Teaching in Parables. Luke 8, 1-21.

Women minister unto Christ: V. 1. And it came to pass afterward that He went throughout every city and village, preaching and showing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God; and the Twelve were with Him, v. 2. and certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils, v. 3. and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto Him of their substance. As usual, Luke is not concerned about the exact sequence of events that happened at about the same time, in this case during the ministry of Jesus in Galilee. Some time afterward, while the Lord was still in Galilee, He passed along through, He made a tour of the cities and towns of, that part of Palestine. His chief work is again brought into the foreground, proclaiming and gospeling the kingdom of God, preaching the good news of the salvation of mankind. This fact cannot be emphasized often enough, especially in these days of the perversion of the doctrine of redemption. The twelve apostles were with the Lord on this tour; they were the theological students, receiving both theoretical and practical training in the school of Jesus. But there were also others with Him, certain women whom Luke mentions by name, a feature of his gospel. Mary, who was called Magdalene, had been healed by Jesus when He drove seven demons out of her. Johanna, or Joanna, the wife of Chuza, the administrator, or steward, of Herod, and Susanna, and many others, Matt. 27, 55, had also received special favors at the hand of Jesus, as being healed of evil spirits and sicknesses. These were bound to Jesus by the bonds of gratitude, and they were glad and proud to be of service to Him with their goods, for some of them were well-to-do. Christian women have at all times counted it an honor to be able to serve their Master with their substance and with their service. We see here an emancipation of woman in the noblest sense of the word, and the beginning of the service of women in the Church of Christ, and at the same time a decided triumph of the evangelical spirit over the limitation of Jewish rabbinism.

The parable of the fourfold soil: V. 4. And when much people were gathered together and were come to Him out of every city, He spake by a parable: v. 5. A sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. V. 6. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. V. 7. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it. V. 8. And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when He had said these things, He cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. The fame of Christ was still spreading so rapidly that people from all the cities and towns from near and far came together to see and hear Him. They came out to Him as He was on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, and He used a boat as His pulpit, in order that He might reach them all, Matt, 13, 2; Mark 4, 1. He spoke to the people of the mysteries of the kingdom of God through parables, of which one is given by Luke. There went out a sower to sow his seed. The picture is that of a farmer casting forth the seed broadcast over the land, every year with new diligence and hope, just as the longsuffering and kindness of the heavenly Sower does not become weary in spite of much apparently lost work, Is. 49, 4. His work is an example to the present day. "Every pious preacher, when he sees that things will not go forward, but seem to be growing worse, feels almost disgusted about his preaching, and yet he cannot and dare not desist, for the sake of even a few elect. And that is written for our consolation and admonition, that we should not be surprised or think it strange even though few people accept the benefit of our doctrine, and some even become worse. For commonly the preachers, especially when they are new and but recently come from the shop, believe that there should be success immediately, as soon as they have done speaking, and everything should be done and changed quickly. But that will miss the object far. The prophets and Christ Himself had that experience." 53) As the sower, in the patient work of his calling, cast his seed, some of it overshot the mark, falling on the path which crossed the field. This was a feature of the landscape in Palestine, that the paths between the various towns and hamlets followed the nearest way and the easiest slopes, without regard for grain-fields. The result was that the travelers that used the path trod the seed to pieces, and the winged animals of the air, the fowls, came and devoured it. Other grains fell upon the rock, upon rocky soil, where the bedrock came to within a few inches of the surface. Here was moisture and warmth, the best conditions for quick germination, but not enough moisture and soil to support a growing plant. The stone below caught the heat of the sun, causing every bit of moisture in that spot to evaporate. Still other seeds fell into the midst of the thorns, where the preparation of the soil had not succeeded in grubbing out the roots of the weeds. When the seed, therefore, had sprouted, and the blades grew up, the hardier thorns absorbed both sun and air and thus choked the tender plants. Only the seed that fell upon the good soil fulfilled the farmer's hopes; it grew, not only into blades, but it formed heads which were filled with grain and matured with rich returns, up to an hundredfold. After having told this parable, Jesus added a warning and pleading word that the people should hear in truth, not only with the ears of the body, but also with their spiritual ears, to get the full understanding of the lesson which He wished to convey to them.

