Chapter 5

Jesus heals a woman, a demon-possessed man and the daughter of Jairus.

Soon we came to land on the north shore of Lake Galilee, in the territory of the Gerasenes. No sooner had Jesus stepped out of the boat than a man possessed by an evil spirit approached him. This man lived in the burial caves. He was so strong that no one could tie him down, not even with chains. More than once the townspeople had bound him hand and foot but he would snap the chains they put on his wrists and break the shackles on his feet. No one was able to restrain him. Day and night he would wander among the tombs, howling and gnashing himself with sharp stones. When from a distance the man saw Jesus, he ran to him and fell to the ground. “Go away Jesus!” he shrieked, “Leave me alone, you son of the Most High God! Swear to God that you won’t torment me!” (Jesus had already said to the spirit, “Come out of the man, you evil spirit!) (1-8)

“Tell me your name!” demanded Jesus.

The evil spirit answered “My name is Legion, for there are so many of us.” Then the spirit kept begging Jesus not to send them off to some far away place. It so happened that there was a huge herd of pigs feeding on a nearby hillside. “Send us to those pigs,” begged the evil spirits; “Let us go into them.” Jesus gave them permission and the evil spirits came out of the man and went into the pigs. The pigs, all two thousand of them, rushed madly down the steep bank and into the water where they drowned. The men who tended the pigs ran and told the local villagers and others what had happened. When they arrived, they saw the man they knew to be possessed by a horde of demons, now sitting beside Jesus, fully clothed and in his right mind. They were frightened out of their mind. The people who had watched the demons being expelled and go into the pigs described it all to the crowd, whose reaction was to plead with Jesus to get out of their country. (9-17)

As we were getting a boat ready to shove off, the man who had been possessed by  demons begged to go with us, but Jesus wouldn’t let him. Instead, he told the man, “Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you — the kindness he has shown to you.” The man went away alright, but not to his own home but to a region called the Decapolis (“Ten Towns”) where he told everyone what Jesus had done for him. And they were all amazed. (18-20)

Jesus had no sooner gotten into the boat and crossed to the other side, than a large crowd gathered around him on the shore. Among the crowd was Jairus, one of the officials in the synagogue at Capernaum. Coming to Jesus, he fell at his feet and pled earnestly for his little daughter who was dying. “Please come and place your hands on her so she will get well and live!” So Jesus went with Jairus, followed by a mob of people that kept crowding around them. (21-24)

In the group was a woman who had suffered for twelve years from severe bleeding. She had gone through a great deal under the care of many doctors, and had spent everything she had, but she’d not gotten any better. In fact she was worse than before. She’d heard what Jesus was able to do, so she slipped up from behind and touched his robe, thinking, “If I can only touch his robe, I’ll get well.” Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel in her body that she’d been healed.

Jesus immediately sensed that healing power had gone out of him, so he turned to the crowd and asked, “Who touched my robe?”

We said to him, “Master, look at all the people crowding around you; how could you ask, ‘Who touched me?’” But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. When the woman realized what had happened to her, she went back to Jesus, frightened and trembling. She fell at his feet and admitted that she had touched him even though being ceremonially unclean it was forbidden.

Jesus said to her, “My daughter, your faith has made you well. Your time of suffering is now over and you can mingle with others. (25-34)

While Jesus was speaking to the woman, some people from the house of Jairus arrived and reported to him, “Your daughter has died! There’s no longer any reason to bother the teacher.”

Overhearing this, Jesus turned to Jairus and said, “Don’t be afraid, simply believe.” No one in the crowd was to go with him any further. I was the only one, along with James and John, that was permitted to go further. When we arrived at the home of the synagogue official, we were met with absolute chaos — loud crying and unrestrained wailing. Jesus went inside and asked, “Why all the commotion? Why all the weeping? The child has not died, she is simply asleep.” The crowd ridiculed him with laughter. So he sent them all outside and taking the  father and mother with him, went to the child’s room. (We three disciples went as well.) Then Jesus took the child by the hand and said to her in Aramaic, “Talitha Koum!” which means, “Little girl, get up.” Immediately she got out of bed and began to walk around. Everyone there was absolutely amazed. Jesus gave strict orders to tell no one what had happened. Then he encouraged the parents to give her something to eat. (35-43)