A. The parable of the soils.
1. (1-3) Women who ministered to Jesus.
Now it came to pass, afterward, that He went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with Him, and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities; Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who provided for Him from their substance.
a. He went through every city and village: This is often thought to be the second tour of Jesus through the region of Galilee (the first being described in Luke 4:42-44). Jesus probably went to the same cities and villages more than once in His itinerant preaching work.
i. On this second tour, the twelve were with Him. When He started the first tour of Galilee, the twelve disciples had not yet been formally chosen.
b. Preaching and bringing glad tidings: This broadly described the theme of Jesus’ preaching. He brought good news to the people, news that God’s Messiah and King was present with them, announcing His kingdom.
c. And certain women: Luke specifically mentioned certain women who followed Jesus, because this was unusual. Jesus had a different attitude towards women than the religious leaders and teachers of that day.
i. “The rabbis refused to teach women and generally assigned them a very inferior place.” (Morris) It’s interesting to note that in the four Gospels, all of Jesus’ enemies were men.
ii. One of these women was Mary called Magdalene. This Mary had been demon possessed until Jesus freed her. Many also assume that she was given over to immorality, but this isn’t said by the Biblical text. “The Christian imagination has made free with Mary Magdalene, mostly seeing her as a beautiful woman whom Jesus had saved from an immoral life. There is nothing whatever in the sources to indicate this.” (Morris)
iii. Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward: “Herod’s epitropos. A king had many prerequisites and much private property; his epitropos was the official that looked after the king’s financial interests…There could be no more trusted and important official.” (Barclay)
iv. “It is an amazing thing to find Mary Magdalene, with the dark past, and Joanna, the lady of the court, in the one company.” (Barclay)
v. Mary and Joanna were among the first witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection (Luke 24:10).
d. And many others who provided for Him from their substance: We see the true humble nature of Jesus, who willingly made Himself dependent upon others. He didn’t have to; He could have just created all the money or food He needed. Jesus was humble enough and godly enough to receive from others.
i. Many of us are too proud to receive help from others. Sometimes the ability to humbly receive is a better measure of Jesus in our life than the ability to give. Giving sometimes puts us in a higher place but receiving may put us in a lower place.
ii. “The term used of the women’s support of Jesus’ mission is diakonia, probably because it anticipated the office of deacon, especially the deaconess, created in the early church.” (Pate)
2. (4-8) The parable of the soils.
And when a great multitude had gathered, and they had come to Him from every city, He spoke by a parable: “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it. Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it. But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold.” When He had said these things He cried, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
a. When a great multitude had gathered: Jesus taught large groups at one sitting. He certainly didn’t despise teaching smaller groups or even individuals, but on many occasions taught large groups. He drew crowds from every city.
i. Matthew 13:1-3 and Mark 4:1-2 tell us that this crowd was so large that Jesus taught this from a boat. The crowd pressed in on the shore, and Jesus could use the boat as an effective pulpit.
b. He spoke by a parable: The idea behind the word parable is “to throw alongside of.” It is a story thrown alongside the truth intended to teach. Parables have been called “earthly stories with a heavenly meaning.”
i. “The Greek parabole is wider than our ‘parable’; in the LXX it translates masal, which includes proverbs, riddles and wise sayings as well as parables. Matthew uses it for instance for Jesus’ cryptic saying about defilement (Matthew 15:10-11, 15), and in Matthew 24:32 (‘lesson’) it indicates a comparison.” (France)
ii. “It had a double advantage upon their hearers: first, upon their memory, we being very apt to remember stories. Second, upon their minds, to put them upon studying the meaning of what they heard so delivered.” (Poole)
iii. Parables generally teach one main point or principle. We can get into trouble by expecting that they be intricate systems of theology, with the smallest detail revealing hidden truths. “A parable is not an allegory; an allegory is a story in which every possible detail has an inner meaning; but an allegory has to be read and studied; a parable is heard. We must be very careful not to make allegories of the parables.” (Barclay)
c. A sower went out to sow his seed: Jesus spoke according to the agricultural customs of His day. In those days, seed was scattered first and then it was plowed into the ground. For the most part, you didn’t know the quality of the precise piece of ground until after the sowing.
d. As he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside… some fell on rock… some fell among thorns… others fell on good ground: In this parable the seed fell on four different types of soil. Though this is commonly called the parable of the sower, it could be better called the parable of the soils. The difference is never the seed, but on the kind of soil it lands on.
i. The wayside was the path where people walked, and nothing could grow because the ground was too hard.
ii. On rock was where the soil was thin, lying upon a stony shelf. On this ground the seed sprang up quickly because of the warmth of the soil, but the seed was unable to take root because of the rocky shelf.
iii. Among thorns described soil that is fertile – perhaps too fertile, because thorns grow there as well as grain. The thorns choked out the good grain and did not make a productive crop.
iv. Good ground described soil that was both fertile and weed-free. A good, productive crop grew in the good ground. The crop may be a hundredfold increase to what was sown.
e. He who has ears to hear, let him hear: This was a not a call for all to listen. Rather, it was a call for those who were spiritually sensitive to take special note. This was especially true in light of the next few verses, in which Jesus explained the purpose of parables.
3. (9-10) The purpose of parables.
