Episode #33. Today we’ll read Mark chapter 5 together. I am your host Joy Miller. Please join me each day as we read the Bible together.
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You’re listening to the Lifting Her Voice podcast Episode Number 33. Today we will read the fifth chapter of Mark together. We’re back to that herd of pigs; a lady who wasn’t any better after spending all her money on doctors; and a little girl who was given back to her parents.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast. I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me as we simply read God’s word together. Some things require discipline and sometimes that’s just not easy to muster by yourself, no matter how badly you want to do it or how much you know you should. It’s just easier to do it with a friend. So refill your coffee or tea, get comfortable in your favorite chair and follow along as I read aloud. I’m so glad you’re here!
I was just looking at a site called landofthebible.com so I could refresh myself on where exactly the Decapolis was. This will mean more to you after you read along with today’s chapter, but for now, I encourage you to find it on a Biblical map. Remember how we talked about Mark’s audience, the Romans? Well, this would have perked their ears up because the Decapolis was a group of 10 Greco-Roman cities in the region of Galilee. Keep that in mind.
Mark, Chapter 5: 1 Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the region of the Gerasenes. 2 As soon as He got out of the boat, a man with an unclean spirit came out of the tombs and met Him. 3 He lived in the tombs. No one was able to restrain him any more-even with chains 4 because he often had been bound with shackles and chains, but had snapped off the chains and smashed the shackles. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 5 And always, night and day, he was crying out among the tombs and in the mountains and cutting himself with stones. 6 When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and knelt down before Him. 7 And he cried out with a loud voice, “What do You have to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You before God, don’t torment me!” 8 For He had told him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” 9 “What is your name?” He asked him. “My name is Legion,” he answered Him, “because we are many.” 10 And he kept begging Him not to send them out of the region. 11 Now a large herd of pigs was there, feeding on the hillside. 12 The demons begged Him, “Send us to the pigs, so we may enter them.” 13 And He gave them permission. Then the unclean spirits came out and entered the pigs, and the herd of about 2,000 rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned there. 14 The men who tended them ran off and reported it in the town and the countryside, and people went to see what had happened. 15 They came to Jesus and saw the man who had been demon-possessed by the legion, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 16 The eyewitnesses described to them what had happened to the demon-possessed man and [told] about the pigs. 17 Then they began to beg Him to leave their region. 18 As He was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed kept begging Him to be with Him. 19 But He would not let him; instead, He told him, “Go back home to your own people, and report to them how much the Lord has done for you and how He has had mercy on you.” 20 So he went out and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and they were all amazed. 21 When Jesus had crossed over again by boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered around Him while He was by the sea. 22 One of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at His feet 23 and kept begging Him, “My little daughter is at death’s door. Come and lay Your hands on her so she can get well and live.” 24 So Jesus went with him, and a large crowd was following and pressing against Him. 25 A woman suffering from bleeding for 12 years 26 had endured much under many doctors. She had spent everything she had and was not helped at all. On the contrary, she became worse. 27 Having heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His robe. 28 For she said, “If I can just touch His robes, I’ll be made well!” 29 Instantly her flow of blood ceased, and she sensed in her body that she was cured of her affliction. 30 At once Jesus realized in Himself that power had gone out from Him. He turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My robes?” 31 His disciples said to Him, “You see the crowd pressing against You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’ ” 32 So He was looking around to see who had done this. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came with fear and trembling, fell down before Him, and told Him the whole truth. 34 “Daughter,” He said to her, “your faith has made you well. Go in peace and be free from your affliction.” 35 While He was still speaking, people came from the synagogue leader’s house and said, “Your daughter is dead. Why bother the Teacher any more?” 36 But when Jesus overheard what was said, He told the synagogue leader, “Don’t be afraid. Only believe.” 37 He did not let anyone accompany Him except Peter, James, and John, James’ brother. 38 They came to the leader’s house, and He saw a commotion-people weeping and wailing loudly. 39 He went in and said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.” 40 They started laughing at Him, but He put them all outside. He took the child’s father, mother, and those who were with Him, and entered the place where the child was. 41 Then He took the child by the hand and said to her, ” Talitha koum !” (which is translated, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!” ). 42 Immediately the girl got up and began to walk. (She was 12 years old.) At this they were utterly astounded. 43 Then He gave them strict orders that no one should know about this and said that she should be given something to eat.
Okay, I’m sure you recall that we’ve met all three of these people in Matthew’s gospel. Jesus and his disciples have crossed over to the other side of the Sea of Galilee and they are met by this demon-possessed man. We know that Jesus allowed the demon to enter into the herd of pigs and they did a mass lemming-like plunge into the sea. But Mark gives a little detail that allows us a window into how the Gospel started to spread. You’ll read in several places that the Gospel was supposed to go first to God’s chosen people the Jews and then to the Gentiles. Notice that Jesus denied that newly-healed man permission to come with him, but sent him back to tell of everything God had done for him. Well, this man lived in the Decapolis, those s 10 Greco-Roman cities. In effect, this man was one of the first missionaries to preach the good news outside of Israel. That was a big deal. And when we get to the feeding of the 4000, you’ll see how the effect of this man’s heralding brought about many believers. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I want to draw us back to the idea that one person can make a huge difference in the kingdom of God. Each of us has been gifted, called and equipped to make disciples. No, we won’t all be Billy Graham, but we can be obedient to what we have been called to do, and that’s what we want Jesus to find us doing when he comes back. Let’s pray. Lord, thank you that you have given us everything that we need to be obedient to you to make disciples. I pray that you would give us an extra measure of courage and obedience to do your will. And for those of us who might be hung up on thinking that we can’t do that work, help us to get out of our heads and just put one foot in front of the other, trusting that you will direct our steps. Amen.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray God will grow in you what has been planted and watered here. In this time of unprecedented struggle worldwide, we can look to God for guidance and comfort. Be sensitive to those in your circle of influence who need a word of encouragement and invite them to join us. If you like this show, it would be great if you give it a five-star review. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you right here tomorrow. Be well!
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