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BIBLE STUDY on the Gospel of Mark
THEME: Demoniac of Gadara; woman with issue of blood; daughter of Jairus raised from dead (supernatural).
This is one of the most important chapters in the Gospel of Mark. I guess I feel that way about every chapter. This one is important because the Gospel of Mark is a Gospel of action. There are three outstanding miracles here, and they could be performed ONLY by the Hand of Almighty God Himself! This is really a very a remarkable chapter.
Demoniac Of Gadara (Mark 5:1-20)
A Legion of Demons Cast Out
Mark 5:1 And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes. (KJV)
And they came over unto the other side of the sea . . . Jesus and the disciples, came over the Sea of Galilee, or Tiberias;
Into the country of the Gadarenes . . . both "Gadarenes" and "Gerasenes" are found in the manuscripts, but the preference is given to the latter. The is true in the parallel in Luke. Matthew uses neither of these names, but calls the place "the country of the Gergesenes" (Mat.8:28). It seems that the country of the Gergesenes was a part of the country of the Gerasenes. It was not far from Tiberias, the place from whence this sea has its name, over which Christ and His disciples passed (Jn.6:1). It appears to be a Heathen country, both from its situation, and the manners of the people.
Mark 5:2 And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, (KJV)
And when he was come out of the ship . . . as soon as they landed Jesus,
Immediately there met him out of the tombs, a man with an unclean spirit . . . the demoniac did not wait for Jesus to come near. There met him a man with an unclean spirit . . . "which had devils long time" (Lk.8:27). In Matthew 8:28, "there met him two men possessed with devils." Mark and Luke says a man, while Matthew says there were two men. The one mentioned and described by Mark and Luke was doubtless the fiercer and this man was the more notorious of the two. Intending to speak particularly of him, and to say nothing about the other, they use the singular number throughout the account.
Even though Matthew mentions two that were possessed, and Mark and Luke just one, there is no contradiction; for Mark does not say there were no more than one. IF he had, there certainly would have been a glaring contradiction to the other writer; but as he states it, there is no contradiction. Mark may only take notice of this one, because he was the most fierce and violent of the two, and had the most devils in him, having a legion of them; and because the conversation chiefly passed between Christ and him; and because the power of Christ was more manifestly seen in the dispossession of the devils out of him.
Mark 5:3 Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: (KJV)
Who had his dwelling among the tombs . . . which is one of the characteristics of a madman among the Jews. They say the sign of a madman, is he that goeth out in the night, and lodges among the tombs, and rends his garments, and loses what is given to him.
And no man could bind him, no, not with chains . . .so as to hold him for any length of time: not only cords were insufficient to hold, but even iron chains. The strength came from the demon possession; for this could not be done by his own natural strength.
Mark 5:4 Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him. (KJV)
Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains . . . they tried many times, to no avail. His arms had been bound with chains, and his feet with fetters, which was done to prevent doing hurt to himself, and injury to others.
And the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces . . . as if they had been flimsy twine. Such was his strength, through the force of madness, and the possession of Satan, and his evil influence.
Neither could any man tame him . . . not by any methods whatsoever. Everything had been tried. This man was so furious and extreme, that he was not to be managed any way, either by skill or force.
Mark 5:5 And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones. (KJV)
And always night and day, he was in the mountains . . . his just being in a Heathen country, would have rendered him an unclean person, if he had not been possessed with an unclean spirit; according to the Jews.
And in the tombs . . . which very likely were on the mountains, and cut out of them, it being usual to cut their sepulchres out of rocks.
Crying, and cutting himself with stones . . . with sharp pieces of stone, which he picked up among the broken tombstones, or from off the mountains, where he lived night and day. As terrible as he was to others, he himself endured untold misery, seeking relief in tears and self-inflicted torture. This is a desperate case of someone possessed with an unclean spirit. He lived among the tombs of the dead, he no longer enjoyed the company of normal people but lived among the dead. What an awful condition! And all due to demon possession!
Mark 5:6 But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him, (KJV)
But when he saw Jesus afar off . . . it seems the tombs where this man dwelt, were not too great a distance from the sea shore (verse 2).
He ran and worshipped him . . . worshiped Him in attitude only, by falling prostrate at His Feet. He knew and acknowledged Jesus’ superiority and power. Without a word spoken to him, he runs and prostrates himself before Him. This proves the preeminence of Christ over devils. They KNOW Who He is! They are filled with horror because of Him. They fall down before Him, and in their deceptive way do homage to Him; although it is impossible they could be spiritual worshippers of Him.
Mark 5:7 And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. (KJV)
And cried with a loud voice, and said . . . the man possessed with the devil; or the devil in him, making use of his voice, expressing great fear, dread, and horror, at the appearance of Christ in this area.
What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? . . . the devils in the man, own Jesus as God. In quoting the words of this outcry, Mark omits the question quoted by Matthew, "Art thou come to torment us before the time?"
I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not . . . Mark adds what Matthew omits, "I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not" (Mat8:29). There is no doubt both remarks were made. See: (Mat.8:29).
Mark 5:8 For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit. (KJV)
For he said unto him . . . as soon as he came up to him, and fell before him; even before he had confessed.
Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit . . . this was said with so much authority and power, that there was no tolerating it. The devil knew he was NO match for Christ Jesus! He knew, that at His command, he must quit his possession, and as a result, confessed and appealed. Christ absolutely will NOT dwell where Satan does (1 Jn.4:4). When Jesus takes up His residence in the hearts of believers, He casts out Satan. He binds the strong man (Mk.3:27), and dispossesses him; He casts out the spirit of uncleanness; He sanctifies the heart with His grace and His Spirit, which makes it a proper place for Him to dwell in. NO man can deliver himself out of the hands of Satan, or cause him to stop his hold of him, or make the unclean spirit depart. NO man can sanctify and cleanse himself, and make himself fit for the Master's use. This is all owed to His effective grace.
Mark 5:9 And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many. (KJV)
And he asked him, What is thy name? . . . is Jesus unaware of the demon’s name? Or of the number of the unclean spirits within the man? No way dear one! Jesus' question simply followed the plea of the demon. The demon answered, "My name is legion, for we are many" . . . this was not a single demon, but a multitude of them, that had possession the poor man.
And he answered, saying, my name is Legion: for we are many . . . a legion was a division of the Roman army, consisting of 2000 to 6000 men. Usually legions did not exceed 6000. The horrifying fact is that in this case, there were thousands of evil spirits crowded into this one unfortunate man. Their statement on this point is confirmed by the fact, that when they left the man, they entered into the bodies of 2000 hogs (verse 13).
