Luke 8J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)
8 1-3 Not long after this incident, Jesus went through every town and village preaching and telling the people the good news of the kingdom of God. He was accompanied by the twelve and some women who had been cured of evil spirits and illnesses—Mary, known as “the woman from Magdala” (who had once been possessed by seven evil spirits) Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s agent Susanna, and many others who used to look after his comfort from their own resources.
Jesus’ parable of the mixed reception given to the truth
4-8 When a large crowd had collected and people were coming to him from one town after another, he spoke to them and gave them this parable: “A sower went out to sow his seed, and while he was sowing, some of the seed fell by the roadside and was trodden down and birds gobbled it up. Some fell on the rock, and when it sprouted it withered for lack of moisture. Some fell among thorn-bushes which grew up with the seeds and choked the life out of them. But some seed fell on good soil and grew and produced a crop—a hundred times what had been sown.” And when he had said this, he called out, “Let the man who has ears to hear use them!”
9-10 Then his disciples asked him the meaning of the parable. To which Jesus replied, “You have been given the chance to understand the secrets of the kingdom of God, but the others are given parables so that they may go through life with their eyes open and ‘seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand’”.
11-15 “This is what the parable means. The seed is the message of God. The seed sown by the roadside represents those who hear the message, and then the devil comes and takes it away from their hearts so that they cannot believe it and be saved. That sown on the rock represents those who accept the message with great delight when they hear it, but have no real root. They believe for a little while but when the time of temptation comes, they lose faith. And the seed sown among the thorns represents the people who hear the message and go on their way, and with the worries and riches and pleasures of living, the life is choked out of them, and in the end they produce nothing. But the seed sown on good soil means the men who hear the message and accept it with good and honest heart, and go on steadily producing a good crop.
Truth is not a secret to be hidden but a gift to be used
16-17 “Nobody lights a lamp and covers it with a basin or puts it under the bed. No, a man puts his lamp on a lamp-stand so that those who come in can see the light. For there is nothing hidden now which will not become perfectly plain and there are no secrets now which will not become as clear as daylight.”
18 “So take care how you listen—more will be given to the man who has something already, but the man who has nothing will lose even what he thinks he has.”
19-20 Then his mother and his brothers arrived to see him, but could not get near him because of the crowd. So a message was passed to him, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside wanting to see you.”
21 To which he replied, “My mother and my brothers? That means those who listen to God’s message and obey it.”
Jesus’ mastery of wind and water
22 It happened on one of these days that he embarked on a boat with his disciples and said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.”
23-25 So they set sail, and when they were under way he dropped off to sleep. Then a squall of wind swept down upon the lake and they were in grave danger of being swamped. Coming forward, they woke him up, saying. “Master, master, we’re drowning!” Then he got up and reprimanded the wind and the stormy waters, and they died down, and everything was still. Then he said to them, “What has happened to your faith?” But they were frightened and bewildered and kept saying to each other, “Who ever can this be? He gives orders even to the winds and waters and they obey him.”
Jesus encounters and heals a dangerous lunatic
26-28 They sailed on to the country of the Gerasenes which is on the opposite side of the lake to Galilee. And as Jesus disembarked, a man from the town who was possessed by evil spirits met him. He had worn no clothes for a long time and did not live inside a house, but among the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he let out a howl and fell down in front of him, yelling, “What have you got to do with me, you Jesus, Son of the most high God? Please, please, don’t torment me.”
29 For Jesus was commanding the evil spirit to come out of the man. Again and again the evil spirit had taken control of him, and though he was bound with chains and fetters and closely watched, he would snap his bonds and go off into the desert with the devil at his heels.
30-37 Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” “Legion!” he replied. For many evil spirits had gone into him, and were now begging Jesus not to order them off to the bottomless pit. It happened that there was a large herd of pigs feeding on the hill-side, so they implored him to allow them to go into the pigs, and he let them go. And when the evil spirits came out of the man and went into the pigs, the whole herd rushed down the cliff into the lake and were drowned. When the swineherds saw what had happened, they took to their heels, pouring out the story to the people in the town and countryside. These people came out to see what had happened, and approached Jesus. They found the man, whom the evil spirits had left, sitting down at Jesus’ feet, properly clothed and quite sane. That frightened them. Those who had seen it told the others how the man with the evil spirits had been cured. And the whole crowd of people from the district surrounding the Gerasenes’ country begged Jesus to go away from them, for they were thoroughly frightened. Then he re-embarked on the boat and turned back.
38-39 The man who had the evil spirits kept begging to go with Jesus, but he sent him away with the words, “Go back home and tell them all what wonderful things God has done for you.” So the man went away and told the marvellous story of what Jesus had done for him, all over the town.
40 On Jesus’ return, the crowd welcomed him back, for they had all been looking for him.
Jesus heals in response to faith
41-42 Then up came Jairus (who was president of the synagogue), and fell at Jesus’ feet, begging him to come into his house, for his daughter, an only child about twelve years old, was dying.
43-44 But as he went, the crowds nearly suffocated him. Among them was a woman, who had a haemorrhage for twelve years and who had derived no benefit from anybody’s treatment. She came up behind Jesus and touched the edge of his cloak, with the result that her haemorrhage stopped at once.
45 “Who was that who touched me?” said Jesus. And when everybody denied it, Peter remonstrated, “Master, the crowds are all round you and are pressing you on all sides ....”
46 But Jesus said, “Somebody touched me, for I felt the power went out from me.”
47 When the woman realised that she had not escaped notice she came forward trembling, and fell at his feet and admitted before everybody why she had to touch him, and how she had been instantaneously cured.
48 “Daughter,” said Jesus, “It is your faith that has healed you—go in peace.”
49 While he was still speaking, somebody came from the synagogue president’s house to say, “Your daughter is dead—there is no need to trouble the master any further.”
50 But when Jesus heard this, he said to him, “Now don’t be afraid, go on believing and she will be all right.”
51-52 Then when he came to the house, he would not allow anyone to go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child’s parents. All those already there were weeping and wailing over her, but he said, “Stop crying! She is not dead, she is fast asleep.”
53-54 This drew a scornful laugh from them, for they were quite certain that she had died. But he turned them all out, took the little girl’s hand and called out to her, “Wake up, my child!”
55-56 And her spirit came back and she got to her feet at once, and Jesus ordered food to be given to her. Her parents were nearly out of their minds with joy, but Jesus told them not to tell anyone what had happened.