Summary: Every crowd has its own personality. We can divide the crowd into two basic groups. Bringers and Watchers. Which one are you? Jesus is the crowd changer.
“The Crowd Changer”
“That evening at sunset, many sick and demon-possessed people were brought to Jesus. 33 The whole town gathered at the door to watch. 34 So Jesus healed many people who were sick with various diseases, and he cast out many demons.” Mark 1:32-34
Intro: Capernaum is located on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. There are two ancient sites of synagogues in Capernaum. One is located not far from what is known today as the St. Peter’s Church. St. Peter’s church is built over what archaeologist have excavated as a foundation which is believed to have been the very house where Peter and Andrew lived.
After Jesus had preached at the Synagogue on the Sabbath he had gone home with Peter and Andrew. When he got to their house Peter’s mother-in-law was sick. And Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law and she immediately arose and began to serve Jesus and showed hospitality and prepared a meal for him and the disciples.
As the sunset in the evening it signaled the end of the holy Sabbath day. People were prohibited from doing many kinds of work on the Sabbath. There were limitations on how far they could travel. Their labor was restricted. But as the Sabbath ended they began to go about their business. So a Sabbath ended people began to seek Jesus so that the sick could be healed.
The news about Jesus teaching at the Synagogue that morning had spread quickly through the entire region of Galilee. The witnesses told how that Jesus spoke to the demon and the demon processed was healed.
Many villages were located in the area of Galilee. Some were like Capernaum and averaged in size of perhaps twelve to fifteen hundred. Others like Bethsaida may have had about three thousand. Larger cities like Tiberius had a population of about fifteen thousand. The city of Magdala was one of the largest at that time and may have had close to forty thousand people in or around its area.
“That evening at sunset, many sick and demon-possessed people were brought to Jesus.”Mark 1:32 It is difficult to say how many people came to Peter’s house but we know from other places the bible speaks of crowds following Jesus. Jesus feed the five thousand. That was only the number of men. It did not include women and children. So, when the whole town of Capernaum gathered at Peter’s house and people from all over the surrounding region of Galilee came, a conservative estimate of the crowd would have numbered well into the thousands of people.
Every crowd has its own personality. There were no doubt people from all professions of life in this crowd.
Fishermen, carpenters, farmers and sheep herders, and craftsmen and likely as in other crowds who came to Jesus there was Roman soldiers, domestic servants and masters with slaves, religious leaders from the temples, and there were probably prostitutes, and thieves and pick pockets, and beggars, and there were the diseased, the sick and dying. People of all ages, race, color, national origin. People of all walks of life. The wealthy, the working class, the poor, the least of the least.