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
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 = Very simply, Here's the story of Jesus...
Luke gives a couple of chapters telling of John's preparations. What does Mark say about John?
Mark 1:2-8 = John came as promised by Isaiah to prepare the way for the Messiah
Luke paints wonderful pictures of Jesus' birth, childhood & baptism. What does Mark tell us?
Mark 1:9-11 = Starts at Jesus' baptism, tells basic important facts
Luke tells how Jesus withstood Satan's temptations of human desires. How descriptive is Mark?
Mark 1:12-13 = Just the basics
Luke speaks of Jesus' success in Galilee and rejection in Nazareth. What does Mark say?
Mark 1:14-15 = Jesus went to Galilee and taught of God's kingdom
Last week's story in Luke shows Peter's faith was built gradually. Does Mark show this growth?
Mark 1:16-20 = No story, just calling to some fishermen and they leave everything
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 = Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, & to give His life as a ransom for many
Who was Mark? = Cousin of Barnabas in Col 4:10, John Mark
Acts 12:25; 13:13; 15:36-40 = Left Paul on 1st journey, with Barnabas on 2nd
Was Paul ever able to forgive Mark and work with him?
2 Timothy 4:11 = Yes, Mark helped Paul in Rome - Also Col 4:10 & Philemon 24
Where did Mark get the information for his gospel?
1 Peter 5:13 = From Peter while imprisoned in Rome, Peter's gospel
A Teacher with Authority (Mark 1:21-22)
Where does Jesus begin serving in Mark's gospel?
Mark 1:21 = At the synagogue in Capernaum, Invited to give sermon on Sabbath
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
What did the Jews of Capernaum think of this new rabbi? = Spoke on His own authority
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
Interpretations of interpretations led to very complex permutations
"There is a teaching that ..." "Rabbi so-and-so says ..."
Heavy burden on people to do right, people tried to learn from confusing rabbis
Mark 1:22 = Amazed at His teaching - Listen to words, unlike at Nazareth
Demons (Mark 1:23)
How moving was Jesus' authoritative speech? = J's 1st encounter with demon is in synagogue
Mark 1:23 = A demon inside a congregation member got paranoid and blew his cover
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
Demons took over thinking, speaking, feeling and actions of the possessed individual
Dangerous to lonely & night-time travelers, newly married, children (guardian angels)
Egyptians said there were 36 parts of the human body, demons could enter & control any
Exorcists tried to revolt or scare out demons - Smelly root up nose hoping demon couldn't take it
Demon possession caused illness - deafness, dumbness, fever, insanity, leprosy
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 = Satan deceives in delusions acceptable to the day's culture
What is the goal of the work of Satan and his demons?
1 Timothy 4:1-2 = To lead people to abandon their faith and God's truth
Why does Satan want to pull people from faith in Jesus and God?
Revelation 20:7-9 = To gather troops for the final battle
Authority Over Demons (Mark 1:24-26)
How did the demon's paranoia show itself? = Magicians subdued other spiritual forces by
Mark 1:24 = Tried to subdue Jesus by invoking His name = invoking their names
Where do we see another example of a demon trying to keep power by identifying someone?
Acts 16:16-18 = Possessed slave girl in Philippi, Paul called on name of Jesus
What incantations and calling on higher spirits did Jesus use to exorcise the demon?
Mark 1:25-26 = None, Commanded demon out on His own authority, didn't want to go
Could just anybody use Jesus' name to exorcise demons?
Acts 19:13-16 = No
How were the apostles and Paul and other Christians able to drive out demons?
Mark 3:14-15; 16:17 = Jesus gave His authority to those who believe
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 = They were amazed at his authority, Even demons obeyed Him directly
What impact did this have on Jesus' ministry? = Luke says surrounding area
Mark 1:28 = News about Him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee
Why did word of Jesus spread so rapidly that same day and why should it spread today?
Acts 4:20 = We cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard
Another Demon (Mark 1:29-31)
Where did Jesus go to have Sabbath dinner? = Do you take Jesus home with you after church?
Mark 1:29 = Peter & Andrew's home in Capernaum, Went with James & John
What opportunity to serve was waiting for Jesus there? = Father-in-law probably dead
Mark 1:30 = Peter's mother-in-law sick with fever, probably lived with Peter
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
Talmud (Jewish writings) describes the cure: Tie an iron knife to a thorn bush by a braid of hair;
Intermittent fever - Like typhoid fever
Malaria - Miserable, often with jaundice; Very common in Capernaum (marshy ground)
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 = He went to her, took her hand and helped her up
How effective was this simple action of Jesus against a disease like malaria?
Mark 1:31b = She immediately recovered and regained all strength - she served them
Did it really take no effort on Jesus' part to heal people like this?
Luke 8:44-46 = He gave of Himself when He healed, His power left Him
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 = No much, people flocked to Him after sundown
Why did they wait until sundown? = Carrying anything heavier than 2 dried figs was work
Exodus 31:12-17 = Jews were forbidden to work on the Sabbath, ended at sundown
Capernaum homes were single room buildings. Did people crowd into Peter's home?
Mark 1:33 = No, they gathered at the door
What did Jesus do when faced with this crowd?
Mark 1:34 = Dumb question, He healed them, took care of their needs
Why wouldn't He let the demons tell who He was?
Matthew 11:25-27 = It was not God's plan for Satan to reveal His son
How do the healings on this day help prove to us that Jesus was the promised One of God?
John 18:36 = It was too early in His ministry, everyone misunderstood the Messiah
Matthew 8:14-17 = Fulfilled Isaiah 53:4 - took up our infirmities & carried our diseases
Re-energized (Mark 1:35)
After giving of Himself through healing late into the night, how did Jesus regain His strength?
Mark 1:35 = Got up before anyone else would be up and found a place to pray
How often did Jesus try to speak with His Father in the morning?
Isaiah 50:4 = Morning by morning - Prayed to the Father frequently
How important was prayer to Jesus' healing ministry?
Mark 9:28-29 = Prayer is essential in staying close with God and carrying His power
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 = They went looking for Jesus, Didn't realize yet that He prayed alot
Was Jesus excited by the news that He was popular and people were wanting to see Him?
Mark 1:38 = He looked at it as time to move on to other cities to bring the good news
What did He do?
Mark 1:39 = Traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in synagogues & driving out demons
How can we get some of the stamina and strength that Jesus had?
John 20:21-22 = We already have it, He gave us His Spirit to do His work
Luke 18:1 = We should take Jesus' lead and always pray and not give up
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: