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Bible Commentaries

William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament
Mark 5

 

 

Verses 1-21

THE DEMONIZED GADERENE

Matthew 8:28-34; Matthew 9:1; Mark 5:1-21; and Mark 5:26-40. We visited this country of the Gadarenes, which comes down to the northeast coast of this sea; Gergesa, their capital, situated on a beautiful, rich plain, enjoying a handsome view of this beautiful water, as well as the majestic mountains and fertile valleys of the surrounding countries. Matthew says they came to Gergesa, Mark and Luke say they came to the country of Gadara. This is in perfect harmony, as Gergesa was the city and Gadara the country. You must remember that when our Savior bade the temple adieu, the day before He was arrested, He said, “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.” Within forty years from the utterance the Roman armies signally verified it. Hence the desolation has been on that country ever since. However, Gadara was a Gentile country; but it was the subject of a terrible Divine retribution, as we will see in this narrative, for rejecting the ministry of Jesus. “And they came to the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes, and a man with an unclean spirit, from the tombs, met Him immediately having come out of the ship, who had his habitation among the tombs; and no one was able to bind him with chains, because frequently he had been bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been slipped off by him and the fetters torn to pieces, and no one was able to subdue him.” Matthew says there were two demoniacs, exceedingly fierce, so no one could pass that way. Mark and Luke speak of but one. Luke says that he wore no clothing. It is a notable fact that raging maniacs have an aversion to wearing clothing, and if possible will tear it off. Mark: “And he was all the time, night and day, among the tombs and in the mountains; was crying, and cutting himself with stones. Seeing Jesus a great way off, he ran and fell down before Him, and crying, with a great voice, said, What is there to me and to Thee, O Jesus, the Son of the Most High God? I adjure Thee, in the name of God, that you torment me not; for He said to him, Unclean spirit, come out from the man.” Luke says: “For a long time he had possessed him, and he was kept bound with fetters and chains; and smashing his fetters, he was driven by the demon into the wilderness. And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? and he said, Legion, because many demons had entered into him. And he continued to exhort Him that He may not command them to depart into the abyss;” i.e., the bottomless pit.

God never created the devil, a sinner, nor a snake. The snake originated from the transformation of the Nahash, an intelligent biped, one of the intermediate links between man and the lower animals, and unfortunately used by Satan in the abduction of humanity. Satan is a fallen archangel:

“How thou art fallen, O Lucifer, the morning star!” (Isaiah 14:12.)

The term “devil” is the ordinary cognomen of Satan, demon being the regular epithet applied to those innumerable evil spirits, swarming up out of the bottomless pit and thronging the atmosphere, their highest aspiration being a habitation in some human spirit, as in the case of this Gadarene, into whom a whole legion — i.e., ten thousand — had crowded together. Nothing is so terrible to these demons as the gloomy dungeons of the bottomless pit. Consequently they importuned Jesus not to send them thither. Originally the intelligences inhabiting the innumerable worlds, constituting the celestial empire, were presumptively all on probation. In the fatal revolt of Lucifer, an immense host, perhaps one-third (Revelation 12), followed the apostate archangel. As this apostasy, in all probability, infected many celestial worlds, we find innumerable hosts of fallen demons roaming round this world, hunting a habitation in some human heart. (Ephesians 6) We have no right to conclude that this Gadarene is the only legionaire in all the earth. It is pertinent to remember how all the demons, with whom Jesus comes in contact, recognize Him. We have no record at what epoch in bygone eternity the angels were created; evidently long before Divinity spoke this world into existence. As Jesus is co-eternal with God Himself, identical with the uncreated Jehovah, the recognition of these demons is doubtless a vivid reminiscence of the bright celestial ages which glided away before the dark period of rebellion and ruin supervened. It is here specified that the legionaire tore his clothing from his person, smashing all the fetters and escaping from all the chains with which they could bind him. The muscular power of these Oriental red men is vastly superior to that of Europeans and Americans. In all probability, he was a natural giant, as were most of the aborigines in that country in the days of Joshua; for you must remember he was not a Hebrew, but a Gentile. It is generally believed that physical strength is located in the muscles. This is a mistake. The muscles are the mere instruments used by the nerves, which are the custodians of physical power. A crowbar is a most potent instrument in the hands of a stalwart man; but left alone, utterly impotent.

