Mark 1:21-45

– Casting out an unclean spirit in the synagogue at Capernaum. Synagogues grew from Israel’s need to have a place to study the Law for prevention of idolatry threatening to invade their society. The first dated evidence we have of synagogues is 250 years before Christ came, during the period of God’s silence between the old and new testaments. Jesus habitually used Synagogues to make known God’s powerful mercy, Matthew 4:23. Demons would often try to invade his teaching but would not be allowed to rule any longer, Mk. 1:39. They were ignorant of exactly why Jesus came into their realm with us, but the demons were certain of his true identity as The Holy One of God.

– Healing the mother-in-law of Simon-Peter from a fever is the powerful compassion Jesus demonstrated on the people his disciples loved. This is a reminder that God takes care of what we can’t take care of. We must do our best with what God gives us, but what we can not do, God can see to, IF we prayerfully ask for His help, trusting His sovereign grace.  Remember James 5:14-15.

– Healing many who were sick of various diseases, and casting out demons; God’s mercy was powerful towards any and all he could physically reach, with the exception of the demoniacs themselves. Because there were so many people, the tireless and powerful work of Jesus took a toll on him and he needed a “desolate” place to pray and refresh himself with his Father for more work in front of him. Jesus had at least two reasons why he silenced them, firstly because they were evil and had no right to speak, it was inappropriate for evil to proclaim what is holy, and secondly because if he let them speak the truth, in any capacity, the obvious political implications are not what Jesus wanted people to pursue, the timing of the public’s desire for a King had to wait till he was nearer the passion week. In this way Jesus was still in complete charge of his self-sacrifice. Don’t forget Paul wouldn’t let the slave girl be used by demons to speak the truth either, see Acts 16:17-18, but preaching the true good news was his priority. This primary purpose of Christ is stated clearly at the beginning of Mark’s gospel, 1:38. 

– Cleansing a leper who came to Him, is the only miraculous work of Christ that is described as a cleansing, not a healing. Leprosy is a disease that the law of Moses linked to sin itself, see Leviticus 13:3-15 for relating the priest’s declaration of leprosy with a ‘cleansing’. While Jesus was more than perturbed with the man’s uncertainty of being healed, God’s mercy was so powerful, despite the anger of Jesus, his compassion towards the leper was able to cleanse him anyway. This is proof that God’s grace & mercy works on the problems of people He is not entirely yet pleased with, this is really good news!  The immediate cleansing of leprosy was mandated by Jesus, but Christ under the law of Moses was obliged to send the cleansed man to the priesthood and offer what God’s law required, see Leviticus 14:1-32. Notice that Jesus himself touched the leper, and was not concerned about catching the illness or being declared unclean by anyone. Why? Because all the previous miracles established his holiness was powerful in the eyes of his disciples. Cleansing someone from leprosy instantly would put Him above any High Priest regarding levels of power. All priests had to wait for what would happen over time, to see if the leper would be cleansed, read Leviticus 13 and you’ll see seven days mentioned over 11 times regarding the long purification process the priesthood had to practice on lepers.

The public announcement of this amazing power above the priesthood, put Jesus in a different position with the public than before. His ministry is about to take a change towards an immense amount of popularity and he would need discretion to keep working and preaching effectively, v45.

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