A Day in the Life of Jesus - Part 3

Mark 1:21-34

Tom Pennington  •  October 12, 2008
Audio   •  PDF
  • Share:

We return to Mark 1 and to our study of this wonderful day in the life of Christ. You know as I was thinking about our study in this passage, I was reminded that in the last five years or so there have been a ubiquitous stirring of reality shows on television. And one rating surprise, I think for many of those who watch the industry, has been those shows that detail the lives of real people at work. There are those people who have particularly dirty and disgusting jobs. There are truckers crossing ice roads over the frozen tundra. There are men doing lobster fishing in the northern seas in ships that are sort of bobbing like corks in a bathtub. All of those shows are designed to help you see the difficulties and troubles that various jobs encounter and the character in most of those cases, in all of those cases not very good character of the men who do them.

In a very real sense Mark is doing the same thing in Mark 1. He takes us along with Jesus as it were for a day. A day in the life of Jesus, and as a result we are confronted with huge difficulties that He faced: not the ordinary obstacles of an ordinary or even difficult job, but extraordinary, super-natural difficulties; the super-natural battle between the powers of darkness and Satan and the Son of God. Mark lets us see the great conflicts of Jesus' ministry as He battles against willful blindness, against disgusting human sin, against the powers of darkness bringing confusion and pain and misery to their hapless victims; and against the devastating effects of human sin in illness and disease and even death.

Tonight, we get to watch this all unfold over the shoulder of the Son of God. Through the eye witness testimony of Peter who relayed it through to his son in the faith, a young man named Mark, who under the inspiration of the Spirit has recorded it for us. It's as good as being there. It's as vivid as watching it on film as we look through it together tonight.

I invite you to turn with me to Mark 1, Mark 1 and let me read for you this section beginning in verse 21.

They went into Capernaum; and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and began to teach. They were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as the scribes, Just then there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, saying, "What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are–the Holy One of God!" And Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be quiet, and come out of him!" Throwing him into convulsions, the unclean spirit cried out with a loud voice and came out of him. They were all amazed, so that they debated among themselves, saying, "What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him." Immediately the news about Him spread everywhere into all the surrounding district of Galilee.

And immediately after they came out of the synagogue, they came into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon's mother-in-law was lying sick with a fever; and immediately they spoke to Jesus about her. And He came to her and raised her up, taking her by the hand, and the fever left her, and she waited on them. When evening came, after the sun had set, they began bringing to Him all who were ill and those who were demon-possessed. And the whole city had gathered at the door. And He healed many who were ill with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He was not permitting the demons to speak, because they knew who He was."

This paragraph is a sort of overview of Jesus' ministry in Galilee. It all occurs in the city of Capernaum, His new home, and all during one day's time. It's a day in the life of Jesus Christ; and not just any day, but one particular Sabbath day. As you can see, even as I read, it the theme of this section is Jesus' authority, and as we look closely at just one day we clearly see the demonstration of the real and compelling authority that was a part of His life and ministry. We see it really in two expressions. We see it in Jesus' teaching with authority, and we see it in verses 23 to 34, Jesus acting with authority.

In this passage there are two distinct expressions of Jesus' acting with authority. They are the casting out of demons and divine healing. In these verses Mark describes, first of all, an exorcism an individual case that we studied last week in verses 23 to 28; then a healing, an individual case in verse 29 to 31; and then finally exorcism and healing of an entire city in verses 32 to 34. Last week we examined that individual case of exorcism. Tonight, I want us to look at the second item here, healing an individual case.

This same account occurs, if you want to check it out at some other time in Matthew's gospel, chapter 8, and in Luke's gospel, chapter 4. Now as you look at these two individual studies, the one we looked at last week of the demon possessed man in the synagogue, and the one we'll examine tonight of Peter's mother-in-law; they're very distinct. One obviously is about demon-possession, the other about healing. One is public, the other is private. One is filled with great drama; the other is really simple and straight forward. What do we learn from that? Well as one commentator put it, R. T. France, "Whatever the impression we might gain, Mark does not allow us to picture Jesus as a traveling healer with a set technique, but as a Man of authority who responds as may be appropriate to differing needs as He meets them." Jesus encounters each situation and He is in control, He is in authority, He doesn't slip into His little method, His little technique. But instead every situation is met with exactly what it needs.