I thought the muscles were the custodians of physical strength till, in 1884, a stroke of partial paralysis demonstrated the utter impotency of the muscles without nervous stimuli. From a human standpoint, the exegesis of Samson’s paradoxical strength was the induement of the Holy Ghost, who operated through his nerves, thus imparting miraculous physical dynamics. Now remember, this Gadarene had ten thousand demons, ready in a moment to electrify his nerves, thus imparting an incredible muscular power. I have seen epileptics whom it took a half-dozen strong men to manage. You have all witnessed the extraordinary feats of strength and activity performed by maniacs, lunatics, and epileptics. This man was doubtless a combination of them all, so many demons, ready at any moment to turn loose the very galvanic batteries of the pandemonium on their poor victim, thus making them instrumental in the most paradoxical feats of agility and power. Why did he dwell among the tombs? Satan is king of death and hell. He sways his leaden scepter over every graveyard, holding fast every human body in the dark sepulcher, as their souls in the regions of woe. Hence these demons found congeniality among the tombs.

Mark 5:11. “And there was at the mountain a great herd of swine, feeding. And all the demons entreated him saying, Send us into the swine, that we may go into them. And Jesus immediately permitted them. And the unclean spirits, having come out, went into the swine, and the herd rushed down a steep place into the sea, and there were about two thousand, and they perished in the sea.” These heathen Gentiles set great store on the hog, a notoriously unclean animal, which God’s people were forbidden to raise, heavy interdictions being laid on the eating of the same. When I visited that country last November, our dragoman showed us the mountain traditionally recognized as the pasture of the swine, and the cliff down which the whole herd stampeded into the sea; thus transmitting to us a most monitory lesson against demoniacal possession, which is so common in all ages, the present day being no exception to the rule. Here we see these hogs unhesitatingly choosing suicide rather than demoniacal possession. This verdict of the swine should put millions to the blush this day, who go over the earth, full of demons, and claiming a place among the bon tons of society. “And those herding them fled, and proclaimed in the city and in the country; and they came out to see what is that which has been done. And they come to Jesus, and see the demonized man sitting down, clothed, and in his right mind, him who was called Legion; and they were afraid. And those seeing, explained to them how it occurred to the demonized man, and concerning the swine. And they began to entreat Him to depart from their coasts.” Luke 8:36 : “And those seeing, explained to them how the demonized man was saved; and the whole multitude of the surrounding country of the Gadarenes entreated Him to depart from them, because they were possessed with great fear.” Here we have the united testimony of Matthew, Mark, and Luke to the unanimous and importunate verdict of all the Gadarenes, requesting Jesus to leave their country. That this awful and hopeless demoniac had been wonderfully saved, all admitted. But there was another phase to the matter — they had lost their swine. Now a pertinent question looks them all in the face. Will they have Jesus or bacon? If they keep Jesus, they can have all of the sick healed, all the devils cast out, all the people saved, soul and body, and turn their country into a little heaven, so they can live on angels’ food instead of “hog and hominy.” The popular verdict comes quickly, and without a dissenting voice: they all decide to let Jesus go, and save their bacon to eat and sell for the money.

DOOM OF GADARA

“And embarking into the ship, He returned;” i.e., went back to Capernaum, the center of His evangelistic work in the North, thus throwing a dark shadow over all of that country of the Gadarenes, which has wrapped it in gloom and withered it with desolation these eighteen hundred years. When I visited that country, with its beautiful, fertile plains, bordering on the sea; majestic, rich mountains, with innumerable valleys and coves — all, at the time of our Savior’s visit, flourishing as the gardens of the Lord, cultivated by a thriving and enterprising people, whose temporal needs a gracious Providence had most abundantly supplied. So they needed nothing but the Savior, whom, in loving, Fatherly affection, He so kindly sent them. O what a grand introductory He made among them in saving the worst man they had! How all hell rallied to hold their grip tight on Gadara! Jesus comes to all people, even uninvited, thus pitying their blindness and ignorance, and giving all a chance for salvation. But when He turns the light on them, if, instead of rejoicing in it, they prefer darkness, and, like these besotted Gadarenes, even have the impudence to ask Him to leave, He always goes, leaving them to their choice, with the devil and hell, world without end. Jesus saves none against their will; neither does He stay where He is not wanted. When I stood upon the old walls of Gergesa, the capital of Gadara, to which Jesus went, and looked around upon the ruins of the city, without an inhabitant except the wandering Arabs, then on the spot, grazing their herds and flocks, and saw their country, which has lain desolate eighteen hundred years, I saw in panorama, as I look out over the sea, Jesus embarking on the ship, which sails away, appearing smaller and smaller, till she passes out of sight, thus leaving poor Gadara doomed and ruined. How signally has this been verified in the dismal fate of that country! The Gadarenes have literally faded from the face of the earth, not one to be found; their capital desolate, their cities and villages depopulated and destroyed; their country in the hands of the nomadic Bedonins, the wild sons of Ishmael, in reference to whom God said, “His hand shall be against every man’s hand, and every man’s hand against him.” They are born robbers. If you would visit the land of Gadara this day, you would need an armed escort to save you from robbery and murder. What a warning to the people who request Jesus to depart from them!


