Year of the Bible – Mark 5:37-8:21

Year of the Bible - Season of Advent - Mark 5


Jesus told the synagogue ruler, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” – Mark 5:36 

Mark 5:37-8:21 (6:6b-13)
Jesus did not want anyone to know who He was. That may sound strange to us. If He were the Savior of the world, wouldn’t He want everyone to know about Him and His great miracles? Jesus did want men to believe in Him, but to believe in Him as a Savior from sin and eternal death, not merely as a Savior from human sickness and disease. In other words, people often got the wrong idea about who He was, so Jesus had to live a very humble and common life. Jesus came from Galilee and because He was so humble, the people of His hometown did not believe in Him. They had known Him as a common person from His youth. If someone were to be the Messiah, would He not be more glorious than Jesus had been? As a result of their unbelief, Jesus
could not do any miracles there . . . And he was amazed at their lack of faith (6:5). But that did not stop Jesus. He called his disciples and sent them out to destroy, through the preaching of His word, the power of Satan—to preach God’s grace, faith in God’s pardon. As He sent them, He commanded them to depend upon God’s Word to sustain them. He wanted them to anticipate the success of their preaching and rely upon God to provide for their daily needs. His preaching of the Gospel, the light of God shining in darkness, was the fulfillment of the ancient prophecies of Isaiah. Jesus did other SIGNS (miracles) to show that the favor of God rested upon Him: He feed five thousand people (and later, four thousand). He walked on water and controlled the forces of nature. He healed a deaf and mute man. These signs were intended to awaken faith and to lead men to trust in Him. Some did not. The Pharisees saw religion as an outward thing—acts and deeds of obedience, works of the law. They missed the more important part of a relationship with God: Faith, trust, reliance upon God and His Word. The SIGNS of God, therefore, did them no good. To give us an understanding of faith and how faith obtains God’s promises, we are privileged to study the story of the Syrophoenician woman (7:24-30). She did not come to Christ because she was worthy of His gifts—in fact, she saw herself as an unworthy dog at God’s table, begging for the scraps of His kindness. By faith she knew and trusted that Jesus was the sign of God’s will and desire to save her. As she trusted, trusted in His grace (in His righteousness as a gift to her through faith), she also received an answer to her prayers. It was to these types of persons that Jesus chose to reveal Himself. To the Pharisees, however, who were not approaching Jesus in the right way, Jesus refused to reveal Himself. “Why does this generation ask for a miraculous sign? I tell you the truth, no sign will be given to it.” (8:12)

Questions – Mark 5:37-8:21

  1. Why did Jesus not want His miracles to be widely known?
  2. Why did the people of Nazareth not believe in Jesus as the Messiah?
  3. Can you give examples today of people who follow Christ for the wrong reasons?
  4. How is the power of Satan destroyed?
  5. How are ministers of the Gospel supposed to earn their living?
  6. What kinds of signs did Jesus do to demonstrate that God was among men (Immanuel)?
  7. What is the purpose of a sign?
  8. How do you know that the Syrophoenician woman was coming to Jesus on the basis of His righteousness and not her own?
  9. What is faith and how does it realize God’s promises?
Year of the Bible – Advent Week Three | Thursday | Mark 5:37-8:21 – © John W. Fiene