Matthew 8:14
And when Jesus was come into Peter's house, he saw his wife's mother laid, and sick of a fever.
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(14) And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house.—St. Mark (Mark 1:29) and St. Luke (Luke 4:38) relate more specifically that it was on the Sabbath, and that our Lord had previously taught in the synagogue and healed a demoniac. The sons of Zebedee and of Jona had all been present, and when the service was over they came to the house in which Peter apparently (though born in Bethsaida, John 1:44) had settled on his marriage.

His wife’s mother.—The fact of St. Peter’s marriage has not unnaturally been almost unduly prominent in the Protestant argument against the enforced celibacy of the clergy. “Here,” it has been said, “is the Apostle from whom the Bishop of Rome claims succession, married when called to his office, and never separated from his wife, and yet Rome declares the marriage of priests to be unlawful, and stigmatises it as worse than concubinage.” Telling as it may sound, however, it is after all only an argumentum ad hominem. Had the case been otherwise, we should not have admitted that the celibacy of the chief of the Apostles was a ground for compelling all bishops, elders, and deacons of the Church to follow his example. And all that can be urged, as the case stands, is that there is an inconsistency in accepting these facts, and yet treating marriage as incompatible with the sacred office of the ministry. The Church of Rome might answer, that experience, or the teaching of the Spirit, or the moral authority of the saints and Fathers of the Church, outweighed the inference from St. Peter’s example, and the question must be discussed on wider ethical and social, as well as Scriptural, grounds. In that argument, it is believed, those who advocate Christian liberty (1Corinthians 9:5) as most in harmony with the mind of Christ are not likely to get the worst of it.

Sick of a fever.—St. Luke, with a kind of medical precision, adds, “with a great fever,” and that they (Peter, John, and the others) asked Him about her, as if consulting about a case of which they almost despaired.

Matthew 8:14-15. And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house — As is related Mark 1:29, &c.; he saw his wife’s mother laid — Peter was then young, as were all the apostles; sick of a fever — Fevers are ordinary distempers, and often cured by ordinary means, but this was a great fever, Luke 4:38; and it is probable such means, though used, had proved ineffectual. And he touched her hand, and the fever left her — Namely, immediately. The cure was wrought in an instant, and not slowly, like cures produced in the course of nature, or by medicine. For though the length and violence of her distemper had brought her into a weak and languid state, her full strength returned all at once, insomuch, that, rising up immediately, she prepared a supper for them, and served them while at meat, showing hereby that she was perfectly restored.

8:14-17 Peter had a wife, yet was an apostle of Christ, who showed that he approved of the married state, by being thus kind to Peter's wife's relations. The church of Rome, which forbids ministers to marry, goes contrary to that apostle upon whom they rest so much. He had his wife's mother with him in his family, which is an example to be kind to our relations. In spiritual healing, the Scripture speaks the word, the Spirit gives the touch, touches the heart, touches the hand. Those who recover from fevers, commonly are weak and feeble some time after; but to show that this cure was above the power of nature, the woman was at once so well as to go about the business of the house. The miracles which Jesus did being noised abroad, many thronged to him. He healed all that were sick, though the patient was ever so mean, and the case ever so bad. Many are the diseases and calamities to which we are liable in the body; and there is more, in those words of the gospel, that Jesus Christ bore our sicknesses and carried our sorrows, to support and comfort us under them, than in all the writings of the philosophers. Let us not grudge labour, trouble, or expense in doing good to others.This account is contained also in Mark 1:29-31, and Luke 4:38-41. Mark says that Simon and Andrew lived together, and that James and John went with them to the house. He adds, also, that before the miracle they spake to him about the sick person. The miracle was direct and complete. She that had been sick was so completely restored as to attend to them and minister to them. The mention of "Peter's wife's mother" proves that Peter either then was or had been married. The fair and obvious interpretation is, that his wife was then living. Compare 1 Corinthians 9:5, and see the note at that place. Peter is claimed by the Roman Catholics to be the head of the church and the vicegerent of Christ. The Pope, according to their view, is the successor of this apostle. On what pretence do they maintain that it is wrong for "priests" to marry? Why did not Christ at once reject Peter from being an apostle for having a wife? How remarkable that he should be set up as the head of the church, and an example and a model to all who were to succeed him! But all this is human law, and is contrary to the New Testament. Compare 1 Timothy 3:2, 1 Timothy 3:4-5. That Peter had a wife was no objection to his being an apostle, and marriage has been expressly declared to be "honorable in all," Hebrews 13:4. Mt 8:14-17. Healing of Peter's Mother-in-law and Many Others. ( = Mr 1:29-34; Lu 4:38-41).

For the exposition, see on [1235]Mr 1:29-34.

See Poole on "Matthew 8:15".

