The journey begins, 1:1-5:43

2. Jesus the Son of God, Messiah, 1:14-45

iii] A day in the journey - Jesus bring release


Mark's day in the life of Jesus moves from the synagogue to the home of Simon and Andrew where Simon's mother-in-law is sick. Jesus heals here, and then after tea, crowds gather and the healings continue. In the morning, Jesus sets off on his preaching mission, announcing that "this is why I have come."


In the passage before us Mark seeks to establish Jesus' authority, his popularity and the purpose of his mission. The healing of Peter's mother-in-law, although insignificant in itself, "asserts Jesus solidarity and engagement with the common people and their common needs", Edwards. So, we witness again his authority over the human condition, but in particular, from Jesus' own lips, we learn the purpose of his mission, namely, to make known the news of the coming kingdom.


i] Context: See 1:1-8.


ii] Structure: Jesus Brings Release - events at Simon Peter's home:

During the day, v29-31;

After sunset, v32-34;

The next morning, v35-39.


iii] Interpretation:

Mark's task in 1:21-34 is to show the reader a day in the life of the Lord; he wants to show us "what happens on the human scene when the Lord is present........... All that Jesus does on this day is salvific and redemptive: he teaches, casts out demons, heals", Boring. The healing of Peter's mother-in-law turns out to be a rather insignificant miracle. A miracle like this evidences a personal reminiscence, probably from Peter himself. The miracle, humble as it is, expands into healings for the "whole town." The movement of the passage then extends to the whole of Galilee with the preaching of Jesus given precedence over his miracles. "Jesus began the section (a day in the life of Jesus) by teaching and exorcising in the synagogue of Capernaum, and he concludes it by preaching and exorcising in the synagogues of all Galilee", Guelich.


iv] Exposition: A simple exposition of the passage can be found in the pew-level sermon notes Jesus Brings Release.

Text - 1:29

A day in the life of Jesus continues, v29-34: i] The healing of Peter's mother-in-law, v29-31. Mark sustains the sense of forward-movement in Jesus' mission, by telling us that he "immediately" moves from the synagogue to Simon and Andrew's home. Mark notes that the four newly called disciples are still with Jesus. Simon's mother-in-law's fever is obviously serious, given that she is unable to wait on her guests. A fever in the ancient world was often life-threatening and the complicated remedies and incantations of the time were next to useless. Mark notes the simple, but powerful, application of Jesus' healing power. On numerous occasions, Mark mentions the touch of Jesus, or as here, his grasp.

euquV "as soon" - [and] immediately. As already noted, Mark may be using this temporal adverb to portray the dynamic activity of Jesus' ministry, but then again he may be using it for a sequential purpose, indicating the next element in the narrative, "then ........"

exelqonteV (exercomai) aor. part. "as they left" - coming out. The participle is adverbial, probably temporal, "when they came out."

ek + gen. "-" - from [the synagogue]. Expressing source / origin, but a somewhat redundant use of the preposition given the ex of the participle "coming out." Usually viewed as stylistic.

meta + gen. "with [James and John]" - [they went into the house of simon and andrew] with [james and john]. Here expressing association / accompaniment; "with". The use of words here is somewhat strange. The "they" would surely include James and John, so what is Mark driving at? Marcus offers two possibilities: i] Referencing Zahn, who suggests that the story is sourced from Peter who would have said "and leaving the synagogue we went into my house with James and John"; ii] In the pre-Markan tradition, James and John are converted after this event and would not have been present, but Mark has brought their conversion forward and so includes them in this episode. It is interesting to note that excavations of the first Christian church, close to the Jewish synagogue in Capernaum, is taken to be an extended private home. The early believers initially worshiped in private homes and it has been suggested that the excavated home is that of Peter and Andrew.