Mark 5:10 And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country. (KJV)
And he besought him much . . . the devil who had the rest under his command, pleaded with Jesus with great feeling. This demonstrates the authority Christ has over the devils, and their subjection to Him. They are not only obliged to leave their former possession, when He gives orders, but they cannot go anywhere else, or where they wanted to, without His permission. Although the man they were in, could not be bound and held with chains and fetters of iron, because of the great strength they put forth in him . . . yet these devils themselves are bound and held in chains, and cannot move without Christ's permission. (2 Pet.2:4; Jude 1:6). These are truly called the children of the devil (1 Jn.3:10), and do the lusts of him their father (Jn.8:44).
That he would not send them away out of the country . . . they begged Jesus, that if He was going to dispossess them from that man, would He allow them to stay in that country, and not drive them completely from there. They wanted to be in a Heathen country, inhabited by the blind Gentiles, that knew not God, or apostate Jews (Isa.42:18) . . . for there, their power and authority was very great.
Mark 5:11 Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding. (KJV)
Now there was there, nigh unto the mountains . . . where this demon possessed man often was, the mountains of Galaad, which ran through that country, or the mountains that surrounded Tiberias. "On the mountain" as in (Lk.8:32).
A great herd of swine feeding . . . it must have been a big one, for there were about 2000 hogs there.
Mark 5:12 And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them. (KJV)
And all the devils besought him . . . not only their chief, but all the demons begged Jesus . . .
Saying, send us into the swine, that we may enter into them . . . if You are going to drive us away from this man,
give us permission to enter into the swine. They chose to be anywhere, except to depart the country; and especially than to be sent into the deep, the abyss, or bottomless pit. They asked to be sent into the swine, as being impure creatures like themselves; and no doubt with a view that they would destroy them, that they might satisfy themselves as much as they could with doing injury. Devils are persistent in doing mischief, they do not rest unless they are doing it. They desire to do injury to creatures, the property of men; all of which shows the malice and wickedness of these evil spirits. (Mat.8:31). The bottomless pit: (Rev.9:1-2,11; 11:7-8; 17:8; 20:1,3)
Mark 5:13 And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea. (KJV)
And forthwith Jesus gave them leave . . . see (Mat.8:32).
And the unclean spirits went out . . . of the man, in whom they had for some time been.
And entered into the herd of swine . . . according to the permission given to them by Christ. This not only shows the existence of spirits, but their going from one place to another. This shows that they are restricted . . . if they are here, they are not there . . . or if there, then not here. They are NOT omnipresent, as is our awesome God! They simply CANNOT be in more than one place at the same time!
And the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea . . . the herd of swine fell into the sea. One version reads: the "herd grew mad, and was carried headlong into the sea". The reasoning is, that the devils having entered into them, it had a like effect on them, as it had on the possessed man. The hogs ran mad, hurried on by the devils, to the rocks on the sea shore; where, falling down the cliff, they were all lost; and a considerable loss it was to their owners; for
They were about two thousand . . . a very large herd. There were devils enough in that one man, to possess all these hogs, and run them into the sea. I cannot even imagine such a thing as this.
And were choked in the sea . . . not suffocated by the devils, but drowned in the waters of the sea, or lake.
After begging Jesus not to send them out of the country, the demons begged Him for permission to go into the swine, for in the bodies of these brute beasts, they hoped to be less wretched than in the abyss.
That Jesus gave them permission, thus allowing the destruction of so much property, is an isolated fact in the career of the Lord Jesus. The only other instance to comes close to this is the condemning of the fig-tree (Mat.21:19), but it was a barren tree. He no doubt had reason to allow this to happen. I certainly will NOT demand an answer from Him! The demons could not control the hogs as they did the man. Frantic by the demon’s presence, as the man had been, they rushed madly forward, and were drowned. The death of the swine expelled the demons, and thus at last they were forced back into the abyss . . . possibly the reason for Jesus’ decision. Our all-wise Saviour had a good reason for what He did! He always does!
There is a tremendous incidence presented to us here. The demons made a very strange request. They preferred swine to the abyss. The permission of Jesus here has been severely criticized by men who are liberal in their theology. I feel sorry for them. Their objection has been that He could not destroy the swine, because the "gentle Jesus" would not do things like that. My friend, our gentle Jesus has TWO sides! He also gets angry! Anger, wrath of Jesus: (Mat.16:23; 23:13-36; Mk.3:5; 10:14; Jn.2:13-17).
These people say that Jesus would not destroy swine because that would be a terrible thing. To start with, these people should NOT have been in the hog business. The Mosaic Law forbade it. And then the 2000 hogs that were destroyed here was very small compared to the hogs that were destroyed in the Flood at the time of Noah (Gen.6:5,13,17; 7:4,11,17). WHY did the Flood happen? Just read those verses! God was angry! God DOES get angry!
Consider the following things about demon (bad angel) possession:
- The Bible proves the reality of the demons. Demon possession: (1 Sam.16:23; Mat.4:24; 8:16,32; 9:33; 10:8; 12:28,43; 15:28; 17:18; Mk. 1:26,34; 3:22; 5:13; 6:13; 7:30; 9:26,38; 16:17; Lk.4:35; 4:41; 6:18; 7:21; 8:2,33; 9:1, 42,49; 10:17; 11:14,19; 13:32; Acts 5:16; 8:7; 10:38; 16:18; 19:12)
- They were especially obvious during the ministry of Jesus but they were not confined to that period. But, today there is a revival and exhibition of demonism again. With the non-stop devastating and demoralizing use of drugs and alcohol, the possession of demons will continue. (Job 2:2; Eph.6:12; 1 Tim.4:1; Jam.2:19; Rev.16:14; 18:2).
- Satan and his cohorts desperately seek to indwell mankind, desiring to manifest their evil nature through human beings. They are exceptionally impatient and restless. Consider: Luke 11:24 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. (KJV) . . . This is characteristic of all evil, including evil men! There is a nervous concern of wanting to express their evil and immoral nature. In the incident above, the demons would rather go into a herd of swine than the abyss. Very interesting.
- Good spirits (good angels) NEVER seek to take possession of men. The Holy Spirit is the One and only exception, and He only indwells TRUE believers. But my friend, just as the Holy Spirit of God indwells believers, so too can demons possess the unsaved (lost). Demons absolutely CANNOT possess any truly saved person! We are told that greater is He that in us (the Holy Spirit) than he that is in the world (Satan) (1 Jn.4:4). Therefore, no TRUE child of God can ever be demon-possessed. Holy Spirit, indwelling in Old Testament: (Gen.41:38; Num.27:18; Isa.63:11; Eze.36:27; 37:14; Dan.4:8). Holy Spirit, indwelling in New Testament: (Jn.14:16-17,23; Rom.5:5; 8:9; 1 Cor.2:12; 3:16; 6:19; 12:27; 14:25; 2 Cor.6:16; Gal.4:6; Eph.2:22; 4:6; Phil.2:13; 2 Tim.1:14; 1 Pet.1:11; 1 Jn.2:27; 4:12).
