Devotion 6-21-14

Good Morning!

Mark 1:29-34

Jesus Heals Many at Simon’s House

29 As soon as they left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30Now Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. 31He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them.

32 That evening, at sunset, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. 33And the whole city was gathered around the door. 34And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.

Still on the Sabbath – they left the synagogue and went to the home of Simon and Andrew – James and John also went along. The text says that Simon’s mother-in-law was ill. Our guide in Israel pointed out that it was unusual for the mother of the wife to be in the home, that usually the family lived in the husband’s home, with his family. She thought that the explanation was that Peter actually came from Bethsaida (John 1:43), which is up in the hills above the Sea of Galilee, and therefore, as a fisherman, he lived with his wife’s family. While this explains the difference between Mark’s and John’s report of where Peter came from, I think a better explanation is that this was indeed a home shared by Peter and his brother Andrew and their families, and that the mother-in-law was a widow with no place to go (common in that day) and had been welcomed into their home. But, none of that is the point! The point is that the woman was ill, in bed with a fever, and Jesus took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her. She was so grateful that she began to serve them.

And word of this healing soon got around the town – the ruins of the town of Capernaum include a number of houses, built abutting one another of the black rock of the area. There is one house, however, where archeologists found a circular building built around the original little house. They believe that may have been Simon’s house, and the circular building one of the first churches, built around it. A modern church is built above it, with glass floors where you can see the structure below.

Anyway, word got out about the healing and about Jesus’ actions in the synagogue, and as soon as the Sabbath was over (sunset), the people brought all who were sick or possessed of demons, and Jesus healed them, and cast out many demons. Jesus has compassion for people, and he heals.

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