Mark 1:21-39 Exploring the Passage

Below are some preliminary questions to assist in the study of this passage. For a comprehensive study of the passage, download the Study Guide (PDF download).

1. What two things about Jesus caused the people in the synagogue to be astonished? See Mark 1:22,27 (printed below)

The people were astonished at his teaching; because he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes. (Mark 1:22)

All the people were astonished, so much so that they questioned among themselves, saying, What is this? Here is a new teaching! With authority he even commands the unclean spirits, and they obey him. (Mark 1:27)

The people were astonished at Jesus’ ability to teach with authority and His authority to cast out demons.

2. Why do you think Jesus commands the demon to keep quiet when he confesses that Jesus is “the Holy One of God?”

Jesus refuses to allow the demon to bear witness to the truth that He is “the Holy One of God” because the demon, being in league with the devil, is notorious for telling lies. Just as nobody would believe a habitual liar, even when he was telling the truth, so nobody would believe that Jesus is “the Holy One of God” if this testimony came from the mouth of a demon.

3. Early the next morning, following His many miraculous works of healing, Jesus went out to a solitary place to pray. Why do you think He did this?

Jesus was aware that the people would only view Him as a miracle worker and would flock to Him only for physical healing, thereby diverting Him from His God-given mission of offering Himself on the cross for our sins. Therefore, Jesus retired to a solitary place in order to pray that His Father would help Him resist the temptation of fulfilling the peoples’ expectations rather than His Father’s expectations.

4. Many sick and suffering people were brought to Jesus and He healed them. Can we always expect to receive healings from Jesus today?

No, not necessarily. Jesus’ acts of healing were intended to verify His claim that He is the Messiah and to demonstrate what life will be like in the kingdom of God. Sometimes in this present day Jesus does grant healing in answer to prayer, but not always. We may ask Jesus for healing, but we must accept His will if He sees fit not to grant our petition.

5. At the conclusion of this passage what two elements of Jesus’ ministry does Mark emphasize? See Mark 1:39 (printed below)

So he traveled throughout all of Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons. (Mark 1:39)

Mark reports that Jesus traveled throughout Galilee preaching the gospel and casting out demons. His message was that He has come to free us from the dominion of devil and restore us to God, and He demonstrated the truth of His claim by driving out the demons whenever He encountered them.