Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible

Luke Ch.8 / 24 Ch.s


* 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