Jesus heals Simon Peter's mother-in-law

TEXT: MARK 1:29-34.

Still in Capernaum, Jesus and his four disciples (Simon (Peter), Andrew, James and John) leave the synagogue where Jesus had just cast devils out of a worshiper, and proceed to the home of Simon and Andrew.

Now, in this passage of scripture, we see Jesus heal Simon's mother-in-law, followed by an evening of healing and deliverance of a large crowd of people afflicted with diseases or demons

All of these things in this passage in the Book of Mark occurred on the eve of Jesus' first crusade.

MOTHER-IN-LAW HEALED

Mark says that when Jesus and His disciples arrived at Simon and Andrew's home, Simon's mother-in-law is was in bed suffering with a fever.

What is interesting here in the Book of Mark's chronology of Christ's ministry, is that we now see the disciples asking Jesus to heal the mother-in-law, even though they had not, up until this point in Christ's ministry, seen Him actually heal anyone. According to Mark, the order of things was that they left their fishing nets, followed Jesus to a synagogue in Capernaum that contained a possessed man, and were now standing in Simon's home that contained a sick woman.

Marks shows Jesus going to the mother-in-law, taking her by the hand and lifting her up. Once she is lifted up, the fever leaves her. She then ministers to them (Mark 1:31).

THE TOUCH OF JESUS

Some thoughts from Mark 1:31 are in order here.

"And he came ..." There is no indication that the mother-in-law expected a visit from Jesus. From her perspective, He just "came" to her in her sickness.  But unknown to her, four of Christ's followers (the disciples) had just asked God (the Son) to heal her. And now, here He was standing over her. Mark doesn't record anything being said between the mother-in-law and Jesus, but perhaps the heart doesn't always need words to receive from God.

"... And took her by the hand". Jesus reached out to her when she had no strength.

"... And lifted her up". Jesus lifts us up in our weakness - when we feel we can no longer go forward.

"... And immediately the fever left her".  Notice that the fever did not leave until she arose from her sick bed after Jesus touched her.

The Healer was standing before her in the room, and she exercised her faith, which could not be seen by the human eye (SEE Hebrews 11:1), to believe that, first, Jesus could and would heal her, and second, to act on that belief to receive her healing (SEE Hebrews 11:6). When she took Jesus by the hand and raised up from her sick bed, she was, literally, expressing her faith and trust in God.

"... And she ministered unto them". The first thing we want to do when Jesus touches us is to minister to Him with our praise and service. It's just something that bubbles up from a grateful heart.

DISEASES AND DEMONS

After sunset, into the first part of the evening, the  people of Capernaum brought those with diseases and possessed with demons to Jesus at the front of Peter's house.

The time of day is interesting. Likely, those with diseases and devils were hidden away during the day, out of sight of the general populace. Perhaps they were like the woman with the 12-year issue of blood (Mark 5:25-34) ... wasn't legally allowed or accepted into the general population with their disease. Perhaps some of them, like her, could have legally been punished with death for showing themselves in violation of that rule.

And perhaps they all lived in the shadows of Jewish society.

It is unknown how long these unfortunates had suffered before Jesus came to Capernaum. But now, here they are in front of Peter's house, hoping that an encounter with Jesus will bring them out of their darkness.

People belong to families. Perhaps one or more of their loved ones had brought them to Jesus - someone who, perhaps, had sheltered them while they were looking for such a day as this, all the while praying to the God of Israel to bring healing or deliverance. And, bottom line: what did they have to lose?

It's unknown how many were at Jesus' first "miracle crusade," but Mark notes that, in verse 33, "all the city" had showed up at Simon's house.