25. In the Home

Short Meditations in Mark’s Gospel: 25. Jesus in the home

Mk 1:30,31 Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told Jesus about her. So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them.

So God walks into this house in human form. Again, we suggest, we might take this for granted but it is incredible! Does he come to be religious? Does he comes to demand homage and worship? That’s what the gods of the world would seem to demand. No, this God comes in and enters into the life of the home in the most ordinary and yet extraordinary ways.

They talk together and they tell him that Simon’s mother-in-law is unwell. (Incidentally for future pope watchers, please notice that your first pope is married!) So far it is a very ordinary episode in the life of these people. So Jesus says he’s really sorry to hear she’s not well and they get on with the business of the day. Well, no, they don’t actually – although if it was a modern church they might!

No, presumably Jesus asks where she is and he goes in to her. We don’t know if he said anything to her – presumably he did – but he just takes her by the hand and she gets up, and suddenly she is well! If you wanted to be cynical you would say she had a convenient headache and hadn’t wanted to meet Jesus but the facts were that she had had a fever. It’s just that the power of Jesus flowed to her as he reached to her and that power overcame the fever and left her well! So she gets up and serves them and does the sort of things that the woman of the house tends to do!

Now the comment I just made about a ‘convenient headache’ is an example of the common excuses that people make when they struggle to believe the things Jesus did. The fact is, as we read through all the Gospels, he healed many people and performed many miracles. Power wasn’t a problem for Jesus – he was and is God. To challenge that is to challenge whether he is the Son of God and to challenge the very Gospel records themselves. The more you study these things the more you find there is little room to doubt – except our own will, we don’t like the consequences that must flow!

Lord Jesus, thank you that you came in humility and put off all of the glory you had in heaven. Forgive us if, because of this, we sometimes stumble over your mighty power. I affirm my belief in your word: you are God and you do still heal. Thank you so much!