Peter’s Mother-in-Law

Luke 4:38-39

“And Jesus arose out of the synagogue and entered into Simon’s (Peter’s) house. And Simon’s wife’s mother was taken with a great fever; and they besought Him for her. And Jesus stood over her and rebuked the fever and it left her: and immediately she arose and ministered unto them.”

The people at Simon Peter’s house “besought the Lord for her.” Do we pray like that? Do we beseech the Lord for anyone or do we just ask ever so cautiously as we are driving down the road, making dinner, between meetings, chasing children, cleaning the toilet or in the shower? How do we “Beseech” anyway? It is a pounding thing, a deep demanding that comes after we have sought the Will of the Lord.

First, it is “sought”, then it is “besought.” Ask the Lord what His Will is first (I sought God’s Will), and then speak that back to Him in a prayer that says, “I besought the Lord…” Time to inquire of God. These people prayed hard, like they had confidence in the answer.

The Lord was in the room already. They didn’t call Him from another zip code to come running. He was there. Not moving. Not responding to the fever, waiting on the prayers of men and women; the people He created to be like Him; the people He created to bring a need to Him so that He might bring the answer to that need. He’s waiting for someone to get fervent about their prayers as James carried on about in James 5:16 “… The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” To be effective, we have to have confidence, to have confidence, we have to know and trust our God. To be fervent, we have to let the Holy Spirit take over our prayers. To know that we are righteous, we have to be honest with God and confess our sins and turn from them. Not perfect, just going for Jesus. Never was there a perfect person saved and never was there a saved person perfect. It’s not about being this perfect creature so that God will hear your prayers; it’s about knowing He’s perfect enough to guide you in the way that you should go and give you the strength and passion to arrive there.

People prayed a prayer that moved the heart of God. A prayer that almost begged Him for this woman. A prayer that mattered. A prayer that got past who they were and into Who God was. When will we pray that? That’s a prayer that says, “You said God, I heard you and You said…..” But, it is in the knowing exactly what He said.

The Lord runs to that prayer. He moves over to her sick bed and does the things that only He could do. He did the thing He has given us permission and authority to do. “He rebuked the fever….” Oh, the joy of living in the authority that Christ died and rose again for us to have! To rebuke the fever, you better know who you are rebuking, who’s behind the fever and more than that, know Who is sending that fever away.

Peter’s Mother-in-law had a choice. To act healed or not. She chose to get up! The word says that “immediately she arose and ministered to them.” In all of our pain, we can let our body run us or our Spirit. Sometimes, we aren’t ready to be delivered because we like the attention and the medication. Sometimes we are afraid to exercise our faith. God says to get up now and walk on the water, “No thanks,” we often moan, “laying here is easier!” Lots of things are easier! But, once we start walking, there is nothing like it!

Emotional and physical devastation can be overwhelming. Beyond that, it can be something that we grow accustomed to. Almost like a habit. Gotta watch that, gotta “get up.”

Aren’t there those times when deliverance comes too fast? Like Jonah shouting at God because the Ninevites “got it” too quickly. Sometimes, we get the “Jonah Syndrome” and want someone else to pay like we had to for getting the information that seems like they are getting for “free” on the back of our prayers. There, I said it!

You pray for this man for what seems like an eternity, then, it happens, a miracle. He’s got it! Now he’s running around preaching everything that he condemned you for yesterday. We’re glad he got it, but at the same time, there’s this piece of us that wants vindication, justification, glorification. We so often want to put them in bondage to their eternal apology to us and never-ending admiration of all our effort on their behalf! That’s the stuff of sick people. We are abundant in Christ. We are well! No matter what this flesh is shouting at me, my spirit can be the healthiest thing this side of granola. Healthier!

This woman could have layed in her sick bed and commanded that they feel sorry for her a little longer. She could have decided that doing nothing was better than doing something. She could have manipulated the situation to gain pity, to her destruction. She could have been mad at the reason she got the fever in the first place. “What was Peter doing running around the country with Jesus anyway, leaving us alone and unprotected here?” Instead, she rose up and allowed the Lord to heal her, bless her and call her into a work of ministry unto others. You are called, have you shown up for service?

This wonderful nameless woman, went beyond getting up, she became a caregiver. She ministered to those around her, as if to say, “See devil, I’m vertical, get out of my way!” What an attitude of Christ. You see, when Jesus touches you, He TOUCHES you. That means He CHANGES YOU! To be touched by Jesus, to know Him, means that we are being changed to be like Him. The more we let Him touch us, the more we will be changed to look and behave like Him. If He’s walking with you, then you have no choice, you must get up and minister to those around you, because that’s what He’s doing and you want to go with Him, don’t you?

“Oh, to be like Christ and to know Him better everyday.” That was the cry of Paul’s heart at the end of his life. Let that be our cry. Let the whole world know that Jesus has touched you for truly He has!

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