Summary: The story of Peter, Peter's mother-in-law and the crown in this passage from Mark describe three different perspectives, but different needs as well. We all have needs and our greatest need is a savior.
The author Stephen W. Sorenson wrote in Discipleship Journal:
For two years, because of severe tendinitis in both wrists, I could not pick up my young daughter, carry a log, or even open a twist-off pop bottle. To make matters worse, my wife and I, with help from family and friends, were building a major addition to our home when the tendinitis developed, so I couldn’t even use a hammer. I wondered whether I would ever regain full use of my hands.
But, our remodeling went on. We installed a second-story window on one blustering evening with the help of some Christian friends and a man named Willy, a retired military musician.
Afterward, before the window crew began eating dinner, I prayed a simple prayer. Willy listened carefully and watched how the rest of us interacted. Later, as he was leaving, he said, “People don’t help each other like this anymore.”
I replied, “Sure they do!”
Willy came back to our house, day after day. He dug up our septic tank, cut diseased trees, and simply spent time with us. I sensed he understood my pain and our need. One afternoon as we walked and talked in the woods, I discovered why.
For most of his life, Willy had lived for his music, but a devastating ear problem developed, preventing him from listening to music of any kind. As a result, rather than being put off by my injury, Willy was drawn to me because of our common ground. And before we went separate ways, Willy became a Christian.
As I look back, I don’t know if I would have taken time to talk with Willy had my wrists been well. Most likely I’d have been hammering nails or running a chain saw. So “All” I could do was listen and talk. But in God’s plan that was enough. (Larson, Craig Brian & Leadership Journal, 750 Engaging Illustrations for Preachers, Teachers & Writers, Baker: Grand Rapids, 1993. Pg.483)
We all have needs. For some, we may be like Stephen Sorenson, struggling with a medical condition, but still needing to work thorough life. Or we may be like Willy, looking for a friend that can relate to his own ailment. For others, we may need assistance with a car that won’t start and somehow we have to get to work on time. We all have our own, unique needs. But for all of us, we require a savior to lift us out of the sinful lives that we’ve all lived in.
In the Gospel lesson today, we heard the story of Jesus leaving the synagogue after a day of preaching, teaching and healing. Following such a busy day, working at establishing His ministry on earth, Jesus came to visit Simon Peter and Andrew at their home. After a long day, Jesus might have been ready to take a load off of his feet, kick back, and relax among his disciples and friends. But, the evening wasn’t so uneventful. Instead of a quiet evening, Jesus found Peter’s mother-in-law, in bed, and sick with fever. Although he needed time to relax from a busy day, the needs of Peter’s mother-in-law were more pressing. But, our Gospel message today addresses more than just the needs of these two people.