From: Over 50 Interpreters Explain the Gospel of Luke Return to Home
By Roland H. Worth, Jr. © 2015
All reproduction of text in paper, electronic, or computer
form both permitted and encouraged so long as authorial
and compiler credit is given and the text is not altered.
Books Utilized Codes at End of Chapter
Weymouth: Shortly after
this He visited town after town, and village after village, proclaiming His
Message and telling the Good News of the
happened soon afterwards, that he went about through cities and villages,
preaching and bringing the good news of the
Young’s: And it came to pass thereafter, that he
was going through every city and village, preaching and proclaiming good news
of the reign of God, and the twelve are with him,
Conte (RC): And it happened afterwards that he was making a journey through the cities and towns, preaching and evangelizing the
8:1 And it came about
That is, after the events just related, regarded as closing up
the preceding circle of evangelistic labors (;
). The starting point is not named, but
naturally to be thought of as
expression marks a new phase, a new departure, in Christ’s mode of action. Hitherto He had made
that He went throughout every city and village. Of
The sentence describes the Saviour as traversing the country with the aim of most completely reaching the people, and especially making sure that no city or village should be neglected. 
preaching and shewing the glad
tidings of the
Baptist had preached “repentance” as the preparation for the Kingdom: our Lord preached the Kingdom itself, and
this was “glad tidings,” because the
and the twelve. The twelve apostles. 
were with Him. They did not always all accompany the Saviour, or it would hardly be mentioned in a particular case. They were serving their apprenticeship to the work on which he would soon send them forth alone. 
If they were, indeed, moving out of Capernaum for the first time—or at least the first major time—then they were moving out of their “safe haven,” a place where they would know many people and be able to make a pretty sound guess of how people would act and react. By expanding their range, they were to encounter new individuals entirely and their attitudes would not always match those they had become accustomed to. They were being given a practical lesson in adaptability. [rw]
WEB: and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary who was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out;
Young’s: and certain women, who were healed of
evil spirits and infirmities, Mary who is called Magdalene, from whom seven
demons had gone forth,
Conte (RC): along with certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, who is called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had departed,
8:2 And certain women. Jewish scribes regarded women with the
contempt common to most Oriental sages.
No woman was allowed to come closer to a Rabbi than four cubits'
distance. Jesus' disciples were
astonished during His early ministry to see Him speak with a woman (John ).
This ministry of devout women, evidently of the wealthier classes, must
have created a sensation in
It has before been noticed that St. Luke, in several places, especially notices the love and devotion of women to the Master. The present position of women is owing to the teaching of the Lord and his disciples. Fellow-heirs with men of the kingdom of heaven, it was obvious that they could no longer occupy on earth their old inferior and subordinate position. 
which had been healed of evil spirits. i.e., demons. [rw]
and infirmities. Sickness. 
Mary called Magdalene. So called from Magdale, now Medjil, a town on the west side of Lake Gennesaret, the patrial name being given her to distinguish her from the other Marys in attendance on our Lord's ministry. She is mentioned here in a manner that does not betray the faintest consciousness of her having been mentioned before, and thus it is clearly implied that she is not the same as the sinful woman mentioned in the last chapter. Of Mary's life previous to her having thus become a miracle and monument of the Saviour's power and mercy, we know nothing. Very great injustice has been done by some to the memory of Mary Magdalene, in supposing her to have been before her conversion, a prostitute. The fact that she was possessed with seven demons is no evidence against her, for Joanna and Susanna (verse 3, might as well, on this ground, be censured, for they seem to have been dispossessed likewise by Jesus. Then, again, such possession, instead of necessarily implying any peculiar criminality, seems to have been an affliction, for we never find that Jesus rebuked the persons who were possessed. 
An effort to salvage the identification of the two as the
same person on the basis of that her demonic possession might be a contemporary synonym for a flagrant sinner : Origen rejects the
identification; St. Ambrose,
[She is described here as a woman possessed by seven devils.] St. Mark (16:9) uses a similar expression. Some have thought that this excludes the possibility of the life indicated by the words “a sinner in the city.” On the contrary it agrees well with it. Early Christian writers see in the “many sins” () a reference which accords with, if it be not the same as, “seven devils,” and that this may be the meaning is quite certain from . [But be sure to read the text – rw] Apart from the general question as to demoniac possession in particular cases, it is quite certain that Jewish colloquial usage adopted the expression to describe many forms of disease and many forms of sin (as drunkenness, etc.). The Talmudists have many wild stories to tell of Magdala, but they agree in describing her as a flagrant sinner rather than as a demoniac. 
out of whom went seven devils. This number [is] associated with the idea of completeness. [Example:] seven abominations in his heart, i.e., complete depravity (Proverbs 26:25). Seven was a sacred number among the Greeks, Romans, Persians. 
Weymouth: and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many other women, all of whom contributed to the support of Jesus and His Apostles.
WEB: and Joanna, the wife of Chuzas, Herod's steward; Susanna; and many others; who served them from their possessions.
Young’s: and Joanna wife of Chuza,
steward of Herod, and Susanna, and many others, who were ministering to him
from their substance.
Conte (RC): and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many other women, who were ministering to him from their resources.
8:3 And Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward. It may be that her husband was dead, or that having become himself a follower of our Lord, he permitted his wife, out of gratitude for the cure performed on her, to follow Him. She would hardly have done so, without her husband's sanction. 
[She] was with Mary Magdalene at the sepulchre (Luke 24:10). 
