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Monday, April 22, 2024

Gospel of Mark - Chapters 5-8 Notes

Gospel of Mark - Chapters 5-8 Notes

By Lazarus Conley

Chapter 5


They go to the land of the Gadarenes; Galilee. A man possessed by a demon meets Jesus who had been out in the tombs. The demoniac continuously breaks chains, is naked, and is crazy from the demons. 

In the Greco-Roman world, this guy was not seen as evil. A Greco-Roman pagan would likely have seen him as having been touched by the pagan gods. He was likely being chained up by people who were trying to get the demon in him to tell them stuff - in this way, they would make contact with the "gods". The man has obviously gone down the wrong path. 

The demons are doing destruction to him. The Holy Spirit kept people safe.

The demoniac man bows to Jesus. He recognizes who Jesus is: Son of the Most High God.

Jesus tells the demon who has been tormenting the man to stop tormenting him. The demon says his name is "Legion". This man is possessed by thousands of demons. The demons ask that they not be sent to hell yet so Jesus gives some pity when they ask to be expelled into some pigs so Jesus does in fact allow it. Jesus only allows it however due to foreknowledge. The demons know that their time of reckoning is coming but they want to prolong it so Jesus lets them leave in the pigs (2000 in all) and they end up running off a cliff and drowning themselves in the sea because demons ultimately can only destroy so they destroy themselves. They torment the pigs, and creation, and end up in hell anyway because that's all they are capable of is a path to destruction and unrepentance. It is given to us in this chapter that the Pharisees and Scribes are also on this path and on the side of the demons. Demons only seek to ruin and destroy creation and so do they, unfortunately. 

The herdsmen of the pigs see this take place. They have lost their pigs, and source of income, and now others are coming to see the former demoniac is now sane and normal and all begin to freak out over it. They fear him and then ask Jesus to leave. Why? Because these are Jews who are raising swine, first of all. They are impious and the demoniac now has been freed and rendered sane again. Jesus has just wrecked their world. He has gotten rid of their wealth, income, and their false gods. Later, after the Resurrection, we will see the Apostles return here. 

Jesus and the Apostles leave and the formerly possessed man desires to go with them but Jesus tells him to go home and tell the people what happened so this man goes to Decapolis and preaches about Jesus. 


The mob returns after Jesus gets to the other side of the sea of Galilee. He sees Jairus (a Latin name), a Jew who owns and rules the synagogue there. His daughter is dying and sick, so he asks Jesus to heal her. Jesus agrees and goes with him and the mob of people follow. Jairus believes fully that Jesus will heal her. 

5:25-34 Along their way to Jairus' home, a woman with a blood issue who has suffered and is broke now because of it hears Jesus is coming by, and decides that if she only touches His clothes she will be healed by the Messiah. She does it and is healed. If you had a menstrual issue like she has for 12 years, she was counted as unclean and would have been excluded from all life in general as a Jew. If she had been caught publicly touching anyone, she would be stoned. Great faith is shown here by her. 

Jesus asks "Who touched Me?" She gets scared that she might be stoned but she tells the truth of what she did and Jesus shows He is not angry and comforts her and wants everyone to see what has happened and show her faithfulness. Jesus has cleansed her. She like all of us are being transformed by Christ. 


Jairus' daughter has already died when they get there. Jesus says to "continue to believe". Peter, James, and John come into the house with Jesus and everyone is wailing and crying. The people ridicule Christ who says the daughter is sleeping. This girl is 12 years old and He tells her to rise. It is not a coincidence that this girl is 12 years old and the bleeding woman has also dealt with her issue for 12 years. Jesus makes the girl eat. Doing so will let everyone know for sure that she is truly alive. This also in its own way shows soul sleep is a false doctrine. When Jesus says not to tell anyone, it is to protect them from people like the Pharisees because we see that they wanted to kill Jesus and Lazarus.

