Text: Matthew 8:14-15
And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever. 15 And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them.
And forthwith, when they were come out of the synagogue, they entered into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30 But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick of a fever, and anon they tell him of her. 31 And he came and took her by the hand, and lifted her up; and immediately the fever left her, and she ministered unto them.
And he arose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon’s house. And Simon’s wife’s mother was taken with a great fever; and they besought him for her. 39 And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she arose and ministered unto them.
The account is that Jesus Christ was invited to stay in Peter’s home. Peter’s mother-in-law lived there maybe because she was sick. The Lord Jesus Christ is asked to heal Peter’s mother-in-law and he does. She’s healed immediately and begins ministering.
Matthew is proving the Lord Jesus Christ to be God manifest in the flesh. Showing that he has power over the curse and infirmities. He’s dealt with leprosy, palsy, now fever. He will deal with devils and the weather next. All of these things are being done to show who Jesus Christ is.
Notice the fever
- Luke says this is a great fever (Luke 4:38), so it’s more than the flu. Maybe Typhoid or Malaria or something much more serious than a cold or the flu.
- Deuteronomy 28:15-22 says the fever was an indication to Israel that the nation was under a curse.
Notice also that Peter is married
- These verses along with Mark 1:29-31 and Luke 4:38-39 tell you without a doubt that Peter was married. Which means Peter was not a bachelor priest or pope.
- Some Roman Catholic teaching on this now is that Peter was married, but his wife was martyred so he was unmarried when he was called to be an apostle. The false teaching that Peter was a bachelor priest and head of the church amounts to FAKE NEWS. The Bible identifies that doctrine of celibacy in 1 Timothy 4:3 as a doctrine of devils. God called it a doctrine of devils, but the world calls it the Roman Catholic church.
Notice an open door for the Lord to work
- The Lord Jesus Christ healed those that came to him. That’s important because not everyone with fever in Israel was cured, but those that came to him.
- Step back from this specific instance and see the redemptive ministry of the Lord is very much like a marriage where both say “I do.”
- Some doors are open to the Lord and others are shut. Contrast that with Matthew 13:57-58 because of their unbelief he was unable to work there.
- Behold I stand at the door and knock… in Revelation where the Lord is not allowed inside. But it also shows he’s taken the initiative in redemption.
Notice again that healing is the result of someone else’s faith
- Peter’s mother-in-law is not the one beseeching the Lord Jesus Christ. Luke 4:38 says they besought him for her.
- What does your faith do for someone else?
Notice the manner of healing
- When you put all three accounts together you have the Lord Jesus Christ taking Peter’s mother-in-law’s hand, lifting her off the bed, as he rebuked the fever.
- This act of Jesus Christ removing the plague is defined as a:
- Touch from the Lord in Matthew 8
- Lifting by the Lord in Mark 1
- Rebuke of the affliction in Luke 4
- Notice the fever immediately left her
Notice the result of healing
- The result of her healing is she ministered unto them. All three accounts record this, so the result of her healing is very important. Peter’s mother-in-law begins to do what she couldn’t do before. She becomes a minister. There’s a valuable lesson here.
- The Lord saves people from their sin to be free to serve the living God.
- Romans 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
- There is no such salvation in the Bible where God gives “fire insurance” so sinners can continue to live in their sin without guilt.
- Salvation is not continuing in sin without worrying about it anymore. If the Holy Spirit of God isn’t convicting you of sin and your sin doesn’t bother you, then you have a religion that will land you in Hell; you don’t have salvation from sin.
- God’s salvation is deliverance from sin. 1 Thessalonians 1:9
- Deliverance from the curse is also not about going to heaven. That’s a benefit, but that isn’t the purpose.
- Before everything was in service to the infirmity. She’s laying in bed because she’s sick. She’s not eating because she’s sick. She’s not working because she’s sick.
- But now the infirmity has been taken away and she is free! Her life no longer revolves around that sickness.
- Now that’s like sin. Before I was a servant of sin, but now I no longer have to serve sin. I no longer have to succumb to the demands of my flesh.
- If I’m not serving now, it’s because I don’t want to.
- If I’m not eating now, it’s because I don’t want to.
- Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.