We finish up our fourth day here in Mark today, and we’ll be looking at Mark 1:29-45. The sections today we are looking at are entitled Jesus heals mean at Simon’s house, A preaching tour in Galilee, and Jesus Cleanses a Leper. Also later today I’m thinking about putting up a video blog (vlog) to go a little more in-depth in this week’s study. I’ll have a link up here on my blog and will send out a link to it as well when I put it up.
Jesus Heals Many at Simon’s House
29 As soon as they left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30 Now Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. 31 He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them.
32 That evening, at sunset, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. 33 And the whole city was gathered around the door. 34 And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.
A Preaching Tour in Galilee
35 In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. 36 And Simon and his companions hunted for him. 37 When they found him, they said to him, “Everyone is searching for you.” 38 He answered, “Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.” 39 And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.
Jesus Cleanses a Leper
40 A leper came to him begging him, and kneeling he said to him, “If you choose, you can make me clean.” 41 Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, “I do choose. Be made clean!” 42 Immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. 43 After sternly warning him he sent him away at once, 44 saying to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” 45 But he went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the word, so that Jesus could no longer go into a town openly, but stayed out in the country; and people came to him from every quarter.
First we see Jesus healing at Simon (Peter’s) house. This is in Capernaum and this home was basically Jesus’ headquarters of ministry in Galilee. While here He heals Simon’s mother-in-law’s fever. And what does she do? Immediately (there’s that word again) she gets up and begins to serve others. We are healed, not just for our own benefit, but we are healed so that we can serve others. The word Greek word “salvation” could just as easily be translated into English “healing” or “wholeness.” So, in other words, we are saved not just for our own benefit, but to serve and love others as Jesus would have us to do.
We see in the end of this section that the people brought many to Jesus for healing. One of the issues that is front and center in Mark is the notion of demons and evil spirits. I take a great caution in this area from CS Lewis in his book The Screwtape Letters. In this, Lewis writes:
“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.”
In other words, I do believe in evil, I believe in spiritual warfare, I believe in an actual being that is a fallen angel that is called the devil or satan. I believe that there is evil in the world. But as Mark shows us over and over again, as he does in this passage, Jesus is stronger than that evil. So, be aware. But don’t become too consumed by it. And don’t be afraid. Jesus is greater than any evil we face.
We see in the next section that Jesus begins to go from town to town preaching and healing. Before he starts through His followers find Him alone. Praying. Seeking His father. Yes, there are tasks that we are called to. There are things that we are supposed to do. As Jesus said, this is what He came for. But, before He began His preaching, what did He do?
He prayed. He sought His Father’s face. He knew He couldn’t do what He was sent today apart from the strength of His Father. That truth is true for us today as well. Do be faithful, our first step is to seek God’s face.
And in our last section we see Jesus heal a leper. I think it’s really important to look at “how” Jesus heals people. Sometimes He just speaks. Other times He uses objects (mud, etc) to heal. For this leper, through, what does He do? He touches him. He reaches out His hand and touches him. Leprosy is a disease that is spread through touch. So, those that had it were literally untouchable.
Jesus could have just said – you are healed. He did that in other places. But what did He do? He touched him. He touched him. There are those in our lives that are untouchable. That feel unloved. Forgotten. Untouched.
And we are called, as those that follow Christ, to touch them. To hug them. To embrace them. In Jesus name.
Who are the “lepers” in our lives who we are called to love? To hug? To embrace.
That’s how our Lord brought healing. So may we.
Tuesday we’ll look at Mark 2:1-12.
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