Summary: The most immediate and complete response to Grace is service...how’s yours?
Slide 1 – Title and Verse
John and I have been talking and praying all week and have decided that we’ve got it all wrong. All this “connecting people to Jesus and a life change community” and the strategy and the values that we’ve been pushing are just not going to work. So, in an effort to turn this deal in a different direction we worked all week to present our new strategy in this video…so watch this and tell me what you think….
Whaddya think? Think it will work? Yea….probably not. So let’s turn to Matthew 8 and take a look at a better idea that is more in line with what we want to do here.
In Matthew chapter 8 we see that Jesus has just come down the Mountain where he gave the “sermon on the mount”….we’ll call it Beatitude Mountain. So he comes down beatitude mountain and tons of people are following him and he is immediately met by a guy with Leprosy. This guy asks Jesus to heal him and he does. Then Jesus is met by a Roman soldier, a centurion. His servant is real sick and so he comes to Jesus and asks Jesus to heal him. Jesus sends the man home and tells him that his servant will be healed.
Then we get to a pretty cool little story in verse 14 where Jesus is going to stop by Peter’s house. Now keep in mind that he just met Peter 3 chapters ago in chapter 4 when he invited Peter and his brother Andrew to join his team. So this is kind of like Jesus’ first “meet the family” of his disciples. So he walks into Peter’s house and immediately we learn something about Peter that we didn’t know…..
Slide 2 -
Verse 14 says, “Now when Jesus had come in Peter’s house, He saw his wife’s mother lying sick with a fever.”
We learn about Peter that he has a mother in law…if he’s got one of those, we also know that he has what? A wife! Peter is married. He is one of the few disciples that we know are.
As you read through the rest of scripture and the adventures that this particular disciple was a part of, you gain a real new respect for Mrs. Peter. This lady definitely kept the home fires burning while her husband the evangelist and Pastor is out kickin’ it.
But for Peter’s mother in law there are some different fires burning right now, because verse 14 tells us she is lying sick with a FEVER.
Now something that I didn’t know about fevers in the New Testament that I now do, I really think it’s important to share with you. First of all: fevers weren’t thought of in Jesus’ day as simply a symptom of a sickness, but as a disease itself. In other words you could have cancer, malaria, emphysema or….fever. That’s how it was considered.
Something else: Fever had a more theological significance. According to Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28, fever was a punishment sent by God to those who violated the covenant of God. It was considered by Rabbinical Tradition “a heavenly fire”. If you disobeyed God, you could get a high fever.
Why did I tell you all that? Well, Peter’s mother in law is sick and in bed with a fever. Was her fever the result of her disobedience to God’s commands? I don’t know.
Depending on what kind of relationship Peter had with his mother in law, he might tell us (yes, she’s a devil woman!).
But what I do want us to see here is this. What we are about to see Jesus heal this woman of is serious. She is sick and it may or may not be because of her disobedience….but there is something that we can get from this….
We either are or once were very much like Peter’s MIL. We were sick too, with a fever. Because what do we call disobedience to God’s commands? SIN, Right.
And so while we don’t know exactly what has caused her sickness, we do know that it could have been tied to her disobedience to God….either way…when it came to our condition of spiritual sickness, we know that it was tied to disobedience to God. So, it is or was sin and very serious.
Slide 3 -
Okay, back to the story. Verse 15 goes on to say, “So [Jesus] touched her hand, and the fever left her….”
No big deal right? I mean in the context of this chapter, this was a pretty minor healing for Jesus. The first guy had leprosy – a skin condition that would kill him. The second healing Jesus did off-sight. The guy comes to Jesus and asks him to heal his servant and Jesus just speaks it from far away and it happens. This lady just has a fever. But understanding more about what fevers could have been helps us appreciate that a little more now.