The explanation of the parable: V. 9. And His disciples asked Him, saying, What might this parable be? V. 10. And He said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to others in parables, that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand. V. 11. Wow the parable is this: The seed is the Word of God, V. 12. Those by the wayside are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the Word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. V. 13. They on the rock are they which, when they hear, receive the Word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. V. 14. And that which fell among thorns are they which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. V. 15. But that on the good ground are they which in an honest and good heart, having heard the Word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience. The disciples at that time had as yet little spiritual knowledge and understanding. And so Jesus patiently explains to them the meaning of the parable, since to them it was given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, not by their merit or worthiness, nor because they had been interested in Christ or His work by their own reason and strength. In case of the others, however, that did not want to believe, the parables served a different purpose. Seeing they should not see, and hearing they should not understand. The eyes of their bodies might behold all that was going on in miracles and other happenings, and yet they would not recognize the power of God, the Messiah-ship of Jesus. Their ears might hear the sounds of the words, but their meaning was hidden from them. What Isaiah had been obliged to say with regard to the hardening of Israel was being fulfilled, Is. 6, 9. 10. The judgment of God upon a disobedient people had begun in the days of Isaiah, and was completed in the days of Christ and the apostles. It is an earnest warning for all times, 2 Cor. 2, 15. 16; 4, 3. 4. Christ's explanation of the parable was brief and simple. The seed of which He speaks is the Word. That shall be strewn, that shall be scattered broadcast again and again, with patient labor. The first class of hearers are those by the wayside, hearers only. There is not even a chance for the Word to begin its saving influence in their case. The seed is lying on top of the hearts, and the devil takes it away, lest, believing, they should be saved. "Therefore He says that the devil comes and takes the Word from their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. Which power of the devil not only signifies this, that the hearts, hardened by worldly ideas and life, lose the Word and let it escape, that they never understand it, but also that in the place of the Word of God the devil sends false teachers that tread it down with doctrines of men. For both is here given, that the seed is trodden down on the path and that it is eaten by the birds." 54) The second class of hearers are those that have a mere veneer, a shallow covering of Christianity. With them the "getting religion" is merely an incident, and they are able to change their profession like their clothes. There is no idea of indoctrination in their case; they are not firmly grounded and rooted in Scriptures. They are violent enthusiasts while it lasts, but the excitement does not last. For a time, and usually a short time, at that, they are prominently identified with the work of the Church. But then their interest flags and departs as suddenly as it came into being. In the time of temptation, when there seems to be danger of suffering for the sake of their convictions, they are no longer among those present. "The second class contains those that accept with joy, but they do not hold out. This is also a great crowd, that hear the Word properly and accept it in its purity, without any sects and schismatics and enthusiasts; they are glad also that they may know the right truth and find how we may be saved without works through faith; also because they have been delivered from the imprisonment of the Law, the conscience, and human doctrine. But when it comes to the battle, that they should on that account suffer harm, contempt, loss of life and goods, then they fall away and deny it all." 55) The third class includes such as also hear the Word, in whose hearts the seed finds a proper lodging. But later they, being taken possession of by the cares of riches and the pleasures of life, suffocate, so far as their faith is concerned, and do not bring their fruit to maturity. This is properly called suffocation, for the process is not brought to a climax at once, but takes much time. Very gradually the love of money and the deceitfulness of riches creeps into the heart; or just as unostentatiously the liking for the pleasures of this world takes possession of the mind, until the lingering spark of faith is extinguished almost without their noticing it. "The third class that hear and accept the Word and yet fall to the wrong side, that is, to the pleasure and ease of this life, also bring forth no fruit according to the Word. And their number is also very large; for though they do not establish heresies, as the first ones, but always have the pure Word, and also are not attacked on the left side by opposition and temptation, yet they fall on the right side, and that is their ruin, that they enjoy peace and good days. Therefore they do not earnestly regard the Word, but become lazy and sink into the care, riches, and lust of this life, that they are without use." 56) Only the last class of hearers, in whose case the seed of the Word falls into hearts that have been properly prepared by the preaching of the Law, is of value in the kingdom of God. There the meekness of the knowledge of self is replaced by the nobleness and generousness of the regenerated soul. The Word which they hear they also keep; they hold firmly to its glory and power, and are thus enabled to bring forth fruit well pleasing to God, with all perseverance.

