After sunset — that is, after the Sabbath day officially ended — people in Capernaum brought to Jesus both the diseased and demon-possessed for healing and exorcism (respectively). These two different problems require two different treatments. Yet, they are no problem for the compassionate Great Physician.
After Simon told Jesus about his mother-in-law who was sick with a fever, Jesus raises her — healing her immediately. She gives proof of her full recovery by serving them (i.e., preparing dinner). In doing so, she also provides a model response to the grace of Jesus: faithful service. Far from suggesting inferiority, service is angelic and Christ-like. May our faithful service/ministry to Christ — in whatever capacity — demonstrate the proof of God’s gracious, healing touch in our lives.
After leaving the synagogue in Capernaum, Simon and the others tell Jesus about Simon’s mother-in-law who is sick with a fever. Fevers were often thought to be fires in one’s head that were sent from God – fires that only God could “extinguish”.
Immediately after leaving the Capernaum synagogue, Jesus, Simon (Peter), Andrew, James, and John go to Simon and Andrew’s house. In Mark, Jesus will often be in this house — the ruins of which may have been discovered in the 1960’s.
In response to Jesus’ exorcism, which confirms the validity of His teaching about the inbreaking kingdom of God, the people in the Capernuam synagogue are astonished. Some may be amazed, others may be alarmed/afraid. In Mark, when Jesus preaches and teaches, He provokes a range of reactions. And, He backs up His authoritative words with authoritative works. The fame of Jesus spreads. But this is not to be equated with genuine faith in Jesus.
After a demon-possessed man interrupts Jesus’ teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum, Jesus rebukes the demon, commanding it to shut up and come out. Acknowledging Jesus’ divine authority, the demon makes a violent exit — immediately. This is an awesome demonstration of the inbreaking kingdom of God that is invading the domain of Satan. Jesus not only proclaims the kingdom, He backs up His words with authoritative action.
The demon who possesses the man in the synagogue at Capernaum recognizes Jesus’ divine credentials and His readiness for spiritual battle. In Mark, many people will struggle with Jesus’ identity — as they still do today! But even the demons know that Jesus is the Holy One, the Son of God.
While Jesus is teaching with divine authority in the synagogue in Capernaum, a man with a defiling spirit (i.e., a demon) interrupts. In the New Testament, physical disease and demonic possession are distinguished; the latter requires divine intervention from a higher divine authority (i.e., Jesus). Nonetheless, both Christ’s healings and exorcisms are manifestations of the inbreaking kingdom of God He proclaimed.
In the synagogue at Capernaum, Jesus teaches with divine authority that far surpasses that of the scribes (i.e., teachers of the Law) — who will opppose Christ throughout Mark. The people are awestruck at Jesus’ authoritative teaching — but awe does not = faith.
After calling His first disciples, they enter the synagogue of Capernaum on the Sabbath. As was His custom, Jesus begins to teach — schooling people in a town that will serve as His home base.