preaching: See study note on Mt 3:1.
Mary who was called Magdalene: The woman often called Mary Magdalene is first mentioned here in the account of Jesus’ second year of preaching. Her distinguishing name, Magdalene (meaning “Of, or Belonging to, Magdala”), likely stems from the town of Magdala. This town was located on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee, about halfway between Capernaum and Tiberias. It has been suggested that Magdala was this Mary’s hometown or place of residence. Mary Magdalene is mentioned most prominently in connection with the death and resurrection of Jesus.—Mt 27:55, 56, 61; Mr 15:40; Lu 24:10; Joh 19:25.
Joanna: This is a shortened feminine form of the Hebrew name Jehohanan, meaning “Jehovah Has Shown Favor; Jehovah Has Been Gracious.” Joanna, one of the women who had been cured by Jesus, is mentioned only twice in the Christian Greek Scriptures and only in Luke’s Gospel account.—Lu 24:10.
Chuza: Herod Antipas’ man in charge, or steward, possibly of domestic affairs.
were ministering to them: Or “were supporting (providing for) them.” The Greek word di·a·ko·neʹo can refer to caring for the physical needs of others by obtaining, cooking, and serving food, and so forth. It is used in a similar sense at Lu 10:40 (“attend to things”), Lu 12:37 (“minister”), Lu 17:8 (“serve”), and Ac 6:2 (“distribute food”), but it can also refer to all other services of a similar personal nature. Here it describes how the women mentioned in verses 2 and 3 supported Jesus and his disciples, helping them to complete their God-given assignment. By doing so, these women glorified God, who showed his appreciation by preserving in the Bible a record of their merciful generosity for all future generations to read. (Pr 19:17; Heb 6:10) The same Greek term is used about women at Mt 27:55; Mr 15:41.—See study note on Lu 22:26, where the related noun di·aʹko·nos is discussed.
an illustration: See study note on Mt 13:3.
on the rock: See study note on Mt 13:5.
among the thorns: See study note on Mt 13:7.
sacred secrets: See study note on Mt 13:11.
a lamp: See study note on Mt 5:15.
brothers: See study note on Mt 12:46.
My mother and my brothers: Jesus here makes a distinction between his natural brothers, some of whom apparently lacked faith in him (Joh 7:5), and his spiritual brothers, his disciples. He shows that regardless of how precious the ties are that bind him to his relatives, his relationship with those who hear the word of God and do it is even more precious.
the other side: That is, the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee.
a violent windstorm: This expression renders two Greek words that could literally be translated “a hurricane of wind.” (See study note on Mr 4:37.) Such storms are common on the Sea of Galilee. Its surface is about 210 m (690 ft) below sea level, and the air temperature is warmer on the sea than in the surrounding plateaus and mountains. Those conditions result in atmospheric disturbances and strong winds that can quickly whip up waves.
region of the Gerasenes: A region on the side opposite, that is, the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee. The exact limits of this region are unknown today, and its identification is uncertain. Some link “the region of the Gerasenes” with the area around Kursi, near the steep slopes on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee. Others think that it was the large district radiating from the city of Gerasa (Jarash), which was 55 km (34 mi) SSE of the Sea of Galilee. Mt 8:28 calls it “the region of the Gadarenes.” (See study notes on Mt 8:28; Mr 5:1.) Although different names are used, they refer to the general area of the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee, and the regions may have been overlapping. Thus, there is no contradiction between the accounts.—See also App. A7, Map 3B, “Activity at the Sea of Galilee,” and App. B10.
Gerasenes: See study note on Mr 5:1.
a demon-possessed man: Matthew (8:28) mentions two men, but Mark (5:2) and Luke refer to one. Mark and Luke evidently drew attention to just one demon-possessed man because Jesus spoke to him and because his case was more outstanding. Possibly, that man was more violent or had suffered under demon control for a longer time. It could also be that after the two men were healed, only one of them wanted to accompany Jesus.—Lu 8:37-39.
tombs: See study note on Mt 8:28.
What have I to do with you, . . . ?: See study note on Mr 5:7.
torment me: A related Greek term is used of “the jailers” at Mt 18:34. So in this context, the “torment” would seem to refer to a restraining or a confining to “the abyss” mentioned at Lu 8:31.—See study note on Mt 18:34.
Legion: See study note on Mr 5:9.
the abyss: Or “the deep.” The Greek word aʹbys·sos, meaning “exceedingly deep” or “unfathomable; boundless,” refers to a place or condition of confinement or imprisonment. It occurs nine times in the Christian Greek Scriptures—here, at Ro 10:7, and seven times in the book of Revelation. The account at Re 20:1-3 describes the future casting of Satan into the abyss for a thousand years. The legion of demons who entreated Jesus not to send them “into the abyss” may have had that future event in mind. In verse 28, one of the demons asked Jesus not to “torment” him. In the parallel account at Mt 8:29, the demons asked Jesus: “Did you come here to torment us before the appointed time?” So the “torment” the demons feared would seem to refer to their being confined or imprisoned in “the abyss.”—See Glossary and study note on Mt 8:29.
swine: Pigs were unclean according to the Law (Le 11:7), but there was a market for pork among the many non-Jews living in the Decapolis region. Both Greeks and Romans considered pork a delicacy. The account does not state whether “the herders” were Jews who were violating the Law.—Lu 8:34.
keep on relating what God did for you: In contrast with Jesus’ usual instructions not to publicize his miracles (Mr 1:44; 3:12; 7:36; Lu 5:14), he instructed this man to tell his relatives what had happened. This may have been because Jesus was asked to leave the region and would not personally give them a witness. The man’s testimony would also serve to counteract unfavorable reports that might circulate over the loss of the swine.
only: The Greek word mo·no·ge·nesʹ, traditionally rendered “only-begotten,” has been defined as “the only one of its kind; one and only; the only one or member of a class or kind; unique.” The term is used in describing the relation of both sons and daughters to their parents. In this context, it is used in the sense of an only child. The same Greek word is also used of the “only” son of a widow in Nain and of a man’s “only” son whom Jesus cured of a demon. (Lu 7:12; 9:38) The Greek Septuagint uses mo·no·ge·nesʹ when speaking of Jephthah’s daughter, concerning whom it is written: “Now she was his one and only child. Besides her, he had neither son nor daughter.” (Jg 11:34) In the apostle John’s writings, mo·no·ge·nesʹ is used five times with reference to Jesus.—For the meaning of the term when used about Jesus, see study notes on Joh 1:14; 3:16.
flow of blood: See study note on Mt 9:20.
Daughter: See study note on Mr 5:34.
Go in peace: See study note on Mr 5:34.
did not die but is sleeping: See study note on Mr 5:39.
spirit: Or “life force; breath.” The Greek word pneuʹma here likely refers to the life force that is active in an earthly creature or simply to breath.—See study note on Mt 27:50.