Summary: Sometimes we get so wrapped-up in what Jesus can do for us …when we really just-need to find Jesus!
Just Words: Healed
Scripture Text: Mark 1.29-39
Peter must’ve loved his mother-in-law, …because he brought Jesus to her!
I’m sure that you’ve heard any-number of mother-in-law jokes… …such-as: What is the worst thing an emergency room doctor can tell you after admitting your mother-in-law to the hospital?
“Sir, we were able to save her!” [“Ughhh!] But, Peter must’ve had a better-relationship with his mother-in-law, than-that!
She was sick with a fever; …and that-was a serious-thing… Now-a-days, we generally-think-of ‘fever’ as a minor-kinda-thing. It’s unpleasant. It’s not-something that you’d wish-on-a-person; …but, when you have a fever, you take a Tylenol and go-to-bed. But… that wasn’t the case before Wal-greens and pharmaceuticals! A fever could be a life-threatening experience.
When Jesus-and-Peter enter the house, …Peter’s mother-in-law is lying-down, sick-in-bed, …sick with fever. We don’t know how long she’d had the fever. We don’t know the cause of the fever. We don’t know how high her temperature was. All-we-know is that she had a fever and that it had laid-her-low.
Jesus went to her. He didn’t have a magic potion. He didn’t do a medicine-man dance, around her bed. He didn’t do cartwheels or wave a magic-wand. No… He simply reached-out, …took her hand, …and helped-her-up. And the fever left her!
I think that what we can take-from-this is that Jesus wasn’t in-to putting-on-a-show! We have seen healing-services turned into theater. We’ve seen it made into a show. But, that’s not the way that Jesus went about healing folks. It was simple. It was personal. He took her hand, …helped her up, …and the fever left!... Gone! Adios! Restored to health. Feelin’ better. What-a-difference the simple-touch of the Lord-Jesus makes!
Mark goes-on to-say: “That evening, after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed.”
There’s a couple of interesting things to notice here. They are still in Peter’s house… By-the-way, …archaeologists have discovered both: Peter’s house and the synagogue of Capernaum! I don’t know if you’re into-that-kinda-thing, or not… But, Peter’s house was similar to other-houses of that time. It was kinda-like a compound with a wall-around-the-outside and separate small living-structures within the wall. So, there might-be a two-room-house in one-corner of the compound ~ …and that’s where Peter and his wife-and-kids lived. And, there might-be another, two-room-structure in a-different-corner of the compound ~ …and that’s-where Peter’s brother, Andrew lived with his family. And-then, possibly, a smaller, one-room-structure over-against another-wall ~ …and that’s-where Peter’s mother-in-law lived ~ …ever-since she became a widow.
The whole-thing was encompassed by a wall – for security and privacy. And in-the-middle of these dwellings were good-sized-courtyards. The whole-compound had a single entrance ~ …and that’s the “door” that Mark refers-to, when he says that the whole-town gathered at-the-door. There was room in the courtyards for many people ~ …but the crowds were flocking-there, in-such-numbers, that they couldn’t all-get-in, all-at-once! But, as they came, Jesus touched them and healed them. It must’ve been a pretty-cool time! People-gettin’ carried-in, …drug-in, …hauled-in ‘cause they were so sick; People-gettin’ escorted-in because Mark tells us that-they-were possessed by demons. Lots-of-them… Many-of-them ~ …Jesus healed. He restored. It must’ve been a pretty-cool time!
Can you imagine the buzz, …the excitement, …the energy that must’ve been radiating as bodies-were-healed, …hearts-were-freed, …and people-were-amazed by all-that-they-saw Jesus doing right-there, in-front-of-them!?!
Peter’s mother-in-law gives us an interesting-example of how-to respond to God’s grace. She immediately got up and began serving. The-moment-that she began to feel well, …she put-on her apron and became-the-perfect-hostess to her guests!
Some people might think this is a little extreme ~ …They might-think that she oughtta-take-it-easy for a while; …They might-think that she shoulda-taken-her-place in the lazy-boy-recliner; …They might-think that it’s-unrealistic to expect someone to dive-right-in, right-after she was laid-low with a fever!
Some-people might-think these-kinda-things, …but that’s not-what Peter’s mother-in-law thought! As-soon-as she was well, …she got-to-her-feet and took-care-of-her-house-guests.
If you were to read the Gospel of Mark all-the-way-through, ...what-you’d-find is that Mark really-emphasizes immediate-action. In-fact, as-you-read through Mark’s Gospel, it almost feels-as-though he’s racing toward the end-of-the-story ~ …moving like a race-car, from one-event-to-the-next ~ …and just-like in the case-of Peter’s-mother-in-law, …there’s no wishy-washy, mamby-pamby mulling-it-over (on-the-part-of those who see-and-hear Jesus)! No!... People react. Some with faith. Some with shouts. Some with anger. Some with disgust. But, everybody reacts, immediately.
Peter’s mother-in-law gives an immediate-reaction to the healing-touch of Jesus: …she gets-up from her sick-bed, and begins to hostess! In-this, she gives a-tremendous-example of responding to what God does in our own heart and life. Do you see the take-home-principles that Mark wants us to learn from her example? ~ …live gratefully; …live generously; …our hands are to be led by our hearts; …give what you get; …share what you receive.
God pours out His grace to us abundantly, …surprisingly, …certainly. What are you going to do with that? ~ Peter’s mother-in-law is a great-example of how to respond to God’s goodness-and-grace. Faith. Service. Hospitality!