Jesus “stood over her, rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up immediately and waited on them.” Luke 4:39
The story of Simon’s mother-in-law has so many layers of warmth and depth. In Luke’s gospel, Simon has not yet even been called to follow Jesus, but he is a believer enough that Jesus has come to heal his wife’s mother. It gives me a wonderful picture of Simon and his wife and his love of his family that he wants to make his wife happy and his mother-in-law better.
But it is the un-named mother-in-law, who offers today’s powerful example for me. When Jesus comes to her bedside and “rebukes” the fever she gets up and begins to serve them. This is what the mother-in-law has done her entire life, served the people who came into her house, and now Simon’s house.
For those who are sick, healing lets us feel well again so we can take up our lives and feel like ourselves again. This is what Jesus offered the mother-in-law. He healed her so she could be who she really was again.
It’s that same healing Jesus offers us when we don’t feel like ourselves. When our lives are out of balance and confusing and we feel like we have lost touch with our most authentic self, Jesus offers us a healing that can help us “find ourselves” again.
I struggle against healing sometimes, and don’t always want the healing Jesus offers. What would happen if I was healed and my life was healthier? I’ve lost touch with my most authentic self - and maybe I am more comfortable clinging to the unhealthy life that I already know. I am afraid of being healed. In what ways might I be called to serve if I was healthy?
All I have to do to change my life, to rediscover my most authentic self, is to look up to Jesus, waiting next to me. I will be healed when I allow myself to see his loving and warm gaze and his arm outstretched. He longs for me to stand next to him, fully alive and healthy, just the way I was created.
It is then I can begin to pick up my life and being to serve.
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