I thoroughly believe that all Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, correcting, and training in righteousness. That means that everything we need to know about God, about us, about the next world and how to live in this one is all there. Nothing is missing. But having said that, I have to confess a little frustration with the stuff that the Bible casually mentions and then leaves behind as it moves on to another topic.
Peter had a mother-in-law. That means at some point he had to be married. What?! Who was his wife? What was her name? Why isn’t she described at all? Did she have a good influence on her husband? Did she accompany him on his missions travels? The only reason we know she existed is because of this verse and 1 Cor. 9:5. Oh well, I guess I just have to fall back on to this one essential fact: Whatever I need to know, God has provided. If he hasn’t seen fit to include certain details, then he knows best.
So Peter’s mother-in-law was sick, and Jesus came in and “rebuked the fever.” This by no means is to be taken as evidence that the all-knowing Savior didn’t know about germs and microbiology. But we weren’t designed to have fevers. Sickness and death came into the world only once we invited sin through the door. I think this was an indication of the frustration that the Lord has with all sickness. Any illness on our part is an indication that this world is not what it’s supposed to be.
Then the woman, after she was healed, provides a wonderful example for us to follow. She was sick, Jesus healed her, and what did she do? What was her first inclination? To serve her Healer and his followers. You were not saved so that you can sit on your duff and soak up the blessing. You were saved to serve! And of course we serve both our Savior and our fellow siblings under him.
And naturally our Lord would never expect us to do something he was not prepared to do himself. What she did in miniature for a few, our Lord did for many over a period of many hours. This is one of the grand mysteries of the Incarnation. Apparently the use of his Divine power to heal people tired him out. How does God-in-the-flesh get tired? Beats me. But it’s clear from this and other passages that--even before the Cross—helping us cost him something.
But the point we need to see is that the Lord Jesus, after a day of healing person after person after person after person, had to take a break. Some people get rejuvenated by gardening, while others watch TV in order to shake off the burdens of the day. Still others spend time with friends in order to unwind, or maybe they spend time in less noble habits. But not our Lord. When exhausted by the work of the day, he spent extra time with the Father. That’s what “recharged his batteries.”
And when the next morning came, along with it came a renewed sense of purpose. Yes, there were needs that still cried out to be met. But under the Father’s plan it was time to move on to the next project. In the carrying out of the Father’s plan in your life, the same thing might happen. You might have to deafen your ears to the cries of needy people in order to keep to the Father’s agenda. Ultimately it’s only his voice that matters, right?
There’s plenty of material here for the Spirit to use in refining me. What do you see for yourself?
Lord Jesus, it’s so easy to rest when it’s time to serve. My spiritual ears need a cleaning which only you can provide. Please.
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