Sunday, February 4 we gazed beyond the mere words found in Mark 1:29-39, considered what else could have been going on, and happened due to the miracles of healing shared by Jesus. This text from the Gospel of Mark has Jesus along with James and John returning to Simon and Andrew’s home after attending the Synagogue. At the home, Jesus is made aware that Simon’s mother in law is sick with a fever and in bed. Jesus enters the bedroom takes the mother in law by the hand helps her out of bed and her fever is gone and she feels well enough to make them lunch. Now the text goes on to say other people begin to come by the house and the community watches as Jesus heals others and cast out demons. The text ends with Jesus getting alone to pray and being found by the disciples at which point Jesus informs them they need to be moving on as he has others to heal who need to hear the message as well. Now this seems to be a wonderful moment in the life of Jesus as he heals the sick and begins his ministry with these disciples. However, if we look beyond the text, read between the lines, think outside of the box, we can see there is more going on here. To start, let us make sure we all know that Simon would become Peter and he and Andrew are brothers and among the first called to follow Jesus. So now you are Simon’s mother in law, you live in the home with your family and the family of Andrew. Simon and Andrew have a good business on the lakeshore as fishermen. A few weeks before you end up sick Simon comes home and you over hear a conversation between he and his wife, your daughter, Simon shares about the great thing that happened with nets full of fish after they had fished all night and caught nothing and because of this thing that happened he was quitting the fishing business and going to follow Jesus around. No job? No money? No food? Do you think Simon’s wife or mother in law are big fans of Jesus? You see I feel that there is more going on here than the writer of Mark’s gospel is sharing. After Jesus enters the mother in law’s room and offers her healing not only is her fever lifted but also her unhappy feelings about Jesus and Simon’s decision to leave the family business and follow him. Jesus was an element of healing not just of a fever but also relationships and emotional healing of this family and maybe even other families as many came to receive healing on this day. So what does this have to do with you and me? Well if Jesus is to be, our example and we are trying to live as Jesus lived should we seek to be elements of healing as well? I am not talking about physical healing, although God can do amazing things, I feel we need to pay attention to those around us and offer kindness, mercy, a listening ear, a hand to hold and so on. When we stop feeling like “it is not my business” and instead offer compassion and caring hurt is healed. Not by us, God does the healing we are only elements, instruments of what God can and will do in a person’s life. To help push this point look up Sidewalk Prophets song “Save My Life” I feel it gives some flesh to this concept of just noticing and caring. One last thought comes from an adult Sunday school class that every Sunday after worship would have lunch together in the same restaurant. This meant that they would have the same server each week as well. Now the class was always kind and courteous but they never once showed any real concern for their server. That is until one day when their server worked up her courage to say, every week you come in and I hear you talking about church and how wonderful the worship but you have never invited me to your church, you have never asked me really anything about me and you have never even asked if you could pray for me. Well the group was convicted and agreed with the young woman and they changed their thought process. This change had such an impact that other staff in the restaurant would share their prayer needs as well each week this class. It influenced the class members that they began to choose a different restaurant to visit during the week so they could share compassion and prayer with servers in other parts of the town. When we allow ourselves to be used by God, it is amazing what God can and will do in this world around us. So the next time you sit down at a table in a restaurant find a way to show compassion, if you are an outgoing person ask your server how they are doing and offer to pray for them, if you are a little on the shy side consider one of the prayer cards we have in at the church or just jot down a note to leave with the check. Being an element of healing begins with truly caring about others and then simply showing compassion.
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Jasper United Methodist Church
85 W Church Street
Jasper, GA. 30143