JESUS’ SECOND-BUSIEST DAY-NIGHT-DAY–LUKE 8
THE SHOCKING JESUS
Surprise! We got no time to get warmed up today. Grab your notes–we are looking at the shocking Jesus again today. We are in Luke chapter 8.
Jesus had . . .
1. Massive Demands Verses 1 to 4a
“And it happened that soon afterward [Jesus] was going around from one city and village to another, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with Him, 2and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses: Mary who was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out . . . 4Now a large crowd was coming together, and those from the various cities were journeying to Him.”
Have you ever thought about the traveling spectacle that Jesus’ ministry became? The size of it–He would go from city to city, village to village, and huge, massive crowds of thousands of people would come to him, follow Him around. And they wouldn’t leave Him alone. Remember how He miraculously fed crowds of how many? Yeah, 4,000 and 5,000–these mobs of people were massive.
Luke 4:42 says people would search for Jesus–and when they found Him, they wouldn’t let Him leave. Luke 5:17 says that people came from every village in Judea and Galilee, and they also journeyed from far away in Jerusalem. It’s safe to say that Jesus’ ministry turned Israel upside down. His traveling ministry involved thousands upon thousands of healings. Some commentators believe that Jesus singlehandedly eradicated illness from the land.
When He preached, the crowds were so humongous, He’d have to go to elevated mountainsides or push out onto the water in a boat in order to make sure everyone could hear Him. Remember short little Zacchaeus? He was so desperate that he climbed a tree to see Jesus, because the crowds were too big and he couldn’t see Him. Everyone wanted a piece of Jesus. Jesus experienced massive demands. When it comes to serving in the church, do you ever feel that people are putting too many demands on you? Hey, join the club–Jesus knows exactly what that feels like. Not only that, but . . .
2. Jesus had Massive Responsibilities Verses 4b to 8
See verse 4 in your notes–at the end, “[Jesus] spoke by way of a parable.” Then we won’t read it now, but he went on in the next verses to teach the Parable of the Sower. This was His responsibility, assigned by His Father. Jesus told over 35 parables during His ministry–all of them meant to convey spiritual truth to hearers who had open ears.
Now Jesus started out at the beginning of His three-and-a-half year ministry preaching straightforward sermons, like the Sermon on the Mount and others. And these sermons were clear, punchy, forthright, uncompromising, and easily understood–even by children. No one had a problem understanding the meaning of Jesus’ sermons. In John 17:8, Jesus says that His Father gave Him the words to say, and He was faithful to dispense those words to the masses. He was responsible to say what His Father told Him to say.
Do you ever feel the weight of your responsibilities in the church are overwhelming? Jesus too. For Jesus, it was a massive responsibility. In fact, in order to get it done, He traveled the length of Israel at least three times, roundtrip north to south, with side trips and other excursions, for the purpose of preaching and teaching–maybe over 1,000 miles of walking in total. The whole country was resounding with His sermons and teachings.
And then later, during the final year of His ministry, Jesus taught more in parables–those pithy short stories with hidden spiritual meaning. Have you ever wondered why He switches from sermons early in His ministry to parables in the final year? Why switch from a clear message to an obscure one, hidden inside stories? The answer is here—Jesus had . . .
3. Massive Focus Verses 9 to 18
Let’s look at this in verse 9–and remember, Jesus had just told the Parable of the Sower. “His disciples began questioning Him as to what this parable meant [they didn’t get it] 10And He said, ‘To you [disciples] it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is in parables, so that seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand. 11Now the [meaning of the] parable is this’” And then Jesus goes on to explain the Parable of the Sower to the disciples.
Jesus would only explain the parables to His disciples–no one else. That’s strange, isn’t it? People think that the parables were meant to explain the truth, but they weren’t. The purpose of Jesus’ parables was to hide the truth from the general public–and then later, in private, Jesus would explain His stories to His followers, but only when they were alone.
Jesus had massive focus–even with crowds swamping Him, calling for His attention, demanding miracles and all the rest. Jesus’ focus was on his chosen disciples, to prepare them for their future ministry. For us in 2022, when responsibilities are piling up and demands are pressing in, we too need to remember who gets our focused attention. There are key people in our lives and ministries who need to get that special, extra kind of focus. Not only that, but . . .
4. Massive Priorities Verses 19 to 21
Look at verse 19, “And [Jesus’] mother and brothers came to Him, and they were unable to get to Him because of the crowd. 20And it was reported to Him, ‘Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, wishing to see You.’ 21But He answered and said to them, ‘My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.’” Imagine that–how offensive is that!? I mean, conventional wisdom says family takes priority over everything, right? And here, Jesus’ mother and siblings wanted to get some time with Jesus, and He says, “No, they are not my real family.”
