Jesus the Healer
"Now as soon as they had come out of the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. But Simon's wife's mother lay sick with a fever, and they told Him about her at once. So He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and immediately the fever left her. And she served them. At evening, when the sun had set, they brought to Him all who were sick and those who were demon-possessed. And the whole city was gathered together at the door. Then He healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He did not allow the demons to speak, because they knew Him" (Mark 1:29-34).

After leaving the synagogue, the five men went to Peter and Andrew's house. In Luke 4:38, we learn that Peter's mother-in-law was "sick with a high fever." Luke, as one would expect of a physician, is the most explicit in describing her fever. They request Jesus' assistance, believing, of course, that He could and would help her.

It is obvious from this passage that Peter was married at the time and was still married decades later (cf. I Cor. 9:5). This is an embarrassment to Roman Catholic dogma that not only demands celibacy in the priesthood and hierarchy but also insists, erroneously, that Peter was the first pope. While voluntary celibacy for the cause of Christ is commendable (I Cor. 7:7-9), to mandate it upon those qualified for marriage is a violation of God's will (I Tim. 4:1-3; Heb. 13:4).

Jesus rebuked the fever and it left the woman (Luke 4:39). There is nothing that is outside the scope of Jesus' authority! What awesome power!

Mark indicates that Jesus simultaneously "took her by the hand and lifted her up" (Mark 1:31). The fever left her "immediately." In contrast to the fake healers of today, her cure was instantaneous and complete. High fevers typically leave people physically weak, and a period of recovery is necessary before they can resume normal duties. But, the thoroughness of her cure was demonstrated by the fact that "immediately she arose and served them" (Luke 4:39). She demonstrated her gratitude by her willingness to serve. What should one do who has been "healed" (i.e., forgiven) by Jesus today? Serve Him!

Some have wondered why the people waited until after the sun had set before bringing those in need to Jesus for healing. The answer most likely has to do with the fact that it was the Sabbath and the amount of distance they would travel on that day was limited (cf. Mark 1:21,29). The Jews reckoned their day from sundown to sundown. Thus, the Sabbath ended at sundown (cf. Lev. 23:32).

There are some who have made efforts to blur any distinction between demon possession and physical illnesses in the first century. Mark 1:32,34 supplies abundant proof that there was a clear difference between those who were sick and those who were demon-possessed.

Jesus healed all those who came to Him (Matt. 8:16). In so doing, Matthew affirmed that the Lord fulfilled this prophecy from Isaiah 53:4 - "He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses" (Matt. 8:17). Generally, this prophecy is interpreted with a spiritual application in reference to Jesus bearing the sins of the world upon the cross, but Matthew here shows that the prophecy also applied to physical ailments.

This section closes with Mark mentioning that Jesus "did not allow the demons to speak, because they knew Him" (Mark 1:34). This simply means that He didn't want them declaring who He was (i.e., the Christ, the Son of God) to the people.

We will continue studying from Mark 1 tomorrow.