Before we say we want to follow Christ, we ought to read the fine print. Jesus says anyone who desires to follow behind Him must deny themselves, carry their cross, and follow Him. We must wholly committed to Christ — metaphorically (or even literally!) — giving up our lives for the Savior’s service. In our lives, the Lord must be first and foremost.
Jesus came not to merely patch up the old clothes of the old covenant, but to purchase the new clothes of the new covenant. The cost was the cross.
When someone asks Jesus why His disciples do not fast, He essentially says: “This ain’t a wake; it’s a wedding! How can the groomsmen fast when the bridegroom is here?” The disciples are in the wedding party with the bridegroom and are enjoying the appetizers of the everlasting wedding banquet. It’s not time to fast; it’s time to feast.
The religious leaders present consider Christ’s claim to forgive sin as blasphemy. But Jesus provides eye-opening evidence of His divine authority and of the prophesied Kingdom of God He inaugurated.
Just as Jesus healed the man from His physical paralysis and freed him from his mat, He can heal us from our spiritual paralysis and free us from our sin.
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.
While teaching in the Capernaum synagogue on the Sabbath, Jesus is interrupted by a demon-possessed man. Jesus then rebukes the demon, commanding it to shut up and get out of the man. After its violent exit, people in the synagogue are not only amazed with Jesus authoritative words, but astonished by His authoritative works. He proclaims the inbreaking kingdom of God in both word and deed
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.