Verse 20

THE LEGIONAIRE TURNS PREACHER

“And the man out of whom the demons had gone, besought Him that he should be with Him. But Jesus sent him away, saying, Return to your own home, and explain how many things God hast done for you. And he went away, preaching throughout the whole city how many things Jesus did for him.” Mark 5:20. “And he went away, and began to preach in Decapolis how many things Jesus did for him, and all continued to be astonished.” This is quite contrastive with the uniform habit of Jesus, telling them not to publish His mighty works; as here, instead of making such a prohibition, He orders the man to go and tell everybody the wonderful miracle Jesus wrought in his deliverance from the demon. The solution of this contrast hinges on the fact that the Gadarenes were Gentiles, and did not want a Jew for their king. Jesus always, when among the Gentiles, told them to go and tell His mighty works; the prohibition among the Jews arising from the popular enthusiasm, everywhere rampant, to rally the multitude and crown Him King, which would have precipitated His death before He had time to finish His work. It is said that the legionaire went to Decapolis. Now, remember, “Decapolis” is not the name of a city, but of ten cities (as the word means), throughout that whole country, whose terror he had been ever since the demons had entered into him. I do not wonder that Jesus sent him to preach, as he was the very man to reach the people who had long trembled at the mention of his name.

Luke 8:40 : “And it came to pass that Jesus, returned, the multitude received Him; for they were all expecting Him.” This multitude were at Capernaum, His resident city, on the north coast, whence He had sailed to Gadara. As they were on the lookout for Him, such should be our constant attitude of momentary expectancy for our Lord to appear.


Verses 23-43

RESURRECTION OF JAIRUS’S DAUGHTER

Matthew 9:18-26; Mark 5:23-43; & Luke 8:41-56. Mark: “And, behold, one of the chief rulers of the synagogue, by name Jairus, comes; and seeing Him, falls at His feet, and entreats Him much, saying, My little daughter is now at the point of death; having come, lay Your hands on her, in order that she may be saved, and shall live. And He went away with him, and a great multitude follows Him, even treading on Him. And He, still speaking, they come from the chief ruler of the synagogue, saying, Thy daughter is dead; why do you still trouble the Teacher? And Jesus, immediately hearing the word spoken, says to the chief ruler of the synagogue, Fear not; only believe. And He comes to the house of the chief ruler, and did not admit any one to follow Him, except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James, and He sees the uproar, the people weeping and wailing much. And coming in, He says to them, Why do you mourn and weep? The little child is not dead, but sleepeth. And they hooted at Him. And putting all out, He takes the father and mother of the little child, and those who are with Him, and goes in where the little child was lying. And taking the hand of the little child, says to her, Talitha cumi, which is interpreted, Little girl, I say unto thee, Arise. And immediately the little girl stood up, and began to walk round; for she was twelve years old. And they were delighted with great delight. And He commanded them much that no one should know it; and He said that something should be given to her to eat.” There at Capernaum, His resident city, the home of Peter, Andrew, James, John, and Matthew, and the scene of more miracles than any other city in the world — thither the multitudes from all nations have come, bringing their sick, and laying them down at His feet, unutterably delighted to see the blind receive their sight; the deaf gloriously healed; the poor cripples, throwing away their crutches, and leaping exultantly; the paralyzed, lunatics, maniacs, demoniacs, and all sorts of epileptics, wonderfully and triumphantly healed, causing the surrounding mountains to echo and reverberate their stentorian shouts. Now He adds to the voluminous catalogue of these stupendous miracles the climax of all; i.e., the resurrection of the dead. Luke says that she was his only daughter, a lovely damsel of twelve years. We see He takes none with Him into the presence of the corpse except the father and mother, and Peter, James, and John. These three apostles, enjoying a deeper insight into spiritual things than the other nine, are not only thus honored on this notable occasion, but we find them His only concomitants on the Mount of Transfiguration, and also receiving His especial attention and confidence amid the agonies of Gethsemane. The Jews were accustomed to mourn for the dead seven days. In this mourning they blew on the pipe, producing a loud, shrill, solemn sound, which commingled with the bitter wailings of the mourners. The people in that country this day practice that same excessive weeping and mourning over the dead. E.V., “Laughed Him to scorn,” is not a good translation, as there was no laughing there. The idea is, they “hooted at Him,” thus ridiculing His assertion, “She is not dead, but sleepeth.” You will find the New Testament discarding that grievous word “death,” and substituting the mild and hygienical term “sleep.” This is in harmony with the great plan of salvation, which includes the body and mind, as well as the soul, contemplating complete and glorious restitution, recognizing the body immortal as the soul, which is certainly true, if we take in the resurrection.


