Mark tells of Jesus casting out devils and healing Peter’s mother-in-law to show that the Son of God has power over spiritual and physical problems. Since He had overcome Satan’s lies and tricks during His forty days and nights in the wilderness, there was no demonic force or physical ailment too great for Him to deal with.
What the devil knows
“And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day He entered into the synagogue, and taught. And they were astonished at His doctrine: for He taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes. And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with Thee, Thou Jesus of Nazareth? art Thou come to destroy us? I know Thee who Thou art, the Holy One of God. And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him. And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth He even the unclean spirits, and they do obey Him. And immediately His fame spread abroad throughout all the region round about Galilee” (Mark 1:21-28).
Both here and in verse 34 Mark informs us that the devils know exactly who Jesus is. The religious leaders did not recognise who He was, and nor did they have the power to cast out devils. They were so spiritually dead they probably did not know that anyone was possessed.
Devils know what is going to happen to them as soon as Jesus sets up His Kingdom on earth. They are destined to the Lake of Fire “prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41), yet there are some, even amongst believers, that doubt the existence of Hell or the possibility of eternal torment. They are so worldly-minded to give the least thought about their souls.
Knowing who Jesus is does not save the soul. If knowledge saves then surely the unclean spirit is saved today. Intellectual knowledge is no different from that of devils, “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble” (James 2:19). At least devils have enough sense to tremble in the presence of Jesus! The Holy Spirit has been given to us so that His sanctifying power can reach deep into our hearts and affections. It is not enough to have a head-knowledge of the Bible, it must affect the way we live our lives. How can we call Jesus Lord if we do not the things He says? “Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46). The true believer confesses that Jesus is both Saviour and Lord.
“And forthwith, when they were come out of the synagogue, they entered into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick of a fever, and anon they tell him of her. And he came and took her by the hand, and lifted her up; and immediately the fever left her, and she ministered unto them” (Mark 1:29-31).
Peter’s household did not send for the local doctor to prescribe something to ease this lady’s fever, instead they told Jesus about her condition. They knew that He could heal her. So often we turn to medication before we go to the Lord concerning our troubles. We must learn to bring before Him all of our cares, fears and problems, “Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and He shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved” (Psalm 55:22) … “Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you” (1 Peter 5:7) … “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Philippians 4:6).
As soon as He touched her the fever left. This miracle automatically produced another, for Peter’s mother-in-law immediately cooked a meal for her guests. The Lord not only heals our souls but gives us the grace to minister unto Him in our daily lives. He does not just take away our sin but gives us a new heart too. His strength is always available for those who take up His cross daily.
Multitudes healed and delivered
“And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto Him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils. And all the city was gathered together at the door. And He healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew Him” (Mark 1:32-34)
As soon as the news got out that Jesus could heal the sick and cast out unclean spirits the whole of Capernaum appeared at Peter’s doorstep, but not for Peter for they wanted to see Jesus. There were never any half measures with Jesus. He did not send anyone away partially healed or delivered. He never requested “seed faith” money for His ministry, for that remains the work of shamans and fraudsters operating in the church today. The proof of their faith was in that they came to Jesus alone.
Many problems will arise to test our faith and to destroy our peace, yet there remains a Saviour that we can turn to throughout the day. In His presence all of our dilemmas can suddenly disappear. Jesus used no potion, formula or incantation to remedy real life situations in Capernaum, for He was the remedy. Great things can happen for those who trust in Him only. He alone has supreme authority over all things, “All power is given unto me in Heaven and in earth” (Matthew 28:18).