Faithlife Sermons

The Heart of the Healer-Mark 1:29-39

Last Sunday morning in our journey through the Gospel according to Mark, we looked at Mark 1:21-28 where we saw Jesus Authority Confirmed. To begin with we saw that Jesus Had Authority In God’s Word . His teaching was completely different than what the people were used to hearing from the scribes and Rabbi’s. Most of their teaching was simply quoting other famous Rabbi’s and their desire was more to pump themselves up than to make the Word of God clear and understandable to the listeners. Jesus taught with an authority they had never seen before, so much so that it literally blew their minds! He had no need to quote other Rabbi’s as if they were authorities, He literally wrote the Book, He was THE Authority!
Moving on we saw that Jesus Had Authority Over the Demonic Realm. That was evidenced by Him casting a demon out of a man that was present in the synagogue the day He was there teaching. The demon was filled with fear in the presence of Jesus and as he listened to Him clearly teaching God’s Word. While listening he shrieked aloud uncontrollably. It was interesting that there was a demon possessed man in a place devoted to worship of God, which is one of the reasons we place so much of an emphasis on songs of worship & praise, the proclamation of the Word of God and speaking the name of Jesus. As we continued we looked at that fact that Jesus Came To Destroy the Works of the Devil, and that in the end He will do so with nothing more than His Word, His Word is powerful enough to defeat the enemy.
We closed out last week by rejoicing in the fact that no matter where we may be, no matter what we may have done, There is Hope For the Worst of Us . If a demon possessed man is not beyond the reach of Jesus, we can trust we are not beyond His reach either.
That brings us to this mornings passage. Mark 1:29-39
Please stand for the reading of God’s Word
29 And immediately He left the synagogue and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30 Now Simon's mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, and immediately they told Him about her. 31 And He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her, and she began to serve them.
32 That evening at sundown they brought to Him all who were sick or oppressed by demons. 33 And the whole city was gathered together at the door. 34 And He healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. And He would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew Him.
35 And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, He departed and went out to a desolate place, and there He prayed. 36 And Simon and those who were with Him searched for Him, 37 and they found Him and said to Him, “Everyone is looking for You.” 38 And He said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.” 39 And He went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.
One of the first things we see in this mornings passage is:
Next Slide
The Heart of the Healer-Peter’s Mother-In-Law: Mark 1:29-31; Luke 4: 38-39; Mt. 8:14-15
This had already been quite the day. I mean, put your self in the place of Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John. Just yesterday you were out doing your craft. You had just finished fishing, or in the case of Simon Peter and Andrew, were just finishing fishing, and along came Jesus, and He challenged you to put fishing behind you, or at least fishing for fish, He had something new He wanted you to fish for, He challenged you to fish for the lives of men. To be honest, you weren’t quite sure what that meant, but you were certain that following Jesus would be the best thing that ever happened to you.
Today started off like any other Sabbath day, before long you found yourself in the synagogue. Keep in mind I said “It started off like any other Sabbath”. That all changed when the ruler of the synagogue called Jesus to the front to open up the scroll containing God’s Word. Nothing, I mean absolutely nothing was the same the moment Jesus began to read and teach from the Holy Scriptures. It’s really hard to explain, I guess the best way I can describe it is....well have you ever had the privilege of having someone read to you from a book they actually wrote? That’s what it was like. Jesus read from the Word of God as if He Himself had put pen to paper. Just listening to Him read had us all spell bound, and not just us, I mean seriously, everyone present was spell bound. And that was just when He read, after reading a short time, He set the scroll down on the lectern in front of Him and began to teach. It was unlike anything you had ever heard was captivating, completely captivating. There was absolute silence as you listened to Jesus read and then began to explain the Sacred Text in a way that only the actual author could have done. You could have set there for hours listening to Him teach. Most of the time your eyes were fastened on Jesus and when they weren’t on Jesus, it was because you turned to look at the person next to you to see if they were doing what you were doing, which was listening dumbfounded, mouth a-gap hanging on every word.
