Luke viii.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 2. Mention is made in the gospels, of a woman who was a sinner, (Luke vii.) of Mary of Bethania, the sister of Lazarus, (John xi. and xii; Mark xiv; Matthew xxvi.) and of Mary Magdalene, who followed Jesus from Galilee, and ministered to him. Many think all this to belong to one and the same person: others think these were three distinct persons. See the arguments on both sides in Alban Butler’s Lives of the Saints, July 22d; and also more at large in the dissertations upon the three Marys, at the conclusion of the harmony in the Bible de Vence.

Ver. 3. The wife of Chusa, Herod’s steward. Literally, his procurator, as in the Rheims translation. The Greek signifies one that provides for another, or manages his concerns. The same word is used, Matthew xx. 8. and Galatians iv. 2. (Witham) — The Greek word is epitropou. It was the custom of the Jews, says St. Jerome, that pious women should minister of their substance, meat, drink, and clothing, to their teachers going about with them. But as this might have given cause of scandal among the Gentiles, St. Paul mentions that he allowed it not. (1 Corinthians ix. 5. 12.) They thus ministered to our Lord and his apostles of their worldly substance, from whom they received spiritual riches.

Ver. 8. Ears to hear, let him hear, &c. i.e. he that is willing to hear the word of God, and diligently comply with what is therein commanded, let him be attentive to the words of Christ. For the sight, hearing, and other senses, were not given to man to be used only as beasts use them, but likewise that they might profit his soul to eternal life. (Tirinus)

Ver. 9. After the multitude had left our divine Saviour, his disciples wishing thoroughly to understand the meaning of his instructions, came to him, and desired he would give them an explanation of the parable. (Tirinus)

Ver. 14. The sense of the Greek text is: they produce no fruit that arrives at maturity. (Bible de Vence)

Ver. 16. Our Lord calls himself the lighted candle, placed in the middle of the world. Christ was by nature God, and by dispensation man: and thus, not unlike a torch placed in the middle of a house, does our Lord, seated in the soul of man, illumine all around him. But by the candlestick, is understood the Church, which he illuminates by the refulgent rays of his divine word. (St. Maximus.) — By these expressions, Jesus induces his audience to be very diligent, and quite alive in the momentous affair of salvation; informing them that they are placed in the public view of the whole world. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xv. in Matt.)

Ver. 18. He here exhorts his audience to attend to what he was about to deliver, and to apply themselves with all their attention to the divine word; for he who has a desire of hearing the word, shall also receive the grace and power of understanding it. But the man who has no desire of hearing it, though from his learning he might expect to understand it, shall not understand it, because he does not willingly attend to the divine admonitions; hence it is said, Whosoever hath, to him also shall be given. (Ven. Bede)

Ver. 20. These brethren were not the sons of the blessed Virgin Mary, mother of God, as Helvidius wickedly taught; nor yet the sons of Joseph, by another wife; for, as St. Jerome writeth, not only Mary, but Joseph also, observed virginity. (Contra Helvidium, chap. ix. et ibidem, chap. viii.) — In the scriptural idiom, cousins are called brethren. (Bristow)

Ver. 21. There is no tie of affinity and friendship so proper, and so becoming man, as that made by faith in Christ, and strengthened by charity. (Tirinus)

Ver. 22. And they launched forth: literally, they went up. The sense is, being gone abroad, they set forward, or launched forth, as in the Protestant translation. (Witham)

Ver. 23. And they were filled; i.e. the little ship was filled with water. (Witham)

Ver. 24. In this Christ evidently shews two distinct natures; his human nature, denoted by his sleep; and his divine nature by stilling the tempest at sea. (Ven. Bede)

Ver. 25. After Christ had appeased the storm at sea, the disciples, all astonishment at the miracle, began to whisper to each other, saying, Who is this? not that the disciples were ignorant of whom they were speaking, but they wondered at his mighty works, and at the glory of his divine power. (St. Ambrose)

Ver. 26. Here St. Matthew relates the history of the two demoniacs, whilst St. Mark and St. Luke speak only of one; but the man mentioned in these two evangelists, was a man of some consideration and consequence, for whose cure the country was deeply interested. (St. Augustine, de concord. evang.)

