Jesus in Galilee
An EasyEnglish Bible Version and Commentary (2800 word vocabulary) on Luke 4:14 to 9:50
This commentary has been through Advanced Checking.
Words in boxes are from the Bible.
A word list at the end explains words with a *star by them.
Verses 14-17 From the desert, Jesus returned to the region called Galilee. The *Holy Spirit’s power was in him. Jesus taught in the *synagogues. And his fame spread through the entire region.
Then Jesus came to the town called Nazareth. As was his custom, he went to the *synagogue. He stood up to read and the assistant gave to him the Book of Isaiah. The book was in the form of a *scroll. He read from chapter 61 of that book. This may have been the passage for that day or Jesus may have chosen it.
Verses 18-21 In the *synagogue, it was the custom to stand to read. And it was the custom to sit to *preach. So, Jesus stood up and he read the passage. Then he closed the *scroll and he gave it back to the assistant. He sat down and all the people looked at him. Jesus began to *preach.
Jesus told the people that this *prophecy from Isaiah was about him. It was a *prophecy about what the *Christ would do. So, Jesus was telling them that he was the *Christ.
The year of the *Lord’s kindness does not mean a calendar year. It refers to the period in which God offers *salvation to us. That period is now.
Verses 22-27 Jesus grew up in Nazareth. The people there knew him well. They all thought very highly of him because he was such a good person. They knew Jesus as the son of Joseph, a local workman who worked with wood. The way that Jesus taught surprised them. They wondered at the wisdom and authority in what he said. But they refused to believe that Joseph’s son was the *Christ. Because of this, their attitude to Jesus would change.
It is not clear why Jesus told the old story about a doctor. But later in his life his enemies said, ‘He saved other people. But he cannot save himself’ (Matthew 27:42).
The people in Nazareth had heard about the *miracles that Jesus had done in Capernaum. They expected Jesus to perform *miracles for them. If the *prophecy in the Book of Isaiah referred to Jesus, he must prove it. But they did not believe him.
Jesus knew that the people in Nazareth would not accept him. People do not accept *prophets from their own district. People are always more ready to see greatness in strangers than in someone that they know well.
During the life of Elijah, there was no rain for three and a half years. Because of the lack of rain, there was very little food. God did not send Elijah to any widow in *Israel. He sent Elijah to a widow in the foreign town called Zarephath (1 Kings 17:3-24). While Elijah was with her, God supplied food for them. Also, during the life of Elisha, many people in *Israel suffered from the illness called *leprosy. But God did not send any of them to Elisha. He sent Naaman, a foreigner, for Elisha to cure (2 Kings 5:1-14). Jesus used these events to show that *prophets do not have much honour among their own people.
In the *Old Testament, it says that the rain came at the end of the third year (1 Kings 18:1 and 18:45). In the *New Testament, it says that there was no rain for three and a half years (Luke 4:25, James 5:17). In *Israel at that time, there were two seasons of rain. These were in April and October. So, there was an extra period of 6 months when there would usually be no rain. Then for the next three years, the rain failed. That explains why there was no rain for three and a half years.
The word *leprosy could include other skin diseases.
Verses 28-30 The people became very angry. There could be several reasons for this. They did not believe that Jesus was the *Christ. But he said that the *prophecy in Isaiah was about him. He had done many *miracles in other places. But he would not do any *miracles in their town. He spoke about how the *Lord had sent Elijah to foreigners rather than to *Jews. In those days, the *Jews believed that the *Lord was God of the *Jews alone. They could not agree that God would be kind to people from other nations.
Nazareth is on the southern slopes of the hills in the region called Galilee. All the people in the *synagogue took hold of Jesus. They forced him out of their town. They took him to a high place. They intended to throw Jesus down from a cliff. If they did throw him down, it would kill him.
But it was not yet the right time for him to die. And by some means, Jesus left that place safely. We do not know how he did this. He turned and he walked through the crowd. We do not read that he came to Nazareth again.
Verses 31-37 Jesus returned to Capernaum. He had done *miracles there before (verse 23). Capernaum was on the north and west shore of the sea called Galilee.
On the *Sabbath day, Jesus went to the *synagogue and he taught the people there. What he said astonished the people. Perhaps this was because Jesus was not a teacher in their tradition. But he *preached with power and authority. This was not normal. Other teachers would use the traditions and the opinions of previous teachers (see Mark 1:22). But Jesus had his own authority. Jesus knew the truth of what he taught. He did not need to express the opinions of other men.
The man with an evil spirit shouted out. The evil spirit knew who Jesus was. Jesus from Nazareth was the holy one of God, that is, the *Christ. And the evil spirit was afraid of Jesus. The evil spirit knew that Jesus had the power to defeat him. Jesus did not answer the evil spirit’s questions. ‘What do you want with us?’ means this: ‘There is no connection between us and you!’
Jesus ordered the spirit to be quiet and to come out of the man. Jesus had such authority that the spirit had to obey him. The spirit threw the man to the ground and came out of him. The spirit did not hurt the man but he was free from the evil spirit.
The way that Jesus taught astonished the people. Also, his authority even over evil spirits astonished them. Nobody else had shown such power and authority. News of what Jesus had done spread quickly to the whole region.
This is the first of 21 *miracles in Luke’s *Gospel. And it is the first of 5 *miracles in which Jesus cures a person on the *Sabbath day (4:38-39, 6:6-10, 13:10-13, 14:1-4).
Verses 38-39 Jesus left the *synagogue and he went with Simon, Andrew, James and John (Mark 1:29). They went to the house of Simon and Andrew. They found that the mother of Simon Peter’s wife was sick with an illness. She lay in her bed. They asked Jesus for help. At his order, the *fever left her. He took her hand and he lifted her up. She got up and she served them.
Even as the *demon had to obey Jesus, so the *fever had to go. The *fever went immediately and she was completely well. Again, it showed Christ’s authority and power.
Peter and Andrew were from the town called Bethsaida (John 1:44). That town was probably where they were born. It seems that later they moved to this house in Capernaum.
Simon was Peter’s original name. Jesus gave to Simon the name ‘Peter’ (6:14).
Verses 40-41 The *Sabbath day starts on Friday evening and it ends on Saturday evening. The law in the *Old Testament said that the *Jews must not work on the *Sabbath. The *Jews thought that they could not carry anything on the *Sabbath day. The *Pharisees even thought that to cure a person on the *Sabbath day was against the law. So, the people waited until the *Sabbath day had ended. Then they brought the sick people to Jesus.
Jesus put his hands on each sick person. And he cured all their diseases. Jesus did not always put his hands on sick people. But it does show us that the power to cure flows from him.
There were many in the crowd who had *demons. As in the *synagogue, the *demons knew who Jesus was. They knew that he was the Son of God. They knew that Jesus was the *Christ. Again, Jesus told them to be quiet. And Jesus sent them out of the people.
Verses 42-44 Early in the morning, while it was yet dark, Jesus got up. He went to a place alone to pray (Mark 1:35). The people in Capernaum did not want Jesus to go from their town. They searched for him. When they found him, they tried to persuade him to stay with them. But Jesus would not stay there. He had to *preach in other towns. God sent him to declare the good news about the *kingdom of God.
Jesus left Capernaum. He went through Judea and he *preached in their *synagogues. Judea here probably includes Galilee.
The *kingdom of God is where God rules as king. The *kingdom had already come in the life of Jesus. His authority and power showed to us something of the *kingdom. The *kingdom of God is not a physical place. All who believe in Jesus are part of the *kingdom. They have accepted the rule of God in their lives. But the *kingdom of God has not yet come completely. It is still in the future. God will establish his rule over all who are in heaven and on the earth.
Verses 1-3 Gennesaret Lake has two other names in the *New Testament. It is the Sea of Galilee and the Sea of Tiberias. That means, the sea called Galilee (or Tiberias). Gennesaret was the more ancient name of the lake. The name came from a small plain on its west border. The plain was between Tiberias and Capernaum. In *Hebrew, Gennesaret is Chinnereth or Kinnereth (Numbers 34:11). The plain called Chinnereth had very good soil and the people planted all kinds of fruit trees there.
The lake is about 13 miles long and 7 miles wide. It is about 700 feet below sea level.
A large crowd had come to hear Jesus as he taught. They wanted to hear what God said. They knew that Jesus was teaching the word of God to them.
The whole crowd pushed forward to hear Jesus. They pressed so hard upon him that Jesus needed some space. There were two empty boats on the shore. Jesus got into the one that belonged to Simon Peter. The other boat belonged to a man called Zebedee and his two sons, James and John. As Jesus was speaking, these men cleaned their nets. Jesus asked Simon to take his boat a short distance from the shore. Then Jesus sat in the boat and he taught the people. The people could all hear him as sound travels well over water.
Verses 4-7 Jesus told Simon to take the boat away from the shore and into deep water. Peter and his crew did so. Then Jesus told them to put their nets into the water. Simon and his friends were in business as *fishermen. They knew that this was not a good time to catch fish. The best time to catch fish was at night. They had been out all night and they had caught no fishes. They had worked hard all night and they were tired.
Of course, Jesus was not a *fisherman. But because it was Jesus, Simon agreed to put their nets into the water. He called Jesus ‘master’ for the first time. To fish was Simon’s job but he accepted the authority of Jesus even in this.
