13th March 2018

Simon’s Mother-in-law 

“So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them.”
Mark 1:31 (NIV)

How much do we know about Simon’s mother-in-law? That she was lying in bed with a fever, that Jesus healed her, and that she then served them. But is that all? I think not. But before we get into the main subject of this Day by Day let’s just think about a couple of events that led up to the scripture quoted above.

First, the fever she was suffering from was quite serious. The narrative took place in Galilee, in the Middle East so it could have been something like malaria. Aren’t we all suffering from a potentially fatal sickness? And when I say ‘all’ I mean everyone alive. The sickness we are afflicted with is sin, and unless something is done about it we shall all surely die permanently.

Simon’s mother-in-law needed an antidote to her sickness. Maybe penicillin or some other antibiotic (assuming that they were available in those days). And so do we. Who or what is our antidote? It is Jesus. “’He himself bore our sins’ in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness” (I Peter 2:24).

How did Jesus know that she was ill? Was it because she was absent from the synagogue that morning? Maybe. But we are told that Simon asked him to come and heal her. We have here an example of intercessory prayer. How often do we intercede for others as Simon did? Not just our ‘nearest and dearest’ but others as well? We are all part of God’s family and he expects us to show love and concern for the wider human population.

Now let’s come to the main purpose of this Day by Day. Immediately after Jesus had taken her by the hand and lifted her up she was healed. It was a miracle. No convalescence period, just an instantaneous healing.

And what did she do? She got up and served them. What a way of showing gratitude! Going straight from the sickbed into the kitchen. I’m sure she must have been singing to herself as she went about preparing an extra-special meal for Jesus and His three companions. We know that Jesus liked a good meal. After all, he sat down with Mary, Martha and Lazarus for a sumptuous banquet after He had restored life to Lazarus.

Let’s get back to ourselves. How often do we show our gratitude to Jesus for all he has done for us? We can’t possibly count all his blessings, but we do know of enough to make us profoundly grateful.

Lord, may I show my gratitude not only with my lips but with my life, by giving up myself to your service, and by walking before you in holiness and righteousness all my days. (Adapted from the Book of Common Prayer)

Study by Christopher Reeve


About the Author:
Christopher Reeve is assistant pastor of the Invicta (Blean) Congregation near Canterbury, which is part of Grace Communion International/Worldwide Church of God UK, where his wife, Hilary accompanies him.

Local Congregation:
Invicta Fellowship
Blean Village Hall
School Lane

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11.30 a.m.

Local Congregational Contact:
Mrs Annette Woods
Phone: 07473 188326
Email: annettewoods2@nhs.net