And immediately, when they were come out of the synagogue, they entered into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.…
I. FEVER OF A VIRULENT TYPE. That St. Peter was a married man appears not only from this mention of his mother-in-law, but also from the reference of St. Paul (1 Corinthians 9:5), "Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?" But, near and dear as Peter was to She Saviour, he was not exempted from the common lot; his home was visited with sickness. Nor was it a mere slight indisposition. Fever of almost any type is a painful, wasting, and distressing malady. The present attack was one of no little severity, for St. Luke, a physician by profession, and so capable of accurate diagnosis, calls it a great or violent fever (πυρετῷ μεγάλῳ). "Anon they tell him of her." The persons who did so may have been Peter and Andrew, who had come to reside at Capernaum, and who, as St. Mark with his usual particularity here informs us, were joint-occupants of one house after they had removed from Bethsaida ("place of fishing "), their native place. Or it may have been the domestics; or rather, perhaps, the subject is left indeterminate. In any case, it was the right thing to do. At any time of sickness, and whatever be the nature of the disease, we should first go to God, then to the physician; first have recourse to prayer, then to the use of means. Similar in spirit is the injunction, "Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the Church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord."
II. THE MOVE OF CURE. The cure was another manifestation of Divine power, as well as of human sympathy, on the part of our Lord. There are several graphic touches of a very interesting kind, especially in the description of the cure, by St. Mark. Our Lord approached the sufferer (προσελθών); St. Luke interjects the additional detail that he stood over her (ἐπιστὰς ἐπάνω); he raised her up (ἤγειρεν); he took hold of her by the hand (κρατήσας τῆς χειρὸς αὐτῆς). We cannot fail to be struck with the tenderness and compassion and sympathy of our blessed Lord with the poor sufferer. A word from him would have been quite as effectual. He did indeed rebuke the disease but he did not stop there. Had he done so, there would have been apparently less of human interest, less of tender sensibility, and altogether less of that affectionate fellow-feeling that so touches the heart of suffering humanity.
III. THE EFFECTUAL NATURE OF THE CURE. It was immediate. He had no sooner taken her by the hand than the fever left her. The cure was miraculous; not that the disease was incurable, or past the power of ordinary physicians, but from the manner of the cure - a touch of the hand, and its immediacy: "Immediately the fever left her." Still more, she was relieved of, or rather saved from, the prostration, often extreme, in consequence of fever. Her convalescence was instantaneous. No weary weeks of waiting for returning strength, no administering of restoratives to the exhausted frame, no slow or gradually perceptible increase of physical energy; at once, immediately, she arose and engaged in her usual routine of household duties.
IV. THE DUTY OF DEVOTING OUR RENEWED HEALTH AND RESTORED STRENGTH TO GOD'S SERVICE. She ministered unto them; that is, to Christ and his disciples. This is the great end and the sanctified use of affliction. When the visitation is removed, we are to employ ourselves with renewed zeal in the Divine service. We are to make some suitable return for the mercy experienced, and show our gratitude for the benefit bestowed. "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with loving-kindness and tender mercies." - J.J.G.
Parallel VersesKJV: And forthwith, when they were come out of the synagogue, they entered into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.