These are my notes from a sermon series I did though the gospel of Mark. It has not been proofed for grammatical or spelling errors. I present it to you as-is.
I think it would be awesome to be able to spend a day with Jesus when He was teaching and doing miracles. Mark gives us a glimpse into one of those days.
- The day Mark highlights for us begins on a Saturday (the Sabbath). Jesus got up that morning went to church (the synagogue). While Jesus was teaching about the Kingdom of God a man with an evil spirit began to cry out at Jesus, mocking Jesus and challenging Jesus. Jesus took control of the situation and cast out the evil spirit. Those in the synagogue were amazed.
- After church, Jesus and some of His new disciples went to Peter’s home for lunch. When Jesus arrived He was told about Peter’s mother-in-law having a high fever. He instantly heals the woman and the fever is gone.
- By sunset, the whole town had heard about Jesus’ miracle at the synagogue and at Peter’s house. The whole town shows up at Peter’s house with people with various diseases and some who were demon possessed. Jesus did one healing after another till late in the night.
The events in that one day demonstrated Jesus’ incredible authority over the physical effects of sin. It also highlighted the supernatural nature of Jesus’ sovereign power. Whenever Jesus confronted either demons or disease, both fled at His command. That kind of power, might, and authority provides undeniable proof of Jesus’ deity. Jesus was definitely God in the flesh.
- As the Savior of the world, Jesus had to be able to rescue souls from both sin and Satan.
- As the resurrection and the life, Jesus had to have power over both the physical and spiritual.
- As the Redeemer, Jesus had to be able to redeem both the soul that was lost and the body that was decaying.
Today we are going to focus our attention on Mark 1:29 where Jesus goes to Peter’s house after church and heals Peter’s mother-in-law. We are going to see a Jesus who is compassionate and gentle, while demonstrating His complete sovereign authority as the Son of God. We are going to see a Jesus worth following.
Mark 1:29 says, After Jesus left the synagogue with James and John, they went to Simon and Andrew’s home. 30 Now Simon’s mother-in-law was sick in bed with a high fever. They told Jesus about her right away. 31 So he went to her bedside, took her by the hand, and helped her sit up. Then the fever left her, and she prepared a meal for them. 32 That evening after sunset, many sick and demon-possessed people were brought to Jesus. 33 The whole town gathered at the door to watch. 34 So Jesus healed many people who were sick with various diseases, and he cast out many demons. But because the demons knew who he was, he did not allow them to speak. (NLT)
If you are taking notes today, you need to know that I don’t have the traditional four points that you need to write down. What I’m going to do is walk through this event with Jesus and makes some observations. If you are taking notes, just write down anything that you believe God is saying to you or you think is significant for your spiritual journey.
After Jesus left the synagogue with James and John, they went to Simon and Andrew’s home.
The first thing Mark tells us is, “After Jesus left the synagogue with James and John, they went to Simon and Andrew’s home.” Peter and Andrew not only brought their friends James and John home with them from church, but they also brought Jesus home. That is a good example for us to follow: don’t leave Jesus at the church – take Him home with you and let Him impact your home life and your daily life and those who live under your roof.
These two sets of brothers – James and John and Simon (Peter) and Andrew – had abandoned earthly pursuits to follow Jesus and to pursue the Kingdom of God that Jesus had been talking about. On this day they received an up-close and personal front row seat to the love and power of Jesus. When you follow Jesus and invite Him into your home, blessings are going to happen. You are going to see Jesus do some things in your life and the lives of others that only He can do. Are there going to be difficult times? Absolutely! But following Jesus is much better than walking away from Him.
Question: How do you bring Jesus home with you from church? How does what happens on Sunday at church affect you on Monday?
30 Now Simon’s mother-in-law was sick in bed with a high fever. They told Jesus about her right away.
In verse 30, Mark goes on to say, Now Simon’s mother-in-law was sick in bed with a high fever. They told Jesus about her right away.
We are told that Peter had a “mother-in-law.” This tells us a couple of things about Peter.
- First, Peter was married. According to 1 Corinthians 9:5, Peter’s wife was a believer and she went with him on some of his missionary journeys. We are not told anything about his wife, but there are some who believe that when Peter wrote about the ideal wife in 1 Peter 3:1-6 he was describing his wife.
Wives I would encourage you to read and study that description, embrace it, and let God work through you regardless of whether your husband is a believer or not. If you are not married, but some day you would like to be a godly wife then start working on it now. Speaking from a Christian husband’s perspective, there is nothing more wonderful than having a wife who lives a pure and respectful life, and who is gentle and has a quiet spirit about her. That can be motivating and encouraging to any husband.
- Second, Peter’s mother-in-law lived with them. Just like Peter’s wife, we know very little about Peter’s mother-in-law. It appears that Peter’s mother-in-law lives with them and that her husband is probably dead since he is not mentioned at all. Let me add that Peter was providing for and taking care of his mother-in-law. Paul said in 1 Timothy 5:8, “Those who won’t care for their relatives, especially those in their own household, have denied the true faith. Such people are worse than unbelievers” (NLT). That is strong language. However, Peter was a good example of someone taking care of his family.
