Luke 8

Chapters eight and nine conclude Jesus’ ministry in Galilee with a series of events before he headed toward Jerusalem. No chapters in Luke contain as many distinct events as these two. The focus is not meant to be on the events themselves, so some of them are very short, lacking detail. Rather, Luke’s focus was on Jesus’ view of these events. Notice the recurring theme of Jesus’ compassion: for women (8:1-3), for true followers (8:19-21), for his disciples (8:22-25), for the demon-possessed man (8:26-39), for Jairus and his daughter (8:40-42, 49-56), and for the sick woman (8:43-48). Luke could not include more compassion into a single chapter than he did in chapter eight.

The only other section that this chapter includes is a single parable, revealing a chronological clue not found elsewhere. Matthew 13 records that Jesus told parables as a specific method of hiding truth from unbelievers after they had begun rejecting him. Luke’s inclusion of the first parable at this point seems to show that, although the rejection had started, it took some time to spread, and Jesus continue his preaching, teaching, and healing ministry while his rejection grew. Eventually, he would minister in Israel using parables almost exclusively and doing miracles for only those individuals who believed. His large group ministry would be limited to Gentile groups outside of Israel.