Luke: Chapter 8 - Power Over Devil

Bible Study @ Hurst Gospel Hall

Author: John Whitmarsh
Added: 2015-05-26

CHAPTER 8

 

POWER OVER THE DEVIL, DANGER, DEMONS, DISEASE AND DEATH

 

General

 

The last part of chapter 7 has told of the remarkable story of the woman who displayed her love for Christ. Those who love Christ deeply are those who have deeply thought on Christs love for them. Those who love little, those who know nothing of the soul-experience of this woman, those to whom it is but a strange form of religious excess, only display the penury of their own souls. Their awareness of what Jesus has done for them is shallow indeed. One of the most profound truths of the Christian experience was taught by a woman - and only Luke recorded it.

 

Chapter 8 commences with the mention of women though it appears that there is no connection with the first three verses and the remainder of the chapter. It seems apposite, however, to reinforce the point made in the introduction that Luke considered women of great importance. It was the 19th-century commentator, Alfred Plummer, who called Lukes Gospel the Gospel of Womanhood. There are a number of women who only appear in Lukes gospel account:

 

Elisabeth (chapter 1)

Anna (2:36-38)

The widow of Zarephath (4:25,26)

The widow of Nain (7:11-17)

The woman who was a sinner (7:36-50)

The ministering women, who include Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herods steward, and Susanna (8:2, 3)

The woman in the crowd who blessed Marys womb (11:27,28)

The woman bowed down with infirmity (13:10-17)

The parable of the woman who lost a coin (15:8-10)

Lots wife (17:32)

The parable of the widow who continually pleaded with the unjust judge (18:1-8)

The daughters of Jerusalem (23:28)

 

No other gospel account contains as many mentions of the word widow as Luke. In the synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), there are only two stories involving women that Luke does not recordthe incident with the Syrophonician woman and Marys anointing of Jesus. There is no occasion in Luke or in any other Gospel of a woman being hostile to Christ. It is also significant that, with the single exception of the apostle John, we have no clear record of where the rest of the disciples were during the Lord Jesus crucifixion. Yet all three synoptic Gospels call specific attention to the women who were present at the crucifixion as eyewitnesses to the events that compose the heart of the gospel message. We know where the women were but where were the men?

 

Verses 1-15 The Sower

And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him, And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils, And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance. And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable: A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be? 10 And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand. 11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. 13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. 14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. 15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.


The preaching of the Lord Jesus attracted many crowds. They latched on to His words. Luke 4.14 says, And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about. Verses 36 and 37 of the same chapter say, And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out. And the fame of him went out into every place of the country round about. The first verse of chapter 5 says, And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret. The fifteenth verse of the same chapter says, But so much the more went there a fame abroad of him: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by him of their infirmities. They came to hear and then to be healed of their infirmities. Chapter six verse 17 says, And he came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judaea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases.

 

What He said attracted their attention but why was it that so many carried, and many still do carry, the burden of guilt to their grave? They had been offered the forgiveness of sins and the offer is still there but many refuse to accept this kind offer. Why is it that there is the offer of the certain hope of heaven but the majority elects to go with the flow and take the broad road that leads to destruction. Why is it that there is the offer of a real relationship with the living God and yet so many elect to leave Him out of their lives. This parable provides the answers to these questions. It is told by Matthew, mark and Luke. We are used to regarding the parables as an aid the Lord Jesus used to make His teaching plain but Luke tells us (verse 10, And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.) that a parable may be understood on two different levels by two different types of hearer. Firstly it may be understood as a story and secondly as a story with a meaning which will be hidden unless God by his Holy Spirit makes that meaning clear. Just as seed will only grow if it is planted properly so this good news of the gospel will only change ones life if it is heard properly.

 

Here is a test. Are the words that we have read together just words or do they search us, challenge us or cause us to say, That could be me that that Bible verse is talking about? Each one of us appears in this parable. The Bible is unique as it was written over a period of 2500 years by 40 different writers from widely different backgrounds. There were kings, leaders, fishermen, a tax collector and a doctor who wrote this book. It has a wonderful unity and an amazing power. It is not old fashioned. It is up to date with good news and glad tidings. It is not dry as dust but fruitful. It has power to change the whole course and direction of a life to give it focus, purpose and fulfilment. This is the fruitful word of God. If the fruitful word of God does not bear fruit in our lives then it is not the fault of the word of God.

