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On the Sabbath, after the services at the Synagogue, Peter invited Jesus and the others over to his home to eat. When they arrived, Peter announced the dilemma that his mother-in-law was very sick with a fever. No doubt, she and Peter’s wife were vital to preparing the food. So, they went there to have a meal and fellowship, but there was an unintended circumstance that stood in their way. Here was another of the many people Jesus healed along the way, almost as an afterthought, yet to the woman healed and to her family, this was one of the most important days of her life.
The account of the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law is recorded in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, each with appropriate differences that paint the picture more fully. Matthew’s picture of Jesus is the Messiah, the King, therefore Matthew used the touch of a King to describe her healing: “He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him.” Matthew 8:14-15
Mark’s picture of Jesus is the Messiah, the Servant, therefore Mark used a servant’s word, to help her: “He went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them.” Mark 1:31
Luke’s picture of Jesus is the Messiah, Son of Man, and Luke was a physician, therefore he described the healing as curing a fever: “He bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up at once and began to wait on them.”Luke 4:38-39
A similar thing happened with Paul after the tragic shipwreck on the island. Luke says: When they had been brought safely through, then we found out that the island was called Malta. The natives showed us extraordinary kindness; for because of the rain that had set in and because of the cold, they kindled a fire and received us all.
Now in the neighborhood of that place were lands belonging to the leading man of the island, named Publius, who welcomed us and entertained us courteously three days. And it happened that the father of Publius was lying in bed afflicted with recurrent fever and dysentery; and Paul went in to see him and after he had prayed, he laid his hands on him and healed him. After this had happened, the rest of the people on the island who had diseases were coming to him and getting cured. They also honored us with many marks of respect; and when we were setting sail, they supplied us with all we needed.Acts 28
NOTE Paul didn’t set out to participate in a healing that day on that island. However, God had one of his children on the island (Paul) and put His purpose for the father of Publius into action, using Paul. God again had set up another divine appointment. Paul showed up with an attitude of “What can I do to help?” When a follower of Jesus shows up with this kind of servant-heart attitude, God will do miraculous things. He will do the impossible, if we do what is possible. God will show up, when we show up!