As soon as they left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them. That evening, at sundown, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. And the whole city was gathered around the door. And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him. In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. And Simon and his companions hunted for him. When they found him, they said to him, “Everyone is searching for you.” He answered, “Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.” And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.
Food For Thought:
Now, this is an usual passage of Scripture for modern readers—partly because we don’t talk about demons much in modern culture and partly because we know that the ancient Roman understanding of disease is much different than our modern understanding. But even if we don’t believe in modern demons in the way in which the Biblical writer describes, we can all talk about the demons in our lives―the things that hold us back from loving God and our neighbor and the fears and failures that hold us back from truly living out God’s call upon our lives. Today I encourage you to think about what your demons are. What is holding you back from reaching out to your neighbor in love and kindness?
Everlasting God, you give strength to the powerless and power to the faint; you raise up the sick and cast out demons. Make us agents of healing and wholeness that your good news may be made known to the ends of your creation. In your holy and sacred name we pray, Amen.
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