And when Jesus was come into Peter's house,.... And which was also Andrew's, Mark 1:29 for these two brothers lived together, and this was in Capernaum, as appears from the context. Though Andrew and Peter were originally of Bethsaida, a place not far from this, but had removed hither since their call by Christ, this being his city; though probably this house was Peter's wife's mother's, and only called their's, because they lodged there, whilst in this city: into this house Christ entered, with James and John, and others; when

he saw his (Peter's) wife's mother, laid, or "cast" on a bed, See Gill on Matthew 8:6.

and sick of a fever: Luke says, Luke 4:38 that she "was taken", or rather held, or "detained with a great fever"; the distemper was very raging and furious, it had got to a very great height. The other evangelists say, that the persons in the house told him of her, and besought him for her, that he would heal her, having a very great affection for her, and desire of her life, which seemed to be in great danger. Hence it may be observed against the Papists, that ministers of the Gospel may lawfully marry; Peter, an apostle, and from whom they pretend to derive their succession of bishops, was a married man, had a wife, and that after he was called to be an apostle. His wife's mother is expressly mentioned, being the person labouring under a violent fever, and whom Christ cured in the following manner.

{3} And when Jesus was come into Peter's house, he saw his wife's mother laid, and sick of a fever.

(3) Christ, in healing many diseases, shows that he was sent by his Father, that in him only we should seek remedy in all our miseries.

Matthew 8:14. Mark 1:29 ff., Luke 4:38 ff., assign to the following narrative another and earlier position, introducing it immediately after the healing of a demoniac in the synagogue, which Matthew omits. The account in Mark is the original one, but in none of the reports are we to suppose the evangelists to be recording the earliest of Jesus’ works of healing (Keim).

εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν Πέτρον] in which also his brother Andrew lived along with him, Mark 1:29. Not inconsistent with John 1:45, as Peter was a native of Bethsaida, though he had removed to Capernaum. Whether the house belonged to him cannot be determined.

τὴν πενθερὰν αὐτοῦ] 1 Corinthians 9:5.

Matthew 8:14-15. Cure of a fever: Peter’s mother-in-law (Mark 1:29-31; Luke 4:38-39). This happened much earlier, at the beginning of the Galilean ministry, the second miracle-history in Mark and Luke. Mark at this point becomes Matthew’s guide, though he does not follow implicitly. Each evangelist has characteristic features, the story of the second being the original.

14. Peter’s house] From John 1:44 we learn that Bethsaida was the city of Andrew and Simon Peter. Either then (i) they had changed their home to Capernaum, or (2) Bethsaida was close to Capernaum. One theory is that Bethsaida was the port of Capernaum.

laid, and sick of a fever] St Luke uses a technical term, “great fever,” the symptoms of which were those of typhus fever.

laid] Literally, struck down, an expression which denotes the great and sudden prostration which characterises typhus fever.

14–17. The Cure of Peter’s Mother-in-law of a Fever, Mark 1:29-31; Luke 4:38-39St Luke’s description bears special marks of scientific accuracy.

Matthew 8:14. Πενθεράν, mother-in-law) Peter had not long before married a wife, and they are guilty of a mistake who paint him with white hair;[370] for all the disciples were young, and had a long course to perform in this world; see John 21:18.[371] This must be well kept in mind in every Evangelical History.[372]—πυρέσσουσαν, sick of a fever) in the actual paroxysm.

[370] Although it is not improbable that he was older than the other disciples.—B. H. E. p. 257.

[371] You may gather that concerning Judas Iscariot from Psalm 109:8-9; Zebedee and Salome, the parents of James and John, were likewise both still living.—B. H. E. p. 258.

[372] For whoever will carefully weigh the youthful age of the disciples, and their original family connections and former condition, will readily make allowances for several errors which were committed by them in their state of discipleship, and, having regard to this consideration of the time, he will not require from them more than is reasonable, and so will find himself extricated from not a few difficulties.—Harm. l. c.

Verses 14, 15. - The healing of St. Peter's wife's mother. Parallel passages: Mark 1:29-31; Luke 4:38, 39. Verse 14. - And when Jesus was come into Peter's house. Straight from the synagogue (parallel passages), for food, ver. 15 (Chrysostom). It seems clear, from the parallel passages, that St. Peter had not previously told our Lord about his mother-in-law's illness, but that he, with others, now asked (ἠρώτησαν, Luke) him to heal her. Among these others were probably Andrew, who also lived in the house, and James and John, who accompanied our Lord (Mark). Whether or not it was Peter's own house, we have no means of telling (but see next verse). He saw. Presumably on entering, before they asked him about her. His wife's mother (1 Corinthians 9:5). As St. Peter lived for some forty years more, he can hardly have been now very long married (cf. Bengel). Laid (βεβλημένην); ver. 6. And sick of a fever. Matthew 8:14Sick of a fever (πυρέσουσαν)

Derived from πῦρ, fire. Our word fever comes through the German feuer.

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