The Relationship of Faith and Works

Luke 8:1-56

Not only were the twelve going around from village to village, preaching with Jesus, but there was a contingent of women as well. Jesus told two parables: First, the parable of the sower and the four soils; it is only the seed that falls on good soil that produces fruit, but the seed that falls on falls on the road, the rocky soil, or among thorns does not produce fruit. The second parable was of a lamp being put on a lamp-stand and not hidden from sight. Jesus said that to be a member of his family, one must hear the word of God and do it. After this, Jesus and his disciples crossed the sea, on which Jesus demonstrated power over the wind and the sea and the waves. Jesus healed a demon possessed man, his desire was to accompany Jesus, but Jesus told him to go tell what God had done for him in Jesus Christ. A woman was healed when she reached out to touch Jesus by faith. When questioned, she proclaimed before all present, her condition, and her reason for reaching out to touch Jesus and that she had been healed. After this, Jesus raised a synagog official’s daughter from the dead. Her parents were amazed; but Jesus instructed them to tell no one what had happened.

The kingdom of God is for men and women, both should be proclaiming it. There is work in the church for both men and women. Jesus chose twelve men as his apostles, but there were many female deacons in the early church. The paragraph seems to not fit with the surrounding context but is there to make the point that both men and women are to serve the Lord. In the following text, both a man and a woman are healed, and both give their testimony of what God has done for them in Jesus Christ.

Believing without doing is not expectable. Faith always produces good works. The parable of the lamp-stand follows the parable of the sower and the four soils. It is only the good soil which produces good fruit, because it is only the good soil that puts his/her light on a lamp-stand, so that others may see the light. Works do not make us right with God, but true faith in Jesus Christ, produces good works. The greatest work that a follower of Jesus Christ can do, is to proclaim the gospel. In this text, both the man healed from demonic possession and the woman healed from years of bleeding; did so, by testifying what God did for them in Jesus Christ. Physical relationship does not make one a Christian, it is hearing the word of God and doing it, that makes one a Christian. The word Christian means, follower of Christ. Following means hearing and doing.