- These evil ones, fallen angels, should be called demons and not devils, for there is only one Devil. They are called "unclean spirits" because of their nature.
- The Bible does not give us the origin of angels. I have always thought that they were created before anything else, but who am I to say? Anything I would say would be just a wild guess.
- There seem to be many of these demons or evil spirits. Satan’s fall from Heaven is symbolically described in Isaiah 14:12-14 and Ezekiel 28:12-18. Even though these two Passages refer specifically to the kings of Babylon and Tyre, they also reference the spiritual power behind those kings, and that was Satan. These passages describe WHY Satan fell, but they do NOT say exactly WHEN the fall occurred. It seems the angels were created before the Earth (Job 38:4-7). It seems Satan fell before he tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden (Gen.3:1-14). So, Satan’s fall must have happened after the time the angels were created and before he tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Did Satan’s fall happen in a few minutes, several hours, or days before he tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden? We are NOT told, so that means we should not worry about something that does not concern us. The book of Job tells us that Satan still had access to Heaven and to the throne of God (Job 1:6-7). It seems at that time, Satan was still moving freely between Heaven and Earth, speaking directly to God and giving answers for what he was doing. We do NOT know when God discontinued this access.
- WHY did Satan fall from Heaven? Satan fell because of pride. He wanted to be God, NOT a servant of God. See the many “I will...” statements in: Isaiah 14:12-14 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. (KJV) . . . Emphasis mine. . . . NOW . . . notice the “I will . . .” statements of Almighty God! Ezekiel 28:16-18 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. 17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. 18 Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. (KJV) . . . Emphasis mine. God always wins!
- Satan as a very beautiful angel, most likely he was the highest of all angels, and the most beautiful of all of God's creations . . . BUT . . . he was not content, he wanted to be God, he wanted to “kick God off His throne” and take over the rule of the Universe. Satan wanted to be God, and that is what Satan tempted Adam and Eve with in the Garden of Eden (Gen.3:1-5). How did Satan fall from Heaven? Fall is not the right word. Expulsion would be a more correct description. God actually threw Satan out of Heaven (Isa.14:15; Eze.28:16-17). Satan did NOT fall from Heaven; Satan was thrust out of Heaven. I think when Satan fell, there were many other angels who followed him (Rev.12:4).
- The purpose of Satan and his demons is the final undoing of man’s soul. There definitely are present-day examples of demon possession. The worship of Satan is right in our own neighborhoods, and there are a many college students and professors who are engaged in it. They say they find reality in it. I think that Satan gives reality to those who worship him but, what kind of reality do they find?
The Lord Jesus Christ has power over demons. I think this is something that we should never forget! They have been cast out in His Name. My friend, it is a lack of faith in the Lord Jesus to walk in fear of them today. The people of Gadara came and asked the Lord Jesus to leave their coast. WHY? Because they would rather have the swine than have Him. That is something for people today to consider, there are many people who would rather have other things that are just as bad as pigs, or worse, than to have Christ. BEWARE!!!
Mark 5:14 And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done. (KJV)
And they that fed the swine . . . not the owners, but the keepers of the swine herds, "fled"; being astounded at the power of Christ, terrified at the noise of the devils, and horrified at the sight and loss of the pigs.
And told it in the city and country . . . they went into the city of Gadara, and told the story of the dispossession of the devils out of the man that had been for a long time troublesome in those parts; and of their entrance of the demons into the swine, and the destruction of them that followed. They not only rushed to the owners of the swine, to let them know what had happened, in order to remove all blame from themselves, and any suspicion of negligence in them.
And they went out to see what it was that was done . . . the inhabitants of the city of Gadara, and those that dwelt in the villages, and in lone houses in the fields, went to the places where the possessed man used to be, and where Jesus and he now were, and where the swine used to feed, to see with their own eyes, and make sure what the swine herders told them was the truth.
Mark 5:15 And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. (KJV)
And they come to Jesus . . . Who had brought about this miracle, and of Whom the keepers of the swine had told them about.
And see him that was possessed of the devil, and had a legion . . . some version renders it, "the legion being gone out of him". They saw, along with Jesus, the man who had been possessed with a legion of devils, whom they knew to be the same man.
Sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind, and they were afraid . . . not afraid of the man, as they were before, when he was possessed, not daring to come that way because of him . . . they were afraid of Christ, and His incredible power, for He had disposed a legion of devils, and restored a man to his perfect senses. The ‘crazy’ man now had such calm and decency, who was before in such a dreadful condition, and so exceeding furious and outrageous: they saw the same man who was now still and quiet, harmless and mild. They just did not know what to think of Christ. Was He an exorcist, or a magician? They were afraid that He would use His power to destroy them. They did NOT fear and reverence Him as a divine Person, instead they were terrified of Him, because He possessed a power unlike anything they had ever seen.
Before this, the demoniac had not worn any clothes (Lk.8:27), and he had been constantly in motion. Now he is sitting still; they have put clothes on him which he wore quietly; and he was in his right mind. The remark that he was "in his right mind," implies that he had been insane, as he certainly was: but this does not diminish anything from his being demon possessed.
Mark 5:16 And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine. (KJV)
And they that saw it . . . not the keepers of the swine, for they were gone; but others that saw the whole event, who lived in houses nearby, or were working in the fields; or the disciples of Christ.
Told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil . . . gave a specific account, how, on first sight of Christ, the man ran to meet him, and fell down and worshipped Him, and how Christ ordered the unclean spirit to come out of him; and how he was dispossessed of a legion of devils by just speaking.
And also concerning the swine . . . how, at the request of the devils, and by the permission of Christ, they entered into the swine, and then they ran madly over a cliff into the sea.
Mark 5:17 And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts. (KJV)
And they began to pray him . . . the inhabitants of Gadara, and of the villages round about, very earnestly demanded that He leave.
To depart out of their coasts . . . fearing, in case of their sins, some worse judgment should befall them, than the loss of their swine; because they perceived He was a Person of great power and authority. This reveals the insanity, great ignorance and worldly mindedness of people. They just did not realize just how great a Person was in their midst! They did not realize that He was the Son of Almighty God! They did not realize that He was the Saviour of the world! Oh! How sad! The same stupidity remains in the world today!