SimwnoV (wn onoV) "Simon's" - [and the mother-in-law] of simon. The genitive is adjectival, relational.

katekeito (katakeimai) imperf. "was in bed" - was lying down, aside. The imperfect is possibly emphasising durative aspect; "she was laid up" - Indicating the severity of the fever. Of course, the imperfect is often used in a narrative to provide background information.

puressousa (puressw) pres. part. "with a fever" - being fever-stricken, suffering with a fever. The participle is adverbial, best treated as causal; "she was laid up in bed because she had a fever." A high temperature was not necessarily dangerous, just as it is today, but it could be, eg., pneumonia. A fever was often viewed as a consequence "of divine punishment, or demon possession", Edwards.

legousin (legw) pres. "they told" - [and immediately] they speak. Possibly an impersonal plural here, so "Jesus was told that Simon's mother-in-law was sick", CEV.

autw/ dat. pro. "Jesus" - to him. Dative of indirect object.

peri + gen. "about" - concerning [her]. Reference / respect; "about / with reference to."


proselqwn (prosercomai) pres. part. "So he went to her" - [and] having come to, approached. Probably best treated as an attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "he raised". The participle could though be adverbial, temporal, or consecutive expressing result, as NIV; "they told Jesus about her and (de) so as a result he went to her."

hgeiren (egeirw) aor. "helped her up" - he raised, lifted up [her]. The word is used a number of times for a healing and possibly alludes to the resurrection.

krathsaV (kratew) aor. part. + gen. "took her" - grasping, grabbing, taking hold of. Again, best treated as an attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "raised"; "he went to her, gripped her hand and lifted her up", Barclay. Although the Gk. word order has the raising up proceeding his taking her by the hand, the sequence of events is obviously as Barclay. Descriptive of the hands-on approach of Jesus, an approach indelibly marked on the disciples memory and carried into the oral tradition. The description further undermines the English Sunday School image of "gentle Jesus meek and mild." It is likely he was a carpenter-builder by trade, and not a fine-furniture craftsman

thV ceiroV (hr roV) gen. "hand" - the = her hand. Genitive of direct object after the verb "to take hold of."

dihkonei (diakonew) imperf. + dat. of persons. "began to wait on" - [and the fever left her and] she was serving, waiting on. NIV opts for an inceptive imperfect stressing the beginning of the action, although Mark may be implying nothing more than a past continuous action. Indicating the completeness of the healing; "she gave them something to eat."

autoiV dat. pro. "them" - Dative of direct object after the verb diakonew, "serve" = "wait on".


ii] Jesus undertakes a general healing session, v32-34. The "day in the life of Jesus" continues after sunset (after the Sabbath) with a descriptive episode of healings. Mark underlines the large number of people who press in on Simon and Andrew's front door, and goes on to explain that there were many healings of great variety, including exorcisms. The episode illustrates Jesus' power and authority. As for the demons, they knew who Jesus was and in accord with ancient belief, would have used Jesus' name to gain control over him, but Jesus has control over them and does not even let them speak.

de "-" - but/and. Transitional, indicating a step in the narrative.

genomenhV (ginomai) gen. aor. part. "-" - [evening] having come. The genitive participle with the genitive noun "evening" forms a genitive absolute construction, temporal; "when evening came", Barclay. As an adjective oyiaV, "late", would modify wJra, "hour", which when dropped makes the adjective serve as a noun, "evening" = "late hour." The Sabbath was ended. Mark seems to be making the point that both Jesus and the crowd are obeying Sabbath regulations, although he may just be telling us that the crowd is keen to see Jesus and did so as soon as they were free to make a move.

o{te "after [sunset]" - when [the sun set]. Temporal conjunction introducing a temporal clause, as NIV; "when the sun had set", Barclay. Somewhat redundant, superfluous, although for a Jewish reader, a point of law is being underlined!

eferon (ferw) imperf. "the people brought" - they were carrying, bringing. The imperfect is durative, or iterative (repeated action); "they kept bringing", Zerwick. Probably "all who were sick or had demons were brought to Jesus", CEV.

proV + acc. "to [Jesus]" - toward [him]. Expressing movement toward.

touV ... econtaV (ecw) pres. part. "the sick" - [all] the one having [bad = ill]. The participle serves as a substantive modified by the adverb kakwV, "bad". "Those having it bad", ie. the sick - idiomatic.

touV daimonizomenouV (daimonizomai) pres. pas. part. "the demon-possessed" - [and] the ones being demon-possessed. The participle serves as a substantive.


oJlh hJ poliV "the whole town" - [and] the whole city. Hyperbole = "a large crowd"

hn ... episunhgmenh (episunagw) perf. pas. part. "gathered" - was having been gathered together, assembled. The perfect participle with the imperfect verb to-be forms a periphrastic pluperfect construction, "was gathering." The word derives from "synagogue", so Mark is saying something like "the whole town formed a congregation at the door", Boring.

proV + acc. "at [the door]" - toward [the door]. Expressing movement toward, so "pressed in at the front door."


