Mark 1:21-45

January Memory Verse: Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. Mark 8:34 (NIV)
The more time I spend in Mark, the more I appreciate his storytelling skill. He is a master who wastes no words. Mark moves from episode to episode so fast it can feel like talking to a child who barely breathes as they tell story after story, “And then this, and this, then this, and this…” Because of the pace, we often fail to see the connection. As we look at our passage today, Mark isn’t telling seven (or so) stories, he’s telling one story using seven (or so) snapshots. Don’t read Mark 1 as disconnected episodes; instead, ask yourself, what do these stories have in common that tell us about Jesus?

The first thing we might notice is that the word “immediately” occurs 10 times in the first chapter, six of which are in our 24 verses. Jesus was moving. Word of his deeds spread quickly. And when Jesus spoke, his listener responded. The only exception to speed in the story was Jesus’ early rise to pray for a time (35). He stayed so long the disciples had to go hunt for him.

The second thing we might notice is that Jesus is in and around Capernaum and the region of Galilee. This might require looking at a map, but Jesus was north of Judea, several days journey to Jerusalem. The King of the Universe began his public ministry, not in the halls of kings, but in the backwaters. Capernaum wasn’t a bustling metropolis; it was a fishing village. In the vastness and prestige of the Roman Empire, it barely registered.

The third, and probably most important thing, we see is Jesus’ authority. I think establishing Jesus as One with authority was Mark’s major point. The difference in the stories we see is how this plays out, and even in yesterday’s reading as Jesus submits to the authority of God and John the Baptist. Jesus has authority over demons, sickness, and death. Ironically, the only defiance to Jesus’ authority was the healed leper who did not remain silent but went about proclaiming Jesus’ authority.

So, what do we make of Jesus? We might conclude he was an un-kingly King. He broke every mold in terms of messianic expectation. He didn’t come in glory and tell the world to bow before Him (although He had every right). He came in humility and went to the people to lift them up—to heal them, to release them from bondage. As my relatives might say, He ain’t uppity. He had all authority but hurried to serve the lowly. And even amidst the busyness, he made time to spend with His heavenly Father.

What stood out most to you from today’s reading?
What does it mean to you that Jesus didn’t come in stately attire, but served the humble?
By: Tyler Short


Linda Whitfield - January 4th, 2021 at 11:49pm

What Stood out to me was the fact that he wasn’t uppity 😊. He was like a regular every day person, not loud or bragging but, humble, giving, and trustworthy.

Christy Smith - January 5th, 2021 at 4:15am

Does it seem as though Jesus felt some pressure to minister as much as possible before His time on Earth was done? Did he feel like there was no time to waste? But yet he made time to be alone with the Father. That is how incredibly important it was for even Jesus to be still with God.

Thank you!

Tim Parsons - January 5th, 2021 at 4:33am

I’m amazed at how much the King of everything cares about each individual need. I’ve thought that it would have been easier to just heal everyone in an area at once, with one word - but Jesus takes time for each individually... just like He does for us. Thanks Tyler!

Mike Pepper - January 5th, 2021 at 4:50am

Thanks Tyler. Humility is the word that kept running through my mind. As others have previously commented, the attention Jesus paid to each individual he encountered speaks to His great love and character. His servant leader example is the model we should follow.

Graham Withers - January 5th, 2021 at 5:26am

The humility of Jesus stands out so much and contrasts so deeply with our (often) default position of selfishness.

Korbet Finley - January 5th, 2021 at 5:54am

In v.32, the report of Jesus healing the man in the synagogue and the mother of Peter must have sparked such hope for the others in Capernaum.

Ashley Oldham - January 5th, 2021 at 6:41am

I love the book the of Mark. As you pointed out, I have always noticed the word “immediately” throughout the book. Things happened immediately and without hesitation. Jesus didn’t wait and it our world of instant gratification with everything else, we seem to be slow with Jesus. He should get our immediate devotion and attention. Well done Tyler. You ain’t uppity either. 😉

Scottie Frans - January 5th, 2021 at 7:15am

How many times have we, as believers in the Bible Belt, had that uppity mentality thinking we were too good to serve someone who wasn’t in our same “class”? Yet Jesus, who had every right to act as a king (because he is King), served the ones society would look down on. Thankful for the example Jesus set for us. We are all the same in Gods eyes, sinners in need of a savior, no matter our “class.” Jesus sets a great example here of humility.

Christy - January 5th, 2021 at 7:42am

Jesus found value in all people, no matter if they held a highly respected position or was a fisherman. He didn’t care about how much people had but what was in their heart. This passage gives me hope because God still doesn’t care what position we hold, how much money we make, or how much schooling we’ve had, He cares about what is in our heart, our obedience to Him, and that we are continuing the mission He started. I’ve been struggling hard with not coming to church in person and have felt myself slip back into some old habits, I beat myself up about it and tell myself God doesn’t want someone who can’t keep up with simple Bible reading but He ALWAYS finds a way to squash those lies and reminds me that He is always here waiting for me to make those steps forward.

Tyler Short - January 5th, 2021 at 11:10am

Hey Christy, I just want you to know we’re here for you. Yes, I would love to see you on Sunday morning, but we shouldn’t confuse a right/obedient response verses traps of performance and approval. The best thing, honesty, is to sign up for Connect Group if you haven’t already (, check one of the two online options).

Let me know if you have any questions or if you want to have a (socially distanced ;)) visit.

Rasheed Flowers - January 5th, 2021 at 7:47am

It is really cool to see the balance in the way Jesus spent time with God and serving other people. It is amazing how the demons knew who he was but the people who saw him and heard him did not understand...