A similar thing happened in John 19:26 to 27, when Jesus was hanging on the cross, looking down at His mother who was a widow by this time. He was concerned for her care and provision, and He entrusted her into the care of John the disciple and not one of His own earthly siblings. That’s a shocker! I guaranty, His own brothers were offended by that decision too. Why didn’t Jesus give Mary to the next eldest brother? It’s because Jesus’ own siblings were not believing in Him. They weren’t Christians. Jesus prioritized spiritual relationships over blood family.
Do you have that same priority? Are your relationships within the family of God more significant than with unsaved family? Do you trust Christian friends more than non-Christian family? That’s the way Jesus lived His life. Even when His family tried to insert themselves into His day, He kept His priorities straight.
Now that’s not to say that family is unimportant. In fact, the Bible has a lot to say about Christian responsibilities for fathers, mothers, children, widows, etc. But when it comes to trust, unity, and intimacy of relationship, we have way more in common with genuine Christians inside the church than we ever do with unsaved family. Jesus modeled that well. Also, Jesus had . . .
5. Massive Intentionality Verse 22
“Now it happened that on one of those days He and His disciples got into a boat, and He said to them, ‘Let us go over to the other side of the lake.’” So they set out. It was one of those typical crazy, busy days, when the masses were pressing around Him, wanting stuff. They want miracles. They want healings. They want the fantastical. He’s been preaching. He’s been ministering. He’s given His attention to the multitudes. On a day just like that, He finally says to His disciples, “Hey, I want to get some time alone with you.”
So He looks to escape to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, just to get time with them. In fact, when you survey the four gospels, you find that during the first two-and-a-half years of His ministry, Jesus has given Himself to public service to the masses. But then, during His final year, He really wants to reserve time for just Him and His disciples to get away, to prepare them for His soon departure–His death.
When it comes to His disciples, He is massively intentional. His time on Earth is coming to an end, and though the crowds are demanding more, He says, “No, I need time with my men.” In fact, in the other gospels, He actually sends the crowds away. So with massive intentionality, in search of solitude with His disciples, they jump into a boat and start sailing. But on the boat, we find Jesus had . . .
6. Massive Exhaustion Verses 23 to 24
“But as they were sailing along, He fell asleep, and a windstorm descended on the lake, and they began to be swamped and in danger. 24And they came to Him and woke Him up, saying, ‘Master, Master, we are perishing!’ And He woke up and rebuked the wind and the surging waves, and they stopped, and it became calm.” Jesus was so tired, even a raging storm couldn’t wake Him–and this was a violent storm. We know it, because these experienced fisherman disciples thought they were going to die. That’s how big the storm was, and still Jesus is sleeping. That is massive tiredness, right? Massive exhaustion! They had to wake Him up.
Do you ever get tired while serving God in ministry? Have you ever been so physically exhausted you’ve felt sick in the stomach? Our MAD crews come home from camp so stinking tired. VBS workers work so hard. Set-up and tear-down crews are here so early. Pastors, elders, deacons, CG leaders, children’s workers are out there in the heat, music and sound, women’s ministry, men’s ministry, and so many others–if you have given yourself to long, hard, early, late hours serving Christ and His church and then you crash cause your tank is totally empty, but then you know the thrill of sacrificial service and you know there’s nothing better you’d rather do, and you get yourself up and you go another hour, another day, another week, another year–that’s the incredible joy of Christian exhaustion. I am so thankful for the huge army of servants we have here at FBC.
In Colossians 1:29, Paul said he labored to the point of collapse and strove, agonized for the sake of ministry–that’s the life of a Christian. If that’s you, can I encourage you? Keep going, keep pushing, keep striving, never give up, never stop. I mean, get some naps–that’s good. Get some sleep. But when you’re exhausted after major ministry efforts, know this–you’re following in Christ’s footsteps. He got tired and you’re doing what He did–but don’t quit. Keep serving, working hard, sacrificing. This is normal Christianity. Notice also . . .
7. Massive Disappointments Verses 25 to 26
Jesus had just performed a massive miracle. He spoke to the wind and the waves and the storm disappeared instantly, and then in verse 25 “[Jesus] said to [the disciples], ‘Where is your faith?’ They were fearful and marveled, saying to one another, ‘Who then is this, that He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him?’”
Jesus says, “Where’s your faith?” Where did it go? Did it disappear in the storm? How disappointing is that for Jesus? I mean, these are the men who should have had the greatest faith. They had seen countless miracles–water into wine, numerous healings, sight restored, hearing reinstated, leprosy eradicated. They had seen it all. And it seems like they still don’t know who He is!