Chuza, Herod’s steward. The court of Antipas was well aware of the ministry and claims of Jesus. Not only had John the Baptist been a familiar figure there, but Manaen, Herod’s foster-brother, early became a Christian (Acts 13:1), and whether Chuzas be the courtier (basilikos, E.V. “nobleman”) of John 4:46 or not, that courtier could only have been in the retinue of Antipas, and must have made known the healing of his son by Jesus. 
Antipas, who reigned in
steward. What office is designed is not agreed upon. It may mean guardian, lieutenant of a province, treasurer, land or house steward. It denotes, at all events, some office to which large [financial rewards] were attached, which enabled Joanna to act a liberal part in the support of our Lord and His disciples. 
word epitropos, “administrator,” conveys the
impression of a higher rank that steward (oikonomos). The Rabbis adopted the word in Hebrew letters
and said that Obadiah was Ahab’s epitropos. Manaen at
and Susanna. We know nothing more about her. 
The name signifies "lily." The Jews were fond of giving the names of flowers and trees to their girls; thus Rhoda, a rose (Acts ), Tamar, a palm (2 Samuel 13:2), among many instances. Of this Susanna nothing further is known. 
and many others. I.e., many other healed women. 
which ministered unto him of their substance. Their property; their possessions. 
Traces of the same usage appear in 2 Kings 4:10. Luke alone records the fact, but Matthew (27:55-56) and Mark () refer to it. 
Christ receives these assistances and ministrations, says pious Quesnel: 1. To honor poverty by subjecting himself to it. 2. To humble himself in receiving from his creatures. 3. That he may teach the ministers of the Gospel to depend on the providence of their heavenly Father. 4. To make way for the gratitude of those he had healed. And, 5. That he might not be burthensome to the poor to whom he went to preach. 
This notice is deeply interesting as throwing light on the otherwise unsolved problem of the means of livelihood possessed by Jesus and His Apostles. They had a common purse which sufficed not only for their own needs but for those of the poor (John ). The Apostles had absolutely forsaken their daily callings, but we may suppose that some of them (like Matthew and the sons of the wealthier fishermen Zebedee) had some small resources of their own, and here we see that these women, some of whom (as tradition says of Mary of Magdala) were rich, helped to maintain them. 
In depth: The
“standard of living” of Jesus and the apostles . It must
be borne in mind (1) that the needs of an Oriental are very small. A few dates, a little parched corn, a draught
of water, a few figs or grapes plucked from the roadside trees, suffice him;
and in that climate he can sleep during most of the year in the open air
wrapped up in the same outer garment which serves him for the day. Hence the maintenance of a poor man in
WEB: When a great multitude came together, and people from every city were coming to him, he spoke by a parable.
Young’s: And a great multitude having gathered,
and those who from city and city were coming unto him, he spake
by a simile:
Conte (RC): Then, when a very numerous crowd was gathering together and hurrying from the cities to him, he spoke using a comparison:
8:4 And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city. Our Lord, though ready at all times to utter the most priceless truths even to one lonely and despised listener, yet wisely apportioned ends to means, and chose the assembling of a large multitude for the occasion of a new departure in His style of teaching. 
He spake by a parable. From the other Evangelists, we learn that this was spoken at the sea side. 
From henceforth he dwelt no longer in one centre, his own city Capernaum, but moved about from place to place. A new way of teaching was now adopted—that of the "parable." It was from this time onward that, when He taught, He seems generally to have spoken in those famous parables, or stories, in which so much of his recorded teaching is enshrined. Hitherto in his preaching He had occasionally made use of similes or comparisons, as in Luke 5:6 and Luke 6:29, Luke 6:48; but he only began the formal use of the parable at this period, and the parable of the sower seems to have been the earliest spoken.
Perhaps because it was the first, perhaps on account of the far-reaching nature of its contents, the story of "the sower" evidently impressed itself with singular force upon the minds of the disciples. It evidently formed a favourite "memory" among the first heralds of the new faith. It is the only one, with the exception of the vine-dressers, one of the latest spoken, which has been preserved by the three—Matthew, Mark, and Luke.
At the first He [had] spoke to the people plainly. The sermon on the mount, for instance, contains little, if anything, of the parable form; but they understood Him not, forming altogether false views of the kingdom he described to them. He now changes his method of teaching, veiling his thoughts in parables, in order that his own, to whom privately He gave the key to the right understanding of the parables, should see more clearly, and that those who deliberately misunderstood him—the hostile Pharisee and Sadducee, for instance—should be simply mystified and perplexed as to the Teacher's meaning; while the merely thoughtless might possibly be fascinated and attracted by this new manner of teaching, which evidently veiled some hidden meaning. These last would probably be induced to inquire further as to the meaning of these strange parable-stories. 
In depth: A short introduction to the nature of parables . “Parable” is derived from paraballo, “I place beside” in order to compare. A Parable is a pictorial or narrative exhibition of some spiritual or moral truth, by means of actual and not fanciful elements of comparison. It differs from a fable by moving solely within the bounds of the possible and by aiming at the illustration of deeper truths; from a simile in its completer and often dramatic development, as also in its object; from an allegory in not being identical with the truth illustrated.
We may notice here the unapproachable superiority of our Lord’s Parables to those of all other teachers. Parables are found scattered throughout the literature of the world. They abound in the poems and sacred books of later religions (Ecclus. , “Parables of knowledge are in the treasures of wisdom”) and they have been frequently adopted in later days. But “never man spake like this Man,” and no Parables have ever touched the heart and conscience of mankind in all ages and countries like those of Christ. “He taught them by Parables under which hid mysterious senses, which shined through their veil, like a bright sun through an eye closed with a thin eyelid.” --Jeremiah Taylor.