Let's watch as Mark lays out the story of this individual healing, starting with a sick relative. Verse 29 says, "And immediately after they came out of the synagogue," You remember the synagogue is where we saw them last time, and Mark says immediately, this is his favorite word by the way, he uses it 40 times in the gospel, 11 times in the first chapter alone. It gives a sense of urgency, of sort of non-stop decisive action. It's still on the same Sabbath day, Jesus now has finished His teaching, you remember we saw Him teaching and the encounter with the demon-possessed man is done. So, you can just imagine, as Jesus and His four disciples walk out of the synagogue what was happening, the stir of the morning's events has caused. It certainly was not just another sleepy Saturday morning at synagogue. And the buzz is still at sort of a fever pitched level, Jesus and His four disciples leave the synagogue. And we read, "they came into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John."

Peter and Andrew were originally from Bethsaida nearby, but they had moved to Capernaum and apparently built as you'll see in a moment, a nice home there near the synagogue. There're several references that make that clear. Now what's amazing to me is that most scholars believe we know exactly where that home was, where these events transpired. And part of it remains to this day; it was in the very center of the town, just a few feet really away from the synagogue. This will give you an overview. These are the excavations at Capernaum that's showing a little redder on the screen than on my screen, but you get the idea. Basically, here is the synagogue. You see the remnants of the columns, that's where Jesus was teaching. That synagogue you're seeing as I've told you before is dating from the 300's A.D. But it's built on a foundation that was probably the original foundation of the synagogue in which Jesus taught. So, it was exactly here.

The second arrow, the red arrow marks the site of Peter's house. You can see that it's very nearby. How do we know this is the place? Well, we know because there's a church built over it here. That's not really the reason (I'll tell you in a minute), but that is a Franciscan church, a Catholic church that's built over the remains of the church, the church that I showed you a moment ago are from the fifth century A.D. That sort of octagonal church and this church has been built over that. The evidence indicates that the traditional location of Peter's house, where this church is built is in fact correct for a number of reasons: very strong tradition, it's a fisherman's house. They found fishing implements in it. It's in the fisherman's quarter of the village. The owner of this house was apparently somewhat wealthy based on the size of the home, and in the fourth century A.D. we read that Saint Peter's house had been turned into a church.

This is what was written in the fourth century, in the 300's. In Capernaum the house of the prince of the apostles Peter has been made into a church with its original walls still standing. There also is the synagogue where the Lord cured a man possessed by the devil. The way into it is up many stairs, and it's made of dressed stone. So, here's a description from the 300's describing these realities. And this area that I'm showing you here where this church is over was turned into a church; makes it a strong suggestion that it's the right spot. It clearly was a Christian worship center. This home received more attention than others. It was enlarged at the expense of nearby houses, and in the fifth century the house was removed, and a church was built here.

There are inscriptions inside this mentioning Jesus and Peter in Aramaic, in Greek, in Latin, and in Syriac, even sacred if there is such a thing, graffiti has been left. The dates are somewhat uncertain with that. So, this is the site, this is underneath that church by the way. You can see the beams of that ugly church on top of it there. And what you see there in those stones in this area where my cursor is moving now, this is part of the original structure of the house and there are other walls as well that are part of the original structure of the house that Peter almost certainly lived in. This is one of those sites as I've told you in the past. There are some that are absolutely spurious, there're other sites in the Holy Land that are almost certain, this is one that is almost certain to have been Peter's actual home.

Now, it was certainly an upper middle-class home of two brothers successful in the local fishing trade, and it was a full house. There was Peter and his wife; we know that she was still living, because Paul mentions her in passing in 1 Corinthians 9 when he mentions that Peter leads his wife around with him on some of his evangelistic enterprises. Her name by the way is never mentioned in the New Testament, but tradition says that she was a martyr for the faith. His mother-in-law lives there. Apparently, her husband has already died because he's not mentioned, and so she came to live, it appears, with her married daughter. Peter's brother Andrew lives there as well. We don't know if he had a family. No family is ever mentioned for him; it may be that he was unmarried.

So, you have Andrew, and then it's possible this also became Jesus' home in Capernaum. On several occasions Mark refers to a house there, and it's possible that it was this one. If Jesus did not live with Peter, it's very likely that He lived with James and John. We don't know exactly where, but it's possible that it was with Peter. In this case Mark tells us that Jesus and these two brothers, who owned this home, along with Mark tells us James and John the other two was the other two of disciples Jesus has chosen already, they accompany Him to Peter's home.

