After my series on the parables, I found I was drawn to look into the miracles of Jesus in the Gospels. I have never studies the mighty works of Jesus as a focused effort before and am looking forward to finding nuggets of truth that we can be encouraged by.
I have provided a general introduction, with an opportunity to download two files for your reference in my initial post Signs and Mighty Works of Jesus – Introduction. I found that the format I used for the parable posts were useful to keep me on track, and will continue to use them for this series, with some minor tweaks. With that said, let’s take a look at
Jesus Heals Peter’s Mother-in-Law
And when Jesus entered Peter’s house, he saw his mother-in-law lying sick with a fever. He touched her hand, and the fever left her, and she rose and began to serve him.
And immediately he left the synagogue and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon’s mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, and immediately they told him about her. And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her, and she began to serve them.
And he arose and left the synagogue and entered Simon’s house. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was ill with a high fever, and they appealed to him on her behalf. And he stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her, and immediately she rose and began to serve them.
Peter’s mother-in-law was sick, and I find it interesting that, as is commonly accepted, Mark is the gospel that Peter influenced. With that knowledge, although each of the passages above are of equal value and supplies much of the same information, I would like to dwell on Mark’s passage since it has a “personal” connection with Peter’s mother-in-law.
Questions to Consider
Who were the audience?
The audience was a restricted group for what I can tell. Simon of course, possibly his wife, his brother Andrew, along with James and John. Oh, and the mother-in-law of course!
When did the Lord perform this miracle?
Where did the Lord perform this miracle?
See Signs and Mighty Works of Jesus – Introduction for downloadable reference file.
Why did the Lord perform this miracle?
The passage speaks of the disciples telling Jesus of the sickness. Luke does mention that the disciples appealed to the Lord for a healing, but it is interesting that “Peter’s” gospel doesn’t mention this. Mark states they simply told Him.
No matter the inflection of the statement, the Lord thought nothing of going to the sick lady, taking her of the hand, and lifting her up. No concern of an infectious disease. No concern for His own welfare. We will see this general attitude as we venture through the gospels, that He did not refrain from reaching out to the hurting, the diseased, the poor and destitute. This concept of “no fear” speaks of His power and authority, but I will not venture down that road yet.
Let us simply take away from this passage that He did not fear those we sometimes look away from.
What was the message for the original audience?
The passage does not directly speak of the reason for the healing, or of a message that the audience was to receive, so my imagination may run amuck here!
When a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound? Jesus is God no matter who sees it, who the audience is or who is paying attention. Moments before, the Lord was in the synagogue, healing the demoniac, and the result was that His fame spread everywhere. Everywhere!
With this miracle, it was limited to the house of Peter. A very small number of witnesses. They had already begun to see miracles by now, and this one would be overshadowed by many others in the future. Lazarus, for instance!
Now I am not trying to say this miracle did not exhibit the glory of our Leader, or the might of the Sovereign One. No – not at all. But there is something about Jesus performing a miracle, in a small itty bitty house, with few people around. It is an exhibition of His humility in a sense, how He is One who does not seek fanfare for the sake of fanfare.
He is reaching for hearts, not seeking clapping hands!
What is the message for us today?
In the book of Matthew, the Lord spoke of a city on a hill, of a lamp not being put under a basket, and so often my mind wanders to the concept of many people seeing the city, of multitudes receiving the light from the lamp. This may be the intended effect the Lord tried to communicate, and yet this does not restrict the quiet deeds of a heart that seeks to please God.
The lamp sheds light no matter the recipients, whether few or many.
Many believers may feel inadequate to be a central figure, one who is on display. There may come a time for the shy and withdrawn to take a public stand, or to rise publicly to their convictions. This is a great challenge and may be a specific calling at some time in their lives.
Yet I would like to draw your attention to a passage in Matthew that may somewhat shed some light on my muddled thoughts I am pursuing.
“Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. Matthew 6:2-4
Jesus did this mighty work in relative obscurity. Very few people witnessed this healing. The passage in Matthew above speaks of alms, that I understand. Yet there is a place in the believers life, that he (or she) are to go about quietly doing good to others, without fanfare or acknowledgement. Not as a showy, attention grabbing televangelist, seeking honor and glory for his own ministry, but quietly doing good to others, because it is their nature to do good to others.
Jesus did (does) good all the time. In front of friends and enemies, many and few, rich and poor, healthy and sick. He is good, it is His very nature! Out of His nature, His holy and loving character, flows acts of mercy and kindness that we are recipients of.
Do you recognize this in our Savior? Is He One who turns up in quiet areas of your life, performing good deeds quietly, seeking to minister in ways that few may not see or notice?
Be like Him. He is good.
Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.
4 thoughts on “Signs and Mighty Works of Jesus #4 – Jesus Heals Peter’s Mother-in-Law”
There are some great thoughts here. Thankyou for following my little blog, and I look forward to reading more of your writing too.
Thanks back at you. Hopefully we can discuss in the future!
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Amen 🙏🏾. Doing great deeds in obscurity. What a mighty God we serve.