Last week (the 12th Sunday in Year B) we heard Mark’s account of Jesus on the stormy waters of the Sea of Galilee (Mark 4:35-41) during which Jesus calmed the seas with his word. This coming Sunday’s gospel moves into Chapter 5. The chapter begins with Jesus and the disciples returning to Jewish land as they again cross the Sea of Galilee. In Mark, the lake represents literally and figuratively the boundary between Gentiles and Jews.
The lectionary moves into additional miracle accounts while skipping the story of the Gerasene demoniac. Our gospel selection includes a miracle within a miracle. They are the final two miracles of the “miracle section” of Mark (4:35-5:43), which includes four miracles and reactions to the miracles:
- Calming the storm at sea — the disciples still have no faith (Mk 4:34-41)
- Casting a demon from a man and the subsequent desire of the locals that Jesus leave town even as the healed man becomes a witness (Mk 5:1-20)
- Raising Jairus’ daughter – “don’t be afraid, only believe” (Mk 5:21-24, 35-43)
- Healing the hemorrhaging woman – her faith saved her (Mk 5:25-34)