They should have known from the miracles that He did, that He was a very wonderful and extraordinary Person; but instead they considered Him as One endued with great power to do them hurt, not good; as One sent to threaten them for their sins, rather than to save them from their sins. These same contradictory ideas are still with carnal men today. They do not want to part with their piggish lusts in exchange for Jesus . . . they prefer instead, a carnal love of the world, and the things it offers, much more than Jesus! So . . . therefore they are NOT worthy of Him (Mat.8:34).
The people were afraid of Jesus (verse 15), being filled with astonishment in the presence of His miraculous power. They did not know how soon the power that had delivered the man and destroyed the legion of demons might come upon them for their many sins. His Presence was very painful to them. They wanted Him gone! They were to some degree, in the condition of guilty Felix when he said to Paul, "Go thy way for this time: when I have a convenient season I will call for thee" (Acts 24:25) . . . but unlike the ill-fated Roman governor, they later became more favorably at ease with with Jesus (Mk.7:31-37).
Mark 5:18 And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him. (KJV)
And When he was come into the ship . . . at the request of these men, who were unworthy of His Presence, and of any favor from Him, either by His doctrine, or miracles, He turned back to the sea side again; and as He was about to get aboard the ship,
He that had been possessed with the devil, prayed him that he might be with him . . . when Jesus turned His Back on the Gadarenes, and returned to the sea shore, this poor man who had received such a great a benefit from Him, rose up and followed Him. I probably would have done the same thing.
When it was apparent that Jesus was entering the ship, to go to another country, the man pleaded with Him that he might go with Him in the ship, and stay with Him. He wanted to testify of his great love to Jesus, and how grateful and thankful he was of the mercy he had received from the Lord. Possibly too, that be might continue to enjoy His Presence, and have His protection, after all he had been through. He may have thought that if he remained there, that the devils would repossess him again, with greater rage and fury.
So too, it is with gracious souls who know Christ, and have received of His fullness and grace for grace. These too earnestly desire to be with Him, to enjoy fellowship with Him, receive guidance from Him, and be always under His care, influence and protection. To be with Christ, is to have His gracious Presence; and to feel the tremendous nearness of Him. Psalm 16:11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. (KJV) . . . Amen!
Mark 5:19 Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. (KJV)
Howbeit Jesus suffered him not . . . the Lord Jesus was able to preserve him from those evil spirits, when absent or present. To take the man along with Him, would look like a showy display and boasting, which Christ was opposed to. Jesus wanted that he stay behind, because he had work for him to do in those parts, which would be for the glory of God . . . spreading of the knowledge of Himself, and His Gospel, among his friends, relations, and countrymen;
But saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee . . . He bids him go to his "own house", as Luke says (Lk.8:39), to the place where he once lived before the demonic possession, where his father and mother, brethren and sisters, wife and children might live; and tell them what great things the Lord had done for him . . . casting out a legion of devils from him, and restoring him to his perfect senses and health, telling them that the Lord had had great compassion on him, both as of his soul and his body, and had brought a great salvation to him.
My dear friend, so too it should be with ALL who are called by His grace (Gal.5:1; 1 Pet.5:10), and are turned from darkness to light and from the power of Satan unto God (Acts 26:18; 1 Pet.2:9). These too should go to their homes, their friends, and to the church of God and proclaim the great things which God has done for their souls! He enlightens, He quickens, He converts and He comforts them . . . to the glory of His rich mercy and abundant grace (2 Cor.4:15; 1 Tim.1:14). These are "great things" indeed which the Lord has done for His people here and now, and He has done great things for them in eternity; He has loved then with an everlasting love (Jer.31:3); he has chosen them in His Son to holiness (Eph.1:6; 1 Pet.2:9); He has made a covenant with Himself for them, full of spiritual blessings and promises. He has provided Christ Jesus as a Redeemer and Saviour for them. We must tell of this to others!
Mark 5:20 And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel. (KJV)
And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis . . . the man submitted to the will of Christ, though he would gladly have gone with Him. He followed Jesus’ instructions, took His advice, and obeyed His commands, as should every one that has received favors from Him do. He went not only to his own house, and acquainted his nearest friends and relations with what had happened to him, but he published the account, as Luke says (Lk.8:39), throughout the whole city, most likely Gadara, where he may have been a native; and which was in Decapolis. The names of the traditional Ten Cities of the Decapolis are:
#1. Gerasa (Jerash) in Jordan
#2. Scythopolis (Beth-Shean) in Israel, the only city west of the Jordan River
#3.Hippos (Hippus or Sussita) in Israel
#4.Gadara (Umm Qais) in Jordan
#5.Pella (West of Irbid) in Jordan
#6.Philadelphia, modern day Amman, the capital of Jordan
#7.Capitolias (Beit Ras) in Jordan (Dion, Jordan)
#8.Canatha (Qanawat) in Syria
#9.Raphana in Jordan
#10.Damascus, the capital of modern Syria; Damascus was considerably north of the others and so is sometimes thought to have been an "honorary" member.
According to other sources, there may have been as many as 18 or 19 Greco-Roman cities counted as part of the Decapolis. Abila is very often cited as belonging to the group.. . . For more on Decapolis, see: http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/5035-decapolis-the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decapolis
How great things Jesus had done for him . . . the thankful man not only said that the Lord Jesus had done them, for him, he attributed them to Jesus, Who is Lord and God; and by that miracle, as by many others, gave full proof of His deity, as well, as His Messiahship. This is a great example of the obedience of faith, for it is with the heart men believe in Christ unto righteousness and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation (Rom.10:10). So very many people are backward and so reluctant to fulfill this part of the service of faith! WHY? It is because of fears, unbelief and Satan's misleading and unreliable temptations! But this humble and ever so grateful man, submits to Jesus’ will and is obedient to His commands. At once, immediately, straightway . . . he saw it was his duty to do whatever Jesus commanded him to do! If we do not do as this man did, for whom the Lord has done great things as these, we are in grave danger! Mark 8:38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. (KJV) . . . BEWARE!!! Do NOT be ashamed of Jesus!
And all men did marvel . . . at the power of Jesus, at the miracle done by Him, and the incredible benefit the man had received, because they all knew he had been in dreadful condition.
It is not only marvelous to the persons themselves, for whom great things are done by the Lord . . . but it is astounding to others, to angels and men, when it is considered just WHO they are, on whose account the great things are done . . . sinners, vile sinners! We all are totally unworthy of such amazing favors; indeed, we truly deserve of the wrath of God and of eternal damnation! What an awesome God we have! PLEASE . . . do NOT be ashamed to tell others what Jesus means to you.
