November 21st, 2006
Quite often people will be slow to accept a change in social status of someone whom they have known for a long time. Over the years everyone gets used to their role in the social order. Some people learn to be the cool crowd. Others learn that their lot in life is to be nerds and social outcasts. It’s hard to accept when someone whom you always looked down on as an outcast and a social misfit suddenly becomes a celebrity. So everyone’s likely to be in for a pretty awkward time if Jesus comes around upsetting the social order.
Luke’s Account of the Good News — Chapter 8
8:1 After that he travelled through towns and villages, preaching and bringing the good news of the Kingdom of God. With him were the twelve, 8:2 and some women who had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses: Mary who was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had been cast out; 8:3 Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s business manager; Susanna; and many others who used their resources to support them. 8:4 A crowd gathered with people from all towns coming to him, and he spoke using a parable: 8:5 “A farmer went out to plant seeds. As he planted, some fell on the road, and they were trodden on, and the birds ate them. 8:6 Other seeds fell on the rock, but they shrivelled up as soon as they sprouted, because there was no moisture. 8:7 Others fell amidst thorns, and the thorns grew with them and choked them. 8:8 Others landed on good ground and grew, producing one hundred times as much grain as was planted.” When he had said this, he proclaimed, “Whoever has ears to hear should hear this.”
8:9 Then his disciples asked him, “What does this parable mean?” 8:10 He said, “You get to understand the mysteries of the Kingdom of God, but other people only get parables, so that ‘seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.’ 8:11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 8:12 The road represents people who hear, but the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they cannot believe and be saved. 8:13 The rock represents people who hear and receive the word with joy, but they have no root. They believe for a while, then fall away in times of temptation. 8:14 The thorny ground represents people who have heard, but along the way they are choked with the cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and they never produce mature grain. 8:15 The good ground represents people who hear the word with an open and good heart, and they hold it tightly, patiently producing grain.
8:16 “No one lights a lamp then covers it with a container or hides it under a bed. Instead, the person puts it on a stand, so that people who come in can see the light. 8:17 Nothing is covered that will not be revealed, and nothing is secret that will not be known and come to light. 8:18 So be careful how you listen. Whoever has something will be given more, but people who have nothing will have taken away from them even the things which they think they have.”
8:19 His mother and brothers arrived, but could not get near him because of the crowd. 8:20 Someone said, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.” 8:21 He replied, “My mother and my brothers are these who hear the word of God, and do it.”
8:22 One day he climbed into a boat with his disciples and said, “Let’s go over to the other side of the lake.” So they set out. 8:23 As they sailed, he fell asleep. A wind storm came down on the lake, and water was filling the boat so they were in danger of sinking. 8:24 They shook him out of his sleep, saying, “Master, master, we are dying!” He woke up and rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they stopped, and it was calm. 8:25 He asked them, “Where is your faith?” They were afraid and amazed at the same time, asking each other, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the waves, and they obey him?”
8:26 They arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is opposite Galilee. 8:27 When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a man out of the town who was possessed by demons. For a long time he had been unclothed and homeless, living in the tombs. 8:28 When he saw Jesus he fell down before him, and shouted out, “Why are you disturbing me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Please don’t torment me!” 8:29 Jesus had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. The unclean spirit had often seized the man, and although he had been kept under guard and bound with chains and shackles, he had broken the chains apart, and he had been driven by the demon into desolate places.
8:30 Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He said, “Legion,” because he was filled with many demons. 8:31 They asked him not to order them into the abyss. 8:32 A large herd of pigs were feeding on the mountain, and the demons asked him to let them enter the pigs. He agreed, and 8:33 the demons came out of the man, and entered the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake, and were drowned. 8:34 When the pig farmers saw what had happened, they ran off to raise the alarm in the town and in the country.
8:35 People went out to see what had happened. They came to Jesus, and found the man who had been possessed by demons, sitting at Jesus’s feet, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. 8:36 Those who had seen it happen told the others how the demon-possessed man had been healed. 8:37 All the people of the surrounding country of the Gadarenes asked Jesus to leave, because they were very afraid. He climbed into the boat, and went back. 8:38 The formerly demon-possessed man pleaded to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 8:39 “Return to your home, and tell people the great things God has done for you.” He went on his way, announcing throughout the whole town the great things Jesus had done for him.
8:40 Jesus was welcomed by a crowd as he returned, because they were all waiting for him. 8:41 A man named Jairus who was a synagogue official came up. He fell down at Jesus’s feet, and begged him to come to his house, 8:42 because he had an only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she was dying. As Jesus went, the crowds pressed around him. 8:43 A woman who had suffered haemorrhages for twelve years and had spent all her savings on doctors although none of them could fix her 8:44 came behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. At once her haemorrhages stopped. 8:45 Jesus asked, “Who touched me?” Everyone denied it, and Peter and those with him said, “Master, the crowds press and jostle you, and you say, ‘Who touched me?’”
8:46 But Jesus said, “Someone did touch me, because I could feel that power has gone out of me.” 8:47 When the woman saw that she could not hide, she came trembling and fell down in front of him. She confessed to him in the presence of all the people the reason why she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately. 8:48 He said to her, “Daughter, be encouraged. Your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”
8:49 While he was still speaking, someone came from the synagogue official’s house saying, “Your daughter is dead. Don’t trouble the Teacher.” 8:50 But Jesus heard it, and told him, “Don’t be afraid. Only believe, and she will be healed.” 8:51 When he arrived at the house, he wouldn’t allow anyone to go in except Peter, John, James, and the father and mother of the child. 8:52 Everyone was weeping and mourning, but he said, “Don’t weep. She isn’t dead, but sleeping.”
8:53 They ridiculed him, knowing that she was dead. 8:54 But he sent them all outside. Taking her by the hand, he said, “Child, arise!” 8:55 Her spirit returned, and she rose up immediately. He instructed them to give her something to eat. 8:56 Her parents were amazed, but he instructed them to tell no one what had happened.