Other parabolic sayings: V. 16. No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed, but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light. V. 17. For nothing is secret that shall not be made manifest, neither anything hid that shall not be known and come abroad. V. 18. Take heed, therefore, how ye hear; for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from, him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have. These words seem to have been a favorite saying of Jesus, for He repeats them on various occasions, Matt. 5, 15; Mark 4, 21; chap. 11, 33. "For any one to light a lamp and then hide it under some hollow vessel or place it under a bed or couch, when it is intended for a light to all that are in the house, would be foolish. It must rather be placed in a holder, on a candlestick; then all that come in may see the light, and it will serve its purpose. Even so people that have received Christianity into their hearts, that have the light of the Gospel shining in them, that have been given this light in order that its radiance may be shed also on others, must hide neither the light of their individual godliness nor that of the pure Gospel-preaching in such a way that no man can find out about it, not even if he inquired about it. There is a grave responsibility resting upon the believers of the pure Gospel in these last days of the world. For there is nothing hidden which shall not be revealed, nor is there anything covered over which is not bound to become known and be exhibited. The very object in hiding something precious is to bring it forth at some convenient time. And so Christianity and the Christian doctrine is a treasure which we should guard most carefully lest it be taken from us; but incidentally, we uncover this treasure at every opportunity and permit others to share in the wonderful riches of God's grace and mercy in Christ Jesus. From this fact arises the duty of Christians to be careful hearers. The responsibility is for them really to know, and not merely have a knowledge about, the light of the Gospel, the treasure of salvation. To the one that has Christian knowledge the Lord adds thereto, with compound interest reckoned daily; the constant study of the Word of the Gospel enriches the hearer and reader in a manner beyond the comprehension of even the well-grounded Christian. But if one is careless about his growth in Christian knowledge, then even that little which he foolishly believes himself to be possessing will he taken from him. A check in the growth of Christian faith amounts to the same thing as a frost in early fall: the plant is definitely harmed by the misfortune.

The true relatives of the Lord: V. 19. Then came to Him His mother and His brethren, and could not come at Him for the press. V. 20. And it was told Him by certain which said, Thy mother and Thy brethren stand without, desiring to see Thee. V. 21. And He answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the Word of God and do it. In the narrative above Luke had combined the discourses of two different occasions. This explains the fact that he here relates the incident concerning the relatives of Jesus. Christ was busily engaged with His teaching when there came an interruption. His mother and His brothers (cousins or half-brothers) had come down with the intention of taking Him away for some time and giving Him a much-needed vacation. Though they tried to get into the house, they could not so much as come near Him on account of the great multitude that filled every bit of available space. So the request of His relatives was passed along, until finally Jesus was told by those nearest to Him that His mother and His brothers wanted to see Him. There was no doubt that they meant well, but their understanding of the Savior's work and ministry was very poor. And therefore their attempt, with all its implied kindness, was an unwarranted interference with the Lord's business. He did not go out to them, nor did He permit them to disturb Him. He was about His Father's business, and in the performance of those duties which had been given Him by His Father no man may disturb or hinder Him. Note: This is an example for us that we may not be discouraged or turned aside from our purpose when our work concerns the kingdom of God. Jesus here, after looking at His disciples that were sitting nearest to Him, gave an answer which could be transmitted to the waiting relatives: My mother and My brethren are these that hear and do the Word of God. The spiritual relationship with Christ through faith is far more intimate than any physical relationship possibly could be. It brings the believer into the closest communion with his Savior. John 15, 1-6.

