Bible Stories for Adults

Jesus Heals at Capernaum

Mark 1:21-39; Luke 4:31-41; Matthew 8:14-17

Welcome and Announcements
    Next Week - John Sends Two Disciples to Jesus (Luke 7:18-35)
    Bible Words to Remember:
      In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-39

Opening Prayer

Mark Begins His Story of Jesus (Mark 1:1-20)
    Luke's gospel begins with an explanation of what he is writing and why. How does Mark begin?
      Mark 1:1
    Luke gives a couple of chapters telling of John's preparations. What does Mark say about John?
      Mark 1:2-8
    Luke paints wonderful pictures of Jesus' birth, childhood & baptism. What does Mark tell us?
      Mark 1:9-11

    Luke tells how Jesus withstood Satan's temptations of human desires. How descriptive is Mark?
      Mark 1:12-13
    Luke speaks of Jesus' success in Galilee and rejection in Nazareth. What does Mark say?
      Mark 1:14-15
    Last week's story in Luke shows Peter's faith was built gradually. Does Mark show this growth?
      Mark 1:16-20

Why the Difference?
    Matthew - Jesus is the Promised Messiah
      Written for Jews to easily recognize how Jesus fulfilled the Messianic prophesies
    Luke - Jesus is the Son of Man
      Focuses on the humanity of Jesus (Birth, Growth, Work, Suffering, Death, Risen Body)
    John - Jesus is the Son of God
      Describes Jesus in analogies as we can only describe God in relation to what we know

    Mark - Jesus is the Servant
      Written to Christians in Rome, Shows Jesus actively going to all people to serve them
    What verse best summarizes the focus of Mark's gospel?
      Mark 10:45
    Who was Mark?
      Acts 12:25; 13:13; 15:36-40
    Was Paul ever able to forgive Mark and work with him?
      2 Timothy 4:11
    Where did Mark get the information for his gospel?
      1 Peter 5:13

A Teacher with Authority (Mark 1:21-22)
    Where does Jesus begin serving in Mark's gospel?
      Mark 1:21
    Synagogue rulers would invite educated laymen or visiting rabbis to give sermon
      Jesus was invited His first Sabbath in Capernaum (Ruler was Jairus - Luke 8:41+)
    Scribes - Originated from priests who copied the Old Testament scrolls (printers)
      Priestly background, training & familiarity with text led them to become the teachers
      Experts in interpreting Jewish religious and civic laws and their interpretations
      3 duties: Define rules for every situation in life, Teach this Oral Law, Judge gray areas
        Teachings and rulings were based on authority of ancient rabbis
        "There is a teaching that ..." "Rabbi so-and-so says ..."
      Interpretations of interpretations led to very complex permutations
        Heavy burden on people to do right, people tried to learn from confusing rabbis
    What did the Jews of Capernaum think of this new rabbi?
      Mark 1:22

Demons (Mark 1:23)
    How moving was Jesus' authoritative speech?
      Mark 1:23
    Demons and devils were everywhere according to Jews and the whole ancient world
      Lived in unclean places - tombs, where there was no cleansing water, howling desert
      Dangerous to lonely & night-time travelers, newly married, children (guardian angels)
    Demons took over thinking, speaking, feeling and actions of the possessed individual
      Egyptians said there were 36 parts of the human body, demons could enter & control any
      Demon possession caused illness - deafness, dumbness, fever, insanity, leprosy
    Exorcists tried to revolt or scare out demons - Smelly root up nose hoping demon couldn't take it
      Used magical rituals and incantations invoking higher spirits
      In severe cases, a hole was bored in the skull to let the demon out

    Why don't we see evidence of demons and demon possession in today's world?
      2 Thessalonians 2:9-12
    What is the goal of the work of Satan and his demons?
      1 Timothy 4:1-2
    Why does Satan want to pull people from faith in Jesus and God?
      Revelation 20:7-9

Authority Over Demons (Mark 1:24-26)
    How did the demon's paranoia show itself?
      Mark 1:24
    Where do we see another example of a demon trying to keep power by identifying someone?
      Acts 16:16-18
    What incantations and calling on higher spirits did Jesus use to exorcise the demon?
      Mark 1:25-26
    Could just anybody use Jesus' name to exorcise demons?
      Acts 19:13-16
    How were the apostles and Paul and other Christians able to drive out demons?
      Mark 3:14-15; 16:17

The People React (Mark 1:27-28)
    How did people react to this rabbi who taught and exorcised without referring to higher powers?
      Mark 1:27
    What impact did this have on Jesus' ministry?
      Mark 1:28
    Why did word of Jesus spread so rapidly that same day and why should it spread today?
      Acts 4:20

Another Demon (Mark 1:29-31)
    Where did Jesus go to have Sabbath dinner?
      Mark 1:29
    What opportunity to serve was waiting for Jesus there?
      Mark 1:30
    Dr. Luke calls it a major fever. This could have been one of three common fevers:
      Malta fever - Weakness, anemia, wasting away; lasted for months; ended in death
      Intermittent fever - Like typhoid fever
      Malaria - Miserable, often with jaundice; Very common in Capernaum (marshy ground)
    Talmud (Jewish writings) describes the cure: Tie an iron knife to a thorn bush by a braid of hair;
      Recite Ex 3:2-3, 4 & 5 on successive days; Pronounce a magical formula

    Did Jesus do this or a similar procedure to serve Peter's mother-in-law with a cure?
      Mark 1:31a
    How effective was this simple action of Jesus against a disease like malaria?
      Mark 1:31b
    Did it really take no effort on Jesus' part to heal people like this?
      Luke 8:44-46

Resting on the Sabbath (Mark 1:32-34)
    How was Jesus able to relax after teaching, casting out a demon and healing on a day of rest?
      Mark 1:32
    Why did they wait until sundown?
      Exodus 31:12-17
    Capernaum homes were single room buildings. Did people crowd into Peter's home?
      Mark 1:33

    What did Jesus do when faced with this crowd?
      Mark 1:34
    Why wouldn't He let the demons tell who He was?
      Matthew 11:25-27
      John 18:36
    How do the healings on this day help prove to us that Jesus was the promised One of God?
      Matthew 8:14-17

Re-energized (Mark 1:35)
    After giving of Himself through healing late into the night, how did Jesus regain His strength?
      Mark 1:35
    How often did Jesus try to speak with His Father in the morning?
      Isaiah 50:4
    How important was prayer to Jesus' healing ministry?
      Mark 9:28-29

In the Limelight (Mark 1:36-39)
    What did the others in Peter's house do when they woke up and Jesus was gone?
      Mark 1:36-37
    Was Jesus excited by the news that He was popular and people were wanting to see Him?
      Mark 1:38
    What did He do?
      Mark 1:39
    How can we get some of the stamina and strength that Jesus had?
      John 20:21-22
      Luke 18:1

Closing Prayer

Copyright © 1998 by Kurt Rosenhagen

Use of this material is provided free of charge for use in personal or group Bible Study, no permission needed.
The author reserves all rights for use in published material or in uses where fees are involved.
For permission, or to provide your comments, insights and feedback, contact the author at:

Return to Bible Stories for Adults Home Page