What does Mark chapter 5 mean?The last story included in chapter 4 combines with all of Mark chapter 5 to reveal that Jesus is even more powerful than the twelve imagined. They have reached the other side of the Sea of Galilee, after Jesus displayed His authority over a fierce storm which threatened to capsize the boat. The twelve are so amazed they ask, "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?" (Mark 4:41). In Mark 5, they will learn more about His power as He performs familiar miracles with an even greater scope.
The first miracle recorded by Mark was the release of a man possessed by a demon (Mark 1:21–27). Since that time, Jesus has performed many exorcisms around Capernaum (Mark 1:32–34). As Jesus and the twelve arrive on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee, they are met by a man possessed not by one demon, but by a "legion." In the Roman army, a legion consisted of 5120 soldiers; although we don't know the exact number of demons, it is considerable (Mark 5:1–9).
Jesus expels the demons and allows them to enter a herd of pigs, which promptly run into the sea and drown. The nearby townspeople are so distraught they beg Jesus to leave immediately. Although the recently-rescued man wishes to travel with Jesus, Jesus tells him to stay and explain to his friends what has happened. This acts as a kind of target-softening; the next time Mark records Jesus in the area, the people welcome Him and His miracles (Mark 7:31–37). The testimony of the freed man, it seems, will go a long way to making his neighbors receptive to the gospel (Mark 5:11–20).
The most common type of miracle Jesus performed, however, was healing. From Peter's mother-in-law (Mark 1:30–31) to the paralytic (Mark 2:1–12), to a couple of different crowds (Mark 1:32–34; Mark 3:7–12), Jesus healed many in the area around Capernaum. Here, however, the healings are unique.
Although Jesus frequently sparred with the Pharisees and their scribes, needs often outweigh pride. Back on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee, Jesus meets one of the rulers of the synagogue whose daughter lies dying. The man begs Jesus to come to his house to heal the girl, and Jesus obliges (Mark 5:21–24).
Before Jesus gets far, however, He feels power going out of Him. He discovers that a woman who suffers from chronic bleeding has had the courage to touch His robe in faith, hoping she will be healed. When she realizes Jesus knows what she did, she is understandably frightened. A woman—a woman with an issue of blood who was therefore considered unclean—touching a rabbi was unheard of. She rightly expects Jesus to be angry despite the deliverance she senses she has received. To her surprise, He calls her "daughter," praises her faith, and blesses her. For the first noted time, Jesus heals with no overt intent; the woman and her faith call on His power and she is healed (Mark 5:25–34).
At this moment, word reaches the synagogue leader that his daughter has died. Jesus assures the man that she has merely fallen asleep, and continues on to the mourning father's house. There, all indications are that she has really passed away. Jesus takes the girl's parents and three of His followers to the girl's bed and brings her back to life. Not only has Jesus healed, He has brought life where there had been none (Mark 5:35–43).