Tex Conley - January 5th, 2021 at 8:02am

Thanks Tyler! What stuck out to me was the fact that Jesus breaks the mold when it comes to what we think things should look like. We should follow His example and takes our witness everywhere we go even when it doesn’t look or feel like the ideal place to share Jesus. Have a great day Center Point!

Mattie Crawford - January 5th, 2021 at 8:15am

What stood out to me most was that the demons knew who Jesus was before we did, before humanity knew who He was. [I read that in the study notes too] And it is so strange that He didn't want them to say anything, the first time He was in the synagogue a demon was calling Him out. The demons were scared of Him and thats so cool because we have NOTHING to fear, I am sometimes scared of the power of the enemy because he can attack me in my weakest moments and I forget that God has a greater power than they do.

Lindsay Crawford - January 5th, 2021 at 8:30am

Mark 1:41 used to bother me until I looked a little further into the definition of indignant and thought a little more about the character of Jesus. I then began to realize that Jesus was indignant toward the disease and sin, not the person in front of Him. I think we make the mistake all the time of thinking that God is angry at us, but instead He's angry at the sin.

Sara Stafford - January 5th, 2021 at 8:55am

Two things jumped out to me today...first that the unclean spirit acknowledged who Jesus was immediately...and then the spirit obeys Him...not out of its own will but out of its lack of power!!!

Second was the woman’s fever “left her, and she began to serve them.” I don’t know about anyone else but after I’ve been sick it takes me a bit to be back to 100% and serve the way I did prior...but she was healed COMPLETELY!

Great devotion today, Tyler!!

Al Pelphrey - January 5th, 2021 at 9:00am

Jesus was becoming quite famous for his miracles and healings... for this reason Jesus says “let’s go elsewhere so I can preach”... we, the people tend to look for the miraculous, while Jesus emphasizes the basic.. the gospel! Jesus didn’t come for the miracles, He came to spread the gospel. This seems strange to me because it seems that the miracles would gather the attention of more people.. then I think..the miracles may get more superficial attention... but the gospel actually changes hearts. For THAT reason...Jesus came.

Susan D'S - January 5th, 2021 at 9:01am

The end of this passage always makes me wonder what would have happened if, instead of doing the opposite of what Jesus asked, the man he healed had obeyed and gone to the priests. Would Jesus’s ministry have been different? Instead of having to go to the isolated places, could he have gone into the cities? Could he have touched people who couldn’t get to him? It is so interesting to me that Jesus told the people he healed to work within the law, not outside it. Perhaps his relationship with the establishment might have been less adversarial if they knew he wasn’t trying to usurp the law. 🤷🏻‍♀️

John Cole - January 5th, 2021 at 10:48am

I appreciate you pointing out that even in all of the busyness Jesus was facing the only thing he did slowly was his time in prayer! I prayed this morning to have that same attitude towards prayer, because when we pray our busyness is much more manageable. Thanks for the commentary today Tyler!

Naomi Austin - January 5th, 2021 at 10:55am

Great point that even though Jesus was very busy, He still made time to spend with his Daddy God. Which means my busyness is no excuse either.

Tyler Short - January 5th, 2021 at 11:02am

Greetings from staff summit. It’s been great and hugely productive—and it’s the second day!

Thanks for all the encouragement, but thank you all so much for RESPONDING! It is SUPER encouraging to hear how God’s Word has impacted you.

TK - January 5th, 2021 at 11:38am

I think the word indignant is here to show Jesus hated the disease but had compassion on the sinner

TK - January 5th, 2021 at 11:43am

I don’t think Jesus would be mad at us saying “if you are willing...” when we beg him in faith. There’s a difference in God wanting something (all to repent) and Him willing something, because to will is to decide.

Norma White - January 5th, 2021 at 12:07pm

Thank you for this post! I got new insights from this passage that I hadn't realized before.

Kaitlin White - January 5th, 2021 at 3:05pm

What stood out to me is that many people came to Jesus not because of who He was, but because of what He could do for them. Am I following Christ because of the benefits, or because I truly love Him?

Thanks for this message, Tyler!

Emily Lavender - January 5th, 2021 at 4:58pm

Kaitlin- the question you asked, “Am I following Christ because of the benefits, or because I truly love Him?” is so convicting!

I also like how Tyler pointed out that even amidst the busyness, He made time to spend with His Father. That is something I am trying to focus in on this year. I like to be “busy”...but the past few years, I have definitely let the busyness of life get in the way of spending consistent time in the Word.

Josh Osterfeld - January 5th, 2021 at 6:33pm

Great Job Tyler!! Love that the demons had ZERO authority around Jesus!!

Brett Morris - January 5th, 2021 at 6:49pm

What I got out of today’s reading was Jesus’ comment of about going to preach in the nearby villages because “that is why I have come.” This is after he had spent time with away from others and with God. It reminds us that to understand our role in God’s kingdom, we need to spend time with Him so he can reveal that to us.

Heather Kiser - January 5th, 2021 at 7:17pm

What stood out most to me was that he wanted to move so quickly to spread His word, like he already knew His time was limited! And that he still made time for God through all of it.

Erin Short - January 5th, 2021 at 7:59pm

Jesus values people! And he heals completely! As a physical therapist, I’m always amazed that the people Jesus heals are able to get up and go despite years of disability! He heals of disease and restores to 100% ability!

Josh Lassiter - January 5th, 2021 at 9:26pm

Jesus was focused on his mission by teaching, healing, and preaching. Jesus came to establish his authority on earth as it is in heaven. These signs, miracles, and wonders weren’t just to show he had authority but to declare that indeed he is the Son of God. Everything points back to Jesus. Everyone was looking to Jesus because they were amazed at this new way. People were astonished! Lord I pray that you continue to astonish us by what only you can do, opening our eyes to see the wonder of your word. I also pray that we come together as a community to be the light to others. Let us become people of prayer. In Jesus name,


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