ADVENT CHALLENGE IN THE YEAR OF THE WORD OF GOD; Day Eight
11th December 2019
1 Now it happened that after this he made his way through towns and villages preaching and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. With him went the Twelve,
2 as well as certain women who had been cured of evil spirits and ailments: Mary surnamed the Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out,
3 Joanna the wife of Herod's steward Chuza, Susanna, and many others who provided for them out of their own resources.
4 With a large crowd gathering and people from every town finding their way to him, he told this parable:
5 'A sower went out to sow his seed. Now as he sowed, some fell on the edge of the path and was trampled on; and the birds of the air ate it up.
6 Some seed fell on rock, and when it came up it withered away, having no moisture.
7 Some seed fell in the middle of thorns and the thorns grew with it and choked it.
8 And some seed fell into good soil and grew and produced its crop a hundredfold.' Saying this he cried, 'Anyone who has ears for listening should listen!'
9 His disciples asked him what this parable might mean,
10 and he said, 'To you is granted to understand the secrets of the kingdom of God; for the rest it remains in parables, so that they may look but not perceive, listen but not understand.
11 'This, then, is what the parable means: the seed is the word of God.
12 Those on the edge of the path are people who have heard it, and then the devil comes and carries away the word from their hearts in case they should believe and be saved.
13 Those on the rock are people who, when they first hear it, welcome the word with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of trial they give up.
14 As for the part that fell into thorns, this is people who have heard, but as they go on their way they are choked by the worries and riches and pleasures of life and never produce any crops.
15 As for the part in the rich soil, this is people with a noble and generous heart who have heard the word and take it to themselves and yield a harvest through their perseverance.
16 'No one lights a lamp to cover it with a bowl or to put it under a bed. No, it is put on a lamp-stand so that people may see the light when they come in.
17 For nothing is hidden but it will be made clear, nothing secret but it will be made known and brought to light.
18 So take care how you listen; anyone who has, will be given more; anyone who has not, will be deprived even of what he thinks he has.'
19 His mother and his brothers came looking for him, but they could not get to him because of the crowd.
20 He was told, 'Your mother and brothers are standing outside and want to see you.'
21 But he said in answer, 'My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and put it into practice.'
22 It happened that one day he got into a boat with his disciples and said to them, 'Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.' So they set out,
23 and as they sailed he fell asleep. When a squall of wind came down on the lake the boat started shipping water and they found themselves in danger.
24 So they went to rouse him saying, 'Master! Master! We are lost!' Then he woke up and rebuked the wind and the rough water; and they subsided and it was calm again.
25 He said to them, 'Where is your faith?' They were awestruck and astounded and said to one another, 'Who can this be, that gives orders even to winds and waves and they obey him?'
26 They came to land in the territory of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee.
27 He was stepping ashore when a man from the city who was possessed by devils came towards him; for a long time the man had been living with no clothes on, not in a house, but in the tombs.
28 Catching sight of Jesus he gave a shout, fell at his feet and cried out at the top of his voice, 'What do you want with me, Jesus, son of the Most High God? I implore you, do not torture me.'
29 For Jesus had been telling the unclean spirit to come out of the man. It had seized on him a great many times, and then they used to secure him with chains and fetters to restrain him, but he would always break the fastenings, and the devil would drive him out into the wilds.
30 Jesus asked him, 'What is your name?' He said, 'Legion' -- because many devils had gone into him.
31 And these begged him not to order them to depart into the Abyss.
32 Now there was a large herd of pigs feeding there on the mountain, and the devils begged him to let them go into these. So he gave them leave.
33 The devils came out of the man and went into the pigs, and the herd charged down the cliff into the lake and was drowned.
34 When the swineherds saw what had happened they ran off and told their story in the city and in the country round about;
35 and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus they found the man from whom the devils had gone out sitting at the feet of Jesus, wearing clothes and in his right mind; and they were afraid.
36 Those who had witnessed it told them how the man who had been possessed came to be saved.
37 The entire population of the Gerasene territory was in great fear and asked Jesus to leave them. So he got into the boat and went back.
38 The man from whom the devils had gone out asked to be allowed to stay with him, but he sent him away saying,
39 'Go back home and report all that God has done for you.' So the man went off and proclaimed throughout the city all that Jesus had done for him.
40 On his return Jesus was welcomed by the crowd, for they were all there waiting for him.
41 And suddenly there came a man named Jairus, who was president of the synagogue. He fell at Jesus' feet and pleaded with him to come to his house,
42 because he had an only daughter about twelve years old, who was dying. And the crowds were almost stifling Jesus as he went.
43 Now there was a woman suffering from a haemorrhage for the past twelve years, whom no one had been able to cure.
44 She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his cloak; and the haemorrhage stopped at that very moment.
45 Jesus said, 'Who was it that touched me?' When they all denied it, Peter said, 'Master, it is the crowds round you, pushing.'
46 But Jesus said, 'Somebody touched me. I felt that power had gone out from me.'
47 Seeing herself discovered, the woman came forward trembling, and falling at his feet explained in front of all the people why she had touched him and how she had been cured at that very moment.
48 'My daughter,' he said, 'your faith has saved you; go in peace.'
49 While he was still speaking, someone arrived from the house of the president of the synagogue to say, 'Your daughter has died. Do not trouble the Master any further.'
50 But Jesus heard this, and he spoke to the man, 'Do not be afraid, only have faith and she will be saved.'
51 When he came to the house he allowed no one to go in with him except Peter and John and James, and the child's father and mother.
52 They were all crying and mourning for her, but Jesus said, 'Stop crying; she is not dead, but asleep.'
53 But they ridiculed him, knowing she was dead.
54 But taking her by the hand himself he spoke to her, 'Child, get up.'
55 And her spirit returned and she got up at that very moment. Then he told them to give her something to eat.
56 Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.