry. They were obedient to God's Word. This passage of Scripture is contrasted to Luke 8:19-21 where the family of Jesus comes to Him and He declares that His mother and brothers are those who hear and do the Word of God.

Luke 8:2-3Comments - Luke 8:2-3 records the first incident of partners in the ministry of Jesus Christ. These early partners were women. These women partnered with Jesus Christ in order to make sure that He was free to walk in his Anointing and minister to others without being short of the basic necessities of life.

Luke 8:4-15 — The Parable of the Sower ( Matthew 13:1-23, Mark 4:1-20) - Luke 8:4-15 gives us the Parable of the Sower and its interpretation. Luke places this story at a strategic place in the narrative of Jesus' Galilean ministry. His public ministry has now reached its peak of acceptance among the multitudes. Jesus needed to balance the true picture for His disciples of what was taking place in the hearts of the people. They were seeing some people reject His ministry, while others simply sought Jesus for their own personal gain. The disciples observed others following Him with some devotion for a while and then depart. There were a few who fully committed themselves to Jesus and served Him, such as the women listed in the opening verses of Luke 8:1-3. After this teaching, we are about to see even His own family reject His Messiahship. In the midst of these many relationships and observations, Jesus took the opportunity to teach His disciples about the hearts of men by using an analogy of a sower sowing seed in the ground.

The First Recorded Parable of Jesus - According to the Synoptic Gospel accounts, the Parable of the Sower is the first parable that Jesus Christ taught to the people ( Matthew 13:3, Mark 4:2, Luke 8:4). Jesus explains in Mark 4:13 that this parable is a key to understanding all of the other parables He will teach. This implies that all other parables teach on various aspects of this parable or base their truths upon the principles laid down in the Parable of the Sower. This implication is seen in Mark's record of the parables that follow this opening parable (Mk).

Mark 4:13, "And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?"

The Interpretation of the Parable of the Sower- Here is the interpretation of the Parable of the Sower:

The Sower- On November 4, 2001, I had a dream where I saw one person scattering seeds randomly and with no cultivation and care. I then saw a well-maintained field, cultivated and well watered. I believe that the first picture is representative of how many believers are ministering the Gospel and receiving very little results. The second picture represents a ministry that is producing results for the Kingdom of God. I believe that Lighthouse Television is one of these productive ministries. We often focus on the harvest of the seed in this parable, but it is clear that the sower is making a decision on just where to cast his seed. I believe that the sower represents ministries that use various methods of spreading the Gospel. Some ministries are much more productive than others because they find good soil and cultivate the seed that is sown. Other ministries, with very little leadership from God scatter seed so randomly that the harvest is poor.

The Seed- The seed represents the Word of God.

The Soils- In the Parable of the Sower, the soil represents the spirit of Prayer of Manasseh , and the different types of soils represent the different types of hearts that are found in man. God sends His Word to all people, into all types of hearts. Andrew Wommack notes that the life of the plant is in the seed, and not in the soil. We must learn to be nourished by God's Word rather than by man or circumstances. As individuals, we can prepare our lives and hearts to become more and more receptive to God's Word as we grow in Christian maturity, so that God's Word can eventually take root and produce fruit in our lives. 208] Note other passages that give an analogy of man"s heart in comparison to soil.

208] Andrew Wommack, "Laying a Sure Foundation," in the series "A Sure Foundation," [on-line]; accessed on 4January 2010; available at http://www.awmi.net/podcasts/television/MP 3Audio; Internet.

Jeremiah 4:3, "For thus saith the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns. "

Hosea 10:12, "Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you."

1 Corinthians 3:9, "For we are labourers together with God: ye are God"s husbandry, ye are God"s building."

The different types of soil also reveal to us the progression of events in the development of every believer's life. The soil in the roadside represents the initial proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the hardened hearts of the world. Satan is often able to steal this Word out of their hearts before they are saved. For those hearts that are receptive, the proclamation of Jesus Christ as the Savior of the World is the first step in discipleship. We find in the four Gospels and Acts an emphasis upon the proclamation of Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the Savior of the world.

The stony soil represents the heart that has received the message of the Gospel, but it has no depth. That Isaiah , this person has not learned the doctrines of the Church in order to become established. He has not grown in the grace and knowledge of the things of God. We find Church doctrine in the nine Church epistles of Romans through 2Thessalonians. If they will become established in the teachings of the Word of God, they will be able to persevere. Others will be offended because of persecutions from the world. We find in the epistles of Hebrews , James and 1Peter the exhortations to persevere under persecution from the world.

