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The Healing of Peter's Mother-in-Law

We are continuing from yesterday to meditate on the supernatural power and authority of the Lord Jesus. Luke gives us another example of Jesus' authority that took place in the home of Simon Peter:

38Jesus left the synagogue and went to the home of Simon. Now Simon's mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Jesus to help her. 39So he bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up at once and began to wait on them. 40When the sun was setting, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them. 41Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, "You are the Son of God!" But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Christ (Luke 4:38-41. Emphasis mine).

Some say that Peter the Apostle was never married, but Luke tells us that Peter had a wife. His mother-in-law was sick. The apostle Paul also wrote that Peter was married:


3This is my defense to those who sit in judgment on me. 4Don't we have the right to food and drink? 5Don't we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord's brothers and Cephas? [Cephas is another name for Peter] 6Or is it only I and Barnabas who must work for a living? (1 Corinthians 9:3-6)


Notice how Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law, “he rebuked the fever, and it left her” (v. 39). The Greek word translated into English as ‘rebuke’ is “Epitimao," which means to blame, criticize, admonish, rebuke, warn or berate. It is an abrupt, curt, and biting charge pointedly expressing disapproval, the taking to task of someone for a fault, and connotes a sharp or harsh tone (Lexical Aids to the Key Word Study Bible). Wouldn't you wonder about Jesus talking forcefully to your mother-in-law like that? More than likely, this was the first time Christ had met her. Jesus is in Peter's house and rebuking his mother-in-law's sickness. The Lord would not usually speak in this tone; He spoke with authority directly to the illness. The result? She got up totally healed and began preparing food for them.  


It would be incorrect to say that every disease has a spirit behind it. In certain countries where dabbling with demonic spirits is openly practiced, the link between illness and spiritual practices, such as voodoo, is more common.


Verse 40 states that the people brought to Jesus ALL who had various diseases, and He laid His hands on EACH ONE and healed them. Verse 41 also indicates that demons came out of many people, with Christ having the power to shut their mouths and not permit them to speak. The great need today is for the Church worldwide to exercise the authority of Christ and the power of God for this evil age in which we live (Matthew 28:18-19). Keith Thomas


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Taken from the complete study in the Gospel of Luke, study 7, Jesus’ Authority over Demons, can be found in the All Studies box on the Home Page.


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