Daily Devotional – I’m Normal.™ I AM Ministries
“To promote Godly living in a culture committed to destroying it”
Monday, August 31, 2015
The Bible recounts often the details of how family relationships and family life are successful, or not, enabling us to learn from the experiences of others. One story that provides great insight into God’s plan is when Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law (Matthew 8:14-15). Although many details are missing, the brief account of her healing from fever offers the opportunity to uncover the details of the situation, which reveal volumes about family relationships and our relationship to Christ.
One of the first things this story demonstrates is Christ’s love and appreciation for the family and how He can use even something as mundane as a fever to emphasize it. Fevers, both in Jesus’ day and now, are common afflictions and can often be cured with relative ease, usually through simple bed rest. Nevertheless, Jesus showed His love for Peter’s mother-in-law by taking the time to rid her of a common malady. This also demonstrated Jesus’ love for Peter, because He was concerned about his close relation.
Easily overlooked in the two-sentence description given by Matthew is the structure of Peter’s family. By virtue of the fact that Peter had a mother-in-law, we can deduce Peter was married. This means Peter had a wife, who is never mentioned in Scripture. Nevertheless, Peter was called by Jesus to become an apostle of Christ. Jesus demonstrated to us, through His willingness to allow a married man to be a great spiritual leader. Jesus loved the family unit and was in full support of marriage, but Jesus did not restrict Himself to selecting unmarried men to spread the Gospel.
We are also told that Peter had a house. We seldom think of the disciples having houses since they followed Jesus from place to place. Peter was thus better provided for than his LORD, who had no Earthly dwelling to call His home, which Jesus Himself notes in Matthew 8:20, saying, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.”
Peter’s house was located in Capernaum, although he was originally from Bethsaida. This means Peter had to uproot not only himself, but his entire household to follow His LORD. We should also realize it is worthwhile for us as well to change our place of dwelling if such a move offers opportunities to come closer to Christ.
Peter also demonstrated a family fever on a spiritual level. He had his wife’s mother living in his household along with other family members. This points to the importance of being kind and hospitable to our relations and offered Peter’s wife a chance to apply the fifth Commandment to honor parents. Sick and elderly, the mother-in-law was nevertheless respected by the family and taken care of with all possible tenderness, as she deserved. As Christ cares for us, so must we do for others.
Jesus’ intervention on this touching family situation also shows Jesus’ power as the Great Physician. Jesus touched her hand in order to cure her. Whereas most doctors touch the hand to feel the pulse, temperature, and other vital signs that could reveal the nature of the disease, Jesus already knew the complete extent of the disease. Thus, Jesus touched her in order to affect the cure, not diagnose the causes.
Jesus’ cure in this case is a metaphor for His healing – instantaneous and complete. The woman arose immediately and began to serve those around her. Unlike most, who are weak and feeble from the effects of a fever and must recover slowly, this woman responded in full health and vigor as soon as she received Jesus’ touch. This response showed how Jesus’ cure was far above the power of nature – it was Divine in origin.
Now that her bodily fever had been dispensed, Peter’s mother-in-law was suddenly infected with a spiritual fever to serve her LORD and her family. The tender mercy she received did not go to her head and make her proud that she had been chosen by Jesus to be honored. Instead, she humbled herself and began to wait on those present. We, too, when dignified by a particular favor from our LORD, must not assume any extra importance. Rather, we should respond in humility and with a servant’s fever to serve.
This story illuminates many aspects of the normal life God calls us to live. We are to have a fever to be with and serve our other family members. We should have a fever to be close both physically and spiritually to Jesus Christ. We should be willing during times of exaltation to humble ourselves and to focus on serving Him instead of glorifying ourselves. Finally, we should recognize at all times Jesus’ Divine forms of healing in our lives, both physical and spiritual.
Have you caught the fever to serve our LORD as well as your Earthly family? Have you responded instantly and consistently to Christ’s healing touch in your life? Jesus shows us it is normal to catch a fever to serve Him and the family of His Church. If you haven’t been infected by the fever of being a part of Christ’s family, what will you do today to catch it?
In His love and service,
A servant of Jesus Christ
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