Mark’s Gospel Chapter 5

Bible study notes, originally posted on Facebook in 2010

From http://www.smithsonianmag.com/ist/?next=/smart-news/papyrus-found-mummy-mask-may-be-oldest-known-copy-gospel-180953962/

Read Mark chapter 5 here, or my own ‘Jumbled up in Jerusalem’ (parts 8 and 9) here.

We also witness the unbelief of the disciples (4.38). This is contrasted almost immediately with the full acknowledgement of Jesus’ status by the demons called Legion. These disturbed, rather than demon-possessed people, had a much clearer and less ambivalent understanding of Jesus. However, this would not have been in the mind of the writer. Jesus is called ‘son of the Most High God’ (5.7), this may point to, more clearly than other instances, the demonic knowledge of the Son of God in the spiritual realm. So the demons were displaying a knowledge of Jesus that was not available to normal humans in the physical world. Jesus does not rebuke the demons and, bizarrely, seems to show some kind of mercy to them, with no clue at all to his motivation, which does not include respect of other people’s property.

We can only speculate about Jesus’ knowledge/foreknowledge of the consequences of his actions. The burning question a few verses later is whether Jesus is referring to himself in the 3rd person or God — ‘tell them what the Lord in his mercy has done for you’ (5.19). The man, of course, ‘made known what Jesus had done for him’.