READ, MARK, LEARN reposted from Pastor McKinley and MEDITATE reposted from Pastor Ross
(43 verses, 4:53 to read)
What I am about to READ
- Jesus heals a man with a demon, a woman with a twelve year bleed, and Jairus’s daughter
- Jesus enters the country of the Gerasenes and encounters a demon possessed man living among the tombs there. Jesus casts out the demons into pigs, who then promptly drown in the sea (1-13)
- The locals are afraid of Jesus and ask Him to leave. The formerly possessed man asks to go with Jesus, but Jesus leaves him to tell others about Christ’s work done for him (14-20)
- Jesus goes back to Jewish territory and is asked to heal a synagogue official’s daughter (20-24a).
- On the way, a woman who had been bleeding for twelve years touches the hem of Jesus’ garment and is healed (24b-34).
- A report arrives that the official’s daughter has died, but Jesus goes and heals her (35-43).
- The second section contains two miracles. First, Jesus is asked to heal the daughter of a synagogue ruler. On the way, a woman with a flow of blood that had lasted over twelve years waylaid Jesus.
- The first section of Mark 5 occurs in the country of the Gerasenes, which is an area predominantly pagan. Here, Jesus encounters an unclean man—unclean because of the unclean spirit(s) that possessed him, unclean because he lived among the tombs, and unclean because he was near pigs. This demon is clearly afraid of Jesus, which brings to mind St. James, who says, “You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!” (James 2:19). This shows us that mere assent to a list of doctrines or knowing that God really exists is not enough for salvation. Faith—fear love and trust in God above all things—grasps the promises of God and receives the benefits of those promises.
- Jesus leaves the man to tell others what God has done for him. This is in stark contrast with Jesus’ normal M.O. in Mark. In other places, Jesus charges people to keep silent about His miracles. One commentator tells us that Jesus makes this man the “first heathen preacher.” Jesus sends the man to proclaim the Gospel to others because His work of mercy had not yet come to an end in that region. The man even went as far as the Decapolis on his missionary journey. What was the content of his preaching? God’s mercy given him through Christ—the same message we hear today.
- The second section features a pair of healings. The first is for a woman who had been bleeding for twelve years, and the other is for a girl who was twelve years old. Both miracles show us the power of Christ over death. Every time our Lord heals a person, he takes one step closer to His death. It is by Jesus’ death that the power of death is undone. These miracles, then, give us a glimpse at what paradise will be on the day of our resurrection. There is a strong emphasis—both on the part of the woman and on the part of Jairus—on faith. Again, faith is that which fears, loves, and trusts in God above all things. Faith trusts that God has power even over death itself, because Christ has conquered death by His dying and rising again.
As with Jairus whose daughter was dead, we often grieve that God is “too late” in situations that we find ourselves in. Jesus takes our doubts and turns them inside out as he is able to do more abundantly that we think or ask. He is able to do all things and often uses those times when he is “too late” to draw out our faith and give Him opportunity for us to repent and receive the gospel.