Decker notes how the six aorists move the story line onward, the two imperfects supply background information and the pluperfect even more remote background information.

pollouV adj. "many" - [and he healed] many. The adjective serves as a substantive; "all the ones." The statement "Jesus healed many" is not implying that it was only "many" and not "all" who were healed, but rather that the "all" were "many". "He brought healing to many who were sufferers of various illnesses", Cassirer.

econtaV (ecw) pres. part. "who had" - having. The participle may be classified as a substantive in apposition to "all the ones", or adjectival, attributive, limiting "all the ones = many", as NIV. Modified by the adverb kakwV = "[having] bad" = "who were ill."

nosoiV (oV) dat. "diseases" - in = with [diverse, various kinds of] diseases. The dative is adverbial, reference / respect, or association / accompaniment; "many who were ill with various diseases", Berkeley. The modifying adjective, poikilaiV, "various", indicates Jesus' ability to heal a full range of diseases.

lalein (lalew) pres. inf. "speak" - [and he cast out, exorcised, many demons and he did not allow the demons] to speak. The infinitive is complementary, completing the sense of the verb "to allow".

oJti "because" - because. Here introducing a causal clause explaining why Jesus would not let the demons speak.

hdeisan (oida) pluperf. "knew" - they had known [him]. The pluperfect here is intensive, expressing abiding results. Mark notes that Jesus silenced the demons. This may have something to do with the messianic secret. In the early stages of Jesus' ministry he limited his self revelation, both his person (used the title "son of man", an unclear and mysterious messianic title) and his work (the suffering servant). Yet, it is more likely that by silencing the demons he was again demonstrating his power and authority over them. They knew who Jesus was and believed that they could control him with their words, but Jesus didn't even let them speak.


iii] Mark now gives us a general summary of Jesus' ministry, 35-39. The summary shows that Jesus' "ministry extends beyond both the confines of Capernaum and the scope of the gospel narrative so far", Edwards. "This brief section weaves together important Markan concerns: presence and absence of Jesus, the purpose of Jesus 'coming', the disciples' commitment to and misunderstanding of Jesus, the lure of resting on past success and the call of future mission, Jesus' ministry of word and deed, and the divine / human character of the person of Jesus himself", Boring.

Early in the morning Jesus heads off to a solitary place for prayer. This may be his practice, or Mark may be illustrating how the press of the crowds, due to his popularity, is already forcing Jesus to adjust his personal behaviour.

anastaV (anisthmi) aor. part. "Jesus got up" - [and] having arisen [exceedingly early in the morning in darkness]. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the main verbs "went out" and "went away." The participle is modified by three temporal adverbs illustrating how early Jesus gets up in the morning, either as is his practice, or to avoid the crowds, or both. "Very early in the morning Jesus rose up and left, making his way to a solitary place", Cassirer.

aphlqen (apercomai) aor. "went off" - [he went out and] went away. Jesus went out of the house and out of Capernaum, and went away from the crowds. Mark uses this word in the sense of going away from people rather than going away from a place. He "went out and away", Moule.

eiV "to" - to, into. Spatial, indicating the direction of the action and / or arrival at.

erhmon adj. "a solitary [place]" - a deserted, desert [place]. A wilderness image. "An isolated spot", TH.

proshuceto (proseucomai) imperf. "he prayed" - [and there] he was praying. The imperfect tense possibly expresses durative action, probably up to the point where Jesus is found by his disciples, although again the imperfect may serve no other purpose than to indicate background information. So, Mark is describing what Jesus is doing when the disciples found him. "He was praying there when Simon and his friends tracked him down", cf., Barclay.


