Mark 1:21-45 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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The Beginning of the Messiah's Ministry
A day in the life of Jesus
Comments for Study 2

Mark 1:21-45
Memory Verse: 38


I. Jesus' Preaching (21-28)

>1. Note the time and place of this event.

* "They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach." (21)

* "They went to Capernaum" -Jesus went to them.

* "Capernaum" -Capernaum was a big fish city on the sea of Galilee. It was the hometown of a lot of Jesus' disciples. Eventually Capernaum became Jesus' center. Jesus moved from Nazareth and made Capernaum his home.

* "and when the Sabbath came" -Jesus kept the Sabbath day holy, as a man under the law. The Sabbath is our Saturday. In the third century AD Constantine officially moved the day of gather from Saturday to Sunday. His reason were rather dubious, mostly out of seeming hate for the Jews living in Rome at the time. Paul wrote that no matter what day you consider holy, do so unto the Lord.

* "Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach" -a place of worship for a Jew, where the word of God was taught. Usually a distinguished person or a guest read from the Scriptures and taught. Jesus taught, but he had no degree from Jerusalem. Why did Jesus teach in the synagogue? People there were waiting to be taught the word of God.

* This was the beginning of Jesus' ministry. In the early part of his ministry he often taught the masses. Later, he taught and trained his disciples.

* Jesus had already meet the disciples at least twice before. See John 1.

>How did the people respond to Jesus' teaching?

* "The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law." (22)

* "amazed at his teaching" -thrilled and delighted. They did not expect a common self educated person to know the word of God so well. Jesus said later in his ministry that he would send the Holy Spirit to those who believe in him. He said that the Holy Spirit will "lead you into all truths" and will "remind us of Jesus and his teachings". Jesus also told his disciples to not call anyone teacher (Rabbi) and father because there is only one teacher and he is the Holy Spirit. For this reason we should all study the Bible and pray for the Holy Spirit to teach us.


* Jesus is the word incarnate. See John 1. Jesus came from God.

* He taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. (22)

* Jesus taught the word of God.

* Jesus taught with a shepherd's heart. He knew what they needed.

* Jesus had the anointing of the Holy Spirit. People were convicted. The evil spirit had a violent reaction (21-28)

* If we teach the word of God with a shepherd's heart with the anointing of the Spirit on us, we will have authority when we speak.

* How can we have the anointing of the Spirit? Accept Jesus as Savior and Lord and engage in prayer as the disciples did on Pentecost.

* Exalt God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit when teaching the Bible.

* He had faith.

* 1 Corinthians 2:13; 15:3-4

>Why was it that the teachers of the law had no authority in their teaching?

* They were not anointed with the Holy Spirit.

* They did not teach with a shepherd's heart.

* They did not teach with understanding of the Scriptures. It was based on commentaries of the Torah (Scriptures).

* They taught out of pride.

* Many professors teach like this.

* Wasn't to bring people to the Messiah. Didn't focus on the Messiah. They took God out of the picture.

* They did have political power and human power.

>2. What happened while Jesus was teaching?

* "Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit cried out, 'What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are--the Holy One of God!'" (23-24)

* "Just then a man in their synagogue"-he might have been a regular.

* The demon knew Jesus was there, but didn't make a scene until Jesus began teaching.

* When the Pharisees taught the evil spirits didn't do anything.

* He had a very loud and scary voice.

* "us" -it was the evil spirit saying this.

>Why would the evil spirit know Jesus?

* Jesus is the Son of God, everlasting to everlasting. The demon saw Jesus in heaven.

* Satan recognized God right away.

* The evil spirit knew authority.

>How did Jesus demonstrate his authority?

* "'Be quiet!' said Jesus sternly. 'Come out of him!' The evil spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek." (25-26)

* Authority means to have higher position.

* The evil spirit was harsh and rebellious. (26)

* "Be quiet" was a rebuke. "Come out" was a command.

