What does Mark 1:39 mean?
ESV: And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.
NIV: So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.
NASB: And He went into their synagogues preaching throughout Galilee, and casting out the demons.
CSB: He went into all of Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.
NLT: So he traveled throughout the region of Galilee, preaching in the synagogues and casting out demons.
KJV: And he preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils.
Verse Commentary:
This verse is a summary of the next several chapters; it doesn't mean that Jesus and the disciples made a long trip that wasn't recorded. After preaching and healing in Capernaum, Jesus takes His first disciples "throughout all Galilee" to spread the gospel. The Jewish historian Josephus estimated that at least 15,000 people lived in this area, a much larger region than Capernaum, which may have held only a couple of thousand people.

Again, Jesus preaches in the synagogues (Mark 1:21) just as Paul did in his travels throughout Asia Minor (Acts 13:5, 14; 14:1; 17:17). This underscores that Christianity is not an aberrant cult of Judaism, but is the God-ordained culmination of Judaism (Hebrews 7:11–22). Jesus taught from the Old Testament and explained how the Jewish Holy Scriptures point to Him as the Jewish Messiah (Luke 4:16–21). He was not trying to draw people away from Judaism. Rather, He sought to help them realize what Judaism was about all along. He was never shy about teaching in front of religious scholars. In a better world, they would have accepted His teaching and become leaders in the church. But pride of position and pride of knowledge kept their ears closed and turned these men into the enemy of the same Messiah for whom they claimed to look.

Jesus wouldn't force the Jewish scholars to follow Him, but He had no problem getting rid of demonic obstacles. Casting out demons became a major part of Jesus' public ministry. Demons are mentioned sixteen times in Mark in addition to the many references of unclean spirits. Jesus often cast out demons and healed physical ailments in the same gatherings, and in the ancient world physical and spiritual problems were often spoken of together. Though there may be connections, it is important to treat physical and mental concerns with professional help regardless of any potential spiritual connections.
Verse Context:
Mark 1:21–45 opens a longer section describing the healing and preaching ministry of Jesus Christ. In this segment, Jesus impresses onlookers with His mastery of the Scriptures. He also amazes people with His authoritative style. During this teaching, Jesus heals a man afflicted with demonic possession. The resulting publicity brings a massive crowd to the home of Simon Peter, where Jesus is staying. Jesus heals Peters' mother-in-law of a fever, and cures a leper, before leaving the region to continue His ministry.
Chapter Summary:
John the Baptist is introduced as a figure preparing the world for the arrival of the Messiah. John's baptism teaches people about their need for repentance. When Jesus arrives, and is baptized, it signals the coming of God's fulfillment and the need of people to recognize their Savior. Mark briefly notes Jesus' baptism, desert temptation, and the calling of the first four disciples. After this, Jesus begins teaching in the synagogue and performs miraculous healings which spread His fame around the region.
Chapter Context:
The first chapter of the Gospel of Mark sets the tone for the rest of the story. Mark's writing is concise, action-packed, and short on details. Within a few verses, Mark establishes the transition from the wilderness ministry of John the Baptist to the healing and preaching of Jesus Christ. This first chapter includes the calling of Jesus' earliest disciples, His early miracles, and His early teaching. This establishes the pattern shown throughout the Gospel of Mark, where Jesus mingles His teaching with miraculous signs.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Mark emphasizes both Jesus' servanthood and His role as the promised Messiah: the Son of God. This is done through a concise, action-packed style. Mark provides relatively few details, instead focusing on actions and simple statements. This relates to the Gospel's authorship, which is believed to be based on the memories of the apostle Peter. These include many of Jesus' miracles, in contrast to other Gospels which include many more of Jesus' teachings and parables. Mark also makes frequent mention of Jesus' ministry being misunderstood by others.
Accessed 4/18/2024 7:08:13 PM
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