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19: A Notable Sabbath Day in Capernaum

May 14, 2009

Major Text: Mark 1:21-34

Harmony Texts:

Mark 1:21-28         Luke 4:31-37
Matt. 8:14-17       Mark 1:29-34         Luke 4:38-41


  1. Teaching in the Synagogue          Mark 1:21-28
  2. Healing at Peter’s Home              Mark 1:29-34



Jesus is beginning His Galilean ministry in earnest after calling His first four disciples.  He begins by teaching in the synagogue and healing Peter’s mother-in-law, thus building His credibility.

Jesus teaches with authority.  It is not “this is what I think it means” but “THIS IS WHAT IT MEANS”.  Jesus speaks from first hand knowledge and experience.  He answers questions with confidence.  He is assured His teaching and explanations of scripture are correct.  The tone of His teaching is much different than that of their local rabbi’s.  He is different and they are amazed.

A man with an evil spirit is in the temple and recognizes Jesus for who He is; The Son of God, The Holy One.  Jesus calls the evil spirit out of the man immediately. Therefore, Jesus’ teaching has instant credibility with the people.  The people are amazed at His authority and word about His miraculous power [more so than His authoritative teaching] spreads throughout Galilee.

Jesus and His disciples retreat to Peter’s house which is less than a block from the synagogue and right on the Sea of Galilee.  They find Peter’s mother-in-law sick with a fever so Jesus immediately heals her and she gets on with her duties of serving them.

Because of what had happened that morning in the synagogue, the people brought all they knew who were sick and lame to Peter’s house so Jesus could heal them and cast out demons.  He refuses to let the demons speak because it is too soon for the people to fully comprehend who He is.  If they did, they would rise up and want to make Him King.  He had come as their Savior, not as their King.  That comes later.  He needs to correct their theology and teach them about His grace, His mercy, and His purpose which was to sacrifice Himself for all, that all who believe in Him might have eternal life.  So Jesus’ authority includes discerning the right time to fully reveal who He was.

Capernaum changed with Jesus’ teaching; placing faith in His words and demonstrated authority.  They were proactive in wanting evil removed from among them.

Humble hard working people will always be more open to the Gospel than the educated elite/proud.  They are more likely to seek help.  The educated elite [Pharisees] are too proud to ask.  Miracles are recognized by the humble, not the proud.  This doesn’t mean we should ignore ministering and witnessing to the proud.  It just means that we must be sure of our call.  Jesus did not spend much time in Jerusalem or with the Pharisees because their hearts were hard.  He spent time with those who would listen.



  1. When you read the Word of God, accept its’ authority.
  2. Make sure you are ministering where God wants you. Don’t minister to hard hearts when fertile hearts are available. Look for the humble, not the proud.
  3. If people do not accept God’s Word and His authority in their lives, they will not be saved.

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