Skip to Content
st phil's logo

Prayer Book English Service

A modern prayer book service, with well known hymns and the Lord's Supper

Family English Service

A contemporary, family friendly service with a creche, kid’s & youth program.

Family Mandarin Service

A contemporary, family friendly service in Mandarin, with an English speaking kid’s & youth program.

Cantonese Service

A service in Cantonese, with a friendly group of around 70 adults.

Korean Service

A contemporary, family friendly service in Korean.

Modern Mandarin Service

A service mostly in Mandarin, with some English, especially for young adults whose main language is Mandarin, and second language is English.

Indonesian Service

A contemporary service in bahasa Indonesia.

Modern English Service

A contemporary evening service with modern music and worship band.



Q&A: Mark 5

Questions and Answers on Mark 5

Bruce Stanley

February 27, 2023

Mark 5 Q and A

Here are some brief answers to our questions from our Sunday evening service. If you would like to discuss more, please call me or email:

There were lots of questions, so I will be VERY brief today!

1. Would you rather fight a man with 2000 demons or 2000 pigs with 1 demon each?

I'd rather leave either of those fights to Jesus!

2. In modern times, someone demon possessed would be diagnosed with a mental disorder. Generally, does the church use a faith or fear approach to mental health ?

Often people are afraid although mental health is becoming more understood by people today. I would say there are many times when people with demon issues have been misdiagnosed with mental health issues, and people with mental health issues have been misdiagnosed with demon issues. We should use everything we have to care for people. If anyone is unwell, whether spiritually or mentally or physically, we should always pray, we should always seek help from medical professionals where possible, and we should always seek support from our brothers and sisters.

3. Knowledge wise, fearing the Lord can be seen as terror or being in awe. What does fearing God look like practically?

Honour and awe. Holding God with respect as Lord of our lives. Not "afraid" like we are scared of him. But held in high regard, with respect and honour. Practically, that means listening to him. Paying attention to his word, not ignoring him. Serving him. Taking God's call on our lives seriously.

4. Do you think there is significance in why Jesus asked this demon specifically their name? If so why?

Yes. Jesus knows all. When he asks questions I think we can usually say that it is for OUR benefit - so WE know what he is dealing with here. It is also a show of Jesus' authority - he asks demons a question and they answer.

5. Why did Jesus ask "who touched me" if he is all knowing?

See above - question 4. This is also, I believe, for our benefit - and for the benefit of the woman and the crowd. Jesus is giving her the opportunity to show her faith by owning up, but also giving her the dignity of making that choice to do so.

6. Legion begs to avoid going ‘to the Abyss’ in Luke, but ‘from the area’ in Mark. What significance can be drawn from the use of the Greek ‘abussos’ vs ‘chóra’?

Mark uses the Greek word "Chora" which means "country" or "region". In Luke the Greek word is "abysson" which means "abyss" or "bottomless pit" (Luke 8:31). Mark and Luke shared similar sources. Mark's language is often simpler and his language reflects a different tone and reminds us that the Bible is the inspired word of God but written by humans with their own writing style and personality. But either way, what both versions tell us is that Jesus is in control. And the demons know it. And they tremble at his power! Funnily enough, Jesus doesn't send them into the pit or out of the area. He sends them into the nearby pigs who are in the nearby field. Then the PIGS actually run off the cliff! So in the end, they end up destroyed anyway! I think it's a little funny. It's like Jesus says: "OK, I'll just send you into the pigs", then the pigs destroy them anyway. The demons just can't win against Jesus!

7. Has Jason watched the ant bully

Ha! It's possible.

8. The healed woman was greatly influential in the spirituality of the early church, how can we seek to use this passage as part of our spirituality today?

I think the gospels as a whole were very influential. This particular story resonates with many people as it is so personal and detailed. The bleeding woman and the dying child are both tragic circumstances. I think as with any story from the gospels, we need to focus on the point that is being made and carry that with us in our daily lives. Jesus is all-powerful and he is able. He also cares deeply for us. But the call he has on us is for us to trust him - to have faith.

9. Who paid for the loss of the pigs, as I am sure the herders would be furious and now broke.

We are not told this. But for Jesus, the life of the man was far more important. In the end, the pigs show us the massive torment this man must have been facing. Once we see the number of pigs involved, we get a picture of his pain. Ultimately, Satan is the one responsible for their destruction. Satan is the destroyer. He is the one responsible for such pain and loss. And we all often pay the cost of that while we live in this world.

10. Why didn't the town people want Jesus to stay when hearing about the miracle from witnesses, but people were amazed when hearing from the possessed man?

They saw the potential damage Jesus could do I think They were afraid of his power. And possibly afraid of losing more pigs.

11. What if the way you desire to commit to Jesus is considered weird by other Christians?

That is a difficult question to answer not knowing what "weird" is. For example, if Christians find it weird that you raise your hands to sing in church, then that's their problem, not yours. But if you decide to follow Jesus by laying your hands on everyone you meet in public and frightening people, that is something you may need to address. A good possible way forward is probably to talk to a mature Christian (or your pastor) about what you are doing that may be considered "weird", and ask for their thoughts on this and their prayers. Their wise counsel may help you to determine if the issue is with you or with others.

12. Is the woman who is bleeding Jairus' wife, who is suffering from a post birth complication, since she's been bleeding for twelve years, and the daughter is 12?

Some people have said this. But I don't see the evidence for this. It is a big assumption and not really necessary. "12" is often considered a number of completeness. For example: 12 apostles, 12 tribes of Israel. It often signifies a very "complete" or "full" amount of time. But I think in this circumstance, it is just telling what happened. And it is certainly interesting that this poor woman has suffered for the whole life of the little girl. Yet they are both in the same position - they are both desperately in need.

