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Ministering Women



8:1 Some time afterward he went on through towns and villages, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him.


Jesus did not confine His ministry to one particular town or city but he travelled throughout every city and village preaching the Good News about the Kingdom of God. He took with Him the twelve disciples whom He had called.


8:2-3 And also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and disabilities: Mary (called Magdalene), from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna the wife of Cuza (Herod's household manager), Susanna, and many others who provided for them out of their own resources.


Also accompanying Him were Mary Magdalene out of whom He had cast seven demons, Joanna (the female equivalent of John) the wife of Chuza Herod's household manager and Susanna to name but a few. There were many other women that were with Jesus who provided for Him and His disciples out of their own income.


The Sower and the Seed


8:4 While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from one town after another, he spoke to them in a parable.


When a large crowd had gathered around Him Jesus began to teach them by means of a parable.  


In verse 10 Jesus tells His disciples why it is that He teaches the people the truths about the Kingdom of God in parables which is in fulfilment of the Scriptures (Isaiah 6:9 and Ezekiel 12:2). But to His disciples He makes known the mysteries of the Kingdom of God.


So He explains to them the meaning of the parable of the sower.


8:5-15 A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled on, and the wild birds devoured it. Other seed fell on rock, and when it came up, it withered because it had no moisture. Other seed fell among the thorns, and they grew up with it and choked it. But other seed fell on good soil and grew, and it produced a hundred times as much grain." As he said this, he called out, "The one who has ears to hear had better listen!" Then his disciples asked him what this parable meant. He said, "You have been given the opportunity to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so that although they see they may not see, and although they hear they may not understand. Now the parable means this: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in a time of testing fall away. As for the seed that fell among thorns, these are the ones who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the worries and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. But as for the seed that landed on good soil, these are the ones who, after hearing the word, cling to it with an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with steadfast endurance.


In the first instance the sower is the Lord Jesus Christ but He has passed it on to all His followers (Mark 16:15) and enables them to carry it out (Acts 1:8).  The seed is the Word of God and although we may wonder at times why it is not as effective as we feel it should be, it is not the seed that is at fault as this parable clearly shows. The Word of God is pure (Psalm 12: 6) and sure (Luke 21: 33).  He says "I will feed you with the finest of the wheat" (Psalm 81: 16) meaning His Word.  


Every good gardener knows that if you want your seeds to germinate then the ground has to be prepared properly first, and the soil needs to be good for it to produce abundantly.   It is the ground that it is sown in is at fault.  


The sower does not sow his seed sparingly from a packet but from a large basket and he scatters it over the ground, as he does some falls on uncultivated ground (verse 5). This speaks of those who have an hardened heart (verse 12). They hear the word but it goes no further than their ears. Like a bird Satan soon comes and snatches it away.


Some fall on stony ground (verse 6) -  these are the emotional hearers. They receive the word straight away with great joy and they seem to flourish for a while (verse 13). But because they have not taken the word into their hearts when trouble comes and they are persecuted for the word's sake they fall away and are seen no more.


Then some fall among the thorns (verse 7) - these are the worldly hearers (verse 14). They receive the word of God but are so tied up with the world that they never become separated from it (2 Cor. 6:17-18). They continue to walk in the ways of the world and to desire and fill themselves with it until the word is crowded out and there is no room for spiritual fruit to grow in them  (1 John 2:15, Rom. 12:2).


The seed that falls on the good ground (verse 8) - these are those with prepared and receptive hearts. Such a person receives the word in the very depths of their soul where it abides and matures (verse 15). They grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord and the fruit of the spirit abounds in them.


This parable is generally applied to the sowing of the gospel message and is applied to the unsaved but it is equally applicable to believers and how they respond to the word of God.  Jesus demands the attention of His hearers telling them to listen carefully and consider the words they have heard and understand what He is saying (verse 8).


Light Reveals


8:16 No one lights a lamp and then covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a lampstand so that those who come in can see the light.


No one in his right senses would light a lamp and then cover it over or put it under the bed so that its light is hidden. They would put the lamp on a stand so that those who come in will see the light and the way before them.


8:17 For nothing is hidden that will not be revealed, and nothing concealed that will not be made known and brought to light.


The meaning of this verse is that whatever truths are hidden in the parables and has been revealed to the disciples (Matt. 10:27) will be made known by them to the whosoever.


8:18 So listen carefully, for whoever has will be given more, but whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him.


So he tells His disciples to pay very careful attention to what he teaches them. To those who do so a greater understanding of spiritual things will be given to them. To those who have no spiritual understanding even what the little that they think they have will be taken from them.


8:19-20 Now Jesus' mother and his brothers came to him, but they could not get near him because of the crowd. So he was told, "Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you."