Chapter 6


Jesus goes to Nazareth and on Sabbath, He teaches. The people are astonished when He gets up, preaches, and teaches.They are amazed because they know Jesus. He is the son of Mary, a lowly carpenter (really a generalized day-laborer/handyman/jack-of-all-trades), the step-brother of James, Joses, Judas, Simon, and His step-sisters as well. He is poor as well. When he does miracles they all become offended. The fact that they call Jesus Mary's son gives an implication that Jesus is not Joseph's child and is a bastard. St. Joseph accepted, as did St. Mary, the social stigma that they would get. Prophets are not accepted in their hometown. Jesus marvels at their unbelief, heals some people, and leaves. 


Jesus sends disciples 2 by 2 to different villages and with nothing but a staff. Wherever you are allowed to go and stay for a bit stay a bit and if they reject you, leave. They leave and then go off to preach and do acts of repentance. They cast out demons and heal people. 

A judgment is spoken about on Sodom and Gomorrah and we learn that it was not actually about homosexuality but much more than that. It was because there was no righteous person there at all and because of that, they would all face judgment for it in their inhospitality, etc. Inhospitality to the gods was what gave you judgments and Sodom and Gomorrah do this to some extent because they try to rape helpless strangers (Lot is hospitable).

We see in this section that the practice of anointing someone with oil and healing the sick is done. We still do this today and do so to try and heal from the destructive effects of sin as well. 


Herod has St. John the Baptist beheaded. He had him in prison for a long time. His wife Herodias forms a plan on Herod's birthday and it leads to the execution of John. The daughter does an exotic dance for Herod and there is also a connection to demons and Satan here. This is his own step-daughter that he begins lusting after. Herod's entire family is deeply corrupt and disgusting. 

Herod grows fearful when he hears of Jesus, knowing that some people are saying that Jesus is John resurrected. 


[Random fact: St. John the Baptist's body is in Syria and his head was in Constantinople. Now it is in France]

We see this mention of King Herod, the corrupt coward, and morally disgusting earthly king. Now we get the True King who cares for Israel like a True Monarch should.

The apostles try and take a break with Jesus but the mob of people follow them. Jesus tells the apostles to feed these people. The people are desperate. Jesus then feeds the 5000, treating them as human beings. 

The disciples we find here were callous when they said to let these people go and buy food. Jesus told them to feed them to challenge them in their lack of compassion. This is also to teach them a lesson. It's multi-faceted. The apostles should not be seeing these people as nuisances. God became a poor labor-working wandering homeless Jew. 

The apostles become sarcastic to Jesus and talk about money to Him. So Jesus takes the fish and bread and feeds all these people and they are filled too. 

5 loaves and 2 fish - the 13 people were going to eat and share in this. This miracle happens and they feed all of them. He tells the disciples to go sit in groups with them. 5000 men, plus women and children, are fed. 


There is a connection to God feeding Israel manna. They are out in a deserted area being fed. 


Jesus sends them off, sends the people away, and then goes to pray on the mountain. The wind was rough and they are in the river. Jesus is on land and sees them and they are rowing hard; struggling. He walks on them by them at the sea at night and would have passed them by. It is about 2 AM in the morning. 6-8 hours have passed and the apostles are still fighting this current to get to their location. They thought Jesus was a ghost for a brief bit. Jesus says to them "Do not be scared" because it obviously scared and bothered them. The wind ceases. An allusion is given here: they are fighting God and are going against His current. 


Everywhere Jesus went, people kept coming and bringing Him people to be healed. They are even simply just touching His hem of His clothes (reference to the bleeding woman) and are being made well. 

Chapter 7


The Pharisees and scribes show up. They go after Jesus' disciples for not washing their hands in a ritualistic, special way. Everything has to be pure and clean too. The Jews get this from the OT laws somewhat but it is moreso symbolic for them to cleanse their minds and their hearts. 

Jesus then quotes Isaiah 29:13 to them and calls them out as they are hypocrites. He says they lay aside the Torah's commands. They don't teach on repentance. They only hate and judge and condemn. They are unclean in both body and soul. He then brings up how they dishonor mother and father with their crap. They do not pay back their parents and says to give the debts to God. They are conning people out of money and using "God" for evil by twisting words. They make people end up sinning too by taking away all their money. The Pharisees and scribes here deserve death and the Pharisees don't respond to Jesus here. 