 

There are 4 kinds of hearers:

1. The wayside hearer hard hearted

2. The rocky ground hearer half hearted

3. Thorny ground hearer faint hearted

4. Good ground hearer whole hearted

 

1. The wayside hearer

The sower sowed his seed and some fell on the path that was rock hard through constant use. The seed just lay on the surface before it was snatched away. Some hear the word of God and promptly forget it. The Lord Jesus said that this was not the whole story. As people hear the word of God some do not take in what they hear. Perhaps it is that they know it so well that it has lost its edge. As it lies there on the surface of minds the devil, recognizing its potential for fruitfulness and that the hearer might believe and be saved, snatches the word away. Are we that kind of hearer? Will we forget what has been said? Will other thoughts drive it from our minds as soon as we leave this building?

 

2. The rocky ground hearer

As the sower sowed his seed, some fell on soil that looked good but was shallow with just a coating over the rock beneath the surface. At first the plant sprang up vigorously but being unable to send down roots into the subsoil the plant withered away beneath the blazing sun. We must be careful when we say that we believe. If we truly trust the Lord Jesus we must expect our faith to be put to the test not in order to shatter it but to validate it. It is tested that it might be proved and approved and strengthened. I Peter 1.7 says, That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. Here are people, pictured by the seed that fell on stony ground, who hear the word of God and appear to accept it with joy and enthusiasm but who, at the first suggestion of opposition or the first personal misfortune, abandon all intention of following the Lord Jesus. If we are truly trusting the Lord Jesus then we will persevere through good times as well as bad, in good and in poor health, when life is cosy and when the going gets tough. Hear the word of God and keep it and bring forth fruit with patience.

 

3. The thorny ground hearer

Some fell among thorns the soil looked good but as the seed sprang up so did the thorns and the seed sown by the sower was quickly choked. Some people hear the word of God and appear to accept it but then the hurly burly of life with its timetables and targets, priorities and demands, crowd out the gospel and choke the word of God. Career pressure and money problems and the insatiable desire to get on and the busy social round can leave people with no time for God. Such people miss the crucial point that what God is offering them through Christ is infinitely more precious than the distractions that this world puts in their way.

 

4. The good ground

Matthew describes the good ground this way, But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Mark describes it this way, And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred. Luke describes it this way, But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience. The seed sown on good ground brings forth fruit an hundred fold. With all the modern fertilisers no farmer could match that. Something miraculous takes place in that the good ground hearer understands the gospel, receives it, keeps it and holds it fast. In the last section of chapter 7 the Lord Jesus told a sinful woman that her sins were forgiven. In chapter we are told how our sins can be forgiven by hearing, understanding, receiving and keeping the word of God.

 

Verses 16-25 We perish

16 No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light. 17 For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad. 18 Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have. 19 Then came to him his mother and his brethren, and could not come at him for the press. 20 And it was told him by certain which said, Thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to see thee. 21 And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it. 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. 23 But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. 24 And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm. 25 And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.


The Lord Jesus spoke the first words of this section in verses 16-18. The section may be divided into 3:

The reach of the word of God v 16-18

The relationship that we can have with the Lord Jesus v 19-21

The reality of who the Lord Jesus is v 22-25

 

A parable is told in the first few verses. This is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. No man lights a candle and puts a bucket over it. It is obvious that a candle is not lit and then the light is covered up. The parable is about the word of God as a light. In the parable of the sower the word of God was typified by the seed. Now the analogy is with light. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. Psalm 119.105. When we trust the Lord Jesus it is like a light has been turned on in the life. We discover who we are and who God is. The candle is like the word of God that shines into our lives to reveal ourselves as we really are. Not only are we exposed but, on trusting the Lord Jesus to deal with those sins, we too become lights. We do so by things like holding gospel meetings; by the way that we live (not seeking after sin and selfish things). Christians shine out the word of God.

