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Bible Commentaries

Brown's Commentary on the New Testament

Mark 5

  1. Introduction
    Read: Tit 3:3-7 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. 4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; 7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
    1. We’ve been talking about sharing God’s Word and our life in Christ…
    2. We’ve seen that we can’t have an emotional response to Jesus, rather we need to genuinely believe and trust in Christ as the One who died for our sins and rose again the 3rd day for our hope and justification.
    3. We’ve seen that we must allow the Father to weed us – meaning we must be willing to submit our entire lives to Jesus and allow Him to both will and do of His good pleasure in our lives.
    4. We spoke last week about how important it is that we so let our light shine among men that they see our good works and glorify our Father who is in Heaven!
    5. And we finished last week speaking about FEAR – how is steals away our ability to serve the Lord. We become self focused instead of “OTHERS” focused. We’re always worried about ourselves instead of what God wants…
    6. In Fact…as I pondered this concept this week: It seems as though fear is a catalyst to make us start worshipping ourselves and what we want or don’t want instead of being receptive to what the Holy Spirit wants…
    7. Today, we get to see an example of what Jesus can do…if we let Him!
    8. It’s not exact, but there are many similarities and much symbolism.

Verses 1-5

  1. The “OLD MAN”
    Mar 5:1-5 And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes. 2 And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, 3 Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: 4 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. 5 And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.
    1. Here we find a man embroiled in sin by the Devil…he’s miserable! He dwells among the dead (think the rest of the world), nothing he does takes away his sins, and no one (including himself) can help him. He’s miserable, crying out for help but continues in his destructive behavior.
    2. Sometimes, though, …we don’t even care about our behavior: We continue in our pride, selfishness, greed, addictions, destructive hobbies è The “Weeds” from two weeks ago…they keep us from being all we can be for Jesus! These along with fear, a hard heart and arrogance hold us back from living like God originally planned!
    3. He’s an example of those existing in the lost world!
    4. (From a Demonic Perspective…) 2Co 4:3-4 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.
    5. Joh 10:10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
    6. 1Pe 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
    7. (But as we look at our own lives…) Eph 2:1-3 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
    8. Take Note: Who we were before Christ would have killed us and sent us to Hell…it was so bad that it even killed the pigs!

Verses 6-13

  1. Made “Clean” by Jesus
    Mar 5:6-13 But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him, 7 And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. 8 For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit. 9 And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many. 10 And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country. 11 Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding. 12 And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them. 13 And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.
    1. When the man saw Jesus…he immediately knew where to go…
    2. Our only hope is in Jesus’ blood and His righteousness (like the hymn reminds us!)
    3. (Sermon on the Mount) Mat 5:3-4 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
    4. 1Pe 5:6-7 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
    5. Mat 11:28-30 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
    6. Isa 55:6-7 Seek the LORD while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the LORD, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.

Verses 14-17

  1. There Will Be Opposition to Change
    Mar 5:14-17 And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done. 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. 16 And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine. 17 And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts.
    1. (To His Disciples as He sent them out) Mat 10:16-22 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. 17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; 18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. 19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. 20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. 21 And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. 22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
    2. Mat 10:35-36 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.
    3. (Speaking of the end times) Mat 24:4-13 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. 9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. 10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
    4. Satan hates that a believer is a believer…that the saved person will spend eternity with Jesus and is set free from the condemnation of sin…consequently; he will come against the believer at every turn!

Verses 18-20

  1. Conclusion – A New Creation
    Mar 5:18-20 And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him. 19 Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. 20 And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.
    1. (We are a NEW CREATION) 2Co 5:17-21 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. 21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
    2. (We are dead to sin) Rom 6:1-4 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
    3. (We are dead to the Law) Rom 7:4-6 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. 5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. 6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
    4. (Hidden with Christ) Col 3:1-4 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
    5. (Put off’s) Col 3:5-9 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6 For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. 8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
    6. (Put On) Col 3:10-17 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: 11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. 12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
    7. (Follow the Word) Col 3:15-17 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
    8. (v. 19 - Tell others about the great things the Lord hath done for you) Mat 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Verses 21-24

  1. Introduction
    Read: Matthew 11:28-30
    1. We studied last week about the demoniac and how Jesus set him free of his demons and we likened that to how Jesus sets us free from our past, our bondage, our chains, our addictions…
    2. We were reminded that whom the Son sets free is free indeed and that we are to live and operate from a position of victory and not defeat.
    3. We also spoke to the fact that Satan wants came to kill, steal & destroy and would like nothing better than for us to live “DEFEATED” lives.
    4. After we saw the man set free – Jesus told him to go tell his friends “The great things Jesus had done!”
    5. Today, we encounter to different people who come to Jesus in total desperation… unfortunately, we often see that people don’t come to Jesus until they are totally desperate!
  2. A Jewish Leader
    Mar 5:21-24 And when Jesus was passed over again by ship unto the other side, much people gathered unto him: and he was nigh unto the sea. 22 And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet, 23 And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live. 24 And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him.
    1. ​​​​​​​“Ruler of the Synagogue”…It was his duty to select the readers or teachers in the synagogue, to examine the discourses of the public speakers, and to see that all things were done with decency and in accordance with ancestral usage.
    2. He “FELL” at His feet – this Jew placed himself in a position of obesiance and submission to a itinerant carpenter and teacher…something a PRIDEFUL JEW would never do…thus, we assume a humility and “DESPERATION” in this man…
    3. “And he besought him greatly -- He asked Jesus to come alongside and help him…the Greek is Paracleo:: which is the same root word for the Holy Spirit as the “Comforter”.
    4. We can assume, although we don’t know, that this has not been a long-term illness. As we look at these two healings (this one and the next we’ll look at) – they look like a comparison contrast.
    5. I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live… this is a picture of pure FAITH
    6. Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Verses 25-34