Question: Why is it important to minister and take care of your family? What does it say if Christians don’t help their family?
Was sick in bed with a high fever
Mark goes on to tell us that Peter’s mother-in-law “was sick in bed with a high fever.” We are talking about a “high fever.” She was not struggling with a minor cold; her fever indicated a life-threatening illness. To us today, a fever might not sound serious, but in their pre-penicillin world people died as a result of fevers. This woman’s illness was no small matter. It might be too much to say she was dying, but if her condition did not change, she could very well be headed to grave sooner rather than later.
They told Jesus about her right away
Mark then tell us “they told Jesus about her right away.” When you are facing something that is out of your control, don’t wait to take it to Jesus. Take it to Jesus right away. Don’t hesitate and don’t procrastinate. Jesus wants you to bring your concerns to Him. He wants to help. He wants to guide. He wants to encourage. He wants to bless you. He loves you.
31 So he went to her bedside, took her by the hand, and helped her sit up. Then the fever left her, and she prepared a meal for them.
So he went to her bedside
Mark tells us that Jesus “went to her bedside.” In this case, she didn’t go to Jesus… Jesus went to her. I think there are times in our lives where Jesus just shows up and does something on our behalf. Others may have prayed for us, but we were in such a state that Jesus comes to us in our time of need and does something spectacular.
It reminds me of Saul who was persecuting the church and Jesus just shows up and intervenes in Saul’s life. Saul becomes Paul and God uses Him to write about half the New Testament, start churches, and make numerous disciples of Jesus.
Took her by the hand
Mark says that Jesus “went to her bedside” and “took her by the hand.” Jesus could have simply said from another room, “she is healed” and the fever would have been gone. Instead, Jesus went to where she was and “took her by the hand.” I believe this tells us volumes about what Jesus is like and how much He loves us. This is what Jesus wants to do with each soul, both those who do not know Him and those who do. He wants to give all a touch of His grace and love.
The point is, Jesus could have healed her any way he pleased. The Gospels reveal that at times he did miracles with a simple word or with something as complicated as clay made with spittle and the instruction to wash in some water. He could do them any way he wished. The reasons for the different ways in which He healed rested in the mental and moral condition of the people themselves and what he wanted to communicate. Here His reaching down and taking a woman by the hand was simply a natural, instinctive action springing from Jesus’ sympathetic love. Later Jesus did virtually the same thing with a leper (1:41), something unheard of in his time.
And helped her sit up
Mark goes on to say that after Jesus took her by the hand that Jesus “helped her sit up.” Some translations say “raised her up.” The Greek word for “helped her sit up” or to “raise her up” (egeiren) will be used again by Mark when he describes Jesus raising a little girl from the dead (Mark 5:41-42) and Mark will use it again to describe Jesus’ resurrection (Mark 14:28; 16:6). In each case, it is God’s power that makes these miracles possible. This may be a foreshadow of what is come.
Then the fever left her
After Jesus took her by the hand and raised her up we are told “the fever left her.” The healing was immediate. Just like at the synagogue an hour earlier, Jesus had commanded an evil spirit to come out of a man and it did. The same authority and power was now being applied to this woman’s fever. Whether in the spiritual realm or the physical realm, whenever Jesus issued a rebuke, the effects were immediate.
A couple of observations:
- It’s worth taking a pause here and realizing that genuine miracles are instantaneous, undeniable, and complete. Although Mark will later tell us about a healing that happen in two stages (Mark 8:22-26), even that healing was completed within moments, before the person departed.
- Another observation deals with faith or should I say the absence of faith. Earlier in the synagogue, Jesus delivered a man that was demon possessed. Nothing was mentioned about the man’s faith and nothing is mentioned about this woman’s faith. Obviously, those who asked Jesus to help the woman believed Jesus could do something. This is a subtle reminder that Jesus’ authority and power can be displayed anytime, anywhere, and with anyone He so choses… faith or not. This points to His complete sovereignty.
Are there times where Jesus does not do miracles due to a lack of faith of others, absolutely! But our faith is not greater the Lord’s power and authority. If Jesus wants something to happen all He has to do is say it and it will be. But in His own wisdom, He has decided that He wants to work with our faith rather than in-spite of our faith or the lack of it. Again, Mark is showing us the power and authority of Jesus, thereby revealing Jesus’ as the Son of God.
And she prepared a meal for them
I find the woman’s reaction to her healing interesting. Mark tells us “she prepared a meal for them.” Some translations word this as, “she began to serve them” (HCSB). Let’s be clear here: she was completely healed. Her symptoms were gone. There was no recovery period. One moment, she had been too weak to do anything but lie down. The next, she was on her feet, full of energy, and ready to help prepare the dinner. It was as if she had never been sick. We are told she began to prepare a meal and to “serve them.”
Even though this healing demonstrates the authority of Jesus over the physical world and it’s sicknesses, it also illustrates what our response should be whenever God heals us of something spiritual or physical. It illustrates what our response should be when Jesus touches us with His hand of salvation. I’m convinced that this miracle reveals that God heals us so that we may serve Him and others. How often has God touched our lives and then we don’t do anything with that blessings or that opportunity?
