Mark 5#Mr 5:1| LVI. JESUS HEALS TWO GERGESENE DEMONIACS. (Gergesa, now called Khersa). #Mt 8:28-34 9:1 Mr 5:1-21 Lu 8:26-40| And they came to the other side of the sea. They left in the "even" (#Mr 4:35|), an elastic expression. If they left in the middle of the afternoon and were driven forward by the storm, they would have reached the far shore several hours before dark. Into the country of the Gerasenes. Midway between the north and south ends of the lake, and directly east across the lake from Magdala, was the little city of Gergesa. In front and somewhat to the south of this city Jesus landed. Some sixteen miles away and to the southeast, and seven miles back from the lake, was the well-known city of Gadara. Further on to the southeast, on the borders of Arabia, and at least fifty miles from Gergesa, was the city of Gerasa. The name Gerasenes is, therefore, probably an error of the transcribers for Gergesenes, as Origen suggested. The region is properly called "country of the Gadarenes," for Gadara was an important city, and the stamp of a ship on its coins suggests that its territory extended to the Lake of Galilee. (TFG 344) #Mr 5:2| There met him out of the tombs. The sides of the mountain near the ruins of Gergesa are studded with natural and artificial caves which were used as tombs. A man with an unclean spirit. Matthew tells of two (#Mt 8:28|), while Mark and Luke describe only one (#Lu 8:27|). They tell of the principal one--the one who was the fiercer. In order to tell of two, Matthew had to omit the name "legion," which belonged to one; and conversely, Mark and Luke, to give the conversation with one, did not confuse us by telling of two. On unclean spirits, see TFG "Mr 1:23". (TFG 344, 346) #Mr 5:5| And always, night and day, in the tombs and in the mountains, he was crying out, and cutting himself with stones. The natural spirit of the man seeking to throw off the dominion of the demons would cry out in agony, and the demons themselves, in their own misery, would use him as a vehicle to express their own grief. It would be hard to imagine a more horrible state. (TFG 345) #Mr 5:6| And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshipped him. The demons showed the supremacy of Jesus not only by their cries to be let alone, but by the fact that they made no effort to escape from him. They ran to him, knowing that it was useless to do otherwise. (TFG 345) #Mr 5:7| What have I to do with thee. On this phrase, see TFG "Joh 2:4". (TFG 345) #Mr 5:8| Unclean spirit. See TFG "#Mr 1:23|". #Mr 5:9| What is thy name? . . . My name is Legion; for we are many. It is likely that Jesus asked the sufferer his name wishing to assure him of sympathy, but the demons in him had the floor and continued to do the talking. If Jesus asked the demon its name, he did so that he might disclose this fact to his disciples. A legion was a division of the Roman army containing from four to six thousand men. (TFG 345) #Mr 5:10| And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country. As one mouth entreated for many, Mark uses both the singular and the plural. (TFG 345) #Mr 5:13| The unclean spirits. See TFG "#Mr 1:23|". And the herd rushed down the steep into the sea, in number about two thousand; and they were drowned in the sea. About a mile south of Khersa a spur of the mountain thrusts itself out toward the lake so that its foot is within forty feet of the water line. This is the only spot on that side of the lake where the mountains come near the water. The slope is so steep and the ledge at its foot so narrow that a herd rushing down could not check itself before tumbling into the water. Skeptics have censured Jesus for permitting this loss of property. God may recognize our property rights as against each other, but he nowhere recognizes them in the realm of nature. What was done to the swine was done by the demons, and the owners had no more right to complain than they would have had if the herd had been carried off by murrain, by flood, or by any other natural cause. All animals have a right to die, either singly or in numbers. The demons evidently did not intend to destroy the swine. Their desire to have live bodies to dwell in shows that they did not. But the presence of the demons in their bodies made the hogs crazy, as it had the demoniac, and they ran the way their noses were pointed at the moment. For discussion of demoniacal possession, see TFG "Mr 1:23". (TFG 347) #Mr 5:14| They that fed them. There being no fences in Palestine, herds were invariably attended by herdsmen. (TFG 347) #Mr 5:15| And behold him that was possessed with demons sitting, clothed and in his right mind, even him that had the legion. A faint suggestion that there was another. See TFG "#Mr 5:2|". (TFG 347) #Mr 5:16| They that saw it. The herdmen. (TFG 347) #Mr 5:17| They began to beseech him to depart from their borders. The loss of the swine moved them to a fear a further loss of property. To them the loss of swine was more important than the recovery of a man. To this day, worldly interests move men more than acts of mercy. (TFG 348) #Mr 5:18| He that had been possessed with demons besought him that he might be with him. As a frightened child newly wakened from a horrible dream clings to its parent, so the man clung to Christ. (TFG 348) #Mr 5:19| Go to thy house unto thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and how he had mercy on thee. Jesus departed, but left behind him a witness whose very body was a living monument bearing testimony to Christ's compassion and power. Jesus revisited this locality some months later. See #Mr 7:31-37|. (TFG 348) #Mr 5:20| In Decapolis. For the cities which constituted