For Old Testament parables see 2 Samuel 12:1-7; Ecclesiastes 9:14-16; Isaiah 28:23-29. Luke is especially rich in Parables. The word “parable” sometimes stands for the Hebrew mashal “a proverb” (; 1 Samuel , 24:13); sometimes for a rhythmic prophecy (Numbers 23:7) or dark saying (Psalms lxxviii:2; Proverbs 1:6); and sometimes for a comparison (Mark ).
In depth: Differences
in how many parables are presented by each Synoptic writer at this point in the
narrative . Luke here only reports the Parable of the Sower and its interpretation. Mark adds that of the seed growing secretly
(Mark -29), and
that of the grain of mustard seed (30-32; Luke -21).
gives his memorable group of seven Parables:
the Sower, the Tares, the Mustard Seed, the
Leaven, the Hid Treasure, the
In depth: How the differences
in the three accounts of the Parable of the Sower argue
for different sources being utilized by the writers . A
comparison of this Parable and the details respecting its delivery, as
preserved in each of the Synoptists (Matthew 13:2-13;
Mark 4:1-20), ought along to be decisive as to the fact that the three
Evangelists did not use each other’s narratives, and did not draw from
the same written source such as the supposed Proto-Marcus of German
theorists. The oral or written sources
which they consulted seem to have been most closely faithful in all essentials,
but they differed in minute details and expressions as all narratives do. From Matthew (13:1) we learn that Jesus had
just left “the house,” perhaps that of Peter at
WEB: "The farmer went out to sow his seed. As he sowed, some fell along the road, and it was trampled under foot, and the birds of the sky devoured it.
Young’s: 'The sower went
forth to sow his seed, and in his sowing some indeed fell beside the way, and
it was trodden down, and the fowls of the heaven did devour it.
Conte (RC): "The sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell beside the way; and it was trampled and the birds of the air devoured it.
8:5 A sower went out to sow. “A;” rather “the.” Neander supposed that the use of the article, “the” sower, was explained by imagining Jesus, as He sat, to have pointed to some farmer actually engaged at the moment in sowing his field, on a neighboring slope. It is quite sufficient, however, to understand the article as indicating
the representative of a class. 
Mark (4:3) preserves for us the graphic detail that Jesus prefaced this new method of teaching by the one emphatic word “Hearken!” as though to prepare them for something unusual and memorable. 
his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the wayside and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. The Saviour seems to have had in mind a narrow path, leading through the arable field, such as the one in which the disciples were walking when they plucked the ears of grain on the Sabbath, without fences to define it, and on which some seeds would inevitably fall, as the sower scattered them in the vicinity. Here, lying plain sight on the hard, worn surface, they would be liable to be trodden down by passing men and beasts, and to be picked up by the ever-present bird. 
trodden down. This touch is found in Luke only. 
In depth: The
appropriateness of the story to the place it was given . Dean Stanley, on the scenery of the parable,
thus writes: "Is there anything on
the spot to suggest the images thus conveyed?
So I asked as I rode along the tract under the hillside, by which the
Plain of Gennesaret is approached. So I asked at the moment, seeing nothing but
the steep sides of the hill, alternately of rock and grass. And when I thought of the parable of the sower, I answered that here at least was nothing on which
the Divine teaching could fasten; it must have been the distant corn-fields of
had hardly occurred to me when a slight recess in the hillside, close upon the
plain, disclosed at once, in detail, and with a conjunction which I remember
nowhere else in
WEB: Other seed fell on the rock, and as soon as it grew, it withered away, because it had no moisture.
Young’s: 'And other fell upon the rock, and having
sprung up, it did wither, through not having moisture.
Conte (RC): And some fell upon rock; and having sprung up, it withered away, because it had no moisture.
8:6 And some fell upon a rock. The picture here is not of a soil full of stones, but of a rocky portion of the corn-land where the rock is only covered with a thin layer of earth. 
Matthew and Mark say “upon stony places,” and add its speedy growth, and its withering after sunrise from want of root; Luke dwells rather on the lack of moisture than on the lack of soil. 
and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away. It began with just as much the chance of success as any of the rest of the seed but the environment in which it was cast was too much for its survival. We humans, however, largely choose our environment: if we don’t like it, we can usually move into a different neighborhood and seek out a new set of friends and acquaintances. When we don’t take advantage of our opportunities, only we ourselves are to blame and no one else. [rw]
because it lacked moisture. [Moisture:] ἱκμάδα -- Only here in New Testament. Matthew and Mark have depth of earth. The word is the medical expression for juices of the body, of plants, and of the earth. Aristophanes, metaphorically, the juice of thought ("Clouds," 233). Hippocrates uses this and the preceding word together, comparing the juices of the body with those of the earth. 
Weymouth: Another part falls among the thorns, and the thorns grow up with it and stifle it.
WEB: Other fell amid the thorns, and the thorns grew with it, and choked it.
Young’s: 'And other fell amidst the thorns, and
the thorns having sprung up with it, did choke it.
Conte (RC): And some fell among thorns; and the thorns, rising up with it, suffocated it.
some fell among thorns. Travelers tell us that in the hot valleys on
the western side of the
"Thorns" stand for any kind of weed that chokes out the desired crop. Corn is a weed if it grows in a wheatfield. The blackberry is only a troublesome thorn if it springs up in the midst of a flower bed. So the most innocent occupations and even praiseworthy actions may become harmful if allowed to crowd vital truth from our lives. Whatever it is that comes into the mind or heart and prevents us from hearing and obeying the voice of duty, is a thorn. 
and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. Greek, "stifled," strictly applied to suffocating animals. 
