Admittedly, this post contains more background information than Red-Letter Words, but I think the background is too necessary not to include it.
Yeshua Drives Out an Unclean Spirit
21 They entered K’far-Nachum, and on Shabbat, Yeshua went into the synagogue and began teaching. 22 They were amazed at the way he taught, for he did not instruct them like the Torah-teachers but as one who had authority Himself.
Torah-teachers (scribes) were not ordained as rabbis; and, therefore, could not introduce new interpretations or make legal judgments. Therefore, the people were amazed: Yeshua taught like a rabbi and not like a scribe. This was one level of amazement.
The second level of amazement was that He taught as one who had authority himself. No rabbi taught or judged against the judgment of his own rabbi. But Yeshua, who had no rabbi of His own, appeared to have authority beyond that of any of the rabbis (vv. 23–27). By Yeshua’s own testimony throughout Yochanan 5–9, and summarized finally at Yochanan 12:44–50, His authority came directly from His Father, God.
Finally, in Mark 2:10, Yeshua claims, uniquely, that He has the authority to forgive sins. This is the highest authority given to human beings (Matt. 9:8), and people were amazed at this too (2:12).
23 In their synagogue just then was a man with an unclean spirit in him, who shouted, 24 “What do you want with us, Yeshua from Natzeret? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are – the Holy One of God!”
Mark emphasizes the demons’ recognition of Yeshua as the one God has set apart for a purpose. This highlights human ignorance of who Yeshua is and how fearful evil powers were of Him.
25 But Yeshua rebuked the unclean spirit, “Be quiet and come out of him!” 26 Throwing the man into a convulsion, it gave a loud shriek and came out of him. 27 They were all so astounded that they began asking each other, “What is this? A new teaching, one with authority behind it! He gives orders even to the unclean spirits, and they obey him!” 28 And the news about him spread quickly through the whole region of the Galil. ~ Mark 1:21-28 (compare Luke 4:31-37).
Yeshua’s inaugural exorcism sets off a chain reaction, as those who hear the good news respond to it.
Healing Others in Capernaum
29 They left the synagogue and went with Ya’akov and Yochanan to the home of Shim’on and Andrew. 30 Shim’on’s mother-in-law was lying sick with a fever, and they told Yeshua about her. 31 He came, took her by the hand, and lifted her onto her feet. The fever left her, and she began helping them. 32 That evening after sundown, they brought to Yeshua all who were ill or held in the power of demons, 33 and the whole town came crowding around the door. 34 He healed many who were ill with various diseases and expelled many demons, but he did not allow the demons to speak because they knew who he was. ~ Mark 1:29-34 (compare Matt. 8:14-17 and Luke 4:38-41)
Yeshua Goes Out to Pray
35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Yeshua got up, left, went away to a lonely spot, and stayed there praying. 36 But Shim’on and those with him went after him; 37 and when they found him, they said, “Everybody is looking for you.” 38 He answered, “Let’s go somewhere else – to the other villages around here. I have to proclaim the message there too – in fact, this is why I came out.” 39 So he traveled all through the Galil, preaching in their synagogues and expelling demons. ~ Mark 1:35-39
Our next post will examine Yeshua’s Healing Ministry and the Scribes Question His Authority.