Bible Passage: Mark 1:29-34,40-45
This sermon looks at two incidents from Mark 1 that are linked by the common theme of healing. The first of these is at the home of Simon’s mother-in-law, where Jesus healed her of a fever. As a result of this, many started coming to Jesus for him to heal them and cast out evil spirits. In the second, a man with a skin disease that meant he was excluded from society came to Jesus, and Jesus pushed past the cultural taboo, touched the man and healed him.
Healing Power (29-31): This first incident tells the story of a fairly simple healing from a non life threatening condition. Simon’s mother in law had a fever and Jesus took her by the hand and healed her. It is striking how normal this incident seems in the way it is told. Healing people is part of what Jesus does, and it is not only for the cases of the seemingly ‘big’ issues but also for something smaller like this fever. Perhaps you could set this in the context of the kingdom of God, and explain that sickness was not part of God’s original creation and will not be present in the new creation. In healing, Jesus is bringing a taste of how the world should be.
Healing Spreads (32-34): In these verses, word is spreading about Jesus and he begins to develop a reputation as a healer. Many are coming to Jesus and he is healing the sick and casting out evil spirits. Throughout the gospels, it seems that preaching the kingdom and then demonstrating the kingdom through healing and exorcisms go together in Jesus’ ministry. This is a great moment to talk about how Jesus still heals today, and perhaps you could share testimonies of situations you know of where people have experience healing in Jesus’ name.
Healing Compassion (40-45): This is similar to the other incidents we have seen in that Jesus heals someone, but it is also different in that it gives us a unique insight into Jesus’ compassion and social healing as well as physical. The condition of the man in question meant that he was excluded from society, and Jesus was moved by compassion for him. Though it was not the done thing to be near such a person, let alone touch them, Jesus chose to reach out and touch him, and heal him. This should stir us to think of who the people are today that others want to keep at arms length and how can we reach out to them with compassion?
- This would be a great week to have a ministry time where you offer to pray for healing for any who desire it.
- You could also challenge people about their own readiness to pray for healing for those who are sick who they know.
- Ask people to consider their own response to those who society sees as untouchable, and what it would look like to show them the same compassion that Jesus shows.