Comments for Study 16
Memory Verse: 25
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I. Lamps (16-18)
>1. What is a lamp used for?
* Luke 8:16 "No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light."
* This parable is also in Matthew 5:14-15 and Mark 4:21-23. Mark and Luke place Jesus saying it right after The Parable of the Soils. Matthew places Jesus saying this right after The Beatitudes during The Sermon on the Mount. Jesus gave this parable at least these two times.
* Jesus here is teaching a characteristic of people in the Kingdom of God. Jesus had stated that they produce fruit. This is why they produce fruit and the effect of producing fruit.
* "No one lights a lamp" -God turns his people into light. A light does not turn itself on.
* "lamp" -In Jesus' day oil lamps were common.
* A lamp is used:
1) to light a dark or dim room
2) to light the path in front of us
3) to see an object hidden in a dark place
4) to keep us from falling or stumbling in the dark
5) to expose what is hidden in the dark
6) to calm fears
7) to enable plants to grow.
* "lights a lamp" -Light is radiant energy, usually referring to electromagnetic radiation that is visible to the human eye, and is responsible for the sense of sight. Visible light is usually defined as having a wavelength in the range of 400 nanometres (nm), between the infrared, with longer wavelengths and the ultraviolet, with shorter wavelengths. These numbers do not represent the absolute limits of human vision, but the approximate range within which most people can see reasonably well under most circumstances.
* "bowl" -sin, unbelief, fear, doubt, and an uncommitted life. Basically anything that can hinder the lamp from giving light.
* Ephesians 5:13-14 "But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: "Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you."
* The art to the right is by Luther, Martin, 1483-1546. It renders the lamp stand, table with the bread of presence, and other ritual objects as the Lord described in Exodus 25. Courtesy of the Digital Image Archive, Pitts Theology Library, Candler School of Theology, Emory University: http://www.pitts.emory.edu.
>What do people do in order to fulfill its purpose?
* "he puts it on a stand" -A lamp is put on a stand so that:
1) it can be seen clearly
2) so it's light can expose as much as possible
* If a lamp is put under a bowl it's effectiveness is limited.
* A lamp under a bowl will eventually go out or will destroy the bowl because of the heat.
* "so that those who come in can see the light" -God lights us so we can expose the truth about our surroundings and bring and expose goodness to others. Matthew adds here, "In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."
* The Bible also states that Jesus (John 3:19, 8:12, 9:5, 12:35; and 1 John 1:5, Rev. 21:23: Psalm 27:1), the gospel (2 Corinthians 4:4), and the word of God (Psalm 119:105; Proverbs 6:23) are also light.
* Proverbs 13:9 "The light of the righteous shines brightly, but the lamp of the wicked is snuffed out."
>How is this related to verse 17?
* Luke 8:17 "For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open."
* "For" -this is linked to Jesus' parable of a lamp.
* Psalm 119:105 says the word of God is a lamp.
* "there is nothing" -All motives and actions whether good or bad.
* "hidden... disclosed... concealed... known... into the open" -Whether committed deliberate or not, any sinful and good action will be made known.
* "brought out" -Exposing is God's will.
* "disclosed...brought out into the open" -revealed for everyone to see.
* The word of God reveals the truth of self and environment, lights our path to the way to go, and brings all things into the open and clear.
* Jesus revealed a lot of the mysteries of God through parables'. However this is not what this parable is teaching. It concerns the word of God exposing our inner heart and mind motives, not to condemn a believer. We are reminded that a disciples' actions will be revealed on judgement day. Jesus is teaching us to become lights of God's truth to the dark world.
* A lamp only shows what is immediately ahead of us, not the whole path. It is a gradual, but sure exposure.
* The word of God shows not only our sins and weaknesses and infirmities, but also our good deeds. (John 3:19-21, Luke 2:35)
* All sins and all good deeds will be exposed at one time or another; whether in this life or at judgement.
* We are the light of the world when we teach the word of God with our lips and actions. (Matt. 5:14-16)
* Light always overcomes darkness, always reveals reality.
>When and how will the hidden things will be revealed? (18)
* Luke 8:18 "Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him."
* "Consider carefully" -study seriously, think about it's meaning. Our heart soil has had different responses, but only the last was right. Value the word of God.
* "Consider carefully" -the word as it is taught in the passage. In the context that the author was giving it, not what we think and not by adding many verses to it or taking them away from it. If we consider carefully from the author's point of view, we are acknowledging the living God behind them.