The soil with thorns represents the heart in which the Word of God is choked out because of worldly pursuits. This person has grown in the doctrines of the Word of God and even overcome persecutions. However, in the life of a believer, he must persevere not only amidst persecutions, but against backsliding due to false doctrines embraced by the Church itself. We see exhortations to persevere despite false doctrines from within the Church in the epistles of 2Peter, 1, 2, 3John and Jude. These epistles place emphasis upon the believer's perseverance against false doctrines. For, if they are embraced, a believer will fall back into the deceptions of the world and be overcome.

Finally, the fertile soil represents the heart that fully embraces the Word of God and grows thereby. This person has become established in the doctrines of the Church. He has persevered against persecutions (stony soil) and against false doctrines (thorny soil). He has come to a place of producing fruit for the Kingdom of God. The degrees of fruit described as thirty, sixty and one hundred-fold represent the fact that there are various levels of Christian maturity. Another insight is to say that growth of a person's fruit may be based upon the talents given to him initially by God. Or, we can say that the 30-60-100-fold harvest is determined by how much of the Word of God a person applies to his life.

When trying to understand the meaning of "30-60-100 fold" we may go to Romans 12:2 and note that there are three levels of which a believer can walk within God's will. He may be walking in God's good acceptable or perfect will. Perhaps these three levels of walking within God's will produce three levels of fruit, just as we read in Mark 4:20, "and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred."

Romans 12:2, "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

Thus, the Parable of the Sower ( Mark 4:1-20) reveals the first aspect of our spiritual journey when a believer first embraces the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is justified by faith. The next parable of the Light Under the Bushel ( Mark 4:21-25) explains how he then becomes rooted and grounded in the faith through the knowledge of the doctrines of the Church. With such a foundation, he is able to persevere against persecutions and false doctrines while continuing to sow his seed, as reflected in the Parable of the Growing Seed ( Mark 4:26-29), so that he can reach the goal of his salvation, which is glorification in Heaven with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, which is reflected in the Parable of the Mustard Seed ( Mark 4:30-32).

Luke 8:4 And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable:

Luke 8:4Comments - The disciples of Jesus were those who sought Him. To them, Jesus spoke plainly. To the multitudes, Jesus spoke in parables. Note Jesus' explanation as to why this was so:

Matthew 13:10-13, "And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand."

Thus, all of Jesus' recorded speeches were addressed either to His disciples with plainness, or to the multitudes in parables, and thirdly to the religious leaders in rebukes and woes. We must recognize His intended audience in each of His speeches in order to better understand His message. For example, we can see that the five major discourses found in the Gospel of Matthew were directed to His disciples, while the story of the Parable of the Sower was told to the multitudes.

Luke 8:10Comments - Of our five sense gates by which we receive all information about our natural world, it is the seeing and hearing that most influences our decisions.

Luke 8:13 — "which for a while believe" - Comments - Faith is God can be temporary and non-enduring.

Luke 8:16-18 — The Parable of the Light Under the Bushel ( Mark 4:21-25) - In Mark 4:21-25 Jesus gives us the illustration of the light hid under the bushel as way of explaining how hearing and receiving God's Word works in our lives. This parable follows immediately after the Parable of the Sower. He explained that if we will hear and obey what we know to do, more understanding would be given unto us.

The Parable of the Light Under the Bushel teaches us that as the light of the Gospel shines forth into our hearts, we become indoctrinated with God's Word; and we are not to hide this light and hold back our testimonies of God's goodness in our lives, but are to continue sowing seeds of God's Word to others. This light is symbolic of our indoctrination into the Word of God, which follows our justification after having received God's Word.

As we examine this parallel passage in Luke 8:16-18 we gain further insight into the meaning of this parable. As the Gospel is preached, the hearts of men are exposed to the light and their true qualities identified ( Luke 8:17). For those who repent, their hearts are transformed so that they can receive more light. But for those whose hearts are hardened and reject what little light they have been given, their hearts are darkened even more ( Luke 8:18).

Luke 8:19-21 — His Family are Those who Obey the Word ( Matthew 12:46-50, Mark 3:31-35) - Luke 8:19-21 gives us the account of Jesus being approached by His family and how He responded to their requests to see Him. His passage of Scripture is contrasted to Luke 8:1-3 where the twelve disciples are following Jesus while certain women minister to them of their substance. These are the ones who are truly obeying God's Word.


