Mark: According To
Part 9 Mark 1:29-34
In our last post, we explored Christ second Sabbath Miracle that happen in Capernaum, in the local Synagogue. It was an attempt by Satan to thwart Jesus from dying on the cross. He desired rile the people up enough, that they would kill Jesus, and in this way, prevent Christ’s from dying upon the cross. This was not the only attempt against Jesus’ life, for happened also in Nazareth when the people drove him to the brink of a cliff attempting to kill Jesus (see Luke 4:16-30).
Christ healed or restored the man’s life by rebuking the unclean spirit, then commanding the spirit to come out of him. Through this miracle many people believed on Jesus for as it says in Mark 1:28, “And immediately His fame spread throughout all the region around Galilee.
In our last post, I mentioned that the healing of the man with the unclean spirit was the second Sabbath Miracle. In all, Christ performed seven miracles on Sabbath which are recorded throughout the four gospels. Not every gospel has all the miracles, but between the four gospels we find these seven miracles that took place on the Sabbath. Now from Mark 1:29-31 is the account of this third Sabbath Miracle.
There are both physical and spiritual applications to each of these seven miracles. Hopefully we will touch on the spiritual application that are found within the second and third Sabbath Miracles.
“Now as soon as they had come out of the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John. 30 But Simon’s (Peter) wife’s mother lay sick with a fever, and they told Him about her at once. 31 So He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and immediately the fever left her. And she served them.
This story, which is also mentioned in both Matthew and Luke is the only references to one of the disciples having been married.
Evidently her sickness was severe enough that she stayed home on the Sabbath instead of attending the synagogue. Then upon Peter, and the rest of the disciples coming home, they quickly informed Jesus of her sickness. The Bible describes this as a fever, however, when one has a fever they feel lethargic, weak perhaps sick to the stomach short of breath. One Bible writer describes the fever as a great fever and just as Jesus had rebuked the unclean spirit just a short while before, Jesus rebuked the fever and it to left her.
This is actually Simon Peter’s house and Jesus frequently stayed here whenever he was in Capernaum.
After what the disciples had seen and heard by way of Jesus’ healing and teaching, it is interesting that they in this time of trouble now turned to Jesus for help. Let this be a lesson to us all, that after seeing how Christ changes lives of those around us, then we should have no hesitation calling upon Jesus in our time of need.
Interestingly the area around Capernaum was more subtropical with the presence of marshland, so the fact that there was this great fever, could point to this being Malaria.
Jesus came and took her by the hand signifying that Jesus personally cared for her and touched her with love, mercy, kindness and sympathy. This was a method often used by Jesus during his earthly ministry, and even now Jesus sends the Holy Spirit to loving take our hand and lead us back to health. Not necessarily physical health although he can, but spiritual health.
These two Sabbath Miracles, which were thought of as work by the religious leaders shows us a wonderful aspect of the Gospel message. Today, the man with an unclean spirit and Peter’s Mother-in-law are representative of two types of people that are both within and without the church. The first, the man with an unclean spirit, is representative of people within the church who have a measure of faith and a measure of being pious church going people. Often, they come each week, sit in the pew, and even fill offices within the church but inside they are full of uncleanliness. When away from the church and those they know, they submit themselves to any of several different habits that are degrading and show they really don’t have the proper relationship with God.
For a time, they go along and no one notices, but slowly over time the power of sin takes ahold of their life until they lash out even in church against other leaders.
Strangely and sadly I have even known Pastors that have fallen victim to this type of life. Finally, out of desperation they cry out, often by the testimony they give unknowing glory to God.
Here is where the church as a congregation comes in. We often go about our own business paying little or no attention to the person that is struggling with these unclean spirits or thinking that perhaps they are just a little off when it is actually a call for help.
We are all busy with our jobs attempting to make a living for ourselves and our family. God certainly directed that in six days we are to labor and do all our work. But Christ is our example, and He in seven separate instances did good upon the Sabbath. Then, if I am understanding the nature of Christ’s mission on earth it was to show us the Father, and to show us how to live our life, and the second part is that he would die the death you and I deserve because of sin, so that we do not have to dye that type of death.
Follow this logic, if Christ came to show us a better way, and upon the Sabbath he performed seven miracles to relieve the suffering of His fellow human beings, then as a Christian wanting to exemplify Christ, shouldn’t we also be desiring to do the same thing on the Sabbath. To pray for the person, who had the unclean spirit, to help that person abstain from the unclean spirit and supply moral and physical strength and to aid with spiritual help to help them become free from the spirit that torments them.
When the fever of sin grips the sole and they lie prostrate unable to fend for themselves because they are inflamed by the parasite of sin, then shouldn’t we as Christians endeavoring to be Christ like taking this person by the hand and lift them up, helping to restore them physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Oh, you are right, for I can hear some of you say, but wait a minute, we have no power in ourselves to do this. You are quite right we don’t, we could but we don’t. However, when we perform acts of mercy both within and without the church to those that are suffering from the fever of sin or suffering from unclean spirits, aren’t we then allowing the Holy Spirit to work through us to relieve the suffering of those around us.
This is what Christ did and Christ came to serve, not to be served. Yet I see a lot of Christians that feel they need to be served instead of following the example of Christ and serving others. We have six days to labor and do all our work, but the seventh-day is the Sabbath and is the Sabbath of the Lord our God. God set it aside for a special work. A day used to restore the relationship between ourselves and God, but more importantly a day to serve our fellow mankind lifting them up spiritually and physically and even emotionally so that they can see the love of Christ and long to be restored, restored to a relationship with Christ, to know his love, kindness and mercy. They are longing to see Christ in us.
Christ by performing these Sabbath Miracles shows us the true reason for the Sabbath, it is to worship him and relieve the physical and spiritual suffering of those around us.
32 At the evening when the sun had set, (Mark made sure that the Jewish reader knew that what followed came after the Sabbath was over, but from what we have learned they failed to grasp the true meaning of the Sabbath) they brought to Him all who were sick and those who were demon-possessed. 33 and the whole city was gathered together at the door. 34 Then He healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He did not allow the demons to speak, because they knew Him.
Wouldn’t it be exciting if our churches became such dynamic hospitals for the spiritually sick that no evil could be spoken against them? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if people could see Christ living within us and flowing out from us that they flocked to the church for spiritual guidance and spiritual healing?
It is possible, it is very possible for this to be the case, all it takes is for us to humble ourselves like Christ did. Allow the world to see God the Father through us and allow the Holy Spirit to guide us in all things. It’s possible and I feel attainable but it all starts with humility, prayer and the desire to be like Christ.
So, where and how did Jesus get all this power? Our next post will help answer this question.