Peter's Mother-In-Law

May 8, 2008
by Ivie Bozeman

Matthew 8:14-15 – When Jesus came into Peter's house, he saw Peter's mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him. (NIV)

In a hospital where I worked, there were many invisible people. They were people the institution could not have functioned without — but they were invisible, even to other employees. These were the cleaning people, the security guards, the kitchen staff, the clerks, and the maintenance staff. Most of their jobs were done in the background where no-one saw them. Some, however, had to do their jobs during the day when the activities were at their peak. I remember, many times, walking down the hall where a maid or a maintenance person would be on hands and knees cleaning the floor and the baseboards. People walked around them, oblivious to the fact that they was there.

In Jesus' day, there were many invisible people — with no rights and no respect. For a woman, the situation grew worse with age, especially if she became a widow, or got sick and was unable to work. Peter's mother-in-law was probably one of these women. When Jesus came into Peter's house, he did not ignore her. He saw her. He saw that she had a need, so he healed her. When Jesus preached in the synagogue in Nazareth, His hometown, He indicated why He had come to earth, by saying that the following verses, quoted from the prophet Isaiah, were fulfilled in their hearing:

Luke 4:18-19 – The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour. (NIV)

Jesus would have had compassion on the nameless woman at the hospital who was cleaning the baseboard, as well as the patients being treated for their ailments. These are the ones Jesus came to save.

Prayer: Lord, thank You for making the invisible visible, for lifting up the lowly, for healing the sick, and for fulfilling all our needs. You make us each part of Your kingdom. Amen.

About the author:

Ivie Bozeman <ivie@rose.net>
Thomasville, Georgia, USA

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