Our Lord's presence, makes our simple, common lives richly fruitful.
Jesus went to Peter's hours and found Peter's mother-in-law in bed with fever. So he took her hand; the fever left her, and she got up and waited on him Matthew 8:14-15
Most of the simple, common, insignificant acts and affections of life in community happen inside the walls of our homes. Inside the home we love and laugh, we fight and fret, we pray and invite the Lord into our presence, though more likely such prayers are really about awakening our own presence to His constant, steady, generous Presence. When we invite Jesus into our homes, we give Him permission to change our lives at home, the place where we are most ourselves. We cannot be quite the same once He comes in.
Jesus entered many homes while he walked the earth and each entry caused disturbance to the life-as-usual. As we see in scripture, one home lost its roof for a paralytic to be healed by His presence in that home, while in another Jesus upset a dinner host as He permitted broken-hearted, community embarrassment to kneel and wash His feet with her tears and dry them with her hair. Today, when Jesus is invited into a home, we should expect a reordering of the common and usual.
Thus, among many examples of Jesus entering homes, we are drawn to a simple passage of Jesus arrival at Peter’s home. This is a small and almost insignificant reference in Matthew’s Gospel. The text is tucked away between two vitally significant theologically seismic events: the first is where Jesus meets a Roman centurion whose faith “astonishes” Him (a rare response), and the second is where He then spends the day casting out demons and healing “all who were ill” fulfilling Isaiah’s Messianic prophecy: “He took away our illnesses and lifted our diseases from us.” This insignificant brief passage in Matthew reads:
Jesus then went to Peter’s house and found Peter’s mother-in-law in bed with a fever. So he took her by the hand; the fever left her, and she got up and waited on him.
Such a meeting between Jesus and a woman with a fever would almost be missed in record in nearly all circumstances except that she was Peter’s mother-in-law. Her sickness was common – a fever. Her behavior was common as well; she was in bed sleeping off the fever. Yet, when the Lord entered her home nothing remained simple, insignificant, or common. Jesus changed the atmosphere of Peter’s home by taking a woman’s hand. He changed her life too. And as she served Him, she probably never forgot that simple, significant touch.
Our homes are the places within our communities where Jesus changes our lives slowly, simply, and significantly by simple, common invitations and gracious healing touches from His rich Presence.
Jesus, I invite you into my home, my family, my life. Take my hand, that I might be healed and forever be transformed from your touch.