AN EXPOSITION OF MATTHEW 8:14-15
14 And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever.
There are many jokes made about the mother-in-law. Some of the attempted humor can be very cruel. Most negative comments are not warranted. Peter’s mother-in-law is presented in Scripture in a favorable light, for when she was healed by Jesus, she immediately arose and ministered to Him, and all others who were present. Some of the others present was Simon, his wife, and his brother Andrew, with James, and his brother, John (Mark 1:29).
When they were come into the house, Jesus saw Peter’s mother in law was sick. Peter may have thought Jesus would rest in his house, but there was to be no rest for the unwearied Christ. Jesus saw a woman in need, and was moved to compassion to help her upon request (Luke 4:38). Whenever anyone appealed to Jesus, He responded. Jesus responded to the need of an individual even if by so doing he was breaking the Law of the Sabbath.
According to Jewish law, no medical attention was to be given to a person on the Sabbath, unless their life was in danger. Any other attention was considered to be work, and work was strictly forbidden on the Sabbath. In order to avoid work, no burden could be carried on the Sabbath. In order to measure what a burden was, two dried figs were ground. If something weighted more than two dried figs, it could not be carried. The Pharisees and the Scribes had given a lot of thought to matters of the Law. So had Jesus. Jesus decided that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. Jesus would do good on the Sabbath. Jesus would minister to others, and heal them by the power of God.
15 And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them.
The fever that left Peter’s mother in law may have been malaria, which left her immediately. When the fever left, the lady was strong enough to go about normal duties of hospitability. The domestic life of the home was restored to normal, and there in is a valuable truth. A tranquil domestic life must center around the Lord Jesus Christ. Unless Christ is the head of the house, there will be conflict.
The physical healing of Peter’s mother in law reminds individuals of how weak and helpless people are. This is especially true in the matter of salvation. It was when we were yet without strength, Christ died for the ungodly (Rom. 5:6). Jesus can take people who are unable by themselves to serve God, and make them whole, and able to be useful to the Lord, and to others. People are saved to serve (1 Thess. 1:9-10; 1 Peter 2:9-10).
The physical healing of Peter’s mother in law reminds every Christian that Jesus can minister to every situation in life. It is important to remember that whatever need there is can be brought to the attention of Jesus.