Mark 1:21-39 tell about a 24-hour period early in Jesus’ ministry. Here’s one approach to reading it.
Early Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Jesus woke up. He got up and quietly picked his way across the floor of the one room house. Peter and his wife asleep. Her mother. Andrew. James. John. All sound asleep.
Jesus stepped through the door, into the street. More people. They had come during the night. Even in the darkness, the sickness was evident. You could smell it.
He moved quietly past the crowd. Turning his back on the beach, Peter’s nets piled carefully, Jesus headed toward the quiet of the hills outside Capernaum.
Jesus needed his Father. In the same way an extrovert needs crowds and an introvert needs to be alone. In the same way some of you need the wilderness, and some of you need affection. In the same way some of us need order and some of us need orchestras. In the way that all of us need home, he needed time for the two of them to talk and to listen and to be quiet.
And so we’ll give him that time while we look at the previous day.
It was a Sabbath in Capernaum. Capernaum was a small fishing town a little bigger than Grabill at the top of the Sea of Galilee. Because it was the Sabbath, the usual noise of fishing industry was quiet. The market was still. Even the roman soldiers stationed in the garrison outside town were respectful of the Jewish Sabbath. It wasn’t this way everywhere, but this commander had learned to fear God. He’d even helped pay for the synagogue.
And on this particular Sabbath, Jesus and some of his followers were in that synagogue. During the time for discussing the scriptures, Jesus responded. And his teaching, his explanations, were really really good. He spoke with the authority of someone who knows exactly what the text means, without any “some scholars say, but other scholars say.” His authority was noteworthy.