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|Publication Type||Book Chapter|
|Year of Publication||2023|
|Authors||S. Kent Brown|
|Book Title||New Testament Minute: Luke|
|Number of Volumes||27|
|Keywords||Bible; Luke (Book); New Testament|
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Luke 8:1–3. The Earliest Followers
The following is adapted from S. Kent Brown, The Testimony of Luke (Provo, UT: BYU Studies, 2015), 398–400.
These three verses, Luke 8:1–3, form a needed bridge between the Savior’s early ministry in Galilee and His subsequent efforts to reach out to people in this region before He begins to wend His way south toward Jerusalem (Luke 9:51). Luke insists that Jesus makes the effort to contact all, traveling “throughout every city and village” in the area and taking the Twelve as witnesses (8:1). What follows in chapters 8 and 9 forms a sampling from this later Galilean ministry.
At the heart of the unofficial entourage that travels with Him and the Twelve during these days walks a group of women whose lives Jesus touches literally by relieving them “of evil spirits and infirmities” (Luke 8:2). Matthew and Mark tell us of these women from Galilee, but not until the ends of their Gospels and without the detail of Jesus’s liberating acts, except the deliverance of Mary Magdalene.1 Luke chooses to introduce them at about the time they are first gathering around the Savior, thus highlighting their early presence among His followers. As a result, we are not surprised at their sudden appearance in the stories of Jesus’s Crucifixion, burial, and Resurrection.
From these verses, we also carry away a sense that these women help maintain Jesus and the Twelve using their own purses—in other words, their own resources. Plainly implied is their access to ample means, indicating that they enjoy a right to financial resources and, importantly, that they carry with them the support of their husbands and families. Most, if not all, must have already raised their children and are now able to spend time away from home. We know the names of some of these women, though not all. In these verses, Luke notes the names of three; for the others, we must consult the other Gospels.
- Mary Magdalene
- Joanna the wife of Chuza (Luke 24:10)
- Mary the mother of James the less and Joses (Matthew 27:56, 61; 28:1; Mark 15:40, 47; 16:1; Luke 24:10)
- Salome (Mark 15:40; 16:1)
- The mother of Zebedee’s children (Matthew 27:56)
- Jesus’s mother (John 19:25)
- Jesus’s mother’s sister (John 19:25)
- Mary the wife of Cleophas (John 19:25)
The woman named Salome in Mark’s account and “the mother of Zebedee’s children” of Matthew’s record may be the same person because they appear in almost identical lists of women who come from Galilee to Jerusalem and witness Jesus’s death (Mark 15:40–41; Matthew 27:55–56). In sum, from the Gospel reports we can identify at least eight women who, for large portions of Jesus’s ministry in Galilee and beyond, travel with Him and support Him and the Twelve. Their long association explains their presence in the group that gathers with the Twelve to choose a successor for the fallen Judas (see Acts 1:14).
It is worth noting that we find no conflict stories in the Gospels that embroil women. All such confrontations with Jesus involve men. Evidently, during His ministry Jesus gives no occasion to a woman to seek amends from Him, whereas, plainly, certain men take advantage of women, including those who devour “widows’ houses” (Luke 20:47).
Luke 8:14–15. Parable of the Sower
The following is adapted from S. Kent Brown, The Testimony of Luke (Provo, UT: BYU Studies, 2015), 406–408.
As the Savior’s first major parable, the parable of the sower stands in a position of emphasis and, not incidentally, captures the fragrant essence of His teaching. In this light, it is arguably the most important of His parables. At its center, Jesus discloses the heart of His ministry: His efforts to reach out to all in the hope of effecting a change in those who respond by hearing His word and growing abundantly—so abundantly, it seems, that they influence positively those who either do not respond or respond for a season and are now withdrawn. The process for everyone begins the same way: by hearing, and then deciding how to react.
Some scholars write that Jesus’s explanatory words spoken to His disciples mirror the experiences of later Christian preachers (Luke 8:11–15). Therefore, they do not come from Him but are added after His ministry. Thus, His original words, now embedded in the telling of the parable (8:5–8), have been interpreted allegorically by later believers. Such a view not only denies that Jesus has by now figured out the pattern of people’s acceptance and rejection during His trek through “every city and village” in Galilee (8:1), a pattern that underlies the parable, but also refuses to grant that He Himself may have adopted allegory when explaining parables. Moreover, this shrunken understanding does not take account of the breadth of Jesus’s approach to issues and of ties to the world of Jewish teaching.
