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Mark 5:21

ESV And when Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered about him, and he was beside the sea.
NIV When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake.
NASB When Jesus had crossed over again in the boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered around Him; and He stayed by the seashore.
CSB When Jesus had crossed over again by boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the sea.
NLT Jesus got into the boat again and went back to the other side of the lake, where a large crowd gathered around him on the shore.
KJV And when Jesus was passed over again by ship unto the other side, much people gathered unto him: and he was nigh unto the sea.

What does Mark 5:21 mean?

Jesus and the disciples had escaped the crowd on the western, Jewish side of the Sea of Galilee and were met by a man possessed by a legion of demons on the eastern, Gentile side. After Jesus healed the man, the people from the surrounding area, terrified by His power, begged Him to leave (Mark 5:1–20).

One of the reasons Jesus had left previously faces Him once again: a crowd that threatens to mob Him or push Him into the Sea (Mark 3:7–10; 4:1, 4:35–36). Although some want to gather around quietly and listen to His teaching (Mark 3:31–35), most want relief from their physical and spiritual ailments.

In the Bible, God powers His prophets to perform miracles to validate their status as His spokesmen. We see this with Elisha, when he raises the Shunammite woman's son (2 Kings 4:18–37), with Peter when he heals a lame beggar (Acts 3:1–10), and with Paul on several occasions (for example, Acts 14:8–18; 16:16–18; 19:11–12). But while healing provided by God is meant as a loving, merciful blessing, it is always meant to be a means of supporting His message, not healing for the sake of healing.

The Jews understand this to some extent, but they misunderstand the message that the miracles authenticate. Jesus is the Jewish Messiah, come to restore Israel and bring them back to God. But not yet. First He must do the hard work—the crucifixion and resurrection—of providing the means of restoration. Then the news of that work must spread throughout the world. Only after that can the Jews see the great prophecies of the Old Testament come to life.

We need this reminder as well. The miracle is not the message. Healing is a gift, but healing on earth is not the point. God wants our hearts turned to Him. He wants us to turn our attention to Jesus' teaching. Only then can we be fully healed.
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