Before long, and to be honest way to soon, the silence was broken by a shriek from the back. Thinking back on it, you did sorta notice some commotion a little earlier, but you did your best to ignore it, this was just too good not to listen to. But there was no ignoring this shriek, obviously this individual was filled with fear, fear about something, you weren’t quite sure yet. And the voice, well the voice didn’t hardly seem natural, I can’t really explain it, let’s just say, you’d never heard a voice like that before. He shrieked at Jesus, but really only got 2 quick phrases out of his mouth before Jesus spoke just one phrase; “Be silent, and come out of him!” One quick scream, then the man convulsed, almost like he’d had a small seizure or something, and that was it, the man was as normal as anyone else there that day, including his voice. You thought you were dumbfounded before, but watching Jesus exercise His authority over a demon with nothing more than His voice, hard to imagine this day getting any better.
You all, that is Simon Peter, Andrew, James & John, left the synagogue almost dancing as you made the short walk from there to the home of Simon Peter and the best part about it was, Jesus was right there alongside you. Generally, after you left the synagogue on the Sabbath, it was customary to have the biggest meal of the day, which usually took place about noon, and truthfully, you were all pretty ready to eat! But the moment you walked into the door, well you knew a big meal was not going to happen. The look on Simon Peter’s wife's face said it all, something was wrong.
She looked at Simon Peter then said; “Something is wrong with my mother, it’s like she is on fire!” Then she turned her eyes on Jesus; “Jesus, can you do something for her?” You watched as Jesus immediately walked over besides the place she lay on, sweat dripping from her pale white face, His eyes filled with compassion. He reached down and took hold of her hand then He spoke. It was really kind of interesting, the best you could tell, He wasn’t speaking to her, He actually spoke to the fever…as if the fever could understand His voice…oddly enough, it appeared the fever could, because He told the fever to leave her, and that is exactly what happened, no sooner did He say the word than the fever left her body. She sat up, looked around the room at everyone present, almost embarrassed that all eyes were on her. Then she quickly got out of the bed and made her way into the kitchen to get a meal together.
This wasn’t the first time you saw some one move past a fever, but this was the first time you saw them instantly regain their strength as if they had never had a fever to begin with, I mean that just didn’t happen, it usually took 2-3 days to fully regain strength. With her, at just the Words from the mouth of Jesus, she was instantly and completely better. The rest of the afternoon you all sat around and ate and talked and listened to Jesus. It was an incredible afternoon, just enjoying the presence of the Master in quiet solitude.
What a beautiful picture, as we think back on this story of The Heart of the Healer towards Peter’s Mother-In-Law. But that moves us to something else I want to make sure we don’t miss here, it would actually be easy to miss it as it’s just one short phrase at the end of the verse.
Next Slide
The Grateful Heart of the Healed. Mark 1:31; Luke 4:39, Mt. 8:15
Look at the last phrase of Mark 1:31;
“and she began to serve them.”
Did you notice her immediate response to her healing? Her immediate response was to serve the Healer, and not just the Healer but everyone else present as well. What a beautiful response, but what a beautifully unique response. You will notice as we go through The Gospel According to Mark, that Jesus heals to many to count, He cast’s out demon after demon, gives sight to the blind, gives the gift of sound to the deaf, and a voice to the mute, yet the thing that is missing from almost all of those other miraculous encounters is a grateful heart from the recipient of the miracle. Oh sure, probably most likely gave a quick “Thank You” to Jesus, but then they went on their merry way.
Not so with Peter’s mother-in-law. She jumped to her feet and served the Master, and all those with Him.
What does this mean for you and me? Outside of being a neat little side note on our passage this morning. That’s the part I want to make sure we don’t miss in our passage today. As far as we can tell, whatever it was that she was facing with this fever, it was likely not life threatening. It was a fever, and everyone listening this morning has experienced many fevers. So, here she was cured of nothing more than a fever and her immediate response was to serve.
If you have come to the point that you have put your faith and trust in Jesus, you have literally been plucked out of the hands of Satan, saved from an eternity in Hell, yet the vast majority that claim to have trusted in Christ respond in the same way that the vast majority responded throughout the Gospels to Jesus miraculous healings. A quick “Thank you” and then they move on with their lives, as if nothing even happened. That should bring a question to your mind right now, and that question is, Next Slide
“How have I responded the this insurmountable gift I have received from Jesus?”
Think that question through for a moment.
While the home of Simon Peter may have been enjoying a quiet Sabbath afternoon with Jesus after the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law, that was not the case for the rest of the town of Capernaum. You see what took place earlier in the day at the Synagogue had created quite the stir throughout the rest of the city. Probably everyone had heard the stories of what Jesus had done in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, about the miracles, the casting out of demons, of the power of just His Word’s and touch, but so far that is all they were, just stories, nothing more. Now they had seen with their eyes that Jesus just spoke and the demon fled. Could the rest of the stories be true also? But they were all faced with a problem, the problem was it was the Sabbath, and in Israel there were very strict rules on practically everything they did on the Sabbath.
