Page:A Brief Bible History (Boyd and Machen, 1922).djvu/75

This page has been validated.
69
NEW TESTAMENT TIMES

James and John. Matt. 4:18–22, and parallels. They had known Jesus before, and had devoted themselves to his service. But now they were commanded to show their devotion by leaving their ordinary occupation and becoming Jesus' permanent followers.

Mark 1:21–39, and Parallels

The Gospels give a vivid picture of a Sabbath which Jesus spent at Capernaum near the beginning of his Galilæan ministry. Mark 1:21–34, and parallels. As usual, he went into the synagogue. Our Lord knew how to find God's handiwork in the flowers of the field; but he was not like those who think that the worship of God through nature is any substitute for the public worship of the Church. In the synagogue the people were astonished at Jesus' teaching: "He taught them as having authority, and not as the scribes." But they were also astonished at his power; he commanded even the unclean spirits and they obeyed him. He was not merely a teacher, but also a healer; he brought not merely guidance, but also active help.

After the synagogue service, Jesus went into the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John. In the house he healed Simon's wife's mother who was sick of a fever. Others had heard of the wonderful power of Jesus, and desired to be healed. But in order not to break the Sabbath, they waited until sunset, when the Jewish Sabbath was over. At sunset they brought to Jesus those who were sick and those who were possessed with demons, and Jesus put forth his divine power to heal.

It had been a crowded, busy day. Our Lord must have been weary as night at last came. But even in such busy days, he took time to seek the source of all strength. A great while before the dawn he went out into a desert place and there prayed. Mark 1:35–39, and parallels.

Matthew 9:1–8, and Parallels

After a tour in the Galilæan synagogues, with both preaching and healing, our Lord returned to Capernaum. There, as is told in one of the vivid narratives of the Gospels, Jesus healed a paralytic. Matt. 9:1–8, and parallels. The sick man could not be brought in by the door of the house because of the crowds. But he and his friends were not to be denied. The four friends who bore his couch lowered him through the roof into the place where Jesus was. They had found the Healer at last. But bodily healing was not the first gift which Jesus