Peter’s Mother-in-Law Healed
Matthew 8:14-15 - And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever. 15 And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them.
Mark 1:29-31 - And forthwith, when they were come out of the synagogue, they entered into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30 But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick of a fever, and anon they tell him of her. 31 And he came and took her by the hand, and lifted her up; and immediately the fever left her, and she ministered unto them.
Luke 4:38-39 - And he arose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon’s house. And Simon’s wife’s mother was taken with a great fever; and they besought him for her. 39 And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she arose and ministered unto them.
A. The Sermon on the Mount takes place before this 4th recorded miracle of Christ.
1. Every timeline I studied puts the three episodes together after the sermon on the mount.
2. Many believe Luke 6:17-49 is the same as the Sermon on the Mount, just abbreviated.
a. Matthew 5:1 records that Jesus went into a mountain while Luke 6:17 states that Jesus spoke to the multitude in the plain.
b. Matthew 5:1 indicates that Jesus spoke only to the disciples, while Luke 6:17 reveals Jesus stood with his newly chosen apostles, the company of the disciples (the disciples and apostles compose the early church), and a great multitude of people, who were visitors to the church service.
c. These points strongly indicate there are two separate messages preached by Christ: the first one recorded by Matthew and the second recorded by Luke.
B. It would be good to have your Bible open to all three passages.
C. Comparing Mark 1:29 with Mark 1:21, it appears both these miracles occurred on the Sabbath day, which would later bring condemnation to Christ by the self-righteous Pharisees.
D. I will comment more on this thought at the end of the message.
II. The healing.
A. It is no accident this miracle is recorded in the Bible.
1. This miracle occurred in the very first of Jesus’ ministry, so everybody would understand Peter is married.
2. There is no mention that Peter and his wife (her name is never mentioned) had children, or what happened to his family.
B. Peter, according to Roman Catholic tradition is not supposed to be married, because Popes do not get married, and Peter is supposed to be the first pope – the one Christ supposedly build his church upon.
1. Matthew 16:18 – Christ did not build his church upon Peter, but upon himself.
a. John 1:42 states, And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.
b. Jesus calls Peter a stone, but Jesus is the chief corner stone.
1.) Ephesians 2:20 declares, And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
2.) 1 Peter 2:6 states, Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
2. Note: it is okay for an apostle, a preacher, a pastor, a teacher, or whatever other worker there may be in each local church, to be married.
a. I Corinthians 7:9 speaks about it being better to not be married, but to give yourself completely to God,
b. I Corinthians 7:9 reveals that if a person cannot contain, it is better for them to marry than to burn.
3. I Corinthians 9:5 states, Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?
a. This passage is a good indication that Peter’s wife went with Peter on his various trips, wherever he went, just as wives go with their husbands today.
b. The apostle Paul did not have wife, but God would accept both Paul and his wife if he had married.
C. Peter had a house, while Christ had none: Matthew 8:20 declares, And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
1. Again, many religions teach it is wrong for a pastor or a preacher to own a house.
a. These religions teach all church workers would be better off living in a house provided for them by the “church”.
b. There is no passage in the entire Bible that teaches this doctrine.
c. There are some scriptural churches that provide housing for their pastor.
1.) There is nothing wrong with a church doing that, but there is no requirement in scripture for it.
2.) There is no requirement in scripture that a pastor vow a vow of poverty and not own anything.
2. It is not against Peter (that he owns his own house), but shows the graciousness of God in providing for his children those things he did not have.
3. Mark is the only gospel that attributes the house as belonging to both Peter and Andrew.
a. This gives speculation that perhaps the house had once belonged to their mother, but in her old age had given the house to her sons, so they could care for her.
b. It also gives speculation that Peter and Andrew, being brothers (Matthew 4:18) were not only joint owners of the ship they used for their fishing business, but also for the house they were living in.
c. There is no way of knowing all these details, or exactly when Peter’s mother in law came to visit or live.
d. It is enough to know she is present and that Peter and Andrew have in their minds to care for her.
D. It is interesting that Peter’s mother in law lived with them.
1. The Bible does not say that Peter’s mother in law lived in Peter’s house, rather that she was present when Jesus came.
a. She might live in her own house, but got sick, then came to Peter’s house.
b. She might have come to Peter’s house in anticipation of Jesus’ arrival, then got sick.
2. It is not error for married children and parents to live in the same house.
3. It may have been she is old and it is easier to Peter to care for her.
4. There may be may other situations we do not understand.
E. Mark is the only gospel that reveals that James and John were present as well as Peter, probably Andrew and the other fellow family members.
1. This is the first occasion where Peter, James and John (the inner circle of the apostles) are present.
a. Those early friendships around Christ may develop into a very close relationship as time passes.
b. These three friends gained much their personal relationship with Christ.
