“Jesus’ Power over sickness” (Mark 1:29-35) On this Mother’s Day, we honor all mothers, and we give thanks for all mothers. This day can be a joyful day for some, and a sad or painful day for others.
Some of us grieve the loss of our mothers. We have fond memories of their love and care for us.
There are some, and I hope that there are none here today, who have painful memories of their mothers. Therefore, Mother’s Day can be painful. Those people must know and remember that God loves them and wants to comfort them.
As a church, we want to honor all mothers, so we have a flower to give each one. The flower represents the honor and love that we feel for you and that God feels for you.
God’s greatest expression of love for mothers is when Christ died on the cross for their sins, and for the sins of all people.
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Christ gave His life as a sacrifice for sins. He bore our sins in His body and was punished in our place. Then He rose from the dead and appeared to His disciples. Today, He is in heaven at the right hand of God the Father. He has all authority in heaven and on earth.
Anyone can receive the ultimate benefit of God’s love which is salvation and forgiveness of sins. We must repent of sins and trust Jesus as Lord and Savior. Then we are forgiven and given eternal life.
One of the benefits of salvation is that one day, Jesus will transform our weak bodies to be like His eternal body.
21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
Our bodies will not be transformed and completely healed until the day when Christ returns. Until then, we will have sickness and death.
But while Jesus was on earth and before the cross, Jesus healed many people of their sicknesses.
Today’s message from God’s word is partly about Jesus healing one mother, the mother of Peter’s wife. The main point of the message is that Jesus is all powerful and is able to heal and to cast out demons. And when He was on earth, He demonstrated His power over all things by healing some and by casting out demons.
29 Now as soon as they had come out of the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.
30 But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick with a fever, and they told Him about her at once.
31 So He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and immediately the fever left her. And she served them.
32 At evening, when the sun had set, they brought to Him all who were sick and those who were demon-possessed.
33 And the whole city was gathered together at the door.
34 Then He healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He did not allow the demons to speak, because they knew Him.
In the first 28 verses, Mark’s gospel has testified about the identity of Jesus Christ. Mark began by writing that his book is about the Son of God. Isaiah testified that Jesus was the Lord. Then John the Baptist testified of Jesus. Then God the Father spoke about His pleasure in His Son. And the Spirit demonstrated His approval by descending on Jesus. Then the demon in a synagogue worship service declared that Jesus was the holy one of God.
After the worship service in the synagogue, Jesus entered the home of Simon and Andrew. Simon’s mother-in-law was sick with a fever and was in bed. This meant that she had an infection, and there were no antibiotics in those days. So many infections were fatal.
Peter was married, and his wife’s mother lived with them. Later, we learn that Peter, whose name was Cephas in Aramaic, took his wife with him on his mission trips.
1 Corinthians 9:5 Do we have no right to take along a believing wife, as do also the other apostles, the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas?
We saw Jesus’ authority over evil spirits when he commanded the evil spirit to leave the man in the synagogue. And we see His authority over them again in verses 32-34.
But we also see Jesus’ authority and power to heal the human body. Jesus has infinite power and authority over all, so He is able to heal any human sickness or disability.
First notice how quickly Jesus healed this mother. Healing was instant. Jesus merely took her by the hand and the fever left. Most who have been bed ridden by fever require a few days to regain their strength, but this mother was made strong “immediately. “ The word “immediately” means there were no lingering effects of the fever. She was as strong as before she was sick and she served the men by cooking for them.
Second, notice that Jesus healed in the normal course of His life. He did not set up a healing crusade or meeting, as some do today.
Jesus also gave the apostles the ability to heal the sick. And when then did heal, their healings were also “immediately” and during the normal course of life. There were never any healing crusades, and healing was never the focus of their ministry.
Why did Jesus heal people? Of course, Jesus loved people and wanted to help them. But the primary reason He healed was to give evidence that He was sent from God and that He was doing the works of God the Father.
25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me.
“The works…they bear witness of Me” mean that the healing miracles that Jesus performed were a witness that He was the Christ.