Then His disciples asked Him, saying, “What does this parable mean?” And He said, “To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that ‘Seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.’”
a. What does this parable mean? The meaning of this parable wasn’t immediately obvious to the disciples. Apparently, Jesus’ use of parables wasn’t as easy as simple illustrations of spiritual truth.
b. To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables: As Jesus used them, parables were more like puzzles or riddles than illustrations. Only those who had the right “key” could understand them. The disciples, who wanted the things of God, were given to know the mysteries of the kingdom – they could be spoken to plainly. But often, others were taught in parables.
i. The mysteries of the kingdom of God: In the Bible, a mystery isn’t something you can’t figure out. It is something that you would never know unless God revealed it to you. In the Biblical sense, one might know what the mystery is; yet it is still a mystery because they would not have known unless God revealed it.
c. Seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand: By quoting this passage from Isaiah 6:9, Jesus explained that His parables were not illustrations making difficult things clear to all who heard. They were a way of presenting God’s message so those who were spiritually sensitive could understand, but the hardened would merely hear a story without heaping up additional condemnation for rejecting God’s Word.
i. A parable isn’t exactly an illustration. A good teacher can illustrate by stating a truth, and then illustrating the truth through a story or an analogy. But when Jesus used parables, He didn’t start by stating a truth. Instead, the parable was like a doorway. Jesus’ listeners stood at the doorway and heard Him. If they were not interested, they stayed on the outside. But if they were interested, they could walk through the doorway, and think more about the truth behind the parable and what it meant to their life.
ii. “So, that their guilt may not accumulate, the Lord no longer addresses them directly in explicit teachings during the period immediately preceding His crucifixion, but in parables.” (Geldenhuys)
iii. If you don’t understand the key to the parable, you don’t understand it at all. We can imagine what different people in Jesus’ audience might have thought when He taught this parable with no explanation.
· The farmer thought, “He’s telling me that I have to be more careful in the way I cast my seed. I guess I have wasted an awful lot.”
· The politician thought, “He’s telling me that I need to begin a farm education program to help farmers more efficiently cast their seed. This will be a big boost in my reelection campaign.”
· The newspaper reporter thought, “He’s telling me that there is a big story here about the bird problem and how it affects the farming community. That’s a great idea for a series in the newspaper.”
· The salesman thought, “He’s encouraging me in my fertilizer sales. Why, I could help that farmer more than he knows if he only used my product.”
iv. But none of them could understand the spiritual meaning until Jesus explained the key to them: The seed is the word of God (Luke 8:11). If you miss the key, you miss the whole parable. If you think the seed represent money, you miss the parable. If you think the seed represents love, you miss the parable. If you think the seed represents hard work, you miss the parable. You can only understand it by understanding the key: The seed is the word of God.
d. Seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand: In light of this, how blessed are those who do understand the parables of Jesus. Not only do they gain the benefit of the spiritual truth illustrated; they also display some measure of responsiveness to the Holy Spirit.
4. (11-15) Jesus explains the parable.
“Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.”
a. The seed is the word of God: Jesus likened the word of God (we could say both spoken and written) to be like seed. A seed has enormous power in itself for the generation of life and usefulness, if it is received (planted) in the right conditions.
i. The idea that the seed is the word of God is repeated in the Bible. Paul used the idea in 1 Corinthians 3:6, and Peter wrote that we have been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever (1 Peter 1:23).
ii. “The preacher of the gospel is like the sower. He does not make his seed; it is given him by his divine Master. No man could create the smallest grain that ever grew upon the earth, much less the celestial seed of eternal life.” (Spurgeon)
b. Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved: As the birds devoured the seed on the wayside (Luke 8:5), so some receive the word with hardened hearts and the wicked one quickly takes away the sown word. The word has no effect because it never penetrates and is quickly taken away.
i. The wayside soil represented those who never heard the word with understanding. The word of God must be understood before it can truly bear fruit. One of Satan’s chief works is to keep men in darkness regarding their understanding of the gospel (2 Corinthians 4:3-4).
ii. This tells us that Satan is at work during the teaching and preaching of God’s word. Satan seems to believe in the power of God’s word more than many preachers do; he knows that when it is taught or preached, he needs to be busy against it.
iii. Then comes the devil; he is punctual in his work. The devil knows just the right time to come during preaching. He knows how to bring a distraction of some kind at just the right moment – or actually, the wrong moment. Sometimes the preacher himself provides opportunities for distraction. Sometimes accidentally a word or a story in the sermon triggers a distracting association. Sometimes the mind fills with yesterday’s and tomorrow’s checklist, or the after-church activities. Sometimes a cute child or clever whispered remark from the congregation does the job.
iv. The devil comes and takes the word; Jesus said that he actually does it, not only that he tries to do it. In this regard, the devil has power. He sees, he comes, and he conquers. If it were not for the opposing work of the Holy Spirit, nothing would happen at the preaching of the word.
v. Takes the word also shows the devil’s purpose. He is actually a pretty good theologian, and he knows that faith and salvation come to people who hear the word of God. He works hard to keep salvation and spiritual strength from those who might otherwise hear to good effect.
vi. Satan’s strategy gives some wisdom to us if we will receive it – that if a heart does stay in contact with the word of God, there is a good chance that repentance and faith will come forth.
c. But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away: As seed falling on the thin soil on top of the rocky places quickly springs up and then quickly withers and dies (Luke 8:6), so some respond to the word with immediate enthusiasm yet soon wither away.
i. They had good seed, they had a warm environment, they had a joyful reception of the word, and they received it eagerly. None of those things were the problem; they failed because the seed lacked moisture (Luke 8:6) and therefore had no root to endure the time of temptation.
ii. There was something that they did not have in connection with the spirit of God, who waters the word. “When we speak of spiritual dew, we refer to the operation of the Holy Spirit. When we talk of the river of the water of life, we mean those sacred things which come streaming down to us from the throne of God through the working of the Spirit of God.” (Spurgeon)
iii. Spurgeon detailed some indications of this lack of moisture:
· Doctrine without feeling.
· Experience without humiliation.
· Practice without heart-love.
· Faith without repentance.
· Confidence without reservation.
· Action without spirituality.
