Assisted to Assist
The story of Jesus healing Peter’s mother-in-law at first impression seems to be a throwaway miracle. It does not receive much pulpit time. In the gospel of Mark, this event is sandwiched between Jesus casting out an unclean spirit and Jesus healing many others who were brought to Him. “That evening at sundown, they brought to Him all who were sick or oppressed by demons. And the whole city was gathered together at the door. And He healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons.” [Mark 1:32-34] The public appearances got the attention of the multitudes, but why mention the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law?
The account in Mark 1:29-31 reads, “As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they immediately told Jesus about her. So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her, and she began to wait on them.”
This account is also recorded in Matthew and Luke. Why is it so important that this single solitary healing early in Jesus’ ministry receive so much ink? After all, we never hear of her again.
Notice that Jesus took the initiative to go to this woman and touch her. Her first reaction to His touch was to serve Him and others. This is the take-away. We too have been touched by Jesus, and someday we can compare notes with this woman in Heaven. He has forgiven us and provided for us.
The point is that our first reaction to a touch by Jesus should be the same. Our response should drive us to serve with whatever talents the Lord has given us. One way to engage in service is to register and login at missionnext.org
Nelson is the generic Evangelical baby-boomer. Born in 1946, raised in the C&MA, he attended Urbana ’67 in college. He holds an MS degree in Chemical Engineering and worked in R&D positions in American industry for 33 years. Nelson is an inventor with formal training in methods of creative problem-solving. He was a founding elder at Walnut Hill Community Church in Bethel, CT (1982) and served in many leadership capacities of what is now one of the largest Evangelical churches in New England. In 1998 Nelson founded the Finishers Project, now MissionNext, in program development. Locally he attends a Torah study and is chairman of the sewer commission to serve among unchurched leaders.