A Demonized Man Set Free
1They arrived at the other side of the lake, at the region of the Gerasenes. # 5:1 This was a region of non-Jewish people who were raising swine, which was considered unclean by Jewish dietary laws. Gerasenes (or Gadarenes) were people who lived in a region opposite Galilee, on the southeastern side of Lake Galilee. See Matt. 8:28–34. 2As Jesus stepped ashore, a demon-possessed madman came out of the graveyard and confronted him. 3The man had been living there among the tombs, and no one was able to restrain him, not even with chains. 4For every time they attempted to chain his hands and feet with shackles, he would snap the chains and break the shackles in pieces. He was so strong that no one had the power to subdue him. 5Day and night he could be found lurking in the cemetery or in the vicinity, shrieking and cutting himself with stones!
6When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran to him and threw himself down before him, 7shouting at the top of his lungs, “Leave me alone, Jesus, Son of the Most High God! Swear in God’s name that you won’t torture me!” 8(For Jesus had already said to him, “Come out of that man, you demon spirit!”)
9Jesus said to him, “What is your name?”
“Mob,” # 5:9 Or “Legion” (a Roman military unit of more than six thousand men). Mark gives twelve accounts of Jesus defeating demon spirits. The demons always recognized Jesus as God’s Son. he answered. “They call me Mob because there are thousands of us in his body!” 10He begged Jesus repeatedly not to expel them out of the region.
11Nearby there was a large herd of pigs feeding on the hillside. 12The demons begged him, “Send us into the pigs. Let us enter them!”
13So Jesus gave them permission, and the demon horde immediately came out of the man and went into the pigs! This caused the herd to rush madly down the steep slope and fall into the lake, drowning about two thousand pigs! # 5:13 Depending on weight, the cost of two thousand live pigs today could be as much as $250,000. The economic cost to the community over the loss of this herd was significant.
14At this, the herdsmen ran to the nearby villages, telling everyone along the way what had happened, and the people came out to see for themselves. 15When they found Jesus, they saw the demonized man sitting there, properly clothed and in his right mind. Seeing what had happened to the man possessed by many demons, the people became afraid. 16Those who had witnessed this miracle reported the news to the people and included what had happened to the pigs. 17Then they asked Jesus to leave their region. # 5:17 The people preferred swine to the Son of God. There is no indication that Jesus ever went back to their land.
18And as Jesus began to get into the boat to depart, the man who had been set free from demons asked him, “Could I go with you?” 19Jesus answered, “No,” but said to him, “Go back to your home and to your family and tell them what the Lord has done for you. Tell them how he had mercy on you.”
20So the man left and went into the region of Jordan and parts of Syria # 5:20 Or “Decapolis,” which means “Ten Cities.” The region of these ten cities was Jordan and parts of Syria, including Damascus. These cities were Greek and Roman cultural centers of that day. It is a wonder of grace that Jesus used a man who once had thousands of demons to bring God’s truth to thousands of people. After he was set free, he became a missionary evangelist, telling others what Jesus Christ had done for him. No wonder the people marveled when they heard his story! to tell everyone he met about what Jesus had done for him, and all the people marveled!
Two Miracles—Healing and Resurrection
21After Jesus returned from across the lake, a huge crowd of people quickly gathered around him on the shoreline. 22Just then, a man saw that it was Jesus, so he pushed through the crowd and threw himself down at his feet. His name was Jairus, # 5:22 Jairus (taken from the Hebrew name Jair) means “he enlightens” or “he shines the light.” a Jewish official who was in charge of the synagogue. 23He pleaded with Jesus, saying over and over, “Please come with me! My little daughter is at the point of death, and she’s only twelve years old! # 5:23 This is taken from v. 42 and is brought in at this sequence of the narrative for the sake of clarity and in contrast with the woman who suffered for twelve years (v. 25). Come and lay your hands on her and heal her and she will live!”
24Immediately Jesus went with him, and the huge crowd followed, pressing in on him from all sides.