Jesus told them where to put the nets into the water. Because they obeyed Jesus, they caught a large number of fishes. There were so many fishes that the nets almost broke. If the nets had broken, the fishes would have escaped.
The men in Simon’s boat called for help to those in the other boat. Together they filled both boats with fishes. There were so many fishes that the two boats began to sink. This amount of fishes was clearly beyond what they would usually expect. This was a *miracle.
Luke does not tell us who and how many were with Simon Peter in his boat. It is probable that Andrew (Simon’s brother) was among the crew. In the crew of the other boat were James and John, who were brothers.
Verses 8-11 Peter saw the quantity of fishes that they had caught. This *miracle astonished him and those men who were with him. It showed that Jesus had authority over the natural world. Peter now knew that Jesus was more than an ordinary man. He calls Jesus not just master but *Lord. Perhaps Peter already recognised that Jesus was the *Christ. ‘*Lord’ is the word that Peter would choose to give honour to the *Christ.
This *miracle had a powerful effect on Peter. He became aware of his own *sinful character. He felt that he could not live with such a perfect person as Jesus. He fell down on his knees in front of Jesus. And he cried, ‘Go away from me, *Lord.’ The power of Jesus was too much for him. He was afraid.
Jesus understood Peter’s reaction. So, he said to Peter, ‘Do not be afraid.’ Then Jesus showed Peter what would be his life’s work from now on. Peter would catch people alive rather than fishes. This means that Peter would bring people to know Christ. He would be an *apostle to the *Jews (Galatians 2:8). And he would make it possible for people from other nations to become Christians (Acts chapter 10).
The crews of both boats got them to the shore safely. This incident impressed James and John in a similar way to Peter. So, these three men left everything and they followed Jesus.
Verses 12-13 *Leprosy is the word in the Bible for some serious skin diseases. The word included other diseases, as well as what we know as *leprosy. As the *leprosy spreads, it eats away the sick person’s body. And in those days, there was no way to cure *leprosy.
When a person had *leprosy, he was unclean in the *Jewish religion. That meant that the person with *leprosy had to keep away from other people. When other people were near, he had to cover his upper lip. And he had to cry, ‘unclean, unclean’ (Leviticus 13:45-46). A person with *leprosy could not work in order to earn the money that he needed. He had to depend on the kindness of other people to live.
Sometimes a disease does not spread and it clears up. A priest would then examine the person. If the disease has healed, the person must go to the priest. He would make a *sacrifice as the law ordered. Then the priest would declare that the person was clean again. The rules for this are in Leviticus chapter 14.
This awful *leprosy covered this man. He was very ill with this disease. Probably, he had heard about some of the *miracles that Jesus had done. He came to Jesus and fell down at his feet. He said, ‘*Lord, if you want to.’ He did not doubt Jesus’ kindness. Rather he felt that he had no value. He could not expect Jesus to pity him. But he did believe that Jesus could cure him.
Nobody would touch a person who had *leprosy. But Jesus did. He had pity on the man. By this act, Jesus showed this poor man that he cared. Jesus reached out and he touched the man. Jesus cured him from his *leprosy and the disease went immediately.
Verses 14-16 Jesus told the man to say nothing about it. But the man could not keep quiet. He told many people what had happened. So, news about Jesus spread. Crowds came to him. Many sick people came for him to cure them.
The man had to go to the priests. Jesus told him to obey the law. He had to do as Leviticus chapter 14 said. The priest had to examine him. Then the priest would declare that the disease had gone. This would be necessary for the man. People would know that he had been a *leper. They needed proof that the disease had gone. They would want to know that the priest considered the man to be well. Also, it would show the people that Jesus obeyed the law.
Jesus often had to go away from the crowds. He needed to have times of quiet. Private prayer was very important in his life.
Verses 17-19 Jesus had returned to Capernaum. He taught the people in a house there. Some *Pharisees and teachers of the law had come to hear what he taught. They had come from all over Galilee, Judea and even from Jerusalem. Probably they wanted to test what he taught. They wanted to know whether Jesus agreed with them about the law and their traditions.
Probably many of the people in the house had come because they were sick. They wanted Jesus to cure them. Jesus had the power to cure. In some way, that power was noticeable in the house. Perhaps as Jesus taught some people felt that power.
There were 4 men. They wanted to bring their sick friend to Jesus. The friend could not walk so they carried him on a mat. They believed that Jesus would cure their friend. But when they arrived at the house, they could not get in. There were so many people already there, both inside and outside the door.
Many of the houses had flat roofs. And they had outside stairs up to the roof. The typical roof was of wooden beams that the builders had placed across the mud brick or stone walls. They covered the wooden beams with various materials such as earth, grasses and mud bricks. In this house, they had used harder materials as well.
The 4 men took their friend up the stairs and onto the roof. Then they opened a hole in the roof. Such damage as they may have done was easy to repair. Then they carefully let the sick man down on his mat through the hole. They let him down until he landed at the feet of Jesus.
Verses 20-21 The man lay at the feet of Jesus. This showed to Jesus the *faith of the 4 friends of the man. Probably the man had *faith as well. The man had come because he needed Jesus to cure his body. But Jesus said to the man, ‘I forgive you your *sins.’
There is nothing to suggest that *sin was the immediate cause of this disease.
Nobody can forgive *sins but God. No *angel or man could do that. If Jesus were an ordinary man, this would be *blasphemy against God. Jesus in effect showed that he is God. But the teachers of the law and the *Pharisees did not believe this fact. They began to reason among themselves that this was *blasphemy.
Verses 22-26 Jesus knew what they thought. He asked them which of these two statements was easier to say. It is easy to say either statement. We cannot see the result of the first one. But we can see the result of the second one. So, the effect of the second is evidence of the first. If the man walks, then Jesus has power to forgive *sins.
This is the first time that Jesus calls himself the Son of Man. In this, Jesus shows that he is a man. And he shows that he is more than a man. An ordinary man could not forgive *sins. Only God can forgive *sins. The *Jews would later recognise this phrase, the Son of Man, as a name for the *Christ (John 12:34).
The Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive *sins. He proved this as he cured the man. At Jesus’ command, the man got up immediately. He picked up his mat and he went home. The man praised God as he went.
This passage does not inform us about the effect that this had on the *Pharisees and teachers of the law. The people felt fear at the strange things that had happened. But they praised God.
Verses 27-32 Jesus went down by the lake where he taught a large crowd of people. Then as he walked along, he saw Levi (Mark 2:14). Levi was the son of a man called Alphaeus. Another name for Levi is Matthew (Matthew 9:9). He was a man who collected taxes. He was at work when Jesus came to him. Jesus told him to follow him. Immediately Levi did as Jesus told him. Levi became one of the 12 *apostles of Jesus.
Levi had a party at his home with Jesus as the principal guest. Among the other guests, there were many of his friends who collected taxes. Other people did not like the men who collected taxes. They collected taxes for the *Roman government. They were able to collect more than they should from the people. In this way, they robbed the people and they often became wealthy. They were ‘*sinners’. There were other people there that the public called *sinners as well.
The *Pharisees and their teachers of the law tried to keep the *Jewish religion moral and good. For this purpose, they taught the law, as they understood it. Along with the law, they insisted on their traditions. They refused to be friendly to any people whom they considered bad *sinners. In their opinion, to eat with someone meant that you agreed with that person. Therefore, a *Pharisee would not eat with these ‘*sinners’.
So, these *Pharisees complained about Jesus because he ate with these ‘*sinners’. They asked the *disciples why Jesus did this. Jesus told them that he had come for *sinners. He came to offer to them the opportunity to *repent. The Bible teaches us that we are all *sinners (Romans 3:23). But these *Pharisees would not admit that they were *sinners too. Therefore, Jesus had nothing to offer to them.
Verses 33-35 The *disciples of John the *Baptist often went without food. The *disciples of the *Pharisees did the same. The *Pharisees often went without food two days in a week. Such periods with no food had become a tradition in their religion. God’s law has only one definite day on which the *Jews should eat no food. That day is called the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 23:26-32). The *disciples of Jesus did not follow the *Pharisees’ tradition.
Jesus replied, ‘A bridegroom’s friends at his wedding do not go without food.’ In effect, guests at a wedding eat and drink. It is a time of joy and a good party. While the bridegroom is with them, they do not go without food. While Jesus was with his *disciples, they could not do it.
However, the time would come when Jesus was not there. Jesus knew that he had come to die. Then the *disciples would be sad. And they would have times when they did not eat. This would not be because Jesus told them to do it. It would be a reaction to the situation.
Many Christians do have times without food. But this is not just a tradition. They do it for special purposes. Often they do it to give themselves more time to pray.
Verses 36-39 To repair an old coat with cloth from a new coat would spoil both coats. It would tear the new coat. And the piece of cloth would not fit the old coat. In the Book of Mark, we read that the new piece of cloth would reduce in size. And this would tear the old coat (Mark 2:21).
What Jesus taught was new and different from the traditions of the *Jews. It was not possible to combine the two. By their traditions, they interpreted the law and they added their own rules to it. Jesus explained the *Old Testament. He showed us what it really means.
