Lesson 5

The Gospel According to Mark

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

1:29 Immediately, when they had come out of the synagogue, they came into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 1:30 Now Simon's wife's mother lay sick with a fever, and immediately they told him about her. 1:31 He came and took her by the hand, and raised her up. The fever left her, and she served them. 1:32 At evening, when the sun had set, they brought to him all who were sick, and those who were possessed by demons. 1:33 All the city was gathered together at the door. 1:34 He healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. He didn't allow the demons to speak, because they knew him.

Today's Lesson 

The exorcism of the man with an unclean spirit in the synagogue at Capernaum may have been the first of the miracles that were recorded in the Gospel of Mark, but it certainly was not the last. Throughout this gospel miracles are attributed to Jesus. In Today's Scripture we have another specific miracle recorded and then a series of miracles that are summarized.


After teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum, Jesus went to the house of Simon Peter and Andrew. James and John, the sons of Zebedee went with Him. When they arrived at the home, they found that Peter's mother-in-law lay ill with a fever. In the days before antibiotics and modern remedies, any fever or illness was a serious affair. Diseases that we take for granted as common could be life threatening. So, when Mark records that Peter's mother-in-law lay sick with a fever, we are probably not meant to assume that it was some minor illness.


Jesus went in to the woman and took her by the hand. He raised her up and as He did so, the fever and whatever illness had caused the fever left her. Jesus not only healed her, but He also took away all symptoms that she was experiencing. Her healing was not temporary. It was complete and final. When she rose, she was well enough to serve them as guests in her house.


The people in Capernaum began to speak to one another about this man who could heal illness and cast out demons and unclean spirits. People who were sick and suffering began to gather and they each wanted Jesus to help them. Capernaum was a sizable city on the northern side of the Sea of Galilee. By the time of the evening, there may have been hundreds of people waiting to see if this young man who was doing miracles could help them.


What is God trying to tell us in a passage such as this? There are probably several messages that we are meant to draw. One of them is probably that God hates illness and suffering. Wherever Jesus goes He seeks to heal illness and lessen suffering. It is not that He sought to heal all illness and all suffering. If God wanted to do that, it is within His power to simply banish illness from existence. Rather, God wants us to know that illness and suffering are not a part of the Kingdom of God. God is health and life. In His perfect Kingdom, suffering and illness will cease to exist.


We are probably meant to draw from this passage that when Christ arrives, there is hope. Many of these people may have been sick for a long time. They may have gotten to the point where they simply accepted their illness. They had exhausted the remedies of their medicines and potions. Then, along comes a man that their neighbors are saying can heal the sick. Christ represents a hope in their lives where they thought hope no longer existed.


So Christ is for us as well. Many of us were lost for a very long time and we believed that we were without hope. The world and circumstances may have beaten you down to where hope seemed like a distant memory. But Jesus Christ is the hope that you have been waiting for, maybe even given up on. Christ is complete liberation from the evil and suffering that has oppressed us. He is deliverance and freedom. He is hope for the hopeless.


Are you willing to allow Christ to take your hand and heal the sickness in your soul? Are you ready to rise, healed and restored, and serve Him?


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