Until sundown they had to stay put.
That brings us to verse 32, where we read; Next Slide
“32 That evening at sundown they brought to Him all who were sick or oppressed by demons.”
Have you ever heard the phrase “A watched pot never boils.”? Well I have to tell you, there were a lot of watched pots that Sabbath afternoon. My guess is that for many, every 5 minutes someone from the house walked to look out the window facing the west, just waiting for the sun to set, and no sooner did it fade over the western horizon than they made their way to the home of Simon Peter.
That brings us to the next beautiful lesson from todays passage: Next Slide
The Heart of the Healer-The Healings At Night. Mark 1:32-34; Luke 4:40-41; Mt. 8:16-17
Keep in mind this had already been a long day for Jesus and the demands on Him and His time and His Word’s and His touch were never ending. And just when you may think, “Finally, the sun is setting, I can just get a little rest!” There is a commotion just outside the front door, then a knock. I would imagine Simon Peter probably went to the door thinking, “Hmmm, I wonder who that could be?” Then he opened the door and quickly got his answer, it was everyone! I mean the whole town had assembled at the door. I’ve got to be honest with you, there is a good chance that had I been in Jesus sandals that day, I may have had Peter send them away, it was already getting dark and the day had already been a busy one. But that’s not what we see in The Heart of the Healer. In The Heart of the Healer we see compassion. In The Heart of the Healer we see love. In The Heart of the Healer we see unselfishness. In The Heart of the Healer we see action. Look at verse 34; Next Slide
34 And He healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons.
The Greek word used for “many” gives the impression that Jesus healed to many to count. We get the idea that He turned no one away. Perhaps after several hours, many left thinking they’d be back the next morning. At any rate, at some point in time the crowd dwindled to nothing and Jesus was able to get some rest.
The key here is The Heart of the Healer was moved with compassion for the people, He would have time to rest later, for now, He touched, loved, healed and cast out demons.
You see The Heart of the Healer was a heart of unselfishness.
This brings us to the last lesson from today’s passage: Next Slide
The Heart of the Healer-The Pre-Dawn Prayer. Mark 1:35-39; Luke 4:42-44
There is perhaps little else in the life of Jesus that was so paramount to His success, than what we read in verse 35. Next Slide
“And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, He departed and went out to a desolate place, and there He prayed.”
Jesus knew that He was here to do the business of the Father. You can't do the business of the Father without consulting with Him. Otherwise you might find out that what you were doing, no matter how noble or good it might be, wasn't at all what God wanted you to do.
Let's look at the situation Jesus was in here in today's passage. The whole town had gathered at the door of the Peter’s house the night before, just to see Jesus, just to experience the power of His touch, the power in His voice. He had had the opportunity to do many great and mighty things. Yet that morning, Jesus approached the throne of God to seek the will of the Father. Guess what, God had other plans for Jesus on this day. So, Jesus made what was probably an unpopular decision to move on.
Can you imagine the reaction of His disciples? This was Peter's hometown and the there was already a crowd gathered to experience a touch of the Healer's hand. But none of that mattered to Jesus. The only thing that mattered to Him was doing the will of the Father. The fact of the matter is, Jesus left many needs unmet throughout His ministry. Because He sought the will of the Father for direction and when the God directed Him to move on, He moved on. Too much of the time for the believer, we get stuck in our ministry ruts. After all what we're doing is good. It is noble and praiseworthy; the people applaud us and pat us on the back. But if we are not doing what God wants us to do, then it doesn't count for much.
If seeking the Face of the Father was of such important thing for Jesus that He got up before sunrise, is it any less important for us? If we are to be about the Father's business, then we need to follow the lead of Jesus, and seek His face early and continually.
What a joy it has been to look at the life of Jesus in this mornings passage. To see His heart of compassion for others. To see His unselfish love, and to see His unending passion to seek the Face of the Father and constantly be about His will. And what a joy it was to see the grateful heart of Peter’s mother-in-law. For her, a quick “Thanks You” and then back to her normal routine was not enough. She sought to serve in gratitude for what Jesus had done in her life.
My prayer for us this morning is that we will take these lessons to heart. That God might accomplish great things through us, His faithful servants.
Let’s pray.
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