The Kingdom Actions of Jesus (Mark 1:29-39)

Date: 2/4/2018
More audio from All Saints Church
Type: Sunday Sermon
Topic: Bible Mark
Organization: All Saints
Price: FREE

Mark 1:29–39 - And immediately after they came out of the synagogue, they came into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30 Now Simon’s mother-in-law was lying sick with a fever; and immediately they *spoke to Jesus about her. 31 And He came to her and raised her up, taking her by the hand, and the fever left her, and she waited on them. 32 When evening came, after the sun had set, they began bringing to Him all who were ill and those who were demon-possessed. 33 And the whole city had gathered at the door. 34 And He healed many who were ill with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He was not permitting the demons to speak, because they knew who He was. 35 In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there. 36 Simon and his companions searched for Him; 37 they found Him, and *said to Him, “Everyone is looking for You.” 38 He *said to them, “Let us go somewhere else to the towns nearby, so that I may preach there also; for that is what I came for.” 39 And He went into their synagogues throughout all Galilee, preaching and casting out the demons.

Kingdom Activity: Introduction - At the start of Jesus’ ministry in His declaration, “the kingdom of God is at hand” (1:15). Following this we see this means this kingdom unfolds in a range of word and deed actions. Thus, before we finish the first chapter, Jesus is baptized, victorious against Satan, preaching the kingdom, calling the disciples, casting out demons, healing Peter’s mother-n-law, healing those with various diseases, and especially a leper. Thus in ch. 1, we have Miracles in Capernaum (1:21-34), then Ministry Throughout Galilee (1:35-45). Healing was not for power, but it was for restoration - “For a first-century Jew, most if not all of the works of healing, which form the bulk of Jesus’ mighty works, could be seen as the restoration to membership in Israel of those who, through sickness or whatever, had been excluded as ritually unclean. The healings thus function in exact parallel with the welcome of sinners, and this, we may be quite sure, was what Jesus himself intended. He never performed mighty works simply to impress. He saw them as part of the inauguration of the sovereign and healing rule of Israel’s covenant god” (NTW JVG, 191).

Kingdom Activity: A Person (1:29-31) - In this pericope, we see continued kingdom action after the events of the synagogue, beginning in the house of Peter. Mark highlights an individual healing which is in all the Synoptics: the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law. “Mark has shown Jesus expelling demons as a sign of the kingdom of God, now he shows him healing the sick” (NBC, 952). This “fever” (puresso; pur is “fire”) is described by Dr. Luke as a “high fever” (mega puresso) in terms like an exorcism (Lk. 4:38ff). Jesus “raised her up” (egeiro) by the hand (interesting detail). The term (egeiro) “means raised and often refers to the resurrection both of Jesus and believers” (NAC, 52). This may be a foreshadowing of resurrections to come or even the Resurrection. Notably, “she waited [table] for them” (1:31). Thus, restoration and healing produced service.

Kingdom Activity: The Crowds (1:32-34) - Appended to this personal healing is an expansion of the word about this Healer. This activity takes place on one Sabbath, beginning with darkness in the synagogue and ending with darkness being brought to Jesus. “Some authors have viewed the day as the first of a ‘new creation’ . . .” or “this day foreshadows the final section of the gospel, another Sabbath (16:1)” (Sacra, 83). So after the Sabbath sun went down people began to bring Him the sick and spirit-possessed. There is an indication that it was overwhelming (“the whole city” 1:33), “a steady stream (imperfect tense, epheron)” (Robertson, 878). “The reference to the people seeking Jesus is not explained by Mark, but the Lucan parallel says that the people “tried to keep him from leaving” (Luke 4:42) (UBC, 30). This explains Jesus’ need for prayerful solitude.

Kingdom Activity: Communion and Mission (1:35-39) - In the third section of this pericope we learn that Jesus needs communion with His Father through the Spirit to empower His work. Jesus “went away to a secluded place, and was praying there” (1:35). “He prayed, prayed alone; to set us an example of secret prayer. Though as God he was prayed to, as man he prayed. Though he was glorifying God, and doing good, in his public work, yet he found time to be alone with his Father” (Matthew Henry). As soon as it was discovered that Jesus had left, Peter and the &ld

Gregg Strawbridge Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as receive a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more