· Zeal without communion.
iv. “We need the Holy Spirit; and if the Lord does not water us daily from the living springs on the hilltops of glory, we shall certainly die. So take heed, brothers and sisters, that you do not lack the moisture of the Holy Spirit’s gracious influence.” (Spurgeon)
d. Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity: As seed falling among thorns would grow the stalks of grain among the thorns yet soon be choked out (Luke 8:7), so some respond to the word and grow for a while, but are choked and stopped in their spiritual growth by competition from unspiritual things.
i. This soil represented fertile ground for the word; but the soil was too fertile because it also grew all sorts of other things that choked out the word of God. Namely, it grew the cares, riches, and pleasures of life.
e. The ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience: Some people are like the good ground, and receive the word with a good and noble heart. They keep the word, and thus bear fruit, thus fulfilling the purpose of the seed.
i. This soil represented those who received the word, and it brought forth fruit in their soil, and in generous proportion (Luke 8:8).
f. Bear fruit with patience: Obviously, this is the desired outcome, for both the farmer and the preacher. Yet it is wrong to receive this parable fatalistically, as if one said, “That’s just the kind of soil you are or I am.” Instead this parable is a challenge for every listener to, with God’s help, cultivate the soil of their heart so that the good word of God has the best effect in their life.
i. We benefit from seeing bits of ourselves in all four soils.
· Like the wayside, sometimes we allow the word no room at all in our lives.
· Like the stony places, we sometimes have flashes of enthusiasm in receiving the word that quickly burn out.
· Like the soil among thorns, the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches are constantly threatening to choke out God’s word and our fruitfulness.
· Like the good ground, the word bears fruit in our lives.
ii. We notice that the difference in each category was with the soil itself. The sower cast the same seed. You could not blame the differences in results on the sower or on the seed, but only on the soil. “O my dear hearers, you undergo a test today! Peradventure you will be judging the preacher, but a greater than the preacher will be judging you, for the Word itself shall judge you.” (Spurgeon)
iii. The parable was also an encouragement to the disciples. Even though it might seem that few respond, God is in control and the harvest will certainly come. This was especially meaningful in light of the rising opposition to Jesus. “Not all will respond, but there will be some who do, and the harvest will be rich.” (France)
iv. Even more than describing the mixed progress of the gospel message, the parable of the sower compels the listener to ask, “What kind of soil am I? How can I prepare my heart and mind to be the right kind of soil?” This parable invites action so that we will receive the word of God to full benefit.
B. The responsibility of those who receive the word.
1. (16-17) Those who receive the word are responsible to expose and publish the truth – that is, the word of God.
“No one, when he has lit a lamp, covers it with a vessel or puts it under a bed, but sets it on a lampstand, that those who enter may see the light. For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light.”
a. No one, when he has lit a lamp, covers it with a vessel or puts it under a bed, but sets it on a lampstand: Truth, by its nature is meant to be revealed; and God promised that it will be (nothing is secret that will not be revealed).
b. That those who enter may see the light: If you have the truth of God, you have a solemn responsibility to spread that truth in whatever way God gives you opportunity, even as someone who has the cure for a life-threatening disease has the moral responsibility to spread that cure. God didn’t light your lamp so that it would be hidden.
i. One must either spread the word itself or spread the influence of God’s word by bringing others to a place where they will hear it. It’s best to do both.
2. (18) Those who receive the word become accountable; so we must take care how we hear.
“Therefore take heed how you hear. For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken from him.”
a. Therefore take heed how you hear: It’s good to hear the word of God; it’s much better to take heed to how you hear. In this, Jesus warned His listeners to actively prepare the soil of their heart and mind, to judge themselves as hearers at least as much as they judge the preacher.
i. It is dangerous to hear God’s word in a too-passive way; without engaging the word with the mind, the heart, and the will. To be hearers only of the word, and not to be also doers of the word, means destruction (Luke 6:49).
ii. In his sermon titled Heedful Hearing, Charles Spurgeon suggested some ways to heedfully hear the word of God:
· Hear attentively, retentively.
· Hear believingly, obediently.
· Hear candidly, honestly.
· Hear devoutly, sincerely.
· Hear earnestly, spiritually.
· Hear feelingly, sensitively.
· Hear gratefully, prayerfully.
b. For whoever has, to him more will be given: When we hear the word of God, and receive it with gladness, more will be given to us from God’s spiritual riches.
i. More will be given: More what? More desire to hear. More understanding of what you hear. More personal possession of the blessings you hear about.
ii. More will be given: Jesus reminds us that spiritual growth follows momentum, positive or negative. When we have the godly habits of receiving the word and living it, more is built on to that. When we lose those godly habits, they are extremely difficult to get back.
c. Even what he seems to have: Sometimes what people think they have spiritually, they only seem to have. The Pharisees were like this; so was the church at Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-22). The Laodiceans said of themselves, “We are rich, wealthy, and need nothing”; but they did not know that they were actually wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.
3. (19-21) We show that we are close to Jesus by hearing and obeying His word.
Then His mother and brothers came to Him, and could not approach Him because of the crowd. And it was told Him by some, who said, “Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see You.” But He answered and said to them, “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.”
a. Then His mother and brothers came to Him, and could not approach Him because of the crowd: We might have expected that Jesus’ family would have special privileges before Him; it almost surprises us that they do not.
i. The brothers of Jesus never seemed to be supportive of His ministry before His death and resurrection (John 7:5, Mark 3:21).
b. Brothers… brothers… brothers: Jesus plainly had many brothers and sisters. The Roman Catholic idea of the perpetual virginity of Mary contradicts the plain meaning of the Bible.
i. “The most natural way to understand ‘brothers’ is that the term refers to sons of Mary and Joseph and thus to brothers of Jesus on his mother’s side.” Efforts to make brothers mean something else are “nothing less than farfetched exegesis in support of a dogma that originated much later than the New Testament.” (Carson)
ii. “The erudite Catholic scholar Fitzmyer concedes this point. He writes about the supposed perpetual virginity of Mary, ‘There is no indication in the New Testament itself about Mary as aei parthenos, ‘ever virgin.’ This belief in one form or another can only be traced to the second century A.D.’” (Pate)
c. My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it: Jesus indicated that His closest family is made up of those who hear and obey God’s word. We draw close to Jesus by hearing His word and doing it. In doing so, we gain a closer relationship with Him than even a normally understood family relationship. This is a startling statement.
i. One may pray or sing or fast all day long, but if they do not hear His word and do it, they are not really drawing close to God.
ii. The repeated emphasis on the word of God is impressive. “How anyone can dream, that either praying, or government, or administering sacraments, or anything else, should be more the work of a minister of Christ than preaching, may justly amaze any thinking soul that ever read the gospel.” (Poole)
C. Jesus calms the storm.
1. (22-23) The stormy Sea of Galilee.
