November 24, 2011
Serving Jesus after Sickness
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In America, today we celebrate Thanksgiving. Most of the country thinks about sales tomorrow, but some Christians focus upon the blessings they have received from Jesus this year. Many of us have experienced illness of one type or another, some severe and some very mild. Jesus recorded a short story of healing for us and it reminds me to be very thankful today.
And immediately after they came out of the synagogue, they came into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.
Simon and Andrew Living at Home. Apparently, Simon and Andrew had a nice home, provided by the fishing business they ran with Zebedee, James and John. We also learn that Simon was married, because his mother-in-law was there in the house (Mark 1:29-30). Let me list a few reasons in Mark 1:29-30 why we should be grateful today for returning to service after Jesus heals us. We can thank God for our family members in Christ who walk with Jesus. Simon, Andrew, James and John had been called to walk with Jesus and they were all blessed by God to be called by God into the family of God. Notice too that they had a home. My wife and I lived in apartments for over twenty years after we were married, and now we really enjoy owning a small home. Later today we plan on spending some time with my father, sister and her family. We count it a blessing to have friends in Christ and to be thankful together.
Now Simon’s mother-in-law was lying sick with a fever; and immediately they spoke to Jesus about her.
Sick with Fever. When Jesus arrived in Simon’s and Andrew’s home, He saw Simon’s mother-in-law suffering from a fever. In Luke 4:38, Dr. Luke tells us that she had a high fever (“πυρετῷ μεγάλῳ“), causing her to suffer. Jesus loved to help people out of their suffering. In this case, Jesus rebuked the fever (“ἐπετίμησεν τῷ πυρετῷ“), while standing over her (Luke 4:39). Immediately the high fever left her. As you ponder your blessings this year, have you had a cold this year? Had a more serious illness? You may have taken medicine, but Jesus healed you. As Creator, He gave you an immune system to attack and remove disease from our body. He knows all the chemical pathways in our bodies, and every intricacy of the many complex systems He designed to keep us healthy, and repel infections, viruses, germs, parasites, fungi, and all types of invaders. Our medicines may help, but Jesus allowed us to discover and develop them. For every illness we have had this year, we should be very thankful that Jesus raised us up and removed them from us.
They Spoke to Jesus about Her. Before we overlook this key phrase, let us take a moment and consider the ministry of friends telling Jesus about the illness attacking our friends. In Mark 1:30, we read that Simon and Andrew, and perhaps James and John also, spoke to Jesus about the mother-in-law sick with fever. Today, we should give thanks for all the people who pray for us and talk to Jesus about our physical afflictions. We should also thank God for the intercessory ministry of all of our friends who pray for us all the time.
And He came to her and raised her up, taking her by the hand, and the fever left her, and she waited on them.
Raised Her Up. Jesus raised up the mother-in-law by His power. He rebuked the fever, and she rose from her bed (Mark 1:31). Notice too the very personal touch of Jesus. He took her by the hand. Jesus promised to be with me continually, and holds my right hand continually (Psalm 73:23). His grip holds me even when I stumble, so that I am not hurled headlong (Psalm 37:24). People knew that the hands of Jesus healed people with all types of diseases (Mark 1:41; Mark 7:32; Mark 8:23; Mark 9:27; Luke 5:13) and even resurrected the dead by taking the hand to raise them (Matthew 9:18). We should be constantly grateful for His loving grip and His power over disease.
She Waited on Them. Jesus healed the woman and she immediately waited on the disciples (Mark 1:31). The term “waited” (“διηκόνει“) may also be translated “served” them. We should keep in mind that Jesus heals us so that we may continue to serve Him. He delivers us from our sickness to be of further value to Him by serving other people. The disciples here benefitted from the ministry of Simon’s mother-in-law. We should give thanks today for all the times Jesus has restored our health to the point where we can be of service to Him. We should never minimize the gifts of service that people rendered to Jesus and His disciples. Today, we all have different spiritual gifts, distributed by the Holy Spirit, to each believer. Those various spiritual gifts allow us to pursue a variety of ministries, such as service, to other believers and edify them in the Lord Jesus Christ. Keep in mind that the New Testament never described a “clergy,” but rather officers in the church (apostles, elders and deacons), who served the church through their spiritual ministries. Today, just like then, God ministers to people through the use of spiritual gifts bestowed upon each member of the body of Christ, and not just through men who preach, teach or evangelize from a pulpit. They have their own spiritual gifts, but each believer has a spiritual gift bestowed by God for priceless service to Jesus. We are all priests called to special, individual ministries to the body of Christ, just as Simon’s mother-in-law had a special ministry to Jesus and the disciples. That ministry was so important that Jesus healed the high fever, and lifted her up by the hand, so that she could continue her ministry. Jesus thought that miracle was so important that He recorded it for all believers to remember and so be thankful.
So we learn more about service to Jesus today.
● True disciples tell Jesus about the illnesses of the people they love and seek His healing touch for their loved ones.
● Jesus healed all kinds of illness by touching people, and He holds our hands continuously.
● Jesus heals us so that we can continue our service to Him. We each have important ministries to perform for Jesus every day as we use our spiritual gifts to His glory.
Application for Today
As I walk through life today, Jesus will be holding my hand, and allowing me to serve Him. I intend to be thankful for all the ways He has restored me to health this year, and allowed me to serve Him. Will you be thanking Jesus for restoring you to health this year, and also bringing health to people you love today?