Elements that link back to the report of Isaiah’s call begin to appear in this parable (Isaiah 6). There, the prophet hears the Lord’s spoken words that ooze with a warning about closed ears and unseeing eyes, a generally lazy and unresponsive indifference that leaves “the heart of this people fat, and . . . their ears heavy” (Isaiah 6:10). By turning His hearers to Isaiah’s record, Jesus’s words focus the audience on this warning, applying it to those who are listening to Him half-heartedly during His tour around Galilee. In another prophet’s words, “O foolish people . . . which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not” (Jeremiah 5:21). A dispassionate curiosity about Jesus’s message will not do (Doctrine and Covenants 1:14).
The nod toward Isaiah brings up a further sacred dimension. The experience of Isaiah takes place in the earthly temple, from whence the divine vision transports him into the heavenly temple (Isaiah 6:1). In this grand place, Isaiah sees the enthronement of Jehovah and hears celestial singing and God’s words. The moment brims with royalty and holiness. To be sure, the locale of the Savior’s recitation of the parable of the sower does not bear any of the physical trappings of the temple, but other dimensions are present. First, like the temple, Jesus has become the focal point of gathering: “Much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city” (Luke 8:4). Second, in His explanation to His disciples, Jesus declares that to them “it is given to know the mysteries” (8:10). Reference to mysteries fundamentally draws up images of sacred teaching and ceremony. For the disciples, Jesus’s explanation offers a moment of sacred instruction that can come to them in no other way. The holiness of the moment is underscored by nothing less than Jesus’s reference to His divine lordship—that is, to “the mysteries of the kingdom of God” (8:10; emphasis added).
A third element connects to the other two. It has to do with Jesus’s emphasis on hearing. Ancient holy rites do not occur in silence. On the contrary, evidence exists that sacred, even secret teaching is passed on by word of mouth to devotees. One of the parts of the experience is the obligation, usually under oath, that recipients not divulge—orally or otherwise—what they receive in oral or another form. Notably, Jesus points out that genuine understanding belongs to His closest followers. Naturally, we should not make more of this point about hearing in sacred settings than the text can bear. But the overt connections between the parable, with its explanation (Luke 8:10–15), and Isaiah’s call in the temple demand a close look at pieces that might disclose subtle ties.
Hearing, of course, links to obeying. These connecting themes appear further on in Luke’s chapter—namely, in the brief story of the arrival of Jesus’s mother and brothers and in the account of Jesus’s foray into the country of the Gergesenes. Such apparent ties bring a sense of unity to the whole. In the first instance, the arrival of Jesus’s “mother and his brethren” leads Him to say that followers will enjoy these honored relationships when they “hear the word of God, and do it” (Luke 8:19, 21). In the second instance, after Jesus heals the man afflicted with the demons, He refuses to let the man follow Him but instead asks him to return to his “own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto [him].” Jesus must know that after turning back, the man, obeying, will broadcast “throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him” (8:39). In reality, the man becomes a witness for Jesus among his own people. Moreover, and more to the point, the man becomes a willing hearer and, thereafter, willingly obeys.
Luke 8:16–18. Light and Knowledge
The following is adapted from S. Kent Brown, The Testimony of Luke (Provo, UT: BYU Studies, 2015), 410–411.
The Savior entrusts these explanatory sayings that feature a candle to His closest disciples, as Mark 4:10 and Luke 8:9 make clear. In Christian memory, they are plainly associated with the parable of the sower because, in Mark’s Gospel, they follow that parable, as they do in Luke, who here is evidently following Mark’s order. Since the link between the sayings and the parable is not fully apparent, those who remember these sayings may have tied them to the parable because of the predominance of the verbs “to hear” and “to see” within both, being catchwords that aid memory (8:8, 10, 16, 18).
Some scholars see these sayings as independent, even disconnected one from another because they appear separated in other Gospel contexts. But the emphases on “seeing” and “hearing” weld them to the prior parable and to one another, suggesting that they form a natural continuation. More important for our purposes is their meaning for the disciples and their role in Jesus’s special instruction to them.
The first feature to notice is the evident nighttime scene that Jesus sketches with His words speaking of lighting a lamp. Darkness now becomes an important ingredient of what follows, standing in sharp contrast to “the light” that one immediately sees in a dark place. On the surface, Jesus’s words remind the disciples of common experiences. But we have to assume that He is not speaking to this notable group of insiders about merely ordinary events. The thrust of His words will push forward a spiritual message (Doctrine and Covenants 14:9). Hence, all these sayings carry a sacred element that He intends His intimate followers to grasp. He accentuates this sacred aspect by alluding to words that the Lord declares in the temple to Isaiah about not hearing and seeing while the prophet is, in fact, hearing and seeing an extraordinary vision of a divine celebration (Isaiah 6:1–10).
