A man with an evil spirit (Mark 1: 21–28)

The first miracle recorded in Mark’s Gospel takes place on the Sabbath day in the town of Capernaum. It is an exorcism miracle as it involves the driving out of an evil spirit.

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It was commonly held belief that there were millions of evil spirits in the world. At the time of Jesus, it was thought that spirits could possess people and cause physical and mental illnesses.

The spirit calls Jesus “God’s holy messenger”. This means that it recognised that Jesus was the Messiah.

This miracle is an example of the contest between good and evil. Jesus showed he had authority over the evil spirit as he was able to drive the demon from the man with the authority of his words.

The Sabbath day

The Sabbath is an important day for the Jewish people.

At the time of Jesus Jews were very strict in following the Law of Moses. The third commandment states “keep holy the Sabbath day”.

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Today Jews still believe that in keeping holy the Sabbath day they are showing special thanks to God for creating the world. God rested on the seventh day. Jews believe they should follow the example of God.

It is the one day when the whole family comes together to worship God in the synagogue. No work is allowed on this day.

Should a Christian never work on a Sunday?

Arguments forArguments against
Christians should obey the commandments and keep holy the Sabbath day.As long as you take time to worship God it doesn’t matter which day of the week it is.
God worked for six days and rested on the seventh – Christians should do the same.Some people have no choice but to work as their job involves saving lives, eg medical staff have to work Sundays.
Sunday is the Sabbath day for Christians – a day to worship and spend time with family.Some people may have to work on a Sunday in order to provide for their family, they may have no other choice.
Some people work on Sundays as a way of making extra money. This is putting money before God.