* "how you listen" -Listen to Jesus' teachings, accept it, and apply it.
* "whoever has" -has because the word of God has been applied in the heart.
* "will be given" -God gives gifts and talents.
* "will be given more" -God's promises will come to us, even more that what we used to apply to us; materials, knowledge, wisdom, spiritual strength, joy, love, those we reveal Jesus and the Bible too. (Psalm 1:1-3)
* "even what he things he has" -The grace and gifts some people think they have was never really theirs.
* "taken" -become lazy, forget, loose image of God.
* "will be taken from him." -The word of God, if rejected will disappear in the heart. Eventually on judgement day all believers will stand before the Bema seat (the seat of reckoning of our life) and either we will be rewarded, or we will lose our reward. Jesus often talked of rewards and Paul wrote extensively on it too.
* We need to have the right attitude towards God's grace and truth.
* Religious practices will be lost in time of judgment, but godly actions by faith, hope and love will not.
* If we do not exercise the gifts God has given us for the benefit of others they will be taken from us.
* Give more, get more.
II. Jesus' Mother and Brothers (19-21)
>2. What was Jesus doing when his family came to see him?
* Luke 8:19 "Now Jesus' mother and brothers came to see him, but they were not able to get near him because of the crowd."
* "Now" -This word indicates that this event is not linked with the previous. Luke is moving to something else.
* This event is also recorded in Matthew 12:46-50 and Mark 3:20-21, 31-35. They place this event after Jesus taught about the demonic kingdom; perhaps grouping together two incidents where people believed that Jesus was not thinking and acting like a normal human being. Mark plainly states that his family tried to take charge of him because they thought that he was "out of his mind."
* Matthew 12:46-50 "As Jesus was speaking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him. Someone told Jesus, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, and they want to speak to you.” Jesus asked, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” Then he pointed to his disciples and said, “Look, these are my mother and brothers. Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother!”
* Mark 3:20-21 "One time Jesus entered a house, and the crowds began to gather again. Soon he and his disciples couldn't even find time to eat. When his family heard what was happening, they tried to take him away. “He's out of his mind,” they said."
* "Jesus' mother and brothers" -Mark only states, "his family". Clearly all three accounts are referring to Jesus' half brothers. Joseph and Mary had children after Jesus was born, but not all believe this. Who are "Jesus' brothers" is a hotly debated subject. Protestant congregations, the Roman Catholics, and the Greek Orthodox Church each has different views of who "Jesus' brothers" refers to.
Jesus Nazareth critics listed them in Mark 6:3 as James, Joses, Juda, and Simon. Their names appear again in the parallel passage of Matthew 13:55, except Joseph is used as the alternate spelling of Joses (see NAS). His brothers may have been among the friends in Mark 3:21 who thought Jesus was beside himself; ten verses later 3:31 “his brethren and his mother tried to get His attention while He was teaching in a house. Furthermore, John 7:5 reports that neither did his brethren believe in him.” After the resurrection, however, they changed their minds and joined the disciples in times of prayer (Acts 1:14). The risen Christ appeared to one of them, James, and he became the leader of the church in Jerusalem (Acts 12:17; and 1 Corinthians 15:7). Nevertheless, some writings in the early centuries raised questions about the brothers to protect their developing doctrine of Mary's perpetual virginity. (Holman Bible Dictionary)
* Jesus' didn't sever his relationship with his family. But he did not compromise his service to God and people when they objected to his work.
* "because of the crowd" -Jesus was teaching a crowd according to Matthew and Mark.
* The art to the right is by Luther, Martin, 1483-1546. Jesus Dines with Sinners. Courtesy of the Digital Image Archive, Pitts Theology Library, Candler School of Theology, Emory University: http://www.pitts.emory.edu.
>Why did they come? (Mark 3:20-21, 31-35)
* Mark 3:31-35 "Then Jesus' mother and brothers came to see him. They stood outside and sent word for him to come out and talk with them. There was a crowd sitting around Jesus, and someone said, “Your mother and your brothers are outside asking for you.” Jesus replied, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” Then he looked at those around him and said, “Look, these are my mother and brothers. Anyone who does God's will is my brother and sister and mother.”
