Parable of the Lamp
Luke 8:16 “No one, when he has lit a lamp, covers it with a vessel or puts it under a bed, but sets it on a lampstand, that those who enter may see the light.
At first glance there does not seem to be much connection between this section and what has gone before. Actually, however, there is a continuous flow of thought. The Savior is still emphasizing the importance of what His disciples do with His teachings. He likens Himself to a man who has lit a lamp, not to be put under a vessel or under a bed, but on a lampstand for all to see the light. In teaching the disciples the principles of the kingdom of God, He was lighting a lamp. What should they do with it?
First of all, they should not cover it with a vessel. In Matthew 5:15, Mark 4:21, and Luke 11:33 (KJV), the vessel is spoken of as a bushel. This of course is a unit of measure used in the world of commerce. So hiding the lamp under a bushel could speak of allowing one’s testimony to be obscured or crowded out in the rush of business life. It would be better to put the lamp on top of the bushel, that is, practice Christianity in the marketplace and use one’s business as a pulpit for propagating the gospel.
Secondly, the disciple should not hide the lamp under a bed. The bed speaks of rest, comfort, sloth, and indulgence. How these can hinder the light from shining! The disciple should put the lamp on a stand. In other words, he should live and preach the truth so that all can see.
Luke 8:17 For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light.
Verse 17 seems to suggest that if we allow the message to be confined because of business or laziness, our neglect and failure will be exposed. Hiding of the truth will be revealed, and keeping it a secret will come to light.
Luke 8:18 Therefore take heed how you hear. For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken from him.”
Therefore we should be careful how we hear. If we are faithful in sharing the truth with others, then God will reveal new and deeper truths to us.
If, on the other hand, we do not have this spirit of evangelistic zeal, God will deprive us of the truth we think we possess. What we don’t use, we lose.
G. H. Lang comments: The disciples listened with a mind eager to understand and ready to believe and obey: the rest heard with either listlessness, or curiosity, or resolute opposition. To the former more knowledge would be granted; the latter would be deprived of what knowledge they seemed to have.
Christ’s True Brethren
Luke 8:19 Then His mother and brothers came to Him, and could not approach Him because of the crowd. :20 And it was told Him by some, who said, “Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see You.”
Luke 8:21 But He answered and said to them, “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.” What are you thoughts?
The Storm is Stilled
Luke 8:22 Now it happened, on a certain day, that He got into a boat with His disciples. And He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.” And they launched out.
In the remainder of this chapter Jesus is seen exercising His lordship over the elements, over demons, over disease, and even over death. All these obey His word; only man refuses.
Violent storms do rise quickly on the Sea of Galilee, making navigation perilous. Yet perhaps this particular storm was of satanic origin; it might have been an attempt to destroy the Savior of the world.
Luke 8:23 But as they sailed He fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water, and were in jeopardy.
Jesus was asleep when the storm broke; the fact that He slept attests His true humanity. The storm went to sleep when Jesus spoke; this fact attests His absolute deity.
Luke 8:24 And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water. And they ceased, and there was a calm.
The disciples awoke the Savior, expressing anguished fears for their own safety. With perfect poise, He rebuked the wind and waves; and all was calm. What He did to the Sea of Galilee, He can do to the troubled, storm-tossed disciple today.
Luke 8:25 But He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and marveled, saying to one another, “Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him!”
He asked the disciples, “Where is your faith?” They should not have worried. They did not need to awaken Him. “No water can swallow the ship where lies the Master of ocean and earth and skies.” To be with Christ in the boat is to be absolutely safe and secure.
The disciples did not fully appreciate the extent of the power of their Master. Their understanding of Him was defective. They marveled that the elements obeyed Him.
They were no different from us. In the storms of life, we often despair. Then when the Lord comes to our aid, we are astonished at the display of His power. And we wonder that we did not trust Him more fully.
Demons are Cast into Swine
Luke 8:26 Then they sailed to the country of the Gadarenes, which is opposite Galilee. :27 And when He stepped out on the land, there met Him a certain man from the city who had demons for a long time. And he wore no clothes, nor did he live in a house but in the tombs.
When Jesus and His disciples reached shore, they were in the district of the Gadarenes. There they met a certain man possessed with demons. Matthew mentions two demoniacs, while Mark and Luke speak of only one. Such seeming discrepancies might indicate that they were actually two different occasions, or that one writer gave a fuller account than the others.
This particular case of demon-possession caused the victim to discard his clothes, shun society, and live in the tombs.
Luke 8:28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, fell down before Him, and with a loud voice said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me!” :29 For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For it had often seized him, and he was kept under guard, bound with chains and shackles; and he broke the bonds and was driven by the demon into the wilderness.
When he saw Jesus, he begged Him to let him alone. Of course, it was the unclean spirit who spoke through the pitiful man.
Demon-possession is real. These demons were not mere influences. They were supernatural beings who indwelt the man, controlling his thoughts, speech, and behavior.
These particular demons caused the man to be extremely violent—so much so that when he had one of these violent convulsions, he broke the chains that were intended to restrain him and ran off into the wilderness. This is not surprising when we realize that cooped up within this one man were enough demons to destroy about two thousand pigs (see Mark 5:13).
Luke 8:30 Jesus asked him, saying, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion,” because many demons had entered him. :31 And they begged Him that He would not command them to go out into the abyss.
Hinson, E. E., & Kroll, W. M. (Eds.). (1994). KJV Bible Commentary (p. 121). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
MacArthur, J. F., Jr., MacDonald, Farstad, Believers Bible; Hinson, E. E., & Kroll, W. M. (Eds.). (1994). KJV Bible Commentary (p. 2195). Nashville: Thomas Nelson