Verses 22-37

Divine Service: Jesus Testifies of Divine Service - In Luke 8:22 to Luke 10:37 Jesus testifies of divine service in the Kingdom of God. In Luke 8:22-56 He demonstrates His authority in divine service by calming a storm (the natural realm), casting out demons (the spiritual realm), and healing two individuals who exercised faith in His word (the physical realm). He then delegates this authority to His disciples and allows them to go out and preach the Gospel, heal the sick, and feed the five thousand ( Luke 9:1-17). This experience will culminate on the Mount of Transfiguration with Peter's confession that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God ( Luke 9:18-50). Jesus will deliver a discourse to the Seventy to prepare them for divine service ( Luke 10:1-24). It is the story of the Good Samaritan that best illustrates the spirit of divine service, which is loving our neighbour ( Luke 10:25-37).

Outline: Here is a proposed outline:

1. Narrative: Jesus Demonstrates Divine Service (Galilee) — Luke 8:22 to Luke 9:50

2. Discourse: Jesus Trains 70 Disciples (Faces Jerusalem) — Luke 9:51 to Luke 10:37


Verses 22-50

Narrative: Jesus Demonstrates Divine Service - In Luke 8:22 to Luke 9:50 Jesus demonstrates divine service to His disciples, then delegates to them His divine authority to work miracles among the people. He then reveals His divinity to His three closest disciples.

Outline: Here is a proposed outline:

1. Jesus Demonstrates His Authority — Luke 8:22-56

2. Jesus Delegates His Authority to the Apostles — Luke 9:1-17

3. Jesus Reveals His Divinity — Luke 9:18-50


Verses 22-56

Jesus Demonstrates His Authority and Anointing - In Luke 8:22-56 Jesus demonstrates His authority and anointing over the natural realm by calming the storm, over the spirit realm by casting demons out of the Gadarene demonic, and over the physical realm by healing Jarius' daughter and the woman with the issue of blood.

Outline: Here is a proposed outline:

1. Calming the Storm (Natural Realm) — Luke 8:22-25

2. Gadarene Demoniac (Spirit Realm) — Luke 8:26-39

3. Jarius & Woman with Issue of Blood (Physical Realm) — Luke 8:40-56

Luke 8:22-25 — Jesus Calms the Storm ( Matthew 12:23-27, Mark 4:35-41) - Luke 8:22-25 gives us the account of Jesus calming the storm. It reveals to us how Jesus had authority over nature itself. The importance of this story is that it revealed a new aspect of His divinity and authority to the disciples. Thus, the key verse in this passage Isaiah , "What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him." ( Luke 8:25)

Luke 8:22 Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth.

Luke 8:22Comments - Jesus had said that it was God's will to land on the other side by saying "Let us go over unto the other side of the lake." The disciples, with faith is those words, could have rebuked the storm, also. Jesus did not immediately come out and comfort the disciples while the storm raged. When He did come, He first took authority over the storm, so that the boat would not sink. This is what Jesus expected the disciples to have done. Then he dealt with their faith.

Luke 8:26-39 — Jesus Heals the Gadarene Demoniac ( Matthew 8:28-34, Mark 5:1-20) - Luke 8:26-39 gives us the account of Jesus healing the Gadarene demoniac. This story represents perhaps the most dramatic deliverance that Jesus performed during His ministry. It reveals to us how Jesus had authority over the spiritual realm as well as the natural realm.

Luke 8:29 — "and was driven of the devil into the wilderness" - Comments - Likewise today, demon-possessed people are driven into the street life of large cities, dirty, unkept, full of cursing and anger, naked, jobless, and restless.

Luke 8:32 — "And he suffered them" - - Comments - If the demon of hell themselves can move God with a petition, how much more will God move heaven and earth for His children. Did not Satan move God with his petition when he was allowed to destroy Job's children, possessions and health?

Job 2:3, "And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job , that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright Prayer of Manasseh , one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause."

Luke 8:37Comments - Note that east of the Sea of Galilee, people rejected Jesus. But, west of Sea of Galilee, they all gladly received him (verse 40).

Luke 8:38 Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying,

Luke 8:37-38Comments - The Grace of God- The only person in this country that wanted Jesus was the one who had experienced the most grace of God.

Luke 8:39 Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him.

Luke 8:39Comments - In one country where he was rejected ( Luke 8:39), Jesus tells the healed man to tell the Gadarenes what God has done. However, in a place where people received Him, He told them to be silent about what God had done ( Matthew 8:4; Matthew 9:30, Mark 5:43, Luke 5:14; Luke 8:56). Why did He do this? Perhaps because Jesus knew that He could not return to the country of the Gadarenes and there would be no one else to preach the Gospel to them. However, in the regions where multitudes came out to hear Jesus, He needed the liberty to move about and to teach to smaller crowds in order to better communicate the Good News.

