Luke 8: The Sower & Other Parables

How were accommodations arranged for all the people who traveled with Jesus?

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Luke 8:1–3 After this, Jesus traveled through cities and towns, preaching the good news about the Kingdom of God. The twelve disciples were with him, and also women whose diseases had been cured and people whom he had delivered from evil spirits, including Mary Magdalene, who once had seven evil spirits, Joanna, whose husband, Chuza, was a manager for King Herod, and Susanna. There were many others who brought resources to support Jesus and his disciples.
King James
Luke 8:1–3 And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him, and certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils, and Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance.

How much of the harvest is the sower responsible for?

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Luke 8:4–8 When a large crowd had gathered from many towns, Jesus gave this illustration: “A farmer went to sow his seeds in the field. As he scattered the seeds, some fell on the road, where they were trampled and were eaten by the birds. Some fell on rocky ground, where the plants sprang up but soon wilted for lack of moisture. Some seeds fell among thorny weeds that grew more quickly and choked out the tender plants. Other seeds fell on fertile soil and became healthy plants, producing a hundred times the amount of seed sown. If you have ears, pay attention to what I am saying.”
King James
Luke 8:4–8 And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable: A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. 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.

Why did the disciples have to ask what Jesus’ story meant?

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Luke 8:9–15 His disciples asked what the illustration meant.
Jesus said, “I have given you insights into the mysteries of the Kingdom of God, but others have only the stories. With open eyes, they choose to see nothing. They hear with their ears but do not want to understand. This is what the illustration means: The seed is the word of God. The seeds that fell on the road are people who hear the Kingdom message but do not understand. The devil takes away the seed that was planted in their hearts and prevents them from believing and being saved. The seeds that fell on rocky ground are those who hear the message and eagerly accept it, but their roots are shallow. In times of temptation, they forsake their faith. The seeds that fell among thorny weeds are the people who allow the worries of this life and the enticement of wealth and the pleasures of this life to choke the message, so no fruit is produced. The seeds that fell on fertile soil are the people who hear, understand, and act on God’s word, in patience yielding a huge harvest.”
King James
Luke 8:9–15 And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be? 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. Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. 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. 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. 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.

If hiding our light is an absurd concept, why do Christians sometimes struggle with giving their testimony?

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Luke 8:16 “Is a lighted lamp ever put under a basket or couch? No, it is always placed where its light will shine.”
King James
Luke 8:16 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.

Of what comfort is knowing that all secrets will one day be revealed? Why might that truth be disturbing?

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Luke 8:17 “Everything hidden will one day be revealed, and all secrets will be brought to light.”
King James
Luke 8:17 For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.

What is the difference between ‘hearing” and “listening”? How do people avoid hearing? Why don’t they always listen?

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Luke 8:18 “Believe me, because more knowledge will be given to those who listen carefully. But those who are not listening will lose what little understanding they have.”
King James
Luke 8:18 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.

Why were Jesus’ mother and brothers trying to reach Jesus?

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Luke 8:19–20 Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived outside the house but could not reach Jesus because of the crowd.
Someone said, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, asking for you.”
King James
Luke 8:19–20 Then came to him his mother and his brethren, and could not come at him for the press. And it was told him by certain which said, Thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to see thee.

Was Jesus saying that his blood relatives were unimportant? What was he saying?

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Luke 8:21 Jesus said, “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and do it.”
King James
Luke 8:21 And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.

Was Jesus sleeping in the boat a common or rare occurrence? Why?

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Luke 8:22–23 One day, Jesus got into a boat with his disciples, saying, “Let’s cross over to the other side of the lake.”
So they left.
Under smooth sailing, Jesus went to sleep.
Soon afterward, a violent wind struck the lake, so the boat was nearly swamped by large waves crashing over the side.
King James
Luke 8:22–23 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. 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.

If the wind and waves were violent enough for fishermen to fear drowning, how could Jesus be asleep?

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Luke 8:24 His disciples woke him, shouting, “Teacher. Teacher! Help us or we are going to drown.” Standing, Jesus ordered the wind and waves to be still. Suddenly, the wind died and the waters became calm.
King James
Luke 8:24 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.

How did the disciples respond to Jesus’ reprimand for their lack of faith?

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Luke 8:25 “Where is your faith?” he said.
The disciples looked at one another with amazement. “What sort of man is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him.”
King James
Luke 8:25 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.

Why was the possessed man homeless and naked?

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Luke 8:26–27 After crossing the lake, Jesus and the disciples came to the region of the Gadarenes, near Galilee.
As Jesus climbed out of the boat, he was met by a man from town who was possessed by evil spirits.
For a long time, the man had been homeless and naked, living among the tombs.
King James
Luke 8:26–27 And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee. And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs.

If the man feared torment from Jesus, why did he kneel before him?

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Luke 8:28–29 When he saw Jesus, he screamed and kneeled before him. “What do you want with me,” he screamed, “Jesus, Son of God? I beg you, do not torment me.”
Jesus had already commanded the evil spirit to come out of the man.
Many times, the spirit had grabbed hold of the man. He had been bound with shackles and chains, but he always broke free and ran into the wilderness, under the evil spirit’s control.
King James
Luke 8:28–29 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. (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.)

Why did Jesus ask the man’s name? How many evil spirits were there?

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Luke 8:30 “What is your name?” Jesus said.
The man said, “My name is Legion, because there are so many of us.”
King James
Luke 8:30 And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him.

