I was fortunate in that I had a good mother-in-law. While I saw her quite often when my wife and I were courting, after our marriage we moved 1680 miles away (2690 km) for eight years, and almost any mother-in-law is good at that distance. Of course I've heard heaps of jokes about mothers-in-law, and I'll tell one, but please note that it doesn't apply to mine.
A man said, "I wouldn't exactly say my mother-in-law was a witch, but she'd have made a good test pilot in a broom factory!" It makes you wonder why Adam and Eve were not content, even though neither of them had a mother-in-law. Yet there are plenty of good mothers-in-law in our society, and it is another one of those jobs life hands you without an instruction manual.
In the next lesson from the Great Physician, a mother-in-law is healed. The record is found in Matthew 8, Mark 1 and Luke 4, and the term "mother-in-law" is mentioned in only one other text in the New Testament (Luke 12:53). We are following Matthew's record, and in previous posts we have learned that the first lesson is to Establish the Will of God for your healing (the leper), and the second is to Accept the Authority of God's Word (the centurion's servant).
Jesus and his disciples came out of the synagogue at Capernaum (see Mark and Luke) and entered Peter's house. "And when Jesus entered Peter's house, he saw his mother-in-law lying sick with a fever" (Matthew 8:14 ESV). So Peter was married! Mark and Luke tell us Jesus was immediately told the condition of Peter's mother-in-law. Luke calls it a "high fever," not a common cold or influenza. So before they even thought of eating or resting, Jesus went to where she was lying. Luke uses a word that suggests the fever came upon her suddenly and she probably collapsed onto the bedding.
"He touched her hand, and the fever left her, and she rose and began to serve him" (Matthew 8:15). Mark records that Jesus took her by the hand and lifted her up, while Luke records that Jesus stood over her and rebuked the fever. Usually Jesus spoke to the condition as we have seen in the previous two incidents in Matthew 8, and I don't believe there is a record where he prayed for the sick, but plenty where he healed them. The healing was instantaneous and complete, and Peter's mother-in-law rose and began to minister to Jesus in gratitude and love.
The third lesson from the Great Physician is actually found in the events that follow later that evening. "That evening they brought to him many who were oppressed by demons, and he cast out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: 'He took our illnesses and bore our diseases'" (Matthew 8:16-17). -- Peter Wade
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