Now it happened, on a certain day, that He got into a boat with His disciples. And He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.” And they launched out. But as they sailed He fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water, and were in jeopardy.
a. Let us cross over to the other side of the lake: With these words, Jesus made a promise to His disciples. He didn’t say, “Let us perish in the middle of the Sea of Galilee.” He promised His disciples that they would cross over to the other side of the lake.
i. “The Lake of Galilee is 13 miles long at its longest, and 8 miles wide at its widest. At this particular part it was about 5 miles across.” (Barclay)
ii. “Jonah ended up in a storm because of his disobedience, but the disciples got into a storm because of their obedience to the Lord.” (Wiersbe)
b. As they sailed, He fell asleep: We are impressed by the fact that He needed to sleep, showing His true humanity. He became tired and would sometimes need to catch sleep wherever He was able to, even in unlikely places.
i. “It was the sleep of one worn by an intense life, involving constant strain on body and mind.” (Bruce)
ii. We are also impressed by the fact that He could sleep. His mind and heart were peaceful enough, trusting in the love and care of His Father in heaven, that He could sleep in the storm.
c. A windstorm came down on the lake: The Sea of Galilee is well known for its sudden, violent storms. The severity of this storm is evident in the fact that the disciples (many of which were experienced fishermen on this very sea) were terrified (Mark 4:40).
2. (24-25) Jesus calms the storm.
And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water. And they ceased, and there was a calm. But He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and marveled, saying to one another, “Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him!”
a. They came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” The disciples did not take comfort from the sleeping Jesus and suppose that if He were at rest, all would be fine. They needed His help, so they awoke Him.
i. “The ‘we’ in their cry ‘Master, Master, we perish,’ included Him as well as them. If that boat went down, all went with it – His mission, their hopes, and the great enterprises which He had called them into fellowship with Himself to carry out.” (Morgan)
ii. “How often we are over-anxious about the enterprises of our Lord! In the hour of storm we imagine everything is about to perish. Then He ever says to us ‘Where is your faith?’” (Morgan)
b. He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: Jesus didn’t merely quiet the wind and the sea; He rebuked the winds and the sea. This, along with the disciple’s great fear, and what Jesus would confront at their destination, gives the sense that Satan had a significant hand in this storm.
i. Adam Clarke supposed that the storm was “Probably excited by Satan, the prince of the power of the air, who, having got the author and all the preachers of the Gospel together in a small vessel, thought by drowning it, to defeat the purposes of God, and thus to prevent the salvation of a ruined world. What a noble opportunity must this have appeared to the enemy of the human race!”
c. Where is your faith? Jesus did not say, “Wow, what a storm.” Instead, He asked, “Where is your faith?”The storm could not disturb Jesus, but the unbelief of His disciples could and did.
i. Their unbelief was not in that they were afraid of a fearful circumstance, but because Jesus had said Let us go over to the other side of the lake (Luke 8:22). Jesus didn’t say, “Let’s do the best we can and maybe we will all drown.”
ii. Difficult circumstances – storms, so to speak – are not evidence of unbelief. Unbelief is the rejection of a promise or a command of God relevant to a particular situation.
iii. The disciples also should have known that God would not allow the Messiah to perish in a boat crossing the Sea of Galilee. It was not possible for the story of Jesus the Messiah to end with Him drowning in the Sea of Galilee.
iv. This account shows the abiding care Jesus has for His people. “There are many Christians today who seem to think the boat is going down! I am tired of the wailing of some of my friends who take that view. The boat cannot go down. Jesus is on board.” (Morgan)
d. And they were afraid, and marveled: The total calm of the sea should have filled them with peace, but instead, they were just as afraid when He calmed the storm as when they were in the midst of the storm.
i. The disciples were amazed. Such a powerful display over creation led them to ask, “Who can this be?” It could only be the LORD, Jehovah, who only has this power and authority: O LORD God of hosts, who is mighty like You, O LORD? Your faithfulness surrounds You. You rule the raging of the sea; when waves rise, You still them. (Psalm 89:8-9)
ii. In the span of a few moments, the disciples saw both the complete humanity of Jesus (in His tired sleep) and the fullness of His deity. They saw Jesus for who He is: truly man and truly God.
D. The deliverance of the Gadarene demoniac.
1. (26-29) Description of the demon possessed man.
Then they sailed to the country of the Gadarenes, which is opposite Galilee. And when He stepped out on the land, there met Him a certain man from the city who had demons for a long time. And he wore no clothes, nor did he live in a house but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out, fell down before Him, and with a loud voice said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me!” For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For it had often seized him, and he was kept under guard, bound with chains and shackles; and he broke the bonds and was driven by the demon into the wilderness.
a. To the country of the Gadarenes: By most estimates, this was on the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee, in the mostly Gentile area of the Decapolis, the Gentile cities of the broader region.
b. There met Him a certain man from the city who had demons for a long time: This is the most detailed description of a demon possessed man we have in the Bible. It is the classic profile of demonic possession.
· The man had been demon possessed for a long time.
· The man wore no clothes and lived more like a wild animal than a human being (nor did he live in a house…driven by the demon into the wilderness).
· The man lived among the decaying and dead, contrary to Jewish law and human instinct (in the tombs).
· The man had supernatural strength (broke the bonds).
· The man was tormented and self-destructive (crying out and cutting himself with stones, Mark 5:5).
