Lesson 6: Mark- Chapter 5
First read Mark 5 all the way though noting all of the ‘Supernatural’ Acts and Events:
The ‘Supernatural’ Acts and Events in Mark 5
Events in Chapter Five That You Don’t See Every Day:
-The Demons recognize who Jesus really is
-Jesus expels thousand of demons
-Woman is healed by touching the clothes of Jesus
-Jesus felt her touch, even in the crowd. Actually he knew that power for healing had gone out from him.
-Jesus raises a little girl from the dead
Notes and Commentary:
I. The Gerasene Demoniac- Verses 1-20
Located on the east bank of the Sea of Galilee. It was a Gentile area, as confirmed by the thousands of pigs they kept. Some Manuscripts refer to the region as ‘Gaderene’ which would be at the south eastern corner of the lake. Gerasene is the most likely location, today there is a town in the area called Khersa & near by the Lake on a slope are cavern tombs that have been used in the past as dwelling places.
The banishment & treatment of this man was incredible. I wonder how he would treated and identified today in a modern society? Probably with some kind of ‘multi-personality’ mental disorder?
Verses 6-7: The demons controlling the man know exactly who Jesus really is. Better than even the closest disciples at that point: “Jesus Son of the Most High God” It probably was kind of shocking to his companions when Jesus did not deny it. Remember, a few hours ago on the Lake they were wondering themselves who this guy really was after he demonstrated that he had the power to command and calm even the seas & winds.
Verses 8-10: The conversation between Jesus and the demons which held power over the man is instructive. Jesus actually ask the demons their identity. They recognized the authority of Jesus to send them away. The title ‘legion’ suggests that thousands of demons may have been involved, a Roman legion contained 6,000 men. Breaking bonds & chains was a super human feat. However Jesus had power to defeat even an entire ‘legion’ of demons.
Verses 11-13: One wonders if the demons caused the pigs to run into the lake in order to cause trouble for Jesus and his followers, or whether the pigs themselves were so afraid of the demons that they stampeded into the lake and lost their own lives in the process.
Verses 14-17: Notice how the Gerasenes responded to losing a large chunk of their economy (2,000 pigs). Jesus was obviously a Jew and Jews and pigs did not mix. According to those tending the pigs, Jesus had caused it all by commanding the thousands of powerful demons to leave the man and enter the pigs instead.
The Gerasenes were probably angry for the loss at first and then became genuinely afraid when they saw that the same man who caused the loss of the pigs also had demonstrated some kind of incredible supernatural power healing the demon possed man who everyone in the town knew was totally uncontrollable.
What kind of powerful magic did this guy have and would he use it against them to control the whole town? They did not understand who Jesus was and were concerned about what he might do to ‘Gentiles’ like themselves. So they pleaded to Jesus to leave the area and he complied to their wishes. The ultimate ‘healer’ was among them, but they ask him to go.
Verses 18-20: The man that was healed wanted to come with Jesus, but was told to stay and give his testimony to his friends and family instead. Finally, all of the people understood and were amazed after he told them how Jesus had healed and saved him.
But Jesus and the disciples had already moved on. This was a lost opportunity for the people of this region to be blessed. When Jesus and his followers went back across the lake a huge crowd was expectedly waiting for them.
How many times do people today reject Jesus out of ignorance and fear, not really understanding who he really is and how their lives could be changed for the better. Jesus is the ultimate healer of all time, even today, even for you.
II. The Sick Woman & The Dying Little Girl- Verses 21-34:
The head of the Synagogue in the area, Jairus, sought out Jesus to come and heal his dying daughter. Can you imagine the frustration of this man, as he walked with Jesus and was engulfed by the crowd, making travel very difficult. Then Jesus stopped and asked “who touched me?”.
Verses 25-34: The crowd was pressing up against Jesus & the disciples. A woman who was sick with a blood flow disorder believed that if she could just touch Jesus’ garment she would be healed & she did and was.
Actually according to the ‘Mosaic Law’, anyone who came in contact with a woman with this condition would be ‘defiled’. The woman was defying the law traveling in the crowd and touching Jesus. That is why she was afraid when Jesus called attention to her touch.
Jesus was aware that healing power had gone out of him and stopped the whole parade. Jesus asks, “who touched my clothes?.” The disciples were incredulous. After all, thousand of people were bumping up against them. At this point Jesus was as popular as the modern ‘rock star’. The woman was rewarded for her faith and boldness by being healed immediately of her disease.
III. Jesus Raises The Little Girl From the Dead- Verses 35-43
Verses 35-37: In the mean time, the daughter of Jairus had died and messengers came to inform him. Jesus tells him: “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” A tall order, and yet Jairus does respond in some kind of faith and continues to bring Jesus to his home.
Notice that Jesus only allows Peter, James, and John to go along for support. He leaves behind the crowd & takes along only his top disciples, those who have observed his ministry from the beginning, and probably have the greatest faith and belief among his followers.
Verses 38-40: They arrive at the home of Jairus, and a chaotic traditional mourning had already started. The wealthy hired professional mourners in those days, when there was a death in the family. The pros were already at it. What a scene! The supposed ‘mourners’ showed that they really did not care, they actually laughed when Jesus suggested that the girl was only sleeping.
Verses 40-43: Jesus kicks them all out of the house and takes only the parents and the three disciples into the room where the child was laying dead. He only wanted those who were really concerned for the girl and those who had at least some degree of faith to be with him in the room. Jesus takes the hand of the girl and speaks here in Aramaic, “Talitha Koum!” (See: *Note), meaning- “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”– AND SHE DOES. To prove that the little girl has not only been healed and risen from the dead but back to normal, Jesus tells her parents to feed her.
Notice that Jesus ends this incredible miracle by instructing the family not to talk about it. Can you imagine? He actually did not want any greater fame or notoriety than he already had. This is hard for us to understand today.
However, the religious opposition was already plotting against him and perhaps even greater fame might have caused those religious leaders to act sooner than they ultimately did bringing a premature end to his ministry.
*Note: Jesus and his disciples probably spoke ‘Aramaic’ in their normal conversation. Being from Galilee, they probably also spoke Greek, it was a mixed area and many spoke Greek, since it was the language of commerce. Also, they probably knew Hebrew. There was a revival of the usage of Hebrew during the first century, particularly in the Synagogues and in Jerusalem. We know that Jesus did read from the Scroll of Isaiah (Hebrew) in his home town.
-Read Mark Chapter 6 for the next lesson.