February 16th 2018 Mark 1:29-2:12

29 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 wife’s mother lay sick with a fever, and they told Him about her at once.

They entered this house together, it was a small gathering, really of just family and a few close friends. When we think of the miracles that God performed often times we think of the feeding of the five thousand or others that involved a big crowd. That was not always the case. Jesus would meet the needs of those along the way. Sometimes that would be in crowd situations and other times it would be small and intimate. Here we see and example of a small gathering of people. Immediately upon their arrival they are told of this woman’s sick condition. When we know of someone who is ill is our first decision to bring them to the Lord in prayer. I know that is not always my first response.

31 So He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and immediately the fever left her.     

And she served them.

I love that each time the Lord heals He does it slightly different. Here with this sick woman all Jesus did was come and take her by the hands and lifted her to her feet and she was healed. A simple touch from our Savior and we are healed. Her response is also notable, this is what our response should be. We should respond much in the same manner that peter’s mother-in-law did, we should get up and serve. When we realize just how much God really did for us when He gave us salvation the only correct response should be service. Out of gratitude for what was done we should seek to say thank you in a way that matters. Our service to the lord will all look different. Whatever it is that you do, whether big or small in your mind, do you do it in service to the Lord? Colossians 3:17 tells us to do everything we do unto the Lord. Just a few verses after that in verse 23 and 24 we are told to do everything heartily unto the lord and not man knowing that our reward comes from Him.

32 At evening, when the sun had set, 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.

They brought all that were sick to Him, so much so that it seemed to whole of the city was gathered at the door. Do we have faith like that? Or do we see a crowd and assume there will not be time for us to get our question answered or our need meet? Jesus  meet the needs of those who came, whether it was from sickness of some kind or demon possession. We need to remember that when we things we need to go to Jesus with, He is God and has seen it all and can heal it all. Jesus would not allow the demons to speak because they knew He was the Christ and it was not yet time for Him to be revealed as such. He had an earthly ministry that needed to take place first.

35 Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.

We need to follow the example of our Lord in this. We need to wake before the day begins and the demand of the day start to rise and we need to get alone with God. Do you do that? Do you have scheduled time where you meet with God in the morning? I know some of you may not be morning people, until recently I was not, and sometimes mornings can still be a struggle for me. If you are like me you function better at night, but I would often miss time of devotion to God because I thought I would do it right before bed. By the time that rolled around I was so tired from all of life’s demands that I would often go to sleep before reading any of the Bible that day. Since making the switch to mornings I do not miss time of Bible study with God. If you schedule time with God at night and it works for you, in that I mean you are actually spending that time with Him, by all means keep it. If you need to start setting up time for God or you are suppose to do it at night and it simply is not working for you, I encourage you to get up just 30 minutes earlier and start with time with Jesus. The important part is that we are alone with Christ.

36 And Simon and those who were with Him searched for Him. 37 When they found Him, they said to Him, “Everyone is looking for You.” 38 But He said to them, “Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth.”

Jesus impacted their lives. When awoke and He was not there they took off in search of Him. They did not yet understand this as the pattern of Christ. Has you continue to read about the journey of Jesus’ life you will see many instances of early departures to mountain tops to pray. The disciples knew that is where they could find Him. Peter informed Jesus that everyone was looking for Him and Jesus says let us move on to the next towns. At first glance that may seem a little strange. But Jesus reveals the reason that He came in this statement. He did not come down from heaven to dwell in one little area and fix everyone’s everything; though He does fix and heal and mend, that was not His primary focus. His primary objective was to go to all the regions and preach to them all. When we come to Christ is it to get to know Him more, or is it to receive healing in one area or another? We are encouraged to come to God with our needs, to bring everything before His throne, but relationship with Him should be the primary reason we come to Him, everything else is just blessing.

39 And He was preaching in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and casting out demons.

Jesus did just what He said He would do, He preached through all of  Galilee.and everywhere He went He wan out demons. Spiritual warfare is a very real thing, but we need not fear it our God is stronger and tells those demons right where to go and they must obey.

40 Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” 41 Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” 42 As soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed.

Have you ever been to that place of desperation, a place where you do not even know if someone would be willing to help you? In this lepers statement he does not discount Jesus ability to heal. I wonder if He has heard of Jesus healing power as the crowds have walked by. See back then people with leprosy had to live in little gathers outside of town. Leprosy was a very contagious skin disease that would literally start eating the flesh off your body. Whenever someone would get close to them they would have to announce that they were unclean so the person would stay away and the disease would not spread. Think of how this must have destroyed the person perspective of themself. He comes to Jesus, not doubting the ability Christ had to clean him, but whether He would be willing to cleanse someone like him. Jesus had compassion on him and touched him. Remembering that this is a contagious skin disease we know that this man has not been touched in a very long time, not since the outbreak started for him. We do not know how long he was isolated from society, but be it a year, a month, or ever just a week not being touched and then from someone to reach out for you when you are at your lowest. I know that meant the world to Him. As soon as he was touched the leprosy left Him. complete and immediate healing, that is what Christ has to offer us.

43 And He strictly warned him and sent him away at once, 44 and said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing those things which Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”

He was sent back to show and prove that he was no longer infected and be welcomed back into society, but He was sent with a command to say nothing to anyone about how it happened. I cannot imagine how hard that must have been. There is always a reason behind God telling us to obey Him. Whether we see it or not cannot dictate our obedience.

45 However, he went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the matter, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter the city, but was outside in deserted places; and they came to Him from every direction.

The crowds became so overwhelming that Jesus could no longer freely enter the city and teach. He had to stay on the outskirts and have people come to Him. We may sometimes think that we have a better plan or that we are helping in our disobedience. I doubt that this man knew what he was doing and i believe he thought he was helping and just sharing about the man who saved him. However obedience is always better, it is the one thing that God requires of us. Read 1 Samuel 15 for reference on us thinking with know better and disobeying.

1 And again He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house. 2 Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them.

Again overwhelming crowds gathered. He was crowded but able to still teach. So inside of this crowded house that did not even having standing room only available any more Christ preached the word to them.

3 Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. 4 And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” 6 And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, 7 “Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 8 But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, “Why do you reason about these things in your hearts? 9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk’? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the paralytic, 11 “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” 12 Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”

The faith of this man’s friends is amazing. We do not know if he was paralyzed from birth or if it was from a disease or and accident. These men knew Jesus was here and that He was teaching. They did not immediately think about themselves and what they could get from Jesus, their hearts went out to their friend who could not by himself get to Jesus. So they carried him through the city on his mat until they reached the house. Then when they crowd was so big that they could not get into see Jesus they did not give up. They climbed up on the roof and hoisted their friend up their with them. They proceeded to break the roof and drop their friend on his mat at the feet of Jesus. We would expect Christ just to heal the man, but He does something different first. He forgives his sins. This makes the religious leaders furious. They begin to call Him a blasphemere in their hearts. Knowing this Jesus calls them out on that. Let’s stop right there and remember that God sees our hearts and knows what is in them better then we do ourselves. We need His help to see ourselves properly. Jesus continues by saying basically let me prove to you that I am the Son of God and have the right to forgive sins by doing something that is even harder than forgiving sins. He tells the young man to get up and walk. Immediately this man was able to walk again. How great a sight that must have been. Our Lord is capable of it all. He can forgive our sins, even the ones that we think are beyond His reach of grace. A word from Him is all we need. We are blessed enough to have a whole book of His words. Open it and read it today see what word it is that He has for you specifically today.

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