Chapter 4

The power of the Lord Jesus Christ
Mark 1:32-39 (NIV)

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32 That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. 33 The whole town gathered at the door, 34 and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was. 35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. 36 Simon and his companions went to look for him, 37 and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!” 38 Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so that I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” 39 So he travelled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.

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Mark 1:32-34
Power in healing

Sometimes people make extravagant claims about healing and some even profit financially and are self-promoting. Compare that with how Jesus heals. Here He receives all the sick and demon-possessed people brought to Him. Jesus never heals, nor attempts to heal, every sick or demon-possessed person.[1] But He never fails when He decides to heal. The quiet authority of His word and presence suffice. His healings are not weird or stage-managed. Here, the whole city witnesses them. There is neither mention of Jesus laying hands on sick people, nor of anyone being allegedly ‘slain in the spirit’. It seems He heals a wide variety of illnesses and demon-possession—presumably including the hardest cases. As the whole town looks on, no failures or partial healings are recorded. Surely opposers as well as followers, observe Him? We learn that, because God can do anything consistent with His will,[2] He can heal anyone at any time, either directly or medically. He often chooses not to, but His healing attempts always succeed. Remember that His healings were before credible eye witnesses, including unsympathetic ones.

One day believers in Christ for forgiveness will be suffering-free and sin-free when they share Heaven with their Saviour who died for them and rose again![3]

Mark 1:35-36
Power in prayer

How interesting that Jesus, both fully God and fully man, chooses to pray. It is early in the morning and still dark. The place is solitary—Jesus prays alone. He acts simply and without gimmicks. He prays. Nothing else! If the eternal Son of God feels the need to pray like that, surely we also should invest quality time in personal prayer?[4] One mark of someone truly converted to Christ is that he, or she, really begins to pray. Some first pray what many call ‘the sinner’s prayer’ from Luke’s Gospel, God, have mercy on me, a sinner.[5]

If you love someone, you want to be with your loved one. If you have come to love Jesus Christ, whose love for you is incomparably great, you will spend time with Him in prayer each day.

Mark 1:37-39
Power in preaching

So Jesus prays before He preaches. We too should pray before serving God or doing things which test our strength or ability. Simon and co. find Jesus praying and tell Him Everyone is looking for You! Jesus replies that He will go to the nearby villages to preach there also. He prefers sharing God’s truth to the empty praise of a curious, miracle-hungry crowd. Jesus has already demonstrated His ability to heal and cast out demons. Yet He says now that preaching God’s word is why I have come. As He travels and preaches throughout Galilee, He continues to drive out demons. However, His priority is to make God’s message clear. So how important it is for us too, to focus on His word, the Bible.[6] We should read it, hear it, trust it, learn it, live it[7]—and make its saving message clear to others. Christ’s priority should be our priority too.

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[1] . Estimates of the number of people Jesus healed usually vary between a few hundred and a few thousand.
[2] . Mark 10:27.
[3] . Revelation 21:4, Revelation 21:27.
[4] . Consider the Christian’s former arch enemy, Saul. When he was converted to Christ some of the evidence given to prove his conversion to Christ was that he is praying. (Acts 9:11)
[5] . Luke 18:13.
[6] . 2 Timothy 2:15.
[7] . 2 Timothy 3:15-16.

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Questions on Chapter 4
Mark 1:32-39 The power of the Lord Jesus Christ.

A. What lessons can you learn from this passage about how Jesus healed people? Luke 24:19 Luke 4:40-44

B. Why does Jesus pray? Why should you pray? John 17:1-26 Matthew 7:7 Philippians 4:6-7

C. Why does Jesus regard preaching God’s Word as so important? Luke 8:11-15 Romans 10:17 2 Timothy 4:2