  1. A Troubled Woman
    1. Mar 5:25-26 And a certain woman (No name given for her), which had an issue of blood twelve years, 26 And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,
      1. So, we find a woman who has had a serious affliction for 12 years!
      2. …she has had a continual mentrual flow of some kind and as such – it makes her unclean according to Levitical law.
      3. Consequently, not only has she suffered physically – imagine how low her hemoglobin and iron levels must be; how weak she must feel, and how desperate she must have become by this time…because notice, also, that all the doctors did was make the problem WORSE!
    2. Mar 5:27a When she had heard of Jesus,
      1. ​​​​​​​When she had heard…how did she hear? Someone must have told her!
      2. Are we quick to tell the desperate about the love and healing power of Jesus?
      3. Faith comes by “Hearing the Word of God” – we must tell the lost world, the broken, downcast and desperate of the great things Jesus has done for us and what the Bible tells us about Him…
      4. Mar 5:27-28 When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. 28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.
      5. (v. 28) She said, “If I may touch but His clothes I shall be whole!”
      6. She had great “HOPE” that resulted from her newfound faith – she didn’t even think she needed to speak with Him – just touch His clothes!
      7. Do we need a touch from Jesus? Will He touch us? Do we have hope or do we know by faith that Jesus can touch us? Do you ask Him?
        1. ​​​​​​​Matt 11:28-30
        2. Do you need more faith? Are you reading your Bibles every day? The Word “cleanses” us!
        3. The question is never “can He touch me?” …rather, it is always “will He touch me?”
        4. Jesus knows what’s best for us…and sometimes He doesn’t heal us in the way we think we need – He knows what we need…He’s the God of the universe and knows everything!
        5. 2Co 12:8-10 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
        6. (Time permitting – and is it needed?) 1Co 4:9-16 For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men. 10 We are fools for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised. 11 Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace; 12 And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: 13 Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day. 14 I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you. 15 For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. 16 Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.
        7. Sometimes He touches us in other ways and we are blessed but don’t realize that touch is really the answer to our prayers!
      8. As well…What about those around us? Do they need a touch?
      9. Faith comes by “Hearing the Word of God” – we must tell the lost world, the broken, downcast and desperate of the great things Jesus has done for us and what the Bible tells us about Him…
    3. Mar 5:29 And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.
      1. ​​​​​​​The source of her issue was healed and she was physically restored of the plague – her strength was back, her hemoglobin was us…all the side effects of such a horrible problem were gone…just like that!
    4. Mar 5:30-31 And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? 31 And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?
      1. ​​​​​​​The disciples are like: “there’s 1000’s of people around you – they’re bumping and pressing into you constantly and you want to know who touched you?”
    5. Mar 5:32-34 And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. 33 But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. 34 And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.
      1. ​​​​​​​She told Him the truth (He already knew it) and He called her “DAUGHTER” which means, in the Greek, “daughter, acceptable to Go or rejoicing in God's peculiar care and protection” – it’s an endearing term of familiarity.
      2. She had endured such suffering for so long, perhaps, because this was the real need in her life – to hear that she is loved and accepted by the God of the universe.
      3. Or perhaps, it was because of her plague and how she had become an outcast that she needed to hear these words – it is simply speculation!
      4. But Jesus is always full of compassion!
    6. 1Pe 5:7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

Verses 35-43

  1. An Astonished Family
    1. Mar 5:35-36 While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue's house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further? 36 As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.
      1. ​​​​​​​Only believe…how many times is that what we need to hear and do? Don’t be afraid – believe!
      2. Sometimes the healing we receive is the ultimate healing when we are standing face to face with Jesus in Heaven.
      3. The question then becomes, “Will that be enough for us?”
      4. How do we walk out this life here on earth? Do we walk in the joy of His salvation – the joy of the Lord?
        1. ​​​​​​​Do we consider it all joy when we encounter trials of various kinds – do we glory in our tribulations, rejoice in our sufferings?
        2. Php 3:8-11 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: 10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; 11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
        3. What if God says, your blessing is fellowshipping with my Son’s suffering? Is that enough?
        4. Our hearts need to be OK with God’s will -- Lord’s Prayer: “Thy will be done”
    2. Mar 5:37 And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James.
      1. ​​​​​​​Why only them? What did Jesus need to teach them? Peter was a founding member of the church, James was the first martyred disciple & John lived to be the oldest disciple.
      2. I think (my speculation) that Jesus needed to increase there faith in Him as well…preparing them for things to come!
      3. Sometimes, the things we experience – suffering, need, sacrifice à watching God work in other’s lives are simply preparation for the things to come in our lives!
    3. Mar 5:38-43 And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James. 38 And he cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly. 39 And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth. 40 And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying. 41 And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise. 42 And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment. 43 And he charged them straitly that no man should know it; and commanded that something should be given her to eat.
      1. ​​​​​​​There is great tenderness here in Jesus’ words and actions…
      2. The word for damsel, here, is used similarly as when we call a young girl, “Sweetheart”…Jesus is saying, “Sweetheart, get up now”.
      3. And they were astonished with “Great Astonishment” – we would have be floored!!
      4. And then, “give her something to eat” – probably so people would know she was alive in physical form and not an apparition as some in that time believed.
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Brown's Commentary on the New Testament is reproduced by permission of author. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Brown, Jim. "Commentary on Mark 5". "Brown's Commentary on the New Testament". 2017.