* Mark states that they wanted to "take charge of him". That is they were determined to override his authority as a mature man and as a man of God. They believed that he was "out of his mind", not thinking right. Why? Everyone looks out for their own needs and Jesus wasn't doing that. They believed his priorities were not correct.
* Jesus' mother and brothers didn't understand what Jesus was doing and why he was doing it. They did not understand the nature of his mission.
* They loved Jesus, but their understanding was wrong. In doing so they were hindering God.
* They had concern without understanding what was really important. Concern and compassion based on wrong theology brings us to a wrong decision. Concern needs to be based on proper understanding.
>Why could they not get near him?
* "they were not able to get near him because of the crowd" -Jesus did not go out to his family although he might have missed them. He did not go out because he wanted to make a stand. He wanted them to see that their thinking would lead to hindering God's work through Jesus.
>How did he use this opportunity to teach?
* Luke 8:20-21 "Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.” He replied, “My mother and brothers are those who hear God's word and put it into practice.”
* "Someone told him" -This person was saying, "Your family is more important than what you are doing now, teaching."
* "wanting to see you" -This was an indirect command.
* Jesus' reply was shocking to a society that taught family is of first importance.
* Jesus has a spiritual family.
* The disciples did God's will and thus were a part of Jesus' spiritual family. Judas was with them, but not a member.
* To be a part of Jesus' family one needs to:
1) Accept that Jesus died for our sins and rose from the dead.
2) Do God's will.
* "God's will" -John 6:39-40 "save sinners". 1 Thessalonians 5:15-17 says joy, prayer, and thanks is to be our attitude all the time. See John 7:16-24 and Philippians 2:6-11.
* Jesus was not condemning his family. Rather he was rebuking them while instructing everyone else including his disciples who had also left their families. Jesus was teaching the difference between humanistic teaching and God's kingdom.
* Jesus had devoted his first thirty years to his earthly family. Now he was fully engaged in mission for the kingdom of God. Jesus' ministry was in full cycle. At this time many people were coming to hear him. Jesus could not stop now to help his family.
* The Parable of the Sower shows that people who are concerned and worry about things of this world will not produce fruit. Jesus was tempted to go against his own teaching. Jesus' family's misplaced concerned was the type of temptation we all need to watch out for.
* Relatives who are not godly don't want us talking about godly things.
* Standing on God's side is best for those who question our sanity.
III. Let's Go Over to the Other Side of the Lake (22-25)
>3. Thinking about the disciples life with Jesus, what might have been the disciples mood as they got into the boat with Jesus to cross the lake?
* Luke 8:22 "One day Jesus said to his disciples, "Let's go over to the other side of the lake." So they got into a boat and set out."
* The following event is one example how, the word of God, the kingdom of God was planted in the disciples hearts and grew.
* This event is also in Mark 4:35-41 and Matthew 8:23-27. John does record this event. Both Mark and Luke place this happening right after Jesus taught the Parable of the Soils. Though Mark includes two more parables, the Parable of the Growing Seed and the Parable of the Mustard Seed. Luke does not record the former and the latter he places in chapter 13.
* "One day" -Luke is not following chronological order as Mark does when he says this happened on the same day as the teaching of the Parable of the Soils. The former incident concerning his mother and brothers is Luke's break in chronological order. (See above note concerning where Mark places these events.)
* "Jesus said to his disciples" -Jesus initiated this event. He wanted to be alone with the disciples, away from the crowd.
* Why did Jesus instruct his disciples to go into the squall? He is God and knew what was about to happen. He planned it. He let it happen. He let the disciples fear for their life. This was no accident. Nothing happens by accident for Jesus' disciples. Everything and planned and orchestrated. Nothing surprises Jesus was if he didn't know it would happen.
* "Let's go over to the other side of the lake." -Jesus and his disciples were in Galilee on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus gave instructions to go to the eastern side of the sea. The northern territory was called Batanea and the southern was called Decapolis meaning "Ten Cities". Both were considered Gentile territories. The sailing trip was less then eight miles (13km).
* "lake" -Sea of Galilee, Sea of Gennesaret (Luke 5;1), and Sea of Tiberias (John 6:1) are all New Testament names for the same sea. In the Old Testament it is referred to as Chinnereth. It's a freshwater lake of modern north-east Israel about 700ft (214m) below sea level and thirteen miles (21km) long north and south and eight miles (13km) wide at it's greatest east-west distance. It is fed and drained by the Jordan River. The Mountains of Naphtali (Gilead), part of the Lebanon Mountains are to its west, the source of most of its water. The terrain causes strong and violent winds storms to develop over the lake.