* Didn't take evil spirits lightly. Later Jesus disciples could not command a demon to come out because they had no spiritual authority. Jesus told them, "This kind only comes out with prayer and fasting."

* Was stern.

* Didn't engage with unnecessary conversation. Didn't answer to what the evil spirit was saying.

* When a problem arose Jesus dealt with it. He did not wait for it to go away.

* This man made the problem public, so Jesus dealt with it publicly.

* When the people rebelled, Moses humbly prayed and did not argue with them.

>How did ordinary people respond to him?

* "The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, 'What is this? A new teaching--and with authority! He even gives orders to evil spirits and they obey him.' News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee." (27-28)

* "a new teaching--and with authority! He even"-the casting out was not what made it new to them. It was Jesus style.


* Jesus taught with authority.

* Evil spirits listened to him.

* Pray that people may respond when we are preaching.

* Hebrews 4:12

II. Jesus' Healing (29-34)

>3. Why did Jesus and his disciples go to Simon's house?

* "As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew." (29)

* "As soon at they left the synagogue" -Jesus did not waste his time. He had direct purpose.

* "they" -Jesus and the previously demon possessed man.

* "went with James and John" -James and John are not the "they" in this sentence.

* "to the home of Simon and Andrew" -seem to indicate that James and John were there. But that Simon and Andrew were not at the Sabbath worship service.

* Maybe also to eat. (31)

>What problem did they find there?

* "Simon's mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told Jesus about her." (30)

* They still had weak faith.

* Simon had quit his job for Jesus. So mother in law might have been so worried that she got sick.

>What did Jesus do about the problem?

* "So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them." (31)

* Jesus showed that mother's problem was no problem at all.

* Jesus changed mother in law's heart because she waited on them after this.

* Jesus worked well with parents of followers.

>What does this show us about Jesus?

* Nowhere does it say that she have faith or was directed to act in faith before Jesus did this, as Jesus did with other people. So why did he do? Because Peter had made a decision of faith to follow Jesus.

* He has compassion on those who follow him and their families, even in practical things.

* He helps his disciples and their families who follow him, even mother-in-laws.

* Jesus visited his followers in their homes to help them. Visiting people for the gospel is important. We should go to them, not wait for them to come to us (although that does happen at times).

* Jesus was very graceful.

* Simon could not devote himself to Jesus with these problems.

* Jesus found the problem and tired to solve the problem.

>4. Why do you think so many people came to Simon's house, and why so late?

* "That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was." (34-37)

* "That evening after sunset" -according to Jewish law the Sabbath ended at sunset, thus the people could work (walk long distances, carry people, the lepers came at night because they were not aloud to be in the public during the day, etc.).

* "the people brought to Jesus" -Jesus didn't seek this even. It came to him.

* "all the sick and demon-possessed" -they came to be healed, included their beloved family members.

* The people wanted Jesus to help them right away because Jesus could have left at any time. They did not know how long he would stay.

* "The whole town gathered" -Jesus only healed one person and taught, according to Mark (a great catch of fish was in another account), but still many people came.

* "various diseases" -they all had a lot of different problems.

>How did Jesus receive them?

* He accepted them and healed them.

* Didn't turn away.

* Welcomed as they were.

>What can you learn from Jesus?

* A sacrificial shepherd's heart.

* To accept people even when we are tired.

* Distinction between demon possessed and sick. Each had their own individual problems.

* After struggling with evil our spirit can be very tired.

* Jesus didn't turn away from people.

* Pray to help one person; then more will come.

III. Jesus Prays in a Solitary Place (35-39)

>5. When and where did Jesus pray?

* "Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed." (35)

* In a solitary place.

* Early in the morning.

* Jesus must of had tremendous physical stamina. The night before he healed until late at night.

>Why did he choose this time and place?

* It was a quiet solitary place.

* No one would be there to interrupt him.

* Only time he had alone with God.

* Morning is a quiet time of the day.

* This was a regular part of his ministry.

* It was the beginning of the day.