Jesus calls the people over and teaches them that what is impure is when you do evil and sin. He goes back to what the commandments actually mean. The Pharisees have no love so they are filthy on the inside. The disciples ask Jesus about the parable. Jesus explains it again to them. 


Jesus goes to Tyre and Sidon; Lebanon; Gentile area. He goes secretly to a Gentile's house but He cannot hide. A Greek woman's daughter had an unclean spirit and she begged for His help. She believes Jesus can heal her and is not a fan of the pagan practices. She is obviously a God-fearer. Some Greco-Romans were fascinated with Judaism. Jesus talks to her and gives her a response that she'd expect to get from a Jewish rabbi. Jesus sees how she will respond to her when he calls her a dog, asking why He should give food for Israel to the dogs? She responds smartly and with humility that she wants merely the crumbs and whatever He is willing to give to her. She shows her humility and her true faithfulness here and Jesus then gives her compassion. She knows He will have compassion because He does care and love them both. The demon then leaves the child when she returns home. She, the Gentile, is clean while the Pharisees are filthy. This "dog" is clean while these rulers of Israel amount to a pile of feces. 


Departing Tyre and Sidon, Jesus goes through Decapolis to Galilee. Jesus cures a deaf man with an impediment of speech by breathing on him and by Word saying "Be opened". Jesus here refers back to Genesis and creation. He is recreating by speaking a Word on this man, giving him a new voice and new ears. Jesus astounds the people who hear of this.

Chapter 8

Mark presents Christ as King taking His throne. This gospel is eyewitness testimony from Peter's sermons. The reason it lists things obscurely at times like this with Simon of Cyrene for example is because they were still alive and could tell you, the reader, that this had really happened and was true.

St. Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, the Marys' are all named here because they were still alive. It happened and people saw and reported it. This became important with the Church Fathers as well when certain heretics were spreading heresies. St. Irenaeus for example (3rd Generation Christian) would recall that he was taught by St. Polycarp (2nd Generation Christian) who had been taught by St. John, Jesus' Disciple. THIS IS APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION; THE CONTINUITY OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH. 


Jesus feeds 4000 people. They're all hungry and have followed Jesus for 3 days. 


They fed them and then got into the boat and headed to Dalmanatha. Jesus initiates this one, not the Apostles. Bread from heaven. The disciples complain like Moses dealt with Israel when God fed them heavenly manna. 


The Pharisees come to test Jesus and ask for a sign from heaven. Jesus sighs and says "no sign shall be given to this generation". Their question is dishonest as they have seen Him do plenty of signs and still deny Him. 

Jesus also doesn't do these healings and miracles to get people to believe. Because they believe, He does it. 


They get into the boat again and forget the bread and only left with one loaf. Jesus warns them of the leaven of the Pharisees and Herod. Yeast can poison you. It can fill you up but it can and will hurt and not feed you. The disciples however do not get what Jesus is saying here. 

Jesus responds to them, almost like a "C'mon guys! How do you not get this?!?" 

We should depend on God, not the world. What the enemy tries to give you is poison and false even if they sound good. God will handle it and take care of them ultimately. 


In Bethsaida, they bring a man who is blind (they believe Jesus can heal him). Jesus spits on his eyes (recreating the man's eyes). The Pharisees can't see at all and the disciples' eyes are fuzzy yet. This man begins to see things fuzzily until Jesus heals him fully with the next action that He makes. The blind man is an image of the Pharisees first, and then an image of the disciples' current spiritual condition.


Jesus at Caesarea Philippi asks "Who do they say that I am"? 

The apostles answer: "Some say Elijah, others a prophet". 

Peter says Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus then tells them strictly to tell no one. It is humility is why He says this. It is also not time yet to fulfill it all. 


Jesus tells them He will die and resurrect and Peter goes and tries to rebuke Jesus for it because he doesn't like hearing this message. Peter still at this time expected the Messiah to live and defeat Rome, not be killed. 

Jesus then rebukes Peter: "Get behind Me, Satan!" and then tells them all a lesson here. Follow Me and take your Cross. Die for Me. You will be publicly executed for Me and My sake for following Me. 

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