Darkness frames Jesus’s saying not only about the lamp and the light but also about what is secret and hidden. For darkness covers secret acts and, in fact, tries both to shun and to quench light (John 1:5). Such acts that diminish light, He declares, will “be made manifest . . . and come abroad.” That is, as a result of His efforts, they will lose their power and their influence: “There is nothing which is secret save it shall be revealed; there is no work of darkness save it shall be made manifest in the light” (2 Nephi 30:17). Moreover, in Luke’s lines arises a pointer to the future Atonement. For when the arresting crowd is about to lead Him from Gethsemane, in the moon-flecked darkness, Jesus derides them, saying, “This is your hour, and the power of darkness” (Luke 22:53).
This more positive view offers another scope to Jesus’s words. The day will come that those teachings hidden in the divine economy will come into the light among the faithful: “To them will I [the Lord] reveal all mysteries, yea, all the hidden mysteries of my kingdom from days of old, and for ages to come, . . . even the wonders of eternity” (Doctrine and Covenants 76:7–8). Such a prospect matches Jesus’s promise embedded in these sayings: “For whosoever hath, to him shall be given” (Luke 8:18). It also fits the promise of illumination that begins to glow when a person lights a lamp so “that they which enter in may see the light” (Luke 8:16).
Luke 8:19–21. Mother and Brothers
The following is adapted from S. Kent Brown, The Testimony of Luke (Provo, UT: BYU Studies, 2015), 414.
The themes of hearing and obeying do not retreat from the Savior’s words here. Instead, they increase in intensity and find a place within family relationships. Their central place in the parable of the sower, their engaging prominence in the sayings about the lamp, and finally their acute emphasis in the scene with Jesus’s mother and brothers underscores the undiminished force of these principles within Jesus’s message. They are not to be missed; they are not to be set aside; they are not to be dimmed either in this life or in eternity. Jesus’s pointer to abiding relationships among the obedient, which come to resemble and even transform themselves into family relationships, opens a stream of rewards that cascades upon those who embrace these principles, rewards that carry beyond this life.
Thus, Jesus not only draws attention to the arrival of His family members but thereby hones principles that link obedience and family loyalties. The strong relationships within families are also to characterize the strength of a person’s passion to obey. The ultimate reward is to become a part of Jesus’s eternal family. This is the point of his words: “My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it” (Luke 8:21). These words funnel followers into God’s family, holding up the example found in the best of human connections that occur only in families. In this context, we sense Jesus’s words pointing us also to eternal, enduring family relationships.
The absence of one person from this scene—Joseph—speaks loudly. His absence is magnified by the arrival of Mary and her sons without him. He does not appear in the rest of the Gospel records. What might this mean? His lack of presence in the accounts indicates that by this time he has passed away and Mary is a widow. His nonappearance particularly in the final scenes in Jerusalem stands as proof that he is no longer alive.
Luke 8:22–25. Stilling the Storm
The following is adapted from S. Kent Brown, The Testimony of Luke (Provo, UT: BYU Studies, 2015), 417.
In this account of the stilling of the windstorm, the compelling element is that by this time, almost naturally, Jesus’s disciples turn to Him. Although we can interpret their effort to rouse Him from His slumber as an attempt to warn Him of looming danger, they seem rather to see themselves in desperate straits and thus reach out to Him for aid. They are surprised, of course, at the raw power that He manifests in deflating the storm (Luke 8:25). But during prior days and weeks they have witnessed His enormous gifts of healing and His control of nature. Therefore, although they know the lake and its moods, in their desperation and fear, they seek His help since they themselves feel powerless.
In its own way, this story stands as a fulfillment of the parable of the sower. On that occasion, at the end of the parable, Jesus “cried” to His audience and fairly shouted, “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear” (Luke 8:8). Now in the boat, Jesus “rebuked the wind.” The wind hears. The wind obeys. Hence, Jesus’s words point to the immediacy of nature’s obedience, whereas among His people He will find an “immense indifference, unyieldingness, sluggishness, and inertia of the heart.”2
Jesus’s calming of the storm continues a pattern of progressively revealing His powers, a practice that we have observed especially in chapter 5. There Jesus shows His powers in controlling “the deep” (Luke 5:4), the invisible region beneath the waters, a major step up from healing people from diseases and demons (4:35, 40–41). Here, in the boat, He controls the region above the waters, subjecting the visible powers of nature to His command.
