The chain breaker, the change maker- Monday, 4th week in ordinary time- Mark 5: 1-20

Today’s Gospel forms part of three (some look at it as four) miraculous actions that are performed by Jesus. These actions are contained in Mark 4:35-5:43 and reveal Jesus’ power over satan in nature (4: 35-41) possession (5:1-20) disease (5:25-34) and death (5:21-24, 35-43)

Jesus is now in the country of the Gerasenes which was thirty miles south east of the Sea of Galilee. It is here that Jesus encounters a man with an unclean spirit dwelling in the tombs. Tombs were considered to be a favourite dwelling place for demons. In doing so Mark makes a connection between death and demonic possessions.

It is interesting to note that in Mark’s Gospel the demons acknowledge the identity and the power of Jesus (ironically humans don’t); He is the Son of the Most High God.  It is His presence that truly torments the demons for it was believed that with the coming of the Messiah and the Kingdom of God a period of disaster would descend on satan and evil powers.

There is an interesting twist to the narrative. Jesus by his words commands the legion of demons to come out of the man and they “beg Him” to find another host in which they can dwell. The idea that demons had to find a dwelling place to live in is common, lest they reach their eternal place of punishment and so they ask to stay in the same area.( Revelations 9:1,20:10)

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