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:


Traveling Mercies

Week 12 | Sections 16, 17, 18, 19

Traveling MerciesSometimes unfortunate events turn out to be an integral thread of God’s handiwork in the tapestry of our lives. Jesus’ childhood journeys to Bethlehem, Nazareth, Egypt and Galilee are evidence of such and the experiences of Jesus early years helped prepare him for a lifetime of ministry.


Section 16
[one_half last=”no”]Matthew 2:19-23
19 But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, 20 “Arise and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel, for those who sought the young child’s life are dead.” 21 He arose and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel.22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in the place of his father, Herod, he was afraid to go there. Being warned in a dream, he withdrew into the region of Galilee,23 and came and lived in a city called Nazareth; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophets: “He will be called a Nazarene.”
[one_half last=”yes”]Luke 2:39
39 When they had accomplished all things that were according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth.

Section 17
Luke 2:40
40 The child was growing, and was becoming strong in spirit, being filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him.

Section 18
Luke 2:41-50
41 His parents went every year to Jerusalem at the feast of the Passover. 42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast,43 and when they had fulfilled the days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. Joseph and his mother didn’t know it, 44 but supposing him to be in the company, they went a day’s journey, and they looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances. 45 When they didn’t find him, they returned to Jerusalem, looking for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the middle of the teachers, both listening to them, and asking them questions. 47 All who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When they saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us this way? Behold, your father and I were anxiously looking for you.” 49 He said to them,“Why were you looking for me? Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?” 50 They didn’t understand the saying which he spoke to them.

Section 19
51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth. He was subject to them, and his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.


Group Dialog:

  1. What lessons of faith are you learning now?
  2. How has your life thus far prepared you for a unique ministry with others?
  3. Are you prepared to give a reason for the hope in you?

Learning Objectives:

Parenting, Spiritual Parents, individualism and community, hi-low context culture, autonomy and interdependence, discerning God’s leading, making sense of our past, spiritual growth, the soul yearns for God.

Study Notes: