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The Gospel According to Mark, Chapter 5

Analysis and Commentary


A Woman is Healed by Touching Jesus' Rob

A Woman is Healed by Touching Jesus' Robe

In chapter 5 of Mark's gospel, Jesus continues to demonstrate his powers: he exorcises a 'legion' of demons, he heals a woman who merely touches his cloak, and he even raises a girl from the dead. Throughout this chapter the examples of Jesus' powers increase in drama and strength.

Jesus Heals the Demon-Possessed of Gadarenes (Mark 5:1-9)
When we last left Jesus, he displayed his power and authority over nature by calming a storm that came over the Sea of Galilee. He has also, in numerous instances, exercised power and authority over people by healing their illnesses and forgiving their sins. Now Jesus returns to a theme not seen since chapter 1: casting out unclean spirits in an exorcism.

Jesus Punishes the Swine with Demons (Mark 5:10-20)
Because this event occurs in ‘country of the Gadarenes,’ which means near the city of Gadara, we are probably dealing with a herd of domestic swine owned by Gentiles because Gadara was a part of the hellenized, Gentile cities of the Decapolis. Thus, Jesus caused the death of a large number of pigs that were someone else’s property.

The Woman Who Touched Jesus’ Garment (Mark 5:21-34)
The first verses introduce the story of Jarius’ daughter (discussed elsewhere), but before it can finish it is interrupted by another story about a sick woman who heals herself by grabbing Jesus’ garment. Both stories are about Jesus’ power to heal the sick, one of the most common themes in the gospels generally and Mark’s gospel specifically. This is also one of many examples of Mark’s ‘sandwiching’ two stories together.

Jesus Heals Jairus’ Daughter (Mark 5:35-43)
Before Jesus unknowingly healed the woman who had been suffering for twelve years, he had been on his way to attend to the daughter of Jarius, a ruler of a local synagogue. Every synagogue at the time was managed by a council of elders which was in turn presided over by at least one president. Jarius would thus have been an important man in the community.

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