Peter's home was really a small complex. These are the best I can do, these are artist's renderings. You see sort of a layout on the left-hand side. There is the blue circle is the synagogue that I showed you before. The red circle is where Peter's house stood nearby. Those are other excavations that you see the lines marked there. And so, the red circled area, this is what an artist's rendering of it looks like when it stood in the first century. You can see it was kind of a complex. There was a gate from the street. It led into an open interior court. In ancient middle-class homes and in upper-class homes this was a key part of the home. It was an open court that all the doors and windows opened to rather than to the street. There was usually only one gate or one way in from the street, and everything else opened on to that interior court.

This court was really the center of their lives. It would have contained hearths and millstones for grain, hand presses, stairways to the roof of each of the covered rooms. The walls were heavy black basalt stones covered with a thin layer of plaster. Usually, even in middle-class homes the floors would have been pressed earth, and perhaps in some cases a thin layer of plaster. The flat roofs would have been made of wood and thatch. This was the home into which Jesus goes with His disciples.

So, she's sick and verse 30 tells us, "Now Simon's mother-in-law was lying sick with a fever,"

They go in, and there they find his mother-in-law sick. Now, you have to read the Bible with what my father-in-law, who's now with the Lord, but for 50 years was a theology professor, he said: you have to read the Bible with a bit of a sanctified imagination. You have to put yourself back into that situation and into that time, and in this case some things never change. Here you have a family returning from the morning synagogue service around noon, which is about the time that the synagogue service typically ended. It was normal for extended Jewish families to gather for a main Sabbath meal when they left the synagogue, just like many of us did. Like some of you did today, You gathered with your families either at a restaurant or at your home, and you had a Sunday meal. In their case it would have been a Sabbath meal, but the same sort of thing.

They come from the synagogue expecting to have lunch, but what they find is a sick cook. It's possible that when Peter had left home that morning for synagogue, his mother-in-law was already sick and had been for several days, we don't know. She may have shared that morning as she got up that she didn't feel well, and she would stay home on that Sabbath, or it may have been that she actually went to the synagogue, and at some point during the morning had to return to their home. We really don't know. We also don't know the cause of her illness, perhaps it was an infection or a virus, but whatever it was, it came on hard because when Peter returns home, his wife tells him that his mother is unable to get out of bed.

The Greek word for fever here comes from the word for fire, the word we get the word pyro from. She was burning up, she was on fire. Luke always the doctor adds that she was suffering with a great fever, literally a mega-fever is how Luke describes it. So, this isn't like a low-grade fever that comes with a virus. This is a raging to 103 or 104 or 105, this woman is really sick. A fever like this in John 4:52 was even potentially fatal. We don't know her specific situation. Now, this is interesting that she had a fever, because in the teaching of the rabbis of the time, fevers were often, they said, caused by the divine punishment. I've been punished many times then if that's true, or by demon possession, which is, by the way, how some Bedouins still believe. And that brings us then, as they find her sick, that brings us to a special request.

The second part of verse 30, notice says, "and immediately they spoke to Jesus about her."

Clearly, they informed Him about her condition, but they did more, because Luke tells us they made requests of Him on her behalf. They're basically saying, Jesus would You help her, would You do something. Now remember they had not gone through the rest of the story, this is still relatively early in their time with Christ. They know who He is, they have heard even the demon that morning say who He is. But they're still beginning to glimpse the amazing authority and power of their Lord. Undoubtedly, they too were stunned by the events at the synagogue that morning. But now, they venture a request that He will use His power and authority for a very personal need, to help their family. Their request leads to sudden recovery.

Notice verse 31, "And He came to her and raised her up, taking her by the hand…" Luke adds that, "Jesus came into her room and stood over her and over her bed." And then he reached down and took her by the hand.

You know there are, I love these glimpses in the gospels. This is a fascinating glimpse into the heart and compassion of our Lord. This is a powerful picture of the compassion that Jesus has even in this very human gesture. Alexander McLaren writes of His reaching out His hand to reach for her and to lift her up, "it was a condensation of the very principles of the incarnation; God reaching down to us."

Kenneth Hughes writes, "Jesus' extended hand was simply an expression of His genuine love and His desire to tenderly meet the woman's need." Jesus' touch tells us volumes about what He's like and how much He loves us. So, Jesus moved with compassion on this woman, took her hand and helped her to sit up.