Woman With Issue Of Blood (5:21-34)
The next miracle is closely connected with the miracle of the raising of the daughter of Jairus.
Mark 5:21 And when Jesus was passed over again by ship unto the other side, much people gathered unto him: and he was nigh unto the sea. (KJV)
And when Jesus was passed over again by ship . . . over the sea of Tiberias, that part of it which was necessary to go over from Gadara, to Capernaum,
Unto the other side . . . it seems there was a bridge at Chammath of Gadara, over an arm of this sea, over which Christ and His disciples could have used, and they could have gone by land to Capernaum . . . that this phrase is necessary. They went by sea, in a boat!
Much people gathered unto him . . . many who had before attended on His ministry in these parts, and had seen His miracles; such as the casting out of an unclean spirit from a man (Mk.1:26), healing the centurion's servant (Lk.7:2), curing the man sick of the palsy (Mk.2:3), and healing Simon's wife's mother of a fever (Mk.1:30), and a man that had a withered hand (Mk.3:1).
And he was nigh unto the sea . . . he seems to have been at Capernaum, which was near the sea, and was in the house of Matthew or Levi, whom He had called at the sea side from the receipt of custom (Mat.9:9-10,18).
Mark 5:22 And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet, (KJV)
And behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue . . . he had heard of Jesus’ return, and where he was (Mat.9:18).
Jairus by name . . . it is no doubt a Jewish name, since he was a ruler of the synagogue; and besides, it is often mentioned in the Old Testament, and particularly in (Est.2:5). Matthew makes no mention of this man’s name; but both Mark and Luke do (Lk.8:41).
And when he saw him, he fell at his feet . . . as soon as Jairus came into Jesus’ Presence; even though he was a person of great authority; he had heard much about the doctrine and miracles of Christ, and believing He was a great Prophet and Man of God; although he might not know that he was the Messiah, and truly God, threw himself at His Feet; and, as Matthew says, "worshipped him" (Mat.9:18). He showed great reverence and respect to him, gave him honor, at least in a civil way, although he might not worship Him as God.
Mark 5:23 And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live. (KJV)
And besought him greatly . . . used much persistence with Him, and was very serious in his requests.
Saying, my little daughter lieth at the point of death . . . or is breathing her last; for she was not yet dead when he left her, though she was before he returned (Mat.9:18).
I pray thee, come and lay thine hands on her, that she may be healed, and she shall live . . . Jairos expressed faith in the power of Christ to restore his daughter, yet seemed to think His literal Presence, and the use of His Hands were necessary to do it.
Mark 5:24 And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him. (KJV)
And Jesus went with him . . . immediately without objecting to the weakness of his faith.
And much people followed him . . . to see the miracle to be performed, which they were very fond of.
And thronged him . . . because of all the people, there was some difficulty that He passed along the streets to the ruler's house.
Mark 5:25 And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, (KJV)
And a certain woman which had an issue of blood twelve years . . . (Mat.9:20). This woman was in the crowd that thronged Jesus, as He passed through the streets of Capernaum. She had a hemorrhage, a non-stop flow of blood (Lev.12:7), where it literally means a "fountain".
Mark 5:26 And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, (KJV)
And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse . . . the condition of this woman, included a very long period of affliction. The vain and unsuccessful efforts of many physicians to heal her did not help her, and in fact she grew worse instead of getting better, is told, to prove that her immediate cure by Jesus was an unmistakable and a very remarkable miracle. She had taken many medicines, and had gone to many different doctors; for there were many among the Jews that pretended to cure instabilities. She had resorted to many painful things, by the direction of the physicians, in order to be healed: alum, saffron, Persian onions, cumin, put into wine and drank. Nothing made her better. (Job 13:4; Ps.108:12, Jer.30:12-13). Had spent all that she had . . . brought herself to poverty, by following the directions given her. She no longer could pay another doctor. Nothing bettered, but rather grew worse . . . none of the doctors, or the medicine they prescribed did any good, but she worsened daily. She had an incurable disease that NO worldly doctor could heal.
This is often the case of people who in some degree, realize the disease of sin, but are unaware or uninformed of the proper methods to be taken to cure of it. They apply their own works of righteousness, to the so-called duties of religion (ceremonies and rites), to a repentance of external humiliation and tears, and an outward renovation of their life. This is like going to a doctor for an incurable disease! The world CANNOT heal the disease of sin! Just JESUS can heal you! And He heals from the inside out!
Mark 5:27 When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. (KJV)
When she had heard of Jesus . . . and of the many miracles Jesus had done, of all the cures He had performed, in cases as difficult and desperate as hers, and that He was now passing along the streets, she had to go to Him!
Came in the press behind . . . she was so weak and exhausted, from her ever so long disorder; yet she risks going into the crowd, which were pushing and pressing after Christ Jesus. She finally caught up to Him. She was behind Him, for she was ashamed to tell Him her problem and ask to be cured.
And touched his garment . . . this woman had heard of Jesus’ ability to save to the uttermost those that come to Him. She was in the most desperate condition, as she presses in the throng. She touched the hem of His garment with her hand (Mat.9:20), very quietly, so as not to be observed by anyone.
Christ is the sinner's last effort. They try everyone and everything before they finally come to Him. They spend all their money, strength and time on others, with no result. They finally apply to the Master Physician, Who is the ONLY One that can give relief.
Mark 5:28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. (KJV)
For she said, if I may touch but his clothes I shall be whole . . . she felt sure that if she could just touch His clothes, she would be healed . . . so great was her faith (Mat.9:21).
Mark 5:29 And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. (KJV)
And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up . . . it was usual with the Jews to call the womb, in which the child is formed "a fountain"; and because from there issued the blood in a menstruous person, they called it, as here, "the fountain of her blood".
And she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague . . . she felt, in that part of her body, from where the problem sprung, that she was perfectly well, and that her disorder was completely gone, which had been a plague for so many years.
The word "plague" carries in it something more dreadful, and fitly enough expresses the nature of sin, which is a pestilential disease, morally harmful and deadly. Indwelling sin is called the "plague of the heart" (1 Ki.8:38). Sin is a loathsome disease, and without the grace of God, it is a mortal one. The body of sin is a body of death! ALL sin is of the same kind . . . the end result of sin is destruction and death . . . whereas the healing of sin is the forgiveness of sin, which is available ONLY through the precious Blood of Christ (1 Pet.1:18-19), and the application of it to the soul. When applied, it immediately produces spiritual joy, peace and comfort!
