In this chapter we see in the first section the ministry of the Lord in the presence of satan. In the second section we see how He serves in the midst of situations that show man’s utter powerlessness and misery. There we see His service in case of incurable illness and even death, and how people who acknowledge their hopeless condition do not call upon Him in vain. We see not only His victorious power, but also the extent of the deliverance. This too is all education for servants. They may know that He is with them in the storm. They may also know that His power is beyond the power of satan, sickness and death.
These powers can also play a role in the lives of believers. If that is the case, they are impediments to serving the Lord:
1. The first, the power of satan (verses 1-201They came to the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gerasenes.2When He got out of the boat, immediately a man from the tombs with an unclean spirit met Him,3and he had his dwelling among the tombs. And no one was able to bind him anymore, even with a chain;4because he had often been bound with shackles and chains, and the chains had been torn apart by him and the shackles broken in pieces, and no one was strong enough to subdue him.5Constantly, night and day, he was screaming among the tombs and in the mountains, and gashing himself with stones.6Seeing Jesus from a distance, he ran up and bowed down before Him;7and shouting with a loud voice, he *said, “What business do we have with each other, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God, do not torment me!”8For He had been saying to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!”9And He was asking him, “What is your name?” And he *said to Him, “My name is Legion; for we are many.”10And he [began] to implore Him earnestly not to send them out of the country.11Now there was a large herd of swine feeding nearby on the mountain.12[The demons] implored Him, saying, “Send us into the swine so that we may enter them.”13Jesus gave them permission. And coming out, the unclean spirits entered the swine; and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea, about two thousand [of them]; and they were drowned in the sea.14Their herdsmen ran away and reported it in the city and in the country. And [the people] came to see what it was that had happened.15They *came to Jesus and *observed the man who had been demon-possessed sitting down, clothed and in his right mind, the very man who had had the “legion”; and they became frightened.16Those who had seen it described to them how it had happened to the demon-possessed man, and [all] about the swine.17And they began to implore Him to leave their region.18As He was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed was imploring Him that he might accompany Him.19And He did not let him, but He *said to him, “Go home to your people and report to them what great things the Lord has done for you, and [how] He had mercy on you.”20And he went away and began to proclaim in Decapolis what great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed.), becomes public when the unbridled power of ancient nature is given the opportunity to assert itself.
2. The second, the flow of blood (verses 25-3425A woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years,26and had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had grown worse—27after hearing about Jesus, she came up in the crowd behind [Him] and touched His cloak.28For she thought, “If I just touch His garments, I will get well.”29Immediately the flow of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.30Immediately Jesus, perceiving in Himself that the power [proceeding] from Him had gone forth, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My garments?”31And His disciples said to Him, “You see the crowd pressing in on You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’”32And He looked around to see the woman who had done this.33But the woman fearing and trembling, aware of what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth.34And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction.”), is the impurity that comes out of us, defiling ourselves and our surroundings.
3. The third, death (verses 35-4335While He was still speaking, they *came from the [house of] the synagogue official, saying, “Your daughter has died; why trouble the Teacher anymore?”36But Jesus, overhearing what was being spoken, *said to the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid [any longer], only believe.”37And He allowed no one to accompany Him, except Peter and James and John the brother of James.38They *came to the house of the synagogue official; and He *saw a commotion, and [people] loudly weeping and wailing.39And entering in, He *said to them, “Why make a commotion and weep? The child has not died, but is asleep.”40They [began] laughing at Him. But putting them all out, He *took along the child’s father and mother and His own companions, and *entered [the room] where the child was.41Taking the child by the hand, He *said to her, “Talitha kum!” (which translated means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”).42Immediately the girl got up and [began] to walk, for she was twelve years old. And immediately they were completely astounded.43And He gave them strict orders that no one should know about this, and He said that [something] should be given her to eat.), is a condition in which believers sleep in such a way that to them must be called: “Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead” (Eph 5:1414For this reason it says, “Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you.”). These believers are in a state of sleep, which makes them indistinguishable from the dead.