And he arose and left the synagogue and entered Simon's house. Now Simon's mother-in-law was ill with a high fever, and they appealed to him on her behalf. And he stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her, and immediately she rose and began to serve them. Now when the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to him, and he laid his hands on every one of them and healed them. And demons also came out of many, crying, "You are the Son of God!" But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ. — Lk 4:38-41
What an adventure Simon Peter began in following Jesus. We can't know the exact timeline of everything, but at this point in Luke's gospel, he is still not technically a disciple (student) of Jesus, but is hanging around him enough that he feels comfortable inviting him into his home. From the beginning, Jesus demonstrated to Simon Peter and the others who he was: he was a teacher, and a healer. They see that in him as well; when Andrew runs after him, he calls him Teacher (Rabbi). When Jesus walks into Simon Peter's house, "they appealed to him on [his mother-in-law's] behalf", because they know he's a healer.
Sometimes I think I can "will" myself in or out of things. If I feel a scratchy throat or a cough coming on, I think if I can just *think* it away, I won't be sick. Let me just be the first to tell you-- this has never worked for me. I end up hacking up a lung and having terrible sinus infections that my mother warned me were preventable had I only heeded her advice. How amazing that Jesus can, however, just rebuke-- speak out against-- an illness, and it disappears. This is the only instance we have of Jesus doing this, and yet it demonstrates to us the power He has to heal that is unlike anything we know.
Presenting family to Jesus can be some of the hardest things we ever do in life. It feels easier to pray for myself, to pray for my friends-- but to pray for my family always feels like I am revealing something that I'd rather keep hidden. The fact that someone or some part of my family needs prayer demonstrates the imperfection I try to keep from others. We like to pretend like our families are put together and perfect. And they never are-- because they're always made up of imperfect people. Speaking of willing things-- I think there might not be an area we work to fix more than our own families. We think we know the situation the best, know the right remedy, the correct solution. We don't need to bring it to Jesus, because we can do it. But Simon Peter here trusts Jesus enough to bring him to the sick parts of his family, in this case his mother-in-law.
Sometimes, the wounds from our family are what we need Jesus to heal us from as well. As wonderful as anyone's family may be, they are still made up of people who hurt and wound each other-- and those wounds can scar. Tonight in my small group, we discussed briefly this idea of woundedness, and how even when we think we are healed, we can still be marked by those pains in some way. But the beauty of scars is that they can demonstrate redemption. When I was a kid, I had this (very warped) idea that it would be fun to intentionally try to give myself scars, because they would be reminders of different points in my life. And while it was never wise of me to try to seek out intentional wounds, there is something to this concept of scars as reminders of where we have been. The places that Jesus heals in us sometimes scar, and that scar is not a blemish, but a testimony to the work that only Jesus can do. A reminder that God's grace is made perfect in our weakness. I wonder what stories were told later about the healings that Jesus performed that night in Peter's house. And I wonder if anyone kept a scar as a reminder of Jesus, the carpenter from Nazareth, the one true Healer.
Dear God, You are our one true healer. Sometimes you heal us in ways where we can jump up and begin to serve you, to make our lives a testimony to who you are and the work you have done in us. In the places where we need healing-- meet us there. In the places where we are scarred-- let it be a reminder of your work. You restore like no one and nothing else. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Dig Deeper: Are there family things you need to bring to Jesus to be healed? Are there scars on your heart or your mind that you need to view as a testimony and not a burden?