Gender Reveal Parties and Mark 5

I recently helped plan a gender reveal party for my pregnant sister and her husband. If you’ve never heard of this before, a gender reveal is a party for a pregnant couple who entrusts the gender of their baby to a friend who then plans an elaborate way of telling the soon-to-be parents whether they are having a boy or a girl. You invite friends and family to the party and everyone gets to discover the Baby’s gender at the same time. Some of the more popular ways to learn the gender include cutting a cake where the inside part is dyed blue or pink, shooting off blue or pink fireworks, and opening a box of balloons filled with blue or pink balloons. You get the idea! 

Some think this is completely ridiculous, but I loved every single minute of it. My younger sister, Taylor and I were the first to find out what the gender of our first niece or nephew would be. The day Lauren went in for a sonogram, the doctor checked everything out, and then called Taylor. Taylor called me promptly with the exciting news.

“Shelby we’re having a Rowan. (Rowan was the name Lauren and Isaac had picked out should it be a little girl.)

“A what?”

“We’re having a ROWAN, Shelby.”

“Taylor, a what?”

“We’re having a girl!!!!!!!!!!”


I nearly exploded from excitement. It was quite a fun time for Taylor and I. We  played jokes on our parents, kept the secret from everyone, and then planned a fun way to announce the gender of our soon-to-be niece! We bought decorations, made snacks and desserts, and planned a scavenger hunt for our family to go on to discover Rowan’s gender.

When the day finally came, I was so incredibly excited. Everyone was finally going to learn the gender of our precious baby girl! Our family and friends arrived, we ate together, and did the scavenger hunt. The finale of the gender reveal took my sister and her husband to a treasure chest. Inside the treasure chest was a pvc pipe cannon filled with pink powder. They grabbed it together, pulled the trigger, and boom! Pink dust went flying everywhere!!

Everyone clapped, cheered, and hugged one another.

Finally, Finally, Finally- everyone knew the secret that we had been hiding.

Our newest family member would be a little girl.


Mark Chapter 5 contains a secret as well. As you well know now, Jesus has been travelling in and around Jerusalem casting out demons and healing folks. Up until now, Jesus has always told those he healed to keep quiet about what he had done for them. Some scholars call this “the Messianic Secret.” It’s as if Jesus wanted people to know who he really was at the most opportune time, and this apparently was not the time. (though if you remember in Mark Chapter 1, Jesus cleansed a man of leprosy and the first thing he did was go tell a bunch of people he was healed, even after Jesus specifically told him otherwise!)   Remember early in Chapter one when Jesus asked the healed leper to show himself to the priest as a testimony to them? Well he didn’t go there, instead he told all of his friends and family “so that Jesus was no longer able to enter a town.” He went viral long before he seemed ready to do so. Chapter five is also quite unique because until this point in the story, Jesus has only ever healed Israelites.

Chapter Five begins with Jesus crossing into the country of the Gerasenes and he meets a man possessed of many demons. The man’s story prior to meeting Jesus reeks of tragedy, but after meeting Jesus, his life changes dramatically. After this particular healing, the man asks if he can come with Jesus back to Galilee, but Jesus refuses him. Instead Jesus asks him to “go back into his hometown and tell everyone what I have done for you.” And this is exactly what the man does. He travels back to the Decapolis and begins telling anyone who will listen what Jesus has done for him.


Jesus returns by boat to Galilee and upon arriving he is met by a man who requests that he come to his house and heal his daughter. So Jesus begins travelling to the man’s home, but he is intercepted by another diseased woman. After interacting with her, Jesus continues on to Jairus’ house, and by the time he arrives, Jairus’ daughter dies. The crowds begin to tell him there is nothing to be done, but Jesus goes in anyway. I will not give away all the details of the story, but suffice it to say, you can probably guess now what Jesus will do. Mark juxtaposes these two stories in the same chapter to present a critical question to us as readers.  

Why does Jesus tell some people about himself, and why does he forbid others to talk about who he is? Why does he allow some people to tell about their experiences with Jesus, and why does he ask others to keep it a secret? Why does he want to keep it a secret, yet he is openly doing works that only God can do?

Perhaps, just like our gender reveal party, Jesus wants his identity kept secret until an opportune time. Until he is ready to reveal it.

As you read Mark Chapter Five

Continue looking for Bible Words

Some in this chapter that I would want defined are Gerasenes, Decapolis, Talitha Cumi. You build your own list, and remember you are always welcome to email me questions at 

Notice from this chapter onward when Jesus asks someone to keep his identity secret, and when he doesn’t….

Remember Mark’s question. Why does Jesus want his identity kept secret to some people, yet in other cases Jesus is incredibly open about who he is?

Notice the way the crowds/people perceive Jesus.

A woman in the crowd thought if only she could touch his garments then she might have been healed of her afflictions. What possessed her to believe something so crazy? Also what were the crowds calling Jesus and what methods did they believe he used to heal people?

Take note of Jesus Core Three.

We know now that Jesus has asked twelve men to be with him specifically for a time, and that he is training them to be rabbis just like him. In this chapter, Jesus calls out three men specifically. These three seem to be the ring leaders of his disciples. What do you know so far about these three? Notice in the coming chapters when these three are pointed out together in the text. Jesus always calls them together in a group. In the same order. There is definitely something to that.

Last, Add one more category to the “Things Jesus has Authority Over” List.

It’s a BIG ONE!!!

Now, let’s get to the good stuff.

Mark 5 English Standard Version (ESV)

Jesus Heals a Man with a Demon

They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes.[a] And when Jesus[b] had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit. He lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain, for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the shackles in pieces. No one had the strength to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones. And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before him. And crying out with a loud voice, he said, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.” For he was saying to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”He replied, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” 10 And he begged him earnestly not to send them out of the country. 11 Now a great herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, 12 and they begged him, saying, “Send us to the pigs; let us enter them.” 13 So he gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out and entered the pigs; and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the sea.

14 The herdsmen fled and told it in the city and in the country. And people came to see what it was that had happened. 15 And they came to Jesus and saw the demon-possessed[c] man, the one who had had the legion, sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid.16 And those who had seen it described to them what had happened to the demon-possessed man and to the pigs. 17 And they began to beg Jesus[d] to depart from their region. 18 As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. 19 And he did not permit him but said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 20 And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled.

Jesus Heals a Woman and Jairus’s Daughter

21 And when Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered about him, and he was beside the sea. 22 Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name, and seeing him, he fell at his feet 23 and implored him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well and live.” 24 And he went with him.

And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him. 25 And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, 26 and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. 27 She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. 28 For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.” 29 And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. 30 And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my garments?” 31 And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?’ 32 And he looked around to see who had done it.33 But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. 34 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”

35 While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?”36 But overhearing[e] what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” 37 And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James.38 They came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and Jesus[f]saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. 39 And when he had entered, he said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping.” 40 And they laughed at him. But he put them all outside and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and went in where the child was. 41 Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” 42 And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement. 43 And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.

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