Updated: Feb 23
Toward the end of chapter four of Mark’s gospel, we read of Jesus calming the storm. Continuing to read through chapter five, we read of several other miracles Jesus performs.
Jesus heals a man who was demon-possessed
A woman who has suffered from bleeding is healed
Jairus’ daughter is raised from the dead
Each of these miracles, as Mark records, is for a specific purpose as it relates to his gospel. Each of these miracles demonstrates that Jesus is the Son of God, a purpose he has stated for his writing.
"The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God."
MARK 1: 1 (NKJV)
They also demonstrate Jesus’ power and authority over nature, sickness, disease, and death. The authority and power of Jesus press us as readers to understand that Jesus is Divine. Jesus is God with us. As we look at these miracles, consider the power and authority of Jesus. What is the significance for us?
I believe each of these miracles is familiar to us, so we will not cover them in great detail. However, I do think it is important for us to refresh our memory of these events.
Mark, in (Mk. 4) has just recorded a few of the parables Jesus taught. These parables all have something to do with the kingdom of God and in them, we see that Jesus possesses an understanding of God’s kingdom, unlike other teachers. Like the miracles, these teachings are arranged to press us as readers to deal with the question, “Who is Jesus?” This gospel is designed to prompt us to a decision about Jesus. If Jesus is the Son of God, as Mark provides evidence for, what is my conclusion about Him? Am I going to follow Him, or will I reject Him as others have?
a. Jesus Calms the Storm
As Jesus has been teaching and multitudes have been pressing Him, the day is drawing to an end. As the day is ending, Jesus and the disciples crossed Lake Galilee to the other side. As they were crossing; “…a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling.” (Mk. 4:37). The disciples were fearful for their lives as Jesus slept in the stern of the boat. They awoke Him expressing “…Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” (Mk. 4:38). Jesus said, “…Peace, be still!” And at the words of Jesus, the wind ceased and there was a great calm.” (Mk. 4:39). Mark records the disciples’ amazement.
"And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”
MARK 4: 41 (NKJV)
These were fishermen and they knew the sea. In the mind of the ancient Jewish culture, the sea was a place associated with chaos and destruction. They would have likely remembered the darkness that was on the face of the deep recorded in the creation account (ref. Gen. 1:1). It is also likely, they would have remembered the words of the the Psalmist; “O Lord God of hosts, Who is mighty like You, O Lord? Your faithfulness also surrounds You. You rule the raging of the sea; When its waves rise, You still them. (Ps. 89: 8-9)
Who is Jesus? Who has the power of God to control the wind and waves with just His voice?
b. A Man Demon-Possessed
In (Mk. 5) we next read of Jesus cleansing a man of an unclean spirit. Crossing over the lake, a man who is demon-possessed runs from the tombs to worship Jesus. This man was forced to live in the tombs where others had tried to shackle and chain him. The demon exclaimed; “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God that You do not torment me.” (Mk. 5:7). The demons knew the true identity of Jesus. Jesus sends the demons out of the man into a herd of swine. These swine run over a cliff where they drown. Those who lived in the region, seeing the man in his right mind and clothed, were fearful and pleaded with Jesus to depart the region (ref. Mk. 5:17). Jesus returned to the boat and told the man who had been demon-possessed, “…“Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.”” (ref. Mk. 5:19).
It is clear from this account that Jesus has power and authority over unclean spirits.
The turn through in Mark’s gospel is interesting. It would later be Jesus who is stripped, beaten, cast-out, and hung on the outskirts of town. He will do so for our uncleanness.
c. A Woman Healed
Again, crossing over the lake, Jesus is met by a large crowd. A man by the name of Jairus begged Jesus to come and heal his daughter who is at the point of death (ref. Mk. 5:22-23). Right in the middle of this story, as crowds are pressing against Jesus, we are told of a woman who touches Jesus. For twelve years she had suffered from bleeding. Mark records her thoughts “…“If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.”” (ref. Mk. 5:28). Immediately she was healed. Jesus said to her (Mk. 5:34) “…“Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.””
From her healing, we learn that Jesus has power over sickness and disease.
d. Jairus’ Daughter Raised
After the encounter with the woman, Jesus turns His attention back to Jairus. He has just received news that his daughter has died (ref. Mk. 5:35).
"As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not be afraid; only believe.” 37 And He permitted no one to follow Him except Peter, James, and John the brother of James. 38 Then He came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and saw a tumult and those who wept and wailed loudly. 39 When He came in, He said to them, “Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead, but sleeping.”
MARK 5: 36-39 (NKJV)
Jesus took Jairus, the child’s mother, and those with Him to where Jairus’ daughter laid. With just His voice He said to her, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” (ref. Mk. 5:41). The girl who was dead immediately got up.
Who is Jesus that He has the power over death?
Mark is clearly demonstrating Jesus’ power and authority in His recording of these signs. They show his power over nature, the spiritual world, sickness, disease, and even death. He does this so that we can recognize Jesus as the Son of God.
We, today, have the ability to choose to submit to Christ or not. He does not command us to follow Him. He does not force us to obey Him. He allows us to make that choice.
Mark’s gospel presses us with the question, “Who is Jesus?” The signs recorded demonstrate that Jesus was more than a carpenter’s son. His authority and power over the natural world, the spiritual world, sickness, and death show Him to be the Son of God.
Today, will we choose to follow Him?
Scripture references: the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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bio: Steve and Brenda have been married for the past twenty-seven years and have three beautiful daughters. In addition to producing content for and managing SimplyRevised, Steve is the preaching minister at Southbelt Church of Christ located in Pasadena, TX.