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.
We can divide the crowd into two basic groups. The scripture lesson identifies two specific different groups in this crowd. The first group in this crowd were the…
“They brought to Jesus.”Mark 1:32.
They brought the sick. They brought the demon-possessed people to Jesus. The Greek word used here for brought means: “followers.” (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance) Followers were people who believed. They believed that when Jesus preached at the temple he was a representative of God. That Jesus did more than just read the scripture that he interpreted it with authority. That the sermon was prophetic and messianic. It involved great enthusiasm and was done with devotion and encouragement and hope and love. They believed that Jesus spoke the truth. They believed that Jesus was a liberator and Judaic savior. This was the one who would usher in the golden age that had been promised for so many years. They are the followers. The primary characteristic of a follower is that they are bringers. Followers bring people to Jesus.
Another closely related meaning of the Greek meaning of the word “brought” is one who carries. In some places in the bible the people carried their friends to Jesus. Carriers brought those who could not bring themselves. In one case the crowd was so large that they tore the rooftop off and lowered their friend down from the ceiling so that he could be healed by Jesus. Luke 5:19.
To bear the load is part of the original meaning here. Bringers are also those who bear the load. We all have things we have to carry. Burdens to bear in life. Thankfully, the church is people who have been instructed to bear one another's burdens. Think about your spiritual family.