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Mark 1:33

ESV And the whole city was gathered together at the door.
NIV The whole town gathered at the door,
NASB And the whole city had gathered at the door.
CSB The whole town was assembled at the door,
NLT The whole town gathered at the door to watch.
KJV And all the city was gathered together at the door.
NKJV And the whole city was gathered together at the door.

What does Mark 1:33 mean?

Jesus had dealt with a large crowd before (Luke 5:1–3), but this event is overwhelming—the "whole city" shows up. Though this is Mark's only use of the phrase "whole city," it is used elsewhere in the New Testament. In Matthew 21:10, the "whole city" of Jerusalem is stirred up. In Luke 8:39, the man freed from an evil spirit proclaimed "throughout the whole city" how much Jesus had done for him. In Pisidian Antioch "almost the whole city" comes to hear Paul and Barnabas (Acts 13:44). The term does not necessarily mean every single person in the city, but gives the general idea that the entire city seems to be there, similar to "all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem" who came to see John the Baptist (Mark 1:5).

The idea of a crowd "gathered together at the door" portrays a picture of more people than could fit in the house. This is a large crowd, perhaps a few hundred people, all coming to be healed, bringing others to be healed, or watch Jesus at work. His actions change the entire town in a day. The next morning, Jesus will take His disciples and leave to preach in other parts of Galilee (Mark 1:35–39).

This scene illustrates why Jesus had to leave and send the Holy Spirit after the resurrection. God interacts with humankind in different ways at different times. In the time of the nation of Israel, God spoke through prophets. Once the last Old Testament-era prophet—John the Baptist—had completed his work, Jesus' ministry began. But as a physical man, Jesus can only be in one place at a time. The way He worked during His time on earth was usually with one person at a time and, except in the face of extraordinary faith (Luke 7:1–10), with the person directly in front of Him. When Jesus left, He sent the Holy Spirit, who lives inside of each Christ-follower (John 14:16–17). The Holy Spirit guides us, strengthens our faith, and gives us discernment. As wonderful as it would be to physically see Jesus today, it would require fighting through a much larger crowd than the one that showed up at Simon Peter's door!
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