Today’s Reading: Mark 1
Today’s reading showcases the cool way Jesus began His ministry. Who Jesus healed, what He healed, and where He healed it, makes this amazing. Take a look at this passage:
[The people] were amazed at [Jesus’] 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. (Mark 1:22-28)
First, a demon showed up in the synagogue. While Jesus was teaching, a demon tried to take center stage from Jesus. Verse 22 says when Jesus taught them, they were amazed. Then when the demon showed up, Jesus rebuked it and it came out of the man. And again “they were all amazed” (verse 27). These two words for amazed were different, though. The amazement the people felt over Jesus’ teaching was something like “blowing their minds.” They were in awe and wonder. But the second amazement the people felt was different—and Mark used a different word to convey it. That word adds something to the first. It adds the physical and the emotional aspect to it. The second word means to be in fear and trembling.
When Jesus teaches us, we respond by shaking our heads in amazement. When Jesus heals and delivers us, we shake on the ground in fear and trembling awe. This was a huge miracle in the synagogue in front of non-followers, who were getting an introduction to the powerful ministry of the Son of God.
Then after the prayer to get rid of the demon, Jesus prayed again. I call it the fever prayer.
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. (Mark 1:30-31)
I love the phrase they spoke to Jesus about her. That’s really important. That is the best scriptural definition for “intercession.” It is a form of prayer that prays for others not for ourselves. What is intercession? It’s when we speak to Jesus about others.
Quick side note—this kind of praying also heals the church of gossip. We don’t speak to other people about someone, we speak to Jesus about that person.
This fever prayer is so encouraging. The demon prayer was in the church. The fever prayer was in the home. That’s where I need the most answers to prayer.
I think Jesus was showing us something about Himself. Fever prayers are just as important to Him as demon prayers. I love what Paul says in Philippians about our prayers. “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank him for his answers” (Philippians 4:6, TLB).
Pray about everything—demons and fevers. There’s nothing too small or insignificant to pray about. Too often we don’t want to take something to God, because we feel as though He would say, “Do you know how busy I am—and you’re asking for that?”
Here’s the truth: God tells us to pray about everything. God created us and He is interested in every aspect of our lives. He wants to know what’s on our minds. If it’s bothering us, He wants us to tell Him about it.
Ask God today for big stuff and for little stuff. Pray for a scholarship to cover this year at university, pray for cancer to be healed, pray for that prodigal daughter to come back to Jesus. But it’s also okay to pray for no traffic, pray for the grocery store not to run out of a certain item, pray that an article of clothing is on sale. Pray demon prayers and pray fever prayers. And then be amazed!