4 – Preaching and Healing
And immediately he left the synagogue and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon’s mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, and immediately they told him about her. And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her, and she began to serve them.
That evening at sundown they brought to him all who were sick or oppressed by demons. And the whole city was gathered together at the door. And he healed 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.
And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.” And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.” And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.
- Fever: A type of sickness
- Demons: Another word for unclean spirits, the fallen angels
- Desolate: A deserted, empty place
What are the priorities in Jesus’ life?
In what ways do the things Jesus does show us who he is?
Already in his book of good news about Jesus Christ, Mark has shown to us that there is something very different about Jesus. He possessed a special authority and power. In this narrative we see that this King’s authority to help people extends not just to spiritual things but also to healing the sick. After he healed a member of Simon’s family, the whole town heard. As soon as the Sabbath had ended a queue formed outside the house of people who needed help.
Considering that Jesus was able to do all these things so well, perhaps we would expect that is the way he would spend all his time. But that is not what happens. It becomes obvious, although this work is very important, that Jesus counts other things more important.
Although he had certainly been up late healing and casting out devils, he begins the day by getting up before anyone can come to him and goes to pray. He makes sure that he has time to speak to his Father. Then, when his followers come to look for him and say that more people want to see him, Jesus says that the most important work for him to do is to preach. Jesus knew that the problem of people was more than bodily health. Therefore, the most important thing Jesus could do for them was to pray and preach. That was his priority. What about us?
Looking at what Simon’s mother-in-law’s response was, what does this suggest our response should be?
Can we see that the most important thing we can do for people is to pray for them and tell them about Jesus?
for strength to organize regular times to talk to God in prayer. Ask for opportunities to share with people who Jesus Christ is and why he is important.