Wednesday

13 October 2021

Mark 1:29-39

And the whole city was gathered around the door. And he cured many who were sick with various diseases. (vs 33-34)

Psalm 13

Background

The healing of a man in the synagogue (Mark 1:23-26) leads to a dramatic change for Jesus and his disciples. Word clearly spread quickly. Within hours, as sunset brought the end of the Sabbath and people were allowed to do the work of carrying their friends and relatives, crowds of people brought those who were physically or mentally ill for Jesus to heal them. There appears though to have been many more swelling the crowd, perhaps simply to see what was happening. There were so many that it felt as if “the whole city was gathered around the door” (v. 33). Jesus had suddenly become the number one attraction in town.

We can only imagine what Simon’s mother-in-law felt about all of this. She had just recovered from a fever, and rather than resting she instead set about offering hospitality and waiting on her visitors. On top of that, only a few hours later a crowd of people suddenly appear on her doorstep. It would have been interesting to listen to the lively conversation between her and her son-in-law Simon, but sadly the gospel writer didn’t record that for us.

What we do learn is that this sudden attention meant Jesus felt the need to leave the house early in the morning in order to have to time to himself for prayer. He needed time to refresh and recharge, and perhaps to reassess both what was happening and what could happen next. But he also made it clear that he needed to move on and share his message of good news with as many people as he could. Again, there is a sense of urgency about his God-given task. He does not have the luxury of staying for a longer period in a familiar town. Neither can he simply allow people to learn what he has been saying and doing in Capernaum to spread through rumours. He needs to do all he can to travel around the area and speak to people directly, and his new followers will need to learn to keep up.

To Ponder:

  • After a year where so many have sought healing from the physical and mental health impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, we pray for those who work to bring that healing.
  • How do you find quiet times to be with God?

Bible notes author

Dr Richard Vautrey

Richard Vautrey is a local preacher and church steward in Leeds, and a former Vice-President of the Methodist Conference. He works as a GP, is an elected member of the BMA Council and is chair of the BMA's GP committee.

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