Chapter 3

Problems at home
Mark 1:29-31 (NIV)

previous|index|next

29 As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. 30 Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told Jesus about her. 31 So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them.

_________________________________________

Mark 1:29-30
Home and away

After leaving the synagogue, Jesus and two of his new disciples, James and John, go to the home of the other two, Simon and Andrew. Simon’s mother-in-law lies in bed with a fever. After the early blessing of coming to Jesus, they immediately meet this serious problem at home. Problems at home may test us also soon after we have become real Christians. They can arise after God has blessed us, or spoken to us through His word in daily Bible reading or at church or chapel. It is challenging to live and witness for Christ. For some Christians, home is the hardest place to live.

Mark 1:30
How to respond to a problem

How do these four new Christians respond to this problem? Simply, they tell Jesus about her. That is what real prayer is—sharing a situation with the Lord openly and sincerely. These four men join together to tell Jesus in the first simple prayer meeting in Mark’s gospel! It is good to pray together with others, as well as privately, about problems. I find it helpful in my daily prayers to pray ‘sorry’ prayers, then ‘thank you’ prayers, then ‘please’ prayers. First, I praise God for His cleansing mercy, immediate pardon, lovingly pure character, awesome greatness, majesty and power, and for His Fatherly kindness and faithfulness in hearing and answering my prayers.

Mark 1:31
What Jesus can do for a sin—sick person

Jesus heals Simon’s mother-in-law of her fever by taking her hand and helping her up. She then begins to serve them! Note the personal concern of the Saviour and the help that He gives. God is always able to heal illnesses but often He chooses not to do so. In those cases He gives more grace and inner help to those who trust Him.[1] In the Bible we also often see our sin pictured in illness—which is not at all the same as saying that a given illness is a punishment for sin. That is just not true. But we are all smitten with the worst ‘disease’ of all, our sinfulness. It will cause our eternal death if not cured. Also sin, like fever, takes away our calm and peace.

Jesus took away the fever of Simon’s wife’s mother. He gave her the desire and strength to wait on them all, in loving service. So today, when we come as sinners to Christ for forgiveness, He heals us from our sin-sickness. He gives us His pardon, eternal life and sense of calm and peace. He is with us. Anyone whose heart Jesus has changed like that moves from the fever of sinful rebellion to the quiet calm of wanting to serve Him.

This woman was RAVAGED by sickness, RAISED by the Saviour, RESTORED to soundness, and READY to serve. Lives broken and spoiled by the dreaded disease of sin can also be completely changed by putting personal faith in Jesus Christ!

previous|index|next

________________________________________

 [1]  .  We see this principle also in the life of the apostle, Paul. Three times he asked for a troubling physical affliction to be lifted from him. God’s response was, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. See 2 Corinthians 12:7-10.

_________________________________________

Questions on Chapter 3
Mark 1:29-31 Problems at home.

A. As prayer is talking to the Lord, what does this passage teach you about prayer?   Matthew 18:20   1 Peter 5:7

B. How can observing Simon’s mother-in-law, before and after Jesus meets her, help you to understand how He changes people who come to know Him as their personal Saviour?   Matthew 11:28   John 14:27

C. Although you cannot be saved by serving Jesus, should someone saved by Him serve Him? Give reasons.  Ephesians 2:8-10