· The man had uncontrollable behavior (neither could anyone tame him, Mark 5:4).
i. Strangely, some Christians think the Holy Spirit works in a similar way; by overwhelming the operations of the body, and making one do strange and grotesque things.
ii. We can be sure that he did not start out this way. At one time this man lived among others in the village. But his own irrational, wild behavior convinced the villagers that he was demon possessed, or at least insane. They bound him with chains to keep him from hurting others, but he broke the chains time and again. Finally, they drove him out of town and he lived in the village cemetery, a madman among the tombs, hurting the only person he could – himself.
iii. Driven by the demon: “As a horse is by his rider (so the word signifieth) or a ship with oars.” (Trapp)
c. There met Him a certain man: This means that Jesus did not directly seek out this man, but the man was drawn to Jesus.
d. He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man: The man could not, or would not deliver himself, but Jesus had all authority over the unclean spirit.
e. What have I to do with You… I beg You, do not torment me! This was the demonic spirit within the possessed man, not the man himself. The demon did not want to leave the body he inhabited.
i. Demonic possession is when a demonic spirit resides in a human body, and at times will exhibit its own personality through the personality of the host body. Demonic possession is a reality today, though we must guard against either ignoring demonic activity or over-emphasizing supposed demonic activity.
ii. We are not told specifically how a person becomes demon possessed, other than the inference that it must be by some sort of invitation, whether offered knowingly or not.
iii. Superstition, fortunetelling, so-called harmless occult games and practices, spiritism, New Age deception, magic, drug taking and other things open doors of deception to the believer, and real demonic danger to the unbeliever.
iv. People often get involved in the occult or demonic things because there is something there that seems to work. Unfortunately it is not something at work, but a someone at work – a demonic spirit.
v. We can say that demons want to inhabit bodies for the same reason why the vandal wants a spray can, or a violent man wants a gun – a body is a weapon that they can use in their attack against God. Demons also attack men because they hate the image of God in man, so they try to mar that image, by debasing man and making him grotesque.
vi. Demons have the same goal in Christians (to wreck the image of God) but their tactics are restricted; in regard to Christians, demonic spirits were disarmed by Jesus’ work on the cross (Colossians 2:15), though they can both deceive and intimidate Christians, binding them with fear and unbelief.
vii. I beg You, do not torment me! This was an ironic statement, because the man was constantly tormented by the demons overwhelming him in body, mind, and soul. Yet he thought that Jesus might torment him.
f. Jesus, Son of the Most High God: This is what the demons said in response to Jesus’ command to come out of the man (for He said to them, “Come out of the man”). This was one way they tried to resist the work of Jesus.
i. In the background of all this was the ancient superstition that you had spiritual power over another if you knew or said their exact name. This is why the unclean spirits addressed Jesus with this full title: Jesus, Son of the Most High God. According to the superstitions of the day, this was like a shot fired back at Jesus.
ii. Therefore, in their address of Jesus they have the right theological facts, but they don’t have the right heart. The demons inhabiting him had a kind of “faith” in Jesus. They knew the true identity of Jesus better than the religious leaders did. Yet it was not a faith or knowledge of Jesus that could save (James 2:19).
2. (30-33) Jesus demonstrates His authority over evil spirits.
Jesus asked him, saying, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion,” because many demons had entered him. And they begged Him that He would not command them to go out into the abyss. Now a herd of many swine was feeding there on the mountain. So they begged Him that He would permit them to enter them. And He permitted them. Then the demons went out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the lake and drowned.
a. What is your name? According to the customs of Jewish exorcists of that time, one had to know the name of the demon in order to gain authority over it and deliver the demon-possessed person. Yet Jesus did not use the name learned in this exchange; He had authority over demons that went far beyond current superstitions.
b. And he said, “Legion”: Jesus probably asked the name of the demon so that we would know the full extent of the problem, knowing that the man was filled with many demons not only one. We note that Legion is not a name; it was evasive, a threat, and attempt to intimidate.
i. A Roman legion usually consisted of six thousand men. This does not mean that the man was inhabited with six thousand demons, but that he had many.
ii. It is also possible that this was the demons’ attempt to intimidate Jesus. A cornered animal will often try to make itself seem larger to the predator that seeks it; these many demons may have made a massive claim in the mistaken idea that they could frighten Jesus. Legion says, “There are a lot of us, we are organized, we are unified, we are ready to fight, and we are mighty.”
iii. According to the superstitions of the day, the onlookers probably felt that the unclean spirits had the upper hand. They knew and declared a full name of Jesus. They evaded His request for their name. And finally, they hoped to frighten Jesus with their large number. But Jesus didn’t buy into these ancient superstitions at all, and easily cast the unclean spirits out of the afflicted man.
c. They begged Him that He would not command them to go out into the abyss: The demons inhabiting this man did not want to be imprisoned in the abyss, which is the bottomless pit described in Revelation 9:11. Apparently, it is some place of imprisonment for certain demonic spirits.
i. These demons did not want to become inactive. “Lo, it is another hell to the devil to be idle, or otherwise than evil-occupied.” (Trapp)
d. The demons went out of the man and entered the swine: The idea that demons may inhabit the bodies of animals seems strange, but the idea is also shown in Genesis 3. It was also appropriate that these demons be cast into swine, being non-kosher animals.
i. Notice that the demons can’t even afflict pigs without the permission of God. “Since a demon cannot enter even into a swine without being sent by God himself, how little is the power or malice of them to be dreaded by those who have God for their portion and protector!” (Clarke)
ii. “Satan would rather vex swine than do no mischief at all. He is so fond of evil that he would work it upon animals if he cannot work it upon men.” (Spurgeon)
iii. Jesus allowed this because the time of the total demonstration of His authority over demons had not yet come – it would come at the cross. Colossians 2:15 tells us that at the cross Jesus disarmed demons in their attacks on believers, He made a public spectacle of their defeat, and He triumphed over them in His work on the cross.
e. The herd ran violently down the steep place into the lake and drowned: The destructive nature of demonic spirits was shown by their effect on the swine. They were like their leader, Satan whose desire is to steal, and to kill, and to destroy (John 10:10).
i. This helps explain why Jesus allowed the demons to enter the pigs – because He wanted everyone to know what the real intention of these demons was. They wanted to destroy the man just as they destroyed the pigs. Because men are made in the image of God, they could not have their way as easily with the man, but their intention was just the same: to completely destroy him.
ii. Some think this was unfair to the owner of the pigs. “‘But the owners of the swine lost their property.’ Yes, and learn from this how small value temporal riches are in the estimation of God. He suffers them to be lost, sometimes to disengage us from them through mercy; sometimes out of justice, to punish us for having acquired or preserved them either by covetousness or injustice.” (Clarke)
iii. Spurgeon had several wise comments on the way the demons affected the swine:
· “Swine prefer death to devilry; and if men were not worse than swine, they would be of the same opinion.”