13. How should we understand the implications of Jairus' daughter being "asleep" according to Jesus?

This is a term picked up by the Church in later years to talk of Christians when they die. They are "asleep" in the Lord. For example:

1 Thessalonians 4:13

13Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.

This is helpful language For those who trust in Jesus, even though they die, they never really do! They sleep until the Lord's return. The girl is certainly dead. Jesus' words are to teach people what death for the believer really is - just like a long sleep until the resurrection.

14. Why would the people in the town not at least ask Jesus to have a chat? Surely he's better than having demons in their midst?

THey were scared of him I believe. The loss of a great number of pigs would be enough for them to want him gone. If you follow superhero comics and movies, you'll see this theme quite frequently - when people are afraid of the superheroes, even though they are doing good (The Incredibles, Superman, Spiderman, Wolverine, etc). Of course, Jesus is not fictional, but the superhero genre feeds off this idea of people being afraid of what they don't understand. Many people today are afraid of Jesus and of Christians because they simply do not understand. Why else would Christianity be persecuted and not allowed in so many nations today?

15. You could read v34 and think healing can be achieved by having 'enough' faith - and 'not enough' is the reason for staying ill. How would you respond to that?

Except Jesus simply says "Your faith has healed you". He makes no comment on how much she had. In fact in Matthew 17 Jesus says we only need faith the size of a mustard seed to move mountains. I think in this respect it is binary. Either you have faith or you don't. We often talk about growing in faith or strengthening our faith. But we are still saved simply by having faith - the tiniest amount. Of course, we should aim to strengthen it, but by doing that, we won't get into heaven "more".

When people say that you are not healed because you don't have enough faith, they are really "playing God" I think. Like Job's friends, they are presuming to know God's mind on these matters. But no one knows his mind or plans completely. When we are sick, we should have faith that God CAN heal, and MAY choose to heal, but also may NOT heal us. Either way, we trust him and can have faith in his good purposes. And you only need tiny faith for that!

16. TOJB2011 has the New Testament (I have questions…), and references Micah 7:19 where the pigs are drowned in Mark 5:10. Why it’s missing from NIV as a footnote?

Sorry, I'm not sure what the TOJB2011 is, but footnotes in any Bible translation are added by the editors as helps. These are interpretive. Some references are very helpful like when the old testament is referenced in the new testament. But they are editorial. I would not personally think that Micah 7:19 is a very good cross reference for the pigs incident in Mark 5. Linking this to Micah 7 seems to suggest that the pigs are "trampling the sins of the man" or something like that. I think this is reading a lot into the text that is not there. Good not to cross reference Micah 7 in Mark 5 I think.

17. Why was the disciples' faith lacking at this stage when they had witnessed prior healings?

Remember that the disciples still do not have the Holy Spirit. They do not fully understand., But when they receive the Holy Spirit, they received a great blessing of understanding with God's help - just as we do today. The Holy Spirit is God with us - he IS how we understand the work of God. He is such an amazing gift!

18. Should we use a fear or faith approach when resetting the microwave clock?

Fear. Total fear. In fact, don't set it at all. Live on the edge with one less clock in your life :)

19. Why did Jesus say the little girl was asleep when he knew she was dead? Why was Jarius instructed to keep everything secret - the whole town would figure it out

See Quesiton 13 on part one of this.

But also, the "Messianic Secret" that Jesus is trying to keep is so he can get on ith tis ministry. He wants to heal and cast out demons, but he has a greater mission - to preach the gospel. So he is trying to keep down his rockstar-type status so he can get on with things.

20. 2000 pigs are probably worth $1 million today - this would have been an unthinkable fortune in Jesus day. Is there significance in why Jesus killed so many pigs

Jesus didn't. The demons did. I this is what they did to the pigs, imagine what they were doing to the man! This is a vivid illustration that helps us to SEE the great destruction that Satan is capable of. We see the great financial loss of the pigs, but not even a million pigs are worth the life of that man who found peace through Jesus. Jesus helps us to SEE the spiritual through the physical. Through this, we physically are able to see a bit of the great spiritual damage Satan causes every day.

21. Is there a significance to the fact that Jesus sleeps through a storm that terrifies even seasoned fishermen

I imagine he was very, very tired. God was human. But also, he is Lord. He has no fear of these things because he is Lord over them. So,

Significance 1 - emphasises his humanity.

Significance 2 - emphasises his deity - his power and lack of fear.

22. Has Jason ever thought of working for Flick, would be their top gun employee?

Nope. We need him here!

23. We respond to Jesus with faith. Is it because our sin is washed by his blood if we repent? We thus do not respond to him because of the fear for punishment?

Yes, our response to Jesus should be out of thankfulness. Faith in what he has done for us. To be motivated by fear goes against what Jesus is teaching here when he says to many people words such as "Don't be afraid, just believe".

24. The instructions given by Jesus to the man, the woman and Jairus’ daughter are different after they got healed. Why?

Everyone saw the woman healed, so there was no need to keep a secret. But the daughter was raised from death - this would have attracted a LOT more attention and Jesus needed to focus on his mission. See the next chapter - he cannot even stop to eat. Imagine how many more people would have been around if they knew he could raise the dead!

Watch the live Q&A

st phil's logo




Prayer Book English ServiceFamily English ServiceFamily Mandarin ServiceCantonese ServiceKorean ServiceModern Mandarin ServiceIndonesian ServiceModern English Service

    St Philip's Eastwood Anglican Church

    Cnr. Shaftsbury Rd & Clanalpine St, Eastwood NSW 2122

    Sanity Logo
    Structured content powered by