Luke 8:26–40. The Gergesene Demoniac
The following is adapted from S. Kent Brown, The Testimony of Luke (Provo, UT: BYU Studies, 2015), 425–427.
In a real sense, the story of the healing of the demoniac man fulfills the parable of the sower. For the man clearly represents the seed falling onto good soil. And the Savior’s desire that the man remain among his people, who reject Jesus, implicitly points to the man’s beneficial value among those who lie along “the way side” and are “choked”—that is, those who reject Jesus and whatever message He might bring to them.
In this connection, Jesus fulfills a latent prophecy that lies within His words in the Nazareth synagogue. There He speaks of Elijah’s preservation of the widow of Sarepta and Elisha’s healing of Naaman the leper (Luke 4:25–27). In each case, a Gentile benefits from the generosity of divine action. In each case, the number of beneficiaries is one. And each case affirms God’s power beyond the confines of the Israelite people. Exactly the same set of situations plays out in the healing of the demoniac. Although this healing is admittedly more spectacular, the notoriety of the healing of Naaman, because of its place in the Bible, would have rivaled that of the demoniac.
In a different vein, rather than seeing Jesus’s foray into Gentile territory as a failure wherein He retreats in defeat, effectively losing to the demons when citizens reject Him, His trip succeeds because He leaves a first-rank witness among them whose sad and tortured past is well known to all. This witness, of course, talks “throughout the whole city [about] how great things Jesus had done unto him” (Luke 8:39). His efforts carry the sweet fragrances of the gospel message among his fellow Gentiles and effectively prepare them for the coming of the Seventy disciples who will labor in gentile territory, a fact apparent from Jesus’s suspension of food laws so that these disciples can accept the hospitality of gentile hosts (10:7–8).
Threads that tie back to the early chapters of Genesis weave throughout this story. The first thread links back to God’s preparation of chaotic matter for creation when “darkness was upon the face of the deep.”3 In Luke’s story, Jesus shows His power over the stormy lake and later listens to the demons beg Him not to drive them into the lake, “into the deep” (Luke 8:31). The term for “deep” (Greek abyssos) is the same that appears in Genesis 1:2 LXX. Plainly, Luke connects Jesus’s powers over “the deep” with those manifested in the earth’s creation, effectively tying the Savior to both events. There is more. In other ancient sources, the deep, whether water or otherwise, is where disobedient spirits including the devil are confined until the Judgment. Plainly, in Luke’s language, Jesus holds power over this lightless region.
This is the second time that Luke repeats the word for “deep” in its connection with the lake. In the first instance, the term comes to Jesus’s lips as He instructs Peter to cast his net. There, the Greek word is bathos and exhibits ties to redemption (see the note on Luke 5:4). By repeating both terms, whose links draw up compelling images of creation and redemption, the accounts offer readers hints at the breadth of Jesus’s actions as well as His history. He is both Creator and Redeemer; He is both the subduing Lord of chaos and the gracious Lord of deliverance.
In a way, the contest between the devil and the Savior marches on. And Jesus continues to show His power over the territory that the devil has staked out. In the case of the demoniac, Jesus drives away allies of the devil, those who in the beginning “were thrust down, and thus [became] the devil and his angels” (Doctrine and Covenants 29:37). That such creatures would inject themselves into Jesus’s ministry and be subdued is prophesied by an angel more than a century before His birth: “He [ Jesus] shall cast out devils, or the evil spirits which dwell in the hearts of the children of men” (Mosiah 3:6). That such evil spirits are able to dwell in people arises because their spirit bodies are more refined than mortal bodies. For spirit “is material, but . . . it is more pure, elastic and refined matter than the body.” Moreover, the “devil has no body. . . . He is pleased when he can obtain the tabernacle of man, and when cast out by the Savior he asked to go into the herd of swine, showing that he would prefer a swine’s body to having none.”4
A striking contrast rests in the sudden, wild actions of the swine and the becalmed demeanor of the healed man. Witnesses, including the disciples, see that “the herd ran violently down a steep place” (Luke 8:33). The sudden, unpredictable behavior of the pigs mirrors that of the uncontrollable demoniac. In each case, of course, the conduct is self-destructive. Unexpectedly, the man becomes placid, peaceful, fully in control of himself. Jesus is the instigator of the switch from quiet swine to unmanageable, from unruly man to clothed and calm. For those who witness this, the sequence of events must have been stunning and unforgettable. In the end, the Savior’s act demonstrates the high value of human well-being in contrast to that of animals (compare Luke 12:7—“ye are of more value than many sparrows”).