· “They run hard whom the devil drives.”
· “The devil drives his hogs to a bad market.”
3. (34-37) The reaction of the bystanders to the deliverance of the demon possessed man.
When those who fed them saw what had happened, they fled and told it in the city and in the country. Then they went out to see what had happened, and came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. They also who had seen it told them by what means he who had been demon-possessed was healed. Then the whole multitude of the surrounding region of the Gadarenes asked Him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. And He got into the boat and returned.
a. They were afraid… and they were seized with great fear: They were more afraid of a free man than a possessed man. When they saw the man in his right mind and sitting at the feet of Jesus, they were afraid.
i. Part of their fear was found in the fact that their superstitions had been shattered, and they didn’t know what to make of it all. According to their superstitions, the demons should have had the upper hand over Jesus – but they didn’t at all. They had a hard time accepting this.
b. Then the whole multitude… asked Him to depart: They didn’t seem to mind having this demon-possessed, tormented man in their midst, but they did mind having Jesus around – so they asked Him to leave – and He did!
i. The work of Jesus had unified the whole multitude, and they had all come out to meet with and to talk to Jesus; but it was not in a good way. “Here was a whole city at a prayer meeting, praying against their own blessing…Horrible was their prayer; but it was heard, and Jesus departed out of their coasts.” (Spurgeon)
ii. When people are more afraid of what Jesus will do in their lives than what Satan does at the moment, they often push Jesus away – and He may leave when asked to.
4. (38-39) The reaction of the man who had been delivered from demons.
Now the man from whom the demons had departed begged Him that he might be with Him. But Jesus sent him away, saying, “Return to your own house, and tell what great things God has done for you.” And he went his way and proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him.
a. The man from whom the demons had departed: That is a wonderful name. Perhaps for the rest of his life, this man would be called by a name that remembered the great work that Jesus did for him.
b. Begged Him that he might be with Him: First, this formerly demon-possessed man simply sat at the feet of Jesus (Luke 8:35). But then he just wanted to be with Jesus, following Him as a disciple.
i. This man didn’t only want what Jesus could do for him; the true change in his heart was shown by that he wanted Jesus Himself.
c. But Jesus sent him away: The man’s desire to follow Jesus was good, but Jesus did not allow it. Jesus knew that he had a more important ministry with his own family and community.
i. Sometimes we have a hard time understanding the ways of God. The people of the city made an evil request (asked Him to depart from them) and Jesus answered their prayer. The man from whom the demons departed made a godly request: that he might be with Him, and Jesus said “no” to that prayer.
ii. Of course, this was because this man could be a light among the people of these Gentiles cities in a way that Jesus and the disciples could not. But it was also to cure the man of any superstitions. He might have thought that he had to stay close to Jesus so the demons would not come back. “Perhaps, too, his prayer was not answered, lest his fear should have been thereby sanctioned. If he did fear, and I feel morally certain that he did, that the devils would return, then, of course, he longed to be with Christ. But Christ takes that fear from him, and as good as says to him, ‘You do not need to be near me; I have so healed that you will never be sick again.’” (Spurgeon)
iii. “So we see it is an old error and weakness for men to be too strongly conceited of Christ’s corporeal presence…Christ would not have him depend upon his bodily presence, but upon his Almighty power.” (Trapp)
d. He went his way and proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him: This was a great message to tell, and a message that every follower of Jesus should be able to preach. His story showed the value of one life to Jesus, because this was the only reason why Jesus came to this side of the Sea of Galilee. His story also showed that with Jesus, no one is beyond hope, because if this man could be changed than anyone can.
i. Jesus told him to tell what great things God has done, and the man spoke to others of what great things Jesus had done. There was no contradiction, because Jesus is God.
E. A woman healed, a girl raised from the dead.
1. (40-42) A father’s plea that Jesus would heal his only daughter.
So it was, when Jesus returned, that the multitude welcomed Him, for they were all waiting for Him. And behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue. And he fell down at Jesus’ feet and begged Him to come to his house, for he had an only daughter about twelve years of age, and she was dying. But as He went, the multitudes thronged Him.
a. The multitude welcomed Him: Jesus left the Gentile region around the Sea of Galilee, where He met the man possessed by many demons. Now He returned to the Jewish towns on the other side, and the large crowds were all waiting for Him.
b. He was a ruler of the synagogue: The ruler of the synagogue was somewhat like a modern pastor. He managed both the spiritual and the business affairs of the synagogue. Jairus came in desperation to Jesus (fell down at Jesus’ feet and begged), because his daughter was dying.
i. “As synagogue-ruler he was a lay official responsible for supervision of the building and arranging the service.” (Lane)
ii. When the centurion came to Jesus in a similar situation (Luke 7:1-10), Jesus didn’t even go to the centurion’s house to heal the servant – He simply pronounced him healed from a distance.
iii. “Everybody in Capernaum knew Jairus; but no one knew that he believed in Christ until his little daughter was at the point of death. Then he confessed it.” (Morrison)
c. But as He went: Jesus did not demand that Jairus show the same faith as the centurion did. Jesus responded to the faith that Jairus showed and went with him, as the multitudes thronged Him.
i. The ancient Greek word here translated thronged means, “almost suffocated him-so great was the throng about him.” (Clarke) The same Greek root word is used to describe the choking of the seed of the word (Luke 8:7).
