At the end of Chapter 4 of Mark, the disciples had run into trouble on the Sea of Galilee: “A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up.” (Mark 4:37). This is another exhibit of the divine powers of Jesus that are in addition to the miracles cures and the casting out of demons. They have heard him preach about conversion and the kingdom of God – and yet still ask, “Who then is this?” (v.41).
In today’s gospel, Chapter 5 marks a change of location as Jesus moves into the Gentile territory east of the Jordan River. If the disciples are still asking themselves about the identity of Jesus, then this move will likely raise questions about the mission. If they are able to answer their own question and see Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah, will they be able to grasp that his mission is to Israel and more? Will the disciples connect the cure of the demon-crazed man in the territory of the Gerasenes, Gentile territory with Jesus’ long-term mission, which includes their participation and will move beyond the borders of Israel to the ends of the earth? Continue reading