Mark says, "the fever left her." Luke adds, "Jesus rebuked the fever and it left her." He uses the same words that are used when Jesus in Mark 1 rebukes the demon and tells it to come out. And later in Mark 4, He will rebuke the wind and the waves on the Sea of Galilee; same word. Jesus is in control. He rebukes the fever, and it left her. As verse 31 says, "and the fever left her, and she waited on them." Mark leaves no doubt here that she was completely healed and that it all happened in an instant.

This is remarkable, you know sometimes we read the Bible, and we're so used to the miraculous, and it doesn't affect us anymore. Ask God, as I do so often, not to let you read over the Bible and be unaffected by it. Instead, look at what happens here. Not only did the fever break, but every trace of every symptom was gone in an instant. There was none of the weakness that normally follows a high fever. Hendrickson points out that a moment before there were flushed cheeks, burning hot skin, violent shivering accompanied by the weakness and mental fog that come with a high fever. And a moment later, every symptom had vanished. If you've ever experienced a really high fever, you know how utterly sapped of strength and energy it can leave you. Sometimes even for days. Jesus so completely healed this woman that there isn't a trace. She gets up, and immediately, while they visit, get this, she fixed Sabbath meal for seven people. Amazing.

You know that when I look at this miracle, and perhaps you as well. I think there are other miracles that Jesus did that were appear more miraculous. You know what I mean, that are more impressive, that are on a larger, grander scale. Why is this one included? Why this miracle? Well, you could say, well, it was very personal to Peter. I mean remember, Peter's Mark's friend, Mark's writing this gospel; maybe he included it for that reason. That can't be it, because it's recorded in two other gospels as well. So why? Well, we can't be absolutely sure. I have a couple of guesses.

One is, I think, because it shows Jesus' genuine compassion for people. It's one thing to heal the crowds. It's another thing in private, when nobody's watching except a few of your disciples to be concerned about one woman and the great fever that she's suffering under. It shows His genuine compassion for people. But I also think it authenticates the healing ministry of Jesus. Think about it for a moment. Think about the false healers that are always around. They were in the first century. They are today. The false healers, those who claim to have this power, who are always, in our case on television, boasting of what they have accomplished. They carefully arrange their healing services. Sadly, sometimes the people who are healed are paid cronies who simply stoke the crowd's excitement and fill the coffers.

By the way, I've seen exposé's to that end. One made by a man back in the '70's who allowed them to come in. He knew he was a fraud, and he allowed (when he was just about to get out of the business of faith healing) he allowed a team of video cameras to come in and capture all of it. And then television, a film was made from the results of it. And this is exactly what he did. He would plant people who were his cronies who would have this miraculous healing. And it would stoke the crowd and their excitement and fill the coffers with money.

Other times the cronies carefully pick people from the crowd as they come in, they pick those who are suggestible, those who will be easily worked up and led, more likely to go along with suggestion. They are the people, who through the power of the crowd and its influences, do feel they've been healed, under the rush of adrenaline of the moment they think they must be better, but in the days that follow they see the full return of all their symptoms. Again, in our day exposé's have been done of this very thing. But in this case, in Jesus' case, it was up close and personal. It was Peter, His disciple's mother-in-law. And we know that at least four men were eye witnesses. You say, yes, but maybe they weren't true eye-witnesses, maybe they were cronies. I don't think so. Because all four of those men would eventually die as martyr's testifying with their very lives that Jesus was authentic, that He was everything He claimed to be. Cronies don't die for the false healers. It authenticates His healing ministry.

That brings us to the last section of this paragraph as we see this day in the life of Jesus. It's healing and exorcism, not of an individual, not an individual healing, not an individual exorcism, but now of an entire city. We see this in verses 32 to 34. Verse 32 says, "When evening came, after the sun had set,"

Now, here you get an interesting picture of the exactness of the biblical writers, because in Jewish reckoning there were two evenings based on Exodus 12:6, which in Hebrew says they were to kill the Passover lamb between the two evenings. If you look in your Bible at Exodus 12:6 you'll see a marginal reading, a footnote, a marginal reading that says literally between the two evenings. That's what it says. So, in Jewish reckoning there were two evenings; one of them began at 3 pm the other with sunset. Here, he's very careful to tell us it was the one connected with sunset. When evening came, and specifically after the sun had set; now why is that important? Well, remember what day it is. It's the Sabbath day. Sabbath began at sundown on Friday and lasted until sundown on Saturday. The Jewish rabbinical law said that the Sabbath was officially over when you could see the first 3 stars of night. On a clear night you could see 3 stars.

