Monday, December 3, 2012

Luke 8

There is a lot to be said for chapter 8: Several things stand out. The first is the parable of the sower (4-15). Not everyone who hears the good news about Jesus Christ will be able to respond or be able to follow through. The life that Jesus calls us to is counter cultural and different from the life the world has to offer. This Christ life is a life that lives in the world but by different values. It is a little like being asked to live in foreign country but to live according to rules and values different than what is around you. This life causes friction. Some are choked off by that friction, others by cares and riches and pleasure and, therefore, never mature. The goal of the Christian ministry is to raise up disciples of Jesus Christ to bring us to maturity. In the church we are aware that some are still stuck on the rocks, others are tangled in the weeds -- we still love and are in ministry with where ever we are on the journey. Some on the rocks and in the weeds will allow for transplanting to better soil -- we do that. Others just need care on the journey.

Notice in verses 22-25 that Jesus calms the physical storm outside of the disciples. Then notice that in 26-39 Jesus calms the very profound storm that is inside of the Gerasene demoniac. Both storms are real both storms are deadly. The storm on the lake could lead to the boat sinking and the people drowning. The storm called "legion" in the man has led to violence and the destruction of an individual. Jesus heals both. Someone once said that Jesus will either calm the storm in his child or the storm the child is in. Either way Jesus brings peace and help to all of us.

The chapter ends with the story of the healing of the woman with the issue of blood and raising of Jarius' daughter. Notice, once again, the two stories held in tension and contrast. In the one case the woman, because of the bleeding has been considered "unclean" and has been cut off from her community and spiritual life. Jairus' daughter has been cut off from physical life. We see the stories in juxtaposition and are reminded that Jesus is the bringer of life. He restores us physically, relationally and spiritually.

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