The Healer

On leaving the synagogue
Jesus entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John.
Simon’s mother-in-law lay sick with a fever.
They immediately told him about her.
He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up.
Then the fever left her and she waited on them.

When it was evening, after sunset,
they brought to him all who were ill or possessed by demons.
The whole town was gathered at the door.
He cured many who were sick with various diseases,
and he drove out many demons,
not permitting them to speak because they knew him.

Rising very early before dawn,
he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed.
Simon and those who were with him pursued him
and on finding him said, “Everyone is looking for you.”
He told them, “Let us go on to the nearby villages
that I may preach there also.
For this purpose have I come.”
So he went into their synagogues, preaching and driving out demons
throughout the whole of Galilee.
(Mark 1:29-39)

Scripture Study

1:30 immediately The Greek word used here, euthys, occurs more than 40 times in Mark, giving Mark’s Gospel an unrelenting pace.

1:31 helped her up The Greek term used here, egeirō, is used frequently throughout Mark to describe Jesus’ healings (e.g., a paralytic in 2:9, 11–12; a dead girl in 5:41; an epileptic in 9:27). Mark uses the same verb to describe the resurrection of the dead (6:14, 16; 12:26; 14:28; 16:6). This overlap connects Jesus’ resurrection with His ministry; His divine power and purpose enable both.

1:32 When it was evening Indicates the close of the Sabbath day, after which the prohibition against work ended (v. 21). The townspeople, who observed the law, waited until this moment to bring the sick and demon-possessed people to Jesus (compare 3:1–6).

1:34 not permitting them to speak Jesus continues to veil His true identity. Jesus’ true identity so challenged the religious leaders of the time that it led to His execution. Mark’s Gospel notes that Jesus is aware that the unveiling of His true identity, as God’s Son and the Messiah, will lead to His death (2:20; 8:31).

1:35–39 Having completed His work in Capernaum, Jesus expands His ministry to the whole of Galilee, but before doing so, He spends time alone in prayer. Instead of embracing the potential fame He could have in Capernaum (v. 38), Jesus moves on so that He may minister in other places.

Scripture Reflection

Friends, in the Gospel of Mark today, we see Jesus in action. We are reading from the section of Mark’s first chapter that gives us a sort of “day in the life” of Jesus. And it is quite a day! Our Gospel opens just after the dramatic expulsion of a demon in the Capernaum synagogue. After entering the house of Simon, Jesus cures Peter’s mother-in-law.

Notice that he takes her by the hand and brings her to her feet so that she can be of service. What does sickness do to us? It draws us in around ourselves. Once she is cured, Simon’s mother-in-law commences to serve, to be for the other. Then the entire town comes to his door. He spends the whole evening curing presumably hundreds who were variously afflicted.

Mark presents Jesus as a healer, soter, which just means “the bearer of the salus” or health. In him, divinity and humanity have come together; in him, the divine life and divine power are breaking through. God’s deepest intentions appear—what God plans for us in the kingdom to come is now historically anticipated.

– Bishop Robert Barron

May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.