Verses 25-36

THE BLOODY HEMORRHAGE

Matthew 9:20-22; Mark 5:25-36; Luke 8:43-50. Mark: “A certain woman, being with a hemorrhage of blood twelve years, and having suffered much from many physicians, and spending all things in her possession, and being profited as to nothing, but rather having come to the worst, hearing concerning Jesus, coming behind in the crowd, touched His garment. For she said, If I may touch His garments, I shall be saved. And immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she knew that she was healed from her disease.” The presumption is that this woman did not have lung hemorrhage, as they are not apt to survive so long. We have no intimation as to the character of the hemorrhage. It must have been very serious, as she had availed herself of all possible medical aid, even submitting to financial bankruptcy. We have the significant statement, polla pathousa hupo pollon iatron, “having suffered much from many physicians,” involving the conclusion that these physicians, instead of relieving the ailment, had greatly augmented her suffering. Doubtless this is a very significant truth; in the majority of cases, the medical treatment only adds to the suffering of the patient, without curing the disease. This poor victim of a twelve years’ hemorrhage had not only suffered much gratuitously, without receiving any benefit, but had expended all of her living and come down to poverty. Now that she has nothing, the physicians will not medicate her; therefore, in her hopeless desperation, she is in good fix to turn over the work to Jesus. You see, from this illustration, that there is no real conflict between Divine healing and medical treatment, as they seldom come in competition; the people, like this woman, going to the ultimata thula with physicians before they really turn over the case to Jesus, and trust Him alone to heal them. “And immediately, Jesus knowing in Himself that the power had gone out from Him, turning in the crowd, He said, Who touched My clothes? And His disciples said to Him, You see the crowd treading upon You, and You say, Who touched Me? And He was looking around to see the one having done this. And the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had been done unto her, came and fell before Him, and told Him the whole truth. And He said to her, Daughter, thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace, and be thou whole from thy disease.” Here we see an indisputable confirmation of bodily healing through faith, precisely as the soul is healed through faith.

We do not get what we ask for, but what we believe for, our faith being the measuring line of our reception from God. The human side of Divine healing is simple faith in Jesus for that very thing, as He is no respecter of persons. The great law, “As your faith is, so be it unto you,” is applicable to the body as to the soul. We do not say you must discard your physician, but we do say that you must have faith in Jesus alone to heal you. Perhaps if Jesus had come along at an earlier day, when she was paying out her money and looking to those physicians to heal her, her faith in them would have vitiated her faith in Jesus, and thus defeated her healing. Your physician may help you, like your nurse; but you make a great mistake when you look to them for healing. In this I do not depreciate the medical profession, as the most competent physicians I have met in my extensive travels have confessed to me their utter incompetency to heal the sick, but only to assist nature, it being the province of God alone to give health and life.