* If he did it later, his mind would have been more busy.

* The Israelites had to also get up very early in the morning to get manna.

>What do you think he prayer about?

* Direction for his ministry. Note that after this Jesus changed the direction of his ministry.

* Strength to do God's will and help people.

* For the disciple's problems.

* All the things Jesus did was good, but what was important is what he did; first things first.

>Why do you think Jesus, the Son of God, thought it so important to pray?

* He came to do God's will, not his.

* He was also the Son of Man.

* He needed communication with God that is have a continual personal dynamic relationship with God.

* There was a spiritual battle going on.

* Why is it hard to begin to pray? The sinful man is stronger than the spiritual man for we are drained before we pray.

* He had a sense of direction.

* He wanted to be an example to us.

* Satan does the following to destroy a man of God; 1) tempting us to sin, 2) make us very busy so that we lose point. Therefore, we need to set priorities. Yet we need to be flexible in our set priorities.

>6. Why did Simon and the others come looking for Jesus?

* "Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: 'Everyone is looking for you!'" (36-37)

>What does this show about them?

* They liked the popularity of Jesus.

* They did not pray.

* They were excited about the crowds coming to Jesus.

* They were caught up in the excitement and the healing ministry.

* They were simply reacting the situation.

* They were spiritually immature. They didn't understand the spiritual battle.

>Why do you think Jesus decided to leave Capernaum for a time and travel to others villages?

* To give the good news to others (38). To scatter the seed quickly in many places.

* To give those who came a chance to think about what he said and did.

* He did not come to be a healer, and that is what the people wanted.

* People were waiting for him, but he left.

* Jesus did not rebuke the disciples hard; actually it wasn't a rebuke at all, just stating the facts so that they could learn.

* Jesus had a bigger scope of vision.

* "this is why I have come"-preach the word is most important thing for a man of God. Jesus did a lot but he didn't lose sight of the big picture as the Messiah.

>How was this decision related to Jesus' prayer?

* He had prayed for direction which was to teach.

* He could have healed continually.

IV. Jesus Heals a Man with Leprosy (40-45)

>7. Put yourself in the situation of the man with leprosy. How would a leper feel?

* Rejected from society. A cast out. Lonely and sad.

* Cursed by God. That God doesn't love him.

* Angry at times.

* Waiting for death.

* No hope.

* Self pity.

* Leprosy is a skin disease.

* Sin has a similar affect on us spiritually.

* It is contagious.

* Spiritual leprosy (sin) is similar to physical leprosy.

>What did this man believe about Jesus?

* "A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, 'If you are willing, you can make me clean.'" (40)

* He had faith in Jesus.

* He was humble in attitude.

* He knew Jesus could do it.

* Sinners need to come to Jesus like this.

>8. What did Jesus do for this man?

* "Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. 'I am willing,' he said. 'Be clean!' Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured." (41-42)

* He healed him and gave him direction

* Jesus had a clear direction to preach, but he was flexible enough to help the immediate needs of one person.

>What is the significance of Jesus' touch?

* People would not touch a leper.

* It shows he had compassion on him.

>His spoken word?

* People did not talk to him.

* When Jesus is willing it happens.

* It is the words of the creator.

* The man doubted Jesus' willingness, so Jesus said, "I am willing."

>What instructions did Jesus give the man, and why?

* "Jesus sent him away at once with a strong warning: 'See that you don't tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.'" (43-44)

* "But a testimony to them"-the instruction was so that he would be accepted into society again.

* "See that you don't tell this to anyone"-so Jesus wouldn't run into the problem he did in Capernaum; people coming only to be healed.

* "the priest"-Jesus recognized some priests were good.

* Jesus wanted him to have a normal life.

>How did this event affect Jesus' ministry?

* "Instead he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news. As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere." (45)

>What can we learn about Jesus from this whole passage?

* Focus on the vital things, but remain flexible. They are:
    1) preaching ministry
    2) prayer
    3) shepherd heart