Mark 5:30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? (KJV)
And Jesus immediately knowing in himself . . . as soon as the woman touched Jesus’ garment, and was cured, Christ Jesus, who knew ALL things in His Spirit, knew what was done. He knew that the woman had touched Him, and was healed, entirely by His tremendous power,
That virtue was gone out of him . . . virtue = advantage, asset, benefit, power, value . . . He felt the healing taking place! This incident did NOT in any way diminish His virtue! That virtue remained just as powerful and effective in Him as ever. This proves that there was/is an internal vital virtue in Jesus to cure diseases. It was absolutely NOT what He received from another, NEITHER did He exercise His power under another's influence! It came from Jesus, and was put forth by Jesus alone! The apostles of Christ cured diseases, but NOT by their own power and holiness, or by any inborn virtue in them . . . any power, any virtue they had, came from the Name of Christ, and by power derived and received from Him!
Christ Jesus, being God, had immeasurable virtue within Himself, which went forth from Him whenever He so pleased, to cure whatever disease He thought fit. It NEVER lessened by the frequent uses of it, being abundant.
Turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? . . . He knew who had touched Him in this manner! He turned towards the woman behind Him, even though the multitude was crowded all around Him. He asked who had touched His clothes; NOT for His own sake, for He knew very well who had done it. He asked that the cure might be known to others . . . NOT for the sake of display and popular applause, but for the display of His glory, and for the glory of God . . . and to strengthen the faith of Jairus, who was with Him, and with whom He was going to raise his daughter to life. I also think it might have been to reveal this woman’s faith, and praising this poor woman's faith, and of confirming the cure done, and of dismissing her with the utmost pleasure and joy.
Mark 5:31 And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? (KJV)
And his disciples said unto him . . . Peter (Lk.8:45), and they that were with Him; after the crowd that were around him denied that any of them had touched Him.
Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou who touched me? . . . they seem astonished at Jesus ‘question. Since there was such a crowd around Him, pressing in on Him from every side, He would have been touched by many! To ask who touched Him, when this was the case, they thought was a very strange and unnecessary question. . . . BUT . . . none of them pulled from Jesus the healing power the woman did.
Mark 5:32 And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. (KJV)
And he looked round about . . . the throng of people were on every side of Him; but He knew exactly where she was, and that she had done the thing, and had been cured.
To see her that had done this thing . . . Christ, as Almighty God, being omniscient, KNEW who she was, and where she was; and, as Man, did not want to see her to satisfy His curiosity: neither did He want to rebuke her for what she had done. I think what He wanted was to express His delight in her faith and actions, and for others there to observe it. He did not want to gain glory for Himself, but to praise her faith, and to encourage others to exercise their faith in Him . . . especially Jairus, the ruler of the synagogue, who was with Him, and in great distress, because of his daughter, whom Christ was about to raise from the dead. Is Jesus God? YES!!! He IS!!!
Mark 5:33 But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. (KJV)
But the woman fearing and trembling . . . when Jesus demanded," Who touched my clothes?", along with the well-known fact that the touch of a person in her condition rendered one unclean (Lev. 15:19-25), caused her to fear that she had committed a serious offense. Now, the brief joy she had felt in her recovery was overcome by panic. But instead of running away, she humbly "fell down before him and told him all the truth.”
Knowing what was done in her . . . and by her. She knew that she was the person that had touched Him, and when she did, the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she was completely healed of her disease.
Came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth . . . Jesus did not point her out, even though He knew who she was, nor did He call her by her name, although He could have done it (Lk.12:7; Jn.1:48; 4:29), and could have ordered her to come to Him, and account for her conduct.
Mark 5:34 And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague. (KJV)
And he said unto her . . . instead of reproving her, or showing any anger or resentment at her, as she feared, He speaks to her in a very kind, soft and tender manner.
Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole . . . because of her faith in Christ, she received the cure from Him . . . BUT . . . it was not her act of faith that either merited or obtained it, it was by His power . . . He being the Object of her faith that achieved it. In the Greek text it is, "thy faith hath saved thee" . . . both from her bodily disease, and from her sins. It was not faith, but Christ, Who is the Author and Cause of spiritual salvation that healed her. Our faith looks to Christ for salvation, and receives every blessing of it from Him, such as: love, righteousness, peace, pardon, adoption, and eternal life. Believers are saved by God’s grace, through our faith. When we exercise that grace given to us, we have the hope, joy and comfort of salvation NOW (Jn.5:24); and through it they are kept, by the power of God, unto the full possession of it when we move on to our new life (Jn.14:1-6; 1 Pet.1:1-5). Fruits of the Spirit: (Ps.1:3; 92:14; Hos.14:8; Gal.5:16-18; 22-23; Phil.1:11; 2 Tim.2:25; Mat.12:33; Lk.8:140-15; 13:9; Jn.15:5,16; Rom.6:22; 7:4; Eph.5:9; Phi.1:11; Col.1:10)
Go in peace . . . the Lord Jesus told the highly confused woman to go in peace! He wanted health and happiness to go with her. He wanted no uneasy thoughts about what had happened to dwell in her mind. Peace is the result of faith in Christ, of pardon through His Blood, and salvation in Him. This is the ONLY Way we can achieve true, spiritual and solid peace. It begins by believing God (1 Jn.5:10-13); it is the fruit of the Spirit (Gal.5:22), and an outcome of justification by faith in Christ's righteousness (Rom.5:1; 1 Cor.1:30). Those who are blessed in this manner, and walk in a sense of these things, go in peace all their days, and at last enter into peace, even into the joy of their Lord (Isa.29:19).
And be whole of thy plague . . . she was completely healed and whole already. This was just added to confirm it, and assure her that she would remain so, no more be afflicted with that dreaded chastisement. When our sin is pardoned, there shall be NO condemnation come upon that pardoned sinner . . . he/she is whole and sound, and shall be NO more sick, neither die the second death (Rev.2:11; 20:6,14; 21:8). Forgiveness, pardon: (Isa.43:25;44:22; Je.33:8; Ps.65:3; 103:12; Mic.7:18-19; Acts 13:38-39; Rom.11:27; Eph.1:7; Col.1:14; Heb.8:12; 10:17; 1 Jn.1:7-9; 2:1-2; Rev.1:5).
The Ruler's Daughter (Mark 5:21-43)
(Mat 9:18-26; Lk.41-56)
Mark 5:35 While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue's house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further? (KJV)
While he yet spake . . . the above things to the healed woman, commending her on her faith, and for her future encouragement, peace, and comfort in soul and body.
