They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit. He lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain, for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the shackles in pieces. No one had the strength to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones.
Mark 5: 1-5 ESV
Now that the boat journey is over, Jesus reached Gerasenes. and in there they met a man who is possessed by a demon. Nobody in the village can handle this person anymore, and he is now left to live in the tombs.
And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
Mark 4:38-41 ESV
As our church is going through the Book of Jonah, I remembered a similar event that happened in the Book of Jonah, there was a big storm as well and the ship was almost drowned. But then none of the men can do anything even Jonah. Only God was able to calm the storm in the end as Jonah was thrown into the sea as he was running away from God. When this event happened to Jesus and the disciples, we can see that Jesus had God’s authority over the water, sea and wind for He is God Himself!
The response from the disciples and the mariners were similar as well, they were filled with great fear! For the wind and the sea obeyed Jesus!
And he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth, yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”
With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it. He did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything.
Mark 4:30-34 ESV
This parable explains about the kingly rule of Jesus through his current ministry, it seems small and insignificant, some people have heard about it, some people have seen him, but only few responded to follow Him. One day the kingdom of God will be seen as the greatest kingdom of all, when all things will be revealed :)
Even now, we can see how Jesus’ ministry has grown, from 12 disciples, to the believers in all the nations across the earth, however everything will be revealed even more when Jesus come back :)
And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”
And he said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket, or under a bed, and not on a stand? For nothing is hidden except to be made manifest; nor is anything secret except to come to light. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you. For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”
Mark 4:21-25 ESV
…and in his teaching he said to them: “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” And he said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Mark 4:2b-9 ESV
And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him. And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking you.” And he answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”
Mark 3: 31-35 ESV
Again and again we can see a pattern in the people around Jesus at that time. There are 2 groups of people, one group is the one who understand or believe in Jesus and they’re inside trying to get close to Jesus. While the other group is the one who do not understand or do not believe in Jesus, they’re always outside this group. In this part of the passage, ironically it’s Jesus’ family who’re outside, they’re not part of the people who sits around Jesus to hear what he’s teaching about.
On top of that we can see from the previous passage that Jesus family (Mary and Jesus’ brothers) didn’t think that Jesus is sane. Therefore it’s obvious that they’re not really here to come and listen to Jesus’ teaching, instead they’re coming to seize him. In contrast the people inside Jesus’s inner circle, are the one who believes and trust in His teaching and willing to do the will of God. That’s why what Jesus said made sense, Jesus’ true family are the people who does the will of God!