A Response of Service

Early in Jesus’s ministry, we see that Simon Peter’s mother-in-law was ill with a high fever.  They appealed to the Savior on her behalf.  And He stood over her, rebuked the fever, and it left her.  She was miraculously and immediately healed.  What was her response?  We read that “immediately she rose and began to serve them” (Luke 4:39).

We see a couple of things here.  Jesus is showing His divine power in being able to heal a high fever simply by His word.  Notice that it wasn’t as if she just healed quickly, like she just had a twenty-hour bug, and in their medical ignorance, they attributed the healing to Jesus.  No, He rebuked the fever, and “immediately“, she was healed.  This would point forward to a deeper, more significant healing that Jesus would provide, a healing that wasn’t for a fever, but for a grave spiritual illness.  He would die and rise again to heal many, and for those who believe in Him, that which was written about Him seven hundred years before He came is wonderfully true:

he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)

We see something else here too, and that is the woman’s response.  Immediately, “she rose and began to serve them“.  Why?  Because it was the custom?  Because she wanted to be a good host?  This is where we have to read the text existentially.  Imagine being the mother-in-law, sick with a high fever, and this man comes to you and rebukes your fever, and it immediately leaves you.  What will you say?  “Hey, thanks,” and then go about your business?  No, your reaction will be that of awe.  Your reaction will be that of reverence.  Your reaction will be, “This One is to be served by me immediately.”

How silly is the idea of Easy-Believism.  It’s a false Christianity that teaches that all you need to do is mentally affirm that Jesus was crucified for sinners, and you will be saved.  You can live life however you want.  You don’t need to follow Christ, per se.  Just believe.  Friends, it’s true that we can only be saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, but the one who has truly been healed will immediately rise, and in awestruck worship, begin to serve the One who healed him.

There is no such thing as a true believer in Christ who does not desire to serve Him, to some degree.  As we grow in the faith and get to know our Savior more, our desire to serve Him increases, but even the newest of believers will want to worship the God who saved him with his life.  May this be true for you and me.

Today’s readings:

  • Psalm 7
  • Genesis 8:1-19
  • 1 Chronicles 8
  • Luke 4:14-44
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