In these five healing stories, the evangelist identifies the battle that JesusJesus is the Messiah whose life, death, and resurrection are God's saving act for humanity More will face throughout his ministry, encountering the power of uncleanIn Hebrew law many regulations warned against impurity. Unclean things were numerous and included leprosy, menstruating women, dead bodies, shell fish, and pigs. More spirits and demonA demon is an evil spirit often depicted in human or animal form. Sometimes frightening, sometimes alluring, the unclean spirit represents destructive power. More possession.
The first story in this cluster of healings takes place in the synagogueA synagogue is a Jewish house of worship. Jesus often taught in synagogues where he sometimes ran afoul of Jewish leaders. In the book of Acts, Paul and others attend synagogues and teach in them. More at Capernaum and raises the question of Jesus’ authority (1:21-28). The unclean spirit knows immediately who Jesus is and what he has come to do: “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the HolyHoly is a term that originally meant set apart for the worship or service of God. While the term may refer to people, objects, time, or places, holiness in Judaism and Christianity primarily denotes the realm of the divine More One of God.” Jesus rebukes the unclean spirit: “Be silent, and come out of him!” The healing of Simon’s mother-in-law (1:29-31) and the healing at evening of all who were sick or possessed with demons (1:32-34) lead Jesus to retreat to a lonely place from which he later returns to Galilee again to preach and cast out demons (1:35-39). Jesus’ cleansing of a leperA leper is one who suffers from a chronic disease that eats away the flesh; it is now known as Hansen's Disease. At one time lepers were shunned as outcasts and lived in restricted or quarantined communities. Lepers appear in healing stories in both the... More brings this series of healings to conclusion as he instructs the leper to show himself to the priestA priest is a person who has the authority to perform religious rites. In New Testament times priests were responsible for daily offerings and sacrifices in the temple. More for his cleansing. The cleansed man instead talks freely of his cleansing so that Jesus can no longer openly enter towns, and people come to him (1:40-45).