 

You are writing each day a letter to men; make the sure that the writing is true. Tis the only gospel some men will read, that gospel according to you

If the light is covered up then it does not shine. Christians are not perfect. God is light and perfect light at that. Christians can hide the gospel. In verse 17 God says that this light will reach out. When light is allowed to shine it reveals things that are hidden. The light shows the dust, the cobwebs, the spiders. It shows things that we do not want revealed and we all have things in or lives that we do not want to be revealed. Gods conclusion to all of this is that we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God. The question is have we brought our lives under the beam, the searchlight of the word of God? Once found out do we agree with Gods assessment of our sin and are we prepared to admit our guilt? God can do nothing for the soul that refuses to admit and confess sin in the life. It is so easy to think that others are sinners and not ourselves. It is true that others have sinned for all have sinned but if this thought is held to the exclusion of personal guilt then the thinking is wrong. We must bring ourselves under the searchlight of Gods word. In verse 18 there are two types of hearers the ones who have the word of God and the ones who do not. To those who have the word of God He will add. If we do not have the word of God then He takes away. All that we deserve is a lost eternity. It is time to confess what God has revealed. Salvation is a need that everyone has. What can I do about it? The simple answer to that question is nothing. That is why the Lord Jesus came to do that which we could not do for ourselves. He came to deal with sin. He came to give a righteous basis whereby God could forgive sin. This is what the cross is about. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. I Timothy 1.15. Christians know that they have a place in heaven, not because they are good enough in themselves, but because they believe that, although it took place 2000 years ago, Christ died for them.

 

In verses 19-21 we learn that this salvation is with a view to relationship with the Lord Jesus. Did the Lord Jesus not care for those of His own family? In John 19 we read of the Lord Jesus upon the cross saying these words,  Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home. Those who hear and possess His word have a stronger tie with Him than they possess in earthly relationships. Such are bound together with Him by an unfailing and an unconditional love. We hear His word tonight with a view to entering into relationship with Him. To do so we must hear the word of God, the gospel in this case, and confess and believe to enter into this relationship.

 

Finally there is a ship into which the Lord Jesus entered. There were among those on board accomplished fishermen who knew the lake and its weather conditions. They knew that once this storm blew up that they were in trouble and peril. The Lord Jesus was asleep. The water was lapping over Him but He remained asleep. How could He sleep in this way when there was a storm all around Him? He knew that they would all be safe. He knew because He was and is God. The Lord Jesus did that which can do (sleep) immediately followed by the something that we are unable to do. The Almighty one slept but it is remarkable that He rose from His sleep and, immediately and without confusion as to His whereabouts, stilled the storm. Two events, one demonstrating His humanity and the second His deity are juxtaposed. He could calm the storm as He was the lakes Creator, Originator and Controller. The disciples discovered that day, that night, what kind of man the Lord is. The one who controls about the elements cares about us. He wanted us to hear the gospel tonight though He does not guarantee that we will hear it again.

 

He can turn the tides and calm the angry sea
He alone decides who writes a symphony
He lights every star that makes our darkness bright
He keeps watch all through each long and lonely night
He still finds the time to hear a child's first prayer
Saint or sinner call and always find Him there
And though it makes Him sad to see the way we live
He'll always say, I forgive. 

He can grant a wish or make a dream come true.
He can paint the clouds and turn the grey to blue.
He alone knows where to find the rainbow's end.
He alone can see what lies beyond the bend.
He can touch a tree and turn the leaves to gold
He knows every lie that you and I have told
Though it makes him sad to see the way we live
He'll always say, I forgive.

 

Richard Mullen

 

Verses 26-40 Demons

26 And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee. 27 And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not. 29 (For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.) 30 And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him. 31 And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep. 32 And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them. 33 Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked. 34 When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country. 35 Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. 36 They also which saw it told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed. 37 Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought him to depart from them; for they were taken with great fear: and he went up into the ship, and returned back again. 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, 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. 40 And it came to pass, that, when Jesus was returned, the people gladly received him: for they were all waiting for him.


In the last section we learnt about the light of the candle, about the Saviours family (He did not cut Himself off from them), and the calming of the storm showing His control over the elements. This week we considered the place to which the Saviour was headed known as the Gadarenes or Gergasenes. We were shown where this area was on a map. Gergesa, (also Gergasa or the Country of the Gergesenes) is a place on the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee that is described in the New Testament Gospels of MarkMatthew, and Luke. Gergesenes means those who come from pilgrimage or fight. Many New Testament manuscripts refer to the Country of the Gadarenes or Gerasenes rather than the Gergesenes. Both Gerasa and Gadara were cities to the east of the Sea of Galilee. They were both Gentile cities filled with citizens who were culturally more Greek than Semitic; this would account for the pigs in the biblical account. Gerasa and Gadara are accounted for in historical accounts (by writers such as Pliny the Elder and Josephus) and by archaeological research. Today they are the modern towns of Jerash and Umm Qais.

