A very short, simple passage in Luke that teaches us a few things about Jesus and about ourselves. Jesus had just been in the synagogue in Capernaum, casting out demons and teaching.
“And he arose and left the synagogue and entered Simon’s house. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was ill with a high fever, and they appealed to him on her behalf. Well, we also learn something here about Peter – that he was married. Did he have children? Maybe. This little detail in the life of Peter just gives us a glimpse that, yes, these apostles were just like us. They had real lives and real families. Peter apparently walked away from his fishing business to follow Jesus despite the fact that, yes, he did have a life. He was sacrificing much simply to follow a rabbi-carpenter from Nazareth. For Peter, these words of Jesus meant something – “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Matthew 10:37-39 ESV. Peter gave up his life for the sake of following Jesus, he found a life which I’m still reading and writing about 2000 years later. He took his cross and followed Jesus, all the through to his own crucifixion. He followed Jesus straight into the Kingdom of God.
And he stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her, and immediately she rose and began to serve them.” In Simon’s house, away from the crowds, Jesus performs this miracle. He had just been teaching in the synagogue, casting out a few demons even. He probably was looking for little down time. If it had been me, this would have been a time to silence the cell phone and take a little “quiet time.” I might figure I’ve done enough for now, I need to take care of #1 for a bit. Nobody is looking, right? My reputation is not going to be helped. These are already my people. I’m not winning any souls.
But He was always ready and willing to serve. Even when there were no crowds, even when maybe it might be His time to be served. When Simons mother was sick, he could have simply said “I’m too tired. Maybe later.” Instead, the Great Physician healed the sick, even when there were no crowds to adore him for it. Even behind closed doors, with just those closest to Him around to see, Jesus was still Jesus. I know sometimes, when I’m just with close friends and family, I get very un-Christ like. But not so for the Son sent by the Father.
And how about Peter’s mother in law? As soon as Jesus healed her, she got back to the business of serving her people. She didn’t look for special attention, she didn’t beg out of service. She didn’t say “I’ve been sick, can someone else do it.” She took her gift of health and strength and immediately used it to serve those around her. She understood that those gifts were not just for her benefit, just as our gifts are not simply for our benefit. We are always to use our gifts in the service of others.
“And he arose and left the synagogue and entered Simon’s house. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was ill with a high fever, and they appealed to him on her behalf. And he stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her, and immediately she rose and began to serve them.”
Luke 4:38-39 ESV