God’s Guiding Word: Discipleship
Mark 1:21–45: Jesus and his disciples go to Capernaum where he preaches in the synagogue and heals a man with an evil spirit. Jesus heals many people and news about him spreads throughout the province of Galilee.
21 Jesus and his disciples came to the town of Capernaum, and on the next Sabbath Jesus went to the synagogue and began to teach. 22 The people who heard him were amazed at the way he taught, for he wasn’t like the teachers of the Law; instead, he taught with authority.
23 Just then a man with an evil spirit came into the synagogue and screamed, 24 “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Are you here to destroy us? I know who you are—you are God’s holy messenger!”
25 Jesus ordered the spirit, “Be quiet, and come out of the man!”
26 The evil spirit shook the man hard, gave a loud scream, and came out of him. 27 The people were all so amazed that they started saying to one another, “What is this? Is it some kind of new teaching? This man has authority to give orders to the evil spirits, and they obey him!”
28 And so the news about Jesus spread quickly everywhere in the province of Galilee.
Jesus Heals Many People
29 Jesus and his disciples, including James and John, left the synagogue and went straight to the home of Simon and Andrew. 30 Simon’s mother-in-law was sick in bed with a fever, and as soon as Jesus arrived, he was told about her. 31 He went to her, took her by the hand, and helped her up. The fever left her, and she began to wait on them.
32 After the sun had set and evening had come, people brought to Jesus all the sick and those who had demons. 33 All the people of the town gathered in front of the house. 34 Jesus healed many who were sick with all kinds of diseases and drove out many demons. He would not let the demons say anything, because they knew who he was.
Jesus Preaches in Galilee
35 Very early the next morning, long before daylight, Jesus got up and left the house. He went out of town to a lonely place, where he prayed. 36 But Simon and his companions went out searching for him, 37 and when they found him, they said, “Everyone is looking for you.”
38 But Jesus answered, “We must go on to the other villages around here. I have to preach in them also, because that is why I came.”
39 So he traveled all over Galilee, preaching in the synagogues and driving out demons.
Jesus Heals a Man
40 A man suffering from a dreaded skin disease came to Jesus, knelt down, and begged him for help. “If you want to,” he said, “you can make me clean.”[a]
41 Jesus was filled with pity,[b] and reached out and touched him. “I do want to,” he answered. “Be clean!” 42 At once the disease left the man, and he was clean. 43 Then Jesus spoke sternly to him and sent him away at once, 44 after saying to him, “Listen, don’t tell anyone about this. But go straight to the priest and let him examine you; then in order to prove to everyone that you are cured, offer the sacrifice that Moses ordered.”
45 But the man went away and began to spread the news everywhere. Indeed, he talked so much that Jesus could not go into a town publicly. Instead, he stayed out in lonely places, and people came to him from everywhere.
Today’s Key Verse: Mark 1:22
The people who heard [Jesus] were amazed at the way he taught, for he wasn’t like the teachers of the Law; instead, he taught with authority.
Today’s reading includes several stories of Jesus healing people. Do any of these stories resonate with you? If so, why? Mark packs a lot of action into these verses and his narrative moves at a swift pace. News about Jesus spreads quickly, and Simon and his companions say to Jesus, “Everyone is looking for you” (verse 37). Why were the people amazed? What amazes you about Jesus?
You are amazing, Lord Jesus! You teach with authority, announcing the Good News of God’s love and salvation. I no longer need to “look” for you because you are always near. Order my steps this day and keep me close to you. In your holy name, I pray. Amen.
Mark 2:1–17: Religious leaders begin to question Jesus.