The Gospel of Luke - Chapters 8 & 9

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What do we read about in the eighth & ninth chapters of Luke's Gospel?
What do we learn from Luke?

What is the main focus?
Is it important to know the words from this chapter?

I am doing this in response to an Advent Reading challenge where we read 1 chapter of the Gospel of Luke per day from 1st to 24th December which will allow the whole book to be read.

I don't plan to post every day but will try to do so every two days and end on the 24th.

If you missed The Overview or any of the chapters please click  HERE  for a list of them all.

Now let's look at the Eighth Chapter of Luke.

Today we are dividing this chapter into 6 sections

Women Serving v. 1-3:

Many people will be saying here is some of the evidence  for women to be said to be leaders in the church.

Let's look at it carefully and see what it does say.

In verse 1  

Who was doing the preaching - Jesus.
Who was with Him - the 12 Apostles.

In verses 2 & 3    (the way the sentences are written these two verses cannot be taken separately)

Who was with Jesus - some women who had been healed and/or delivered and who were supporting the work. Some names are given but their support in the work is not described in detail.

However if you look at all three verses you will see that the women certainly would not have been used significantly as neither were the men.  The women and men were there because of Jesus and it was Jesus who was doing all the ministry to the people. 
Jesus was proclaiming the Kingdom of God with the disciples and the women learning about the Kingdom of God and serving Jesus.

Parable of the Sower  v. 4-15:

We read that there was a large crowd and Jesus spoke to them in a parable, although this is not the first time a parable has been mentioned in the Book of Luke.

Not all parables are explained to us in the Bible, not all were explained to the disciples either.

This one however has the explanation given in verses 11-15  and because we can read that here we must be careful to not sit under ministry of people who would decide that there is another way to interpret this parable.

Let's pray that we would be like the seed in the good soil.

We must grow in faith.

Parable of the Lamp  v. 16-21:

The important verses here are verses 16-17

Very serious thought.

Either we are truly following Jesus then this should be evident in our lives and we would want our lives to faithful to Him in every way.
If not we will eventually show it by our behaviour and attitudes or our turning away from Him.
God knows all, people may not know us fully but we know ourselves.

You know a light shows up what is around it and so draws the gaze to other things.
We need to draw the gaze of the world to Jesus and not be drawing attention to ourselves.

Verses 19-21 may seem odd to be placed here but here Jesus states that His mother and brothers are those who hear the word of God and obey it and if we are saved then we are in the Family of God so we should hear and obey.

The Wind & Waves Obey Jesus  v. 22-25:

Jesus and His disciples got into a boat to go across the Lake.

Jesus fell asleep and the storm rose up.
Many theologians will tell you that the way Lake Galilee was it was well-known that the wind could stir up very dangerous waves very quickly.

The disciples are afraid even though they are in the presence of the one they have seen do great miracles, but that doesn't stop fear gripping them.  They wake Him up because they can do nothing but they should know by now that He can do something.

What type of miracles had they seen so far?

Healing   -   Peter's mother-in-law
Deliverance   -   Demoniac
Raising from the Dead   -   Widow's Son

Had they seen any miracles to do with the natural world?

Could they only believe He was capable of doing what they had already seen.

Could they not think of the miracles within the realm of the natural world that they knew had happened in the Old Testament?

Parting of the Red Sea
Walls of Jericho falling down
Sun standing still in the sky

Surely if miracles such as these had been done using God's leaders & prophets in the past then Jesus could perform them too.

Looks like the problem was not that they had no faith but that their faith was limited.

Jesus will acknowledge and encourage our faith

A Demon Possessed Man is Delivered  v. 26-39:

I wrote about this from the perspective of The Gospel of Mark ch 5 a few years ago on the blog.
So if you would like to see some of my thoughts from Mark's passage as well as some here from  Luke's you can read   "The Devil and Our Minds"

The demoniac met Jesus and knew who He was straight away.

