In our study of Mark chapter five, we will look at three miracles and how Jesus did them to demonstrate His complete divine authority. We will see how Jesus has been given authority over spiritual things as well as physical, even death.
"They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes." NIV translation
Gerasa and Gedara were cities to the southeast between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea. They were a part of what was known as the Decapolis (ten cities) and this area was on the east side of the Jordan River. Gad (one of the twelve tribes) had chosen the wrong side of the Jordan when God had given His people the promised land.
"When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an evil spirit came from the tombs to meet him." NIV translation
Jesus was met by a demon-possessed man when He got out of the boat. In chapter four, He had demonstrated His authority over the earth (nature) when He calmed the storm on the sea. Now, we are introduced to a man that was used to living among the dead. This would have been considered an unclean place by the Jews and yet this man lived there.
"This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him any more, not even with a chain. For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones." NIV translation
We see that this man displayed superhuman strength as he would break the chains that were used to bind him. That is a good reminder of the fact that, just because power is demonstrated, it does not mean that it is of God. This is the same thing that happened in the days before the flood as people like this were "the heroes of old, men of renown" (see Genesis 6).
We also see two characteristics of a man that is possessed by demons. The first is the fact that he is restless as we see with this man and the fact that he cried out night and day. This restlessness (lack of peace) is not of God. The second characteristic that we see is an attempt to hurt himself and we are reminded that the devil's purpose is to kill and destroy.