The Storm on the Sea. Luke 8, 22-25.

V. 22. Now it came to pass on a certain day that He went into a ship with His disciples; and He said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth. V. 23. But as they sailed, He fell asleep; and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. V. 24. And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, Master, Master, we perish. Then He arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water; and they ceased, and there was a calm. V. 25. And He said unto them, Where is your faith? And they, being afraid, wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for He commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey Him. Cp. Matt. 8, 23-37 ; Mark 4, 35-41. It was at the close of a strenuous day that Jesus embarked in a boat with His disciples, and He gave the command to sail across the sea to the other side. The disciples, some of whom were expert navigators, having spent a large part of their life on the lake, immediately launched forth, setting sail for the center of the lake. Jesus was a true man, with all the physical needs of a true man. So now, fatigued as He was with the strain of teaching and probably also with the sultriness, He fell into a deep sleep, though there was no comfortable couch aboard. Suddenly a tornado-like storm came down upon the lake, accompanied with such a turbulent upheaval of the waters of the sea that they rushed in upon them from all sides, filling the boat and placing them all in the greatest peril of their lives. And yet Jesus slept. The powers of nature are in His hand. They may storm and threaten, but they cannot harm Him. Note: If a Christian has Jesus with him in all his work and in all his play, then he is secure in spite of all threatening of the enemies. Not a hair of his head may be harmed without the will of his Lord. The disciples were at their wits' end. They rushed over to Him, they awakened Him with the anxious call that they were perishing. And He heard their frantic cry and gave them such an exhibition of His almighty power that they must have felt the greatness of their unbelief on this account more than by the reproving words of the Lord. For He arose at once and threateningly spoke to the wind and to the surge of the waters. And they paused in the midst of their fury. At once their unleashed fierceness was replaced with an absolute calm. And then came the rebuke from the mouth of the Master, chiding their lack of faith. The effect upon the disciples, who had seen quite a number of wonderful deeds at His hands, was peculiar. They were filled with fear in the presence of such evidence of almighty power. At the same time they wondered that He who ordinarily appeared a mere man, who had but a few minutes ago lain in their midst in the sleep of utter exhaustion, could command the winds and the water, and exact absolute obedience from them. Jesus, true man, is at the same time the mighty God from heaven, the almighty Creator of the universe. People that trust in Him are assured of safety in the arms of Him whose providence governs even the death of a sparrow.

In the Country of the Gadarenes. Luke 8, 26-39.