At this point His mother and brothers came but could not get near Him because of the crowds.   So it was passed on to Him that they were on the outskirts of the crowd wishing to see Him.


8:21 But he replied to them, "My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it."


Turning to the multitude He told them that it was all those who hear God's Word and obey it were His mother and brothers these are the true family of God.


Stilling the Storm


8:22 One day Jesus got into a boat with his disciples and said to them, "Let's go across to the other side of the lake." So they set out.


According to Mark 4:35 it was at the close of the same day that Jesus got into a boat with His disciples and told them to go over to the other side of the sea of Galilee.


8:23 And as they sailed he fell asleep. Now a violent windstorm came down on the lake, and the boat started filling up with water, and they were in danger.


As they sailed Jesus fell asleep and as He slept a windstorm swept down the lake and the boat began to fill with water and they were in great peril of drowning. The word used for wind in the originally is plural so it is "winds" meaning it came from all points of the compass. The Amplified Bible translates it "whirlwind".


8:24 They came and woke him, saying, "Master, Master, we are about to die!" So he got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waves; they died down, and it was calm.


The disciples went over to Him and woke Him up shouting " Master, Master, we are perishing we are going to die". Jesus arose and rebuked the winds and the raging sea and immediately they ceased and there was a great calm.


8:25 Then he said to them, "Where is your faith?" But they were afraid and amazed, saying to one another, "Who then is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him!"


Turning to His disciples He rebuked them for their lack of faith. Remember they had seen Him do many mighty miracles and He was there with them in the boat. The disciples both terrified and amazed asked each other who could this man be. When He gives a command even the winds and the waves have to obey Him.


Deliverance and Healing of Demonic


8:26 So they sailed over to the region of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee.


After stilling the wind and the sea Jesus with His disciples came to the country of the Gadarenes the other side of Galilee.


8:27 As Jesus stepped ashore, a certain man from the town met him who was possessed by demons. For a long time this man had worn no clothes and had not lived in a house, but among the tombs.


The moment that Jesus stepped out of the boat a man who had lived in the city came to meet Him who had been possessed by demons for a long time. Because of the demons that had control over him he was completely naked and had been driven to living in the graveyard.


8:28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, fell down before him, and shouted with a loud voice, "Leave me alone, Jesus, Son of the Most High God! I beg you, do not torment me!"


As soon as the man saw Jesus he fell before Him and started screaming. In effect he said "you haven't any business with me and I have none with you, we have nothing in common I implore you not to torment me. Some manuscripts omit that the man said "Jesus, Son of the Most High God" because it was considered unlikely that the demons would permit the man to mention who Jesus  was. The very presence of Jesus caused this man great distress of mind and soul because of who Jesus was.


8:29 For Jesus had started commanding the evil spirit to come out of the man. (For it had seized him many times, so he would be bound with chains and shackles and kept under guard. But he would break the restraints and be driven by the demon into deserted places.)


Jesus had already began to cast out the leading unclean spirit out of the man. This spirit had often taken control of the man and although he had been guarded and heavily chained the demon had given him the power to break loose and driven him into the wilderness.


8:30 Jesus then asked him, "What is your name?" He said, "Legion," because many demons had entered him.


Jesus asked this demon what his name was and he replied Legion because there were many more demons who possessed the man (Mark 5:9).


8:31 And they began to beg him not to order them to depart into the abyss.


These demons implored Jesus not to send them to the Abyss (Rev. 9:1-2, Rev. 11:7 and Rev. 20:3).


8:32 Now a large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, and the demonic spirits begged Jesus to let them go into them. He gave them permission.


A large herd of pigs were feeding on the mountainside and the demons begged Jesus to send them into the pigs instead of into the Abyss and so He gave them permission to do so.  They could not have done so if Jesus had not permitted them to.


8:33 So the demons came out of the man and went into the pigs, and the herd of pigs rushed down the steep slope into the lake and drowned.


The demons left the man and entered into the pigs and the whole herd rushed down the mountainside over the cliff and into the lake and were drowned. Note: The demons were not drowned but they were rendered powerless by being committed to the bodies of the pigs.


8:34 When the herdsmen saw what had happened, they ran off and spread the news in the town and countryside.


When the herdsmen saw what had happened they fled and told it in the city and countryside.


8:35 So the people went out to see what had happened, and they came to Jesus. They found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus' feet, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid.


The people went out to see for themselves and found the man whom the demons had been cast out of sitting at the feet of Jesus clothed and in his right mind.   Jesus had not only cast out the demons from the man but He had also healed him of all the afflictions and harm that they had done to him, body, soul and spirit.   When they saw this the people were filled with a great fear.


8:36 Those who had seen it told them how the man who had been demon-possessed had been healed.


Those who had been witnesses of what Jesus had done and how He did it told the people who had come out of the city.