How did the evil spirits know they could be sent to the bottomless pit?

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Luke 8:31 And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him.
King James
Luke 8:31 And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep.

After leaving the man, where did the evil spirits wind up?

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Luke 8:32–33 A large herd of pigs was feeding on the hillside.
The spirits said, “Send us to the pigs that we may enter them.”
And Jesus said, “Go!”
They came out of the man and entered the pigs. Suddenly, the whole herd stampeded down the steep bank, plunged into the water, and drowned.
King James
Luke 8:32–33 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. 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.

How does the value of the delivered man compare with the value of so many pigs?

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Luke 8:34 The herdsmen ran into town and countryside and told what had happened, how the man had been delivered and the pigs were lost.
King James
Luke 8:34 When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country.

Where did the man sitting at Jesus’ feet get the clothes he was wearing?

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Luke 8:35 The people rushed out to see for themselves. When they saw the man who had been possessed, sitting at Jesus’ feet, clothed and in his right mind, they were frightened.
King James
Luke 8:35 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.

What concerns did the eyewitnesses have?

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Luke 8:36–37 All the eyewitnesses repeated what they had seen happen to the man and the pigs. The whole crowd of Gadarenes begged Jesus to leave their country because they were overcome with fear. So Jesus returned to his boat.
King James
Luke 8:36–37 They also which saw it told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed. 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.

We have no other record of Jesus refusing a request to follow him, but in this case, he did. Why?

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Luke 8:38–39 The man who had been possessed begged to go along, but Jesus said, “No. Go home to your people and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you.”
So the man left and spread the word throughout the region, telling what Jesus had done.
Everyone was amazed.
King James
Luke 8:38–39 Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying, Return to thine own house, and shew 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.

What did the delivered man say that amazed everyone he talked to? How might he have been received by those who had begged Jesus to leave?

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Luke 8:39 “Go home to your people and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you.”
So the man left and spread the word throughout the region, telling what Jesus had done.
Everyone was amazed.
King James
Luke 8:39 Return to thine own house, and shew 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.

How did the crowd know that Jesus was coming?

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Luke 8:40 When Jesus returned to the other side of Galilee, a crowd welcomed him. People had been waiting for his arrival.
King James
Luke 8:40 And it came to pass, that, when Jesus was returned, the people gladly received him: for they were all waiting for him.

Why was Jairus so eager for Jesus to come to his house?

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Luke 8:41–42 A synagogue official named Jairus came, knelt before him, and begged him to come to his house. His only daughter, about twelve years old, was at home, dying.
On the way to Jairus’s home, a crowd of followers pressed in on Jesus.
King James
Luke 8:41–42 And, behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue: and he fell down at Jesus’ feet, and besought him that he would come into his house: For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as he went the people thronged him.

Why did the woman think she would be healed if she could just touch Jesus robe?

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Luke 8:43–44 A woman who had suffered twelve years from constant bleeding and had spent all her money on physicians had been unable to find a cure. She came through the crowd from behind and touched the fringe of his robe. Immediately, her bleeding stopped.
King James
Luke 8:43–44 And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched.

Compared to others who had bumped into him, what different feeling did Jesus have when the woman touched only his garment?

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Luke 8:45–46 “Who touched me?” Jesus said.
When no one admitted it, Simon Peter said, “Master, what are you talking about? All along the way, people have been pushing against you and touching you. Why are you asking, ‘Who touched me?'”
“Someone touched me,” Jesus said. “I felt power go out from me.”
King James
Luke 8:45–46 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? And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.

Why was the woman afraid to tell Jesus what happened?

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Luke 8:47 When the woman realized she could not hide, she trembled with fear as she fell at Jesus’ feet and told him what had happened.
King James
Luke 8:47 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.

How did the woman’s faith cause her to be made well?

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Luke 8:48 “Daughter,” Jesus said, “your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”
King James
Luke 8:48 And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.

Why did the messengers think Jesus was no longer needed?

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Luke 8:49 While Jesus was still speaking, men came from the house and said to Jairus, “Your daughter has died. There is no need to trouble the teacher anymore.”
King James
Luke 8:49 While he yet spake, there cometh one from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying to him, Thy daughter is dead; trouble not the Master.

How did Jesus know that Jairus’s daughter would be all right? What did Jairus think about that assurance?

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Luke 8:50 Overhearing, Jesus said to Jairus, “Do not worry. She will be all right. Trust me.”
King James
Luke 8:50 But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.

Why did Jesus limit the number of people who could be present in the house?

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Luke 8:51 At the house, Jesus allowed no one to go in except Simon Peter, James, John, and the child’s parents.
King James
Luke 8:51 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.

Was the child dead, or did people just think she was dead? Why?

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Luke 8:52–55 To those who were crying and mourning the child’s death, Jesus said, “Do not cry. The child is not dead. She’s asleep.”
They laughed and said he was crazy, because they knew she was dead.
Taking the girl by the hand, he said, “Little girl, rise up.”
At that moment, life returned to her body. She got up, and Jesus said, “Give her something to eat.”
King James
Luke 8:52–55 And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead. And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise. And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and he commanded to give her meat.

How well do you think the girl’s parents kept secret what had happened?

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Luke 8:56 The parents were amazed, but Jesus ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.
King James
Luke 8:56 And her parents were astonished: but he charged them that they should tell no man what was done.