Mark

1:29-39

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

Synopsis

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."

 
Teaching

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.

 
Issues

i] Context: See 1:1-8.

 

ii] Structure: This passage, Jesus Brings Release - a temporal sequence in and around Simon Peter's home - presents as follows:

During the day, v29-31;

After sunset, v32-34;

The next morning, v35-38.

 

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 front 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 exorcizing 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, v21-34: iv] The healing of Peter's mother-in-law, v29-31. Mark sustains the sense of drive 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 as 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" - immediately. As already noted, Mark may be using this temporal adverb to protray 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 [the synagogue]" - coming out [from the synagogue]. The participle is adverbial, probably temporal, "when they came out."

ek + gen. "-" - from. Expressing source, but a somewhat redundant use of the preposition given the participle exelqonteV. Usually viewed as stylistic.

meta + gen. "with [James and John]" - Here expressing association / accompaniment; "with". The Greek has "they went into the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John." The "they" would surely have included 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.

eiV + acc. "to" - to, into. Spacial.

thn oikian (a) "the house [of Simon and Andrew]" - The genitive "of Simon and Andrew" is adjectival, possessive. 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.

 
v30

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

katekeito (katakeimai) imperf. "was in bed" - was lying down, aside. The imperfect is durative; she was laid up. Indicating the severity of the fever.

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" - 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. Reference / respect; "about / with reference to."

 
v31

proselqwn (prosercomai) pres. part. "So he went to her" - having come to. 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. 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, grabing, 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.

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

dihkonei (diakonew) imperf. + dat. of persons. "began to wait on" - 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".

 
v32

v] 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.

oyiaV (a) gen. "that evening" - evening. Genitive in agreement with the participle, "having come." As an adjective with the sense "late" it would modify wJra, "hour", which when dropped makes the adjective serve as a noun, "evening" = "late hour." The Sabbath was ended. Mark seems to make a point of both Jesus and the crowd were obeying Sabbath regulations, although he may just be telling us that the crowd was keen to see Jesus and did so as soon as they were free to make a move.

genomenhV (ginomai) gen. aor. part. "-" - having come. The genitive absolute participle introduces a temporal clause; "when evening came", Barclay.

o{te "after [sunset]" - when. Temporal conjunction introducing a temporal clause, as NIV; "when the sun had set", Barclay - somewhat redundant, superfluous!

edu (duvw) aor. "[sun]set" - go down, set.

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.

touV ... econtaV (ecw) pres. part. "the sick" - those [bad] having. 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" - the ones being demon-possessed. The participle serves as a substantive.

 
v33

oJlh hJ poliV "the whole town" - Hyperbole = "a large crowd"

hn ... episunhgmenh (episunagw) perf. pas. part. "gathered" - was having been gathered together, assembled. Pherephrastic pluperfect = "was gathered." 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]" - to, toward. Expressing movement toward, so "pressed in at the front door."

 
v34

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.

eqerapeusen (qerapeuw) aor. "Jesus healed" - he healed. "He brought healing to many who were ....", Cassirer.

pollouV adj. "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".

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", as NIV. Modified by the adverb kakwV = "[having] bad" = "who were ill."

nosoiV (oV) dat. "[various] 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.

exebalen (ekballw) aor. "he drove out" - he cast out. Exorcised.

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

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

hdeisan (oida) pluperf. "knew" - they had known. 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 - they didn't even get to first base.

 
v35

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 behavior.

prwi ennuca lian adv. "Very early in the morning, while it was still dark" - early nightime exceedingly. Together, these three temporal adverbs illustrate how early Jesus gets up in the morning, either as is his practice, or to avoid the crowds, or both.

anastaV (anisthmi) aor. part. "Jesus got up" - having arisen. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the main verbs "went out" and "went away"; "very early in the morning Jesus rose up and left, making his way to a solitary place", Cassirer.

anastaV (anisthmi) aor. part. "Jesus got up" - getting up, rising. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "he went out", but it may be treated as adverbial, temporal, "when Jesus got up he left the house and ...."

aphlqen (apercomai) aor. "went off" - 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. Spacial.

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

proshuceto (proseucomai) imperf. "[where] he prayed" - [and there] he was praying. The imperfect tense expresses durative action, probably up to the point where Jesus is found by his disciples. 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.

 
v36

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 the ones] with [him]. Expressing association.

katediwxen (katadiwkw) aor. "went looking for" - hunt down, pursue closely, track down, follow after. 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.

 
v37

eu|ron (euJriskw) aor. "when they found him" - they found. The "when" is added for meaning. The Gk. sentence runs from v36; "Simon and his companions searched for him, found him and said to him ...."

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

autw/ dat. pro. "-" - [they say] to him. Dative of indirect object.

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

panteV adj. "everyone" - all. Emphatic position where "all" is placed before the verb to emphasize its completeness.

 
v38

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, of victory over the dark powers that enslave humanity and of freedom for God's new Israel.

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

agwmen (agw) subj. "let us go" - Hortatory subjunctive expressing an exhortation.

allacou adv. "somewhere else" - elsewhere. Adverb of place.

ecomenaV (ecw) pres. mid. part. "nearby [villages]" - having, possessing. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "villages", while the middle voice has the meaning, "neighboring", "next to"; "let us go to the towns which are nearby."

kwmopoleiV (iV ewV) "villages" - village, town, market town. Possibly a small village, although Jesus probably means other market towns like Capernaum rather than just all the local villages.

iJna + subj. "so [I can preach]" - that [I may preach]. Introducing a final clause expressing purpose.

kai "also" - and. Here adjunctive, as NIV.

gar "-" - for. Here more explanatory than causal and so not translated, as NIV.

eiV "[that] is why" - to this = for this purpose. Expressing purpose / end view.

exhlqon (exercomai) aor. "I have come" - I go out, come 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.

 
v39

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: "and he came preaching into the synagogues of them, into / in the whole region of Galilee and casting out the demons."

hlqen (ercomai) aor. "[so] 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 [Galilee]" - into [whole region of Galilee]. Spacial; the first prepositional construction.

khrusswn (khrussw) pres. part. "preaching" - preaching, proclaiming. This participle, as for ekballwn, "driving 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 synaogues]" - Introducing the second prepositional construction. The variant en is generally accepted now, although eiV "toward" is probably original, possibly expressing "movement toward", although eiV can often take the same local sense as en.. "He went into their synagogues", NAB.

 

Mark Introduction

Exposition

 

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