The demoniac: V. 26. And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee. V. 27. And when He went forth to land, there met Him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long1 time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs. V. 28. When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before Him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with Thee, Jesus, Thou Son of God Most High? I beseech Thee, torment me not. V. 29. (For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him; and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.) Cp. Matt. 8, 28-34; Mark 5, 1-20. Luke's description is graphic: They sailed down from the deep sea to the land. There was not the faintest indication of the recent tempest, and they had no difficulty about putting in near the shore. The country where they landed belonged to a strip of Gaulanitis, which was variously called the country of the Gadarenes or the Gerasenes, Gadara being a town farther inland, and Gerasa, or Gergesa, being situated near the Sea of Galilee. The strip of the country where the disciples cast anchor was comparatively wild and uninhabited, the hilly section just east of the lake, opposite Galilee. No sooner had Jesus set foot to the land, with the intention of going over to the city which was not far distant, than two demoniacs came toward Him, the more violent of whom Luke speaks of. The home of this unfortunate sufferer was in the city, but he himself was not living there at the present time, being possessed of demons, who tortured him in various ways. Their power over him was such as to make him spurn all shame; for a long time he had worn no clothes. He would also not remain in a house, but preferred to live in the tombs which were hewn into the rock on the lake shore. He had almost been stripped of the attributes of a human being, and rather resembled a wild beast in appearance and habits. No sooner, however, did he see Jesus than he screamed aloud and threw himself down at His feet and begged with a loud voice that Jesus should not torment him. That was the demon, one of their number speaking. The devil knows who Jesus of Nazareth is, was aware of it during the entire lifetime of Jesus, and tried everything in his power to frustrate the work of the Lord. If Christ had been a mere man, the devil could easily have conquered him. But He was the Son of the most high God, and therefore Himself true God from eternity. He had the power, if He so chose, to let the last terrible judgment upon the devils begin at any time, to chain them in the abyss of darkness and keep them there. The devil and his angels have been condemned by God, they are reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the Great Day, Jude, v. 6. The very fact that they are excluded from the bliss of heaven is for them a species of hell torture. In the mean time, however, and especially during these last days of the world, the devil is loosed for a little season, Rev. 20, 3. Until the Day of Judgment Satan and his demons still have permission to move here on earth and to torment God's creatures. But their chains are upon them. And on the Day of Judgment they will enter their eternal prison and feel the tortures of the fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels, Matt. 25, 41. For Jesus was about to command (conative imperfect) that the unclean spirit should come out of the man, hence the cry of fear. The disease was not permanently and continually of a violent nature, but rather took hold of this victim with intermittent spells of acute mania, followed by intervals of comparative quiet and sensibility. But when the devils seized him in their powerful grip, all efforts at keeping him under guard were fruitless. People had tried to keep him bound and in subjection by means of fetters and chains on hands and feet, but these were like strips of gossamer in the hands of the demoniac. At such times the poor victim was driven into the deserts, and no one could hold him.

The healing: V. 30. And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion; because many devils were entered into him. V. 31. And they besought Him that He would not command them to go out into the. deep. V. 32. And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain; and they besought Him that He would suffer them to enter into them. And He suffered them. V. 33. Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine; and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked. Since the man appeared to have a rational interval, Jesus asked him his name. The poor man being the victim, not only of one or of a few devils, answered accordingly that his name was Legion, thousands of demons having taken possession of him. But the devils were growing restive, knowing that their time for torturing this man was over. And so they pleaded with Christ not to commit them to the abyss, to the pit of hell. But there was a herd of many swine feeding on the side of the mountain, within easy distance of the place where Jesus had landed, and the devils eagerly begged Christ to permit them to enter into the dumb brutes. And when Jesus had given permission, the devils took possession of the swine. And the brutes, taken with a sudden spasm of fright, bolted down the precipice overhanging the lake, leaped down into the waves below, and were drowned, suffocation taking place in the water. Note: The devil is a murderer from the beginning. If he cannot destroy the souls of men, he tries to harm their bodies, and when this is denied him, he takes out his spite on the dumb animals. His one desire is to ruin the works of God. But he can do this only with God's permission. It is indeed a secret of God why He gives this permission. But it may be said, in general, that even such visitations, by which the devil works harm against us, are fatherly visitations of God, by means of which He wants to chastise us and call us to repentance.

The consequences: V. 34. When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country. V. 35. Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man out of whom the devils were departed sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind; and they were afraid. V. 36. They also which saw it told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed. V. 37. Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought Him to depart from them; for they were taken with great fear; and He went up into the ship, and returned back again. V. 38. Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought Him that he might be with Him; but Jesus sent him away, saying, v. 39. Return to thine own house, and show how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done, unto him. The swineherds were taken by surprise at this strange action of the animals entrusted to them. When this supernatural thing happened before their eyes, they fled and brought the news to the people of the district, both in city and country, wherever such lived as owned some of the drowned swine. They knew or felt that there must be some connection between the coming of Jesus and His speaking to the demoniac and the misfortune which struck the entire countryside. And the people, undoubtedly with some resentment, went out to the spot to see what had happened. They came to Jesus, not in a gentle, receptive, but in an aggressive mood. They found many things which should have set them to thinking and praising God. He that formerly roamed over the country without rest was now quietly sitting at the feet of Jesus; he that formerly was plagued with the devils was now freed from that scourge; he that had scorned shame and clothing was now fully dressed; he that had been a raving maniac was in full possession of rational powers of thinking and speaking. The feeling of the presence of the supernatural took hold of them all, and they were afraid. They did not learn the lesson which was held before them; they did not realize that this was a time of gracious visitation for them. Neither did they understand when those that were present told them how the demoniac had been delivered from his terrible condition. This rather increased their superstitious terror, they were possessed with a great fear, they were panic-stricken. And the entire countryside, as one man, arose and begged Jesus to leave their coasts. Their pigs, in their eyes, exceeded both the value of the one former demoniac and of the Prophet of their salvation. Note: Even today there are many people that neglect Jesus, the Savior of their souls, and His holy Word, for the sake of some petty earthly property. People act as though there were always plenty of time for preparing for death and for believing in Jesus after their hoard has grown large enough for their greed, forgetting, meanwhile, that the time of grace may never come again.

