“As soon as they left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them.” (Mark 1:29 – 31)
The synagogue was the place that Jesus cast the evil spirit out of the man – so, that explains why the news that Simon’s mother-in-law was ill was told to Jesus. If Jesus could cast out an evil spirit and heal the man, surely a simple fever would be early to deal with – they may have reasoned. And they were correct.
Maybe then fevers were more serious than fevers now. However, considering that so many places check your temperature before allowing one inside, maybe fevers are pretty serious! Which raises the (ugly) notion that Jesus could cure someone who had Covid! I have heard such errant theology put forth. I say it is errant because if it was not an infallible truth prior to Jan 2020, it would not become one after Jan 2020. People get sick and they die! Sometimes, beloved reader, that is the type of “healing” that brings the most comfort.
The other portion of this scripture I want to address is that Simon’s mother-in-law started serving them upon her healing. If taken as “gospel” (if you excuse the derivative meaning of the word) that means it was part of her assumed task to serve guests in the household. Maybe she did it out of gratitude; I was not there. And maybe it was the dramatic change in her health that allowed her to pop up and play the role of hostess. But it felt it worthy to note.
“That evening, at sundown, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. And the whole city was gathered around the door. And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.” (Verses 32 – 34)
Word spread – as one could have guessed it would. Illness, both minor and catastrophic, begged to be healed. “Demons” could cause all sorts of maladies. In a culture where washing was more ritual than hygienic daily practice, illnesses could spread quite quickly – I imagine. And what may have been a illness that we could cure with medication may have been almost incurable, or at the least very debilitating. So Jesus healed a great deal – both in terms of people and range of illnesses.
“In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. And Simon and his companions hunted for him. When they found him, they said to him, “Everyone is searching for you.” He answered, “Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.” And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.” (Verses 35 – 39)
In the gospel of Mark, Jesus casting of the demon from the man in the synagogue, and healing Simon’s mother-in-law were precipitating events – it started something. It started Jesus down a path that was potentially draining. Maybe Jesus needed to commune with the Divine, to check as to whether this was a good thing. We may tend to think that from the moment Jesus was baptized and/or started his mission on earth, everything was planned from that moment on.
I was thinking just this morning about Covid, and the effects it has had globally. Do you think the Divine saw this coming? Do you think it gave the Godself pause to wonder about creating humanity that would have to endure this many many generations down the road? I think back to Genesis where it says the Lord God offered above the chaos that would be earth; that creation was a turning point in up to what happen been a history that had no time or season to it. Did it take the Divine that long to decide “yes”, what humanity will endure is worth it?
I wonder about these things, beloved reader. I ponder and wonder. Jesus might have too, in the dark in that deserted place. And by the time his disciples found him, he had decided “yes” this was the path to go down.
May you, beloved reader, think and ponder about things. And may you also find the healing that you desire, however and whatever that healing is. Shalom & Selah!