In those days, the people kept wine in bags that they made from the skins of animals. Most often, it was the skin of goats. At first, the skins were soft and they could stretch. But as they got older, they became harder and stiff. New wine increased in volume in the skin. Therefore, new wine needed new skins. New wine in an old skin would split the old skin. So the wine would flow out and it would break the skin.
A man drinks the old wine and he enjoys it. He would not want to drink the new wine. He believes that the old wine is better. So, it was with many *Pharisees and other people who followed the traditions of their religion. They would not follow the new way of Jesus Christ.
Verses 1-2 When in a field of grain, God’s law allowed a person to pick the heads of grain by hand (Deuteronomy 23:25). The *disciples did not do anything wrong as they picked the heads of grain.
The *Pharisees did not complain about the *disciples’ action. Their problem was that it was on a *Sabbath day. God’s law said that they should do no work on the *Sabbath day. There were many traditions that tried to describe work. To the *Pharisees, these traditions had in effect become the law. To harvest grain on the *Sabbath was work. So, they thought that to pick grain was also work. The *disciples ate the grain. They had prepared food, which, in the opinion of the *Pharisees was work. So, because of these traditions, the *Pharisees considered that Jesus’ *disciples were not obeying God’s law about the *Sabbath.
Verses 3-5 Jesus did not answer directly the *Pharisees’ protest. Instead, he reminded them of what David did (1 Samuel 21:1-6). David took the holy bread that only the priests could eat. He ate some of that bread. And he gave it to the men who were with him. That was against the law but the *Lord did not consider David guilty. David took the bread because he and his men needed food.
Already Jesus had called himself the Son of Man. The *Pharisees would know that Jesus spoke about himself. Jesus told those *Pharisees that he was the *Lord of the *Sabbath. His authority is above that of the traditions of the *Jews.
The rules of the *Sabbath were for the benefit of the people.
Verses 6-11 Jesus went into a *synagogue to teach on a *Sabbath day. A man was there who could not use his right hand. Some *Pharisees and teachers of the law were also there. They wondered if Jesus would cure the man on the *Sabbath day. Jesus knew their thoughts. If Jesus cured the man, that would be work on the *Sabbath day. In their minds, this was against God’s law. Then they could accuse him.
Jesus called the man to come in front of the people.
The state of the man was not dangerous. He did not need Jesus to cure him that day. He could wait for another day. But Jesus, by his questions, showed them the true meaning of God’s law. If we can do good things, we should do them. If we do not then, in effect, we have done evil things. If we can save life, we should do it. If we do not then, in effect, we destroy life. This refers to the *Sabbath as for any other day. It is right by the law to do good things on the *Sabbath day. Therefore, to cure this man was not against the rules for the *Sabbath.
Jesus did not touch the man. He told him to stretch out his hand. This was an impossible thing for him to do. But he obeyed Jesus and he did it. As he stretched the hand, it became healthy, like his other hand.
Those *Pharisees and teachers of the law were very angry with Jesus. He had cured the man. He had shown that their attitudes were wrong. They could not answer him. They looked for a way to stop Jesus.
Verses 12-16 Jesus went up a mountain and he spent a whole night in prayer. Jesus now had powerful enemies. He knew that one day they would kill him. He needed to train some people to continue his work. So, in the morning he chose a group of 12 men to be with him. He chose them to send them out to *preach. And he gave them authority to command *demons to go out from people (Mark 3:14-15).
In the morning, he gathered his *disciples to him. These people followed him and they learned from him. Among those, he chose the 12. He called these 12 *apostles.
Jesus chose 12 men. Maybe there were 12 to match the 12 *tribes of *Israel. *Israel, the people of God, came from the 12 sons of Jacob, whose other name was Israel. Christians, the new people of God, came from the 12 *apostles. In the Book of Revelation, John describes the New Jerusalem. The names of the 12 *tribes were on the 12 gates to the city. And on the 12 bases of the walls, there were the names of the 12 *apostles (Revelation 21:12-14).
The first in the list is Simon. Jesus called him Peter, which means a rock or a stone. Another name for Peter is Cephas, which means the same (John 1:42). Peter is a *Greek name and Cephas is the same in the *Aramaic language.
Andrew was the brother of Peter and both of them were *fishermen. They came from the town called Bethsaida but Peter lived in Capernaum.
James and John were the sons of Zebedee. They were *fishermen and they were partners with Peter and Andrew.
Philip came from Bethsaida. He brought his friend Nathanael to Jesus (John 1:43-49). It could be that Bartholomew was another name for Nathanael. Nathanael came from the town called Cana in Galilee (John 21:2).
Matthew collected taxes. His other name was Levi. (See Luke 5:27-29.)
Thomas also had the name Didymus. This means a twin, in other words one whose brother or sister was born at the same time.
James the son of Alphaeus is sometimes called James the less.
Simon the Zealot was next. The name Zealot probably means that he was a member of the Zealots group. These Zealots tried to free *Israel from the *Romans.
Judas son of James has another name, Thaddaeus (Matthew 10:3, Mark 3:18).
Then the last of the 12 was Judas Iscariot. ‘Iscariot’ may mean ‘man from Kerioth’, a place in Judea. Probably Judas Iscariot was the only one of the *apostles that did not come from Galilee. When he died, Matthias took his place as one of the 12 *apostles (Acts 1:20-26).
Verses 17-19 Jesus and the *apostles came down from the mountain and they joined with the other *disciples. Probably this was on a large level piece of land on the side of the mountain (Matthew 5:1). Also, there was a large crowd there. Some of these people had come a long way. They had come to hear Jesus as he taught. And there were many sick people who had come to ask Jesus to cure them.
Probably this was the same event as that in Matthew chapter 5 but it could be a different occasion.
Jesus freed all of those people who suffered from *demons. He cured them. All who were sick pressed upon Jesus. As they touched him, power from him cured them all.
Tyre and Sidon were ports on the Mediterranean Sea; they were north of *Israel.
Verses 20-23 Jesus spoke to his *disciples. He did not say that it is good to be poor. God will *bless those of his people that are poor. They may have nothing but they depend on the *Lord. The *kingdom of heaven belongs to them. This is not just for the future. The poor people who believe enter the *kingdom of heaven now.
Those of God’s people who are hungry, God will satisfy. This hunger can be the need for food. It can be the desire to be better persons. God will supply all that they need. God will satisfy their hunger.
Those of God’s people who weep now will be able to laugh. When they see the terrible state of people in this world, they are sad. But they will see the purposes of God and then they will have real joy.
Those people who follow Christ will have enemies. Many people in this world hate Christians. They insult and they attack Christians. They speak evil things about Christians. The *prophets suffered in the same way from the people of their day.
Many people hated Jesus. So now, many people hate those people who follow Jesus. This attitude of other people may be painful to Christians. But Jesus says to them, ‘Be happy. Jump for joy.’ Christians can look forward to the great reward of heaven.
Verses 24-26 Here Jesus did not speak to his *disciples. They were not rich. He was not talking about all rich people. Rather, Jesus’ words are for those people who have a selfish attitude. They care only about their wealth and about themselves. They do not care about poor people. They trust in their wealth. So, they will not come to trust in Christ. They have their easy life now but their future will not be easy.
It is the same for those people who are full now. These people have all that they want. They think that they need nothing. They think that they do not need Christ. They feel content now but they have nothing for the future.
The *Lord is not against laughter. The Christian life is one of joy. Jesus was speaking against the kind of laughter that is shallow and without care. Many people laugh without any thought for other people or for the future. They do not see any need for help from Christ. They enjoy life now but they will not enjoy the future. Then they will be sad and they will weep.
For some people, what other people think of them is most important. They have to be popular with other people. Always they want other people to respect them. They desire the highest honour for themselves. They may achieve that honour in this life. But they do not give honour to Christ as their *Lord. Those people love to receive honour, as the false *prophets did in the past. Neither they nor the false *prophets will have honour in the future.
Verses 27-31 The key to what Jesus taught is love. Christians must love the *Lord and they must love other people. This includes love even for those people who are their enemies. There are several words in the *Greek language for the English word ‘love’. The word here is not that of natural human love. It is a genuine desire for the benefit of other people. It does not depend on whether those people are good or bad. It does not depend on their attitudes in return for that love. This love is the kind of love that the *Lord has for us.
Love is an active word. We do things for the benefit of those people that we love. So, Christians should do good things even to those people who hate them. They should pray that God would *bless these people.
Jesus gave some examples of how Christians should behave. When somebody hits them, they should not hit back. Rather they should allow a second blow. If someone takes a coat, let him or her take other clothes. Give to those who ask for something. And when you give, do not expect to receive it back. Christians would like other people to be kind to them. So, they must be kind to other people. Jesus gave these as examples, not as necessary actions. They are to show the attitude that should control a Christian’s actions. That attitude is the attitude of love.
Verses 32-36 The kind of love that Christians should have is more than natural love. It is natural to love those people who love you. The most evil person will love his own friends. But Christians should love even those people that hate them.
It is natural to be kind to those people who are kind to us. It is not natural to be kind to people that we do not like. But Christians should be kind even to those people who attack them.
It is natural to lend to those people who will pay back the loan. People will lend to those people whom they trust. But Christians should be willing to lend even when they cannot expect anything back.