2. (43-44) A woman healed of her hemorrhage.
Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any, came from behind and touched the border of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped.
a. A woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years: This woman was in a desperate condition. Her bleeding made her ceremonially and socially unclean, and this would be quite a burden to live under for 12 years.
i. According to the Jewish ideas of the time, if this woman touched anyone, she imparted her uncleanness to them, an uncleanness that would not allow them to take part in any aspect of Israel’s worship (Leviticus 15:19-31).
b. Who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed: She went to the doctors to get better, but only suffered worse and became poorer. Luke the physician knew how doctor bills could take all that you had.
i. The ancient rabbis had many different formulas to help a woman afflicted like this. “Rabbi Jochanan says: ‘Take of gum Alexandria, of alum, and of corcus hortensis, the weight of a zuzee each; let them be bruised together, and given in wine to the woman that hath an issue of blood. But if this fail, Take of Persian onions nine logs, boil them in wine, and give it to her to drink: and say, Arise from thy flux. But should this fail, Set her in a place where two ways meet, and let her hold a cup of wine in her hand; and let somebody come behind and affright her, and say, Arise from thy flux. But should this do no good.’” (Clarke)
ii. When a soul is sick today, they often go to different “doctors” and spend a great deal of time and money, and are not… healed by them. A sick soul may go to “Doctor Entertainment,” but finds no cure. They may pay a visit to “Doctor Success” but he is no help in the long run. “Doctor Pleasure,” “Doctor Self-Help,” or “Doctor Religion” can’t bring a real cure. Only “Doctor Jesus” can.
c. Came from behind and touched the border of His garment: Because this woman’s condition was embarrassing, and because she was ceremonially unclean and would be condemned for touching Jesus or even being in a pressing crowd, she wanted to do this secretly. She did not openly ask Jesus to be healed.
i. “The word ‘fringe’ [border] is the Greek word kraspedon, the Septuagint term for the tassel which male Jews were to wear on the corners of their outer garments.” (Pate)
ii. The woman approached Jesus with a degree of superstition, thinking there was power in the border of His garment. Yet there was also an element of faith because there is no evidence that Jesus had ever healed that way before.
iii. Because even though her faith had elements of err and superstition, she believed in the healing power of Jesus, and the border of His garment served as a point of contact for that faith. There are many things that we could find wrong with this woman’s faith. Yet more than anything, her faith was in Jesus, and the object of faith was much more important than the quality of faith.
d. And immediately her flow of blood stopped: According to the thinking of the day, when this unclean woman touched Jesus, it would make Him unclean. But because of the nature of Jesus and the power of God, that isn’t how it worked. When she touched His garment Jesus wasn’t made unclean, the woman was made whole. When we come to Jesus with our sin and lay it upon Him it doesn’t make Him a sinner, but it makes us clean.
3. (45-48) Jesus speaks to the healed woman.
And Jesus said, “Who touched Me?” When all denied it, Peter and those with him said, “Master, the multitudes throng and press You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’” But Jesus said, “Somebody touched Me, for I perceived power going out from Me.” Now when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before Him, she declared to Him in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched Him and how she was healed immediately. And He said to her, “Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”
a. Who touched Me? This question made no sense to the disciples. Luke told us that the multitudes thronged Him (Luke 8:42), and Jesus seemed annoyed that someone touched Him. There were people all about who pressed in on Jesus and who made some kind of contact with Him.
b. Master, the multitudes throng and press You: Peter and the disciples didn’t understand the difference between casual contact with Jesus and reaching out to touch Him in faith.
i. We can imagine someone who because of the press of the crowd bumped up against Jesus. When the woman’s miracle was revealed, they might say, “I bumped into Jesus, I touched Him – yet I was not healed.” But there is a huge difference between bumping into Jesus here and there and reaching out to touch Him in faith. You can come to church week after week and “bump into” Jesus. That isn’t the same as reaching out to touch Him in faith.
ii. “It is not every contact with Christ that saves men; it is the arousing of yourself to come near to him, the determinate, the personal, resolute, believing touch of Jesus Christ which saves.” (Spurgeon)
iii. “We may be very near Christ, and throng Him, without touching; but no one can touch Him, however lightly, without deriving the very grace needed.” (Meyer)
c. I perceived power going out from Me: When the woman touched Jesus and was immediately healed, Jesus felt something happen. Jesus had a sense that someone had just been healed.
d. The woman saw that she was not hidden: This probably means that Jesus was looking right at her when He said, “Somebody touched Me” (Mark 5:32 says, He looked around her to see her who had done this thing). The woman had to come forward, because Jesus knew who she was. He called her forward and it embarrassed her; but Jesus’ purpose was not to embarrass her, but to bless her.
i. Jesus did it so that she would know she was healed. It is true that she felt she was healed immediately, but this woman was like any other person. Soon she would begin to doubt and fear that she really was healed. She would wonder when the ailment would return. But Jesus told her “Your faith has made you whole.” Jesus called her forward so she would absolutely know that she was healed.
ii. Jesus did this so that others would know she was healed. This woman had an ailment that no one could see and that made her a public outcast. It would sound suspicious to many if she just announced that she was healed. They would think that she made it up just to be considered clean again. Jesus called her forward so others would absolutely know that she was healed, and so she declared to Him in the presence of all the people she had touched Him.
iii. Jesus did it so that she would know why she was healed. When Jesus said, “Your faith has made you well” it showed the woman that it really wasn’t touching the clothing of Jesus that healed her. Instead, it was her faith in Jesus and what He could do for her.
iv. Jesus did it because He didn’t want her to think that she stole a blessing, that she could never look Jesus in the eye again. She didn’t steal anything, she received it by faith and Jesus wanted her to know that.