Verses 26-40

THE DEMONIZED GADERENE

Matthew 8:28-34; Matthew 9:1; Mark 5:1-21; and Mark 5:26-40. We visited this country of the Gadarenes, which comes down to the northeast coast of this sea; Gergesa, their capital, situated on a beautiful, rich plain, enjoying a handsome view of this beautiful water, as well as the majestic mountains and fertile valleys of the surrounding countries. Matthew says they came to Gergesa, Mark and Luke say they came to the country of Gadara. This is in perfect harmony, as Gergesa was the city and Gadara the country. You must remember that when our Savior bade the temple adieu, the day before He was arrested, He said, “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.” Within forty years from the utterance the Roman armies signally verified it. Hence the desolation has been on that country ever since. However, Gadara was a Gentile country; but it was the subject of a terrible Divine retribution, as we will see in this narrative, for rejecting the ministry of Jesus. “And they came to the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes, and a man with an unclean spirit, from the tombs, met Him immediately having come out of the ship, who had his habitation among the tombs; and no one was able to bind him with chains, because frequently he had been bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been slipped off by him and the fetters torn to pieces, and no one was able to subdue him.” Matthew says there were two demoniacs, exceedingly fierce, so no one could pass that way. Mark and Luke speak of but one. Luke says that he wore no clothing. It is a notable fact that raging maniacs have an aversion to wearing clothing, and if possible will tear it off. Mark: “And he was all the time, night and day, among the tombs and in the mountains; was crying, and cutting himself with stones. Seeing Jesus a great way off, he ran and fell down before Him, and crying, with a great voice, said, What is there to me and to Thee, O Jesus, the Son of the Most High God? I adjure Thee, in the name of God, that you torment me not; for He said to him, Unclean spirit, come out from the man.” Luke says: “For a long time he had possessed him, and he was kept bound with fetters and chains; and smashing his fetters, he was driven by the demon into the wilderness. And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? and he said, Legion, because many demons had entered into him. And he continued to exhort Him that He may not command them to depart into the abyss;” i.e., the bottomless pit.

God never created the devil, a sinner, nor a snake. The snake originated from the transformation of the Nahash, an intelligent biped, one of the intermediate links between man and the lower animals, and unfortunately used by Satan in the abduction of humanity. Satan is a fallen archangel:

“How thou art fallen, O Lucifer, the morning star!” (Isaiah 14:12.)

The term “devil” is the ordinary cognomen of Satan, demon being the regular epithet applied to those innumerable evil spirits, swarming up out of the bottomless pit and thronging the atmosphere, their highest aspiration being a habitation in some human spirit, as in the case of this Gadarene, into whom a whole legion — i.e., ten thousand — had crowded together. Nothing is so terrible to these demons as the gloomy dungeons of the bottomless pit. Consequently they importuned Jesus not to send them thither. Originally the intelligences inhabiting the innumerable worlds, constituting the celestial empire, were presumptively all on probation. In the fatal revolt of Lucifer, an immense host, perhaps one-third (Revelation 12), followed the apostate archangel. As this apostasy, in all probability, infected many celestial worlds, we find innumerable hosts of fallen demons roaming round this world, hunting a habitation in some human heart. (Ephesians 6) We have no right to conclude that this Gadarene is the only legionaire in all the earth. It is pertinent to remember how all the demons, with whom Jesus comes in contact, recognize Him. We have no record at what epoch in bygone eternity the angels were created; evidently long before Divinity spoke this world into existence. As Jesus is co-eternal with God Himself, identical with the uncreated Jehovah, the recognition of these demons is doubtless a vivid reminiscence of the bright celestial ages which glided away before the dark period of rebellion and ruin supervened. It is here specified that the legionaire tore his clothing from his person, smashing all the fetters and escaping from all the chains with which they could bind him. The muscular power of these Oriental red men is vastly superior to that of Europeans and Americans. In all probability, he was a natural giant, as were most of the aborigines in that country in the days of Joshua; for you must remember he was not a Hebrew, but a Gentile. It is generally believed that physical strength is located in the muscles. This is a mistake. The muscles are the mere instruments used by the nerves, which are the custodians of physical power. A crowbar is a most potent instrument in the hands of a stalwart man; but left alone, utterly impotent.

I thought the muscles were the custodians of physical strength till, in 1884, a stroke of partial paralysis demonstrated the utter impotency of the muscles without nervous stimuli. From a human standpoint, the exegesis of Samson’s paradoxical strength was the induement of the Holy Ghost, who operated through his nerves, thus imparting miraculous physical dynamics. Now remember, this Gadarene had ten thousand demons, ready in a moment to electrify his nerves, thus imparting an incredible muscular power. I have seen epileptics whom it took a half-dozen strong men to manage. You have all witnessed the extraordinary feats of strength and activity performed by maniacs, lunatics, and epileptics. This man was doubtless a combination of them all, so many demons, ready at any moment to turn loose the very galvanic batteries of the pandemonium on their poor victim, thus making them instrumental in the most paradoxical feats of agility and power. Why did he dwell among the tombs? Satan is king of death and hell. He sways his leaden scepter over every graveyard, holding fast every human body in the dark sepulcher, as their souls in the regions of woe. Hence these demons found congeniality among the tombs.