Such love even for enemies has a great reward from God. That kind of love comes from God. It is the character of God to love all people. Those people who are children of God should show that same character. Christians should be kind because their Father is kind to them and to all people.
Verses 37-38 Our love for other people will show in our attitude to them. We should not act as if we were judges of other people. It is not our responsibility to blame them. God will be the judge of all people and that includes us. Our attitude should be to forgive rather than to blame. Then God will not blame us. And God will forgive us for the wrong things that we have done.
This is not about the legal process. It is about the attitude that finds fault with other people.
Those people who love will be generous. They will give to other people who need help. The generous person will receive much. This promise is not the reason that they give. They give because in love they want to. They may not receive material goods. But they will receive in some way from people or from God. In effect, they will receive more than they give.
In those days, men wore long, wide, and loose clothes with a belt round their middle. When they bought grain, they would lift up their skirt to make a large pocket. The merchant would pour the grain into that pocket.
In this story, the other person will press down the grain. He will shake the grain to make it denser. So, the pocket will be as full as it can be. Then he pours in more so that the grain flows from the pocket.
The generous person will find that God is even more generous to him.
Verses 39-40 A blind leader cannot see the way to go. The only future for that leader and those people who follow him is to fall into the ditch. Probably Jesus spoke this against some of the *Pharisees. Jesus compared them to blind leaders who led other blind people. They did not know the truth about God. So, they could not lead people to God.
No person can teach what they do not know. A student cannot learn more from a teacher than the teacher knows. In those days, there were not as many books for the student to read. The student depended on his teacher for all that he learned. So, the best that the student could be was to be like his teacher.
Jesus taught what he knew to be the truth. Those people who learn from Jesus will know the truth. Their purpose is to become like Jesus. Jesus is the way to God. Those people who follow him, he will lead to God.
The *disciples should become leaders to bring people to God. But they cannot do that if they do not know God. As they become more like Jesus, they will be more able to do it.
Verses 41-42 Jesus uses humour to teach a serious lesson. Here is a man with a large piece of wood in his eye. And he tries to take a tiny bit of dust from his brother’s eye. A small fault in another person is more noticeable to us than the large faults in ourselves. Often we do not see our own faults.
We need to examine ourselves first. If the man removed the beam from his own eye, then he could see clearly. It is better to remove our own faults than to talk about the faults of other people.
We should not pretend to be the judges of other people, because we ourselves are not perfect.
Verses 43-45 A good tree will produce fruit that one can use. A bad tree will produce fruit that one cannot use, for example poisonous fruits. Each fruit tree will produce its own kind of fruit. Jesus uses this as an example of good and bad people. A person may seem to be good. But the reality is in what he does.
A good person does good things. This comes from his inner nature. He does these good things because he is good. The evil person does bad things. His inner nature produces evil actions and evil words.
Verses 46-49 To call Jesus *Lord is to accept his authority. If he is the *Lord then his people must obey him. But some people who call him *Lord do not obey him. God is the judge of our hearts and minds. To him, our actions are more important than what we say. He wants us to obey him.
The person who obeys Jesus is like a good builder. He digs down and fixes his base into the rock. Then he builds his house on that base. The house is then safe from the effects of the storm.
The person who obeys the *Lord Jesus has a real *faith in him. When difficult things happen, they cannot easily defeat him. When the final test comes on the day of judgement, he will be safe.
Another person hears Jesus. But this person does not obey Jesus. He is like a bad builder. The base of his house is not on the solid rock. The base is on the ground. The storm will destroy that house.
The person who does not obey the *Lord is not safe. He does not have a solid base in which to trust. That person may call Jesus *Lord, but he is not a *disciple of Jesus. At the day of judgement, he will not be safe.
Verses 1-10 Jesus went again to the town called Capernaum. A *centurion (that is, an officer in the *Roman army) near there had a sick servant. This *centurion cared about his servant who was close to death. There were no medicines to cure him. But the *centurion had *faith that Jesus could cure his servant.
He heard that Jesus was there. The *centurion would not come to Jesus himself. He was not a *Jew. Maybe he thought that Jesus would not accept him. So, he asked the *Jewish leaders to go to Jesus on his behalf. They were happy to do this for him because the *centurion had built a *synagogue for them.
The leaders came to Jesus and they asked him to go with them and to cure the servant. They told him that this *Roman officer loved the *Jews. Jesus started to go with them.
The *centurion knew that a *Jew would not want to enter the house of a foreigner. So, while Jesus was still coming toward his house, he sent friends to stop him. It was not necessary for Jesus to go out of his way. Although the *centurion was an officer in the *Roman army, he was a humble man. He said that he did not deserve to have Jesus in his house.
The *centurion knew what authority was. He had to obey the officers who had a higher rank than himself. And his own soldiers and servants had to obey him. He believed that Jesus had authority over diseases. He believed that there was the power to cure in the words of Jesus. If Jesus told the disease to go, it would go. Jesus did not need to be with the servant.
The *faith of this *centurion astonished Jesus. He was not a *Jew but he believed so much in Jesus. Many people in *Israel did believe in Jesus. But this man’s belief was extraordinary.
Jesus gave the order and he cured the sick servant.
Verses 11-17 Nain was a small town about 6 miles south and east of Nazareth. And it was about two miles to the south of the mountain called Tabor. It would have taken Jesus about a day to walk there from Capernaum. This is the only mention of Nain in the Bible.
A funeral procession had gone through the town. It was on its way to the place outside of Nain where its inhabitants buried dead people. The dead person was the only son of a widow. Probably now that her son was dead, she had no income to live. She would have to depend on the kindness of other people. A large crowd from the town came with the widow. It seems that the family was popular.
There was a large crowd of people with Jesus as he approached Nain. Jesus met the procession near the gate to the town. Immediately he felt sympathy and pity for the widow as she walked in front of the bed. He went over to her as she cried. Jesus said, ‘Do not weep.’ He touched the bed and the procession stopped. Then Jesus spoke to the dead body. He told the young man to get up. And the young man got up. Jesus gave the young man back to his mother.
The effect that this had on the people was to cause fear. To see a dead person rise up alive scared them. But they knew that it was the work of God. So, all the people praised God for what he had done. They called Jesus a great *prophet. But they did not know him yet as the *Christ.
Jesus spoke with such authority that even dead people obeyed him. He has the power of life and death. This is further evidence that Jesus is the *Christ, the Son of God.
The report of this astonishing *miracle spread through the whole region.
Verses 18-20 Some of John’s *disciples had seen the things that Jesus had done. They had seen that Jesus had cured many people. And they saw when Jesus raised the widow’s son from death. They went and they told John about Jesus. So, John sent two of them to Jesus to find out if Jesus was the *Christ.
It seems strange that John should ask this question. He had *baptised Jesus. The voice from heaven said that Jesus was the Son of God (Matthew 3:16-17, Mark 1:11). John knew that Jesus would *baptise with the Holy Spirit and fire (Matthew 3:11, Luke 3:16). John told some of his *disciples that Jesus was the *Lamb of God. And he told them that Jesus would take away the *sin of the world (John 1:29).
For some reason John needed further proof that Jesus was the *Christ. Soon after John had *baptised Jesus, Herod put John in prison. So, John could not have seen Jesus as he did these *miracles. He could not have heard Jesus as he taught. In the prison, perhaps John began to doubt that Jesus was the *Christ. Perhaps John started to think that Jesus was just another *prophet. Perhaps the *Christ had not really come yet. Perhaps Jesus did not do what John expected the *Christ to do.
However, it is possible that John did not have these doubts. Perhaps John was using this question to show his *disciples that Jesus was the *Christ. They had remained loyal to John, but John was not trying to get *disciples for himself. His constant desire was to introduce people to Christ (John 3:26-30).
Verses 21-23 Even in the day that John’s *disciples came, Jesus had cured many people. He had made people free from evil spirits. And he had given sight to people who were blind. So, Jesus sent his answer back to John. He told John’s *disciples to tell John what they had seen. And he told them to tell John what they had heard. Then Jesus told them some of those things. All these things proved that Jesus was the *Christ (Isaiah 35:5-6, Isaiah 61:1: Luke 4:18-21). Those who accept this, God will *bless.
Verses 24-30 The *disciples of John the *Baptist went to report to him. Then Jesus spoke to the crowd about John. John was a *prophet and he was more than a *prophet. God sent him for a special task. John was the person that God promised to send on order to prepare for the *Christ (Malachi 3:1). John had to tell people to get ready for the *Christ to come. And he pointed to Jesus as the one who would take away the *sins of the world. John *preached in the desert and he *baptised people in the Jordan River.
The people knew that John was a *prophet. Crowds of them came to hear him speak. And he *baptised many of them as they *repented of their *sins. There was no person greater than John. Jesus came to bring in God’s *kingdom. John was born before; in Jesus Christ the *kingdom came. So, the least person in the *kingdom of God is greater than John was.
The ordinary people heard what Jesus said. They believed that he was declaring God’s message. John the *Baptist had *baptised many of them. And they expected the *Christ to come soon. But many of the *Pharisees and experts in the law did not *repent. They had not allowed John to *baptise them. And they would not believe what Jesus said.
