Summary: Jesus, Peter and Peter’s mother-in-law all showed what it means to be a friend. But we need to do the same. Don’t leave Jesus in church, take Him with you everywhere you go.
What does it mean to be a friend? Is it someone willing to help you out in your time of need? Is it someone you enjoy doing some recreation activity with? Is it someone you can tell all of your personal problems to and who helps you through a difficult time? We probably all have our own way of defining what a friend is to each of us. What’s important, what matters, how we feel about those characteristics. But, one thing that’s always in common with however you look at friendship, each of our friends is willing to dedicate time to spend a moment with us. They’re willing to put aside part of their busy schedule, or their own crisis and personal problems, and dedicate part of their day for us.
Tonight, I’d like to look at friendship and three different people from the gospel story. Peter, Jesus and Peter’s mother-in-law all had different ways of showing their friendship. But, each was willing to dedicate time to each other. Each was willing to take a look at what the others needed, and tried to fulfill that need. All three did things for each other without being asked. That’s what friendship is all about.
Jesus, tired from a busy day
Lets take a look at the friendship that Peter offered. Jesus spent the better part of the Sabbath teaching those around him. He impressing them because of His confidence, authority and knowledge. The crowds were amazed at how He spoke, what He said, and what He did. He chased a demon out of a man with only a word. He commanded this unclean spirit, and the spirit obeyed. He dumbfounded those around Him. They didn’t understand, but they wanted to hear more. They didn’t know who this man was, but they wanted to learn more about him. They didn’t understand the power he possessed, but some wanted his help.
Think of the crowds that must have gathered around Him, pressing in, trying to get closer to this new teacher, perhaps pushing their way to the front. As Jesus spoke, people listened. As they heard His message, they talked to those next to them. Who is this guy? Did you hear what He said? As the murmuring increased, so did the size of the crowds listening. More and more people gathered to see this new teacher and hear what He had to say. Once they saw Him give orders to the spirit in a man, it grabbed their attention even more. He spent the day at the Synagogue teaching, preaching, and cleaning the spirit of one man. All while fighting off the crowds, answering questions, and building the beginning of His new ministry.
Think of one the busiest days you’ve had. You’ve spent 12, 14, maybe 16 hours or more working your tail off. You were tired, exhausted, ready for a break. You looked forward to just sitting down and relaxing, perhaps even enjoying a good meal with friends, and getting your mind off of the day’s events and the stresses sure to come tomorrow. That was how Jesus felt. He was tired, hungry, and ready for a break. After a long day teaching and healing at the temple, Jesus was looking forward to spending a bit of time relaxing. He wanted to take a load off of His feet, ease back in a comfortable lazy boy chair and just enjoy a few moments of peace and quite.
Peter takes Jesus home
Peter was there to help Jesus unwind after such a busy day. He had followed the Lord, listened intently, and knew He had a lot more to learn from this man from Galilee. So, he invited Jesus to his house to help him relax, and take care of his tired mentor.
It was common for folks to eat a meal after being in the temple on the Sabbath and this is where Peter, Jesus and the others were headed. Peter had established a relationship with Jesus. He didn’t leave the Lord at the synagogue. Instead, he invited Him to come home with him. Invited Him to be part of His life outside the church. He invited Him to spend time away from the temple, and in his everyday life.
He shared his house, his table, his life, with his Lord and Savior. He chose to spend more than just a few minutes a week with God. He spent hours and days dedicated to learning about, and following Jesus. Perhaps we can learn a lot from how Peter chose to spent time with God.
Peter showed his friendship by spending time with Jesus, by listening to His conversations, and giving Christ the attention He deserved.
Jesus meets people where they are
Jesus accepted the invitation Peter offered, and they strolled to Peter’s house. No questions asked. No demands of “ensure the place is ready for me when I arrive.” No protocol. No red carpets laid out. No assistants helping Jesus with His bags or His schedule. No uniform requirements. Just two friends walking down the street to enjoy some time together.