August 27, 2020
When Jesus came into Peter's home, He saw his mother-in-law lying sick in bed with a fever. He touched her hand, and the fever left her; and she got up and waited on Him (Matthew 8:14-15).
Anyone who is familiar with the New Testament knows the public ministry of Jesus was fraught with healing the sick, diseased, handicapped, and demon possessed. In many instances those who were on the receiving end of Jesus’ healing power were Jewish men. But there were occasions when Jesus ministered to Gentiles and to women. In the case of the Roman officer we see the grace and mercy of Jesus extended to the Gentiles. In the case of Peter’s mother-in-law we see that same hand of grace and mercy extended to a woman.
According to Mark’s Gospel, Jesus had spent the day ministering in and around the synagogue at Capernaum. It was the Sabbath, which was a holy day for the Jews. As the day came to a close, He and four of His disciples walked to Peter and Andrew’s house. Arriving there, Jesus was told that Peter’s mother-in-law was sick with a fever. Immediately Jesus went to her bed, touched her on the hand, lifted her up, and immediately she was healed.
What’s unique about this event is: 1) no one asked Jesus to heal her, 2) Jesus said nothing to her nor did he rebuke whatever was the cause of the fever, 3) there was no application of anything to her body, and 4) she was a woman. What’s the big deal about ministering to a woman?
If you take the public ministry of Jesus as a whole, you will discover that He came to minister to everyone who had need - Jew and Gentile, male and female, adult and child. But in the days that Jesus lived, women were considered 2nd class citizens, if that. In most instances they were just a step above property, like sheep or oxen. Josephus, a Jewish historian, said: “The woman, says the Law, is in all things inferior to the man. Let her accordingly be submissive.” It was also said: “Better is the wickedness of a man than a woman who does good” (Sirach). Jesus came to change that injustice.
It is true that Jesus did not call any women to be a member of the 12 disciples, but that was for propriety and divine purpose sake. However, there were a number of women who supported the work of Jesus and His disciples, and who proved to be very significant in His ministry (Luke 8:1-3). He even permitted women to minister to Him on occasion (Matthew 27:55-56). This made Him a revolutionary person in His day. Thank God that Jesus came to minster to all who have need, and by His grace and mercy elevated men and women to sainthood in His Kingdom.
“Thank You, Lord, that You are no repecter of persons, but all who come to You in faith will find a place of honor and service in Your Kingdom and its ministry. Thank You for those women who have been an important and integral part of Your Kingdom here on earth. Where would I be today if it hadn’t been for those women who taught me and nurtured me in the faith. Bless them Lord, for they have proven to be a great blessing to me. In the name of Jesus, Amen.”