WEB: Other fell into the good ground, and grew, and brought forth fruit one hundred times." As he said these things, he called out, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!"
Young’s: 'And other fell upon the good ground, and
having sprung up, it made fruit an hundred fold.' These things saying, he was
calling, 'He having ears to hear -- let him hear.'
Conte (RC): And some fell upon good soil; and having sprung up, it produced fruit one hundredfold." As he said these things, he cried out, "Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear."
8:8 And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundred-fold. Omitting the thirty and sixty of Matthew and Mark. See on Matt. xiii. 8. 
well-known fertility of the better soils in
And when He had said these things, he cried, he that hath ears to hear, let him hear. Let everyone use all of his facilities for understanding what I have said. 
In other words, “this teaching is worthy [of] the deepest attention of those who have the moral and spiritual capacity to understand it.” 
[This is] the usual rabbinical phrase for calling the attention of their [listeners] to something of special importance. Our Lord uses it on six occasions:
(1) "And if ye are willing to receive it, this is Elijah, which is to come. He that hath ears," etc. (Matthew -15);
(2) "Than shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He that hath ears," etc. (Matthew );
(3) In this passage;
(4) "Neither was anything secret, but that it should come to light. He that hath ears," etc. (Mark );
(5) Mark , but omitted in the Revised Version;
(6) "Salt, therefore, is good; but if even the salt have lost its savour . . . He that hath ears," etc. (Luke -35). 
WEB: Then his disciples asked him, "What does this parable mean?"
Young’s: And his disciples were
questioning him, saying, 'What may this simile be?'
Conte (RC): Then his disciples questioned him as to what this parable might mean.
8:9 And His disciples asked Him, saying. St. Luke, possibly because he wished to mark this parable as the first of this new kind of teaching, relates it and its interpretation only, saying nothing further respecting that day's parable-teaching. It is most probable that all these reported discourses, parables, expositions, or sermons, are simply a resume of the original words. The disciples evidently by their question—which St. Mark tells us was put to Jesus when they were alone with Him—were surprised and puzzled, first at the strange change which that eventful day inaugurated in the method of their Master's teaching, and secondly, at the peculiar character of this His first great parable-lesson. 
What might this parable be? They heard the words. They understood both them and the truthfulness of what they described in a physical sense, but Jesus was clearly pushing for something beyond that and they were at a loss what it might be. Rather than worry about it or argue among themselves, they directly asked for what other meaning it was supposed to convey. [rw]
For extended discussion on interpretation of the parables see analysis at end of verse 18.
WEB: He said,
"To you it is given to know the mysteries of the
Young’s: And he said, 'To you it hath been given
to know the secrets of the reign of God, and to the rest in similes; that
seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.
Conte (RC): And he said to them: "To you it has been given to know the mystery of the
And He said, Unto you it is given. I.e., by God, in awakening in you’re a spiritual desire for the truth, and faith in Me as your teacher. 
the mysteries of
The proper use of the word “mystery” is the opposite of its current
use. It is now generally used to imply
something which we cannot understand; in the New Testament it always means
something once hidden now revealed, Colossians 1:26; 1 Timothy
3:16; Matthew 11:25, 26; Revelation 17:5, etc.
It is derived from [a Greek word meaning], “I initiate.” “God is a revealer of secrets,” Daniel
2:47. “What if earth / Be but the shadow of heaven, and things therein / Each to
the other like, more than on earth is thought?”
but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand. The “rest” are the indifferent and morally insusceptible mass. The truth should be put before them in forms of expression which, if they really desired to feel its power, would contain light and life to them also. 
seeing they might not see. The parables have, for one object, to hide the most important truth so that those who wish not to see it shall become—while they so wish—more blind, and those who long for the truth shall, at the same time, see it more brightly. 
In depth: The obscurity was the result of the mind frame of the listener rather than the parable itself . “That seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand:” These words are difficult, and must not be pressed with unreasonable and extravagant literalism to mean that the express object of teaching by parables was to conceal the message of the kingdom from all but the disciples. This would have been to put the kindled lamp under a couch or a bushel.
On the contrary they were addressed to the multitudes, and deeply impressed them, as they have impressed the world in all ages, and have had the effect, not of darkening truth but of bringing it into brighter light. The varying phrase of Matthew, “because seeing they see not, etc.,” will help us to understand it. Our Lord wished and meant the multitudes to hearken and understand, and this method awoke their interest and deepened their attention; but the resultant profit depended solely on the degree of their faithfulness.
The Parables resembled the Pillar of Fire, which was to others a Pillar of Cloud. If they listened with mere intellectual curiosity or hardened prejudice they would only carry away the parable itself, or some complete misapplication of its least essential details; to get at its real meaning required self-examination and earnest thought.
Hence parables had a blinding and hardening effect on the false and the proud and the willful, just as prophecy had in old days (Isaiah 6:9, 10, quoted in this connexion in Matthew 13:14, compare Acts 28:26, 27; Romans 11:8). But the Prophecy and the Parable did not create the hardness or stolidity, but only educed it when it existed—as all misused blessings and privileges do. It was only unwillingness to see which was punished by incapacity of seeing. The natural punishment of spiritual perversity is spiritual blindness.
In depth: The practical grounds for intended “obscurity.” . Such a course was specially appropriate, not to say indispensably necessary now. The suspicion and ill-will of the Pharisaic magnates had passed into the stage of murderous hostility. They were watching every utterance of His, not with the slightest intention or desire of profiting thereby; but that they might catch from Him some word which they could wrest into a ground of accusation against Him.
