Review of Mark 5

by Victor Fawole

Power struggle is a commonplace in our world. Not just in the secular spheres of life, but also in the spiritual realm. As believers, we should not be ignorant of the spiritual warfare around us, “for we do not wrestle against flesh and blood…” (Eph. 6:12)

Mark 5 narrates three events where Jesus demonstrated His power to deliver people who were oppressed under powerful forces. Jesus was literally doing a “power pass power” class for his disciples. Let us explore these three events in Mark 5.

Mark 5:1-5 And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes. And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: 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. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.

A man under the influence of demons has just met with Divinity — Jesus, who had just calmed a troubled sea, now meets with a troubled man. Notice:

A. His Slavery:
He had an unclean spirit and lived in an unclean place (tombs). This was a spiritual problem, and no technique of psychology could solve it. They’ve bound him in chains time and time again (and probably carried out rapid tranquillisation procedures on him repeatedly), but this man was just too strong to be held down. Nobody was strong enough to subdue him. He was very restless and injured himself, day and night. Using stones, he would cut deeply into himself, screaming loud, crying bitterly, and casting fears in the hearts of everyone who heard him. Talk of emotional turmoil. Talk of mental disturbance and disorientation. He was the worst graphic presentation of the slang: “Mad oh!”

B. His Saviour:
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.

Jesus cast out the demons (legion) from this man, demonstrating His power over demons. After this man’s deliverance, we notice a total transformation about him. He who used to be violent was now changed – rested and seated beside Jesus! He who used to be naked was now clothed – internal transformation with external evidence! He who used to be insane was now calmed – in his right mind! Turmoil and agitation gave way for perfect peace. His Saviour saved him spiritually, physically and mentally!

C. His Salvation:
Mark 5:18-19 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon possessed begged to go with him. But Jesus said, “No, go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been.”

Although the people of that region were afraid of Jesus, and demanded that He should leave their country, this transformed man desired Jesus. He wanted to go with Jesus. This is what salvation does to a man! He wanted to be with his Saviour. His desires are now influenced by His new identity. Not only did this man desire Jesus, he also declared Jesus! Rather than join the people that trekked the streets with Jesus, he got an assignment to preach the gospel in his home. Jesus sent him back to his home to tell his people what the Lord had done for him. He went into the ten cities and he preached the Gospel of grace to all who would listen. We have been saved to “save”. Let us not hoard the good news (gospel) of Jesus; let us proclaim it!

Mark 5:25-27 And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, when she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.

After demonstrating His power over demons, we see Jesus demonstrate His power over disease. Mark tells us about the woman with the issue of blood. She was bleeding, broken, and bankrupt. Her disease had cost her everything she had, yet her condition became worse. She had suffered much under the hands of many doctors – for twelve years! The medical experts could neither help her nor understand her problem. She could not enter the synagogue, or live amongst people, or go for social functions… The Law condemned her as unclean and the people avoided her. What a boring and burdened life!

However, she heard that Jesus, the One who had power over diseases, was in town. Voilà! This was her chance to be healed. She became desperate in faith, believing that she could be healed by Jesus, even if it required “stealing” the miracle. She first touched Jesus from her heart (faith) before touching the hem of His garment with her hand. The people were “pressing” but this woman came “touching”. Reminds me of the four guys who brought in their crippled friend through the roof in Mark 2. Two quick lessons here: (1) We must not stop spreading the good news about Jesus, there are still many people who desperately need our Saviour (2) We should not be too familiar with, or discouraged by, the pressing of the crowd that we don’t come to Jesus in faith.

She touched Jesus by faith and her healing was instant! But Jesus wouldn’t want her to think she “stole” the miracle. So, He asked her to identify herself. The miracle was not given for her to become a secret believer. This made the miracle a matter of public interest (after all, her condition trended as a public hot gist for 12 years). This also strengthened her faith — Jesus is more eager to bless us than we are eager to ask Him. And I believe Jesus did this to also declare her clean and acceptable in the eyes of the society. This woman was overawed by the miracle, and by the miracle giver who just “exposed” her. She fell in reverence and worship. I can imagine her singing: “Only You can do, what no man can do Jehovah!” Whenever we reflect on our salvation, we should be driven to deep worship and appreciation.

Just as Jesus told this woman that “your faith has made you well”, He tells us that “your faith has justified you!” He made her accepted in the society, and made us accepted in the Beloved. And behold, what manner of love He has bestowed upon us, that we should be called “Sons/Daughters of God!”


Let’s not forget that the encounter between Jesus and the woman with the issue of blood was actually a “diversion”. Jesus was on His way to heal Jairus’ 12 year old daughter.

Mark 5:22-24 A leader of the local synagogue, whose name was Jairus, came and fell down before him, pleading with him to heal his little daughter. “She is about to die,” he said in desperation. “Please come and place your hands on her; heal her so she can live.” Jesus went with him, and the crowd thronged behind.

So, the encounter with the woman with the issue of blood appeared to be a form of delay for Jairus. I love how Jesus showed Jairus that if He could heal a woman who had been “dying” for 12 years, then He can raise a girl who had been “living” for 12 years.

Mark 5:35-36 While he was still speaking to her, messengers arrived from Jairus’s home with the message, “Your daughter is dead. There’s no use troubling the Teacher now.” But Jesus ignored their comments and said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid. Just trust me.”

The bad news had just been delivered. The doctor’s report had come in, stamped, signed, and sealed in an envelope. In all of these, Jairus never accused Jesus of delaying over his matter. He didn’t think/say “why me?” When they told him “there’s no use troubling the Teacher now”, they meant “Oga, there’s no more hope…” But Jesus seized the moment and instilled hope in him. “Don’t be afraid. Just trust me.” Where death abounds, life abounds much more. Where fear abounds, faith abounds much more. Where gossip abounds, good news abounds much more. Where grief abounds, grace abounds much more.

Just trust me. Only believe. Only have faith. Keep your focus on Jesus. Even if the doctors had signed the death certificate, Jairus’ faith was all was needed. Even if the mourners in his house quickly became mockers, his faith was the only thing that mattered. It’s important to notice how Jesus reacted to everything that would hinder the man’s faith. First, he ignored the comments of the death reporters. Then he sent the jesters away from the house. He wanted only an atmosphere of faith, as fear and faith cannot exist together. I am for faith. Jesus is for faith.

So after demonstrating His power over demons and diseases, Jesus demonstrates His power over death. No situation is hopeless with Jesus. No report is permanent. No life is irredeemable. Nothing is beyond His power. Indeed, with Christ, power “pass” power!

Repeat after me:
I am saved in Christ!
I am sane in Christ!
I am secure in Christ!
I am set free in Christ!
I am strengthen in Christ!
I am satisfied in Christ!

Grace to you. Amen!

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