The Great Fever

Matthew 8:14-16; Mark 1:29-34; Luke 4:38-41

It seemed that the entire city had turned up at our house! As soon as the sun had set, they began banging on our door, peering over our wall, down into our windows. I was afraid they would overrun the house. But Jesus put a reassuring hand on my shoulder and told me not to worry. He pushed the door open and stepped into the crowd.

I saw a desperate mother in ragged clothes thrust her dying baby into his arms. A blind man frantically groped for the healer. A poor soul who seemed half out of his mind screamed and clawed his way to the front. I watched for hours as Jesus patiently healed and comforted the sick and tormented, until the crowd was finally gone. When he had tended to them all, he came back into the house and fell asleep.

What a day this had been! Only a few hours earlier, my mother lay restlessly confined to her bed in an upper chamber. She had been stricken with a great fever, her skin burning hot to the touch. Her breathing had been shallow and raspy and she’d drifted in and out of consciousness.

Then Jesus arrived at our home after preaching in the synagogue. My husband, Simon Peter, his brother Andrew, and I greeted him, filled with anxiety over my mother’s condition. He immediately went to her, stood over her bed and took her hand. Lifting her up he commanded the fever to leave. She opened her eyes, and, somewhat startled, glanced around the room. After gathering composure, she expressed her deepest gratitude to Jesus, then demurely excused herself, got dressed and went downstairs to do what she does best — lovingly prepare food and make a fuss over everyone.

Jesus’ new disciples, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, joined us as we shared the meal. We basked in the glow of mom’s radiant health and the presence of Jesus, spending an afternoon like no other.

How did it happen that the great healer had come to our home? Weeks earlier, John the Baptist and his disciple Andrew, my brother-in-law, had been together and had seen Jesus walk by. John the Baptist declared, “It’s him! The Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”

After spending the day with Jesus, Andrew couldn’t wait to tell my husband, Peter, and take him to Jesus. Andrew and Peter were convinced they had found the Messiah! Peter was beside himself with enthusiasm. He had always been given to impulsive behavior, but this was different.

Now, after witnessing Jesus restore my precious mother and compassionately relieve the suffering of the neediest of society, I fully support Peter’s desire to be his disciple. I have no doubts our lives are about to change forever!

By Joyce Catherwood

Copyright 2008

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