Performing Miracles ~ Part 2
In our last post, we finished by examining Yeshua calming Lake Kinneret. This post will examine what happens when they reach the other shore.
Yeshua Heals A Demon-Possessed Man
1 Yeshua and His talmidim arrived at the other side of the lake, in the Gerasenes’ territory.
Gerasenes’ territory. Mattityahu 8:28 puts this incident in the “Gadarenes’ territory.” And some manuscripts have “Gergesenes’ territory.” There were three towns in the region east of Lake Kinneret and nearby – Gerasa, Gadara, and Gergesa – so the same “territory” might reasonably have been named for all of them. The text does not state which “town” (v. 14) was the one involved.
2 As soon as He disembarked, a man with an unclean spirit came out of the burial caves to meet Him. 3 He lived in the burial caves, and no one could keep him tied up, not even with a chain. 4 He had often been chained hand and foot, but he would snap the chains and break the irons off his feet. No one was strong enough to control him. 5 Night and day, he wandered among the graves and through the hills, howling and gashing himself with stones.
6 Seeing Yeshua from a distance, he ran and fell to his knees in front of him 7 and screamed at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Yeshua, Son of God Ha‘Elyon (the Most High)“? I implore you in God’s name! Don’t torture me!” 8 For Yeshua had already begun saying to him, Unclean spirit, come out of this man!” 9 Yeshua asked him, “What’s your name?” “My name is Legion,” he answered, “there are so many of us”; 10 and he kept begging Yeshua not to send them out of that region.
11 Now, there was a large herd of pigs feeding near the hill, 12 and the unclean spirits begged Him, “Send us to the pigs, so we can go into them.” 13 Yeshua gave them permission. They came out and entered the pigs, and the herd, numbering around two thousand, rushed down the hillside into the lake and were drowned. 14 The swineherds fled and told it in the town and in the surrounding country, and the people went to see what had happened. 15 They came to Yeshua and saw the man who had had the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind, and they were frightened. 16 Those who had seen it told what had happened to the man controlled by demons and to the pigs; 17 and the people began begging Yeshua to leave their district.
The non-Jewish Gerasenes raised pigs. That Yeshua permitted the demons to enter the pigs, destroying harmless animals together with their owners’ property, is raised as a moral argument against Him. But God has permitted demonic expression with evil consequences since the Garden of Eden. Job asked why, and God indicated that His dealings with Satanic powers are not to be understood fully by human beings at this time (Job 40–41). Some have suggested the demons destroyed the pigs to prejudice the owners against Yeshua – which is what happened.
18 As He was getting into the boat, the man who had been demonized begged Him to be allowed to go with Him. 19 But Yeshua would not permit it. Instead, He said to him, “Go home to your people, and tell them how much Adonai in His mercy has done for you.”
This is the only episode in Mark’s Gospel in which Yeshua does not attempt to conceal His identity, but He also does not tell the man to proclaim to his friends how much He, Yeshua, has done for him. Instead, it seems that He is telling the man to share how much Adonai – likely a reference to God the Father has done for him.
20 He went off and began proclaiming in the Ten Towns (Decapolis) how much Yeshua had done for him, and everyone was amazed. ~ Mark 5:1-20 (see Mattityahu 8:28-34 and Luke 8:26-39).
In our next post, we continue to focus on Yeshua Performing Miracles beginning in Mark 5:21.