Friday, January 12, 2018

Choosing Suffering Rags When Healing is a Few Steps Away

We stood at the entrance of the synagogue in Capernaum. Ruins of the village stretched before us. Enough of the stones were in place to give a clear outline of houses, rooms, common areas. 

"I wonder which of these was Peter's house," someone said.

"You're looking at it," our guide explained. "Under the modern building ahead. It was built over the site to protect it." 

Peter's house, where his wife's mother lay dying, was only a few feet away from the door of the synagogue. I stared at the site and pondered what it must've been like that day...

Mrs. Peter was probably at her mother's side, desperate with worry. It was before the time of aspirin and acetaminophen for fever, so she probably dipped soft cloths in cool water and made compresses for her mama's head and body. Maybe a few of the other women hovered nearby, ready to assist, or weep and wail, as the situation unfolded. 

Help was only a few feet away, but their hope was in a bowl of water and a damp cloth. 

Peter was with Jesus, who, it was reported, could do miracles of healing. While the men stood in the synagogue and listened to Jesus read from the Torah, Peter's mother-in-law's condition worsened.  By the time the men left the service, she was near death. 

Jesus walked out of the synagogue and immediately went to Peter's house. Someone "spoke to Him about her" and, immediately, He went to her. He didn't wait for someone to wash His feet, serve Him tea, or offer him a snack. 

He went to her, reached out His hand to her, and drew her up. By the time she reached a sitting position, her fever was gone. That good woman didn't waste a moment lounging around. She didn't rest and recover. She rose up from her bed, healed, and began to serve her Healer.

I want to be like Peter's mother-in-law. I want to be the one who experiences the touch of Christ, receives healing, and immediately serves.

I'm afraid, however, that I'm sometimes like the women with the damp cloths, desperately making compresses to lower fever, when healing of the disease is available for the asking. 

Friends, we serve a wonder-working, immediately-acting Lord who hears and responds. He cares about us. Today, may we give up our suffering rags and bring our needs to the One who stands ready to hear and help all who call on His name.

"And immediately after they had come out of the synagogue, they came into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon's mother-in-law was lying sick in bed with a fever, and immediately they spoke to Him about her. And He came to her and raised her up, taking her by the hand, and the fever left her, and she waited on them. And when evening had come, after the sun had set, they began bringing to Him all who were ill and those who were demon possessed...And He healed many..." Mark 1: 29-32, 34a nasb
In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: Horses and Humans and the Tendency to Wander
photo above courtesy of

Here's a link to a video about Capernaum and Peter's house if you want to see the ruins.