DIV2/5: MIRACLES IN MARK

This Unit is about the miracles which were performed by Jesus in the book of Mark.

SIGNIFICANCE OF MIRACLES IN MARK

By the simplest definition, a miracle is an occurrence which is contrary to what is known of nature. They are recognized so by eye of faith. In Mark, the miracles show the dawning or coming of the kingdom of God. They show that the kingdom of God is here for example the expelling of Demons.

  • They are acts of salvation or saving acts to mankind.
  • They are a means of service to people by Jesus.
  • They constitute divine revelation (manifestation).
  • They are part of the good news, the gospel Jesus brings to people. The sick are healed; this is good news to them.
  • They are a method of teaching or spreading the gospel by Jesus.
  • They are a pointer to a greater miracle thus the resurrection of Jesus.
  • They are acts of love from Jesus for example teaching the hungry (the 5000).
  • They are a fulfillment of the scriptures (example the Exodus event of being fed on manna and quills) (5000 people fed).
  • Miracles show that Jesus is the messiah expected by the Jews.
  • They further show that Jesus had divine power (for example calming the sea and walking on water).
  • The miracles differentiate him from the magicians of the time. Jesus was just using a command to perform the miracles.
  • Miracles helped people to believe in Jesus, they were a challenge to faith.
  • Miracles show on a report of the battle between the divine power and satanic powers. The climax of this battle is on the cross.
  • They show Jesus’ humanity, thus he has sympathy for people who happen to be suffering.
  • They are a fulfillment of some Old Testament scriptures for example Isaiah 35: 5-6.
  • Some show the messianic banquet or joy to come in future. They are a pointer to this joy.

Most of the above apply to all miracles – Mark.

CHAPTER 4: 35 – 41: JESUS CALMS A STORM ON THE LAKE.

This is an example of a natural miracle. The Sea of Galilee is left below sea level and such storms were very common. We need to understand the Old Testament reference to storms, temptations, darkness etc. Storms are some of the forces opposed to God. So if Jesus can command it to be quite, it means he has power over it. He has divine power.

Jesus sleeping peaceful and untroubled is a sign of perfect trust in the protective power of God. The early church saw the power to save them in Christ. In the presence of Christ, we should not fear. The incident also shows Jesus as human, he takes a rest.

THIS VIDEO IS ABOUT HOW JESUS CALMED THE STORM ON THE LAKE

WORKS OF POWER

CHAPTER 5: 1-20 THE CURE OF THE DEMONIAC.

This was in the territory of Geresa, a gentile territory. Already this shows that Jesus is a universal messiah, he came for all people not only the Jews. The existence of swine shows that the territory was for gentiles.

This is one of the most narrated stories in Mark. It’s an exorcism type of miracle. It was believed that spirits could inhabit animals or men. The degree of possession is well emphasized. This is intended to heighten the miracle, to make it real. The evil spirit recognized Jesus as son of the most high”. This is messianic secrecy. Evil spirits readily recognize Jesus as messiah. The address used here by the demoniac would be intelligible to the gentiles who did not have the concept of messiah. Jesus asks for the name of the evil spirit in order to have control over it.

In verse 13, Jesus didn’t send the legion to the swine that would have been unkind of him. All that Jesus did was to give legion leave. The swine might have been frightened by the men being cured and in the process they ran into the lake and drowned. By performing this miracle Jesus restored this man’s social status. (Please note other related points of significance of miracles).

The life of this man was every important than the life of the pigs.

THIS VIDEO IS ABOUT THE MIRACLE TO CURE A DEMONIAC

VERSE 21-43

The raising of Jarius’ daughter and the woman who had a blood flow. The 2 stories are put together because they refer very strong faith from the suffering. The story of the woman is just inserted in typical of Mark. The 2 stories are an example of salvation by faith. Jarius was a local official in a synagogue an indication that not all important Jews were against Jesus.

The first request from Jarius is to come and heal the sick girl. This showed unreserved faith by Jarius. The woman with a blood flow interrupts this story. All to (lev.15:25-27) the woman was an outcast and defiled. Any one coming into contact with her would also be defiled. Here both Jarius and the woman believed that Jesus was able to put right what was judged humanly as hopeless. The story of the woman would be of interest to the gentiles because they were also considered to be defiled or unclean all to Jews.

After touching Jesus’ cloak, something happened to her. She felt she had been healed. Equally Jesus to heal someone always cost him something. He always emptied himself for the sake of the others, so was to this woman who got frightened only to be comforted by Jesus. The story shows lack of understanding from the disciples. On resuming the story of Jarius it was reported that the girl was dead. Jesus appeals to Jarius to believe. Peter, John, and James referred to as the inner circles who are the ones who witnessed the raising of the girl to life. The very Aramaii words “Tali-tha-cumi” are preserved. This shows that the story narrated by an eye witness (Peter) and the author had concern for gentile Christians that is why he had to translate some of these exact words Jesus used. As commonly in Mark Jesus instructs people not to say anything about it the very inner circles of Peter, John and James will witness of transfiguration.

ASSIGNMENT : MIRACLES IN MARK assignment MARKS : 10  DURATION : 1 week, 3 days

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