* Mark adds, "Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat." Jesus left in the boat he had gotten into at the beginning of the teaching earlier this day. Mark notes that there were other boats for all the men and women who were his disciples. (Mark 4:36)
* Most likely the disciples, many having been fishermen liked the idea of getting back in a boat and out on the water. They were perhaps even tired and looking forward to getting away from the continual crowds.
* "So they got into the boat" -Meaning the disciples not Jesus.
* The map of Galilee to the right, c. 50 A.D. from The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd (1923) is in the public domain.
>What does Jesus' falling asleep in the boat reveal about him?
* Luke 8:23a "As they sailed, he fell asleep..."
* "As they sailed" -The sail boat used on the sea to this day are not very large, only a few men could fish from them at a time.
* "he fell asleep" -Jesus was human, tired and in need of rest after a day of teaching.
* The Gnostic belief that Jesus was only a ghost, not in the flesh is refuted by the fact that he needed sleep.
* Ecclesiastes 5:12 "The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether he eats little or much, but the abundance of a rich man permits him no sleep."
>4. What happened?
* Luke 8:23b "...A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger."
* "A squall came down on the lake" -Mark calls it "a furious squall". Such quick developing storms are common on the Sea of Galilee. Strong winds came down from the mountains west of the lake. Yet we can also say the storm came down from heaven.
* "the boat was swamped" -They disciples must have been bailing out the boat and still it was being swamped.
* The disciples were following Jesus with sincere heart and open minds. They were in God's will. Yet suddenly their lives were threatened. Was something wrong with them? Was God punishing them? Was God angry with them? No. They were being testing with a serious life threatening trial. We are no different. Even though we are serious about our relationship with Jesus "life squalls" threaten us. Life squalls aren't always an indication that we are wrong before God. In fact, the opposite is true for a true disciple. Romans 5:3-5 says, "Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." 1 Peter 4:12-19 states, "Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And, "If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?" So then, those who suffer according to God's will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good." And Hebrews 12:7-11 says, "Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." Finally Jesus said, "A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher." (Luke 6:40)
* Most likely this was the first time that all the disciples were working together for the same goal. They experienced a common threat and tried to overcome it communicably. Though they failed, they no doubt were closer after the experience.
* The art to the right is by Luther, Martin, 1483-1546. Jesus sleeps in a boat during a storm, but the disciples are afraid. The multitude watches from the shore. Courtesy of the Digital Image Archive, Pitts Theology Library, Candler School of Theology, Emory University: http://www.pitts.emory.edu.
>Why is this surprising? (Luke 5:9-11)
* Matthew 4:18 "As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen."
* Luke 5:9-11 "For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon's partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, "Don't be afraid; from now on you will catch men." So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him."
* "they were in great danger" -James, John, Peter, and Andrew were experienced fishermen. Most likely the boat that they were in was owned by one of them. They were use to sailing on this lake, and familiar with this kind of storm. Yet they were in serious and real threat of sinking. People did not know how to swim in those days. Their lives were threatened. During my college days a religion professor was telling his class that the disciples' imaginations were getting away with them, that the storm wasn't serious, and that they were just afraid. How can this be true for lifelong fisherman? They would know what a real threat was and what wasn't.
* The last six years have been full of one trials and hardships after another, more then in all my former over thirty years of being a disciple of Jesus. Through them I have been strengthened and encouraged by the Holy Spirit. My walk with him grows closer and closer. Violent squalls are God's hidden blessing. They are not pleasant at all. They are gut wrenching and tear creators. I look forward to the day they will end. I will praise him for enabling me to endure them. Praise be to his grace to this forgiven sinner.
>What did the disciples do when they reached their human limits?
* Luke 8:24a "The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Master, Master, we're going to drown!""
* "The disciples went and woke him" -The disciples were afraid for their life and Jesus wasn't. He was so at peace that he slept through it. Perhaps they didn't like the fact that he was sleeping.
* "Master, master" -Luke uses the Greek word "epistates", a respectful title only translated "master". Mark uses the Greek word "didaskalos", a respectful title that can be translated "master", "teacher", and "doctor". Since most Galileans spoke Aramaic we really don't know their exact words, only the gospel writers' translations. Most likely many of them were speaking at once, crying out in fear for help.
