Mark 1:20-34 – Jesus Heals Many at Simon’s House
As soon as they left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them.
That evening, at sunset, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. And the whole city was gathered around the door. And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.
Even in an age without social media, word traveled quickly. Jesus has just barely called his first followers, performed his first two healings when a huge crowd was gathered outside the doors of Simon’s house. The passage says “the whole city” was there. As I thought about the crowds in this passage throughout the day, I went back to just about 10 days ago when the pictured crowd gathered (including me) to ride Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. By the time we made it through the line, we had waited over 5 hours for a 2.5 minute ride. The same day, tens of thousands of people gathered in stadiums across the country to cheer on their favorite baseball teams, while millions in the days before and after gathered in stadiums, bars, and homes to watch the World Cup. But its not just amusement parks or sports…how many thousands gathered to see concerts or performances or movies that same (and every) day? We are people who like to gather – whether its for fun things like games, rides, shows, etc or whether its in much smaller numbers for meals. Or like many who gathered at Simon’s home because they were in need – they were desperate, they were looking for something to relieve whatever it was that was afflicting them. I wonder if the things for which we gather today – like those listed – are things we gather to try to push away the things that are upon us? That’s not necessarily a bad thing – we all need places of relief and allowing our emotions and thoughts to not be on the worries of the day, but simply upon what the first rush will be like as the roller coaster starts down the hill, or the first note is played by the symphony and we lose ourselves in the music, or the climax of the movie arrives and the story is resolved, or our team pulls out the miraculous comeback at the end…But…do we gather around the Savior with the same passion and same energy? Do we gather with our sisters and brothers in Christ with the same resolve that we do to be sure we are home in time for kickoff? Do we joyfully wake up early in the morning to get to worship just as my family and I joyfully woke up ridiculously early to get in the queue for Gringotts? This passage and reflection today really convicted me, but also encouraged me because the Savior is always there waiting and is thrilled whether its just me at the door or whether the whole city is there.