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Jesus is in Command

Mark 4:35-38

After the 'classroom' teaching (Mark 4:33-34), Jesus taught His disciples a practical lesson in faith.  At the end of a busy day, the crowd had been dismissed, and Jesus ordered the disciples to set sail for the other side of the lake. They were tired and even Jesus fell asleep - no cruise ship, just an open fishing boat.  Despite their skilled seamanship, and Christ's company, the disciples felt all alone as the squall hit the little flotilla.  As the waves repeatedly doused their boat, threatening to sink it, the disciples showed that they had learned nothing in the school of faith.

The Identity of Jesus

Mark 4:39-41

It was a test of faith.  The trainee apostles obeyed Jesus' command to sail their open fishing boat across the lake at night.  Jesus went with them and, being tired, He fell asleep in the back of the boat.  As happens in such large lakes surrounded  by mountains, as the temperature fell large volumes of air swept down the hill sides, whipping the sea into a frenzy of waves.  The disciples, despite their knowledge of such conditions and expert seamanship, were terrified.  But Jesus slept through the mayhem of nature, only to be rudely woken by the disciples blaming Him for putting their live

Encounter with Evil

Mark 5:1-5

The storm has been stilled, and the disciples taught vital lessons in faith (Mark 4:35-41). Their next challenge was a demonised man!  From overwhelming waves - to a face to face encounter with a man who nobody could tame.  How would Jesus deal with this manifestation of evil?  

Evil is Frightened of Jesus

Mark 5:6-8

Jesus had arrived by boat, from the area around Capernaum, to the eastern side of Lake Galilee.

The Destructive Power of Evil

Mark 5:9-13

Interestingly, Jesus never rebukes demonised people because He had compassion on those whose lives were being blighted by Satan (Matthew 14:14).  On this occasion, Jesus spoke to the evil spirit and demanded its name.  His authoritative command forced evil to reveal its name and nature.  There was not one demon but many.  Jesus had intentionally selected a man who was terrorised by a legion of spirits - a seething pot of evil.  And Jesus had intentionally brought the disciples to see what Jesus would do and how He would do it.  As the future leaders of the church, their Master would demonst

Fearful of God's Authority to Depose Evil

Mark 5:14-17

2000 drowned pigs caused quite a stir (Mark 5:1-8).  The Gentile farmers had lost a good income - and there was no insurance.  Also, the swine-herds had failed in their duty; they needed to blame someone - so Jesus was the obvious choice.  As the story went around the local towns, large crowds flocked to the hillside on the north eastern shore of Lake Galilee to see what had happened.  Some would have been angry at their commercial loss; but many others were just curious.  Nobody had ever heard of such a story before.

The Call to Mission

Mark 5:18-20

Jesus was not wanted there.  2000 pigs had drowned as they rushed headlong into the Sea of Galilee, having been violently disturbed by the demons who had previously terrified Legion (Mark 5:1-17).  But the town and country people were terrified that Jesus had the power to exorcise demons and then allow them to control swine.  To them, Jesus was an unpredictable liability.  But one man knew differently.  Legion, the naked violent psychopath was now dressed and fully rational - and he knew that if it had not been for Jesus, his life could never have been changed.

Pleading for Mercy

Mark 5:21-24a

After the episode with the demonised man, when the man, the demons and the towns-people all pleaded with Jesus (Mark 5:7,9,12,17,18),  Mark now presents another example of 'pleading'.  This time, it is a sincere cry for help.  No sooner had Jesus arrived back on the north west shore of Lake Galilee, than crowds engulfed Him.  Despite the disapproval by religious leaders (Mark 3:22), the local synagogue leader pushed his way through the throng and threw himself at Jesus' feet.  

Desperate to get to Jesus

Mark 5:24b-29

Jesus is on his way to a dying girl (Mark 5:21-23).  Her father was the synagogue ruler and he led the way back to his house where the sick girl was lying.  But the crowd got in the way; insistent on seeing Jesus they pushed each other to get close to Him.  The anxious father must have been worried and frustrated: how would Jesus get to his little girl before she died?

Jesus Knows When People Want Him

Mark 5:30-34

It does not take much imagination to know that there is a difference between a touch, and a 'touch'.  The casual and accidental touch means nothing more than carelessness; but the intentional touch of a blind person, a lover, or a mother to a child is special.  It is not the moment of physical contact that matters, but the meaning it holds.  Jesus, who was jostled and brushed by many, knew the moment the woman reached out to touch Him - and why.  She believed that if only she could touch His clothes, she would be healed (Mark 5:27-29).  And she was.