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8: They Were Afraid (Mk 4:25-5:20)
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8: They Were Afraid (Mk 4:25-5:20)

I.       The Basics

A.     Setting

After teaching during the day, Jesus went to the other side of Galilee at night. In Mark, this is the first time Jesus visited a Gentile settlement. What happened there shows us how people and unclean spirits were afraid of Jesus for different reasons.

B.     Key Verse

            “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” (4:40).

C.     Did You Know…?

1.      Boat (4:36): A fisherman’s boat was between 20-30 feet (8-11 m) long and 7 feet (3 m) wide.It moved through the water either by means of sails (Lk 8:23) or oars (Mk 6:48), and was steered at the stern (rear).

2.      Windstorm (4:37): Situated in a basin surrounded by mountains, the Sea of Galilee is particularly susceptible to sudden, violent storms. In spite of the danger, boats were the most convenient mode of transportation to get from one side of the lake to the other.

3.      “Be still!” (4:39): This is the same expression used (phimo’o) as when Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit in Mk 1:25.

4.      Country of the Gadarenes (5:1): Somewhere on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee. Several towns with similar sounding names (Gadara, Gerasa, Gergesa) were across the lake from Capernaum. This region lay in the predominantly Gentile territory of the Decapolis (cf. Did You Know 7). The presence of pigs (Mk 5:11), inconceivable in a Jewish settlement, illustrates the region’s Gentile background.

5.      Tombs (5:2): Often in Palestine people were buried in natural caves or in tombs cut out of the limestone rock. These provided good shelter for anyone desiring to live in them. The demon-possessed man probably had been driven from ordinary society into the tombs.

6.      Legion (5:9): A main division of the Roman army comprising 3,000 to 6,000 men.

7.      Decapolis (5:20): A league of ten free cities, located in the northeast part of Galilee.Characterized by high Greek culture, they were a thorn to the Jews because they introduced non-Jewish lifestyle and architecture into Palestine.

II.    Observation

A.     Outline











B.     Key Words/Phrases

III. General Analysis

1.   Why was each of the following afraid?

1a. Disciples (4:37-38, 41)

1b. “Legion” (5:7-8, 10)

1c. Gadarenes (5:15-17)

1d. Which is a good fear to have?

2.   Are you afraid of what Jesus can do? Why or why not?

IV.  Segment Analysis

A.     4:35-41

1a. How much time did Jesus wait before the boat ride?

1b. Do you ever feel rushed? How do you prevent from burning out?

2a. Who went with Jesus?

2b. Suppose you were one of the disciples. What reasons were there for Jesus not to go to the other side of the lake in the evening?

2c. Why did Jesus want to go to the other side of the lake?

2d. Has God put you in a situation where you would rather not be? What do you do about it?

3a. How could Jesus possibly sleep through such a violent storm?

3b. When your life is in turmoil, what do you think Jesus is doing?

4. Why did Jesus rebuke the wind and the waves (39)?

5a. Why were the disciples afraid of the storm? Why did they ask Jesus for help?

5b. Why were the disciples afraid after they saw that the wind and the waves obeyed Jesus?

5c. Did the disciple have no faith? Why or why not?

6. The disciples did not rely on their professional experience to solve their problem. What types of work- or school-related problems can Jesus help you with?

B.     5:1-20

7. What did each of the following plead with Jesus to do?

7a. “Legion” (5:10-12)

7b. Gadarenes (5:17)

7c. Man who had been demon-possessed (5:18)

8a. Why did Jesus ask the unclean spirit its name?

8b. Why did Jesus give the unclean spirit permission to go into the pigs?

8c. Isn’t it unfair for the pigs to die?

9. What does the name “Legion” imply? What warnings does the name give us?

10a. From the dialog between Jesus and the unclean spirit, what can we learn about Jesus’ authority?

10b. Jesus was unfazed by the legion of unclean spirits. Have you ever felt outnumbered? How did you get through it?

11a. Why did the Gadarenes want Jesus to leave their region?

11b. Has there been a time when you wished God would leave you alone? Why?

12. The pig herders and the healed man both told people what happened. Why did the people react differently (5:14-15, 20)?

13. This is the first time Mark writes that Jesus commanded someone to tell others what He had done (5:19). Why now, in Gadara?

14a. The man wanted to follow Jesus, but Jesus told him to do something else. What has Jesus told you to do that you did not originally intend to?

14b. How does Jesus’ command to this man apply to you today?

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