38 Then He got up and left the synagogue, and entered Simon’s home. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Him to help her. 39 And standing over her, He rebuked the fever, and it left her; and she immediately got up and waited on them. 40 While the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and laying His hands on each one of them, He was healing them. 41 Demons also were coming out of many, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But rebuking them, He would not allow them to speak, because they knew Him to be the Christ. 42 When day came, Jesus left and went to a secluded place; and the crowds were searching for Him, and came to Him and tried to keep Him from going away from them. 43 But He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose.” 44 So He kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea

Luke 4:38-44 New American Standard Bible (NASB)


It is Sabbath morning after an eventful service at the synagogue. Peter invites Jesus over for dinner, but cautions him, “Master, it will take a little longer to put the meal on the table. My mother-in-law is sick, and Miriam has to do everything herself. Could you look at Miriam’s mother when you come? (Although this is unconfirmed, some research shows that Miriam is Saint Peter’s wife. Research also shows that Saint Peter’s name could have been Cephus)

Jesus glances over at Peter with just the trace of a smile, and follows him in the bright Saturday sun through the narrow streets to Peter’s house. Inside the room, Jesus takes a moment for his eyes to adjust to the dark. In the corner on a mat is the, old woman, her body one moment wracked with chills, and then burning up with fever. She is moaning softly.

Miriam draws Peter aside. “Peter, mother is worse. I’m afraid for her.”

Nevertheless, Jesus has already moved to where the suffering woman lies and bends over her. Speaking a word of rebuke to the fever, he touches her hand, and then helps her up.

Peter is saying, “Master, mother isn’t at all well….” but Jesus stops him saying, “Peter, she’ll be fine. She’s well now.”

“Miriam,” crackles the old woman, wonderfully spry considering her bout with influenza. “Let me help you….”


What does Jesus’ ministry of laying on of hands for healing teach us about him?

  • How did Jesus treat the sick people he encountered that afternoon and evening in Capernaum? What kind of example does that set for us to follow?
  • Which was the more important motivator for Jesus: compassion or duty? Did they ever conflict?
  • Why is it so hard to maintain a Quiet Time? What have you found that enables you to set aside this time. Any tips to share with the rest of us.

Lessons for Apostles

What are the take-away lessons for apostles from the healing in Capernaum and Jesus’ call?

  • Jesus took time to individually minister to people, even after “normal” working hours.
  • Jesus took a Quiet Time away from others to hear from his father.
  • Jesus’ sense of mission from talking to his Father allowed him to look past the constant requests for ministry from needy people to see the bigger picture. Without perspective, the good can be the enemy of the best.

Before we conclude, let me ask you a personal question:

  • Do you practice a personal Quiet Time at least five days a week?

You do not have to tell me how difficult it is — I already know. 🙂 However, DO you? If you are serious about growing as an apostle, this step is indispensable for you. In encourage you to persist in carving out even a few minutes on a regular basis. The rewards are much greater than the sacrifice.


Lord, what a privilege it is to observe you as you care for people. Yet I see that you care for your Father’s will more than even the people. Help me to keep that essential balance in my own life. Help me to spend time with you so the time I spend with people will be more power-filled. Forgive me where I fall short. I love you. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

There is a longer version of this, containing narrative for the verses. If you would like to read the entire lesson, please feel free to contact me:

Paul Tanner