Ver. 28. This is not a voluntary confession, which merits a reward, but a forced acknowledgment, extorted against their wills. Like fugitive servants, who, when they meet their masters, think of nothing but of deprecating punishment. The devils think our Lord is come down upon earth to judge them. (St. Jerome) — The torment from which this devil desires to be freed, is the pain and affliction he would suffer by being forced to yield to the power of Christ, in leaving the man; not the general torment of hell, to which he knew he was unchangeably and irrevocably condemned. He was also tormented with the fear, lest he should be now consigned to those eternal pains before his time, as it is expressed in St. Matthew. For, though the evil spirits are unavoidably condemned, and already suffer the chief torments of hell, yet the rigorous fulfilment of all is deferred to the day of judgment. (Jansenius, conc. Evang.)

Ver. 30. He did not put the question through ignorance of his name, but that his answer might shew forth the divine power in a more glorious manner; as also for our instruction, that knowing the great number of our invisible enemies, we might work out our salvation with fear and trembling, placing all our confidence in God. (Denis the Carthusian)

Ver. 32. If, says St. Athanasius, the infernal spirits have no power over such impure beasts as swine, with much greater reason then are they deprived of power over man, who is made after God’s own image, and redeemed by the blood of his son, Christ Jesus. We should therefore fear only God, and despise the devil. (Life of St. Anthony)

Ver. 33. This event shews what was before asserted, that many devils had possession of the man. The obstinacy of the Sadducees, who denied the existence of evil spirits, was thus likewise refuted; as well as the cavils of certain moderns, who pretend that these effects which appeared in the demoniacs, were not produced by the power of the devil, but were the consequences of some violent natural malady. (Jansenius, conc. Evang.)

Ver. 41. See this explained in Matthew ix. and Mark v.

Ver. 43. All her substance; (olon ton bion) i.e. all that she had to live upon.

Ver. 45. All denied that they had designedly touched him, though, on account of the pressure of the crowd, many unwillingly touched him. (Menochius’ Commentaria.)

Ver. 48. In the Greek, have confidence.

Ver. 49. [To the ruler of the synagogue.] Para tou archisunagogou, which some interpret, from the house of the ruler. (Menochius) — In vain do you trouble him. (Menochius)

Ver. 55. This returning of the souls again, to reanimate the bodies of those whom Christ and his apostles raised from death, (and especially Lazarus, who had been dead four days) doth evidently prove the immortality of the soul. From this place we may also conclusively infer against our adversaries, who say, that every one goeth straight to heaven or hell, that it is not probable that they were called from the one or the other; and therefore from some third place.

Bible Text & Cross-references:

The parable of the seed. Christ stills the storm at sea: casts out the legion: heals the issue of blood: and raises the daughter of Jairus to life.

1 And it came to pass afterwards, that he travelled through the cities and towns, preaching and evangelizing the kingdom of God: and the twelve with him;

2 And certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: *Mary called Magdalene, out of whom seven devils were gone forth,

3 And Joanna, the wife of Chusa, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, who ministered unto him of their substance.

4 And when a very great multitude was gathered together, and hastened out of the cities to him, he spoke by a similitude:

5 *A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.

6 And other some fell upon a rock: and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it had no moisture.

7 And other some fell among thorns, and the thorns growing up with it, choked it.

8 And other some fell upon good ground: and sprung up, and yielded fruit a hundred-fold. Saying these things, he cried out: He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

9 And his disciples asked him what this parable might be.

10 To whom he said: To you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but to the rest in parables, *that seeing, they may not see, and hearing, they may not understand.

11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

12 And they, by the way side, are they that hear; then the devil cometh, and taketh the word out of their heart, lest believing, they should be saved.

13 Now they upon the rock, are they who when they hear, receive the word with joy: and these have no roots; who believe for a while, and in time of temptation, fall away.

14 And that which fell among thorns: are they who have heard, and going their way, are choked with the cares and riches, and pleasures of this life, and yield no fruit.

15 But that on the good ground, are they who in a good and perfect heart, hearing the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit in patience.

16 *Now no man that lighteth a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed: but setteth it upon a candlestick, that they who come in, may see the light.

17 *For there is not any thing secret, that shall not be made manifest: nor hidden, that shall not be known, and come abroad.

18 Take heed, therefore, how you hear. *For whosoever hath, to him shall be given: and whosoever hath not, that also which he thinketh he hath, shall be taken away from him.

19 *And his mother and brethren came to him: and they could not come at him for the crowd.