Listen, maybe you serve alongside people who show little faith when times get tough. Maybe their view of the future is bleak. Their cup is half empty. Maybe you live with family who claim to know Jesus and yet when hard times come, they seem to be faithless, and so easily distracted by the concerns of this world. When that happens, know this–Jesus was constantly surrounded by disappointing, faithless people–and yet He kept on going.
Peter promised the world and yet denied Jesus three times. The mighty disciples, who thought they were the bee’s knees, ran for their lives when Jesus was arrested. The crowds who once couldn’t get enough of Jesus, quickly turned on Him and wanted Him dead. And still, Jesus forgave and restored and served and sacrificed for these disappointing people who struggled to show faith. We need to be like Him. Keep going, no matter the disappointments. Not only that, but . . .
8. Massive Distractions Verses 27 to 30
The storm goes away, and they get to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. Verses 27 and 28, “And when He came out onto the land, a man from the city met Him, one who was possessed with demons and had not put on any garment for a long time, and was not living in a house, but in the tombs. 28Now seeing Jesus, he cried out and fell before Him, and said in a loud voice, ‘What do I have to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me.’”
A massive distraction, right? Not only does Jesus have to deal with pressing crowds, people’s expectations, personal tiredness, faithless disciples–but now He also has the distraction of demons who are inserting themselves into His ministry. The guy’s name was Legion–a Roman legion is made up of 6,000 soldiers. So this poor guy’s body has been invaded by thousands of demons who recognize Jesus, and they initiate this whole interaction with Jesus. All Jesus wants to do is get away with His disciples, but Satan and his demons once again try to distract and get in the way.
By the way, Satan has tried this before. In Matthew 4, Satan led Jesus out into the desert and tried to get Jesus to sin. In Matthew 16, Satan even used Peter the disciple to try to mess up God’s plans, and Jesus had to tell Peter, “Get behind me, Satan.”
Satan is in the business of trying to distract Jesus and His followers. He’s trying to distract you. He wants you to sin. He wants you to think about things that do not reflect the character of God. He’s doing it right now. He’ll do it on the ride home. He’ll do it tonight and tomorrow–massive distractions brought on us by the devil and his minions. He did it to Jesus–he’s gonna do it to us. So look at this–Jesus has to make a decision. That’s . . .
9. Massive Decisions Verses 31 to 33
“And [the demons] were pleading with [Jesus] not to command them to go away into the abyss. 32Now there was a herd of many swine feeding there on the mountain, and the demons pleaded with Him to permit them to enter the swine. And He gave them permission. 33And when the demons came out of the man, they entered the swine, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.”
As if the pressures of ministry weren’t already enough, now Jesus has to manage the destiny of these evil spirits. They were already a distraction, and now they are taking up Jesus’ precious time by pleading their case. He could have sent them straight into the abyss, but He takes time to listen to their appeal, and He grants their wish. He didn’t need to do that.
Do you ever lose patience with horrible people? Do you ever want to give evil people their just desserts? And then you look at this situation with Jesus and think, “Isn’t it so amazing that Jesus was even gracious to demons and would take time to consider their appeal and grant it?” Oh we need to learn from Jesus don’t we? We are so quick with wicked people. We are so unkind to sinners whom we think should go to Hell, now. But Jesus showed empathy, even to demons. Now you’d think that the locals would be super thankful that this man was delivered from those demons, right? But look at number 10 and how Jesus dealt with . . .
10. Massive Thanklessness Verses 34 to 37
“And those who had seen it reported to them how the man who was demon-possessed had been saved. 37And all the people of the country of the Gerasenes and the surrounding district asked Him to leave them, for they were gripped with great fear. And He got into a boat and returned.” They asked Him to leave–what on Earth? They have a miracle worker, a healer in their midst, and they want Him to go away!
They should have been thankful. They should have marveled. They should have rejoiced in the deliverance of this poor man who had been naked, homeless, and afflicted for years. Instead, they tell Jesus to go away–massive thanklessness. They are more concerned about their pigs and loss of farming income–and so they kick Him out of their region. It’s like the ten lepers who were healed and only one comes back to thank Jesus. What about the other nine–where are they? Jesus endured massive thanklessness.
How about you? You’re serving, and sacrificing, and giving your time and money and effort to the point of tremendous exhaustion, and no one seems to see it, no one acknowledges it, no one says, “Thanks!” Will you keep going? Will you be faithful? Will you commit to the long haul, knowing God sees your service and that’s all that matters? I hope so–that’s what Jesus did. Also, Jesus had . . .