On the other hand, the readiness of the turbulent multitude to become excited about His Messiahship, as equivalent to an earthly royalty promising gratification to their carnal aspirations, made it important for Him to weigh His words, and to dispense the truth in such form as was best suited to convey it to the conscience and heart of earnest inquirers.
Nothing can be better than the profound remark of Lord Bacon, that “a Parable has a double use; it tends to vail, and it tends to illustrate a truth; in the latter case it seems designed to teach, in the former to conceal.”
WEB: Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
Young’s: 'And this is the simile: The seed is the
word of God,
Conte (RC): Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
Now the parable is this. Answering the question expressed in verse 9. Every one will notice in the explanation following, with what rhetorical boldness Jesus disregards the exactness of correspondence between His exegesis and the terms of the parable, contenting Himself with such statements as should certainly guide the popular apprehension to His meaning. 
The seed is the word of God. A common metaphor: compare Colossians 1:5-6; 1 Corinthians 3:6; James 1:21. 
He leaves us to infer that the sower with whom He began is Himself primarily, and secondarily His disciples, continuing and extending His work. 
We have the same metaphor in Colossians 1:5, 6; 1 Corinthians 3:6; and a similar one in James 1:21, “the engrafted word;” 2 Esdras 9:31, 33, “Behold, I sow in my law in you, and it shall bring fruit in you . . . yet they that received it perished, because they kept not the thing that was sown in them.” 
WEB: Those along the road are those who hear, then the devil comes, and takes away the word from their heart, that they may not believe and be saved.
Young’s: and those beside the way are those
hearing, then cometh the Devil, and taketh up the
word from their heart, lest having believed, they may be saved.
Conte (RC): And those beside the way are those who hear it, but then the devil comes and takes the word from their heart, lest by believing it they may be saved.
Those by the wayside. These of "the wayside" are they whose hearts resemble a footpath, beaten hard and fiat by the constant passing to and fro of wishes of the flesh, of thoughts concerning earthly things, mere hopes and fears. Into these hearts the Word can never really penetrate. Momentary influence now anti again seems to have been gained, but the many watchful agents of the evil one, with swift wings, like birds of the air, swoop down and snatch away the scattered seed which for a moment seemed as though it would take root. 
How even the seemingly deeply religious can actually be such as well: These are hearers who are hardened—either beaten (i) flat by lifeless familiarity—heartless formalists, Pharisaic theologians, and insincere professors; or (ii) by perversity and indifference, the habit and custom of a worldly and dissolute life. 
are they that hear; then cometh the Devil. Mark has “ the wicked one,” Matthew “Satan.” 
Little suspect, and apparently little needed in the pre-determined stolidity [= apathy] of the mass. 
and taketh away. Satan can never coerce, but only persuade. 
Lest, if it should lie long upon their hard hearts, it should break through them with its weight, as being able to save their souls, James 1:21. 
out of their hearts. Implying the great power of the Devil. 
Or: He has only to amuse them with scenes of imaginary pleasure, or occupy them with any worldly memories of expectations, to hinder all legitimate religious advantage. 
lest they should believe and be saved. We are saved by the word through faith. Faith is the appropriate fruit of the word. 
It is easier for the Devil to remove the danger of faith by striking as early in the process as he can; once a sound foundation is built, he has to work that much harder. [rw]
Weymouth: Those on the rock are the people who on hearing the Message receive it joyfully; but they have no root: for a time they believe, but when trial comes they fall away.
WEB: Those on the rock are they who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; but these have no root, who believe for a while, then fall away in time of temptation.
Young’s: 'And those upon the rock: They who, when
they may hear, with joy do receive the word, and these
have no root, who for a time believe, and in time of temptation fall away.
Conte (RC): Now those upon rock are those who, when they hear it, accept the word with joy, but these have no roots. So they believe for a time, but in a time of testing, they fall away.
They on the rock are they, which, when they hear. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans ). God does not miraculously “download” the message into our heads; we have to have taken the time and opportunity to hear it. Hence faith—like the remainder of discipleship—is based upon a voluntary decision. But that also means that if we refuse to hear we can’t blame anyone else, including God, either. [rw]
receive the word with joy. With enthusiasm, happiness. We realize that it provides what we need and are exuberant that we have found it. [rw]
and these have no root, which for a while believe. The type of person who manifests no commitment. The superficial person who is willing to embrace something so long as it doesn’t require much out of him or her. Sunday morning services, perhaps—but it’s better if it’s only at Easter and Christmas. Because of their lack of spiritual depth, they have denied themselves the spiritual and emotional resources necessary to successfully fight their temptations. And temptations inevitably arise. After all we are only human! It’s like a soldier who doesn’t mind wearing his fancy dress uniform but doesn’t want to take the time to learn how to fire his rifle. [rw]
in time of temptation fall away. Matthew and Mark have, when tribulation or persecution cometh. 
Successful temptation, of course, is under discussion. Taking the three accounts together, the adversities caused by adhering to a Christ-centered faith are viewed as the type of temptation potentially devastating to a believer’s faith. [rw]
The “time of temptation” is any state of outward circumstances which puts the staying power of faith to the test, and offers allurements to give it up. Every experienced observer knows that instances of such superficial and transient discipleship are sadly common still. 
Weymouth: That which fell among the thorns means those who have heard, but as they go on their way, the Message is stifled by the anxieties, wealth and gaieties of time, and they yield nothing in perfection.