* Most likely many of them were speaking to him at once.
* They weren't as bold as they liked to think of themselves. We all have experienced complete helplessness. All boldness then fades away like water thrown in a hot pan. God's brings everyone to this point so that we can accept the truth and turn to him.
>What did they believe about Jesus?
* "we're going to drown!" -This can be called a prayer in distress. They didn't ask for him to do anything, though it is implied. It is also implied they were questioning him. Mark makes it clear that the disciples did not understand were was Jesus' love, concern, and sense of reality with, "don't you care if we drown?" They thought, "Why was he sleeping?" "Why wasn't he helping us?" "Doesn't he care?"
* When I was young in faith and "life squalls" seemed to overcoming me, I wandered if Jesus really cared and where was he. Now, I know his presence and strength. Now, I understand and find comfort in him. There are even times that I rejoice in my suffering, rejoicing that I am counted worthy to partake in the sufferings of Christ.
* Romans 8:15-17 "For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory."
* 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows."
* Philippians 1:29-30 "For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him, since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have."
* Philippians 3:10-11 "I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead."
* Hebrews 2:15 "and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death."
* See a wood engraving by Gustave Dore (1832-1883) to the right. Dore's drawings were in Bibles that are now in public domain. This one was scanned in by creationism.org.
>5. What did Jesus do? (24b)
* Luke 8:24b "He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm."
* "He got up" -Jesus first action was to stop the wind and waves. He did not rebuke the disciples for waking him. He solved the outward cause of their fear.
* "all was calm" -The change was dramatic and immediate. Fisherman would not have been fooled by only a change in appearance of calm. the water was as smooth as glass.
>What does this reveal about him?
* 2 Peter 3:5-7 "But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men."
* Jesus authority is clear. He wasn't afraid.
* Jesus' response was is love; a calm, dignified, and confident spirit. He didn't rebuke them for waking him. He didn't rebuke them for a bad attitude. He rebuked them for a lack of faith.
* He wanted to help the disciples' fear go away with faith in him.
* He controls the natural elements. He is God. (John 1:3, Colossians 1:16)
* Jesus is in total control even when it appears he isn't.
* Jesus did not protect them from the storms of life until they realized their helplessness and came to him for help. This is God's love; leading us to realization of who are are and who he is.
>What does this teach us about faith and fear? (25a; Heb. 11:27)
* Luke 8:25a "Where is your faith?" he asked his disciples."
* Hebrews 11:27 "By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king's anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible."
* "faith" -Fear and a lack of faith are related. With faith we have confidence that God loves us and cares for us. Fear has to do with condemnation and punishment. In love God made a way for us to not experience the condemnation and punishment we desire through his Son, Jesus the Messiah. If God loves us so much when we were his enemies; how much more does he love us when he has made us his son's through Jesus?
* Faith was their real problem; not the squall, the waves and the wind. They were called by Jesus to be his special apostles. This did not make them mature. They needed to learn from experiences of deliverance like this.
* Jesus rebuked with a question. They didn't have faith. He wanted them to have faith. He challenged them. He didn't accredit them for their gallant efforts in the midst of the squall.
* We shouldn't expect good or bad to happen. We just need to have faith, hope and love no matter what happens.
* Jesus expects us to have faith in the face of trials. Jesus expects us to know ourselves and him. Jesus expects us to not panic when trouble comes, but to have faith.
>What was the disciples response to Jesus?
* Luke 8:25b "In fear and amazement they asked one another, "Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him."
* "In fear and amazement" -Jesus power and authority was terrifying (not that he would harm them) even to disciple who had known him, seen his healing, and heard his teachings. Someone once foolishly said, "We have nothing to fear but fear itself." Jesus told his disciples, "I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him." (Luke 12:4-5)
* "Who is this" -They gained a new understanding of who Jesus was.
* This event worked to bring home Jesus teachings. The parables were good and the event was an even better teaching.
* Proverbs 1:7 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline."
>What answer is implied in their question?
* Jesus is the creator God. Jesus is the Son of God, being in very nature God.
* Philippians 2:5-6 "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,"
* Hebrews 1:3 "The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven."
>What difference should it make?
* The fruit of Jesus' two questions was their one question. The disciples learned to ask, "Who is this?" Everyone needs to answer this question; its a matter of eternal life.