11. Massive Concentration Verses 38 to 39
“The man from whom the demons had gone out was begging Him that he might accompany Him. But [Jesus] sent him away, saying, 39‘Return to your house and recount what great things God has done for you.’ So he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him.”
Jesus sent him home. Even though this guy was begging to come along, Jesus doesn’t need another follower on His team. He has concentrated His attention on the disciples He has. He doesn’t need more responsibility, more people, more disciples. He has His team and He just needs to get on with it with them. We don’t always give people what they want, right? Sometimes it’s better to concentrate your efforts on what is before you, rather than add further breadth to your ministry. Concentrate on what is before you. That’s what Jesus does next–He returns to His God-ordained ministry . . .
12. Massive Requests Verses 40 to 42
“And as Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed Him, for they had all been waiting for Him.” This is amazing. All Jesus wanted is to get time alone with His men. They sail overnight to the other side, they get kicked out of that area, they come back to this side, and guess what? It’s the next day and the crowds are still there–they won’t go away. And in verses 41 to 42, “Behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was an official of the synagogue. And falling at Jesus’ feet, he began to plead with Him to come to his house, 42for he had an only daughter, about twelve years old, and she was dying. But as He went, the crowds were pressing against Him.”
Just when you think Jesus might give up on all these taxing people who don’t deserve Him, then another request comes from Jairus. Jairus is pleading for Jesus to come, and Jesus says, “Right, let’s go.” Jesus just doesn’t stop. His service mentality was endless. His kind, generous spirit had no end. His compassion for the hurting was never-ending. How about you? Just when you think you’ve done enough–just when you think, “Okay, I’ve reached my capacity.” Just when you think, “Okay, time for a rest,” can you respond to just one more appeal from someone who needs you? That’s what Jesus did. And He did it amidst . . .
13. Massive Confusion Verses 43 to 45
“And a woman who had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and could not be healed by anyone, 44came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His garment, and immediately her hemorrhage stopped. 45And Jesus said, ‘Who is the one who touched Me?’ And while they were all denying it, Peter said, ‘Master, the crowds are surrounding and pressing in on You.’”
Peter is thinking, “Lord, are you crazy? Everyone is touching you! Everyone is pressing in.” It was a confusing scene, for sure. Did you ever think about this? Jesus’ ministry was not ordered. It was not planned out on a service sheet. It was not categorized into study on Monday, visitation on Tuesday, evangelism on Wednesday, rest on Thursday–it wasn’t anything like that. His ministry was characterized by crazy confusion, demanding people, loud reactions, emotions, heat, dirt, tough physical conditions, and no campaign manager to sort it out.
Are you waiting for perfect conditions to start serving Jesus? Listen, there’s no such thing. Are you waiting for a less busy schedule and then you’ll give some time to church ministry? That will never happen. Life is messy. We all feel like we’re running from one world of confusion to another. That’s just normal–get used to it. But see this–in the midst of all this confusion, Jesus had . . .
14. Massive Compassion Verses 46 to 48
The lady touches Jesus–her fingertips graze the fringe of His garment and she is instantly healed of her hemorrhaging. “But Jesus said, ‘Someone did touch Me, for I knew that power had gone out of Me.’ 47And when the woman saw that she had not escaped notice, she came trembling. And falling down before Him, she declared in the presence of all the people the reason why she had touched Him and how she had been immediately healed. 48And He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has saved you; go in peace.’”
Now let me ask you–did Jesus need to stop? The lady is healed. The crowds are a mess. There’s another emergency that Jesus needs to get to. The disciples are struggling to keep the situation safe. Does Jesus need to stop, backtrack, to talk to this lady? No way! He could have just kept on going. But He doesn’t. He has massive compassion for this lady who’s been suffering for twelve years. Her condition had been embarrassing. Mark tells us the doctors only made it worse. She was scared to talk to Jesus. It would have been easier for her to simply disappear, but Jesus wasn’t going to let that happen.
He stops to say nine words just to encourage her–“Daughter, your faith has saved you; go in peace.” That’s all it took. Those nine words would have meant the world to her. Folks, don’t underestimate the power of a few words of encouragement. It doesn’t have to be long. It doesn’t have to be erudite. It doesn’t have to be scholarly. Live your life with compassion for people who are hurting. Pause, stop your running around, think about their situation, serve them if you can, and offer words that will lift them up. Jesus did this, even while there was . . .