Verses 31-35 The people failed to understand either John the *Baptist or the *Lord Jesus. Jesus compared the people with little children at play. The children shout at each other. The game was to act to the music. They should dance to the happy song as at a wedding. And they should cry to the sad song as at a funeral. But the other children would not play the game. So, the people, especially many *Pharisees and leaders, did not accept either John the *Baptist or Jesus. They would not accept John or Jesus because of opposite reasons:
(1) John the *Baptist was too serious for them. He was like the sad song. He did not eat much normal food. He did not drink wine. They said that he had a *demon. They thought that he was mad. They would not accept him or what he taught.
(2) Jesus did eat normal food and he drank wine. He was like the happy song. But they said that he ate too much. They said that he drank too much. And he had the wrong type of friends. They would not accept him or what he taught.
Really, these were just foolish excuses. They were not even true. John was not mad and he did not have a *demon. Jesus did not eat or drink too much. The reality was that both John and Jesus declared the same message from God. It was that message from God which the people really did not like. That was the reason why they made these excuses.
But God’s wisdom is for those people who accept it. And they prove how right it is. They can accept what God taught them by John the *Baptist. Also, they will believe in Jesus, who is the wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:30).
Verses 36-38 Simon, a *Pharisee, invited Jesus to have a meal with him. Jesus came to the house and he sat down to eat. Rather he placed himself ready to eat. In those days, some rich people followed a *Roman custom. They did not actually sit for a meal. They lay down on the left side with their feet away from the low table.
In that town, there was this woman. All the people there knew of her character. Probably she was a *prostitute. However, they all knew her to be a *sinner by the way that she lived. It seems that this woman had heard Jesus teach. She had *repented of her *sins and Jesus had forgiven her. She wanted to thank Jesus for what he had done for her. She had heard that Jesus was in Simon’s house. So, she came in.
It was quite normal for poor people to come into such a meal. There they could receive what the guests had left.
The woman came behind the feet of Jesus. Jesus would have removed his *sandals so his feet were bare. She wept and her tears fell onto the feet of Jesus. She wiped his feet with her hair and she kissed his feet. Also, she had brought with her an *alabaster bottle of expensive *perfume oil. She broke the bottle and she poured the *perfume on his feet.
*Alabaster was a type of soft stone. It was common to put expensive *perfumes in bottles that people had made out of *alabaster. The stone bottle would keep the *perfume oil pure. The top of the bottle was a long narrow section. To pour the *perfume oil, she had to break that long narrow section.
Verses 39-43 The *Pharisee saw what the woman did. He thought about it. He thought that Jesus could not be a *prophet. If Jesus were a *prophet, he would know about this woman. He would have known her bad character. He would have known that she was a *sinner. He would not allow her to do these things. A *prophet would not allow such a *sinner even to touch him. He would not let her waste expensive *perfume in this way. But Jesus did know about this woman. And he did allow her to wash his feet with her tears and to pour the *perfume on his feet.
Jesus knows what is in the hearts and minds of people. He knew the thoughts of Simon the *Pharisee. Simon did not speak aloud, but Jesus answered the thoughts of Simon.
Jesus told this story. A man lent some money to two other men. To one, he lent 500 *denarii, and to the other man, he lent 50 *denarii. One *denarius was a coin worth about a day’s wages for a farm worker. Neither man could pay what he owed. So, the man cancelled both debts.
Then Jesus asked Simon which of the two would love the man most. Simon had to give the right answer. The word ‘love’ here probably means to give thanks and to be grateful. There is no definite word ‘to thank’ in the *Hebrew or the *Aramaic languages.
Verses 44-47 Jesus then explained the purpose of the story. He drew Simon’s attention to the woman again. He showed Simon what the woman had done. And he contrasted that with what Simon had neglected to do.
It was the custom in that country to wash feet when you went into a house for a meal. People there either wore *sandals, or they walked with bare feet. And the roads were very dusty. When they entered a house, they took off their *sandals. Then the host would wash the feet of his guests or he would provide water for this purpose. Simon did not wash the feet of Jesus. He did not even provide water for Jesus to wash his own feet. In this, Simon did not respect his guest. However, the woman washed the feet of Jesus with her tears. And she wiped his feet with her hair as the towel. She did respect Jesus when Simon had neglected his duties to his guest.
It was the custom to greet a guest with a kiss, usually on the cheek. People did this as a friendly greeting. Simon did not greet Jesus in this way. The woman kissed the feet of Jesus continuously, since the time that she came in.
Among the *Jews, it was common to pour a little oil on the head of a guest. The oil that they used had a sweet *perfume. Simon did not do this for Jesus. He did not even use the ordinary oil. But the woman poured expensive *perfume over the feet of Jesus.
Often in a town, people did not follow these customs. So perhaps Simon did nothing wrong except that he did not respect Jesus.
Jesus told Simon that the woman had *sinned much. But God had forgiven her many *sins. Therefore, she had much love for God. Jesus did not complete the story to say whether God had forgiven Simon. A person’s love for God will be in proportion to his opinion of his *sins. If in his opinion his *sin is small, his love for God will also be small. Those people whom God has forgiven should love him much. In God’s opinion, all *sins are great. The size of one *sin against another *sin does not matter. The price that Jesus paid to forgive us was his death. We all need God to forgive our *sins, so we all should be very grateful to God for the death of Christ.
Verses 48-50 Jesus spoke to the woman. He said to her that he has forgiven her all her *sins. He did not forgive because she loved much. She loved much because he had forgiven her. The *Lord Jesus saved her because she believed in Him.
The woman knew that God had forgiven her. Perhaps Jesus spoke these words for the benefit of the other guests. They heard what Jesus said to the woman. This caused them to ask questions in their minds. They wondered whether Jesus really could have authority to forgive *sins. No man has authority to forgive *sins. But Jesus said that he had done that. In this, he declared that he is God. Only God can forgive *sins.
Verses 1-3 Jesus and his 12 *disciples went through all the towns and villages in Galilee. In each place, Jesus spoke about the *kingdom of God.
Several women travelled with Jesus. Some of these he had cured of diseases and evil spirits. Among them was Mary. They called her Magdalene because she came from Magdala. Magdala was a small town on the Sea of Galilee about three miles from Tiberius. Jesus had sent away 7 *demons from this woman. She became a close friend of Jesus. She was present at the death of Jesus (John 19:25). She was among the women who prepared *spices for his body (Mark 16:1). Early on the morning that Jesus rose from death, she came to his grave. She discovered that the stone was not at the entrance. And she ran to tell Peter and the other *disciples about this. She went back to the grave and there Jesus met her (John 20:11-18). There is a tradition that links her with the woman in Simon the *Pharisee’s house (see Luke 7:36-50). But there is nothing in the Bible to suggest this.
Joanna was the wife of Chuza. He was the manager of Herod’s house. This Herod was Herod Antipas. Herod Antipas was the son of Herod the Great. Herod Antipas ruled over the regions called Galilee and Perea from 4 *BC to *AD 39. We know nothing more about Chuza. Joanna was probably there when Jesus hung on the cross of wood (Luke 23:55). She was with the 11 *apostles at the time when Jesus rose from death (Luke 24:10).
Susanna with the other women helped Jesus. We know nothing else about her. These women used their own resources as they served Jesus and his *disciples.
Verses 4-8 A very large crowd came to Jesus on the shore of the Sea of Galilee (Matthew 13:2, Mark 4:1). They came from all the towns in the region. As Jesus taught them, he told them a story. It was about a farmer who sowed his seeds. The farmers in that country scattered the seed on the ground. Then they covered the seed with soil.
There was a path across the plot of land. Some of the seeds fell on this path. People walked on the seeds. And birds came and ate the seeds. There were areas of rock in the field where there was not much soil. The seeds that fell there started to grow. But there was not enough soil and it was too dry for them. They soon died. Other seeds fell among weeds. The weeds grew faster than the seeds. And the weeds stopped their growth. The seeds in the good soil grew well. This situation was familiar to the people. This is what happened in their fields.
Then Jesus called to the crowd. He asked the crowd to consider what the story meant. But he did not tell them what it meant.
Verses 9-15 Even the *disciples did not know what the story meant. So, they asked Jesus to explain it to them. He told them that they could know the secrets of the *kingdom of God. The word ‘secret’ here means that which we cannot know by natural means. These secrets are those things about the *kingdom of God that God shows to his people. The people who did not believe in Jesus would not understand these stories. In Luke 8:10, Jesus repeats words from Isaiah 6:9 to explain that fact.
The story was about the seed rather than the farmer. The seed means the word of God. The farmer scatters the seed. Those who hear the word of God receive it in different ways.
Many people hear the good news about God’s *kingdom but they do not take it in. The devil takes the truth away from them. And they soon forget it. So, they do not believe it.
Some people hear the word of God and they accept it. But it does not change their hearts and minds. This temporary belief does not last. Soon the effect becomes weaker. When difficulties come, they turn away from the *Lord.
Other people hear the word of God and they let the word change them for a time. But then they get too busy to think much about God.
The shallow belief of these three groups cannot last. And it has little effect in their lives. Such belief is of no use. It produces nothing worthwhile.
Then there are those people who hear the word of God. They believe it and it changes their lives. The word of God lives in their hearts. They live for God and they continue firm in their belief. So, they grow strong in the *Lord. And the results of their lives please God.
