Jesus sent out the impure spirits into a herd of pigs, who subsequently rushed over a cliff and into the sea. This wasn't a pig herd of about 5 or 6, this had about two thousand pigs in. Imagine watching two thousand pigs jump into the sea. It would have been crazy. Again, Mark fails to comment on what the owners thought. That herd would have been pretty expensive or time consuming to replace. What was strange about this episode was how the crowd reacted to the possessed man. When they saw him sitting there perfectly normally, they were afraid. Not relieved. Or surprised. Or curious. Instead, they are afraid and ask Jesus to leave.
The next miracle isn't even instigated by Jesus and takes him by surprise as much as anyone else. A woman with constant bleeding comes through the crowd and touches Jesus' cloak. This woman would have suffered a lot from her condition (some people have suggested it to be due to a fibroid tumor of the uterus). This bleeding would have made her ritually unclean and ostracised from society. In her desperation she had spent all the money she had for treatment, but for nothing. So here was her chance. The huge, crushing crowds didn't put her off and she reached out and touched the hem of his cloak.
But what I always used to wonder was why she thought touching his cloak would heal her. It could have been because she had remembered what she had heard about the Sun of Righteousness. He would have healing in his wings. In Hebrew wings and edge (in this case of a garment) were the same word. This same piece of linguistics sheds light on why Ruth asks Boaz to cover her with his cloak (see Ruth 2:12 and Ruth 3:9).
This woman has faith that he is indeed the Sun of Righteousness, and she touches his hem and she receives healing from his wings. It is amazing that Jesus was so powerful even the tassels on his cloak could heal people.
- What are you opinions on Mark 5?
- Are you sometimes angry at the good God does? Are you a bit of a Jonah?
- Tenuous image?