 

He crossed the Sea of Galilee which is the largest freshwater lake in Israel. It is 8 miles wide and 141 feet deep (maximum). On the other side He met a man who was being destroyed from the inside. Each of us is made in the image of God but the devil wants to destroy that which is good and that which is of God. God made us in such a way that we can know Him. This is done through the spiritual realm but there is a fight to be faced with the wicked one who does everything in his power to stop us getting to know Him. It is a very real fight. There are forces at work that we cannot see. Philippians 4.8 says, Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. We do not know how the man got into the state that he found himself in but we are to be careful with the things that we look at and think about else we could be dragged down. If we let sin take a foothold it is like a cancer that eats away at us. It drags us down.

The man with the unclean spirits (the devils) asked, What have I to do with thee? Another way of translating this is What to you and me? in the sense of what have we in common? There was no common ground between the Saviour and the demoniac. There are things in the world that we should have nothing to do with. Says James 4.7, Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

The man fell at the Saviours feet showing that he was submissive. His then present condition had meant separation from family, friends and society. Sin can do that to us as well but it definitely causes separation as far as God is concerned.

Those who dwelt inside the demon possessed man were anti Christ but He was in control even where there was great opposition. The man was not in control. He was being controlled. We may never get into the condition that this man found himself in but sin starts small and can grow so big that it becomes uncontrollable. It can control us. The Lord Jesus is able to help us even when we cannot help ourselves. The Lord Jesus planned to go to this town. He did not write off the man. In fact He went through danger on the lake and all, as far as we read, for the sake of one gentile man of no fixed abode who was self harming and separated from society because he could not be tamed. He was someone who we would avoid but the saviour went out of His way for him. The man was associated with pigs. The setting for the narrative is on the other side of the Sea of Galilee - across from Capernaum. This was largely Gentile territory back then. It was here that the Decapolis was establishedthe league of ten, largely Gentile, cities. This explains the pigs. Pigs were considered an unclean animal by the Jews. The Law of Moses strictly ruled out eating pork. There were a number of reasons for this: some animals that were called unclean were objects of pagan worship, some were scavengers on unclean carcasses, some were out of the order of creation (fish that dont swim, birds that dont fly) quite a number of issues were involved. Gentiles at that time ate pork. It is possible that the Gadarenes were Gentiles, and that the owners of the pigs were Gentiles as well. It is also remotely possible that they were Jews who could not eat pork but could sell them to Gentiles. In either case, the raising of pigs in the land of Israel was something that could not be justified by the Law of Moses. The Lord Jesus use of the pigs in this exorcism attests to that point.

Verse 31. The devil is defeated because of what the Lord Jesus has done. In the Lord Jesus we, too, can have the victory.

Verse 32 shows the control that the Lord Jesus had in this situation. In the same way as he had power over disease and death (last part of this chapter), He had power and authority over demons. It is important to realise how great the Lord is. He is in control and we are often out of control. His being in control should provoke a response in us.

 

Verses 33- 35 shows that sin can and will destroy us if we let it. Why did the Lord Jesus give Legion the permission to let the demons enter into the herd of pigs? Was it to show that sin has consequences? There is a massive contrast here between the man who had formerly destroyed himself now changed and the pigs being destroyed. The Lord Jesus brought about total change in this mans life.

Verses 36-37. The word for healed is better translated saved. The man had been saved. Saved from demons, saved from sin, saved from himself. The people were seized with great fear. What is our reaction as we read of the wonderful things that the Lord Jesus did?