There came from the ruler of the synagogue's house certain that said . . . one version reads: "from the ruler of the synagogue", another reads: "there came to the ruler of the synagogue". Luke says but of "one" that came (Lk.8:49), whereas Mark suggests there were more. There is no contradiction; because Luke does not say there was just one; so there may have been more that came with the news, although just one spoke, as the mouth of the rest.
Which said, thy daughter is dead, why troublest thou the master any further? . . . these brought him the news that his daughter had actually died, which he himself already feared.
Mark 5:36 As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe. (KJV)
As soon as Jesus had heard the word that was spoken . . . by those that came from the ruler's house, that his daughter was dead, and it was to no purpose to give Jesus any further trouble, since all hope of recovery was gone.
He saith unto the ruler of the synagogue . . . who was overwhelmed with the news and a dis-quieted spirit.
Be not afraid, only believe . . . do not be discouraged, do not distrust my power to help thee. IF a man can just believe, he has no reason to fear; for there is NOTHING that His almighty power cannot do! It can raise the dead, there is nothing can stand in its way, or stop it. Faith in Him overcomes difficulties which are unsurmountable to carnal sense and reason! This was the support and foundation of Abraham's faith; hence he was strong in exercising it, and believed in hope against hope, because he was fully persuaded that God was able to perform what He had promised (Rom.4:18-21).
This ruler had expressed some faith in Christ, that his daughter, though at the point of death, would be healed by Him and live, IF He would but come and lay His hands on her. Christ had agreed to go along with him, and had given him an indication that He would restore her. The ruler had nothing to do except to believe in Jesus, that even though she was dead, He would be able to raise her from the dead.
These words "only believe" . . . is this not a simple thing to do? How hard can it be? Even though there is much encouragement in the power and will of Christ . . . faith is NOT of a man's own effort! It is the gift of God, and the operation of His Spirit; and the lively and peaceful exercise of it is owing to the influence of efficacious grace. Gift of God: (Jn.4:10; Acts 8:20; Rom.5:15; 6:23; 11:29; 1 Cor.7:7; Eph.2:8; 2 Tim.1:6). When Christ, Who is the Author and Finisher of faith, says "believe" or "only believe" . . . there has to be power that goes along with His words.
Mark 5:37 And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James. (KJV)
And he suffered no man to follow him . . . Jesus dismissed the multitude, for He did not wany the honor and applause of men. Probably what he said to the ruler was private, with a low voice, so that the multitude did not hear Him.
Save Peter, and James, and John, the brother of James . . . these three favorite disciples, who were a sufficient number of witnesses; and who were taken alone along with Christ on some other occasions, as at His transfiguration, and when in the garden. Peter, James and John: (Mat.10:2; 17:1; Mk.5:37;9:2; 14:33; Lk.6:14; 8:51; Acts 1:13)
Mark 5:38 And he cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly. (KJV)
And he cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue . . . along with Jesus were the three disciples above mentioned.
And seeing the tumult . . . the crowd of people, relations, friends, neighbors and acquaintance, all in a hurry to express their concern by words and gestures.
And them that wept and wailed bitterly . . . the mourning women who sang mournful songs, and made hideous noises, being hired for this purpose; as also those who played doleful tunes on musical instruments. Since this was a daughter of a ruler of the synagogue that was dead, there might be several of them. (Mat.9:23).
Mark 5:39 And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth. (KJV)
And when he was come in, he saith unto them . . . into the house where the company of mourners, and the pipers and mourning women were, singing and saying their doleful ditties.
Why make ye this ado and weep? . . . why all this commotion and noise? Why all this grief and mourning?
The damsel is not dead, but sleepeth . . . not as though she was truly dead, but NOT so as to remain under the power of death. She was like a person in a sleep, who would in a little bit be awaked out of it: and which was very easily performed by Christ, just as if she had been only in a natural sleep. (Mat.9:24).
Mark 5:40 And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying. (KJV)
And they laughed him to scorn . . . the servants of the house that had laid her out; and the neighbors and relatives that were come in because of this occasion, and were sure that she was dead; and the players on the pipe and flute, with the mourning women, who got their livelihood this way (Mat.9:24).
But when he had put them all out . . . of the house, or the part where He was. He ordered them to depart, with the consent of the master of the house.
He taketh the father, and the mother, of the damsel, and them that were with him . . . "with them" who were with Christ, namely, the three disciples, Peter, James, and John.
And entereth in where the damsel was lying . . . into an inner room, where the child was laid out on a bed.
Mark 5:41 And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise. (KJV)
And he took the damsel by the hand . . . (Mat.9:25).
And said unto her . . . in the Syriac language, which was then commonly spoken by the Jews, and well understood.
Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise . . . the phrase, "I say unto thee", is not part of the interpretation of the above Syriac words; but is added, by Mark, as being what was said by Christ at this time, signifying His authority and power over death.
Mark 5:42 And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment. (KJV)
And straightway the damsel arose, and walked . . . as soon as the above words were spoken by Jesus, such almighty power went along with them, that the child returned to life. She raised up from the bed, got up and walked around the room in perfect health and strength.
For she was of the age of twelve years . . . alive and well, able to walk.
And they were astonished with a great astonishment . . . they were simply amazed at such an indication of the power of our Lord, even both the parents of the child, and the disciples of Christ.
Mark 5:43 And he charged them straitly that no man should know it; and commanded that something should be given her to eat. (KJV)
And he charged them straitly that no man should know it . . . immediately, while He was still on the spot. This thing could NOT be very long concealed. It was not to be expected that all, or even any of them, would be entirely silent in reference to the event, but this charge would have a restraining influence, and would prevent much of the popular excitement which might otherwise result. It is remarkable that we do not read of a single instance in which Jesus was requested to raise the dead. This may be accounted for in part by this charge of privacy, indicating that He did NOT wish to be harassed for this exercise of His power.
And commanded that something should be given her to eat . . . her little body had no doubt been wasted away by sickness, and, though restored to life, was still shrunken. It was now to be strengthened by natural means, and this was promptly done by the command of Jesus.
So, there is a wide variety of possible symptoms of demon possession, such as a physical impairment that cannot be attributed to an actual physical problem, a personality change such as depression or aggression, supernatural strength, immodesty, antisocial behavior, and perhaps the ability to share information that one has no natural way of knowing. It is important to note that nearly all, if not all, of these characteristics may have other explanations, so it is important not to label every depressed person or epileptic individual as demon-possessed. On the other hand, Western cultures probably do not take satanic involvement in people’s lives seriously enough.
