The Embrace of Community

Week 29 | Section 43

The Embrace of CommunityThis week we read of Jesus healing Peter’s mother-in-law and learn about the nature of community, compassion, and care. In this passage we see the compassion of Christ as the consolation of Jerusalem. Jesus’ attention to the Sabbath, care of the Peter’s mother-in-law and the others gathered provide us a worthy model that would transform cultures and communities around the globe.


[one_third last=”no”]Matthew 8:14-171
14 When Jesus came into Peter’s house,2 he saw his wife’s mother lying sick with a fever. 15 He touched her hand, and the fever left her. She got up and served him. 16 When evening came, they brought to him many possessed with demons. He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick;3 17 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying, “He took our infirmities, and bore our diseases.”4[/one_third]
[one_third last=”no”]Mark 1:29-34
29 Immediately, when they had come out of the synagogue, they came into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30 Now Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick with a fever, and immediately they told him about her. 31 He came and took her by the hand, and raised her up. The fever left her, and she served them. 32 At evening, when the sun had set, they brought to him all who were sick, and those who were possessed by demons. 33 All the city was gathered together at the door. 34 He healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. He didn’t allow the demons to speak, because they knew him.[/one_third]
[one_third last=”yes”]Luke 4:38-41
38 He rose up from the synagogue, and entered into Simon’s house. Simon’s mother-in-law was afflicted with a great fever, and they begged him for her. 39 He stood over her, and rebuked the fever;5 and it left her. Immediately she rose up and served them. 40 When the sun was setting,6 all those who had any sick with various diseases brought them to him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them. 41 Demons also came out of many, crying out, and saying, “You are the Christ, the Son of God!” Rebuking them, he didn’t allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ.[/one_third]

Group Dialog:

  1. Why do you think Matthew, Mark, and Luke include the story of Jesus healing Simon’s mother-in-law?
  2. What is different about the way Jesus handles this situation verses the demoniac earlier that day?
  3. Why did Jesus forbid the demons to speak of his nature.
  4. From this story, what can we extrapolate about Jesus’ attitude, priorities and character (humility, recognition, community, love, charity, etc.)? How does this compare to your own attitude, character, and priorities?

Learning Objectives:

community, compassion, and care, Jesus’ authority over illness,

Image: Close up of a large stone worn by the wind, waves, and pebbles at Bean Hollow State Park, CA. The image reminds us of unity, cell groups, and community.

Other media: Video clip of this passage; song: The Final Word, Michael Card

Study Notes: