“And immediately after they came 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 with a fever; and immediately they spoke to Jesus 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.” (Mark 1:29-31)
The first chapter of the Gospel of Mark concludes with a series of miracles performed by Jesus. After leaving the synagogue in Capernaum, the Lord Jesus and His disciples enter into the house of Simon Peter whose mother-in-law is sick with a fever. Notice what the disciples do: they speak to Jesus about her. This should be a natural course of action for every believer concerning sickness; we ought to speak to Jesus about those in our own lives afflicted with sickness and disease. Let us go to the Great Physician in prayer, lifting up those who are sick to Him, asking for His healing touch.
Consider also what Peter’s mother-in-law does after the Lord heals her. She “waits on” Him and the other guests in the household. The term used here literally means to serve or to minister to. How remarkable! She did not expend her restored health on leisure and idleness, but she set about to serve the One Who had healed her. So often we pray for God’s healing in our own lives, but to what end? Do we wish to be healed so that we might serve the Lord in strength and vigor, or are we praying for God to heal us so that we can pursue our own interests without being in pain?
“When evening came, after the sun had set, they began bringing to Him all who were ill and those who were demon-possessed. And the whole city had gathered at the door.” (Mark 1:32-33)
Some Bible scholars have pointed out that Mark often employed hyperbole as a literary device. He would use expressions like “the whole city” to mean a great multitude of people and not, literally, the whole city. Be that as it may, we can be certain that, wherever Jesus went, large crowds followed. Multitudes. Throngs.
Sometimes we get the idea that the Gospel writers recorded all or at least most of the miracles and healings that Jesus performed. But it seems that the intention of all four of the Gospel writers was to record a sampling of the miracles that Jesus worked and not to suggest that their writings included every miracle of the Lord. John, in his Gospel, tells us:
“Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.” (John 20:30-31)
“And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they *were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself *would not contain the books that *would be written.” (John 21:25)
The Gospels contain just a few examples of the healings and miracles of Jesus. It is most likely that the Lord Jesus literally healed thousands of people during His earthly ministry.
“And a leper came to Jesus, beseeching Him and falling on his knees before Him, and saying, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” (Mark 1:40-41)
The leper mentioned here recognized that it was not the ability of Jesus to heal that was in question, it was merely His willingness to heal that mattered. Jesus was often moved by the faith of those who had no doubt that He was able to heal. The Centurion who asked only that the Lord say the word for his servant to be healed was commended for having a rare and pure faith that Jesus had not seen amongst the Hebrews (Matthew 8:5-13). He, like the leper mentioned in this passage of Mark, never called into question the Lord’s ability to heal. Interestingly, Matthew wrote of the Centurion immediately after he wrote of this leper. Both of these men trusted that the Lord Jesus had the power to help them. And, as they both saw, the Lord was willing also.
To God goes all glory. In service to Him,
[This post was originally published Jan. 30, 2015]
**Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.
[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?”]