Out of this scene arises the question of whether Jesus is oblivious to the financial hardship that will come to those who lose their pigs. This concern—that the Savior seemingly leaves the region in economic tatters due to the loss of the herd of pigs—draws forward an important issue. Why does Jesus allow the loss to occur? After all, it is He who permits the demons to invade the bodies of the swine. And He surely must know what will result. So, why? In response, any answer is beset by speculation.
To state the obvious, Jesus’s action leaves an indelible impression of power on those who witness the event, from the Twelve to the herdsmen and, not less, to the demoniac. That legacy will remain always in the retelling of the incident. Does Jesus intend to leave such an impression? We cannot know. But that is surely one result, and He will anticipate it.
Now that He has people’s attention, the door is open for the healed man to tell his story and to bear his testimony, so to speak, about Jesus’s stunning power brought to bear when releasing him from the demons’ grip. People not afflicted in this overwhelming way cannot begin to appreciate the enormity of the relief that washes over this man. We can only imagine, imperfectly, the passion with which he retells his story.
On the edges of the account, a person senses the anger in those who lose their pigs. And for good reason. Why are they upset? Because of the loss of personal property. To be sure, they come to fear the man Jesus (Luke 8:37). He tips their lives askew as no one has done before. But is it not a lesson—a hard one, to be sure—in the matter of how to value earthly treasures? Very possibly. In Jesus’s ministry, He is concerned about eternal, ultimate matters, clearly more concerned with elevating people than in making them well off (see the notes on Luke 6:24; 12:6).
One more important coloration is worth observing. In the stories of the stilling of the storm and the healing of the demoniac, fear is the common undergirding element (Luke 8:25, 37). The antidote to this fear is faith, the mention of which is positioned in Jesus’s words at the end of one story and the beginning of the other: “Where is your faith?” (8:25).
Luke 8:41–42. Jairus’s Daughter, Part 1
The following is adapted from S. Kent Brown, The Testimony of Luke (Provo, UT: BYU Studies, 2015), 429–430.
The scene switches from Gentiles to Jews. The emphasis rests on Jairus’s thoroughgoing Jewishness because his devotion to his religion cannot be more manifest than in the overt activity of serving in the synagogue, as he is doing. As a person of trust and lofty responsibility in the synagogue, he may experience some reticence in coming to the stranger from Nazareth for help, though we cannot be certain. But he and his wife are desperate, and when Jairus meets Jesus he exhibits full humility of spirit.
A hint at the depth of his plight lies in his plea that the Savior “come into his house.” As a synagogue official, he will know of the healing of the centurion’s servant from a distance (Luke 7:10). The centurion’s participation in the synagogue’s construction certainly involves him with its officials, including Jairus (Luke 7:5). But Jairus, and presumably his wife, want Jesus to come into their home and bring with Him a reassurance that only His physical presence can offer.
The story about Jairus forms bookends around the report of the woman with the issue of blood in all the sources (Matthew 9:18–25; Mark 5:22–43). This feature means that the two accounts come together in the memory of those who were originally present for the two miracles, bespeaking the authenticity of the stories.
Luke 8:43–48. The Woman with the Hemorrhage
The following is adapted from S. Kent Brown, The Testimony of Luke (Provo, UT: BYU Studies, 2015), 434–435.
One of the most memorable and beloved stories in the Gospels, the report of the woman healed of her hemorrhaging, lays before us the full array of the Savior’s bounties as He offers healing to the afflicted. He binds up the woman physically, yes, drenching her in the sweet aromas of full health. But, by making a big deal out of the healing experience in the presence of the crowd, He also lifts her back into her social world, complete with friends and companions and family members who can now feel comfortable in her presence because she no longer bears in her body perpetual uncleanness. Moreover, she can worship not just privately and alone but also in the synagogue and in her beloved temple, surrounded by others who are devoted to God. In other words, she is whole again every whit.