In addition to these physical or emotional distinctions, one can also look at spiritual attributes showing demonic influence. These may include a refusal to forgive (2 Cor.2:10-11) and the belief in and spread of false doctrine, especially concerning Jesus Christ and His atoning work (2 Cor.11:3-4,13-14; 1 Tim.4:1-5; 1 Jn.4:1-3).
Concerning the involvement of demons in the lives of Christians, the apostle Peter is an illustration of the fact that a believer can be INFLUENCED by the devil (Mat.16:23), NOT possessed! Some refer to Christians who are under a strong demonic influence as being “demonized,” but NEVER is there an example in Scripture of a believer in Christ being possessed by a demon. Most theologians believe that a Christian CANNOT be possessed because he has the Holy Spirit abiding within (1 Cor.6:19; 2 Cor.1:22; 5:5), and the Spirit of God would NOT share residence with a demon. 1 John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. (KJV)
The Bible does not tell us exactly how a person opens himself up for demon possession. IF Judas’ case is symbolic, he opened his heart to evil . . . with him, it was greed (Mat.26:15; Jn.12:6). It may be possible that if a person keeps on in some habitual sin, it becomes an open invitation for a demon to come on in! Missionaries seem to think that demon possession also seems to be related to the worship of heathen idols and the possession of occult materials. Scripture repeatedly relates idol worship to the actual worship of demons (Lev.17:7; Deut.32:17; Ps.106:37; 1 Cor.10:20), so it should not be shocking that involvement with idolatry could lead to demon possession.
It seems that many people simply open their lives up to demon involvement through the embracing of some sin or through some cultic participation, either knowingly or unknowingly. Examples of this can include continual immoral sin such as adultery, fornication, sodomism, drug/alcohol abuse that alters one’s state of consciousness, rebellion, bitterness, and transcendental (mystical) meditation.
There is an additional consideration. Satan and his evil host can do nothing the Lord does not allow them to do (Job 1-2). This being the case, Satan, thinking he is accomplishing his own purposes, is actually accomplishing God’s good purposes, as in the case of Judas’ betrayal. Some people develop an unhealthy fascination with the occult and demonic activity. This is unwise and unbiblical. IF we pursue God, IF we are clothing ourselves with His armor and relying on His strength (Eph.6:10-18), we have nothing to fear from the evil ones, for God rules over all!
The story of Jesus casting the legion of demons into a herd of pigs is found in Matthew 8:30-37; Mark 5:1-20; and Like 8:27-38. Only Matthew mentions the more prominent of the two demoniacs involved. Demoniacs were persons whose minds were under the control of an evil spirit or spirits. That such occurrences were especially noticeable during the days of Christ’s earthly ministry is consistent with Satan’s efforts to frustrate God’s program. It also lets us witness the spiritual warfare in which our Saviour was constantly involved. All the demons knew EWXACTLY Who Jesus was . . . "Son of God" . . . and were aware of their ultimate doom (Mat.8:28-29).
This man was controlled by demons and lived among the tombs. With the physical strength the demons gave the man, he was able to break and throw off the chains with which people tried to bind him. When the demons begged Jesus to let them go into a herd of pigs, He gave them permission. They entered the pigs, which rushed down the steep cliff into the lake, and were drowned. Jesus thus made known His authority and frustrated whatever evil purpose the demons had.
Why the demons begged to be allowed to enter the swine is unclear. Maybe they did not want to leave the area where they had been successful with their mischief among the people there. Maybe they were drawn to the unclean animals (Deut.14:8), because of their own filthiness. It is possible that the demons may have made this strange request because it was their last chance to avoid confinement in the Abyss, the place of confinement to which evil spirits are doomed (Rev.9:1-6). Whatever their reason, it is quite clear that demons had little power of their own and were unable to do anything without Jesus’ permission. As Christians, we can take comfort in the knowledge that the forces of the enemy of our souls are under the complete control of God and can only act in ways that He allows.
The Bible does not tell us Jesus’ reason, but displaying His sovereign power over demons could be one reason why Jesus sent them into the pigs. If the pigs’ owners were Jews, Jesus could have been rebuking them for violating Mosaic law which forbids Jews from eating or keeping unclean animals such as swine (Lev.11:7). If the swineherds were Gentiles, perhaps Jesus was using this incredible event to show them the malice of evil spirits under whose influence they lived, as well as displaying His own power and authority over Creation.
The owners were so terrified to be in the Presence of such spiritual power that they made NO demand for restitution for the loss of their property and begged Jesus to leave the region. The people were awe-struck but totally unrepentant . . . they wanted no more of Christ Jesus. This reveals the hardness of their hearts and their desire to keep on in sin.
But, the healed demoniac, demonstrated the true faith and repentance of a changed heart and begged to be allowed to follow Jesus. The unmistakable difference between the saved and the unsaved was an object lesson for the disciples and all who witnessed the event. Jesus sent the healed man away, giving him a commission that he joyfully obeyed: "Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you" (Mk.5:17-20).
Mark chapter 5 is the same as that of the parallel section in Matthew chapter 8. It proves the divine power of Jesus by showing that He could control by a Word the winds and the waves of the sea. It could direct and force the movements of demons; it could, just by His touch remove incurable diseases; and it could instantly raise the dead. In fact, it proves the abundance of His power to save, to the uttermost, ALL who humble themselves and come to Him. My dear friend, His awesome and mighty power proves that ALL the dangers to which we are exposed, be it the forces of the physical world, the spite and malice of evil spirits, the power of disease, or the hand of death, all can be stopped at His command IF He so chooses. But it is my opinion, that He does NOT heal everyone who asks. 2 Cor.12:7-9 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (KJV) . . . IF the godly apostle Paul was denied healing, we may be too. We simply must trust God and humbly accept His decisions for us. BUT . . . if He chooses not to heal us for some reason, He will walk with us through our trouble, no matter what it is! Trust Him! Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (KJV) . . . Live your life without greed, be content with what God has given you. Trust that He is always nearby, because He is!
We see a difference between how Mark handles the situations, and that of Matthew. Matthew presents an array of miracles without much explanation of any one of them; while Mark selects three out of the ten, and gives almost as much space to these as Matthew does to all his. There is no controversy, for one writer depends more on the number of miracles reported, and the other on the character of those selected and more information with which they are described. Each manner of treatment has its advantages, and the wisdom of God is displayed in giving us both. Study both together to get the greatest benefit.
Gospel of Mark
ch.1 . . ch.2 . . ch.3 . . ch.4 . . ch.5 . . ch.6 . . ch.7 . . ch.8 . . ch.9. . ch.10. . ch.11 . . ch.12 . . ch.13 . . ch.14 . . ch.15 . . ch.16