* We need to apply Jesus' question to us, "Where is your faith?"
IV. Jesus Saves a Man Possessed by Demons (26-39)
>6. Who meet them when they landed?
* Luke 8:26-27 "They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee. When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs."
* This is also in Mark 5:1-20. Matthew 8:28-32 is most likely the same event though two men are stated being there. John do not record this event.
* "They sailed" -Jesus and his disciples were in a sail boat. Sail boats in that area had one large sail mounted on a single pole located in the middle of the boat.
* The disciples had a ruff, exhausting, and revealing night. Jesus had challenged their faith and revealed his divine power over the elements. They must have been glad to step on shore. What awaited them wasn't a quiet picnic like setting. They would not have been ready for the next event. Life with Jesus is never a dual moment.
* Jesus is amazing. He taught the day before. He dealt with the disciples fear due to a lack of faith. Now a crazy man runs up to him when he lands on shore.
* "the region of the Gerasenes" -The east side of the Sea of Galilee, a territory largely inhabited by Gentiles, as indicated by the presence of the large herd of pigs, animals Jews considered "unclean" and therefore unfit to eat. (Leviticus 11:7-8)
* "Gerasenes" -Gerasa was a town located about 35 miles (56km) south-east of the Sea of Galilee. It may have had holdings on the eastern shore of the Sea, giving its name to a small village there now known as Khersa. About one mile (1.6km) north is a fairly steep slope within 40 yards (36m) of the shore, and about two miles (3km) from there are cavern tombs that appear to have been used as dwellings from time to time.
Gadarenes (Matthew 8:28) was another name for the area probably because it was originally settled by the tribe of Gad. Gadara was the name of one of the ten cities of the Decapolis.
* "When Jesus stepped ashore" -Jesus was in the flesh. He walked on ground. The Gnostics, a first century cult believed that Jesus was a spirit and never stepped a foot on the earth.
* "he was meet" -The demon-possessed man went straight for Jesus.
* Landing at this spot was no accident. God planned it. In fact, it is highly possible that the storm was meant to blow the boat to where God wanted it to be, on the south east side of the sea near where the Jordan River drains the sea. A direct course would have been the disciples' most likely choice to land. Directly opposite of Capernaum would have been on the north east side.
* "demon" -The original Greek for "demon" is "daimonion", also translated "devil" and "god" meaning a false god. Matthew uses the Greek word "daimonizomai" that is translated the same as "daimonion". Mark uses the Greek phrase "akathartos pneuma" that is translated as "evil spirit" or "unclean spirit".
The Old Testament verses Deuteronomy 32:17 and Psalm 106:37 help us understand more about these God created beings, once clean but now unclean. When people reject God's call he may send an evil spirit for purposes of having them repent. (Judges 9:23 and 1 Samuel 16:14-23, 18:10, 19:9, and 1 Corinthians 5:1-5, and 1 Timothy 1:19-20). Most of the time they roam the earth as a self-willed spirits looking for people they can enter and control. Yet the demons know there is a God and shudder at this power (James 2:9), as well as God's Son as this passage and many other show.
* "a demon-possessed man" -A demon (aka evil spirit, unclean spirit, devil, fallen angel) can dwell within the body of the unsaved. Demon possession is a reality. Modern medical science doesn't believe this, but it is still true none-the-less.
These men were not born demon possessed. Although I am not sure about this, but I don't believe that is possible. We are born with the sinful nature and therefore born as one who has sinned. But I don't believe it is possible that one can be born demon possess. I'll have to see if that is anywhere in the Bible.
So when and how did these men become demon possessed? The Bible does not say. All I can do is generalize. Sinners can become demon possessed. The more one does not resist temptation, the more he is susceptible to demon possession. When the image of God is distorted in man's/woman's soul our relationship with God grows farther and father apart. With a gap with God, then demons can come into ones soul. Thus people who are violent and/or commit violent crimes are more susceptible to demon possession because sin (and by their own will) break their relationship with God.
All Christians must realize these things for as Ephesians 6:12 says, "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.'"
* "For a long time" -At one time he was able to function normally in society. Slowly he changed until he was at first restricted within the society and finally cast out of society. Family and friends may have been able to help him in his youth by showing him love and discipline. They could have taught him the truth and prayed that he have a love relationship with God.
* "this man had not worn clothes" -An act of rebellion in any society.
