“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.” Mark 1:29-31 NKJV
What exactly is a fever, and why do we get them? Fever as found in Strong’s Concordance- #4446 shows the word is derived from the Greek-puresso, which means inflamed. (Let that not be confused with espresso, a more desirable subject.) An inflammation is the body’s response to rid itself of a pathogen or irritant foreign to what is intended in the body. The fever is representative of an internal physical fight. Fevers are fighters. Peter’s mother-in law was in need of the virus, bacteria, or pathogen causing her sickness to be removed. The fever would then leave, for the foreign material would be gone. The battle would be over. Those who loved and cared for her brought the need to Jesus. Jesus came to her, lifted her up, she was made well, and then she served them. Seems simple enough. If we take a closer look, it becomes more than an endearing story of one of Jesus’ miracles and comes to be a personal lesson. It did for me.
We have already determined there is a sick woman and something is inside of her that should not be. Sickness however; does not always include a visit to the doctor for an antibiotic. Sin can make you sick and not necessarily the throwing up or coughing up crud kind. It can take on many different forms. I’m not inferring that Simon’s mother-in-law was sick because of any sin she committed or that it is the cause of any of our sicknesses, but I am saying that a believer is going to feel something going on when there is sin inside. It is not to be at home there. It is foreign matter, and an internal war has been waged. Think about appendicitis. It is a fairly uncomplicated procedure to remove an appendix when it is inflamed. Left unchecked, it will burst and contaminate the whole body. It has the potential to be lethal. That is what sin does. When confessed early, the removal is far less consequential than if it remains hidden, yet festering until it poisons every area of your life. This is when we ask Jesus to come and help. Hopefully others will be standing in agreement in prayer with us as well. When we call, He always comes, no matter how infected we are. How does He take our hands? We surrender our will to His. We need to admit that doing things our own way doesn’t work. The posture of our lifted hands is an open heart. Jesus then gently raises us up out of the pit, our sickbed, and we are made whole. We are healed. The internal war ceases, so the fever leaves us, and peace prevails.
Let us not forget the very important last piece. The Scripture says, “And she served them.” In her healthy state, Simon’s mother-in-law was now READY FOR SERVICE. Deliverance from a life a sin should produce an eager desire to serve others. Especially regarding the One who delivered us and those who took us to the Deliverer. But it does not stop there. It needs to become a lifestyle that not only helps those who we love and have given so much to us, but also for those who could never return the favor or those we do not even know. We are most like Christ when we serve. He came not to be served, but to serve. Jesus was always READY FOR SERVICE.
So, I’m left with taking an inventory of my own life. Where am I in the story? Sick? The internal battle can be won. Surrendered? Jesus gets to direct my path. Free? Now that my fever is gone, I too am READY FOR SERVICE. Now that we have been readied, serve.