WEB: That which fell among the thorns, these are those who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity.
Young’s: 'And that which fell to the thorns: These
are they who have heard, and going forth, through anxieties, and riches, and
pleasures of life, are choked, and bear not to completion.
Conte (RC): And those which fell among thorns are those who have heard it, but as they go along, they are suffocated by the concerns and riches and pleasures of this life, and so they do not yield fruit.
And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth. This class differ from the second—first, in that the growth of faith proceeds somewhat further. It is supposed that the seed of truth has sprung up in them and gone on almost to a mature plant. Secondly, the causes of barrenness are now internal; not as before, outward onsets of persecution or temptation; but in a heart ordinarily occupied with “cares and riches and pleasures of this life.” 
and are choked with. The image is of a person with an arm around the throat being denied all or most (spiritual) breath and having the life drained out of them. The examples given show that what even “riches and pleasures” can destroy the spirituality just as much as the “cares” and burdens of life. [rw]
cares and riches and pleasures. Cares generally precede the gaining of riches, and, when gained, they draw men into pleasures and indulgences. —Dr. Dodd. 
cares. [These] are the anxieties, from whatever cause, harassing the mind in the experiences of daily life. 
Catullus talks of “sowing thorny cares in the heart.” 
riches. “The deceitfulness of riches” (Matthew, Mark). 
pleasures of this life. Pleasures may be inherently dishonorable (adultery, deception, etc.) or may be inherently honorable but become so much the center of one’s concern that everything spiritual is ground under foot. The search for recreation and a better economic foundation for one’s family are but two illustrations of the latter. One begins with something quite right in itself and ends with a life that God has been squeezed out of. [rw]
and bring no fruit to perfection. Their spiritual potential is never fully developed nor can be with other factors totally dominating one’s existence. Do we have here, perhaps, a hint that they will retain the veneer of religion while gutting it of all its meaningful substance? [rw]
Weymouth: But as for that in the good ground, it means those who, having listened to the Message with open minds and in a right spirit, hold it fast, and patiently yield a return.
WEB: That in the good ground, these are such as in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, hold it tightly, and bring forth fruit with patience.
Young’s: And that in the good
ground: These are they, who in an upright and good heart, having heard the
word, do retain it, and bear fruit in continuance.
Conte (RC): But those which were on good soil are those who, upon hearing the word with a good and noble heart, retain it, and they bring forth fruit in patience.
But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest [noble, NKJV] and good heart. Our reaction to God’s word reflects our basic character. We may have been immensely messing our life up, but if our inner core wants to do what is right and proper, then we welcome the gospel even though it may rebuke some of the behaviors we had previously embraced. We aren’t ashamed to improve ourselves. [rw]
having heard the word, keep it. Compare 11:28; John 14:21. “Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee,” Psalms cxix. 11. The opposite of the “forgetful hearers,” James 1:25. For them the seed does not fall “on the way.” 
and bring forth fruit with patience. Endurance through all hindrances and trials; constancy which yields to no temptation to desist; perseverance which stops not until the end is reached. This is what none of the other plants had. The first made no start; the second barely started; the third attained a somewhat protracted, but sickly and inefficient life; the fourth continued through all the normal stages, and held out till the full ripening of the crop. The Saviour saw all these classes of hearers before Him when He spoken the parable and we would hope that He sees some of the last class also even yet. 
It is easy to feel despair at one’s failures. It is easy to be discouraged at how long it seems to take to learn the Bible like one would like to. But just like growing a crop takes time, so does the development of a mature spirituality. Without “patience” the farmer will reap nothing and the Christian will remain floundering around like a first grader. [rw]
WEB: "No one, when he has lit a lamp, covers it with a container, or puts it under a bed; but puts it on a stand, that those who enter in may see the light.
Young’s: And no one having lighted a lamp doth
cover it with a vessel, or under a couch doth put it; but upon a lamp-stand he
doth put it, that those coming in may see the light,
Conte (RC): Now no one, lighting a candle, covers it with a container, or sets it under a bed. Instead, he places it on a lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light.
8:16 No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light. The best comment on this verse is Matthew 5:14, 16, “Ye are the light of the world. . . . Let your light so shine before men, etc.” John the Baptist is compared to “a lamp kindled and shining,” and here the disciples are compared to it. Christ lighted the flame in their souls to be a beacon to all the world. 
with a vessel. Luke uses this word as more intelligible to his Gentile readers than “bushel.” 
WEB: For nothing is hidden, that will not be revealed; nor anything secret, that will not be known and come to light.
Young’s: for nothing is secret, that shall not
become manifest, nor hid, that shall not be known, and become manifest.
Conte (RC): For there is nothing secret, which will not be made clear, nor is there anything hidden, which will not be known and be brought into plain sight.
For nothing is secret that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad [come to light, NKJV]. Whatever I teach you in private, ye shall teach publicly; and ye shall illustrate and explain every parable now delivered to the people. 
All that is now a mystery to the worldly crowd is opened to those prepared, for the very purpose that they may publish it to all who will receive it, that it may in the end be universally understood. 
An analysis of a common alternative scenario: This verse, like the parallel (which occurs in a different connexion in Matthew ), is usually quoted of the discovery of secret crimes. The truth which would in that case be illustrated is often mentioned elsewhere in Scripture (1 Corinthians 4:5), but here in both instances the context shews that the first meaning of Christ was entirely different from this. He is not thinking of the discovery of crimes, but of the right use and further dissemination of divine light. The truths now revealed privately to them, and only dimly shadowed forth to others, should soon be flashed over all the world. Parables first yielded their full significance to the disciples, but found “a springing and germinant fulfillment in every age.” 
