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Bible Commentaries

Bridgeway Bible Commentary

Mark 1

Verses 21-28

28. Man with an evil spirit healed (Mark 1:21-41.1.28; Luke 4:31-42.4.37)

While in Capernaum Jesus preached in the local synagogue. People noticed that his teaching was very much different from that of the Jewish religious teachers. Instead of arguing about small points of the law he taught the truth of God plainly. All who heard had no doubt that this was God’s message taught with his authority (Mark 1:21-41.1.22).

On this occasion, however, Jesus’ teaching was violently opposed by evil satanic powers that had taken control of a man in the audience. Such demons opposed Jesus throughout his ministry, but they were never victorious over him. News of Jesus’ authority over evil spirits spread quickly throughout northern Palestine (Mark 1:23-41.1.28).

Verses 29-39

29. Many sick people healed (Matthew 4:23-40.4.25; Matthew 8:14-40.8.17; Mark 1:29-41.1.39; Luke 4:38-42.4.44)

Further examples of the ministry of Jesus show the presence and power of the kingdom of God in healing those afflicted by Satan (Matthew 4:23-40.4.25; Mark 1:29-41.1.34). (For the significance of the kingdom of God see earlier section, ‘Jesus and the Kingdom’.) On one occasion when Jesus was staying in Capernaum, he went outside the town to find a quiet place to pray to his Father. Peter thought he was losing valuable opportunities, as the town was full of people looking for him. Jesus replied that no matter how many needy people were in Capernaum, he could not stay there all the time. He had to work and preach in other towns as well (Mark 1:35-41.1.39).

Verses 40-45

30. Jesus cleanses a leper (Matthew 8:1-40.8.4; Mark 1:40-41.1.45; Luke 5:12-42.5.16)

People with leprosy and other skin diseases were considered unclean and a danger to public health. They were outcasts from society (Leviticus 13:45-3.13.46). If they were healed they had to offer sacrifices to symbolize their cleansing and express their thanks (Leviticus 14:1-3.14.20).

On the first recorded occasion when Jesus healed a leper, he did what anyone else would normally avoid doing; he touched the man. He then told the man to present himself to the priest (whose duty was to examine him and confirm that he had been healed; Leviticus 14:3) and to offer the sacrifices required by the law. He also told the man, clearly and firmly, not to broadcast what had happened, as he did not want to attract people who were curious to see a miracle-worker but had no sense of spiritual need (Mark 1:40-41.1.44).

The man disobeyed and as a result Jesus’ work was hindered. So many people came to see him that he was unable to teach in the towns as he wished. He continued to help the needy, but the pressures upon him caused him all the more to seek his Father’s will through prayer (Mark 1:45; Luke 5:16).

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Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Mark 1". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". 2005.