8:37 Then all the people of the Gerasenes and the surrounding region asked Jesus to leave them alone, for they were seized with great fear. So he got into the boat and left.


Then all the people of the Gadarenes asked Jesus to leave their region because instead of being pleased that the man had been made well and praising God they were filled with a great fear lest they should suffer a greater loss than their pigs. They preferred to have demons amongst them than Jesus Christ. So Jesus got into the boat and went.


8:38-39 The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, "Return to your home, and declare what God has done for you." So he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole town what Jesus had done for him.


As Jesus was going away the man who He had delivered and healed besought Him to let him go with Him. But Jesus told him to go back to his home and family and tell them what mighty things God had done for him. Faithful to his calling the man did what Jesus had asked of him and went throughout the town telling people about the Lord who had delivered and healed him.


Just a Touch of His Garment and Jairus' Daughter Raised from the Dead


8:40 Now when Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed him, because they were all waiting for him.


Jesus returned to the other side of the lake of Galilee and the crowds who had been waiting welcomed Him back.


8:41 Then a man named Jairus, who was a ruler of the synagogue, came up. Falling at Jesus' feet, he pleaded with him to come to his house.


As He walked and talked with the people a man called Jairus who was a ruler in the synagogue came and fell at His feet and begged Jesus to come to his house.


8:42 Because he had an only daughter, about twelve years old, and she was dying. As Jesus was on his way, the crowds pressed around him.


He had an only daughter who was twelve years old who was dying.   As He went the people were pressing close to him.


8:43 Now a woman was there who had been suffering from a hemorrhage for twelve years but could not be healed by anyone.


There was a woman on the outskirts of the crowd who had been suffering with chronic (prolonged) bleeding for the past twelve years. She had spent every penny she had on doctors bills but none of them had a cure for her disease.


8:44 She came up behind Jesus and touched the edge of his cloak, and at once the bleeding stopped.


She had somehow managed to get through the crowd to Jesus and came behind Him and touched the border of His garment. That is the fringe the Jews were told to wear at the bottom of their garments (Numbers 15:38). The moment she touched it her bleeding stopped.


8:45 Then Jesus asked, "Who was it who touched me?" When they all denied it, Peter said, "Master, the crowds are surrounding you and pressing against you!"


As she did so Jesus knew that someone had touched and received from Him.  He asked those around Him who it was that had done this not because He didn't know who had but He wanted the woman to make herself known.   The disciples who were the nearest to Him denied that they had touched Him but pointed out with the multitudes that were crushing around Him anybody could have done so.


8:46 But Jesus said, "Someone touched me, for I know that power has gone out from me."


But Jesus knew the difference between someone just brushing up against Him and someone reaching out in faith and receiving from Him for He knew that power had gone out from Him.


8:47 When the woman saw that she could not escape notice, she came trembling and fell down before him. In the presence of all the people, she explained why she had touched him and how she had been immediately healed.


When the woman realized that what she had done could not be hidden she came trembling and falling down before Him, she confessed to Him and in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched Him and how she was healed. This would not have been an easy thing for her to do because she was continually bleeding she would have been religiously unclean and should not mix with people (Leviticus 15:25).


8:48 Then he said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace."


Jesus sets her mind at rest He calling her daughter tells her to go in peace for her faith had made her well.


8:49 While he was still speaking, someone from the synagogue ruler's house came and said, "Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the teacher any longer."


While He was talking to her someone from Jairus' house came to tell him that his daughter had died and their was no need to trouble Jesus.


8:50 But when Jesus heard this, he told him, "Do not be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed."


On hearing this Jesus told Jairus not to be afraid but to have faith and believe that she will be made well.


8:51 Now when he came to the house, Jesus did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John, and James, and the child's father and mother.


When they came to Jairus' house Jesus would not let anyone except Peter, James and John and the father and mother to go in with Him.


8:52 Now they were all wailing and mourning for her, but he said, "Stop your weeping; she is not dead but asleep."


The people who had come to show their sorrow and sympathy were crying and wailing but He told them to stop weeping as the girl was not dead but sleeping.


8:53 And they began making fun of him, because they knew that she was dead.


The people laughed Him to scorn for they knew that she had died.


8:54 But Jesus gently took her by the hand and said, "Child, get up."


He put them all out of the room where the girl lay and taking hold of her hand and called out "Child get up".


8:55 Her spirit returned, and she got up immediately. Then he told them to give her something to eat.


At the words of Jesus the spirit of the girl returned to her and she immediately got up and Jesus told the parents to give her something to eat.


8:56 Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them to tell no one what had happened.


Her mother and father were overwhelmed by it but He told them not to let anyone know what He had done or rather the way that He had done it for it could not be hidden that He had raised the girl from the dead.


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