Luke 8:56, "And her parents were astonished: but he charged them that they should tell no man what was done."

Luke 8:40-56 — Jesus Heals Jarius' Daughter and the Woman with the Issue of Blood ( Matthew 9:18-26, Mark 5:21-43) - Luke 8:40-56 gives us the story of how Jesus raised Jarius' daughter from the dead and how virtue flowed from His body to heal the woman with the issue of blood.

Luke 8:43Scripture Reference- See Leviticus 15:19-30, especially, verse 25.

Leviticus 15:25, "And if a woman have an issue of her blood many days out of the time of her separation, or if it run beyond the time of her separation; all the days of the issue of her uncleanness shall be as the days of her separation: she shall be unclean."

Luke 8:44 Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched.

Luke 8:45 And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?

Luke 8:46 And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.

Luke 8:46Comments - Jesus touched those who needed healing as a means of imparting the power of the Holy Spirit to heal. Jesus appeared to Kenneth Hagin and gave him a special healing anointing by touching the palms of his hands with Jesus' finger. Kenneth Hagin says that when he laid hands upon someone, he could feel the anointing flow through him and into the individual if the person believed. If the person was doubting, then the anointing would not flow. 209]

209] Kenneth Hagin, A Commonsense Guide to Fasting (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1981, 1994), 21-2; Kenneth Hagin, I Believe In Visions (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1984, 1986), 53-4, 57.

Luke 8:50Comments - In Luke 8:50 Jesus quickly deals with his fear by speaking words of faith. Our job is to believe God"s Word ( John 6:28-28). Creflo Dollar once said that fear simply doubts God"s Word. He said that since there is a promise within God"s Word for every area of our lives, then we are doubting that area of God"s promises when we are in fear. 210]

210] Creflo Dollar, Changing Your World (College Park, Georgia: Creflo Dollar Ministries), on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), television program.

John 6:28-29, "Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent."

Kenneth Copeland said, "Fear tolerated is faith contaminated." 211]

211] Kenneth Copeland, Believer's Voice of Victory (Kenneth Copeland Ministries, Fort Worth, Texas), on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), television program.

Luke 8:54Comments - It is interesting to note the fact that Jesus put the scorners out of the room before raising Jairus' daughter from the dead. This is because He had to drive out the atmosphere of doubt and unbelief. Anyone who has every ministered the Gospel knows the witness in his/her spirit of a receptive heart or a stubborn, closed heart of the hearer. When someone is hungry to hear the Gospel, the anointing of words seems to flow out of the mouth of someone preaching the Gospel. However, to the scorners, the minister feels as if he has to push each word out with force, because it does not flow out easily, and there is little or no inspiration of words. Jesus knew that if He were to be in the presence of doubt and unbelief, it would hinder the flow of the anointing.

Illustration- One of the most dramatic examples of this in my ministry took place in 2006. I had the privilege of preaching a number of times in a particular church to a large congregation of over five thousand people. For certain reasons, there were not friendly relationships between the pastor and his wife and me. As I had been invited to preach occasionally in this pulpit over the years, his wife had always hosted me. On one particular Sunday morning in early 2006 I was preaching the three services. Neither the pastor, nor his wife, nor any other skeptical members of the staff were in attendance. As I stepped up to the pulpit and laid down my Bible and notes, the choir was finishing its worship song. I then lifted my hands to heaven, and it felt like I touched electricity. For the next 45 minutes we stood in the presence of God. I believe one major factor that led to this open door from Heaven was the fact that there were no skeptics sitting close to the front, and the people's hearts were receptive to my ministry. In contrast, a few months later the pastor and his wife were seated in the front row when I had been invited to preach. It was difficult for me to speak, because I did not feel an unction. It was not that I had not prepared myself, but I believe that a hearer's heart can determine whether the anointing flows from the minister or not.

Luke 8:56Comments - In one country where he was rejected ( Luke 8:39), Jesus tells the healed man to tell the Gadarenes what God has done. In a place where people received Him, He told them to be silent about what God had done ( Luke 8:56). Why did He do this? Perhaps because Jesus knew that He could not return to the country of the Gadarenes and there would be no one else to preach the Gospel to them. In the regions where multitudes came out to hear Jesus, He needed the liberty to move about and to teach to smaller crowds in order to better communicate the Good News.

Luke 8:39, "Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him."

 


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Luke 8:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/luke-8.html. 2013.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, October 17th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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