How?   It was the many demons within the man who recognised who Jesus was and could do this better than the people who were with Jesus daily.   Who of His followers had acknowledged that He was the Son of the Most High God even though God had spoken it at His Baptism?  Who of them had understood He could do any type of miracle until shortly before this?

In verse 28  the group of demons said
“What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me!”
and in doing so showed fear of Jesus and the power He would have over them.
Jesus had ordered the demons to leave the man so the fear was of what would then be the place they would have to go to.

The demons had tormented the man now they were afraid of being torment themselves.

Jesus permitted them to go into the swine nearby who immediately ran down into the Lake and drowned.

When I read this again I had the thought of how Jesus definitely esteemed mankind over the animals.

A Woman Healed & A Girl Raised to Life  v. 40-56:

He went to one and the other came to Him.

In the instance of the woman with the issue of blood we see a person so determined to get to Jesus that she would go against the culture of the day and press in until she was able to touch the hem of His garment because she knew in her heart that even doing that would be enough to receive her healing.  She did not even expect Him to speak words of heals to her.

Jesus reaction was to acknowledge her faith.

In the instance of the young girl we see a father who was determined to get Jesus to come and heal his daughter because he knew she was dying.  Then they get the news that she has died.  Before the man says anything, Jesus tells the father not to be afraid but to believe and his daughter would be well.  Arriving at the house, those who were distractions and did not believe were excluded while Jesus in a very simple manner raised the girl back to life.

Jesus reaction here was to encourage faith in the Father and family.

Now let's look at the Ninth Chapter of Luke.

Today we are dividing this chapter into 7 sections.

Jesus Sends Out the Twelve Disciples  v. 1-9:

Looks like the initial training of the disciples is over and now they must go out and do the work  themselves but not before Jesus gave them the power and authority over demons and to heal diseases.

They were to preach the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick.

He gave them the advice they needed about dealing with people who believed and those who did not believe.

Are we sent out with the same mission today?

Within this section Herod is brought to our attention again in verses 7-9

I was sure from chapter 3  when we read about Herod and Herodias that we would certainly be reading about the death of John the Baptist in detail in a later chapter but now no detail just the mention of some people thinking John had risen from the dead and that Herod beheaded him.

On checking through the other Gospels I see now that only Matthew ch. 14 and Mark ch. 6 give us the details of the beheading.

We learned from scholars that Luke's Gospel is the the chronological one with plenty of detail so this does not seem to fit with that perspective.

This short mention of Herod is here obviously to show us that everything that was happening was making Herod think about what Jesus was doing but he could not understand.  The result being that he was curious to see Jesus.

The Feeding of the 5000  v. 10-17:

The disciples were back with Jesus, and they all went to a quiet place near Bethsaida but not for long because the people followed them there and Jesus taught them again about the Kingdom of God.

Later that day the people needed to eat and when the disciples spoke to Jesus about this He told them to feed the people but they said there wasn't enough food for everyone.

Five loaves and 2 fish were all they had but did they forget they were with Jesus who had already proved He was a miracle worker?  Or did they only accept He could do miracles of healing, deliverance and against the natural elements of the world.

Whichever it was Jesus had to take over and do the job He had told them to do.

Jesus told them to get the people to sit in groups of 50.

Then in a simple clear way we see in verses 16-17  what Jesus did
16 Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the multitude.  
17 So they all ate and were filled, and twelve baskets of the leftover fragments were taken up by them.

Who did they say He was? Who do we say He is?

Peter Confesses Jesus as The Christ  v. 18-27:

I have always liked this part of scripture it seems to be in a quiet time that the revelation has come to Peter.

The verses here are so simple but effective

18 And it happened, as He was alone praying, that His disciples joined Him, and He asked them, saying, “Who do the crowds say that I am?”
19 So they answered and said, “John the Baptist, but some say Elijah; and others say that one of the old prophets has risen again.”
20 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Peter answered and said, “The Christ of God.”

