4:21-23 Parable of the Lamp & Obligation
Jesus uses the lamp to point out two import spiritual truths to the disciples and to us.
- They and we are responsible for the sharing of the truth – it must be shared.
- This parable tells them and tells us the truths revealed are to be shared!
Ends with an admonishment in v23, If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.
4:24-25 In these two short verses we have the concept of spiritual obligation and the double law of spiritual loss and spiritual gain. We must share the light! You, every single one of you, if you hear and accept the truth of the gospel and pass on to others what you have learned and believe, God will give you more truth!
4:26-29 Parable of the Growing Seed
This parable is unique to Mark and is related to the parable of the sower. Note the expression the seed sprouts and grows though he does not know how or produces crops by itself tells us once the seed is sown no human agency is involved.
4:30-34 Parable of the Mustard Seed
The concept of the small beginning of the kingdom of God on earth and the future pervasive growth were beyond the understanding of the disciples. Mustard seeds were the smallest seeds planted in the fields from which grew large bushes or small trees 10-25 high.
4:35-41 The storm
Earlier Jesus had said the kingdom is near (1:15). He demonstrates He is the reason the kingdom is near. Now He demonstrates power over nature. The disciples begin to grasp who Jesus is.
5:1-20 Here we have Jesus healing a Gentile (most likely) who was possessed by demons. Reverse verses 7 and 8 to put the conversation in the correct order. Note the demon tries to trick Him by calling Him by His name and then used the strongest possible oath to get Jesus to leave him alone … he invoked God’s protection, but to no avail for Jesus is the Son of God. They wanted to go anywhere, possess anyone or anything to avoid Jesus sending them to the abyss so in v13 He gave them permission to possess the pigs. They could not do so without His permission. How many demons were there? 20, 200, 2000? We don’t know. But we do know the man was fully healed. The man’s behavior is dismissed by some as him being mentally ill. However, his behavior shows demon possession is not merely sickness or insanity, but a real satanic attempt to distort and destroy God’s image in man. The man was saved and 2000 swine drowned; the demons likely ended up in the abyss then. The townspeople (likely mostly Gentiles) found the pigs gone and the man no longer possessed. They were angry and fearful with no understanding of what had happened but were aware of some form of power they were not familiar with and so asked Jesus to leave. The healed man want to leave with Him, but was given the assignment to be a light among his people.
5:21-24a Jairus, one of the synagogue officials would have had to be an important and respected man in the community, but he came to Jesus with an attitude of selflessness, humility, and belief that Jesus could heal his daughter. He had the faith of a mustard seed through his belief. So Jesus departed with him and a large crowd pressing about Him.
5:24b-34 Then an interruption as they hurried to Jairus’ house where Jesus could heal his daughter. An unclean woman touched His garment in faith and immediately she was healed of her 12 year disease constant menstruation. She was a virtual outcast – unclean for 12 years, yet He called her His daughter and said she was healed by her faith. Jesus turned the law on its head – He did not become unclean by being touched by an unclean person, instead He made her no longer unclean, but clean just as He does for us.
5:35-43 While Jesus was finishing with His daughter, the woman He had made clean, people told Jairus his daughter was dead. No ifs, ands, or buts – she is dead. Jesus had one direction and one command for Jairus – Don’t be afraid and just believe. Don’t listen to them – the mourners – and in effect says “You came to me expecting and believing I could heal your daughter. Ignore what you have heard and are hearing and trust Me.” The 12 year old daughter is healed. The contrasts between the two daughters is important for us to be aware of .. one is unclean and on the verge of poverty, the other alive as long as the other has been ill with her father a respected member of the community – yet both are saved by Jesus.
Concluding Remarks …
Will we conform to the pattern of this world? Or will we do as instructed in Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 13:14 NIV
Will we clothe ourselves with the Lord Yeshua the Messiah; and not waste our time thinking about how to provide for the sinful desires of our old nature.
Or are we merely listening to the Word, but not putting it into practice as those in Ezekiel 33:30-32 “As for you, son of man, your people are talking together about you by the walls and at the doors of the houses, saying to each other, ‘Come and hear the message that has come from the Lord.’ My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to hear your words, but they do not put them into practice. Their mouths speak of love, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain. Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice.