11 February 2018
GraceNotes – A Journey of Discovery
Scripture: Matthew 8:14-17 (Click link for scripture in Bible Gateway)
14 When Jesus arrived at Peter’s house, Peter’s mother-in-law was sick in bed with a high fever. 15 But when Jesus touched her hand, the fever left her. Then she got up and prepared a meal for him. 16 That evening many demon-possessed people were brought to Jesus. He cast out the evil spirits with a simple command, and he healed all the sick. 17 This fulfilled the word of the Lord through the prophet Isaiah, who said, “He took our sicknesses and removed our diseases.” (Matthew 8:14–17 NLT)
Peter had a house and a family! He had a mother-in-law, so he had a wife. If he had a wife, it’s really likely he had children. He lived in the village of Capernaum on Lake Galilee, and until Jesus disrupted his life, he made his living as a professional fisherman, working with his brother Andrew and possibly other family members or employees. This helps me realize and remember that the people in the Gospel stories are real people, ordinary people, living real, ordinary lives. And the thing that sets them apart is their inner hunger and thirst for God, their response to the Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven, the onward call of Jesus to “follow”, and the transformation that happens in them through their journey of faith and discovery.
They arrived at Peter’ house late in the day, after wrapping up the Sermon on the Mount, walking a few miles, and healing a leper and a paralyzed man. They left the crowd in the street and went indoors, only to discover that Mom was sick with a high fever. Jesus touched her hand, and his touch drove out the fever. She felt so well she got up and prepared a meal for a couple dozen people!
Then people began to arrive in the street outside the door, demon-possessed people, and sick people. Jesus told the demons to leave those they were tormenting and they did. Jesus touched the sick people and said, “Be healed” and they were. This reminded Matthew of the prophecy about the Messiah in Isaiah 53:4; “He took our sicknesses and removed our diseases.”
Friends, we’re following Jesus! This goes beyond singing a few songs and listening to a sermon once a week. We learn a little every day by listening, watching, and asking questions. What are your intentional “following Jesus” practices?
Father, I’m going to follow Jesus today. I’ll get off the couch and put on my “Jesus following” boots. I’ll face forward in faith. I’ll take the next steps! Please guide me!