Read Mark 5
Jesus Restores a Demon-Possessed Man
1 They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. 2 When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an impure spirit came from the tombs to meet him. 3 This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. 4 For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 5 Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.
6 When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. 7 He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!” 8 For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you impure spirit!”
9 Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”
“My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.” 10 And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.
11 A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. 12 The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.” 13 He gave them permission, and the impure spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.
14 Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. 15 When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 16 Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man—and told about the pigs as well. 17 Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region.
18 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. 19 Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 20 So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.
Jesus Raises a Dead Girl and Heals a Sick Woman
21 When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. 22 Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. 23 He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” 24 So Jesus went with him.
A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”
31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”
32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
35 While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?”
36 Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”
37 He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. 38 When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. 39 He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” 40 But they laughed at him.
After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). 42 Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. 43 He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.
Mark 5 presents to us a Jesus who is both exceedingly powerful and tremendously compassionate. In the first story, Mark goes out of his way to describe just how strong this demon-possessed man had been. He writes twice in two verses that no one had the power to subdue this man. The force inside of this man was so powerful that he was seen as a lost cause. No one had the strength to free him. Until Jesus stepped in.
The next story we see is of a woman who was suffering for 12 years. She had spent all she had on doctors and instead of growing better, her condition only worsened. She was overcome by illness and had no answers, no hope, no future. Until Jesus stepped in.
Finally, Jesus is approached by a man whose daughter was ill and would ultimately die. He was overcome with grief, knowing that the story was over for his child. She was only 12 years old. It was an unfair sentence for a girl that still had so much life to live. But now her story was over. Until Jesus stepped in.
In three different stories, we see that Jesus has the strength to overcome the darkest of situations. He uses his power to heal the ones with the least power in society: a possessed man, an ill woman, and a lifeless girl. Whatever the situation, Jesus has the power and the compassion necessary to save.
What are the similarities between the three healings in this passage?
The bleeding woman was willing to fight through a crowd in order to get to Jesus. What are some things in your life that stand in the way of time with Jesus? How often do they keep you from getting to him?
In verse 23, it says that Jairus, the little girl’s father, pleaded earnestly with Jesus for his child to be healed. What are some things in your life that you need to plead earnestly with Jesus for? Have you been praying for them?
Did You Know?
Jairus was one of the synagogue leaders within his town. Many synagogue leaders had a close relationship with the Pharisees. Since the Pharisees were plotting to kill Jesus, Jairus was putting his job, and potentially his life, on the line by pleading with Jesus for help.
2 thoughts on “Mark 5”
“My God is so big, so strong, and so mighty, there’s nothing my God cannot do,” is a favorite Sunday school refrain. In this chapter we see God’s power at work. Lord, help me, like Jairus, to believe in your infinite capacity and trust in your lovingkindness when I approach you in prayer.
I can’t pick a fav “story” from these as each of the person’s Jesus healed/saved were in hopeless situations. The verse that sticks out the most is v36 when Jesus instructs and/or encourages Jairus not to fear or be afraid, “just believe”. How often I need to heed -and act on this directive from Jesus, “simply believe”.
I do love the heart of the possessed man. It must’ve hurt in a way when he couldn’t go and follow his life-giving Saviour, yet Jesus sends him, (I think) the first gentile missionary, to go back “home” and share what was done for him; armed only with his personal testimony. What faith, and in mind, what sacrifice of self. His was a story that had to be told and delivered specifically to his own community.