It seems that almost every day we hear of a loved one who has been stricken by illness or disease. Maybe it is even you. Today’s devotional reminds us that God holds all power over our hearts and our bodies. It is always appropriate to turn to Him for healing.
In the early days of Jesus’ ministry, John the Baptist was in prison, and Jesus began to publicly proclaim the good news of God. He invited everyone who heard to repent and believe. His first official act was to call four fishermen as disciples—Simon, Andrew, James, and John. Jesus took these new recruits to the synagogue of Capernaum, where He began to teach. The people were amazed by His authority.
Immediately, Jesus sparked opposition. An evil spirit, who knew Who Jesus was and why He came, addressed Him directly, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” (v. 24). Jesus rebuked the spirit, and it left the man. If the people were already amazed by Jesus’ teaching, imagine their response to this dramatic miracle. Word spread quickly throughout the region.
After this very public presentation, Jesus was likely looking to be refreshed in the home of Simon and Andrew. But Simon Peter’s mother-in-law was sick with fever, a serious illness with supernatural implications. Jesus took her hand; “the fever left her” is a mild translation. The strength of the literal verb (“forsook, hurl, release”) may indicate that this fever had been induced by demons.
This is the first record of a physical healing by Jesus in Mark’s Gospel. And the story is repeated in three Gospels. Why? Perhaps because immediately after she was healed, she began to serve. Once bed-ridden, she was now a committed follower of Jesus.
>> What is our response to answered prayer? Do we quickly forget? Instead, like Peter’s mother-in-law, let it spur us on to service, giving God the glory with our testimony.
May we make it a practice to remember how You have healed us, freed us, and given us new life. Especially in heavy circumstances like personal illness or a loved one’s death, remind us of Your goodness and mercy.