We looked at the gospel accounts yesterday, and we could see that Jesus performed a miracle after leaving the synagogue in Peter and Andrew's village. He came to their house, and Peter's mother-in-law was very ill. Jesus took her hand, and helped her up -- the fever immediately left her, and she regained her energy and strength, as well!
She got up and the gospels say that she "served them." She was so fully restored, and in such health, that she was able to do the things that hospitality required . . . she probably tended to her guests, and helped them get some of the dust of the road off, from their walk. She probably made certain that they were comfortable -- maybe showed them to the rooftop, where they could sit and talk, and any breeze that came by would be appreciated. And then I bet that she went to prepare a meal for them, joyful in her regained health, and in the fact that the Master was at their house.
Speaking of their house, we should notice that this miracle happened in a private place. A small place. A home. Not a large auditorium or amphitheater. This was an act of compassion and of love, and it was done in a simple home. Get my drift? How many of the folks who purport to be healers today would be content to do this? Would those modern people who call themselves faith healers be content to make house calls? Or do they trumpet and call public attention to themselves? Many of them exploit the desperate, hurting people who come to them. Their thoughts are of gain and profit, and they seem to contrast very much with Christ's example of compassion here.
Another thing to note is that it is wrong to assume that every person who suffers with a sickness or a disease is suffering because of some sin in their lives. Sickness is also permitted, allowed by God for His glory, and so that His Son is glorified, also.
When he heard this, Jesus said,
According to Luke's account, after the miracle, the word traveled quickly. I would imagine that many of the friends and neighbors who had been so concerned, and praying for Peter's mom in law, would now be rejoicing, praising God, and blessing Him -- bringing glory to His name, and to Jesus, His Son.
Also in Luke, it says that Jesus stayed at Peter's house after the meal. After sunset, the people began to arrive at the house, bringing with them, all of the people who were sick.
At sunset, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them. (Luke 4:40)
Why did they wait? Why did they only come after sunset? We have to understand their perspective here. We know that this was their Sabbath, and it was unlawful to carry anything. Including the sick people who needed the touch of the Savior. The Jewish "day" ends at sundown, so as soon as the sun went down, they bundled up their sick and suffering and brought them to Christ.
Luke again gives us two wonderful notes here . . . Jesus had just demonstrated His power, in that He could heal with just a word. But Luke is very careful to tell us that Jesus did something unusual in this situation. He says that He laid His hands on every one of them. The scholars say that there is no mention of hands-on-healing in the rabbinical literature, and it's not in the Old Testament, either. Jesus was using a radically new and different means -- and each person that evening felt the loving touch of the Savior's hands. Secondly, Luke states that Jesus "healed every one of them." (KJV) Perhaps Luke wanted us to know that no sickness, and no suffering, was beyond Christ's power to heal. Some of us have experienced this in our own lives, and others have witnessed it in the lives of others.
We'll conclude our study tomorrow....