Mark 5:11. “And there was at the mountain a great herd of swine, feeding. And all the demons entreated him saying, Send us into the swine, that we may go into them. And Jesus immediately permitted them. And the unclean spirits, having come out, went into the swine, and the herd rushed down a steep place into the sea, and there were about two thousand, and they perished in the sea.” These heathen Gentiles set great store on the hog, a notoriously unclean animal, which God’s people were forbidden to raise, heavy interdictions being laid on the eating of the same. When I visited that country last November, our dragoman showed us the mountain traditionally recognized as the pasture of the swine, and the cliff down which the whole herd stampeded into the sea; thus transmitting to us a most monitory lesson against demoniacal possession, which is so common in all ages, the present day being no exception to the rule. Here we see these hogs unhesitatingly choosing suicide rather than demoniacal possession. This verdict of the swine should put millions to the blush this day, who go over the earth, full of demons, and claiming a place among the bon tons of society. “And those herding them fled, and proclaimed in the city and in the country; and they came out to see what is that which has been done. And they come to Jesus, and see the demonized man sitting down, clothed, and in his right mind, him who was called Legion; and they were afraid. And those seeing, explained to them how it occurred to the demonized man, and concerning the swine. And they began to entreat Him to depart from their coasts.” Luke 8:36 : “And those seeing, explained to them how the demonized man was saved; and the whole multitude of the surrounding country of the Gadarenes entreated Him to depart from them, because they were possessed with great fear.” Here we have the united testimony of Matthew, Mark, and Luke to the unanimous and importunate verdict of all the Gadarenes, requesting Jesus to leave their country. That this awful and hopeless demoniac had been wonderfully saved, all admitted. But there was another phase to the matter — they had lost their swine. Now a pertinent question looks them all in the face. Will they have Jesus or bacon? If they keep Jesus, they can have all of the sick healed, all the devils cast out, all the people saved, soul and body, and turn their country into a little heaven, so they can live on angels’ food instead of “hog and hominy.” The popular verdict comes quickly, and without a dissenting voice: they all decide to let Jesus go, and save their bacon to eat and sell for the money.

DOOM OF GADARA

“And embarking into the ship, He returned;” i.e., went back to Capernaum, the center of His evangelistic work in the North, thus throwing a dark shadow over all of that country of the Gadarenes, which has wrapped it in gloom and withered it with desolation these eighteen hundred years. When I visited that country, with its beautiful, fertile plains, bordering on the sea; majestic, rich mountains, with innumerable valleys and coves — all, at the time of our Savior’s visit, flourishing as the gardens of the Lord, cultivated by a thriving and enterprising people, whose temporal needs a gracious Providence had most abundantly supplied. So they needed nothing but the Savior, whom, in loving, Fatherly affection, He so kindly sent them. O what a grand introductory He made among them in saving the worst man they had! How all hell rallied to hold their grip tight on Gadara! Jesus comes to all people, even uninvited, thus pitying their blindness and ignorance, and giving all a chance for salvation. But when He turns the light on them, if, instead of rejoicing in it, they prefer darkness, and, like these besotted Gadarenes, even have the impudence to ask Him to leave, He always goes, leaving them to their choice, with the devil and hell, world without end. Jesus saves none against their will; neither does He stay where He is not wanted. When I stood upon the old walls of Gergesa, the capital of Gadara, to which Jesus went, and looked around upon the ruins of the city, without an inhabitant except the wandering Arabs, then on the spot, grazing their herds and flocks, and saw their country, which has lain desolate eighteen hundred years, I saw in panorama, as I look out over the sea, Jesus embarking on the ship, which sails away, appearing smaller and smaller, till she passes out of sight, thus leaving poor Gadara doomed and ruined. How signally has this been verified in the dismal fate of that country! The Gadarenes have literally faded from the face of the earth, not one to be found; their capital desolate, their cities and villages depopulated and destroyed; their country in the hands of the nomadic Bedonins, the wild sons of Ishmael, in reference to whom God said, “His hand shall be against every man’s hand, and every man’s hand against him.” They are born robbers. If you would visit the land of Gadara this day, you would need an armed escort to save you from robbery and murder. What a warning to the people who request Jesus to depart from them!

 


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Bibliography Information
Godbey, William. "Commentary on Mark 5:4". "William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ges/mark-5.html.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, October 21st, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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