Thursday, January 5, 2012

Mark, Chapters 5: Meet Houdini

Jesus gets off a ship and is immediately accosted by a guy suffering from multiple personality disorder who lives in a cave. The townspeople have tried to tie him up with chains, but the guy is an early Houdini and always manages to wriggle out of them. So now he spends his days howling and cutting himself. The devil inside him recognises Jesus. Jesus tells him to come out of the guy and asks his name. I never knew this was a biblical line: My name is Legion: for we are many. (v. 9) Jesus repeats his trick of casting the devils into pigs then sending the pigs into the sea. Then all the other MPD sufferers start coming around with their devils. Oddly, the people are rather fond of their multiple personalities and ask Jesus to leave.

So Jesus leaves on his ship and goes back across the sea, where word of his works has already spread. The first person to nab him is a priest with a sick daughter, whom he heals. Then a woman who has been experiencing unexplained bleeding for 12 years that doctors cannot seem to cure comes along and he fixes her right up. We're all flashing to that faith healing scene in Man on the Moon here, right? Because all she has to do is touch his robe and the bleeding stops.

But! A sick woman touching his robes apparently causes Jesus to lose all his power. He asks who touched him, and the woman admits it, so he calms down. Then! Somebody from the high priest's house comes and says the daughter is dead. And Jesus repeats that she's just resting. He downplays the whole thing and swears them all to secrecy.

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