Mark 5a Notes

Mark5a (vs1-20)                              Notes



1 They came to the other side of the sea,


As per Jesus' request/promise (4:35), they arrive safely --   saved by His power.


to the country of the Gerasenes.


like modern village of Khersi, 5 miles from Capernaum, on eastern   shore. Note 1


2 And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat,


No sooner left the craft to walk on the land...


immediately there met him out of the tombs


right away an unusual man -- an unusual encounter -- from an   unusual abode.


a man with an unclean spirit.


perhaps most famous and detailed instance of demon   possession in the NT


3 He lived among the tombs.


Place considered unclean by law & unpleasant by human   instinct


And no one could bind him anymore,


Previous attempts made to contain the man (for his own   good?)


not even with a chain,


strongest restraint available to them. What miserable   treatment this man endured!


4 for he had often been bound with shackles and chains,


repeated effort by his countrymen to control him


but he wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the   shackles in pieces.


chain torn in two & binders shattered into smaller   parts


No one had the strength to subdue him.


Endued with superhuman ability. Stronger than any man   could tame.


5 Night and day he was always crying out


Tormented within his own mind. Haunted the area with his   constant outcries.


and bruising himself with stones.


resorted to doing injury to his own person -- driven by the   demons


6 And when he saw Jesus from afar,


How he confronted Jesus so quickly -- had been observing   His approach on the sea.


he ran and fell down before him.


Not away from but toward the Master, in sudden & bold confrontation


7 And crying out with a loud voice,


Bellowing, beyond necessary volume, in loud protest


he said, "What have you to do with me,


Protesting that a separation exists between them (So,   "leave me alone!")


Jesus, Son of the Most High God?


Boldly and plainly professing truth. Not in submission but   rebellion -- to gain advantage. Note 2


I adjure you by God, do not torment me."


Unfitting appeal to divine judgment -- and opposite the   Lord's final will for evil.


8 For he was saying to him, "Come out of the man, you   unclean spirit!"


Simultaneous action: The demon protested as Jesus was in   the process of casting it out.


9 And Jesus asked him, "What is your name?"


The Lord's turn at commands, His will be obeyed.


He replied, "My name is Legion, for we are many."


Antagonistic parlance continues, evasive response bears a   threat: this adversary numbers in the thousands!


10 And he begged him earnestly not to send him out of the   country.


Now they pray for mercy! Banishment would end their time   to prey on men.


11 Now a great herd of pigs were feeding there on the   hillside,


This area suited to non-Kosher farming of unclean animals


12 and they begged Him, saying, "Send us to the pigs; let   us enter them."


Rather prey on small game than none at all. Must be given   leave to do so.


13 So he gave them permission.


Jesus allowed this -- for now. The total disarmament &   subjugation of Evil yet to come (Col2:15 / 1Pet3:22).


And the unclean spirits came out, and entered the pigs,


Suitable match: unclean animals for unclean spirits (poor   animals).


and the herd, numbering about two thousand,


If numbers count, then about 3 demons per helpless animal   -- hence their wild action.


rushed down the steep bank into the sea


This location known today. An inclined slope drops   suddenly into deep water.


and were drowned in the sea.


Pigs can swim. But not these. The demons produce the loss   of their new hosts.




14 The herdsmen fled and told it in the city and in the   country.


the pigs were someone's investment, guarded by workers --   told the story. Note 3


And the people came to see what it was that had happened.


locals compelled to investigate this unusual event


15 And they came to Jesus and saw the demon-possessed man,


Attention focused on this stranger, the epicenter of the   activity


the one had had the legion,


Man's name: 'once-demon-possessed'


sitting there, clothed and in his right mind,


Antithesis of possessed state. Now liberated to behave as   human should.


and they were afraid.


A power greater than that which they could not tame had   come.


16 And those who had seen it described to them what had   happened


Public action not done in corner. Witnesses tell their   story of what happened...


to the demon possessed man and to the pigs.


to the exorcism & ensuing loss of hog herd.


17 And they began to beg Jesus to depart from their   region.


Why? More afraid of His superior nature. Cannot stand such   power in their area. Note 4


18 As he was getting into the boat,


He goes. If they do not want Jesus, He does not want to   stay. He will not force Himself on us.


the man who had been possessed with demons


His name again simply: "possessed-man." Past reputation   difficult to overcome.


begged him that he might be with him.


Much begging in this story: vs 10,12,17,18. Good desire to   keep company with Savior.


19 And he did not permit him but said to him,


Lord holds control over the company He keeps. Higher plan   for this man.


"Go home to your friends


The harder task: stay with your folks... Return to your   previously normal life.


and tell them how much the Lord has done for you,


With new story: how much the Master had done for him! Note   5


and how he has had mercy on you."


Lord's choice to show mercy -- or not (Rom9:15,16,18 /   11:30-32). Tell them how He showed His compassion!


20 And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis


This grateful man set about his mission: to herald the   gospel through the region. This 1st preacher / apostle to the Gentiles.


how much Jesus had done for him,


The reason Jesus came: to bless this man with freedom to   proclaim Him.


and everyone marveled.


The auto-biographical account of this radical   transformation causes the people admire Jesus' work.



1 Greek 'Gadarenos' >> 'Garasene' or 'Gergesene.' Difference from Arabic pronunciation of 'd' as 'z.' Possibly corrected by Origen. The village of Khersa or Chersa - just north of Wadi es-Semak -- named for the capital town, Gadara.


2 Old superstition that to know the name of an individual gives familiarity and advantage in relationship. Must know name of a demon in order to cast it out. Exorcists rely on specially pronounced spells and chants. (See Acts19:13).


3 Why allow the destruction of so many animals? Jesus traded one man for 2,000 hogs. Animals die in vain in the wild daily. The demons brought the destruction of the animals. See what harm evil works when the Lord gives it space to do its best.


4 Pagan locals would rather lose one man -- and save their herd of hogs. Normalcy is sacred and must not be disturbed. Property and business have priority over spiritual treasure. (See Acts19:25).


5 Jesus previously forbade the healed to speak of Him (1:43&44). In those places the danger of overexcitement evident. Here, the people who rejected Him need Him the worse. This man's witness would do them good.


notes by David Teel Sunday, March 23, 2014