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.…
The long day is nearly over. The great sermon has been preached, the healings by the way have been accomplished; at last Jesus has come home to rest for the night with one of his friends. But even now his ministry cannot cease. Wherever he goes he sees human need; whenever he sees human need he is ready to put forth power to help.
I. THERE IS TROUBLE IN THE HOME. Pain and sorrow are not shut out when the darkness of night is excluded and the door is closed on the tempest. Though there be no trouble in the streets, the bird of evil omen may brood in the very centre of the family. All may be well with the state, yet the household may be distracted with misery. The great Atlantic steamer is sailing safely on her voyage, but sick women and crying children down below have a wretchedness of their own that is never chronicled in the captain's log-book. How many homes of beauty and comfort are just dens of misery! how many more are haunts of anxiety!
II. THE FRIENDS OF CHRIST ARE IN TROUBLE. Peter is one of the best friends of Jesus - one of his newly chosen disciples. Yet a near relative of Peter's is found to be seriously ill. The service of Christ does not insure us against the invasion of trouble. Christian families do not escape the epidemic that brings distress to the homes of the godless. The Church of Christ is not a Goshen which the angel of pestilence avoids. If the laws of health are broken in a Christian household, that household has no bill of indemnity to save it from the consequences of its mistake. While Peter lived by the low swamps of Gennesareth, a place to invite fever, it was natural that fever should appear in his house.
III. CHRIST ENTERS THE HOME. He is not like John the Baptist, dwelling alone in the wilderness. He lives with his friends. He loves home-life. Though now unseen because our "eyes are holden," he still visits homes. We pray for his presence in the Church, and we hope to meet him in our public worship. But his habits on earth show us that he is quite as ready to be found in the family. The family is the social unit. Society will be out of joint unless the family is consecrated by the presence of Christ. Let us always think of him as One at our table, sharing our domestic life.
IV. CHRIST'S PRESENCE BRINGS HEALTH. He was not invited into Peter's house for the purpose of curing the sick woman. Peter knew nothing of the trouble. The fever, as is often the case in tropical climates, may have seized the poor woman without a moment's notice. Christ was invited for his own sake, that he might partake of refreshment and rest awhile. But the most unselfish serving of Christ wilt receive back unsought and unexpected blessings. Where Christ is present, he is ready to help. He saw, he touched, he healed. According to St. Mark, some told Jesus of the distressful condition of his hostess's mother (Mark 1:30). Then Jesus went to see her for himself. He is not unobservant of suffering, and for him to see is to help.
V. BLESSINGS FROM CHRIST LEAD TO THE SERVICE OF CHRIST, The sick woman is perfectly cured. She does not suffer from the languor that usually follows fever. Feeling well, she immediately sets about her daily work. Plainly she is a most sensible woman. It is worth while to cure such a practical person. The end of salvation is service. Each may best serve Christ in the way of his or her own capacities. The grace of Christ is not to lift us above doing the homeliest duties, but to fit us for them. - W.F.A.
Parallel VersesKJV: And when Jesus was come into Peter's house, he saw his wife's mother laid, and sick of a fever.