Passage: Luke 8
v1-3 - Luke introduces a group of women who were making Jesus' itinerant ministry financially possible. One of them, Joanna, was the wife of the head of King Herod's household, so she would have been quite wealthy.
v4-21 - Jesus uses a couple of well known parables to explain the characteristics of His followers. Notice, though, that these parables are not necessarily designed to make difficult concepts easy to understand; quite the opposite, in fact. Jesus speaks in parables so that only His followers would grasp His teaching (v9-10). Jesus warns His followers, including you, to "consider carefully how you listen" to His teachings (v18). Your spiritual life is never standing still; it's either gaining ground or losing ground. Jesus warns that if you are not working to gain more Spiritual insight, even the little bit you have now will be taken away (v18). In responding to who His mother and brothers are, Jesus says it is those who "hear God's word and put it into practice (v21)." Work hard to be one of these people, who know what the Bible says and live it out. As you do so, you will be given even more.
v22-25 - Jesus stuns His disciples by demonstrating His command over all of nature. Their question, "Who is this?" is one that every person must answer in regards to Jesus.
v26-39 - Jesus casts a legion of demons out of a man who was strong and wild enough that he couldn't even be chained down. Notice in v31 that the demons beg Jesus not to be thrown into the Abyss, but instead be sent into a herd of pigs. In beautiful poetic justice, Jesus complies, and the newly possessed pigs promptly throw themselves into an abyss. Further poetic justice shows this wild man whom nobody could contain calmly sitting at Jesus' feet (v35).
v40-56 - This chapter ends with Jesus on the way to heal a sick girl, only to be stopped in His tracks by a woman who was healed by simply touching the edge of His clothing. Even this momentary delay was too much, and the sick girl ends up dying. Although He's already raised people from the dead, the girl's family laughs at Jesus' assertion that she's sleeping, because they know that she's dead (v53). Yet once again, Jesus works an amazing miracle in the midst of unbelieving people and brings the girl back to life.
Old Testament Reference -
Compare the sea storm and subsequent calming in Jonah 1 with the episode of Jesus calming the storm in v22-25. What's the same and different?
Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions.
How are the opening two parables in v4-18 both a warning and an encouragement?
Why do you think the newly healed wild man, who wanted to follow Jesus (v38) was told to "return home and tell how much God has done for you (v39)," while Jarius' family, who just witnessed their daughter returned from the dead was instructed not to tell anyone about what had happened (v56)?
Which of the several amazing displays of Jesus' power in this chapter do you think is the most impressive?
How do you think Luke wants you to respond to the disciples question, "Who is this? (v25)" after reading this chapter?
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: God who gives more Spiritual insight to those who seek it (v18), who has power over the elements (v24), who has authority over the demons (v32), and who raises the dead to life (v55)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that through the Spirit you would hear God's Word and put it into practice (v21)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:
Communion Preparation for Good Friday:
Those who come to the Lord's Table must be conversion-minded. As we prepare for Friday, we'll be reminded what this means from Lord's Day 32-33 of the Heidelberg Catechism:
MONDAY: Can un-converted people who do not turn to God from their ungrateful and impenitent ways be saved?
By no means. Scripture tells us that no unchaste person, no idolater, adulterer, thief, no covetous person, no drunkard, slanderer, robber, or the like will inherit the kingdom of God.
TUESDAY: What is involved in genuine repentance or conversion?
Two things: the dying-away of the old self, and the rising-to-life of the new.
WEDNESDAY: What is the dying-away of the old self?
It is to be genuinely sorry for sin and more and more to hate and run away from it.
THURSDAY: What is the rising-to-life of the new self?
It is wholehearted joy in God through Christ and a love and delight to live according to the will of God by doing every kind of good work.