2. The same truth is for today, because friends that become close because of Christ develop into eternal bonds as time passes.
a. Many people miss this vital Christian truth because they are unwilling to turn loose of this world and give themselves entirely to Christ and his eternal cause.
b. Where are your closest friends?
1.) In the world?
2.) In the church?
F. Luke, the beloved physician is the only apostle who declares this a “great” fever, as compared to a “small” fever.
1. A great fever is one that puts life in danger, while a small fever is one that is of a common sickness.
2. Children often get small fevers, which soon pass with little or no damage to the body.
G. The word “anon” in Mark 1:30 means immediately, or straightway.
1. Evidently the family members tell Christ of Peter’s mother in law, trusting he will have compassion, love and mercy on her and grant her healing and health.
a. Mark records that Jesus lifted her up, while Luke declares Jesus stood over her and rebuked the fever.
b. Probably a combination of all this happened, but is recorded differently by different people.
2. The fever left her immediately, without having to take any medicine, or anything else.
H. Here is a case where Jesus when to the one afflicted, the one afflicted did not come to him.
1. There are numerous cases of Christ healing people without them asking.
a. The impotent man at the water, John 5:1-9.
b. Acts 3 – the impotent man who sat by the gate beautiful.
2. There are numerous cases of people coming to Christ, begging him to heal them.
a. Matthew 8:2 states, And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
b. Matthew 20:30 declares, And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David.
3. Someone might ask, “What is the proper way to be healed or forgiven of my sins by Christ?”
a. Whatever way he declares!
b. All sinners should come to Christ that they might be saved.
c. There is no particular way or method to come to Christ, except that each person will come to Christ, confessing their need of forgiveness and healing and trust Christ for whatever work he will do.
I. He healed her fever by touching her hand.
1. Hebrews 4:15 – we have a high priest that can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities.
a. Christ did not “take her pulse”, to see what was wrong with her, but touched her hand to give her complete healing.
b. As the woman who touched the hem of his garment received healing by her faith in Christ, so Peter’s mother in law received the healing touch of Christ, without any mention of her having faith in Christ, and so was healed.
2. John 9:1-7 records that Jesus healed the blind man by spitting on the ground, making spittle and putting the spittle on the blind man’s eyes and instructing him to wash in the pool of Siloam.
a. Is this the only way for a blind man to be healed?
b. Of course not.
c. John 9:1-7 records the circumstances surrounding his healing, not the method or procedures.
J. She was completely healed, and desired the more to serve God, and did so, and did not run in excess of the wickedness of this life.
1. When a person is saved, they immediately want to worship and serve God any way they can.
a. They do not wait for a public opportunity, but willingly submit themselves to God privately, withholding nothing at all.
b. They will take the smallest job, even if they get not credit or recognition for it.
c. They do not care if people do not know their names, only that they understand the graciousness and mercy of God for themselves.
2. See the woman at the well.
a. After she was saved, she immediately went into the city and told the people there that she had found Christ.
b. Jesus stayed with them two days and taught them, then they told the woman they believed, not because of her word, but because they had met Christ personally, and believed.
A. See Matthew 8:16 – At evening, people brought many to Christ so he could heal them.
1. Peter’s mother in law was, no doubt, present for all the healing, and gave testimony of her healing as well.
2. When one is healed, it gives comfort and assurance that I can be healed as well.
B. Every gospel account reveals that after the sun did set – the next day after the Sabbath, many brought their sick folks to Christ for healing.
1. It is easy to see how religious tradition hinders the true working of Christ – even today.
a. These folks were very earnest in their desire to see their loved ones healed, but they did not bring them to Christ on the Sabbath day, as they believed them being healed would be working, and they did not want to be condemned by the Pharisees.
b. We ought to be extremely careful that we not become like the Pharisees in our desire to be faithful to God, yet yield ourselves to God completely, always obeying his revealed word (the Bible), and never doing that which is right in our own eyes. Always do what God declares in his word, not what men say is right.
2. Be very careful of following the traditions of men, thinking we are worshipping God. Example: Southern gospel (my favorite) is not the only singing style that is pleasing to God.
a. Matthew 8:16 – When the even was come…
b. Mark 1:32 – And at even, when the sun did set…
c. Luke 4:40 – Now when the sun was setting…
3. Often, people follow what they have seen in the past instead of believing what God’s word declares to them.
a. Often people believe they should “pray through” because that is something they have seen done.
b. Often people believe they should come to the mourners bench because that is what they have seen done.
c. Often people believe they must be saved in a special meeting or revival service because that is what they have seen done.
d. Often people believe that salvation must come only after much weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth because that is what they have seen done.
e. The right way? Come to Christ as he beckons to you.