Power Over Demons and Disease
August 13 - Nº 225 Mark 1:21-39; Luke 4:31-44; Matthew 8:14-17; Matthew 4:23-25
On the Sabbath day, Jesus went to the synagogue in Capernaum. Once again, as a visiting rabbi, he was asked to read the Scripture and explain it. The people were amazed at the way he taught. Normally rabbis based their authority on what previous rabbinical scholars had written or said, but Jesus taught as if he had the ultimate authority to interpret and explain God’s Word. Suddenly a man who was possessed by an evil spirit cried out, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—you are the Holy One of God!” Jesus responded directly and sternly to the evil spirit, “Be quiet!” Come out of him!” The demon shook the man, threw him onto the floor, and shrieked as he left. The crowd was shocked. They had never seen anyone demonstrate such power and authority! News about Jesus quickly spread all over Galilee. When they left the synagogue, Jesus and the four disciples he had already selected (James, John, Andrew, and Simon—see #224 - Fishing for People) went to the home of Simon’s mother-in-law. She was very sick with a high fever, and the family sent for Jesus to come help her. Jesus walked over to where she was lying down and commanded the fever to leave. Then he took her by the hand and helped her get up. Immediately the fever left, and all her strength returned. She felt so good that she started preparing food for her guests. That evening, as the sun set, almost everyone in town showed up at the front door. They did not come before the sun went down, because they were afraid of violating Sabbath regulations established by the Pharisees—and the Sabbath did not officially end until sunset. But as soon as they felt it was dark enough, they brought everyone who was sick or demon possessed to Jesus. He cast out the demons and healed the sick, laying hands on each one of them. The next morning, Jesus left early, before the sun came up, and went to a place where he could be alone.There he prayed and talked to his Father. When the townspeople woke up, they began searching for Jesus. Finally Simon and the other disciples found him. “Everyone is looking for you!” they exclaimed. Jesus replied, “Let’s go to other villages so I can preach in them too. God sent me to share the good news of His kingdom in other towns as well.” So Jesus traveled all through Galilee and into Judea teaching in the synagogues and healing the sick. News about him quickly spread to Damascus, as travelers journeyed along the via Maris (see #223 - Acceptance Followed by Rejection). People from all over Israel and Syria began flocking to Galilee to be healed. Could this man really be the Messiah?
Jesus’ miracles not only validated his claims to be the Messiah—the Son of God. They demonstrated God’s compassion for sick and hurting people. They are a wonderful promise of what we can look forward to when we leave this earth! One day we will be able to experience the unbroken world God originally intended for us to enjoy—and the experience will last forever!