37 If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me;
38 but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.”
When John the Baptist was in prison, and He wanted to know if Jesus was the Messiah, he sent two of his disciples to Jesus to ask him if he is the One God was would send. John’s disciples saw Jesus heal and cast our evil spirits. So Jesus said…
Luke 7:22 Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them.
In other words, the words and works of Jesus are the answer to the question of who Jesus is. His miracles declare that He is the Son of God, God the Son, the Christ.
Therefore, when Peter preached on Pentecost, He said God the Father attested to the identity of Jesus by the miracles He enabled Him to perform.
22 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know—
The word “attested” means “to show to be true” or “to prove”. In other words, God the Father proved that Jesus was God the Son and the Savior of the world by the miracles which God did through Him.
The healing miracles of Jesus were repeated by His apostles. When God gave the apostles the ability to heal, their miracles proved that they were sent by God and their message was true. So when Paul wanted to prove that he was an apostle, he wrote that he accomplished the signs of an apostle, which are miracles and mighty deeds.
2 Corinthians 12:12 Truly the signs of an apostle were accomplished among you with all perseverance, in signs and wonders and mighty deeds.
As the church was established, it appears that the miracle and healing ability of the apostles passed away. So near the end of Paul’s life, he exhorted Timothy to seek the help of wine for stomach ailments.
1 Timothy 5:23
23No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities.
Paul did not tell Timothy to seek a healer. Wine had medicinal value, the alcohol killed bacteria in the water and in his stomach.
He left Trophimus, one of the disciples, sick.
2 Timothy 4:19–20
19 Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus.
20 Erastus stayed in Corinth, but Trophimus I have left in Miletus sick.
When James wrote to the church, he gave instructions for the sick to seek the prayers of church elders, not the healing touch of somebody with the gift of healing.
14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.
15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
These instructions, to call for the elders, show that gifts of healing were not operating at the time when this letter was written.
Therefore, God commands the sick in the church to call for the elders. Then, the elders of the church will come and pray and anoint them with oil. If the Lord gives the faith to the elders, then their prayers will be answered. The sick member will be healed.
(Unfortunately, our church does not now have a plurality of “elders”. These are godly men who are able to teach the word of God. This is one reason why we should pray that God will give us more elders.)
Jesus not only has the power to heal, He has the power to control the actions of demons.
Mark 1:34 Then He healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He did not allow the demons to speak, because they knew Him. Jesus cast demons out of people, and Jesus did “not allow” the demons to speak. They knew who He was. The people did not know who Jesus was, but the demons did. And Jesus had the power to limit what they could and could not say. Jesus has full control and authority over demons and can stop them from speaking.
Jesus silenced the demon because He did not want the testimony of evil spirits. Jesus did not want to be partners will evil spirits, even if the evil spirits were speaking the truth about Him.
By silencing the demons, Jesus demonstrated His refusal to have any harmony or agreement with demons.
2 Corinthians 6:14–15
14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?
15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?
Jesus did not have “accord” with demons and refused to be tied to them in any way. The word “accord” means agreement or harmony. Jesus could not have any agreement or harmony with evil spirits, even if they were to speak the truth about His identity.
We must follow the example of Jesus. We must not yoke ourselves with unbelievers. This means that Christians should marry Christians. It may mean that if you have a choice of a business partner, you choose a believer, not an unbeliever.
It does not mean that we cannot be a friend of an unbeliever. Jesus was a friend of sinners.
Jesus has authority over all evil spirits. They must obey Him.
Jesus has the authority and power to heal any sickness or disease. His healings were to prove that He was the Son of God.
When Jesus healed people, and when the apostles healed people, the healing was immediate and complete. The healing was not in a controlled meeting, but happened in the normal course of life.
The apostles are the last Christians that had gifts of healings. They healed completely, instantly, and in ordinary every day circumstances.
God continues to heal today, sometimes miraculously, in answer to prayers. God commanded that the sick seek the prayers of elders, not the one with gifts of healing.