After leaving the synagogue he entered Simon’s house. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked him about her. Then he stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. Immediately she got up and began to serve them. As the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various kinds of diseases brought them to him; and he laid his hands on each of them and cured them. Demons also came out of many, shouting, ‘You are the Son of God!’ But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Messiah.
This is the first healing miracle that Luke records and comes shortly after his declaration in the synagogue. Jesus responds to his new disciple’s family and the recovery of Simon’s mother in law is so rapid that she is back in the kitchen immediately. Just in time to give hospitality not only to the friends her son brings home, but also the crowds that are drawn to his new friend Jesus.
Meanwhile news of her healing and the previous miracles has spread. The message in Nazareth was rejected by the religious – they wanted to throw Jesus over a cliff (4:29). However here in Capernaum those who might be excluded from their congregation, out of fear of contamination, not only seek the healing this new teacher can provide but also the demons which had afflicted them respond too recognising the source of Jesus’s powers to heal and release. The demonic voices are silenced so Jesus ministry is not side-tracked.
It must have been a challenging day for Jesus – a roller coaster of rejection and acceptance, of recognition but also challenge regarding what might result – maybe in these days as we recover from the Christmas season your work and witness has brought you surprises too.
May your sense the Spirit’s leading as the new year unfolds.
Open our eyes of our hearts Lord that we may respond in love to those who seek your healing and acceptance May our fellowships be outward looking to welcome the stranger; may they be sanctuaries for those caught up in storms and troubles. Lead us Lord as we discern where the Spirit is calling us to act. Help us Lord to be your holy people as we seek to show your love to the communities we serve. Amen
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