WEB: Be careful therefore how you hear. For whoever has, to him will be given; and whoever doesn't have, from him will be taken away even that which he thinks he has."
Young’s: 'See, therefore, how ye hear, for whoever
may have, there shall be given to him, and whoever may not have, also what he seemeth to have, shall be taken from him.'
Conte (RC): Therefore, take care how you listen. For whoever has, it will be given to him; and whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken away from him."
Take heed therefore. Seeing it is your high office, as light-bearers, to dispense the truth from Me. 
how ye hear. That ye hear attentively, understandingly, appreciatively, that all who resort to you may see the light as I give it forth. 
And also “what ye hear,” Mark . 
for whosoever hath, to him shall be given. God's measure is not like the measure of flesh and blood. The measure of flesh and blood is this: an empty vessel is receptive, but a full one can take in no more : but God's measure is this; the full vessel is receptive of more, but the empty vessel receives nothing. xix. 24—26. —Dr. Lightfoot. 
Compare . It was evidently a thought to which our Lord recurred, John 15:2. 
and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.
[“Seemeth:”] This fancied possession is mere self-deception. 
Or: Perhaps the modern adage “use it or lose it” would fit well as a conceptual parallel. Since they hadn’t really used what they knew, even that limited understanding would disappear. Having never advanced beyond the first basics, their lack of spiritual development leaves them trying to recall just what it was they had (past tense) believed before their interest in learning had decayed and vanished. [rw]
In-depth analysis: The interpretation of Lukian parables . The wildest speculation has appeared in the interpretation of the parables of Jesus. We must be sure that we understand the language that Jesus used, as, for instance, "that, when it shall fail, they may receive you into the eternal tabernacles" (Luke 16:9). The word "receive" simply means a welcome on the part of those benefited by the use of one s money, not the purchase of salvation by means of one’s money.
The context must be noted to see the precise light in which the story appears. All three stories in Luke 15 are justifications by Jesus of his association with publicans and sinners against the sneer of the Pharisees and the scribes in verses 1 and 2.
The lost sheep, the lost coin, the lost son are pictures of the lost (publicans and sinners) whom Jesus came to save. The elder brother is a picture of the carping Pharisee who provoked the stories. Again in chapter 16 we have the parables about the wise and the unwise use of money, and Luke adds () that "the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things; and they scoffed at him."
Each parable of Jesus teaches a great truth, and this is the first thing to find and sometimes the only thing that we need learn as to the teaching. Certainly in the case of the unjust steward (Luke 16:1-13) this is true, and nothing can be made of the fact of the steward’s rascality. The same thing is true of the discovery of the hid treasure and of the story of the Lord s coming like a thief in the night.
And yet Jesus did sometimes make use of the minor details as in some of those in the tares and practically all in the sower. The early commentators went to such excesses that Chrysostom (Hom, on Matt., 64 : 3) says that the details should be ignored altogether in the interpretation of the parable. Broadus (Comm. on Matt., Chap. XIII) thinks that we are safe where we have the guidance of Christ, but that elsewhere we should err on the side of restraint rather than license. Augustine says that the parable is not to be used as the basis for argument unless one has a categorical teaching elsewhere.
The three loaves in Luke 11:5 have been made to teach the doctrine of the Trinity, and the two shillings in the parable of the Good Samaritan (10:35) to mean baptism and the Lord’s supper!
In particular, it should be said that one must be careful about building schemes of theology in the interpretation of the kingdom parables, especially as to the number seven in Matthew 13 or three in Luke 14 and in 15. Luke’s kingdom parables deal more with the individual experience rather than with the gradual growth of the kingdom itself.
There is an apocalyptic or eschatological element in some of the parables in Luke as in Mark and Matthew, but the parable of the pounds (Luke -27) was spoken expressly to discourage the wild excitement of the multitude who "supposed that the
was immediately to appear" (). And Luke’s report of the great eschatological discourse on the kingdomof God Mount of Olivesis quite brief (21:5-36). He uses the parable of the fig-tree to warn the disciples about the coming culmination of the kingdom (29-33).
But, on the whole, the parables of Jesus in Luke are a stern rebuke to the wild eschatologists who fail to see the spiritual and ethical side of Christ s teaching. The parables show the gradual expansion of the work of the kingdom, and Luke has the pregnant saying of Christ to the Pharisees that the kingdom of heaven is within men, not an external and political organization as the Pharisees expected (17:20f.).
"The truth about Jesus is too great to be seen from any single standpoint. No single category is able to contain him. The truth is more comprehensive than is supposed by either the Mystery school or the thoroughgoing Eschatologists." Jesus "transmuted eschatology" to serve his purpose, but he was not a dupe of eschatological schemes and programmes.
Christ is glorified in the Transfiguration, the Resurrection, the Ascension. Pentecost and the Destruction of
were forecasts of the end of the world and the coming of Christ in person to judge the world. Jerusalem
(with number code)
1 = Adam Clarke. The New Testament . . . with a Commentary and
Volume I: Matthew to the Acts. Reprint,
2 = Marvin R. Vincent. Word Studies in the New Testament. Volume I:
The Synoptic Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, Epistles of Peter, James,
and Jude. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1887; 1911 printing.
3 = J. S. Lamar. Luke. [Eugene S. Smith, Publisher; reprint, 1977 (?)]
4 = Charles H. Hall. Notes, Practical and Expository on the Gospels;
volume two: Luke-John.
