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Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Healing of Peter's Mother-In-Law

Of the over 30 healings in the New Testament, with several others in the Old Testament, one of the briefest accounts is the account of Jesus entering into the house of Peter, and healing the mother of Peter's wife. Peter, recall is the one to whom will be given the 'keys of the kingdom', he is Cephas, the stone, who is turned in Messiah, to Peter, Petra, the Rock on whom Yshua will build his Church. Although much is written then, by and about Peter, little alludes to Peter as a family man, save for this passage. We can immediately tell that Peter has a wife, a house, and a Mother-In-Law who is living with him, perhaps the reason for his later perseverance. (Just a little first century humor). There was once a bumper sticker put out by some Catholic folks, that said "Peter was a married priest", and if they had only meant the universal priesthood of believers, they would certainly have been correct!.

Just Before & After the Healing

The healing of Peter's Mother-in-Law takes place early, in Capernaum, near Nazareth.
Matthew gives a little more detail regarding the events preceding the healing, but the healing itself is noted in Matthew 8:14-15; Mark 1:29-31 and Luke 4: 38-39. Several events precede, including the deliverance of the demoniac in the Synagogue in Nazareth, the Sermon on the mount, and two healings in the vicinity of Decapolis, namely the healing of the Centurion's Servant, in which the great faith of a non-Israelite was noted, along with the centrality of faith, and the healing of a Leper.

Before and after the healing of Mrs. Bar Jonas' mom, other healings occur. After the healing, by the very evening of the healing, multitudes come seeking healing.

Mar 1:32 And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils.
Mar 1:33 And all the city was gathered together at the door.
Mar 1:34 And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him.

Though the description of the healing at Peter's house is brief, it is the healing just prior to conditions Jesus would face for the rest of his ministry: large crowds bringing his constituency to his door: the sick, those possessed of devils, lepers, and others in need of the touch of the Lord.

The agreement of eyewitness accounts is very close. Jesus enters the house, is notified of the great fever which the woman suffers, and heals her.


And when Jesus was come into Peter's House
,he saw his wife's mother laid, and sick of a fever. 8:14


And forthwith, when they were come out of the Synagogue
they entered into the house of Simon and Andrew,
with James and John. 30 But Simon's wife's mother lay
sick of a fever, and anon, they
tell him of her.v Mark 1:29-30


And he arose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon's house. And Simon's wife's mother was taken with a great fever; and the besought him for her. 4:38

The Disease/Infirmity

The disease or condition at hand is very simple and spelled out: a fever, or 'great fever'. A fever can be for any number of reasons which we are not told. Infections,flu, other illnesses, can produce fever, but we are given no more information than the short description. The healing is just as simple, by the Lord and Savior, only this one has one distinction: Yshua, Jesus, heals Peter's mother-in-law without words.



And he touched her, and the fever left her, and she arose, and ministered unto them.


And he came and took her by the and, and lifted
her up; and immediately, the fever left her, and she ministered unto them. 1: 31.


And he stood over her: and immediately she arose and ministered unto them.

Note the following elements:

1. Jesus stands over her and touches her (he is never worried or reluctant to touch the sick,even lepers or those with contagious diseases.

2. Jesus lifts her by the hand. This happens also with Jairus' daughter, and when Dorcas is healed later, by Peter who was there.

3. Immediacy: As with all healings in the Gospels and the Book of Acts, the healings around the time of Messiah are immediate. In a few cases, the Disciples cannot heal although it is usually in the casting out of devils, due according to Messiah as a lack of faith, prayer and fasting. All the healings of Yshua, Jesus are immediate, either by Word or touch.

4. The Healing was COMPLETE: Jesus did not touch her, and then say, now in a few days you should feel a little better and then later even better. This healing is so complete that she rises right away, and replete with energy and health, begins to serve the others, including the Lord. Now,isn't that a keen remark on wholeness: that real healing leads to the benevolent service of others!

5. The healing involved, a) taking her by the hand, b)touching (note the 'finger of God'), and c)lifting her up. God does not have to do things the same way every time, nor does he: there is no 'method' for it is the power of God that heals, occasionally even when Yshua is not in the presence of the infirm person, but these things are often seen in the healings of both Old and New Testament.

6. This Healing followed preaching, in the Sermon on the Mount and in the Synagogue, it follows at least 2 other healings, and by the evening of the Mother-in-Law's healing, is followed by the healing of a multitude.


This healing of the fever is so brief, as are a few others, that one wonders why it is mentioned, given the more intricate details of others, but nothing described in the Gospels is without cause. It is as mentioned, the first healing of a relation of the Apostles. Peter later goes on to be a great healer in the days following Pentecost. Simon, James, Andrew and John are there, among the first who were called to "follow me". We learn a few lessons from this short passage which are valuable:

The immediacy and completeness of the healing, that the touch of Messiah is enough and Words are not always required nor vice versa, and that a man Peter with a healthy marriage and extended family could be not only just as effective an apostle, but the very Rock on whom Jesus would build his Church. We learn that healing in fullness means we turn to serve others. And we learn that no healing is too small to bear significance.

Many Blessings in Yshua, Our Lord and Savior.
E.K. Best.

2. 84.