Remarkably, the woman is the actor in this scene, initiating the contact with Jesus. In her actions, which plainly disclose her desperate desire for relief, she apparently pushes beyond the customary decorum for women of the time, who generally are to remain on the edge of society’s bustle, not interacting with men and keeping themselves out of sight. But these expectations may rest mainly on women in large metropolitan areas, such as Jerusalem, rather than on those who dwell in smaller towns. Nevertheless, her aggressive approach through a tight crowd of men is completely out of character for women. Through her actions readers will take away a sense of what it means to come to the Savior—with determination and strength and, of course, faith (Luke 8:48).
Connections to the call of Isaiah enrich the story of the woman’s healing, thus linking this account with the parable of the sower and Jesus’s reasons for speaking in parables (Luke 8:8, 10). The first link that comes to view between Isaiah’s call and the report about the woman, of course, has to do with her touching the hem of Jesus’s outer garment. In Isaiah’s vision, the hem is the part of God’s garment that graces the temple as He moves through it to His throne (Isaiah 6:1). Second, in that sacred setting, Isaiah expresses his sense of uncleanness in the presence of God and His entourage (Isaiah 6:5). So too the woman is unclean. Although she does not give voice to her uncleanness as Isaiah does, her actions, done as inconspicuously and quickly as possible, express her diminished status. Third, she is made clean, as the prophet is, by a touch of the holy (Isaiah 6:6–7). Fourth, as a direct contrast, unlike those of Isaiah’s era whose eyes will “perceive not” and will thus not “be healed” (Isaiah 6:9–10), the woman sees clearly and is healed, bringing to herself the grand gift of salvation. Within this connection lies heavily an implicit judgment on those who do not come to Jesus with eyes of faith and seeing.
Above all, faith stands at the center of this story as the Savior’s words to the woman affirm, “Thy faith hath made thee whole” (Luke 8:48), opening the door of salvation. Her actions are not tinged by superstition or belief in magic, as some hold, but, as Jesus declares, they rise from the warm radiance of her belief that her actions will lead to healing.
Luke 8:49–56. Jairus’s Daughter, Part 2
The following is adapted from S. Kent Brown, The Testimony of Luke (Provo, UT: BYU Studies, 2015), 439.
For a second time, in a matter of minutes, the Savior features faith as the moving force behind His powers. As it is for the woman with the hemorrhage, so it is for the girl’s parents. Plainly, Jesus’s powers are not for mere display, to be set out in front of those who do not believe in Him, as with the crowd of mourners. But a single individual, full of faith and unseen, can draw healing from Him within a large group as the afflicted woman does.
In the story about the girl, the faith of her parents shines brightly through clouds of desperation and anxiety about her condition. Their trust in the Savior brightens the principle that the faith of others can lead to blessings for persons unable to exercise faith. But for the faith of Jairus and his wife to become effective, he, as a synagogue official, has to be willing to come in humility and seek earnestly the Savior’s aid, effectively mirroring the act and attitude of the afflicted woman.
In both accounts, Jesus appears as an example of a discerning priesthood leader. First, He knows when a person of faith draws power out of Him, as the woman does. He also discerns her diminished circumstance among her acquaintances because of her unclean state, and He brings her healing into the light of day so that all in the pressing mass will know of her new status. In the case of the sick girl, He takes charge of the situation that He finds in her parents’ home, allowing only a limited number of persons to accompany Him—three Apostles in this case—and obliging the noisy mourners to go outside, thereby creating a reverent, calm atmosphere wherein to perform the miracle of restoring her life.
From the story of the young girl, it becomes apparent that in death one’s spirit becomes spatially separated from one’s body. This observation is echoed in the account of Elijah’s restoring life to the only son of the widow with whom he was boarding (1 Kings 17:21–22) and in the report of the raising of Lazarus when Jesus shouted the command, “Lazarus, come forth” (John 11:43), as if calling Lazarus’s spirit from a distance.
Notably, the stories of the young girl and the ailing woman bring to a close a chapter that opens with an acknowledgment of women who both minister to the needs of Jesus and His disciples and receive His ministrations (Luke 8:2–3). Herein one of Luke’s purposes becomes clear: to affirm that the Savior is the Savior of all, whether men or women, whether Jews or Gentiles.
- 1. Matthew 27:55–56; Mark 15:40–41; 16:9.
- 2. Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Prophets (New York, NY: Harper & Row, 1962), 188–189.
- 3. Genesis 1:2; also Moses 2:2; Abraham 4:2.
- 4. “Discourse, 5 January 1841, as Reported by William Clayton,” p. 8, The Joseph Smith Papers, https://josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/discourse-5-january-1841-as-....
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