v. Jesus did it so Jairus could see this woman’s faith and be encouraged regarding his daughter. Jesus called her forward to encourage someone else in faith.
vi. Jesus did it because He wanted to bless her in a special way. He called her “Daughter.” Jesus never called any other person by this name. Jesus wanted her to come forth and hear this special name of tenderness. When Jesus calls us forward, it is because He has something special to give us.
vii. Jesus may ask us to do things that seem embarrassing today. He doesn’t ask us to do them just because He wants to embarrass us. There is also a higher purpose even if we can’t see it. But if avoiding embarrassment is the most important thing in our life, then pride is our god. We are more in love with ourselves and with our self-image than we are in love with Jesus.
viii. Poor Jairus! During all this, his daughter sits ill at home, her life slipping away. It must have tortured him to see Jesus take time out to minister to this woman while his daughter suffered. God is never slow, but He often seems slow to the sufferer.
4. (49-50) Jesus calls Jairus to a radical faith with a radical promise.
While He was still speaking, someone came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying to him, “Your daughter is dead. Do not trouble the Teacher.” But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, “Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well.”
a. Your daughter is dead: We can imagine how Jairus’ heart sank when he heard this. He must have thought, “I knew this took too long. I knew Jesus shouldn’t waste His time on this silly woman. Now the situation is beyond repair.”
b. But when Jesus heard it, He answered him: Jesus gave Jairus two things to do. First, He told him, do not be afraid. Second, He told him, only believe.
i. Do not be afraid: It sounds almost cruel for Jesus to say this to a man who just lost his daughter, but Jesus knew that fear and faith don’t go together. Before Jairus could really trust Jesus, he had to decide to put away fear.
ii. Only believe: Don’t try to believe and be afraid at the same time. Don’t try to believe and figure it all out. Don’t try to believe and make sense of the delay. Instead, only believe.
c. Only believe, and she will be made well: The only thing that Jairus had to believe in was Jesus’ word. Everything else told him that his daughter was gone forever. This was both the best place to be and the hardest place to be.
5. (51-56) Jesus raises the little girl from the dead.
When He came into the house, He permitted no one to go in except Peter, James, and John, and the father and mother of the girl. Now all wept and mourned for her; but He said, “Do not weep; she is not dead, but sleeping.” And they ridiculed Him, knowing that she was dead. But He put them all outside, took her by the hand and called, saying, “Little girl, arise.” Then her spirit returned, and she arose immediately. And He commanded that she be given something to eat. And her parents were astonished, but He charged them to tell no one what had happened.
a. He permitted no one to go in except Peter, James, and John: Often these three are considered the inner circle of Jesus’ disciples. Perhaps the case was that Jesus knew that He had to keep a special eye on these three.
b. All wept and mourned for her: In that day it was customary to hire professional mourners to add to the atmosphere of grief and pain at a death. But the professional mourners could only grieve superficially. They quickly turned from weeping to scornful laughter (they ridiculed Him).
i. Jesus was often mocked and ridiculed. “Men ridiculed His origin. Men ridiculed His actions. Men ridiculed His claims to be Messiah. Not in all history is there such exposure of the cruelty and bestiality of ridicule as in the mocking and taunting at the cross.” (Morrison)
ii. Probably even more than in the time of Jesus, we live in an age of mockery and ridicule, when people find it easy to use sneer and snark against anything that seems or claims to be good. “I should like to say also to those who are tempted to see only the ridiculous side of things, that perhaps in the whole gamut of the character there is nothing quite so dangerous as that… When we take to ridiculing all that is best and worthiest in others, by that very habit we destroy the power of believing in what is worthiest in ourselves.” (Morrison)
c. She is not dead, but sleeping: Jesus wasn’t out of touch with reality when He said this. He did not play make-believe. He said this because He knew a higher reality, a spiritual reality that was more certain and powerful than death itself.
d. He put them all outside: Jesus would have nothing to do with these people who don’t believe His promises. He drove them out so that they would not discourage the faith of Jairus.
i. “It was not a caprice that when Jesus Christ was ridiculed, He turned the mockers out of the miracle-chamber. That is what the Almighty always does when men and women take themselves to mocking. He shuts the door on them, so that they cannot see the miracles with which the universe is teeming, and they miss the best, because in their blind folly they have laughed the Giver of the best to scorn.” (Morrison)
e. Little girl, arise: Because Jesus is God, He can speak to the girl as if she were alive. Romans 4:17 says that God gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did. Jesus spoke to this girl with the power of God, and she was raised from the dead.
f. He commanded that she be given something to eat: Perhaps did this not only for the good of the girl, but also for her mother – to give her something to do, to ease the shock of the moment.
i. “Though she was raised to life by a miracle, she was not to be preserved by a miracle. Nature is God’s great instrument, and he delights to work by it; nor will he do any thing by his sovereign power, in the way of miracle, that can be effected by his ordinary providence.” (Clarke)
g. Her parents were astonished: Jesus didn’t fail Jairus, and He didn’t fail the woman who needed healing. But in serving both of them, He needed to stretch the faith of Jairus extra far.
i. In all this we see how the work of Jesus is different, yet the same among each individual. If Jesus can touch each need this personally, He can touch our needs the same way.
· Jairus had twelve years of sunshine (Luke 8:42) that were about to be extinguished. The woman had twelve years of agony that seemed hopeless to heal.
· Jairus was an important man, the ruler of the synagogue. The woman was a nobody. We don’t even know her name.
· Jairus was probably wealthy, because he was an important man. The woman was poor because she spent all her money on doctors.
· Jairus came publicly. The woman came secretly.
· Jairus thought Jesus had to do a lot to heal his daughter. The woman thought all she needed was to touch Jesus’ garment.
· Jesus responded to the woman immediately. Jesus responded to Jairus after a delay.
· Jairus’ daughter was healed secretly. The woman was healed publicly.
©2018 David Guzik – No distribution beyond personal use without permission