And when Jesus was come into Peter's house, he saw his wife's mother laid, and sick of a fever.
In introduction, note the place given to the occurrence of this miracle in the two parallel places, these two defining with accuracy what is left unalluded to by St. Matthew. Also comment on ver. 17, comparing it with St. Peter's quotation, and noting St. Matthew's language as not that of the Septuagint. Reject all the lesser exegeses of the wonderful characterization of the Redeemer here given; such as fatigue of body through the late and prolonged work; exhaustion of soul through the fearful strain confessed by us all, of high and deep spiritual engagement; and even such as the adumbration in all this of the achievement of the cross, and all the endurance it postulated; but point out how the personality of Jesus Christ now, and all through his public life, was the unfailing and the all-gathering focus, in one way and another way and all ways, of the sufferings, and the diseases, and the evil, and the infinite sorrow of that man, one grand essential condition of the saving of whom was, that his Saviour be "One touched," really, absolutely, tenderly, keenly touched, "with the feeling of his infirmities." This verse (seventeenth) expresses "the travail of his soul." Notice -
I. THE EXCEEDING PROMPTNESS WITH WHICH THIS MIRACLE WAS WROUGHT. Observe on the variety of the miracles of Christ, in this one respect by itself. Sometimes delay was the rule, and in such cases, sometimes with an evident reason and use, but sometimes not so. The occasions when we can see the reason or a reason will teach us how there were reasons in the other cases, though perhaps untraceable by us. On the other hand, many miracles were marked by very quick action, as with the impotent man and the blind beggar, etc., but nowhere perhaps more than in this case.
II. THE OUTWARD SIGNS ACCOMPANYING THE WORKING OF THE MIRACLE. "He touched her hand;" "he rebuked the fever;" "he took her by the hand;" "he lifted her up." In these facts stated, which may be very far from being rightly called in every sense outward signs, two leading points may be observed - the "rebuke" to the oppressor, the assistance to the oppressed, significant and genuine suggestions to our Christian work, and to our conflict in Christ's Name with human woe, and with those forces of evil which stir it and fix it and only so reluctantly loose their grasp. Nor are the forms of help barren of suggestion. He stood over her; he saw her; he touched her hand, took her by the hand, lifted her up. The very gradation in the assistance proffering us lessons, or reminding us of what we have not failed already to observe and reason upon.
III. THE GRATEFUL AND DEVOUT AND PRACTICAL RESPONSE ON THE PART OF THE SUFFERER, NO LONGER THE PREY OF HER FEVER, TO HER DELIVERER. Picture the splendid contrast. The prostrate with fever immediately transformed into the active and thoughtful servant, and the minister both to her Lord and his attendants and friends. Enlarge on this as the consummate type of Christian conduct and character after genuine conversion. For this is followed by devout and unfeigned consecration of service to Christ and his Church. Conclude with noticing the harvest of that night, after the close of the sabbath.
1. The ingathering of what untold blessings to the people!
2. The toil and travail (in the sense of ver. 17) that harvest meant for Jesus Christ. - B.
Parallel VersesKJV: And when Jesus was come into Peter's house, he saw his wife's mother laid, and sick of a fever.