Mark 5: More Miracles

New Testament: Student Study guide, (2003), 42–43

Jesus worked miracles to bless the lives of people and to teach important principles. Miracles demonstrated Jesus’ divine power and His understanding of higher laws that govern our earth. This power to work miracles requires the faith of those involved. As you read the accounts of miracles in Mark 5, look for how the people involved showed their faith. Consider what important principles Jesus taught by each miracle and by the way he performed it.You might want to refer to the information for Matthew 8–9 (pp. 16–17) as you study this chapter.

Understanding the Scriptures

Mark 5

Unclean spirit (v. 2)Spirit of evil or the devil 
Fetters (v. 4)Bands or chains 
Adjure (v. 7)Beg, implore 
Legion (vv. 9, 15)Large group 
Besought (vv. 10, 12, 23)Begged 
Swine (vv. 11–12, 16)Pigs 
Gave them leave (v. 13)Let them go 
Befell (v. 16)Happened 
Coasts (v. 17)Area, borders 
Howbeit Jesus suffered him not (v. 19)But Jesus did not allow him to 
Publish (v. 20)Announce 
Thronged (v. 24)Pushed tightly around, crowded 
An issue of blood (v. 25)Was bleeding 
Virtue (v. 30)Power 
Tumult (v. 38)Disturbance of noisy, upset people 

Mark 5:8–13—Unclean Spirits Enter the Swine

This dramatic story helps us understand the great desire of the spirits who followed Satan to have bodies of any kind. We are not told why Jesus allowed those evil spirits to enter the bodies of the swine or why they immediately dove into the Sea of Galilee. Swine were considered unclean animals under the law of Moses. So, if Jews were raising the swine, they were breaking the commandments. It surely would have been a powerful lesson for those who saw or heard about unclean spirits ordered out of a man and entering the bodies of that which was declared unclean. It symbolizes the eventual spiritual destruction of all who serve the devil.

Mark 5:23—“Come and Lay Thy Hands on Her … and She Shall Live”

Speaking about this verse, Elder Howard W. Hunter, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said, “These are not only the words of faith of a father torn with grief but are also a reminder to us that whatever Jesus lays his hands upon lives. If Jesus lays his hands upon a marriage, it lives. If he is allowed to lay his hands on the family, it lives” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1979, 93; or Ensign, Nov. 1979, 65).

Studying the Scriptures

Do either activity A or B as you study Mark 5.

Activity A iconLook for a Symbolic Meaning

Although the event described in Mark 5:1–20 actually happened, we can also learn from the symbolism of this miracle. Answering the following questions can help you apply this story to yourself and others today.

  1. 1.

    What symbolic meaning could there be to the fact that the man with an unclean spirit lived among “the tombs” (vv. 2, 5)?

  2. 2.

    What kinds of problems are there in our day that people find difficult to “tame” and that seem to continue even after efforts were made to get the problem under control, just as the man was “bound with fetters and chains” (v. 4)?

  3. 3.

    What can we learn about what Jesus can do for our difficult problems by what He did for that man?

Activity B iconWhat Did They Do?

  1. 1.

    Mark 5:22–43 tells about two people who sought the Savior for help and blessings. Carefully read those verses and list what each of them did that would be an example of what we might also do as we seek blessings from the Savior.

  2. 2.

    What did you learn about Jesus from those two stories?