Verse 38 There was more begging from the man. It was not a case of asking the Saviour not to torment him but rather beseeching Him that he would not depart from him. The previous verse has shown that this was not the case with the people of that place. They wanted rid of the Lord Jesus but the man did not. Do we have the same desire to always be with Him? Perhaps we need to get the same condition as this man before we enjoy the prospect of being continually with Him? This man had recently been saved. What about us? The Lord Jesus had to physically depart from him but He left him with the mission to tell his friends what great things the Lord had done for him. Though physically absent from us the Lord Jesus promises to be with us for He will never leave us or forsake us. He leaves us with a great mission and that is to tell others of our encounter with Him. The man was obedient to the Saviours instruction (verse 39). He wants us to be the same to be honest, trustworthy and genuine as we present the Lord Jesus and His great work in our lives. The question is has the Lord Jesus been allowed to be at work in our lives such that we have a story to tell or has He worked and we do not realise the magnitude of the work that he has done such that it causes us to talk about it?

 

Verse 40. When the Saviour arrived back at the other side of the lake there was a grand welcome. What a contrast (apart from the one man and it was not always thus with him) with the Gergasenes. These folk were looking and waiting for the Lord. What of us? Are we looking and waiting for Him or are we settled down nicely in this world?

 

This world is not my home Im just a passing through

My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue

The angels beckon me from heavens open door

And I cant feel at home in this world anymore.

Mary Reeves Davis

 

Verses 41-56 Disease and death

41 And, behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue: and he fell down at Jesus' feet, and besought him that he would come into his house: 42 For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as he went the people thronged him. 43 And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, 44 Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. 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? 46 And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me. 47 And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately. 48 And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace. 49 While he yet spake, there cometh one from the ruler of the synagogue's house, saying to him, Thy daughter is dead; trouble not the Master. 50 But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole. 51 And when he came into the house, he suffered no man to go in, save Peter, and James, and John, and the father and the mother of the maiden. 52 And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth. 53 And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead. 54 And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise. 55 And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and he commanded to give her meat. 56 And her parents were astonished: but he charged them that they should tell no man what was done.


Jairus was an important man:

 

Matthew calls him a (certain) ruler

Mark calls him one of the rulers of the synagogue

Luke calls him a ruler

 

Matthew's designation may indicate a member of the Sanhedrin or some other kind of official, as well as his role in the synagogue. Luke's term may be more than just a Gentile friendly designation of Mark's.

 

Jairus = Jair OT = he enlightens

 

The reception that the Saviour received on His return from the other side of the lake was friendly with an eager anticipation. Another busy time lay ahead of Him. Jairus, though an important man, approached Jesus humbly. Matthew says that he worshipped Him and that he said that his daughter was already dead when he spoke to the lord Jesus for the first time. Jairus' daughter was an only child. This was somewhat unusual in the Jewish world suggesting that perhaps a problem with the birth had left her mother unable to have further children. This would have added to the pathos of the situation.

 

What must Jairus have felt about the delay caused by the crowds and by the woman with the continuing haemorrhage?

 

OT background to the continuing haemorrhage:

 

Leviticus 15:19-24 Normal menstrual impurity:

 

19 When a woman has a discharge, if her discharge in her body is blood, she shall continue in her menstrual impurity for seven days; and whoever touches her shall be unclean until evening. [i.e. for the rest of the day] 20 Everything also on which she lies during her menstrual impurity shall be unclean, and everything on which she sits shall be unclean. 21 Anyone who touches her bed shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be unclean until evening. 22 Whoever touches anything on which she sits shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be unclean until evening. 23 Whether it be on the bed or on the thing on which she is sitting, when he touches it, he shall be unclean until evening. 24 If a man actually lies with her so that her menstrual impurity is on him, he shall be unclean seven days, and every bed on which he lies shall be unclean.


 

Leviticus 15:25-27 Non-menstrual discharge of her blood:

 

25 Now if a woman has a discharge of her blood many days, not at the period of her menstrual impurity, or if she has a discharge beyond that period, all the days of her impure discharge she shall continue as though in her menstrual impurity; she is unclean. 26 Any bed on which she lies all the days of her discharge shall be to her like her bed at menstruation; and everything on which she sits shall be unclean, like her uncleanness at that time. 27 Likewise, whoever touches them shall be unclean and shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be unclean until evening.


 

Leviticus 15:28-30 When free of the problem:

 

28 When she becomes clean from her discharge, she shall count off for herself seven days; and afterward she will be clean. [A complete week proved that she was free] 29 Then on the eighth day she shall take for herself two turtledoves or two young pigeons and bring them in to the priest, to the doorway of the tent of meeting. 30 The priest shall offer the one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. So the priest shall make atonement on her behalf before the LORD because of her impure discharge.


