The major theme of Luke 8 is just the same as that of Luke 7, almost every incidence or teaching or story in this chapter bothers on the subject of faith! We have the parable of the sower which is a focus on the seed of the word of God! And strong faith as we have come to know is rooted in the power of the word. Our depth in the word determines the strength of our faith!
While Jesus was still teaching this some men came to let him know his family was looking for him. The master came up with a response that shows how faith in God's word brings us into God's family!
"And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it" Luke 8:21 KJV
Faith is what brings us into a spiritual relationship with God and brings us into God's family!
From here on it was the disciples and the master facing the storm, and once again the question of faith came up again! The chapter progresses from here till the end showcasing a lot of the master's miracle which all came by faith. Notably was that of the woman with the issue of blood who came in the press behind and touch Jesus by faith and the touch of faith provoked the flow of virtue and that flow of virtue added value to her life! In other words, our faith is what connects us to God's virtue and God's virtue adds value to our lives. Hence the central theme of Luke 8 is on the subject of faith!
However at the beginning, Luke gave us details about how Jesus' ministry receives support from some of the women mentioned in Luke 8:1-3. There are 15 other women mentioned in the book of Luke that are not mentioned in other books of the gospels! This highlights once again Luke's knack for details and the attention he gives to the relationships in the life of the Master.
PARABLE OF THE SOWER Luke 8:4-18
In this study today we will focus on the parable of the sower and the experience of the disciples when facing the storms of life! The parable of the sower will help us develop our faith, while the experience of the disciples will guide us in the usage of our faith!
In every parable of scriptures are packages of wisdom. Jesus spoke to this end in Mark 4:11 when he told his disciples,
"And he said unto them, Unto you, it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables".
Parables are meant to conceal the wisdom of God that only the understanding heart can unravel. Deuteronomy 29:29 tells us,
"The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law".
In other words, whatever is concealed belongs to God and whatever is revealed belongs to men and through the power of revelation we are able to walk in the laws of the lord. God conceals his mysteries so that we can grow by the process of searching for them. These mysteries are concealed so that we can find them, they are hidden to be revealed.
Proverbs 25:2 throws more light on this,
"It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honor of kings is to search out a matter".
There is honor in searching out that which is concealed. Revelation brings honor! This is the honor that God wants to become ours as we search out the mysteries of his word! This was the intent of the masters in using parables to speak and teach, for those who are not given, those who are without the kingdom, its just another fable. But for those that are within the kingdom inside every parable of scriptures are packages of wisdom!
Consider this, when a father has a gift from the child what is the intent of hiding? It is about the thrill of finding! The purpose of hiding is not to hide but for the child to search! And so it is that when the disciples could not understand the parable then they begin to " search", they ask the matter what is the meaning of this? That's how we are to approach the word prayerfully asking for its meaning!
LESSONS FROM THE PARABLE
In one of the most popular parables of scriptures, Jesus spoke on the power of understanding the word. The parable of the sower has always been a fascinating one to me while growing up and it is about the most important parable. In another place where this parable of the sower was narrated, Mark 4:13, Jesus wondered how can the disciples understand other parables if they don't understand this parable. This parable is the master parable, unlocking its treasures is the key to unlocking other treasures in the parables of the master and indeed all the blessings of the kingdom! The word is the key to all of our blessings in the kingdom!
From this parable, there are key lessons to note
•The seed is the word of God
• The devil always fights the growth of the word of God in our lives. The Bible tells us here what he does.
"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" Luke 8:12
Each time you receive the word the devil always comes for you! How does he do this? The first weapon is that of unbelief. This is why Paul said whatever is not of faith is a sin! Unbelief is the work of the devil!
•The devil fights the word by not allowing us to give enough attention to the word! Hence the word is shallow-rooted and by the time temptation comes the word received cannot stand the challenge at hand. However, an educational approach to the word will allow the word to take root in our hearts!
•The devil distracts our attention from the word by focusing our attention on the cares of the world. Who cares to meditate on the word when there are real bills to pay in the world? But the Bible tells us to cast all our cares on Him for he careth for us! And indeed He does care for us!
•Our understanding of the word is what accounts for our fruitfulness in the world. In verse 15 Jesus talks about how those who keep the word in their heart bring forth. If you read this parable in Matthew 13, you will see the ability to keep the word and produce with it is dependent on understanding! David prayed a prayer about the word in Psalm 119:144
"The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live" Psalms 119:144 KJV
In other words, the integrity, the righteousness, the fruitfulness of the word remains the same forever the only barrier in accessing them is my understanding, so Lord give me understanding and I shall live!
And suffice to add here that those who produce 30, 60 and 100 fold are separated by their level of understanding of the word!
In Luke 7 the centurion master demonstrated great understanding which equals great faith and by it receives a great testimony. Great feats are produced by great faith and great faith is attained by great depths in the word. The depth here connotes our understanding of the word. This is why this parable is the master parable! Anyone who can master the word will gain mastery over the world.
A LITTLE WORD ON STORMS Luke 8:22-25
Lastly on this chapter, we see Jesus and his disciples faced with the storm and after all their hysterics in waking up the master, the Lord rebuked the storm and ask them a pertinent question!
"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" Luke 8:25 KJV
When the storm came Jesus asked them, 'where is your faith' for that is what the storms have come to test. When the storms of life come, they are asking after and testing the strength of our faith!
And this is why in the parable of the sower we must feed on the word in other to increase the strength of our faith. For if a man fails in the days of adversity it is because the strength is small. Every storm in our lives is a test of our faith. So I exhort that we build up ourselves in our most Holy faith eating the word and praying in tongues.