Coming Out Twice in Mark 1:21-28

At Jesus’ command, an unclean spirit came out (ἐξῆλθεν) from a demon-possessed man in the synagogue in Capernaum (Mark 1:26).

As a result, Jesus’ fame came out (ἐξῆλθεν) everywhere into the entire surrounding region of Galilee (Mark 1:28).

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3 thoughts on “Coming Out Twice in Mark 1:21-28”

  1. I would suspect that Mark meant it to be similar to Mark 5:24-30 where Jesus realized that power had gone out from him, after the woman who had suffered for 12 years from a bleeding issue touched his cloak. Same word G1831.

    We are all vessels either filled with foul water or the Living Water. The question is what COMES OUT of us when you are jostled, is it demonic or divine?

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    1. In Mark’s passage, the rhetorical use of the same Greek verb EXELTHEN (coming out) and applying it both to Jesus’ manifestation as well as to the demon’s release/escape from the possessed man is extraordinary. It is worth noting that in our post-Eden world, demons move about from one vessel or locus to another after being cast or forced out. Jesus did not destroy the demon who clearly recognized Him for who he was. Of course the unclean spirit recognized the Son whose Father had created him – how could it be any other way? Not choosing to destroy the demon, Jesus displaced the spirit, perhaps because he would deal with him at another time and place. Deferral not destruction. Mark knew that we are all vessels full of mixed water while still here in earth. This passage illustrates a perfect chiasmus in both form and meaning due to its profound wisdom into how God patiently deals with our sanctification.

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  2. Thanks, Greg. I hadn’t made that connection.

    I do think using the same word for two different kinds of actions was a conscious choice on Mark’s part. The repetition connects the two movements for the reader. Jesus told the demon to be silent and come out. Well, the demon came out, but so did the word about Jesus. In Mark, the news about Jesus is a double-edged sword, leading as much to confusion and confrontation as to faith and trust

    In any case, the gospel of the kingdom really puts things in motion. Demons come out. The message comes out. Jesus’ arrival on the scene starts a chain reaction that can’t be stopped.

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