If you've ever been to Israel, and I know a number of you were able to go with us in July, you can still see this today. On the end of Saturday when the sun goes down what has been the Sabbath day suddenly the city literally comes to life in Jerusalem. That's what happens here in Capernaum. Since they weren't supposed to work or carry anything, or according to the rabbis who heal on the Sabbath, they waited until the Sabbath was over at sunset. You can bet that there'd been a lot of discussion since that mornings synagogue service over Sabbath meals. You can bet that Jesus had been the center of discussion. They had had Jesus for dinner that day as if often said of the pastors of churches. We had the pastor for dinner, and you know what I mean.

Throughout the afternoon word spread about not just the demonic incident in its synagogue, but the healing of Jesus' mother-in-law. And so, everything is primed. The excitement is set and as the sun sets you can see the 3 stars in the night sky; all of a sudden there is a stream of people to Peter's house. Verse 32 says, "they began bringing to Him all who were ill and those who were demon-possessed."

Practically everyone in Capernaum who had some kind of physical problem came to Peter's house. There are two categories of people here, the physically ill and the demon-possessed; some of whom, the demon-possessed, were affected physically as well. The picture behind these two Greek verbs here in this sentence have to do with a steady stream of people that just keeps showing up. The sun goes down, the Sabbath is over, the city comes to life, and all of a sudden there's a stream of people showing up at Peter's door. In fact, verse 33 says, "And the whole city had gathered at the door."

I don't think that Mark intends us to think that every last person were there, but you can bet that in a small town like Capernaum almost everyone was. And with a population over 1500, we don't know exactly how many people lived in first century Capernaum, but more than 1500 and less than 10,000. Probably between 1500 and 5000 is more accurate. There is a crush of people at the door of Peter's house. By the way, let me just mention, nowhere in the gospel record do we find Jesus looking out for patients to heal. It was simply His natural response when faced with human tragedy. They come. He encounters them. He heals them.

Verse 34 says, "And He healed many who were ill with various diseases, and cast out many demons…." Now, when Mark says "many" here, he doesn't mean that Jesus didn't heal everybody, because Matthew says, "[He] … healed all who were ill." He just means there were many of them, and He healed all of them. They were sick, by the way, he says, with various diseases. In fact ,if you just go through Mark, and look at those whom Jesus healed, this is the list you'll see: they had fever, leprosy, paralysis, a withered hand, a flow of blood, a deaf and dumb man, two blind men, and even the raising of dead girl. Notice that you have diseases as well as congenital disabilities. As one commentator says, "Jesus was not a specialist, thank God."

Luke tells us what that time looked like, Luke says Jesus laid His hands on each one of them and was healing them. You get this sort of personal touch of Christ caring for each person as they streamed to Peter's door. Matthew adds, "this was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, 'HE HIMSELF TOOK AWAY OUR INFIRMITIES AND CARRIED AWAY OUR DISEASES." I'll come back to that Lord willing next week; because I want to fill out this whole idea of healing a little more next Sunday night.

Verse 34 goes on to say, "and He cast out many demons; and He was not permitting the demons to speak, because they knew who He was."

Luke adds this little insight, "The demons were also coming out of many shouting, "You are the Son of God! [What a night that must have been.] "But rebuking them, He would not allow them to speak, because they knew Him to be the Messiah."

You know what fascinates me about that? It's interesting that the people around Jesus, the people around Jesus have nothing but questions about who He is. And if I had time, I'd take you to these texts. But the demons already know the answers. Every time you meet them they're spilling out who Jesus was. In this encounter, in one day, you remember the demoniac in the synagogue said what? "You are the Holy One of God!" And now in this encounter at night as He casts out these demons, the demons are coming out and they're yelling, "You are the Son of God!"

So, on this one extraordinary day, Jesus demonstrated His authority through His teaching and through His actions. He not only taught the Scripture with authority, but He commanded even the demons with a word, and they obeyed Him. And at a word, illnesses were completely healed, in an instant. What amazing power and authority.

The lessons of this day in the life of Christ are deeply encouraging. We've seen Jesus' power. Listen, there is nothing Jesus cannot do. Get your mind around that for a moment. Think about the issues and struggles of your own life. Think about the things you have faced. There is not a single issue in your life, in your experience, or in the world as we know it, or in human history that is too big for Jesus of Nazareth. He's already demonstrated that. Think about His compassion.

