Legion - Mark 5:9

Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Mark 5:9-30

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Legion - Mark 5:9

The word Legion was drawn from the Roman military. A legion had around 6,000 men. If it was the name of the group of demons, the group was probably very large. It may not, however, have been a name at all. Instead it may have been an effort to avoid giving his name so it could not be used against him in magical spiritual warfare.

Herd of pigs - Mark 5:13

Jesus needed no magical spells. He allowed the demons to go into the herd of pigs. Jesus was in control and did not allow the demons to continue destroying the man. Instead they drowned the 2000 pigs. By doing so Jesus allowed them to show their true nature. It is the nature of the demonic to destroy. (The large herd of pigs fits the fact that this was a Gentile area.) Jesus had not let them destroy the man. Jesus reversed the bestializing of a human being.

Jesus was a person to be feared. - Mark 5:14-17

The people of the town begged Jesus to leave the area. They had feared the demon controlled man for years. Now they feared Jesus. Jesus had done what no one else could do. He controlled the uncontrollable man. They thought he had sent the pigs to their death. In their eyes this Jesus was a person to be feared.

Tell others the good news - Mark 5:19

Jesus instructed the healed man to tell others the good news of God's great work in his life. This is the opposite of what Jesus regularly said when he was in Jewish areas. In the Gentile region of the Geresenes Jesus was not worried that unchained messianic enthusiasm would complicate his ministry.

Decapolis - Mark 5:20

The reaction of the crowds in the Decapolis was the same as in Galilee. The people were amazed. The Decapolis was a region east of the Jordan River (and Galilee). It had a degree of political and commercial autonomy under Rome as long as its ten cities continued to acknowledge Rome's supremacy.

Jairus - Mark 5:22

Jairus was one of the leaders of the synagogue. He was a prominent elected layman in the community. He was responsible for making sure that everything involved with the liturgy and the property of the synagogue was in order. On that day because of his daughter's sickness, he laid aside whatever questions he may have had about Jesus, his pride, and his sense of self-sufficiency.

Laying on of hands associated with healing - Mark 5:23

When Mark reported that Jairus begged Jesus, he used a different word than the one he used to describe the demoniac's challenge. Jairus was genuinely searching for help. He wanted Jesus to lay hands on his daughter to heal her. This is the first of several times in Mark's gospel that the laying on of hands is associated with healing. See 6:5; 7:32; 8:23, 25. See also Acts 9:12; 28:8.

The daughter of Jairus - Mark 5:25

Jesus' trip to help the daughter of Jairus was interrupted by the actions of faith of an unnamed woman. She had suffered for 12 years with a flow of blood. Probably this was a menstrual hemorrhaging that could not be stopped by any known medical treatments of the day.

A woman was bleeding for twelve years - Mark 5:27-30

The woman's unstopped flow of blood made her ritually unclean (Lev. 15:25-28). By touching Jesus she normally would have made him unclean (Lev.15:19-23). The glorious irony is that his power made her clean. 5:34 Jesus' words emphasized the importance of faith. (Note also 5:36; 1:15; 2:5; 5:36; 9:23, 24; 10:52; 11:22-24; and the lack of faith in Jesus' home town in the next paragraph in 6:6.) Jesus' praise of her faith stands out especially because of the contrast of this woman and Jairus. Jairus is named, a man with a wife and child, a religious leader, and an owner of a large home. The woman is unnamed, alone, unclean, on the edges of society, ill for twelve years (the daughter is twelve years old), and penniless. Yet it is the woman's faith that Jesus praises. Mark's word for made…well that is used here and in verses 23 and 28 is the same word that is often translated saved. Mark probably intended his readers to think of both physical healing and a spiritual restoration that comes only by faith in Jesus. Jesus never called anyone else daughter in the gospels. The woman is one of those members of the family of God mentioned in 3:35.

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