25Now, in the crowd that day was a woman who had suffered horribly from continual bleeding for twelve years. # 5:25 The daughter of Jairus was twelve years old; this woman had suffered for twelve years. Jesus touched the girl; the woman touched Jesus. In the Jewish culture, this would have defiled Jesus and left him ceremonially unclean. But in fact, people were healed by that touch. Life is greater than law. He bore our uncleanness and left us healed. The two intertwining miracles in this chapter speak of Jesus healing the gentiles and raising Israel back to life (Jairus’ Jewish daughter). On his way to raise the Jewish girl, he stopped to heal the gentile woman. This is what is happening today with Jews and non-Jews. 26She had endured a great deal under the care of various doctors, yet in spite of spending all she had on their treatments, she was getting worse instead of better. 27When she heard about Jesus’ healing power, she pushed through the crowd and came up from behind him and touched his prayer shawl. # 5:27 Or “cloak” (or “outer garment”). As a Jewish man, Jesus would have had over his shoulders a prayer shawl (“tallit”). The blue tassel on the corner of the prayer shawl was said to symbolize all the commandments and promises of God. See Num. 15:38–40. The Hebrew word for “fringe” or “border” (of a garment) can also mean “wing.” Some have interpreted Mal. 4:2 (“healing in his wings”) as a reference to the tassels of the prayer shawl. 28For she kept saying to herself, “If I could touch even his clothes, I know I will be healed.” # 5:28 The Greek word is sozo and has many possible meanings, including “safe and sound,” “healed,” “delivered,” “made whole,” “rescued,” “restored,” and “saved.” This is what Jesus does for us today. See Heb. 13:8. 29As soon as her hand touched him, her bleeding immediately stopped! She knew it, for she could feel her body instantly being healed of her disease!
30Jesus knew at once that someone had touched him, for he felt the power that always surged around him # 5:30 This is a literal reading of a unique phrase in Greek construction. It could be translated “the power that keeps going out of him went out from him.” The Aramaic uses the word chayel that can be translated “dancing, twirling [movement]” or “vibrations.” There was a glorious power that kept going out around Jesus Christ, drawing others to him and healing those he touched, and in this case, healing a woman who touched him in faith. Jesus knew that the power of God was always emanating around him, yet it had flowed through him to someone in the crowd. This same miracle was repeated with Peter in Acts 5:15. had passed through him for someone to be healed. He turned and spoke to the crowd, saying, “Who touched my clothes?” # 5:30 Jesus already knew the answer to his question. He wanted the woman to come forward and acknowledge her healing. There were crowds around Jesus, the living Word. Many today crowd around the written Word. But only those who “touch” the Scriptures in faith receive its promises, just like the sick woman who received her healing.
31His disciples answered, “What do you mean, who touched you? Look at this huge crowd—they’re all pressing up against you.” 32But Jesus’ eyes swept across the crowd, looking for the one who had touched him for healing.
33When the woman who experienced this miracle # 5:33 As translated from the Aramaic. realized what had happened to her, she came before him, trembling with fear, and threw herself down at his feet, saying, “I was the one who touched you.” And she told him her story of what had just happened.
34Then Jesus said to her, “Daughter, because you dared to believe, your faith has healed you. Go with peace in your heart, and be free from your suffering!”
35And before he had finished speaking, people arrived from Jairus’ house and pushed through the crowd to give Jairus the news: “There’s no need to trouble the master any longer—your daughter has died.” 36But Jesus refused to listen to what they were told # 5:36 At times there must be a holy “deafness” to the words of others, words that would distract us from the purposes of God. See Isa. 42:19–20. and said to the Jewish official, “Don’t yield to fear. All you need to do is to keep on believing.” 37So they left for his home, but Jesus didn’t allow anyone to go with them except Peter and the two brothers, Jacob and John.
38When they arrived at the home of the synagogue ruler, they encountered a noisy uproar among the people, for they were all weeping and wailing. 39Upon entering the home, Jesus said to them, “Why all this grief and weeping? Don’t you know the girl is not dead but merely asleep?” 40Then everyone began to ridicule and make fun of him. But he threw # 5:40 The Greek word ekballo is often used for driving out demons. It implies a forceful action of authority. them all outside.
Then he took the child’s father and mother and his three disciples and went into the room where the girl was lying. 41He tenderly clasped the child’s hand in his and said to her in Aramaic, “Talitha koum,” # 5:41 One of the many references in the New Testament proving that the language of Jesus was Aramaic. which means, “Little girl, # 5:41 The Aramaic word talitha can also mean “little lamb.” The Greek word used here is korasion, which may be a hypocorism, similar to “sweetheart.” The tenderness of this moment is obvious in the text. However, some Hebrew scholars find in the word talitha a Hebrew root that could point to the tallit, or prayer cloak of Jesus, which he may have placed over the girl. This would make his words to mean, “Little girl under the prayer cloak, arise.” This fringed tallit had already been touched by a woman who received her healing previously in this chapter. (See Klein and Spears, Lost in Translation Vol. 1, p. 18, 2007.) wake up from the sleep of death.” 42Instantly the twelve-year-old girl sat up, stood to her feet, and started walking around the room! Everyone was overcome with astonishment in seeing this miracle! 43Jesus had them bring her something to eat. And he cautioned them repeatedly that they were to tell no one about what had happened. # 5:43 There was nothing secretive about this resurrection miracle of the twelve-year-old girl. It would be hard to keep hidden from the people. Jesus was cautioning them because of the reaction of certain religious authorities who were convinced that Jesus was working wonders by the power of Satan. Later on, the miracle of Lazarus being raised from the dead was what triggered the arrest of Jesus.
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