Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Jesus: "He Cares for You"

So with an adrenaline rush--with short breaths and pounding hearts--the four disciples follow Jesus out of the synagogue where the 'church fight' occurred and into the home of Peter. Peter, Andrew, James and John are Jesus' fishing buddies, now.

Peter's mother-in-law is blasted out of commission by a fever. Fevers in Jesus' day were diagnosed as illnesses in themselves, not viewed as symptomatic of infection(s). And you know the saying, "When mother-in-law isn't happy, ain't nobody happy." Peter was greeted at the door by his wife, "Where you been?"

"I, ah, I was with..."

"Your Mom is down for the count. I need you to go down to Walsteingreens and get a poltice."

"Well, ah, this demon, ah, and Jesus..."

"Quit your blabbering and get Mom a poltice."

"Yes, dear."

Nothing to bring down a rush like a sick mother-in-law.

But by the time this exchange between Peter and his wife is over, Mom, perky as a young ewe, comes prancing into the room asking, "Anybody hungry? ...Don't look at me like that?" She reports, with a dreamy tone in her voice, "This young man came in, saw me in my outrageous feverish squaller, oui vey no make up , and he takes me by...the.....hand....and, Selah!, here I am. All better. Who wants shishkabobs?"

"Pete, forget the poltice."

"Yes, dear."

What is intriguing about this incident is that Mark doesn't even mention Jesus by name. (The NIV wants "to help us out" and inserts Jesus' name where Mark just used pronouns.) The point is Jesus isn't into making a name for himself as a fancy-shmancy healer. From the uproar in the synagogue to the obscurity of a room in Peter's house, Jesus is about serving--dramatic if he has to be and quiet and unassuming as well.

Peter and the family are relieved. Jesus had called Peter to be his follower. Now Jesus assures Peter that his commitment to Jesus is matched by Jesus' commitment to Peter and Peter's family. Years later Peter would write, "Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you [and your child, your father, your mother-in-law"...].

The sun sets...Sabbath is over. What's this? What's that sound? Peter looks out the doorway. Hundreds of people are coming, bringing diseased and demon-possessed relatives and friends.

"Put the teapot on, Honey. It's going to be a late night," Peter says to his wife.

"Yes, dear."


At 10/13/2006 4:00 AM, Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

Nice to imagine what it was like. And I think this can be a helpful part of our mediating on Scripture, and the Story.

Jesus, in a true sense I think, calls the right kind of attention to himself, by not calling attention to himself, as you point out here.

And we're to live the same way, except that the light we shine to the world is certainly not our own, but of Jesus.

Thanks, John.

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