Summary: This sermon show the Lord at work both in private and in public and highlights Him as a Man of integrity who cares and can be trusted.
Jesus: Inside and Out
Text: Mark 1:29-35
Introduction: Last Sunday we considered the work of the Lord in the synagogue at Capernaum. You will recall that as he was preaching His message was disrupted by the cries of a demoniac, and the result of this confrontation was the rebuke of the devil and the release of the man. These events caused quite a stir that day, the people “were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him.” His fame, we are told, “spread abroad”. Jesus had become something of a local hero. Tongues were wagging, and people were talking. It was quite a victory.
When the service was over, (usually around noon), the Lord left to enjoy dinner at Simon Peter’s house. Peter’s home was not too far away from the synagogue, in fact, in time, a church was built over it and in 1990 a Roman Catholic Church with a glass floor was built over that site so that you can see the old church beneath. Peter’s house was no more than a a couple of hundred feet from the ancient synagogue, and it was a short stroll from the service that day to Peter’s home for dinner. Entering the house that Sabbath noon was Simon and Andrew, James and John along with the Lord Jesus, but everything did not go according to plan. You see Peter’s mother-in-law, was unwell, and consequently their meal was unready.
Now this is a very telling little incident. It serves in part to rebuke the Roman Catholic tradition of celibacy for the priesthood. Bearing in mind that the Roman Church lays claim to Peter as the first Pope, it seems rather strange that he should have a mother-in-law, because you can’t have a mother-in-law without a wife. So the first Pope, evidently, was a married man!!
More importantly than that, this incident tells us something else. It shows us that the apostles were not single men, footloose and fancy free, to follow Jesus the length and breadth of Israel. They had many of the same responsibilities we have. Here we see Peter had a wife. In fact Paul makes reference to this fact in his epistle to the Corinthians saying, “Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?” (1Cor 9:5). So Peter wasn’t the only married apostle it would seem. These were men with responsibilities, men with wives, and who knows, maybe even children.
Coming back to our text. Though the service at the synagogue was over, Jesus was not finished for the day. His work must go on and in our text we see that work continued inside and out, in private and in public. Aren’t you glad that Jesus was the same indoors as he was outdoors? Aren’t you glad He was the same in the sitting room as He was in the synagogue? A lot of people need to learn from this. Many a fellow appears to be one thing in the church hall who is something else in his family home. There is a name for that. It is called “hypocrisy” and the Lord was certainly no hypocrite. What He was outside the home was what He was inside.
I. Jesus on the Inside: His Private Ministry. – verses 29-31
A. I don’t know about you, but one of my favourite moments of the week is when you get back home after church Sunday morning, and open the front door your senses are bombarded by the smell of Sunday lunch.
1. Our kids have often commented on that when we got home on Sundays.
2. I imagine Jewish homes on the Sabbath aren’t any different, with hungry family members looking forward to some time together around the dining table.
3. But on this occasion as Peter arrived home from the Sabbath service with his guest there was no welcoming aroma to greet them at the door, and as he made enquiries as to how long before the meal would be served he discovered that his mother-in-law, who appears to have been the cook that day had taken ill.
B. Mark yells us she lay sick with a fever.
1. There is no indication that this was anything other than a mild illness, no suggestion that it was in anyway a life or death situation – she simply had a fever and felt unwell, and who hasn’t been there?
2. Now I love what happens next: We read, “… and anon they tell Him (Jesus) of her.”
a. The word “anon” is an old English word, and it means, “at once”.