Luke 8

* The ministry of Christ. (1-3) The parable of the sower. (4-21)

Christ stilleth the tempest and casteth out devils. (22-40) The

daughter of Jairus restored to life. (41-56)

1-3 We are here told what Christ made the constant business of

his life, it was teaching the gospel. Tidings of the kingdom of

God are glad tidings, and what Christ came to bring. Certain

women attended upon him who ministered to him of their

substance. It showed the mean condition to which the Saviour

humbled himself, that he needed their kindness, and his great

humility, that he accepted it. Though rich, yet for our sakes he

became poor.
4-21 There are many very needful and excellent rules and

cautions for hearing the word, in the parable of the sower, and

the application of it. Happy are we, and for ever indebted to

free grace, if the same thing that is a parable to others, with

which they are only amused, is a plain truth to us, by which we

are taught and governed. We ought to take heed of the things

that will hinder our profiting by the word we hear; to take heed

lest we hear carelessly and slightly, lest we entertain

prejudices against the word we hear; and to take heed to our

spirits after we have heard the word, lest we lose what we have

gained. The gifts we have, will be continued to us or not, as we

use them for the glory of God, and the good of our brethren. Nor

is it enough not to hold the truth in unrighteousness; we should

desire to hold forth the word of life, and to shine, giving

light to all around. Great encouragement is given to those who

prove themselves faithful hearers of the word, by being doers of

the work. Christ owns them as his relations.
22-40 Those that put to sea in a calm, even at Christ's word,

must yet prepare for a storm, and for great peril in that storm.

There is no relief for souls under a sense of guilt, and fear of

wrath, but to go to Christ, and call him Master, and say, I am

undone, if thou dost not help me. When our dangers are over, it

becomes us to take to ourselves the shame of our own fears, and

to give Christ the glory of our deliverance. We may learn much

out of this history concerning the world of infernal, malignant

spirits, which though not working now exactly in the same way as

then, yet all must at all times carefully guard against. And

these malignant spirits are very numerous. They have enmity to

man and all his comforts. Those under Christ's government are

sweetly led with the bands of love; those under the devil's

government are furiously driven. Oh what a comfort it is to the

believer, that all the powers of darkness are under the control

of the Lord Jesus! It is a miracle of mercy, if those whom Satan

possesses, are not brought to destruction and eternal ruin.

Christ will not stay with those who slight him; perhaps he may

no more return to them, while others are waiting for him, and

glad to receive him.
41-56 Let us not complain of a crowd, and a throng, and a

hurry, as long as we are in the way of our duty, and doing good;

but otherwise every wise man will keep himself out of it as much

as he can. And many a poor soul is healed, and helped, and saved

by Christ, that is hidden in a crowd, and nobody notices it.

This woman came trembling, yet her faith saved her. There may be

trembling, where yet there is saving faith. Observe Christ's

comfortable words to Jairus, Fear not, believe only, and thy

daughter shall be made whole. No less hard was it not to grieve

for the loss of an only child, than not to fear the continuance

of that grief. But in perfect faith there is no fear; the more

we fear, the less we believe. The hand of Christ's grace goes

with the calls of his word, to make them effectual. Christ

commanded to give her meat. As babes new born, so those newly

raised from sin, desire spiritual food, that they may grow

thereby.
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