Do you ever wonder how Jesus would respond to you if you could actually meet Him, as everyone will someday if you're His, when He returns? Do you ever wonder how He'll respond? Look at how He responds to those who have repentive hearts, to those who seek Him out, to those who believe in Him. See His tenderness and care. Yes, at times firmness, certainly at times rebuke for their sin, but always compassion. We see Jesus' true nature. We see it through what He does and how He teaches, and we also see it even in the words of His worst enemies.

So, the lessons are deeply encouraging. But there are a couple of other lessons of this day that are both shocking but at the same time strangely familiar. In spite of Jesus' miracles, think about this for a moment, in spite of Jesus' miracles most of these people who are healed will never believe in Him. But they still showed up in droves. They absolutely packed out the place to see Jesus. Why? The same reason many do today. Just like in our day, they were just after Jesus for what they could get from Him. They just wanted Jesus to fix them. Heal me of this disease. Get rid of this problem in my life. Fix my marriage, Solve my financial problems. Improve my self-esteem. Whatever the list, you know the idea. That's all they were after. Jesus is going to encounter these same people later. people like this in Galilee. He gives them bread, and what do they want? More bread. They're after Jesus for what they can get out of Him. That's all they want. And Jesus knew that's why they were there. That's what, to me, makes His compassion all the more compelling. He was being used and He knew it. But He just couldn't help being moved with compassion for the condition in which these people find themselves in spite of their selfish motives. We see in this long day the genuine love and compassion of Jesus Christ.

But here's the beginning of a frightening part of the story. We also get a glimpse in this night that we've just looked at, the future for those who are happy to have Jesus as their genie who provides for all of their perceived needs but who will not put their trust in Him as Lord. Turn over to Matthew 11; see what Jesus says about the people of Capernaum that showed up that night. Matthew 11:20,

Then [Jesus] … began to denounce the cities in which most of His miracles were done, because they did not repent. "Woe to you Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon" [up in Phoenicia that pagan country] "which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. Nevertheless I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day. [In other words, they would have repented.] "Nevertheless, I say to you that it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you."

Jesus isn't talking about fields and countryside here when He talks about Capernaum. He's talking about the people. The people of Capernaum will stand before Him at the judgment and their outcome will be worse than the outcome of the people who died in the flaming fire God sent down on Sodom. Why? Because they had the Son of God. They had the outflow of His compassion. They had His teaching and His Word and His message, and they were happy to take as long as He was giving. But they refused to repent, to turn from their sin and embrace Him as Lord. And Jesus gives these chilling words to those people He healed in many cases. It'll be better for Sodom when you stand before Me in judgment than it will be for you.

It's a sober reminder folks that Jesus is compassionate. He receives those who come. But if you want to come to Jesus and you want the eternal outcome to be right and not just what Jesus can deliver in this life, you've got to come repenting. And for those who will repent, for those who will turn from what they know to be sin and embrace Jesus; He becomes their loving, gracious Lord. But for those who see it all, who sit in services like this and hear about Jesus and then go out and live however they want, doing whatever they want; Jesus says the outcome is going to be a lot different.

It will be better, if you're in that situation, it will be better in the judgment for Sodom than it will be for you. Jesus always extends that invitation. Come to Me; and it would be wrong of me not to end this message tonight in saying to you if you're in that situation come to Christ. Hear His message, repent and believe in Jesus, turn from your sin and embrace Him as Lord and Savior, and you'll know His mercy. If not, someday you'll meet Him as Judge.

Let's pray together.

Our Father, we thank You for these amazing glimpses into the life of our Lord. Thank You that we can, as it were, look over His shoulder and see a day in His life in that new town that He adopted, Capernaum. And Father, we thank You for all of the wonderfully encouraging lessons that we see there about Him; about His love and compassion and care for people, about His power and authority.

Father, we thank You as well for the sobering reminder that we have to come to Jesus on His terms. We can't re-fashion Jesus into whatever shape we want, but we must come repenting of our sins and embracing Him as Lord; falling down before Him in worship and adoration and submission. And for those who will, oh God, we thank You that for those of us who have, we now know Him as loving Lord.

Lord, I pray for someone here tonight who's heard it all, seen it all, been exposed to Jesus their whole life and yet still refuses to repent, like the cities Jesus denounced. Lord, help them tonight to get alone with You, to pour out their soul in true repentance.

And thank You oh God, that our Lord is just today as He was then, always the same ready to receive those who come in His way. We thank You and praise You in His great name. And we do fall down before Him in worship and praise, Amen.