 

Numbers 15:38-41 Tassels on the corner (wing) of their garments

 

38 Speak to the sons of Israel, and tell them that they shall make for themselves tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and that they shall put on the tassel of each corner a cord of blue. 39 It shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the LORD, so as to do them and not follow after your own heart and your own eyes, after which you played the harlot, 40 so that you may remember to do all My commandments and be holy to your God. 41 I am the LORD your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt to be your God; I am the LORD your God.


 

Luke 8:43-48The Woman with the Issue of Blood

 

She had suffered from the problem for 12 years. She had spent all her money on doctors with their degrading examinations and unspeakable remedies. All failed. Jesus, the only one who ever kept every commandment of the law of God perfectly - God said of Him, This is My Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. The woman's touch of faith drew forth power from the One who completely fulfilled the Law. Jesus' obedience brought her cleansing and enabled her to join fully in the fellowship of God's people, no longer excluded. The Lord Jesus would not allow her to remain a secret believer. Her confession would strengthen her faith. If you believe, it is good to confess your faith to others. If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Rom 10:9)

 

Luke 8:49-56

 

v49 What a rash assumption that the death of the girl would prevent the Lord Jesus doing anything. Mark says that the message was not to trouble the Master further. The Saviour had come into this world to be troubled. He had a care and He had come to care. He took the trouble to come. Death did not stand in His way. He had power over it as He had shown that neither demons nor disease could thwart the purposes of God.

 

v50 What must Jairus have felt? The Lord Jesus reassures him only believe and she will be saved.

 

v51 The Lord Jesus, always concerned for the feelings of the people He is helping, excludes the mourning crowd (there were among them, no doubt, professional mourners) and limits the number of disciples that go in. Of course He allows the girl's parents in - to maintain propriety and for their faith to be built up.

 

vv52-53 Surely these verses must refer to interaction with the crowd. The Bible has much to say about weeping. The Hebrew verb bakah (baw-kaw) meaning to weep is translated such just short of 100 times in the OT. The noun from this verb is also used 24 times so that there is much scripture to consider from the OT on this particular subject. There is but one other word used in the Hebrew text that is translated weep in the KJV so that there is no major word study to be carried out to discriminate between words. When we come to the NT the story is similar but the numbers are much lower. The verb is klaio translated to weep 39 times and then the noun from that word which is used nine times but only translated six times as weeping. That leaves us with one word, a verb, which is only ever used in John 11.35. It is unique to the Saviour. It comes from a noun meaning tear and so when the scripture says Jesus wept it means this Jesus shed tears. They were real tears that He shed. They werent false. They were not crocodile tears. There was nothing insincere about His display of grief in John 11. Everything about this display of emotion was genuine. So that we may conclude that there was One among us who was not only spiritual all the time but emotional betimes three times to be precise; once in John 11, once as He contemplated what was to befall Jerusalem, and once, as Hebrews 5 points out, in the days of his flesh when He offered prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears. We feel sure that He would have us be spiritual at all times and, should there be a need, emotional at times. It wasnt the other way round - that is emotional most of the time with a bit of spirituality thrown in.

 

In Luke 7 the Lord Jesus told the woman of Nain not to weep and this statement is prefaced by the statement that he had compassion on her. There is no mention of compassion with the crowd here. The Lord Jesus entered that house in Galilee and as He did so He told the people not to weep for the girl only slept. By that He meant, of course, that although she was dead she was going to be raised from the dead as one would raise someone out of sleep. Mind those tears that they shed were surely crocodile tears for no sooner had He made His statement than their tears were no longer of grief but of laughter. How could they change so suddenly from crying for supposed grief to crying with laughter? The Saviour who wept Himself at Lazarus grave said that they were not to weep. There was nothing genuine about them or their tears at all. They had to be put out of the way but not the father and the mother for they were taken into the room where the damsel was laid. Here the woman had genuine grief and He was about to change her tears from tears of grief to tears of joy rather than laughter.

 

v54 The Lord Jesus delicate action takes her by the hand as well as asking her to get up.

 

v55 Spirit returned she came back to life. The body without the spirit is dead. Her eating demonstrates she is fit and well.

 

v56 Parents amazed understandably so. Tell no one! Jesus did not put on a show for people or seek publicity.