Text: Mark 1:16-39
Event(s): Four fisherman called as disciples; Jesus casts out an unclean spirit; Peter’s mother-in-law is healed; Many others healed after Sabbath sunset; Preaching circuit in Galilee
Mark 1:16-39 A more full, detailed account of this event is captured in Luke 5:1-11.
Mark 1:16 Jesus had already met Andrew and Peter as well as James and John (John 1:35-42). However, this is the first time Mark writes about them meeting. And it’s at this occurrence, sometime later that same year, that Jesus calls them to be fishers of men.
Mark 1:19 James and John were cousins of Jesus. (See John 19:25 and Mark 15:40)
Mark 1:27 “For with authority He commands…” One of the best word studies I’ve ever done was on this word, authority. Depending on what translation of the Bible you read, the words authority and power are sometimes used interchangeably, however they are very different. Many times, when performing miracles and healings, Jesus exercised power, or dunamis. But here, He exercised authority; the Greek word for which is exousia. Dunamis refers more to force. Authority requires something to come up under His obedience. To cast out a demon, Jesus didn’t need to use force, He simply spoke, with authority, and the demon obeyed.
Today’s Takeaway: vs. 35 says, “..having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place, and there He prayed.” A lot happened here in this passage in Mark. Lots of activity. And it’s often been said that Jesus’ public ministry was empowered by His private prayer life. I believe this is true. Prayer-lessness, if you will, typically manifests self-sufficiency; but prayerfulness reveals humility and complete reliance upon God. Let us seek Him more and exercise more, this beautiful gift we have given to pray.
Additional (optional) reading: Matthew 4:18-25; Matthew 8:14-17; Luke 4:31-44 and Luke 5:1-11 These passages are the parallel passages of the events we read today in Mark 1:16-39.
It may seem confusing to bounce around between blocks of text like this. Let me explain why that is necessary. To study the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John) chronologically, in the order that the events actually occurred, we need to first break the content apart into smaller pieces and then fit it all back together in the order in which it occurred. When we fit the pieces back together, we will find that in some cases, all four authors wrote about the same events, but from their own unique perspectives. For example, later, all four authors wrote about Jesus’ baptism and reading all four accounts side by side gives us a beautiful 4-sided picture of the same event. (It would be as if a group of three friends and I went to the same restaurant and then we all came back and wrote about our experience. Same event. Different perspectives. All true.) However, there are also events written about in the Gospels for which all four authors did not give an account. So when this happens, we can thank all our wonderful historians and theologians who have taken the time and done the research to figure out where those pieces fit chronologically. So there will be times, as with the recommended additional reading, when we jump around a bit.