06.03.05 Mk. 1:32-34 (See also Mt. 8:16-17; Lk. 4:40-41) Capernaum
MANY WERE HEALED
32 When evening came, after the sun had set, they began bringing to Him all those who were sick and those who were demon-possessed. 33 The whole town was assembled at the door, 34 and He healed many who were sick with various diseases and drove out many demons. But He would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew Him.
“When evening came, after the sun had set.” The people who desired to be obedient to God’s commands naturally obeyed the teachings of their rabbis and did not want to break the Sabbath day regulations by requesting a healing. Therefore, they waited until the Sabbath was over; after the sun had set and at least three medium-sized stars were in the sky. This was the “second evening” of the day when they brought their sick and demon-possessed to Jesus to be healed and delivered. Why three stars? Because two or three witnesses were needed to render a judgment and three stars in the sky determined when a day began or ended (Deut. 17:6).
“The whole town was assembled at the door.” The popularity of Jesus continued to grow exponentially. The Jordan Valley had a healing reputation as foreigners came to sit in the natural hot springs as found in Tiberias. Now Jesus, who functioned with the power of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, was healing men, women, and children including those who failed to get healed in the natural hot springs. But with popularity came a serious set of problems:
- Jesus was always surrounded by people. He had no opportunity to be alone by Himself, alone with His disciples, or alone to pray. Whenever He woke up in the middle of the night and went to a mountain to pray, His disciples hunted for Him as soon as they woke up. Popularity was taxing His physical, spiritual, and emotional strength as well as time. On a side note, it is amazing that often Jesus went alone to pray for extended periods of time (i.e., all night), yet all the prayers recorded in the gospels are relatively short.
- People were more anxious to be healed or to get a free meal than to hear His message. They failed to understand that His miracles underscored His Person and message.
- There was a growing belief that He was the messiah – one who would overthrow the Roman oppressors. In fact, later some even wanted to make Him their king (Jn. 6:15). Their idea of a kingdom was a resurrection of the once mighty Davidic Empire of a thousand years earlier. He was constantly challenged with replacing their preconceived ideas of a political-messiah with His idea of the Kingdom of God. But their idea of a messiah would change dramatically after His resurrection.
“Various diseases…demons.” Demons are synonymous with unclean spirits, who are connected with Satan, and in total opposition to the work of God, and as such, promote all forms of idolatry. They oppose the faith of believers, and attempt to influence and disturb the physical, mental and emotional well-being of people. However, while certain ailments may be connected with demonic powers, the laws of Moses that pertain to sanitation clearly indicate that good health is also a matter of cleanliness – meaning that many diseases are not related to demonic influences but can be prevented.
. See discussion on “evening” in Appendix 16.
. See Appendix 16 for clarification on the two daily evenings.
. Farrar, Life of Christ. 110.
. Mk. 5:12, 15; 3:22, 30; Lk. 4:33.
. Lk. 10:17-18; 11:19-20.
. 1 Cor. 10:20-21.
. Rev. 9:20; 16:13-14.
. 1 Tim. 4:1.
. Lk. 13:11, 16; Mk. 5:2-5; 7:25; Mt. 12:45.