14 Jesus went home with Peter and saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. 15 He touched her hand, and the fever left her. Then she got up and served them. 16 That evening people brought to Jesus many who were demon-possessed. He threw the spirits out with just a word. He healed everyone who was sick. 17 This happened so that what Isaiah the prophet said would be fulfilled: He is the one who took our illnesses and carried away our diseases.[a]
Peter knew that Jesus wasn’t only a prophet, but the Messiah. He brought Jesus to see his ailing mother-in-law and instantly, she was healed by the touch of his hand. It seems likely that the fever was incapacitating, yet Peter’s mother-in-law doesn’t stop to ask about what has happened. Instead, she immediately gets up and begins to serve.
As word of Jesus’ miracles spread, now so many people also came to be healed. There were many people with all kinds of ailments and all were healed. As the scripture tells, Jesus “threw the spirits out with just a word. He healed everyone who was sick.”
In fact, this scripture from Matthew refers back to the prophecy of Isaiah about the messiah, that “surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows” (Isaiah 53:4 ESV). Perhaps the real wonder is how God came into a messy and messed up world to heal and serve, despite the fact that we could never truly repay such devotion.
For me, this scripture gives the most complete example of service. It isn’t just that Peter’s mother-in-law served Jesus without stopping to question who he was. Instead, it is Jesus who gave his life as the ultimate loving example of service. Jesus decided to take on the world’s pain, even without the world’s complete devotion. Jesus became a servant to this world, despite knowing that he would have to suffer in our place. Now that’s love! Now that’s God’s service in action!
by Barbara Carlson
For Pondering & Prayer
The important thing isn’t only the wonders of God that can heal and change people. Even when the healing we are searching for is not the healing that comes, Jesus is with us. If we do not sense any moment of healing, our healing comes from following Jesus’ servant ways in this world and beyond. How have you known God’s healing grace in your life? How or in what ways do you continue to pray for and need healing? Share your thoughts on healing with someone special today.
Prayer: Loving Jesus, You help me even though I am unworthy. When I struggle, you are there despite my doubts. Heal my ailing ___________________. Heal my hurts, Lord. Let me know of your loving ways reserved just for me. Amen.