The people who had benefited from His teaching and been blessed by His miracles had not reached this point yet.

Then Jesus commanded them to tell no-one this truth they had learned and told them He would suffer and die and be raised on the third day.

The question then is will they remember what He had told them?

In fact would they remember the rest He went on to say in verses 23 - 27

23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.  
24 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.  
25 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?  
26 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.  
27 But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the kingdom of God.”

or would they not understand until after His death, resurrection and ascension?

The Transfiguration  v. 28-36:

This was obviously a significant moment of time in the earthly life of Jesus.

He was meeting with Moses and Elijah and they were in deep discussion.

I have often wondered how the disciples knew it was these two men.  Perhaps it was simply revealed to the three of them by God.

Peter as he was well known to do, spoke out without thinking and said about making shelters for the Jesus, Moses and Elijah - something that if they had needed God would surely have supplied.

This event can be likened to His Baptism in the River Jordan because there is the voice of The Father in verse 35 to instruct the three disciples to know again that this is the Son of God but also to know that it is important to listen to Him.

A Boy is Healed  v. 37-45:

When they came down from the mountain the following day there were crowds of people.

Among the crowd there is a father who has brought his son to be delivered but the disciples who had remained there when Jesus, Peter, James & John had gone up the mountain could not cast out the demon.

Jesus referred to the faithless generation and then cast the demon out of the boy.

Everyone around them marvelled at all that they had seen Jesus do but at the same time Jesus was was talking to His disciples about the future.

verse 44
“Let these words sink down into your ears, for the Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men.”

However the following verse tells us that the disciples did not understand what He meant.

The Wrong Attitude of the Disciples v. 46-56:

The disciples were arguing over who among them was the greatest.

Sometimes we do have to wonder just how much attention they paid to Jesus in all the time they were with Him.
But then we need to remember that plank in our own eye before we consider the speck in another's eye because if we had been there we don't know what we would have been saying or doing - we certainly would not have been perfect or taken in things any better than they did.

Jesus used a child to demonstrate something to them.

He was teaching them 3 things

However they reacted to a child would be like reacting to Jesus.
However they reacted to Him would be like reacting to God the Father.
Whoever was least would be the greatest.

Then the disciples thought they had been right to stop someone casting out demons because they thought that person was not among the followers of Jesus but instead when John told Jesus this it was the disciples who Jesus rebuked.

No-one can know the heart or faith of another person.

It is good for us to remember Jesus' words in verse 50b
he who is not against us is on our side

What sides are there?

Good and Evil.
God and Satan.

Now when will the disciples learn from all of this? 

They were now headed for Jerusalem because Jesus knew He had to go there for His death and the time for that was approaching.

In a Samaritan village along the way we see James and John reacting wrongly and thinking it would be okay to destroy the village with with fire - copying Elijah.
They received a strong rebuke from Jesus because they were not of the right Spirit in thinking this as they were for death when Jesus was for life clearly seen in the words of Jesus in verse 56

The Cost of Discipleship  v. 57-62:

"Lord I will follow you wherever you go."

Do people ever know just what this will mean?
Are people prepared to launch out without thinking?
It is not an easy road to follow at times.

Do we always say just what we mean?
Do we say yes Lord but then want to do it in our own time or way?

If we look back to our old life we are not really in our new life.

If you would like to read more of the posts in this series please click  HERE  for a list of them all.

For anyone looking for a book to give a thorough explanation of The Book of Luke  then I would recommend the following two commentaries by Warren Wiersbe which cover ch. 1-13 and ch. 14-24  available here below on Amazon and also at other leading bookshops.

For anyone looking for to do a Bible Study of The Book of Luke  I would recommend the following two studies by Warren Wiersbe which cover ch. 1-13 and ch. 14-24  available here below on Amazon and also at other leading bookshops.

Disclaimer: If buying here through Amazon I get a little commission but that does not mean any extra expense to you.