Jesus complied with their request, since for Him to stay in the country under the present circumstances would have been foolish. He entered into the boat and returned to Galilee. But when the healed man begged Him that he might join Him and become one of the disciples that were always with Jesus, He denied the request. The Lord wanted a witness of His power in these parts. And since they did not want Him, this man would be the best substitute, as he would speak from personal experience and conviction. It was good for the man that he should return to his home and people, and tell them all that had befallen him through the mercy of God. The man, following the order of Christ, promptly became a missionary throughout the city and region, declaring what Jesus had done for him. His faith would not permit him to remain silent; he must needs declare the great works of God. Every Christian has received such wonderful gifts of God in and through Christ, though perhaps not in the body, yet surely in the soul. And it behooves every one that loves the Lord Jesus to speak of the great things which God has done for him, as far as his personal influence reaches.

The Woman with an Issue and the Daughter of Jairus. Luke 8, 40-56.

The plea of Jairus: V. 40. And it came to pass that, when Jesus was returned, the people gladly received Him; for they were all waiting for Him. V. 41. And, behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagog; and he fell down at Jesus' feet, and besought Him that He would come into his house; v. 42. for he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as He went, the people thronged Him. The return of Jesus to Galilee was apparently hailed with delight by the majority of the people, though the scribes and Pharisees were again a thorn in the flesh, Matt. 9, 18. Whether they had expected the Lord to come back this soon or not, they were eager to see Him. Their minds were turned toward Him, mainly on account of the recent healings, for but few of them realized His real office. Their carnal hopes concerning a Messiah with an earthly kingdom were still dominant in their hearts. But now a man by the name of Jairus, an elder of the local synagog, came to Him, greatly excited. Falling down at the feet of Jesus, he begged Him most earnestly to come into his house, for his daughter, an only child of about twelve years, was dying, yea, as Matthew relates, she may even now be dead. Luke adds that when Jesus turned to go away, the great multitudes thronged Him to suffocation.

