Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Healing the fever, part two (Luke 4:38)

Then He got up and left the synagogue, and entered Simon's home. Now Simon's mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Him to help her. (Luke 4:38 NASB)

It appears from this verse that Jesus went to Simon's mother-in-law's house as a guest after the synagogue service, much as we might entertain a visiting preacher today. It was after He arrived there that He was told of her illness. Since the house is referred to as belonging to Simon's mother-in-law, it is easy to assume that Simon Peter was already a disciple, but he was not. He had almost certainly heard of Jesus, but he was not a learned scholar, nor accustomed to seeing the miraculous.  He was not called as a disciple until Luke 5.  He was a fisherman, more accustomed to nighttime fishing, heavy nets, and hard manual labor than the divine. 

This particular day was the Sabbath, so his fishing boat was docked and the nets were still. For this one day, Simon was also still. He likely attended the synagogue service and saw Jesus cast out the demon. Can't you just imagine the thoughts racing through the mind of this burly worker?  Synagogue had never been this exciting before!

When they arrived at His mother-in-law's house, Peter must have felt so excited. Instead of visiting in the home of a scholar, Jesus was coming to his house! He probably wanted everything to be perfect for the Teacher, and hoped to impress Him. That plan went horribly awry when they arrived to find their hostess in bed and terribly ill. 

It must have been Simon, ever impetuous, who saw his mother-in-law, remembered the demon that had been cast out minutes before, and asked, "Can you help?" Could Jesus help? Yes, indeed. He not only helped, He healed her. 

It turned out that Simon would not impress Jesus that day. Jesus impressed Simon. That was, however, not the day that Simon put down his nets and followed Jesus. It might have been the beginning of his relationship with Christ, and it might have been the point when he began to believe, but it was not the moment when he relinquished control of his heart and life to Jesus. That would come later. 

Starting points are important road markers in our journey of faith. Do you remember those times that played a role in bringing you to Christ? Our loved ones will have, and likely already have had, starting points that direct them along the road to Christ. Today, pray that the divine will invade their lives, just as Jesus did for Simon, and for those divine road signs to point the way to Christ in unforgettable and unassailable clarity. Pray that redemption will be as close for them as it was for Simon on that eventful day.