Question: Why do some people who are touched by God (saved, healed, blessed) get up and serve Him, while others go on about their life as if God never did anything?
32 That evening after sunset, many sick and demon-possessed people were brought to Jesus.
That evening after sunset
Jesus heals Peter’s mother-in-law. They eat lunch, talk about what happened at the synagogue with the demon possessed man and talk about Him healing Peter’s mother-in-law. I’m sure they discussed those events along with some of the things He had been saying about the Kingdom of God. The afternoon moves on and then Mark begins to tell us what happened “that evening after sunset….”
- During that time the Sabbath ended with sunset. It was considered “sunset” when you could see three stars in the night sky. People were forbidden to travel or carry burdens. They could only walk so far and carry so much weight. But as soon as it was sunset they started coming.
Many sick and demon-possessed people were brought to Jesus
Mark then says, “Many sick and demon-possessed people were brought to Jesus.” Mark makes a distinction between those who were “sick” and those who were “demon-possessed.” So you had two groups of people here: those who had diseases and those who were demonized. While Satan’s kingdom can cause physical affliction, not all sickness is caused by demonic power. Jesus is able to recognize the difference and bring about healing and deliverance for both.
These precious people who were sick and demon-possessed “were brought to Jesus.” This phrase carries the implication of they kept coming and coming. The healing of Peter’s mother-in-law triggered a citywide response.
33 The whole town gathered at the door to watch.
This brings us to verse 33 where Mark says, “The whole town gathered at the door to watch.” Not only was there a crowd of people who brought the sick and demon-possessed, but there was also a crowd of people there to watch what was going on.
- Pressing up against the doors and windows of Peter’s house were parents bringing their sick children to Jesus.
- You had a brother who carried his crippled sister to see Jesus.
- You had a group of friends who were able to bring their demon-possessed friend to Jesus.
- You had the blind, the deaf, the mute, and the crippled making their way into Peter’s house.
- Some of them had fevers like Peter’s mother-in-law and some were sick with various diseases that wouldn’t be discovered or named until modern times.
I’m sure within the crowd you could find people with cancer, tumors, brain disorders, skin diseases, liver diseases, heart disease, lung disease, and all forms of addictions.
- I can only imagine the scene. Jesus is in the house he heals a blind man and the man begins to shout, “I can see, I can see!” Those inside the house begin to shout and praise God and the news of what just happened spreads to the back of the crowd.
- The next person comes up to Jesus who is crippled. Jesus touches her and she immediately stands up and begins to skip around the room. Her family and friends begin to cry with tears of joy. The news of her healing spreads through the crowds.
- One after another keep coming to Jesus. An old deaf man makes his way to Jesus and Jesus touches him and for the first time he can hear his children and grand children call him by name.
- There are sick people who are still arriving pushing their way through the crowd to be with Jesus. People are laughing, crying, and starring in silence. They have never seen anything like this.
The authority, power, compassion, and love of Jesus was on full display.
34 So Jesus healed many people who were sick with various diseases, and he cast out many demons.
Then Mark summarizes what happened that night by saying, “So Jesus healed many people who were sick with various diseases, and he cast out many demons.” Jesus would continue to do these kinds of miracles over the next three years. It would cause people to say in Mark 2:12, “We’ve never seen anything like this before!” and in Matthew 9:33, “Nothing like this has ever happened in Israel!” (NLT).
When Matthew tells about this day and night of miracles he makes an interesting comment when he says, “This fulfilled the word of the Lord through the prophet Isaiah, who said, ‘He took our sicknesses and removed our diseases’” (Matthew 8:17; Isaiah 53:4, NLT). In order to redeem men and women from the devastating effects of sin, Jesus Himself would have to suffer and die. Sickness, sorrow, and death could not be permanently removed until sin itself was defeated. Through His death, Jesus aid the penalty for sin, and through His resurrection, He conquered death. Thus, by dying and rising again, the Lord Jesus defeated both sin and death for all who would put their faith in Him.
Christ’s work of redemption will ultimately be fulfilled for believers in the future, when they receive their resurrection bodies (cf. Rom. 8:22-25; 13:11). On that glorious day, all who have trusted in Christ will be given physical bodies that are forever free from sin, disease, and the threat of death. Jesus proved that He is able to fulfill that promise by what He did throughout His ministry.
Question: When you see Jesus do these kind of things what do you do with this? What is your response to a compassionate healer? What is your response to this Jesus?
 According to Leviticus 26:16 and Deuteronomy 28:22, a fever could be interpreted as a punishment sent by God to those who violated his covenant. According to custom, only god could intervene in such cases. And he did!
 The word “prepared” or “serve” (diakonein) is the same word used for the angels’ “attending” Jesus during the temptation (1:13). It is, moreover, the same word translated “to serve” in 10:45, where Jesus declares that the Son of Man comes “not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Serving is the way of Jesus and those who attend him, and thus it describes an essential characteristic of the kingdom of God that Jesus introduces and exemplifies. For mark, the proper response of one who has been touched by Jesus is to serve “them,” that is, the Christian fellowship.