AUTHORITY IN ACTION
Spirit of God, I am honored that You make Your home in me. Form me to be more like Jesus.
Read MARK 1:29–34
Jesus Heals Many
29 As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. 30 Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they immediately told Jesus about her. 31 So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them.
32 That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. 33 The whole town gathered at the door, 34 and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.
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Come to Christ with awe and wonder. ‘This is God the Savior; / this is Christ the Lord, / ever to be worshipped, / trusted and adored.’1
Archaeologists have uncovered numerous houses surrounding the synagogue at Capernaum. The houses consisted of several rooms around a central courtyard, with windows facing inwards for security. Over one of them was a small octagonal building, suggesting that the original house had been converted into a simple church. We don’t know for sure, but this is probably just like Simon Peter’s house. It looks as though an extended family lived here, and it could have been the place that Jesus made His home during His time in Capernaum.
In a simple domestic scene, Jesus heals Simon’s mother-in-law and she responds as every Christian should, male or female, by serving Him. At sunset, the Sabbath is over and with it the prohibition to walk about and to carry people. It’s hard to imagine how in an ancient town with its narrow streets ‘the whole town’ gathers at the door (33), but that’s how it seems. Jesus has the power to heal them all.
It’s difficult for us in the western world today to understand the demon possession of the Gospels. This is more than sickness or mental illness. The demons are independent of the people they possess. They can speak, and they have knowledge. Why do the demons know who Jesus is when just about everybody else doesn’t? Jesus casts them out simply by His Word and unlike other exorcists He uses no incantation, no ritual. It’s possible that Satan pours out his worst at the time of Jesus’ ministry. We also know the power of evil, not just in the world around us and what we see on the nightly news but also, if we are honest, in our own hearts. We know that Jesus has power over this evil, and we do know what it is to be indwelt by his Spirit, the Holy Spirit.
Lord Jesus, I worship You for Your power over evil and for casting the evil out of our lives.
Mighty God, You have won the battle with evil! I need to remember that when I battle against evil in my life and world, I am fighting from victory, not for victory. Thank You for the victory I have in You.
1 Adapted from Caroline Noel, 1817–77, ‘At the name of Jesus’
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