The popularity of Jesus, his personal magnetism, is underlined in the statement of Simon. The authority of Jesus' teaching and his power over sickness and demons, is identified as the reason, v37.

met (meta) + gen. "[and his] companions" - [and simon and the ones] with [him]. Expressing association.

katediwxen (katadiwkw) aor. "went looking for" - hunted down, searched, pursued closely, tracked down, followed after [him]. The presence of the prepositional prefix kata intensifies the verb. Gundry suggests that it does so in a positive sense - the disciples are driven to search after Jesus. It was obviously Simon and the other three disciples who tracked Jesus down. "Tracked him to his retreat", Swete.


eu|ron (euJriskw) aor. "when they found him" - [and] they found [him]. Often translated as temporal, as NIV, although not indicated by the Greek. The Gk. sentence runs from v36; "Simon and his companions searched for him, found him and said to him ...."

legousin (legw) pres. "they exclaimed" - [and] they say. Historic / narrative present tense expressing what was happening at that time.

autw/ dat. pro. "-" - to him. Dative of indirect object.

oJti "-" - that. Introducing a dependent statement, direct speech, expressing what they said.

panteV adj. "everyone" - all [are seeking you]. Emphatic position where "all" is placed before the verb to emphasise its completeness.


This verse is surely the punch-line of the episode. Jesus came to proclaim (communicate with authority) the gospel (understood). The miracles visibly proclaim this message rather than verify it, cf., Matt.12:28. So, rather than stay and heal, Jesus must go and preach; his task is to proclaim the coming kingdom, to proclaim victory over the dark powers that enslave humanity and announce freedom for God's new Israel.

autoiV dat. pro. "[Jesus] replied" - [and he says] to them. Dative of indirect object.

agwmen (agw) subj. "let us go" - let us go [elsewhere]. Hortatory subjunctive expressing an exhortation. "Elsewhere" serves as an adverb of place modifying the imperfect verb "to go."

taV ecomenaV (ecw) pres. mid. part. "nearby [villages]" - [into] having = neighbouring [village, town]. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "villages", while the middle voice has the meaning, "neighbouring", "next to"; "let us go to the towns which are nearby." Possibly a small village, although Jesus probably means other market towns like Capernaum, rather than just all the local villages.

iJna + subj. "so" - that. Introducing a final clause expressing purpose; "in order that ......".

kai "also" - and = also [i may preach there]. Here adjunctive, as NIV.

gar "-" - for. Here more reason than cause, explanatory, as NIV.

eiV "that is why" - to this = for this purpose. Here the preposition is adverbial, expressing purpose / end view.

exhlqon (exercomai) aor. "I have come" - i come out, forth. Possibly came out from Capernaum, or came out on mission, or even, came forth from the Father. The second option is best. This statement is climactic, and although at one level it serves to explain why Jesus came out from Capernaum, at another level it serves to explain the purpose of Jesus' ministry. Like the prophets of old, Jesus proclaims the word of God. The choice of the word "come out" may well be expressing the idea of "come out to do battle", to do battle with Satan and his minions. Preaching and exorcism go hand in hand (note v39) - Jesus speaks the divine word with authority and the dark powers scatter before him. "I want to proclaim my message there too, for that is what I came to do", Barclay.


Mark gives a thumb-nail sketch of the Galilean mission. Jesus covers the "whole" of Galilee, preaching as he goes. The preached word is associated with the sign of exorcism, and at this stage, much of the preaching is in the local synagogues.

The verse is somewhat awkward with the intertwining of two participles and two prepositional phrases: Gundry suggests that the prepositional phrases, introduced by eiV, both modify the participle "preaching." So Jesus came preaching (which preaching is visibly expressed in exorcism) into their synagogues and into the whole of Galilee. Plummer suggests that the first prepositional construction modifies the participle "preaching", and the second modifies the verb hlqen, "to go, come", as NIV. Gundry's suggestion has a lot going for it.

hlqen (ercomai) aor. "he travelled" - [and] he came, went. "Jesus went to Jewish meeting places everywhere in Galilee, where he preached and forced out demons", CEV.

eiV + acc. "throughout" - into [the whole region of galilee]. Spatial, expressing direction toward and/or arrival at; the first prepositional construction.

khrusswn (khrussw) pres. part. "preaching" - preaching, proclaiming. This participle, as for ekballwn, "driving out, casting out", is best treated as adverbial, modal, expressing the manner of his coming / going; "he went preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons", Berkeley. Most often used of preaching the gospel. The present tense indicating continued action: "continued to preach", Knox.

eiV "in [their synagogues]" - in [the synagogues of them and casting out demons]. Spatial, as above. Introducing the second prepositional construction. The variant en is probably not original, although eiV often drifts in meaning toward en. "He went into their synagogues", NAB.


Mark Introduction



[Pumpkin Cottage]