February 7, 2021: Epiphany 5

Let us pray: Dear Savior, in this time  of virus and disease, send forth Your Spirit with His healing power!  And after making us well again, endow us with a spirit of thanksgiving and a will to show it by “helping and befriending our neighbor in every bodily need.”  Amen

GRACE MERCY AND PEACE ARE YOURS FROM CHRIST, THE KIND HEALER OF BODY AND SOUL!

TEXT:  Mark 1: 29-34

Dearly Beloved By Christ:

          The Apostle’s families aren’t mentioned much in the Bible.  We know, however, that their families were active and supportive in their ministry of following Christ.  Mary’s extended family, at least one sister and cousins, were followers and doers of the Word.  James and John’s father, Zebedee, provided the family home in Jerusalem with its “upper room” for various gatherings.  And here we run across St. Peter’s mother-in-law.  So, yes, Peter was married!  No mention of children, but it stands to reason they had one or more.  That’s why he went back to fishing on occasion.  He had to support them.

I

          At this time they are all staying in Capernaum, on the Sea of Galilee.  “As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew.  Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told Jesus about her.”  This apparently was not a low-grade fever with a headache.  Fevers are a spike in body temperature caused by a variety of things.  If they go too high delirium and even death can result.  For it to be mentioned here tells me it was serious.  It also indicates how close these families were to our Savior. 

          “So Jesus went to her, took her hand and helped her up.  The fever left her and she began  to wait on them.”  No words of healing are recorded, only our Savior’s loving touch.  Kind of like that woman who touched His cloak later on and power flowed from Christ.   The human body is all electrical.  Each cell is made up of protons, neutrons, and electrons.  Each atom of you is held together and works together via these electrical interactions.  Your brain is one big electrical system.  So is your heart.  When one is off, everything else is slightly disjointed.  A big fever means greatly out-of-sync.  This is also why the human touch is so wonderful.  Each time you touch another there’s an electrical interaction. Think of a mother touching a child to comfort it when sick.   As true Man Christ possessed all this.  As true God He possessed it in exponential form.  And because He willed this woman to be healed, rather instantaneously, the miracle occurred. 

          “And then she got up and waited  on them.”  She reminds me of Martha who showed her love for her Lord by being an active doer.  We’ve all known such kind, big-hearted, folks.  But here she had an added impetus.  Bringing food and helping out was her way of saying: Thank You, Lord!  This was her active response to faith.  A response to the power of Christ’s love. And note well that she wasn’t reticent about showing it.  For her it was a joy and not a burden.   Would that we all did the same!

II

          This little section is easy to skip right over.  But it has an important lesson to teach.  It focuses us on Christ’s concern for human needs and human pain.  It’s not as stupendous as the feeding of the 5000 or as raising Jairus’ daughter.  It’s not done before great crowds of people.  No, it’s done quietly and without great fanfare.  It’s intimate, isn’t it?  So it is with Christ’s modern-day healing among His followers.  Perhaps one of the greatest gifts He gives is fellow believers holding hands (touching) while they quietly pray together.  Believers coming together to pray, encourage, and build-up each other with God’s power is a gift worth sharing and showing every day. And once God’s goodness (healing) took over for her, everyone else benefitted and Christ’s name was hallowed all the more. 

          This intimate miracle wrought some amazing results.  Word spread.  People came to see Jesus and brought others to be helped.  Even demon-possessed souls were freed.  Yes, from one little miracle (as if any are “little”)  great things resulted. 

          You and I have been on Christ’s receiving end of love and compassion more times than we can recount.  So don’t take any  such assistance for granted.  Use every one of them to point others to Jesus—just like what happened here.  And never, ever, forget that in getting involved with other hurting souls, well, in Jesus’ own words: “Whatever you do to the least of these my brothers, you do unto Me.”  Amen

THE peace of God…..

Pastor Thomas H. Fox

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