Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Luke 8

Women Accompanying Jesus

In addition to the men following Jesus around, there are a few women.

I guess at the time the fact that women were following him around is significant?

The Parable of the Sower

There was a guy sowing seeds, some seeds fell on the path and got trampled and eaten by birds. Some fell on rocks and grew but then withered because it didn't have moisture. Some fell among thorns and got choked out. Some fell into soil and grew a hundredfold.

The Purpose of the Parables

The disciples ask Jesus what the parables mean. He tells them they have been given the secrets of the kingdom of God, but others are given parables so that 'seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand'. Jesus then explains that the seeds are the words of God and where they land demonstrates how well you absorbed it. On the path means the devil took the words from your heart, on the rocks means you took the word and felt joy until you had some hardship, thorns means you kept to your sinful ways, and good soil means you took the word in properly.

I mentioned this when it came up before, but I actually find this passage to be pretty terrible. Jesus says here that he intentionally made his teachings harder to understand for the masses than he made it for his inner circle. This makes no sense if you are trying to save everyone from hell. 

A Lamp Under a Jar

Nobody lights a lamp and then hides it, but instead they put it on a stand so everyone can see the light. Nothing is hidden, all secrets will be revealed at some point. Take care how you hear, those with a lot get more, those with nothing get stuff taken away.

I actually don't understand this very well at all. It sounds like it is saying don't have secrets because it will be revealed anyway, I'm not sure how much I agree with that. I don't know what "take care how you hear" means, and I don't know how the bit about the rich get richer and poor get poorer fits in either.

Jesus' Mother and Brothers

Jesus' family wants to see him and he turns them away because they don't believe his preaching.

don't like this. This kind of thinking leads people to disown their gay children. This kind of thinking is why my family doesn't know I'm an atheist.

Jesus Calms a Storm

Jesus and his disciples are taking a boat ride and while Jesus is sleeping a great storm came. They were afraid and woke Jesus, he calmed down the wind and told them they had no faith.

What exactly is the message here? Don't be afraid of obvious dangers?

Jesus Heals a Man with a Demon

They came across a guy who was possessed by a bunch of demons. Jesus sent the demons into a herd of pigs which killed themselves. Then the townsfolk were afraid and told Jesus to leave. The guy who had been freed of the demons asked if he could come with Jesus and he was told no and to go home.

I didn't notice this last time, but I went back to look and it was there that the guy asked to come with Jesus and was denied. Seems strange that the guy was not allowed to come along. Maybe it is like project mayhem, you can only join after you stick it out with no encouragement and staying when told to leave.

Jesus Heals a Woman and Jairus's Daughter

Jesus was in a big crowd where a lot of people were pushing in on him. A woman who was sick and the doctors could not help touched his garments and were immediately healed. He felt power leave him and asked who did it, she apologized and he said it was ok, her faith made her well. Then a girl died and Jesus said if the father just had faith he should go and see that she is just sleeping, and she was.

Same old thing, faith healing. Also, if you have gone to a bunch of doctors who can't help you, you will naturally reach out to anyone offering a cure. The fact that you have faith in that situation doesn't seem very remarkable to me, it is the same reason people today get taken in by so many varieties of charlatan.


  1. The sower. Even though I am no longer a christian, I think its still good advice. From my understanding, I think getting good advice and not following through on it can be bad. I think about when I am going through a crisis or a friend is going through a crisis and I or the friend asks for advice. If I feel like I have so good advice based on experience or get some, I try to take it in, think about it and then act if I feel like its going to be good for my situation. If I just shrug it off, its no good and “dies.” Hopefully that makes sense.

    Whats the point of speaking in parables if only the apostles will understand? Maybe it means that followers of Jesus will only understand. I feel like I might be stretching it a bit, but it was written down for everyone to read. But whats the point of talking in parables and repeating them if no one will ever really know what they mean except for the dead apostles?

    I want to point out verses 20 and 21 as well. He seems to be kind rude to his family. “And it was reported to Him, 'Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, wishing to see You.' By he answered and said to them 'My mother and My brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.'” I get the point he's trying to make, but he sounds dismissive of his “blood” family, in my opinion. I'd be terrified to tell my parents I am an atheist. And its really sad. I worry mostly about the “burden” they would take on. After my brother had my mom read “The Life of Pi” which was an allegory about different types of religion, she told him “at least they believed in something.” The way my brother made it sound, was as though she was hinting at the fact that she knows that all her sons are non-believers.

    The lamp under a jar parable. I never really thought about it like that.. maybe someone can come along and clear that up.

    Jaris' daughter. I know its a “minor difference” but here is a comparison between the two stories. In Matthew, she is already dead.

    Love your analogy on project mayhem lol.

    Jesus Heals a Woman and Jairus's Daughter. It seems like in verse 48, “Daughter your faith has made you well; go in peace.” This might just be me, but the message I take away is, “if you have faith you will never get sick.” Faith healing is just so sickening. It's bad enough the damage caused on adult lives, but when its inflicted on children, its just horrifying. I know you pointed out a few examples previously, but when it comes to children, its just child abuse in my opinion.

  2. On the girl already being dead, I think the discrepency can be cleared up.*

  3. That's an interesting take on the sower. I am always interested in what someone could get from reading these verses. Sometimes I do let my bias in which isn't really fair, but my goal is to try to view it from an impartial place. So you are basically saying, when you get advice you should make an effort to really take it in, don't let the advice bounce off you or get corrupted by other things before you give it a real chance. I like it. It actually makes me think about how sometimes it takes a few times for good advice to sink in, if people followed this it could take fewer. I guess sometimes there is an advantage to having the story come up a bunch of times, it took till the third round of this story before this conversation happened :)

    another thing about the speaking in parables being confusing to outsiders. It seems strange to keep it a secret and then write it down for all to read. Or maybe that is not true, not everyone used to be able to read the bible right? Only the higher up people, books used to be expensive and not everyone could read. Sorry for the stream of consciousness.

  4. I think the message, viewing it with what follows, might be referring to the word of God. If someone tells you about God or you read about it, it hopefully will land on "fertile soil." Those that ignore or not pay heed to his preaching are like bad soil.

    I think that this might relate to the following part about the parables. Those that don't really listen or pay attention are a waste of time (the ungrown seed).

    You do bring up a good point. The church for a really long time would not allow people to reprint the bible in common languages and would only allow masses to be said in Latin. The former who did so would be hunted down, the later happened until Vatican II in the Catholic church in 1965.

  5. yeah I agree, the parables are clearly talking about the word of God, doesn't mean we can't get meaning out of it for other situations.


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