This story teaches us an important lesson. We must not only hear the word of God but we must believe it. We must not only believe the word of God but we must act on it. We must allow the word of God to change our whole life.
Verses 16-18 The lamp here was an oil lamp. It gave light by a flame as the oil burned. It would be foolish to hide such a light under a bowl. The light would go out for lack of air. It would be foolish to put such a light under a bed. It could burn the bed if it did not go out first.
The purpose of the light was so that people could see. If we cover the light, it will not help us to see in the dark. We put the light where it lights up the dark places. In the light, nothing can be secret. The light shows up all the things that the darkness hides.
Those people who believe in Jesus should not hide that fact. They should be like a light to show other people the way to Christ.
We can hide nothing from God. We can have no secrets from God. He will show all that we try to hide. He will tell all our secrets. When the *Lord comes as the judge, he will see everything whether good or evil.
As in the story of the seeds, it is important to listen to what Jesus says (verse 8b). Those people who accept the word of God receive from God. We must use what God has given to us. If we do, he will give to us more. If we do not accept the word of God, we will receive nothing from God. We may think that we have something. But we will lose all that we have.
Verses 19-21 Jesus taught the people probably in a house. His mother Mary and his brothers wanted to speak with him. But they could not get in because of the crowd that was already there. Someone told Jesus that his mother and brothers were outside.
Then Jesus told the crowd a strange thing. His mother and brothers were already round him, he said. They were listening to his words and they had become like his mother and brothers. And they did what God said.
Jesus was not refusing his family. He respected his mother very much. But he taught that we could become his family. This is not in the normal physical sense. We can be his family when by *faith we accept the word of God. We must hear the word of God and we must obey it.
Verses 22-25 It was late in the day (Mark 4:35). Jesus and his *disciples started to go across the lake, which was the Sea of Galilee. Jesus went to sleep in the back of the boat.
They were part of the way across the lake when a fierce storm began. Such storms happen often on the Sea of Galilee. The wind was so powerful that it caused the waves to crash against the boat. And water began to fill the boat. There was a danger that the boat would sink.
The *disciples could do nothing to save themselves and they were afraid. Jesus was still asleep so they woke him up. Several of them were *fishermen; they understood how to control a boat. But perhaps they thought that Jesus could do something. Maybe somehow he could save them.
Jesus had already shown his power over *demons, diseases and death. Now he shows his control over the forces of the natural world. He stood up and he spoke to the wind and the waves. The wind and the waves obeyed him and they became calm.
Jesus asked the *disciples why they were afraid. They ought to have had more *faith. Then the situation would not have frightened them. They should have trusted God, even in this frightening situation.
They knew that Jesus was someone special. But this display of power made them afraid. It astonished them. They wondered what kind of man Jesus was.
In the Psalms, God has the power to control the wind and the waves (see Psalm 107:23-32). Jesus shows that he has this same power. This event is evidence that Jesus is God.
Verses 26-29 Jesus and the *disciples arrived in the region of the people called Gerasenes. There are three names for this region in the *Gospels. The first one is the region of the Gerasenes. But Gerasa was about 40 miles south and east of the lake and it probably had no border on the lake. The second name is the region of the people called Gadarenes. But Gadar was a town 6 miles from the lake with a deep valley between it and the lake. The third name is the region of the people called Gergesenes. Gergesa was probably a small town near the lake. We do not know from which of these towns the man came.
As Jesus stepped out of the boat, a naked man came towards him. Many *demons lived in this man. He came from the town in that region. But he had made his home among the graves. The man, or rather, the *demons recognised Jesus. They knew who Jesus was. They knew that Jesus was the Son of God. And they were afraid of him. The man cried out with fear. The *demons knew that the *Lord would punish them one day (Matthew 8:29). But they appealed to Jesus not to punish them now. Jesus had ordered the *demons to come out of the man.
Often the *demons took control of the man. The people tried to control the man with chains. But with the power of the *demons, he broke the chains. Then the *demons caused him to go to live in lonely places.
Verses 30-39 Jesus asked the man what his name was. He called himself Legion. The word legion means a large number of people or things. Also, a legion was a group of several thousand soldiers in the *Roman army. The man called himself Legion because many *demons were in him.
The deep hole here is the final prison for *demons (Revelation 20:1). So, they appealed to Jesus not to send them there. They knew that they could not stay in the man. Instead, they asked that they might go into the pigs. Jesus let them go into the pigs. The pigs ran into the lake. And the pigs all drowned in the lake. There were about 2000 pigs (Mark 5:13).
The men who looked after the pigs ran away to the town. They reported what had happened. And people came out to see what the men had told them. They came to Jesus.
There they saw the man whom Jesus had freed from the power of the *demons. He sat there and he had dressed himself. Clearly, someone had given some clothes to him. The man was now completely normal. The people saw this and they were afraid.
The men who had seen the event told the people about it. They described what had happened. They told how the *demons had gone into the pigs. They described how Jesus had authority over the *demons. They told the people how Jesus had cured the man.
Because they were so afraid, the people in that region asked Jesus to go away from them. Jesus got into the boat with his *disciples and he left them.
Before Jesus went away, the man asked to go with him. But Jesus sent him back to his home to declare the good news. He obeyed Jesus and went to his town. He told the people, there and in the whole region, what God had done on his behalf. Jesus had done it, so therefore God had done it. Jesus and God are one.
Verses 40-42a (Verse 42a means the first part of verse 42.) Jesus returned from the region of the people called Gerasenes, and he came back to Galilee. Probably he came to Capernaum, which was then his own town (Matthew 9:1). When he arrived, a crowd came to meet him. Jairus, a leader of the *synagogue, came to Jesus. His 12-year-old daughter was dying. She was his only daughter. He asked Jesus to come to his house before she died. He believed that Jesus could cure her.
Verses 42b-44 (Verse 42b means the second part of verse 42.) Jesus started to go with Jairus along the narrow streets. They were in the middle of the crowd. In the crowd, a woman forced her way through to get to Jesus. She came up behind him and she touched his clothes.
This woman had been ill for 12 years. All that time, she suffered a loss of blood. She had been to many doctors. But none of them could cure her. This had cost her all her money (Mark 5:26). Her state made her unclean in the *Jewish religion (Leviticus 15:25). In other words, she could not join in public *worship. She could not go to the *temple. And she could not even touch other people. She was now desperate. But she believed that Jesus could cure her. She thought, ‘I will touch his clothes. That will cure me.’ She touched his clothes. Immediately power from Jesus cured her.
Verses 45-48 Jesus was aware that someone had touched his clothes. He asked who had touched him. In the crowd, as they went along, many people would have touched Jesus. So, this seemed to be a strange question to ask. But Jesus felt power go from him. He knew that a particular person had touched his clothes. Jesus would have known who had touched him. But he wanted the woman to come forward. At first, everybody denied it. But the woman knew that she could not hide. She had to admit it.
Jesus felt power go from him. This does not mean that it reduced the power in him. His power was God’s power in him.
The woman had come in secret. She did not want to make public her problem. She would have been afraid to speak about it. Now she trembled and she fell down in front of Jesus. Perhaps she was afraid that Jesus would be angry. Then she told him and the crowd the whole truth. And she told them that the power of Jesus had cured her.
Jesus spoke to her in a gentle manner. He told her that her belief in God had cured her.
Verses 49-50 Probably because of the delay, Jesus did not get to the little girl in time. She had just died. Someone came to tell her father, Jairus, the sad news. It was too late. There was now no reason for Jesus to come to the house.
Jesus heard that the child was dead. Either he heard the conversation with Jairus or Jairus told him the news. The news did not worry Jesus at all. But it would have greatly upset Jairus. So, Jesus told him not to be afraid. Jairus believed that Jesus could cure his daughter. But that was before she died. Now Jesus told Jairus to believe that he would bring the girl back to life.
Verses 51-56 Jesus and the people who were with him arrived at Jairus’ house. As was the custom in those days people gathered in and outside the house. There were family, friends, servants and people whose job was to weep for the dead person. They were all weeping and they made a loud noise. Jesus said to them all, ‘Do not cry.’ (This probably means that they must not continue to make all that noise.) ‘She is not dead. She is asleep.’ But they knew that she was dead. So, they laughed at Jesus. None of them believed that he could bring the girl back to life.
Jesus said that she was only asleep. Jesus was not pretending that she was not dead. Rather, he meant that her death was like sleep. This death was not permanent. The girl would wake up as from sleep.
Jesus told all the people to go out. Then with the parents of the girl, Jesus went into the room where the girl was. Also, he took with him Peter, James and John. But he did not allow anyone else to go in.
Jesus took the hand of the girl. He said to her, ‘Little girl, get up.’ Immediately the girl’s life returned. She got up and walked (Mark 5:42).
Jesus told the parents to give some food to the girl. It may be that during her illness she was not able to eat. Now she was alive and her illness had gone. Jesus raised her to good health.
What had happened astonished the parents. Clearly, they were full of emotions and very happy. They would have felt great excitement. But Jesus asked them not to tell anyone what had happened. The people knew that the girl was dead. Now they will know that she is alive again. But what happened in that room was in private.
