Luke 8:1-3 . A GALILEAN CIRCUIT, WITH THE TWELVE AND CERTAIN MINISTERING WOMEN. (In Luke only).
1. went--travelled, made a progress.
throughout every city and village--through town and village.
preaching, &c.--the Prince of itinerant preachers scattering far and wide the seed of the Kingdom.
2. certain women . . . healed, &c.--on whom He had the double claim of having brought healing to their bodies and new life to their souls. Drawn to Him by an attraction more than magnetic, they accompany Him on this tour as His almoners--ministering unto Him of their substance. Blessed Saviour! It melts us to see Thee living upon the love of Thy ransomed people. That they bring Thee their poor offerings we wonder not. Thou hast sown unto them spiritual things, and they think it, as well they might, a small thing that Thou shouldst reap their material things ( 1 Corinthians 9:11 ). But dost Thou take it at their hand, and subsist upon it? "Oh, the depth of the riches" ( Romans 11:33 )--of this poverty of His!
Mary Magdalene--that is, probably, of Magdala (on which see Matthew 15:39 ;
went--rather, "had gone."
seven devils--( Mark 16:9 ). It is a great wrong to this honored woman to identify her with the once profligate woman of Luke 7:37 , and to call all such penitents Magdalenes. The mistake has arisen from confounding unhappy demoniacal possession with the conscious entertainment of diabolic impurity, or supposing the one to have been afflicted as a punishment for the other--for which there is not the least scriptural ground.
3. Joanna, wife of Chuza, Herod's steward--If the steward of such a godless, cruel, and licentious wretch as Herod Antipas post would be no easy or enviable one. That he was a disciple of Christ is very improbable, though he might be favorably disposed towards Him. But what we know not of him, and may fear he lacked, we are sure his wife possessed. Healed either of "evil spirits" or of some one of the "infirmities" here referred to--the ordinary diseases of humanity--she joins in the Saviour's train of grateful, clinging followers. Of "Susanna," next mentioned, we know nothing but the name, and that here only. But her services on this memorable occasion have immortalized her name. "Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done," in ministering to the Lord of her substance on His Galilean tour, "shall be spoken of as a memorial of her" ( Mark 14:9 ).
many others--that is, many other healed women. What a train! and all ministering unto Him of their substance, and He allowing them to do it and subsisting upon it! "He who was the support of the spiritual life of His people disdained not to be supported by them in the body. He was not ashamed to penetrate so far into the depths of poverty as to live upon the alms of love. He only fed others miraculously; for Himself, He lived upon the love of His people. He gave all things to men, His brethren, and received all things from them, enjoying thereby the pure blessing of love: which is then only perfect when it is at the same time both giving and receiving. Who could invent such things as these? It was necessary to live in this manner that it might be so recorded" [OLSHAUSEN].
Luke 8:4-18 . PARABLE OF THE SOWER.
16. No man, which this is nearly a repetition).
18. how ye--in Mark 4:24 , "what ye hear." The one implies the other. The precept is very weighty.
seemeth to have--or, "thinketh that he hath" (Margin). The "having" of Matthew 13:12 (on which see), and this "thinking he hath," are not different. Hanging loosely on him, and not appropriated, it is and is not his.
Luke 8:19-21 . HIS MOTHER AND BRETHREN DESIRE TO SPEAK WITH HIM.
Luke 8:22-25 . JESUS CROSSING THE LAKE, STILLS THE STORM.and Mark 4:35-41 ).
23. filled--literally, "were getting filled," that is, those who sailed; meaning that their ship was so.
Luke 8:26-39 . DEMONIAC OF GADARA HEALED.and Mark 5:1-20 ).
Luke 8:40-56 . JAIRUS' DAUGHTER RAISED AND ISSUE OF BLOOD HEALED.
40. gladly received him, for . . . all waiting for him--The abundant teaching of that day (in Matthew 13:1-58 ; and see Mark 4:36 ), had only whetted the people's appetite; and disappointed, as would seem, that He had left them in the evening to cross the lake, they remain hanging about the beach, having got a hint, probably through some of His disciples, that He would be back the same evening. Perhaps they witnessed at a distance the sudden calming of the tempest. Here at least they are, watching for His return, and welcoming Him to the shore. The tide of His popularity was now fast rising.
45. Who touched me?--"Askest Thou, Lord, who touched Thee? Rather ask who touched Thee not in such a throng."
46. Somebody hath touched--yes, the multitude "thronged" and pressed Him--"they jostled against Him," but all involuntarily; they were merely carried along; but one, one only--"Somebody TOUCHED" HIM, with the conscious, voluntary, dependent touch of faith, reaching forth its hands expressly to have contact with Him. This and this only Jesus acknowledges and seeks out. Even so, as the Church Father AUGUSTINE long ago said, multitudes still come similarly close to Christ in the means of grace, but all to no purpose, being only sucked into the crowd. The voluntary, living contact of faith is that electric conductor which alone draws virtue out of Him.
47. declared . . . before all--This, though a great trial to the shrinking modesty of the believing woman, was just what Christ wanted in dragging her forth, her public testimony to the facts of her case--both her disease, with her abortive efforts at a cure, and the instantaneous and perfect relief which her touch of the Great Healer had brought her.