Decapolis, see TFG "Mt 4:25". #Mr 5:22| LVIII. JAIRUS' DAUGHTER AND THE INVALID WOMAN. (Capernaum, same day as last.) #Mt 9:18-26 Mr 5:22-43 Lu 8:41-56| And there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue. On the synagogue, see TFG "Mr 1:39". Jairus by name. Jairus was one of the board of elders which governed the synagogue at Capernaum. These elders were not necessarily old men (#Mt 19:16-22| #Lu 18:18-23|. And seeing him, he falleth at his feet. It was a very lowly act for the ruler of a synagogue thus to bow before the Man of Nazareth. But the ruler was in trouble, and his needs were stronger than his pride. (TFG 352) #Mr 5:23| My little daughter is at the point of death. He left her dying, and so stated his fears in the very strongest way. (TFG 352) #Mr 5:24| And he went with him; and a great multitude followed him, and they thronged him. The ruler, of highest social rank in the city, found Jesus among the lowliest, and they were naturally curious to see what Jesus would do for this grandee. (TFG 353) #Mr 5:26| And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse. Medicine was not a science in that day. Diseases were not cured by medicine, but were exorcised by charms. The physician of Galilee in that age did not differ very widely from the medicine-man of the North American Indians. One in easy circumstances could readily spend all during twelve years of doctoring with such leeches. (TFG 353) #Mr 5:27| Having heard the things concerning Jesus. Her faith rested on hearing rather than on sight. Came in the crowd behind, and touched his garment. The nature of her disease made her unclean (#Le 15:26|). Her consciousness of this made her, therefore, timidly approach Jesus from behind. (TFG 353) #Mr 5:29| And she felt in her body that she was healed of her plague. The feeble pulse of sickness gave way to the glow and thrill of health. (TFG 353) #Mr 5:33| But the woman fearing and trembling. Because being unclean, any rabbi would have rebuked her severely for touching him. Knowing what had been done to her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. See TFG "#Lu 8:47|". (TFG 354) #Mr 5:34| Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole. Faith healed her by causing her to so act as to obtain healing. Faith thus saves; not of itself, but by that which it causes us to do. It causes us to so run that we obtain. Go in peace, and be whole of thy plague. Be permanently whole: an assurance that relief was not temporal, but final. (TFG 354) #Mr 5:35| Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Teacher any further? The delay caused by healing this woman must have sorely tried the ruler's patience, and the sad news which followed it must have severely tested his faith; but we hear no word of murmuring or bitterness from him. (TFG 354-355) #Mr 5:36| But Jesus, not heeding the words spoken. Not succumbing to the situation. Fear not, only believe. See TFG "#Lu 8:50|". #Mr 5:37| He suffered no man to follow with him. Into the house with him. Save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James. These three were honored above their fellows by special privileges on several occasions, because their natures better fitted them to understand the work of Christ. (TFG 355) #Mr 5:38| And he beholdeth a tumult, and many weeping and wailing greatly. Mourning began at the moment of death, and continued without intermission until the burial, which usually took place on the day of the death. Even to this day Oriental funerals are characterized by noisy uproar and frantic demonstrations of sorrow, made by real and hired mourners. Flute-players, then as now, mingle the plaintive strains of their instruments with the piercing cries of those females who made mourning a profession. (TFG 355) #Mr 5:39| The child is not dead, but sleepeth. Jesus used this figurative language with regard to Lazarus, and explained by this he meant death (#Joh 11:14|). (TFG 355) #Mr 5:40| And they laughed him to scorn. His words formed a criticism as to their judgment and experience as to death, and threatened to interrupt them in earning their funeral dues. But he, having put them all forth. Because their tumult was unsuited to the solemnity and sublimity of a resurrection. They were in the outer room--not in the room where the dead child lay. Taketh the father of the child and her mother and them. The three. That were with him, and goeth in where the child was. Jesus took with him five witnesses, because in the small space of the room few could see distinctly what happened, and those not seeing distinctly might circulate inaccurate reports and confused statements as to what occurred. Besides, Jesus worked his miracles as privately as possible in order to suppress undue excitement. (TFG 536) #Mr 5:41| And taking the child by the hand. See TFG "#Mr 1:31|". Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, Arise. Mark gives the Aramaic words which Jesus used. They were the simple words with which anyone would awaken a child in the morning. (TFG 356) #Mr 5:42| And straightway the damsel rose up, and walked. Her restoration was complete. And they were amazed straightway with a great amazement. Faith in God's great promise is seldom so strong that fulfillment fails to waken astonishment. (TFG 356) #Mr 5:43| And he charged them much that no man should know this. A command given to keep down popular excitement. Moreover, Jesus did not wish to be importuned to raise the dead. He never was so importuned. And he commanded that something should be given her to eat. Her frame, emaciated by sickness, was to be invigorated by natural means. (TFG 356)
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