* "lived in a house" -A rejection of normal living in any society.
* "but had lived in the tombs" -Tombs provided basic shelter from the weather, people, and wild animals.
>How had others tried to deal with him?
* Luke 8:29 "For Jesus had commanded the evil spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places."
* "Many times" -The demon's control was not continuous.
* "it had seized him" -The demon took control of his body. The man's weak spiritual state made it possible for the demon to overpower the man's will over his body.
* "he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard" -The demons used his body to bring pain to himself and others. So they restrained him. Human society's solutions only try to restrict, whether with chains or with drugs. Human society's solutions do not solve the person's root problem because either it does not recognize it and/or has not spiritual power to control the demon.
* Society took the easiest way to control him. Perhaps they tried to help him at first. Eventually, they took the easiest way to help him.
* "he had broken his chains" -He had physical strength greater than might have had if it were not for the demons. He frightened them. They wanted to protect themselves, their families, and friends.
* "had been driven by the demon into solitary places" -Society rejected him and he rejected society.
* This man was suffering inside: sad, lonely, afraid, and confused. He wanted to be love, but when others tried to help him he lashed out at them because he felt he was being restricted and judged. This left him again rejected and alone. He lacked self-control and lack a healthy self identity. He was exhausted and fatigued. He believed he was a law unto himself, but often found himself restricted and controlled by others. He believed he was free, but often found himself confined.
* From the man's standpoint no one could do anything to help him. This added to his depression and fear. What hope did he have?
* The image of God in him was all but lost. He was living like an animal. This is the outcome of the devil's work.
* "Jesus had commanded the evil spirit to come out of the man" -Jesus has authority over demons. (Daniel 7:14; Matthew 28:18l Mark 1:27; Luke 4:36, 9:1' Ephesians 1:19-22)
* This man's actions are similar to drug addicts.
>What was his reaction to Jesus? (28)
* Luke 8:28 "When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don't torture me!"
* "When he saw Jesus" -Jesus was the focus of his attention even though the disciples were there.
* "he cried out and fell at his feet" -He was not polite. He definitely wanted Jesus' attention, help and mercy. Falling at his feet shows he and the demons were subject to him. This was his reaction to Jesus commanding the evil spirit to come out of the man. (29)
* "What do you want with me" -They weren't willing to come out of the man. They wanted to plea their case hoping for a better verdict.
* "Don't torture me" -The man was use to being tortured by others. The demons feared Jesus' power. Yet Jesus is never recorded as to torture anyone.
* "Jesus, Son of God" -These words are the demons' words. Only they knew who Jesus was, his authority and power. They knew he might give them a lighter sentence.
* This man had a split personality.
* The man had avoided people and society, but came running up to Jesus. This shows he desperate need for help and mercy and the demon's fear.
* Jesus had been driving out demons on the other side of the Sea of Galilee. Perhaps these demons thought they were safe. Then one day Jesus shows up on shore. They knew their control of this man was over.
* The demons dreaded hell, but didn't ask for heaven.
* Everything the man did was in extremes.
>7. How did Jesus respond to the man? (29)
* Luke 8:29 "For Jesus had commanded the evil spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places.
* Jesus did not judge, condemn, or criticize him.
* Jesus didn't run to him when they landed. Yet God directed the boat to that area.
* Jesus wasn't afraid of him. He didn't run away from him.
* Jesus didn't compromise with him. He didn't give him drugs nor therapy. Jesus didn't send him away. He challenged the demons.
* Jesus wanted to help him. Jesus loved him.
* Jesus alone has power to do this. He can give this power to anyone.
* Jesus understood the man's problem and how to help him.
* We can only depend on Jesus power and authority to overcome the demon possessed.
>How was Jesus' treatment different from others?
* Jesus could have sent them to the Abyss. He didn't.
* Jesus dealt with the source of his problem, not the symptom.
* Jesus didn't try to control and restrain the man, Jesus controlled and restrained the demon within.
* Jesus gives wisdom and insight into the spiritual world.
* Jesus considered the man valuable.
* Jesus didn't ignore the man nor his problem.
>Why did Jesus ask him, "What is your name?"
* Luke 8:30a "Jesus asked him, "What is your name?""
* "asked him" -Jesus opened up a personal dialogue.
* Jesus wanted the man to see why he was doing what he was doing. Jesus exposed his spiritual problem.