5 = John Kitto. Daily Bible Illustrations. Volume II: Evening Series:
The Life and Death of Our Lord.
6 = Thomas M. Lindsay. The Gospel According to St. Luke. Two
7 = W. H. van Doren. A Suggestive Commentary on the New Testament:
Saint Luke. Two volumes.
8 = Melancthon W. Jacobus. Notes on the Gospels, Critical and
Explanatory: Luke and John.
Brothers, 1856; 1872 reprint.
9 = Alfred Nevin. Popular Expositor of the Gospels and Acts: Luke.
10 = Alfred Nevin.
The Parables of Jesus.
Board of Publication, 1881.
11 = Albert Barnes. "Luke." In Barnes' Notes on the New Testament.
Reprint, Kregel Publications, 1980.
12 = Alexander B. Bruce. The Synoptic Gospels. In The Expositor's
Greek Testament, edited by W. Robertson Nicoll. Reprint, Grand
13 = F. Godet. A Commentary on the Gospel of St. Luke. Translated
from the Second French Edition by E. W. Shalders and M. D. Cusin.
15 = Henry Alford. The Greek Testament. Volume I: The Four Gospels.
16 = David Brown. "Luke" in Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, and
David Brown, A Commentary, Critical and Explanatory, on the
Old and New Testaments.
Volume II: New Testament.
S. S. Scranton Company, no date.
17 = Dr. [no first name provided] MacEvilly. An Exposition of the Gospel
of St. Luke.
18 = H. D. M. Spence. “Luke.” In the Pulpit Commentary, edited by H. D.
M. Spence. Reprinted by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company,
19 = John Calvin. Commentary on a Harmony of the Evangelists,
Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Translated by William Pringle. Reprint,
20 = Thomas Scott. The Holy Bible . . . with Explanatory Notes (and)
21 = Henry T. Sell. Bible Studies in the Life of Christ: Historical and
22 = Philip Vollmer. The Modern Student's Life of Christ.
Fleming H. Revell Company, 1912.
23 = Heinrich A. W. Meyer. Critical and Exegetical Handbook to the
Gospels of Mark and Luke. Translated from the Fifth German
Edition by Robert Ernest Wallis. N. Y.: Funk and Wagnalls,
1884; 1893 printing.
24 = John Albert Bengel. Gnomon of the New Testament. A New
Translation by Charlton T. Lewis and Marvin R. Vincent.
25 = John Cummings. Sabbath Evening Readers on the New Testa-
26 = Walter F. Adeney, editor. The Century Bible: A Modern
missing from copy.
27 = Pasquier Quesnel. The Gospels with Reflections on Each Verse.
Volumes I and II. (Luke
is in part of both).
D. F. Randolph, 1855; 1867 reprint.
28 = Charles R. Erdman. The Gospel of Luke: An Exposition.
29 = Elvira J. Slack. Jesus: The Man of
Board of the Young Womens Christian Associations, 1911.
30 = Arthur Ritchie. Spiritual Studies in St. Luke's Gospel.
The Young Churchman Company, 1906.
31 = Bernhard Weiss. A Commentary on the New Testament. Volume
Two: Luke-The Acts.
32 = Matthew Henry. Commentary on the Whole Bible. Volume V:
Matthew to John. 17--. Reprint,
Company, no date.
33 = C. G. Barth. The Bible Manual: An Expository and Practical
Commentary on the Books of Scripture. Second Edition.
34 = Nathaniel S. Folsom. The Four Gospels: Translated . . . and with
Critical and Expository Notes. Third Edition.
Upham, and Company, 1871; 1885 reprint.
35 = Henry Burton. The Gospel according to Luke. In the Expositor's
36 = [Anonymous]. Choice Notes on the Gospel of S. Luke, Drawn from
Old and New Sources.
37 = Marcus Dods.
The Parables of Our Lord.
Revell Company, 18--.
38 = Alfred Edersheim. The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah.
39 = A. T. Robertson. Luke the Historian in the Light of Research.
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1920; 1930 reprint.
40 = James R. Gray. Christian Workers' Commentary on the Old and
ion/Fleming H. Revell Company, 1915.
41 = W.
Sanday. Outlines of the Life of Christ.
Scribner's Sons, 1905.
42 = Halford E. Luccock. Studies in the Parables
Methodist Book Concern, 1917.
43 = George H. Hubbard. The Teaching of Jesus in Parables. New
44 = Charles S. Robinson. Studies in Luke's Gospel. Second Series.
45 = John
Laidlaw. The Miracles of Our Lord.
Wagnalls Company, 1892.
46 = William M. Taylor. The Miracles of Our Saviour. Fifth Edition.
New York: A. C. Armstrong & Son, 1890; 1903 reprint.
47 = Alexander Maclaren. Expositions of Holy Scripture: St. Luke.
New York: George H. Doran Company, [no date].
48 = George
Miracles of Our Lord.
George Routledge & Sons, 1878.
49 = Joseph Parker. The People's Bibles: Discourses upon Holy Scrip-
50 = Daniel Whitby and Moses Lowman. A Critical Commentary and
Paraphrase on the New Testament: The Four Gospels and the Acts
of the Apostles.
51 = Matthew Poole. Annotations on the Holy Bible. 1600s.
52 = George R. Bliss. Luke. In An American Commentary on the New
53 = J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. The Fourfold Gospel.
54 = John Trapp. Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. 1654.
55 = Ernest D. Burton and Shailer Matthews. The Life of Christ.
Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press, 1900; 5th reprint,
56 = Frederic W. Farrar. The Gospel According to St. Luke. In “The
the University Press, 1882.