20 And it was told him: Thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to see thee.

21 He answering, said to them: My mother and my brethren are they, who hear the word of God, and do it.

22 *And it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a little ship with his disciples, and he said to them: Let us go over to the other side of the lake. And they launched forth.

23 And when they were sailing, he slept; and there came down a storm of wind on the lake, and they were filled, and were in danger.

24 And they came and awaked him, saying, Master, we perish. But he arising, rebuked the wind, and the raging of the water: and it ceased, and there was a calm.

25 And he said to them: Where is your faith? And they being afraid, wondered, saying one to another: Who is this: (think you) that he commandeth both the winds and the sea, and they obey him?

26 And they sailed to the country of the Gerasens, which is over against Galilee.

27 And when he was come forth to the land, there met him a certain man who had a devil now a very long time, and he wore no clothes, neither did he abide in a house, but in the tombs.

28 And when he saw Jesus, he fell down before him: and crying out with a loud voice, he said: What have I to do with thee, Jesus, Son of the most high God? I beseech thee, do not torment me.

29 For he commanded the unclean spirit to go out of the man. For many times it seized him, and he was bound with chains, and kept in fetters: and he broke the bonds, and was driven by the devil into the deserts.

30 And Jesus asked him, saying: What is thy name? But he said: Legion: because many devils were entered into him.

31 And they besought him that he would not command them to go into the abyss.

32 And there was there a herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them.

33 The devils, therefore, went out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were stifled.

34 Which, when they that fed them, saw done, they fled away, and told it in the city and in the villages.

35 And they went out to see what was done: and they came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils had departed, sitting at his feet, clothed, and in his right mind, and they were afraid.

36 And they also that had seen it told them, how he had been healed from the legion.

37 And all the multitude of the country of the Gerasens besought him to depart from them: for they were taken with great fear. And he going up into the ship, returned back again.

38 Now the man, out of whom the devils were departed, besought him that he might be with him. But Jesus sent him away, saying:

39 Return to thy house, and tell how great things God hath done to thee. And he went through the whole city, publishing how great things Jesus had done to him.

40 And it came to pass, that when Jesus was returned, the multitude received him. For they were all waiting for him.

41 *And behold there came a man whose name was Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue: and he fell down at the feet of Jesus, beseeching him that he would come into his house,

42 For he had an only daughter, almost twelve years old, and she was dying. And it happened, as he went, that he was thronged by the multitudes.

43 And there was a certain woman having an issue of blood twelve years, who had bestowed all her substance on physicians, and could not be healed by any:

44 She came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: and immediately the issue of her blood stopped.

45 And Jesus said: Who is it that touched me? And when all denied, Peter, and they that were with him, said: Master, the multitudes throng and press thee, and dost thou say: Who touched me?

46 And Jesus said: Some body hath touched me: for I know that virtue is gone out from me.

47 And the woman seeing, that she was not hid, came trembling, and fell down before his feet, and declared, before all the people, for what cause she had touched him, and how she was immediately healed.

48 But he said to her: Daughter, thy faith hath healed thee: go in peace.

49 While he was yet speaking, there cometh one to the ruler of the synagogue, saying to him: Thy daughter is dead, trouble him not.

50 But Jesus hearing this word, answered the father of the maid: Fear not, believe only, and she shall be healed.

51 And when he was come to the house, he suffered no man to go with him, but Peter, and James, and John, and the father and mother of the maiden.

52 And all wept and mourned for her. But he said: Weep not; the maid is not dead, but sleepeth.

53 And they laughed scornfully at him, knowing that she was dead.

54 But he taking her by the hand cried out, saying: Maid, arise.

55 And her spirit returned, and she rose immediately. And he bade them give her to eat.

56 And her parents were astonished, whom he charged to tell no one what was done.



2: about the year A.D. 31.; Mark xvi. 9.

5: Matthew xiii. 3.; Mark iv. 3.

10: Isaias vi. 9.; Matthew xiii. 14.; Mark iv. 12.; John xii. 40.; Acts xxviii. 26.; Romans xi. 8.

16: Matthew v. 15.; Mark iv. 21.

17: Matthew x. 26.; Mark iv. 22.

18: Matthew xiii. 12. and xxv. 29.

19: Matthew xii. 46.; Mark iii. 32.

22: Matthew viii. 23.; Mark iv. 36.

41: Matthew xix. 18.; Mark v. 22.