Studies in the Gospel of Mark- Chapter 5
I. Authority of the Kingdom-Over Nature
A. On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (Mark 4:35-41)
B. Even though these notes are on Chapter 5 we must start in the final passages of Chapter 4 in dealing with the Authority of the Kingdom. After the great exposition of some of the Key Parables of the Kingdom, Jesus says “Let us cross over to the other side.” There was something over on the other side that He needed to address. So they went in not just one boat but many boats some of which were small. It took numerous hours to cross the sea especially depending on where you crossed.
C. “A windstorm arose.” We know that violent storms could rise in the Galilee basin, but this one was noteworthy. The word used in the passage was lailaps meaning “whirlwind” It was as if a tornado touched down and they were taking on water very quickly and the boats were sinking.
D. Jesus was asleep in the midst of the storm; because He knew He had an appointment on the other side. However, for the sake of the disciples He arose and did something that is very astonishing…He spoke to the wind and the sea. The scripture says He rebuked them. It was as if they were rising up in resistance to the advancement of the Mission. He arises and says “Silence, Be muzzled!” Almost as if they were dog-like keeping watch over the yard. Immediately it ceases and the sea calms and then He turns to His disciples and rebukes them.
II. Authority of the Kingdom- Over the Powers of Darkness
A. They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit. He lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain, for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the shackles in pieces. No one had the strength to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones. And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before him. And crying out with a loud voice, he said, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.” For he was saying to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” And he begged him earnestly not to send them out of the country. Now a great herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, and they begged him, saying, “Send us to the pigs; let us enter them.” So he gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out and entered the pigs; and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the sea. The herdsmen fled and told it in the city and in the country. And people came to see what it was that had happened. And they came to Jesus and saw the demon-possessed man, the one who had had the legion, sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. And those who had seen it described to them what had happened to the demon-possessed man and to the pigs. And they began to beg Jesus to depart from their region. As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. And he did not permit him but said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled. (Mark 5:1-20)
B. Country of the Gergesenes – Matthew 8:28 says that he came into the country of the “Gergesenes.” This difference is only apparent.
“Gadara” was a city not far from the Lake Gennesareth, one of the ten cities that were called “Decapolis.” “Gergesa” was a city about 12 miles to the southeast of Gadara, and about 20 miles to the east of the Jordan. There is no contradiction, therefore, in the evangelists. He came into the region in which the two cities were situated, and one evangelist mentioned one, and the other another. It shows that the writers had not agreed to impose on the world; for if they had, they would have mentioned the same city; and it shows. also, they were familiar with the country. No men would have written in this manner but those who were acquainted with the facts. Impostors do not mention places or homes if they can avoid it. – Albert Barnes
C. There was great resistance because there was about to be great deliverance. This man saw Jesus coming and before He was even ashore ran out to meet the boat. When Jesus stepped out of the boat the man ran to Jesus and fell at His feet worshipping Him. Arguably the most demonized man in the Bible (with the exception of the Son of Perdition coming) still ran to Jesus and worshipped Him. Reading about the characteristics of this man’s bondage we can take hope in the fact that no demon force can keep us from the Master if we will simply run to Him.
D. Immediately Jesus commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man and it began talking to Jesus very plainly. Jesus asked its name. “Legion” was the reply, meaning according to Thayer “a legion, a body of soldiers whose number differed at different times, and in the time of Augustus seems to have consisted of 6826 men (i.e. 6100 foot soldiers, and 726 horsemen)” Jesus allows them to go into the herd of swine, which was unlawful that Jewish farmers would be raising anyway, and the resultant effect was the destruction of the entire herd of around 2000 pigs. Which would have been very hard to hide from any suspecting religious leader of the day.
E. The regional leaders were not willing for Jesus to stay and they asked Jesus to leave. The former demoniac ask to go with Jesus, but Jesus would not permit it instead told him to travel the entire ten cities and testify to God’s compassion and might in his life
III. Authority of the Kingdom- Over Unplanned Circumstances and Unseen Diseases
A. And when Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered about him, and he was beside the sea. Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name, and seeing him, he fell at his feet and implored him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well and live.” And he went with him. And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him. And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.” And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my garments?” And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?'” And he looked around to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.” (Mark 5:21-34)
B. As they returned to the other side they are met with a man named Jairus (Whom God enlightens) who was the chief leader in the synagogue(probably one on the shore of the Sea) whose daughter is very sick. He asks Jesus to come lay hands on her. Jesus willingly goes with him. It wasn’t necessarily on the ministry docket but God is in charge.
C. Then someone in the crowd who also wasn’t on the ministry docket who had a disease for 12 years had heard about Jesus and came to see if she might just touch Him. Twelve is a perfect number, signifying perfection of government, or of governmental perfection. It is found as a multiple in all that has to do with rule. Twelve is the product of 3 (the perfectly Divine and heavenly number) and 4 (the earthly of what is material and organic).
D. She breaks through the crowd and touched His garment and virtue or power flowed out of Jesus. She knew, He knew it, and the disciples did not know it.
E. The back story of her condition can be isogetically considered by Jesus characterization of her condition calling it a Mastix- plague or scourge. A term used to represent the consequences associated with a judgment or penalty.
IV. Authority of the Kingdom- Over Death
A. While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James. They came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and Jesus saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. And when he had entered, he said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. But he put them all outside and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and went in where the child was. Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement. And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat. (Mark 5:35-43)
B. Even in the midst of the commotion and in “side conversations” Jesus interrupts the man’s thought processes and declares to the man “Do not fear, only believe”.
C. Jesus continues to partner with His disciples, even though their involvement is primarily observation. Upon entering the home, He diffuses the situation, and they mock Him. The enemy always has people or forces in place to resist the advancement of His kingdom. Jesus does to them what He did to the tempest…Silence, Be Muzzled and he put them outside.
D. Jesus speaking in Aramaic says “Little Girl, Get up!” Immediately she got up. Jesus exhibited His authority over death. She too was twelve years old! He told her parents not to tell anyone about this. Most believe it would have prematurely accelerated the crowd in trying to make Him King.