* In the Bible a person's name represents a person's self identity.
* The Lord asked Jacob this before he changed his name to Israel. (Genesis 32:27)
>How did the Gerasenes man answer Jesus' question about his name?
* Luke 8:30b "Legion," he replied, because many demons had gone into him."
* "Legion" -The original word is of Latin origin. The best Roman soldiers were grouped into legions (regiments). A legion had 4,500 to 6,000 soldiers. Originally in order to be in a legion a soldier had to own land and be a Roman citizen.
* The man was now able to realize his problem and how Jesus was going to help him.
* Any problem must be recognized before dealt with and solved. Sin is no different. If we don't know, accept, and admit we have a problem how can we be healed?
* Many demons were in him and controlling him. The demons in him were fierce fighters.
>8. What requests did the demons make of Jesus?
* Luke 8:31-32 "And they begged him repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss. A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into them, and he gave them permission."
* "begged" -Though the demons were many and fierce they begged Jesus.
* "Abyss" -The original Greek word is "Abyssos" meaning bottomless pit. Matthew and Mark do not include this statement. Mark does add, "not to send them out of the area". The word is only in Luke 8:31 and Revelation 9:1-2, 11, 11:7-8, 20:1-3. Equivalent words for the same place is Hades (Greek), Gehenna (Greek taken from Hebrew words Ge-Hinnom), Tartaroo (Greek), Hell (Anglo-Saxon), Sheol (Hebrew), grave (Anglo-Saxon), lake of fire, and second death.
>What was Jesus' response?
* Jesus allowed it even though others owned the pigs. Though being creator God they were his.
* The pigs had a shepherd, the man didn't.
>What happened to the pigs?
* Luke 8:33 "When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned."
* The pigs lost their appetite and committed suicide rather than be possessed by demons.
* A person must be willing to allow a demon in, but once in they won't leave the person alone and won't leave the person in control.
* The demons didn't ask to be allowed to go into the disciples because the disciples were under Jesus' care.
* "pigs" -Pigs are actually very intelligent animals.
>What does this suggest?
* Demons are violent, unwanted, disruptive, and vile.
* Demons are stubborn.
* Demons are not to intelligent. They are restless. They seek out a live being to dwell in and control.
>9. What did these pigs mean to the townspeople?
* Luke 8:34-37 "When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus' feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. Those who had seen it told the people how the demon-possessed man had been cured. Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left."
* Pigs were the main industry of the area. They were their money source.
* "they ran off and reported this" -Those tending the flocks didn't bother to ask questions.
>Why do you think Jesus allowed their destruction?
* One human is worth more than a thousand pigs.
* The disciples and the man saw the effect of demons.
* Everyone could see the source of the man's misery.
* Jesus didn't apologize for the pigs. He didn't offer to repay or replace them.
>What does this show about their value system?
* They didn't value the man's freedom.
* They were selfish.
* They were afraid. They did not understand. They knew something happened and somehow the pigs destruction was linked to Jesus and the man regaining a right mind. Beyond that they probably didn't understand or accept that demons were a part of this too.
* The towns people didn't bother to ask questions.
>10. How had this man been changed outwardly?
* Luke 8:38a "The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him..."
* "begged" -The man wanted to be with Jesus more than anything. He wanted to be around people.
* "sitting at Jesus' feet, dressed and in his right mind" -After Jesus solved his spiritual problem his helped him with clothes.
>What mission did Jesus give him and why?
* Luke 8:38b-39 "but Jesus sent him away, saying, Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him."
* We need to remember and share God's grace to us with others. We should always be ready to give witness to what Jesus has done for us. Paul often repeated his calling to others.
* Jesus wanted him to express his thanks through obeying his mission.
* We should proclaim God's love in our life.
>How did he respond?
* "So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him."
* "tell how much God... told all over town how much Jesus had done..." -Jesus and God are interchangeable here, proof of Luke belief in Jesus' deity.
* The man obeyed.
* "all over town" -Not easy to do because of his past.
>What can we learn from this event about the grace and mercy of God?
* God values each and every person no matter what condition they are in.
* Our life mission is a reflection and an act of thanksgiving for the grace God has showered on us.
* We don't need great skills, training, and education to be able to witness about Jesus' grace and mercy to us.
* "Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them" -Jesus most likely never returned to the area. However, he did leave the area with a missionary.
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