Luke 8

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Luke 8 opens with two great parables, and closes with four powerful miracles. The two parables showed the importance of being receptive and of letting your light shine. The four miracles demonstrated Jesus' power over nature (Luke 8:22-25), evil spirits (Luke 8:26-39), sickness (Luke 8:43-48), and death (Luke 8:49-56).

Ministering Women

Luke points out that several women were actively involved with the ministry of Jesus. In addition to the twelve disciples, Mary Magdalene follwed Jesus. Jesus had expelled 7 demons from Mary Magdalene (Luke 8:2). Joanna, Susanna, and many other women were helping to support Jesus from their own resources (Luke 8:3).

Luke 8 Outline

Women contribute to Jesus’ ministry
Parables by the Sea (compare with Matthew 13)
Parable of the Sower
Parable of the Lamp
Mother and brothers of Jesus seek him
Jesus calms the Sea of Galilee
Legion of demons cast out of man
Arrival in region of Gerasenes (8:22)
Jesus encounters the violent man
Demons sent into a herd of pigs
Gerasenes ask Jesus to leave
Man asks to follow Jesus
Faith rewarded in Capernaum
Jesus sails to Capernaum and is met by crowd
Jairus asks Jesus to heal his daughter
Ill woman healed when she touches Jesus
Jesus raises Jairus’ daughter back to life


Parables are short illustrations that convey spiritual lessons. They illuminate spiritual truths by placing them in an earthly context.

Parables enabled Jesus to convey lessons to his disciples while concealing the truth from unbelievers.

The Greek word for parable literally means “to place beside.” Jesus drew parallels between characters in parables and real individuals. Jesus made parallels between farmers and evangelists, fishermen and angels, shepherds and Christ, and fathers and God.

It's important to distinguish between parables and fables. Parables were based on realistic situations that could conceivably occur. Jesus presented common activities, like farming or fishing, in his parables. Listeners could relate to, and easily imagine these familiar settings.

Fables, on the other hand, often employed whimsical elements, like talking animals, which defied the natural world. Jesus did not fabricate wild stories to convey moral lessons.

Fast Facts

  • Matthew chapter 13 is the largest collection of Jesus’ parables.
  • Peter, James, and John were alone with Jesus at important times. They were with him when he raised the daughter of Jairus. They witnessed the transfiguration. And, Jesus asked them to keep watch when he prayed in Gethsemane.
  • According to Leviticus 15:19-33, the woman who was cured after touching Jesus was ceremonially unclean because of the nature of her illness.
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