Healing, Part 1

Luke 4:38-39 

Then He got up and left the synagogue, and entered Simon’s home. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Him to help her. And standing over her, He rebuked the fever, and it left her; and she immediately got up and waited on them. 

This is a strange way for me to begin a devotional writing but here it goes…

I literally don’t have any insight or discovery to share with you from this passage. I don’t know why this story is in the Bible three times. It is here in Luke and also in Matthew and Mark as well. There were hundreds of thousands of other moments in Jesus’ life that could’ve been included in the Bible, but God chose this one, the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law. Why? 


Welcome to my journey to discover the wonder of God’s Word.

Come with me as a struggle through this one to gain God’s purpose for this story and the richness of its meaning for us. I don’t know what it is now but I know it’s there. 


How Do I Approach Narratives? 

As we approach the narrative, we should begin with the understanding that there are always primary truths and secondary truths. Part of the fun is trying to discover God’s main purpose for including each story in Scripture and for mentioning each detail contained within the narrative. In order to gain the optimal blessings of God’s Word in our lives, we should be committed to and diligent about handling God’s Word accurately with a heart of discovery. 


Back to Peter’s Mother-in-Law 

This story has to be important because, in addition to Luke’s account, both Matthew and Mark included the story in their gospel. Here are their accounts: 


When Jesus came into Peter’s home, He saw his mother-in-law lying sick in bed with a fever. He touched her hand, and the fever left her, and she got up and waited on Him. Matthew 8:4-17 


And immediately after they came out of the synagogue, they came into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was lying sick with a fever, and immediately they spoke to Jesus about her. And He came to her and raised her up, taking her by the hand, and the fever left her, and she waited on them. Mark 1:29-31 


As far as having any profound insights, I got nothing. Okay, I’m at a point where I feel like giving up and just moving on to the next section of Luke. Maybe I’m over-analyzing.  Maybe Jesus was just being nice and felt sorry for her. Maybe that’s all there is to it. Maybe I should move on. 

On the other hand, I could keep pressing on to discover what the big deal is about Peter’s Mother-in-Law. Since the narrative is in three of the four gospel accounts, I just can’t let it go. I guess I’m feeling a little stubborn and I’m just not willing to let it go.  

What I usually do when I encounter ‘Insight Block’ is press on with writing out simple observations. Here it goes… 



  • The sequence of this event comes right after Jesus leaves the synagogue in Capernaum where he cast out a demon. 
  • After the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law, that evening, all the people in the village bring their sick to Jesus to be healed.
  • Luke said he rebuked the fever and Matthew and Mark say that He took her hand. Both can certainly be true. 
  • Luke, perhaps because he was a physician, called it a ‘high’ fever. 
  • When the fever left, she didn’t need time to recover. She immediately had enough energy to wait and serve.  
  • This event occurred as talk of Jesus among the people was reaching a ‘fevered pitch’. This time in Peter’s home was a brief break from the needs of the people pressing upon Him. 


Still nothing significant from these observations. They are good and interesting observations but they don’t get me to the main point of the passage. So, let’s re-read the same story again in 

Matthew and Mark  

  • After the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law, all three gospel accounts tell of the entire village coming to Peter’s house that evening.  
  • They bring their sick and oppressed and Jesus heals them all and casts out demons. 


Maybe this is it! 

I read more of the context in the Matthew account and I found something I missed before. The Matthew account states that these healings took place to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet;  HE HIMSELF TOOK OUR INFIRMITIES AND CARRIED AWAY OUR DISEASE, Matthew 8:17. 


Now we’re getting somewhere 

These events of healing and casting out demons were to fulfill the prophecy in Isaiah. Next time we’ll go to Isaiah and see what we can discover as the missing key to the story. We’ll dig in further next time. 


Father, Your Word is a treasure to us. It is simple and clear and sometimes we make it too complicated. Regarding this passage in Luke, give us clarity and insight as we diligently seek to discover the important truths You are teaching us. You are our teacher; You are our guide; Your Word is the lamp and light that You use to open our minds to Your ways. What a joy to search and discover the wonders of who You are through Your most holy Word. We praise You and thank You for being our teacher. Amen!