Verses 1-6 Jesus gave to his 12 *disciples power and authority. Then he sent them to the villages of that region. They went in 6 teams of two (Mark 6:7). They would use that power and authority to free people from *demons. And they had the power to cure diseases. But the main purpose was to *preach and to speak about the *kingdom of God.
Perhaps Jesus knew that he would soon leave Galilee. And he wanted people in the whole region to hear the good news. And maybe he wanted to give his *disciples experience for the future.
The *disciples must take nothing for their journey. They had to depend on God and the kindness of the people. In those days, it was a custom for people to receive travellers into their houses. It was the custom to offer them a bed and food while they were there. So, the *disciples could expect such kindness in each place. And while they remained in that town or village, the *disciples should stay in one house. Jesus did not intend that his *disciples should follow these instructions on every future occasion. These instructions were just for that trip.
They may come to a place where the people would not receive them. Then they must leave that place. But they should shake the dust from their feet. The *Lord will consider that as evidence against the people of that place. And that action would warn the people that it is a very serious matter to refuse God’s message (Matthew 10:14-15).
The *disciples did what Jesus had told them. They *preached the good news and they cured the people.
Verses 7-9 The area that Herod Antipas ruled included Galilee. He had heard what had happened in this area. He heard about Jesus and what he had done. Herod thought that perhaps John the *Baptist had come back to life. And he thought that perhaps Jesus was John the *Baptist (Matthew 14:1). Some other people thought the same as Herod. This was a strange idea. Jesus was already *preaching and he did *miracles before John’s death. And earlier John had *baptised Jesus. But such an idea made Herod uneasy because he had killed John. So, Herod wanted to meet with Jesus. He wanted to know who Jesus was.
Many people were curious to know who Jesus really was. Some people thought that Jesus was Elijah. They believed that Elijah would come again (Malachi 4:5). And they believed that Elijah would come before the *Christ. But other people saw that Jesus was a great *prophet. Perhaps Jesus was one of the old *prophets who had come back to life. That was what they thought.
Verses 10-17 The 12 *disciples came back to Jesus. They told him all that they had done. Then Jesus took them across the Sea of Galilee by boat to a place near Bethsaida. Bethsaida was a town on the east of the river Jordan. It was near to where the river flowed into the Sea of Galilee. This was on the north and east side of the Sea of Galilee and it was outside of the territory of Herod Antipas.
Jesus intended that he and his *disciples should have a quiet time away from the crowd. But the crowd followed them. So, Jesus talked to the crowd about the *kingdom of God. And he cured those people who were sick.
They were in a desert place near to Bethsaida. It was late in the day. The people needed to get food to eat and somewhere to spend the night. The *disciples asked Jesus to send the people away. But Jesus told them to feed the crowd. He did not want to send the people away while they were still hungry.
The *disciples had 5 small loaves of bread and two fishes. Even if they could have bought food for the crowd, it would have cost a lot of money. However, it would be very difficult to find the amount of food that they needed.
The crowd was much more than 5000 people. There were about 5000 men plus women and children. Jesus told the *disciples to tell the people to sit in groups, with about 50 people in each group. Then he took the loaves and the fishes and he thanked God for them. He broke the food and he gave it to the *disciples. From that small meal, everybody in the crowd had more than enough food. At the end of the meal, the *disciples collected 12 baskets full of the food that the people had not eaten.
This was a great *miracle. It shows us that nothing is impossible to God. In Jesus Christ, God can supply all that we need.
Verses 18-22 Jesus and his *disciples were in the region of Caesarea Philippi (Matthew 16:13). Caesarea Philippi was a town in the north of *Israel near the mountain called Hermon. There Jesus prayed with his *disciples. Then he asked about the opinion of the people. He wanted to hear what the people said about him. Who did they think that he was?
The answer to that question was the same as before (Luke 9:7-8). Some said that Jesus was really John the *Baptist. Herod had killed John. Those people thought that John had come back to life in Jesus. Some people said that he was Elijah. Elijah had not died. He went up to heaven in a strong wind (2 Kings 2:11). And the people believed that he would come to earth again. Some people considered Jesus to be one of the *Old Testament *prophets who had become alive again.
Then Jesus asked the *disciples what they thought. They had seen all that Jesus had done already. They had listened to all that he had taught. They could see that Jesus was more than a *prophet. He was greater than John the *Baptist or Elijah. So, Peter gave the answer: ‘You are the *Christ of God.’ This was the first time that any of the *disciples called him *Christ. The *Jews expected God to send the *Christ. But when he came, most of them did not recognise him. Jesus was not the sort of person that many *Jews expected to be the *Christ (John 1:10-12). Peter knew who the *Christ was. This knowledge could only come from God (Matthew 16:17).
Jesus did not want the *disciples at this time to tell the people that he was the *Christ. If they spoke about Jesus as the *Christ, it would have caused political problems.
This is the first time that Jesus spoke clearly about his death. From this time on, Jesus taught the *disciples about what would happen. He told them that he would suffer many things. The leaders of the people would not believe that he was the *Christ. They would cause the *Romans to kill Jesus. He would die on a wooden cross. But death was not the end. Three days afterwards, God would make him alive again.
Verses 23-26 Before a person died on a cross, that person had to carry that cross. All who want to follow Jesus must be ready to lose their lives. They will not do just what they want. But they will do what Jesus wants. Each day, it is as if they carry their cross. Then they can follow Jesus. This is the attitude in life of a person who gives his life completely to the *Lord. It is the only proper attitude for a person who truly wants to serve God. Nothing in his life is as important as his relationship with God.
Here Jesus contrasts life on earth and *eternal life. Those people who want to satisfy their desires in this life will lose that life in death. All that is in the world is not worth the cost of a life. All those things are of no value to a person who loses his life. Those people who live for themselves will not have *eternal life. But those people who live for Jesus will have *eternal life.
If we are ashamed of Christ now, he will be ashamed of us in the future. That future will be when Jesus comes again in his *glory. Whatever other people may do to us, we must always be loyal to Jesus. Then we will share in the *glory of Jesus.
Verse 27 Some of those people who lived then would see the *kingdom of God. They would see the Son of Man come in his *kingdom (Matthew 16:28). They would see the *kingdom of God come with power (Mark 9:1).
There are several different ideas as to what Jesus meant. The first one is what happened a week later. Then Jesus showed his *glory to Peter, James and John (Matthew 17:1-8, Mark 9:2-8, Luke 9:28-36). The three *disciples saw the *glory of Jesus on that mountain. And Jesus received honour and *glory from God (2 Peter 1:16-18).
Another idea is that Jesus spoke about *Pentecost. Then the *kingdom of God came with power. And the *Holy Spirit came to those people who believed. That was the first time that a large number of people became Christians (Acts chapter 2).
When Jesus died, he defeated *Satan. Jesus took all our *sins upon himself. And he died to free us from our *sins. Then he became alive again and many people saw him. In him, they saw the power of the *kingdom of God.
When people trust Jesus to save them, they become citizens of God’s *kingdom. Perhaps that was what Jesus was referring to here. Their bodies may die, but in their spirits they have *eternal life. So, their spirits will never die.
Verses 28-36 A week later, Jesus went up a mountain to pray. He took with him Peter, James and John. As Jesus prayed, they saw him change. His face shone like the sun (Matthew 17:2). And his clothes shone with a bright white light. They were seeing his *glory with their own eyes. Then they saw two men in bright white clothes. These were Moses and Elijah, and these men talked with Jesus.
The three *disciples heard some of the conversation. Moses and Elijah spoke to Jesus about his death. They spoke about it as something that Jesus would achieve. Jesus would die soon at Jerusalem. But that death was not a defeat. That death was the purpose for which Jesus had come. The word for death here means a departure. Jesus would pass through death and then he would rise (become alive) again.
The three *disciples were sleepy. Perhaps they were asleep when Jesus began to pray. And they woke up to find that Moses and Elijah were there. They probably missed much of the conversation that Jesus had with Moses and Elijah.
Moses was the great leader of *Israel. He led them out of Egypt. And by him, God gave the law to *Israel. Elijah was a great *prophet.
Moses and Elijah were just leaving. The *disciples were afraid. And Peter did not know what to say. So, he said to Jesus, ‘Master, it is good for us to be here.’ Then he suggested that he should make three tents. These would be one tent for Jesus, one tent for Moses, and one tent for Elijah.
As Peter spoke, a cloud came on them all. It covered Jesus, Moses and Elijah. This was not an ordinary cloud. The cloud increased the fear of the *disciples. Then they heard the voice of God, which came from the cloud. God said that Jesus was his Son. God had chosen Jesus and he had sent him. Therefore, they (the *disciples) must listen to what Jesus says.
When they heard the voice, the *disciples fell down to the ground. The voice frightened them so much (Matthew 17:6-7).
When the cloud moved away, Moses and Elijah had gone. Jesus was alone with the three *disciples. The sight of his *glory had passed. Jesus came to them and he touched them. He said, ‘Get up. Do not be afraid’ (Matthew 17:6-7). Jesus was as they usually saw him. The *disciples did not speak about this experience until after Jesus had come back from death.
