Jesus and his companions went to the town of Capernaum. When the Sabbath day came, he went into the synagogue and began to teach. 22 The people were amazed at his teaching, for he taught with real authority—quite unlike the teachers of religious law.
23 Suddenly, a man in the synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit cried out, 24 “Why are you interfering with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”
25 But Jesus reprimanded him. “Be quiet! Come out of the man,” he ordered. 26 At that, the evil spirit screamed, threw the man into a convulsion, and then came out of him.
27 Amazement gripped the audience, and they began to discuss what had happened. “What sort of new teaching is this?” they asked excitedly. “It has such authority! Even evil spirits obey his orders!” 28 The news about Jesus spread quickly throughout the entire region of Galilee.
29 After Jesus left the synagogue with James and John, they went to Simon and Andrew’s home. 30 Now Simon’s mother-in-law was sick in bed with a high fever. They told Jesus about her right away. 31 So he went to her bedside, took her by the hand, and helped her sit up. Then the fever left her, and she prepared a meal for them. – Mark 1:21-31
I’m pretty jazzed about The Chosen, a video series about the life and ministry of Jesus. Through the 7 episodes we’ve seen, the producers have put the ministry of Jesus in imaginative and creative contexts. They seem to be faithful to the times and places Jesus called his disciples and began his public ministry. The words and miracles of Jesus are played out very accurately.
Realizing, however, that this is historical imagining, we must not put too much stock in the back story of Jesus’ miracles. Having said that the rendering of Jesus healing Simon Peter’s mother-in-law is truly delightful. She is awakened from her fever-induced sleep, and taken by the hand. She gets up and heads for the kitchen to provide some food for her guests. She doesn’t listen as Simon and the others tell her not to do so much. She gets up and gets them some food.
How do you respond to Jesus’ touch of mercy, kindness, healing, or grace? If you’ve seen it up close and personal in the way Simon’s mother-in-law did what do you do? You say you haven’t experienced that kind of direct and immediate healing touch? Neither did many many others – even in the days of Jesus’ earthly life.
We may wonder why we haven’t had this kind of experience. We might even question whether or not Jesus still does things like that any longer. Maybe the gig is up. There are no more healings, miracles, or signs and wonders today.
Before we come to that conclusion, recall the response of the people here: “What sort of new teaching is this?” they asked excitedly. “It has such authority! Even evil spirits obey his orders!” Obviously this was a very unusual event. Jesus even teaches about the particularity of his healing.
“Certainly there were many needy widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the heavens were closed for three and a half years, and a severe famine devastated the land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them. He was sent instead to a foreigner—a widow of Zarephath in the land of Sidon. – Luke 4:25-26
I believe praying for sick people. I pray for God’s protection when we travel. I ask God for help when I face daily challenges great and small. Sometimes God works miracles. Sometimes. More often God moves quietly behind the curtain of this visible world. But make no mistake. God is at work. Healing. Freeing. Forgiving. Encouraging. Emboldening. Humbling. Inspiring. And when he does that in your life, you do well to get up and be about serving.