The sick woman: V. 43. And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, v. 44. came behind Him, and touched the border of His garment; and immediately her issue of blood stanched. V. 45. And Jesus said, Who touched Me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng Thee and press Thee, and sayest Thou, Who touched Me? V. 46. And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched Me; for I perceive that virtue is gone out of Me. V. 47. And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before Him, she declared unto Him before all the people for what cause she had touched Him, and how she was healed immediately. V. 48. And He said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace. This thronging of the crowd, which Luke emphasizes so strongly, was taken advantage of by a certain woman. She had been in the sickness of a flux of blood, surrounded by this misery, for the space of twelve years. This issue rendered her Levitically unclean, Lev. 15, 25-30, and deprived her of many of the rights and privileges of the other members of the congregation. She had made every effort to be cured, to the extent of giving up to the doctors, expending upon physicians, all her living, all her means. And yet, as even Luke the physician writes, she could not be healed of any of them. A true picture of human misery and helplessness! This woman, coming from behind in the crowd, touched the hem or tassel of Christ's mantle, which He wore according to Jewish custom. This was not an act of superstition, but of faith. Her humility and sensitiveness merely kept her from making her condition public. And her faith was rewarded: at once the flow of blood was stopped, the healing was complete. Jesus, who, of course, was perfectly aware of the entire incident, determined to test the woman. Turning around, He asked who had touched Him. The remark was addressed chiefly to the disciples, and they, and the others near them, denied any willful jolting. And, upon second thought, Peter, acting as spokesman for the rest, reminded the Lord that He was hemmed in and squeezed by the crowds on all sides, therefore the question seemed strange. But Jesus, with His object in mind, insisted that some one had deliberately and intentionally touched Him. Then the woman saw that her secret was no secret before Christ, and therefore she came and confessed the entire matter fully. And with happy heart she dwelt upon the fact of her having been cured at once, when the virtue had gone out from Him, as He had said, when the divine, miraculous power was given by Jesus as a reward of her faith. Hereupon Jesus, ever kind and sympathetic, gave her the further assurance that her faith had brought her the priceless boon of health. He takes great pleasure in commending again and again the qualities of faith, by which it is able to do such great things. Her health was a reward of grace for the firmness of her trust. She should not fear or be uneasy in her mind over the incident, but go to her home in peace. Note: Such faith is needed in the Church and in its individual members even today; there is too much stereotyped sameness in the lives of the church-members in merely moving along a :broad Christian way. Victories of faith are not so frequent in our days because the conquering faith is absent.

The raising of the daughter of Jairus: V. 49. While He yet spake, there cometh one from the ruler of the synagog's house, saying to him, Thy daughter is dead; trouble not the Master. V. 50. But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, Pear not; believe only, and she shall be made whole. V. 51. And when He came into the house, He suffered no man to go in save Peter and James and John, and the father and the mother of the maiden. V. 52. And all wept, and bewailed her; but He said, "Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth. V. 53. And they laughed Him to scorn, knowing that she was dead. V. 54. And He put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise. V. 55. And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway/ and He commanded to give her meat. V. 56. And her parents were astonished; but He charged them that they should tell no man what was done. The matter with the woman had delayed Jesus for some time, and this was altogether in line with His plans. For now one of the servants of the ruler of the synagog came and told Jairus that his daughter had really died, adding that he should no longer vex the Master, should in no way bother Him any more. All help was now too late. But Jesus wanted to strengthen the faith of the distracted father, and therefore calmly told him: Fear not, only believe. Mistrust, suspicion, fear is an enemy of faith. For faith demands a trust with all the heart, with all the soul, and with all the mind. Even when the last breath has been drawn and one of our loved ones lies quiet in death, even then trust must not be thrown away. Faith reaches beyond the grave. In the house of Jairus everything was in commotion. The official mourners had arrived as early as this and were making the day hideous with their noises, with their weeping and wailing. And when Jesus sternly bade them desist from their weeping, they called out to Him in derision, knowing that the girl had really died. But Jesus cleared the house, taking only the parents and three of His disciples into the room where the child lay dead. He there took hold of her hand, saying, at the same time, in the Aramaic language: Maid, arise. And at once her spirit, which had left her body, returned to her. She could get up immediately. She was returned to complete health. She needed food, probably having been without it for some time during the sickness, and she was able to take it. The parents were extremely amazed at the miracle which was done before their eyes to their beloved daughter. But Christ retained His calm manner, merely impressing upon them the necessity of keeping the fact for themselves. He wanted no advertising of this miracle, especially not at this time. Jesus of Nazareth has life in Himself and gives it to whomsoever He will. With His human voice He called back this girl from death. The human nature of Christ possesses the full powers of life also in the state of humiliation. Therefore we have in Jesus, the Savior, a Lord that can and does deliver from death. When Christ, our Life, will be revealed on that Great Day, then He, by His almighty voice, will call us and all the dead out of the grave, and will give to all believers in Him eternal, glorious life.

Summary. Jesus, continuing His ministry in Galilee, teaches in parables, calms the storm on the sea, heals a demoniac in the country of the Gadarenes, cures the woman with an issue, and raises the daughter of Jairus.