15. Massive Interference Verses 49 to 50
“While He was still speaking, someone came from the house of the synagogue official, saying, ‘Your daughter has died; do not trouble the Teacher anymore.’” Maybe this person thought they were helping. Maybe this messenger thought it was best to just forget the whole thing with Jesus. He certainly seems fearful. Whatever his motivation, it’s clear that the messenger didn’t think that Jesus could do anything now.
You get that sometimes, don’t you? People have the best of intentions, but they just don’t have all the information. They think they’re making the best decisions, but they don’t know. Jesus doesn’t get angry. He simply says to this guy, “Do not be afraid any longer; only believe, and she will be saved” (verse 50). Even in the face of massive interference, Jesus still has the kindest words of encouragement. He’s gracious with this guy and gives him reason to hope. But as if the interference wasn’t enough, Jesus had . . .
16. Massive Ridicule Verses 51 to 53
“So when He came to the house, He did not allow anyone to enter with Him, except Peter and John and James, and the girl’s father and mother. 52Now they were all crying and lamenting for her, but [Jesus] said, ‘Stop crying, for she has not died, but is asleep.’ 53And they began laughing at Him, knowing that she had died.”
They are laughing at Him. Why are they so slow to believe what Christ can do? Why are they so enslaved to their own wisdom and knowledge, rather than trusting the power of Jesus? It’s sin, right? People just want to be right. People don’t want to be surprised. They are prone to minimize the power of God. And in this case, that lack of belief led to ridicule.
Jesus was mocked time and time again. First Peter 2:22 to 23 says, “[Jesus] committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously.” That’s the way Jesus died, that’s the way Jesus lived–He trusted His Father.
Listen, when ridicule comes our way, we need to be the same. We don’t need to become defensive. We don’t need to get loud. We don’t need to be aggressive in proving anything. We live obediently. We sacrifice ourselves to serve Christ and His Church. And when criticism and ridicule come, we entrust ourselves to God. That’s the time to trust Him even more for our ultimate destiny. Look at this–even though they were laughing at Him, Jesus still had . . .
17. Massive Care Verses 54 to 55
“[Jesus], however, took her by the hand and called, saying, ‘Child, arise!’ 55And her spirit returned, and she stood up immediately. And He gave orders for something to be given her to eat.” Jesus brings this little girl back to life and He says, “Get her something to eat!” Talk about a great bedside manner. Dr. Luke makes sure to record this for us. That is massive care from Jesus.
Once again, Jesus didn’t need to do this. She was alive. She was standing. Jesus could have left the room having done His duty, but no–He stops to show incredible care for the girl. Maybe also having her eat something would be additional evidence that indeed she was really back, not just a ghost–but she was bodily resurrected. Either way, Jesus shows massive care for this 12-year-old girl. His whole ministry was dotted with care for children. They’d come to Him and He would hug them and bless them.
Folks, in all our busyness, in all our demands and responsibilities, can we learn to take time to care for the smallest among us? Can we learn to care for the weakest, the struggling, the poorest, the neediest? It doesn’t take much to show care. Just a little bit of thoughtfulness goes a long way. Look at what Jesus does next. You’d think this would be the time to get some positive press. If anything will win the support of the officials and religious leaders, it would be this–a resurrection from the dead. And a little girl–that’s the picture you want on the front page.
But look at verse 56—”Her parents were astounded, but He directed them to tell no one what had happened.” Tell no one–what? This is the time to advertise, right? This is the time to get positive press in front of people’s eyes. But no—instead Jesus had . . .
18. Massive Trust Verse 56
He trusts His Father’s timing. He trusts His Father’s agenda. He trusts His Father’s methods. Jesus knows He doesn’t need to advance his public exposure. He doesn’t need to take things into His own hands. He trusts His Father and the results of this miracle to Him.
Okay, eighteen massively shocking evidences of Christ’s ministry to people who were really hard to serve, and really hard to love. This was the second busiest day-night-day in Jesus’ ministry. You know what His busiest day-night-day was, right? Yeah, the day before His crucifixion, when He spent time with His disciples, the Last Supper, He was arrested in the garden that evening, spent the night under trial, being scourged, tortured, and then the next day being nailed to a cross, and hanging there being separated from His Father and enduring the eternal punishment for sinners who would trust Him for salvation.
You think Jesus loved sinners? Yeah. You think God became a man in order to be served? No way–He came to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many. You think Jesus displayed a shockingly huge amount of time and care for shockingly faithless sinners when He was shockingly tired and under immense personal pressure? Oh yeah–He served, and served, and served–and then He died. Oh boy, this should spur us all on to shockingly sacrificial service at Faith Bible Church. Let’s pray.