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Healing with Purpose

Mark 1.29-31
And immediately he left the synagogue and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon's mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, and immediately they told him about her. And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her, and she began to serve them.
As the crowd hurriedly dispersed from the synagogue or continued talking among themselves, Jesus and the four disciples left for their own lodgings. They arrived at Simon Peter’s home where he lived with his wife (see 1 Corinthians 9.5), his mother-in-law, and his brother Andrew.

Simon Peter’s wife’s mother was lying down in bed with a high fever. It is interesting that Mark records that they told Jesus. These three words give us confidence to come to Jesus with our needs and problems. Often we look everywhere else before turning to God. We look for experts and remedies for everything from psychological ailments to financial shortfalls. But God’s Word teaches us to tell Jesus. All of our problem-solving strategies need to begin with prayer.

Without speaking a word Jesus went to the mother-in-law’s bedside, took her by the hand, and lifted her up to her feet. Jesus’ touch on the woman’s hand brought instant and complete healing as if she had never been ill. In fact, she went about serving the meal as she had probably planned. Thus far in his Gospel, Mark has shown Jesus’ victory over Satan (1.12-13), His authority over demons (1.223-26), and now His authority over human sickness (vv. 30-31). Jesus always had a purpose in mind when He exercised divine power. What was Jesus’ purpose in healing this woman?

Peter’s mother-in-law was healed to serve. Jesus desires that all His disciples be enabled to serve. Yet often we face difficult circumstances with no relief in sight. Peter had obeyed Jesus and left all to follow Him; still he had sickness in his family. But Jesus loves us to the end, and He leaves no work half-finished. The fever left Peter’s mother-in-law, and she was completely restored by Christ’s power so that she could serve. Christ gives renewing grace that strengthens us to serve, enables us to persevere, and encourages us to overcome our doubts. What has Jesus empowered you to do today for Him? Go ahead and do it!

Pastor Jeff
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