Verses 37-40 Maybe Jesus and the three *disciples had stayed on the mountain overnight. The next day, they came down and they saw a large crowd there. In the crowd was a man with his son, his only child. The son was sick because an evil spirit took control of him. This was not a normal physical disease. Luke was a medical doctor. He recognised the difference between a normal disease and the work of an evil spirit. Luke was not there. But he had studied what happened.
The man cried out to Jesus. He described to Jesus what the spirit did to his son. The man had appealed to the *disciples to free his son from the evil spirit. But they did not have that power. They were not able to send the spirit out of the boy. A short time before this, Jesus had given to the *disciples the power over *demons (Luke 9:1). It seems that they had lost the *faith to use that power. Now the man appealed to Jesus.
Verses 41-43a (Verse 43a means the first part of verse 43.) Jesus spoke to the crowd. Some of the teachers of the law were in that crowd. They argued with the *disciples (Mark 9:14). However, nobody there had the *faith to cure the boy. Many of the people with the *disciples had seen the *miracles that Jesus did. They heard what he taught. But many of them did not believe the truth. It seems that Jesus was sad because of their lack of belief.
Then Jesus asked the boy’s father to bring him. As the boy came, the *demon attacked him. Jesus asked the father how long the boy had suffered in this manner (Mark 9:22). The boy had suffered from the *demon since he was a young child. The father then asked Jesus if he could do something. The father said to Jesus, ‘If you can, take pity on us. And help us.’ Jesus replied to him that, with *faith, all things are possible. The man said that he did believe. But he asked Jesus to help him with his lack of *faith (Mark 9:20-23).
Then Jesus ordered the *demon to go. The boy was there on the ground. He seemed as if he was dead (Mark 9:26). Some people said that he was dead. But Jesus took the boy by his hand and lifted him up. Jesus cured the boy and he gave the boy back to his father.
The greatness of God’s power in this *miracle astonished all the people.
Verses 43b-45 (Verse 43b means the last part of verse 43.) Jesus then spoke with his *disciples. He told them about his death. Someone who was close to him would turn away from him. That person would hand Jesus over to his enemies. The *disciples did not understand what Jesus said. And they were afraid to ask him to explain it.
Verses 46-48 The *disciples knew that Jesus will rule as king. They discussed which of them would be the most important in his *kingdom. Jesus was not in this conversation. But he knew what they thought.
Jesus caused a little child to stand next to him. A little child had no rank in that society. The child was not an important person. It was just a child. But if one receives a child because of Christ, he receives Christ. To receive Christ is to receive God the Father as well. That is because God the Father sent Christ to this world.
The one who considers himself the least among God’s people will be great. Those people who are great in their own eyes will become of little importance (Luke 1:51-53; Luke 6:20-26).
Jesus was teaching that Christians, and especially their leaders, should have humble attitudes. In other words, they must not allow themselves to become proud because of their own importance. A truly important Christian must serve other people - even little children - on God’s behalf. As Christians do that, they are serving Christ. And when they serve Christ, they are doing God’s work (Mark 9:33-37, Mark 10:42-45).
Verses 49-50 The *apostle John now told Jesus about a man who freed people from the power of *demons. This man forced the *demons out in the name of Jesus. But the man was not with the *disciples who followed Jesus. John and some other *disciples saw this man, and they told him to stop. To do this work, the man should be one of their group. That is what John and the other *disciples told that man.
Jesus told John that they were wrong to stop the man. Someone who does a *miracle in the name of Jesus will not soon say anything bad about Jesus (Mark 9:39). This man was not against Jesus and his *disciples. People are either on the side of Christ, or they are against him.
AD ~ years after Christ.
alabaster ~ a soft stone that people used to make small bottles.
ancestors ~ people in history from whom your family has come.
angel ~ a servant of God from heaven. God made angels to serve him and to take his messages. So, angels are God’s servants from heaven. But there are evil angels who opposed God. These evil angels now serve the devil.
apostle ~ someone whom God sends; especially one of the 12 men whom Jesus chose to be his helpers.
Aramaic ~ the language that Jesus spoke.
at peace ~ a right relationship with God, or with other people.
baptise ~ to use water in a special ceremony to show that God has forgiven (washed away) someone’s *sin.
Baptist ~ a title for John, who prepared for Christ’s arrival, because he *baptised people.
BC ~ years before Christ
blasphemy ~ to say things against God; to curse and to insult God.
bless ~ to show kindness.
centurion ~ an officer in the *Roman army.
Christ ~ the Christ is the name for the person whom God would send to save his people. Jesus is the Christ and he was called Christ.
demons ~ evil *angels that serve the devil.
denarius ~ a coin. The plural is denarii.
disciple ~ a person who follows a leader, especially the 12 men that Jesus chose to be with him.
eternal life ~ life of a new quality for those people who believe in Jesus. This new life will be with Jesus always.
faith ~ trust in someone or something; belief and trust in God and in Jesus Christ his Son.
fever ~ an illness that makes the body very hot.
fig ~ a kind of sweet fruit.
fishermen ~ men whose job is to catch fish.
glory ~ great honour and beauty.
Gospel ~ one of the four Bible Books about the life of Jesus.
grapes ~ the fruit of a plant called a grapevine.
Greek ~ the language in which the authors wrote the *New Testament.
Hebrew ~ the language of the *Jews and of the *Old Testament.
Holy Spirit ~ God’s Spirit, whom Jesus has sent to help his people. The Bible also calls the Holy Spirit: the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ and the Comforter. The *Holy Spirit is a person but not human. He carries out God’s work on earth. The Holy Spirit is God, equal with God the Father and with God the Son.
hypocrite ~ someone who pretends.
Israel ~ the country of the *Jews.
Jewish ~ people or things that are from the *Jews.
Jews ~ people who were born from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the families of their children.
kingdom ~ the place or territory where a king rules. In the *New Testament, this word nearly always refers to the people over whom the king rules and not a territory on earth.
Lamb ~ a lamb is a young sheep. The title ‘Lamb of God’ is a name for Jesus because he died as a *sacrifice for our *sin.
legion ~ a group of several thousand soldiers in the *Roman army; a large number of people or things.
leper ~ a man with a serious skin disease called *leprosy.
leprosy ~ a serious disease of the skin.
Lord ~ a title for God, or Jesus, to show that he is over all people and things. In the *Old Testament, LORD was a special name for God.
miracle ~ a powerful deed that does not happen by natural means. Often, miracles seem impossible to explain. Miracles show God’s power.
Most High ~ a title for God.
New Testament ~ the last part of the Bible, which the writers wrote after the life of Jesus on earth.
Old Testament ~ the first part of the Bible; the holy things that the writers wrote before Jesus’ birth.
Pentecost ~ annual ceremony when the *Jews thank God for the harvest.
perfume ~ oil with a sweet smell.
Pharisees ~ a group of *Jews who tried to keep all God’s rules. Many Pharisees did not approve of Jesus.
preach ~ to speak out God’s message in public and to teach his word.
prophecy ~ a message from God that a person speaks by the power of the *Holy Spirit.
prophet ~ a person who speaks for God. A prophet can sometimes say what will happen in the future.
prostitute ~ a woman who sells her body to men for sex.
repent ~ to change one’s mind and heart. People who repent must turn their minds and hearts away from *sin. They ask God to help them so that they can now serve him.
Roman ~ Rome was the capital city of the rulers at the time of the *New Testament. Anything that belonged to Rome was Roman.
Sabbath ~ the 7th day of the week (Saturday) which was special to the *Jews as a holy day.
sacrifice ~ a gift to God to ask him to forgive *sins or to thank him for something.
salvation ~ the result when God saves us from *sin and punishment; the new life that God gives to those people who believe in the *Lord Jesus.
sandals ~ a shoe with a piece of leather underneath and leather pieces to fit to the foot.
Satan ~ the name of the devil.
scroll ~ a book in the form of a roll of paper or other material.
sin ~ sin is the wrong things that we do. To sin is to do wrong, bad or evil deeds and not to obey God.
sinful ~ a person who *sins is sinful.
sinners ~ people who *sin.
spice ~ a sweet substance or a substance with a strong smell.
synagogue ~ a building where *Jews gather for prayer; a place where the *Jews meet for the purpose of their religion.
temple ~ a special building for the *worship of God. The *Jews had a temple in Jerusalem for the *worship of the real God. But at other temples, people *worshipped false gods.
thorns ~ sharp hard points on a tree or bush.
tribe ~ a large family from one man. The nation called *Israel grew from the 12 sons of Jacob. These 12 families became the 12 tribes of *Israel.
worship ~ the act when someone shows honour to God (or to a false god). When a person worships, that person praises God. That person thanks God. And that person respects God.
Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible
John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible
Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible
Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary
Joseph A Fitzmyer ~ The Gospel According to Luke ~ The Anchor Bible
I. Howard Marshall ~ Commentary on Luke ~ New International Greek Testament Commentary
Walter L. Liefeld ~ The Expositor’s Bible Commentary
Leon Morris ~ Luke ~ The Tyndale New Testament Commentaries
Bibles: NIV, ASV, CEV, TEV, GW, ISV, KJV, LITV, MKJV, RV
A. Marshall ~ The Interlinear Greek New Testament
© 2013, Wycliffe Associates (UK)
This publication is in EasyEnglish Level B (2800 words).
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