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The Scriptorium

Healed to Serve

Just as we are. Luke 4.38, 39

Luke 4: Part 2 (3)

Pray Psalm 146.1, 2, 10.
Praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD, O my soul!
While I live I will praise the LORD;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being…
The LORD shall reign forever—
Your God, O Zion, to all generations.
Praise the LORD!

Sing Psalm 146.1, 2, 10.
(Hallelujah! What a Savior!: Man of Sorrows)
Praise the Lord, my soul, give praise! While I live, His Name I’ll raise
and exalt Him all my days – God forever reigns in Zion!

Read Luke 4.31-39; meditate on verses 38, 39.

1. Whom did Jesus heal? How?

2. How did she respond?

Jesus demonstrated His power over sin and corruption both in casting out demons and by overcoming adverse effects of the fall into sin. God did not intend people to become ill, to languish with fever until they died a miserable death. Sickness, violence, corruption, deceit, oppression – these are all consequences of the fall into sin into which our first parents plunged us by their disobedience.

But Jesus came to overturn the old regime of demonic destruction and replace it with a new rule of righteousness and restoration. He came to make all things new, even to make a new creation. And He calls us to take part with Him in His Kingdom which is advancing without end.

Here we glimpse the workings of the rule of King Jesus. He identifies a need: One of His chosen ones is wracked with fever. Though our text does not say it, we know He is moved with compassion when His help is requested. Of course, He will help. It’s why He came. Standing over Peter’s mother-in-law, Jesus “rebuked the fever” – “Out of my court, cursed fever, and stop tormenting my servant!” Even bodily fevers obey the Word of the Lord!

Peter’s mother-in-law is completely healed. So what does she do? Does she run about telling everyone about how good Jesus has been to her? How wonderful it is to be healed? How you can be healed, too? Is she merely giddy with the excitement of what Jesus has done for her? Undoubtedly, she was filled with joy to be healed. But that joy led her to serve the people who had gathered in her house. This is the proper response of all who know the healing touch of Jesus for the forgiveness of sin and for all other troubles and traumas. Get up on your feet and look for ways to serve others with the grace that has been extended to you.

This is how the grace of Jesus spreads, so that thanks and praise to God increase (2 Cor. 4.15).

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
Holidays and seasons help us remember things so that we reflect on what has happened since the last time we celebrated and enjoyed the occasion. Sickness can have the same effect. Being ill causes us to stop and think about things, to consider how we use our time, and how our relationship with the Lord is growing, or not. Being sick is certainly less pleasant for reflection than holidays and seasons, but it can be equally instructive.

After we have recovered, we can get busy about living even more wholeheartedly for the Lord than before we were afflicted. Just like Simon Peter’s dear mother-in-law (Lk. 4.39). As the Matthew Henry quote for today states, “Where Christ gives a new life, in recovery from sickness, it should be a new life, spent more than ever in His service, to His glory.”

In 2 Kings 20.1-21.2 we read about someone who did the opposite. Hezekiah was sick. He was told by the prophet Isaiah that he was going to die. He did not take the news well and prayed most persuasively to God. In turn, God told Isaiah to tell Hezekiah, “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you…and I will add to your days fifteen years.” We know that he made some ghastly mistakes as king during his new life, but worst of all, he had a son who was a disaster for the people of Judah. When Hezekiah finally died, his twelve-year-old son became king and reigned for fifty-five years in Jerusalem. “And he did evil in the sight of the LORD…he did much evil…to provoke Him to anger.” Seems like the years weren’t well spent.

As happened often in Scripture, real courage and obedient living are seen in a person who remained nameless and obscure. This fact should be very encouraging to all of us. God sees, God knows, and God remembers those who trust and obey Him. Peter’s mother-in-law was just such a person who became the heroine of her story, whereas a named king of Judah was the squanderer of his.

Peter’s mother-in-law was carefully and lovingly healed by the Lord Jesus. Every time we recover from anything, we can claim the same. He has healed us for loving and obedient service to Him. But at some point, we will all tangle with the final enemy death (1 Cor. 15.53, 54). The important thing, then, is how we lived for Jesus while we had our life and breath.

As the missionary C.T. Studd wrote:
Only one life, ‘twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.
And when I am dying, how happy I’ll be,
If the lamp of my life has been burned out for Thee.

Healed to Serve.

For reflection

1. Why does it make sense that we should serve the Lord Who has healed us from our sins?

2. When we are ill or otherwise afflicted, how can we keep our eyes on the Lord so we will rejoice in Him? Why should we do so?

3. Whom will you reach with the grace of God today?

Where Christ gives a new life, in recovery from sickness, it should be a new life, spent more than ever in his service, to his glory. Our business should be to spread abroad Christ’s fame in every place, to beseech him in behalf of those diseased in body or mind, and to use our influence in bringing sinners to him, that his hands may be laid upon them for their healing. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Luke 4.31-44

Pray Psalm 146.5-10.
Pray for the needs of people in your Personal Mission Field. Pray for the lost, that they might hear the Good News of Jesus and believe in Him.

Sing Psalm 146.5-10.
(Hallelujah! What a Savior!: Man of Sorrows)
Blessed are they whose hope resides in the Lord, Christ at His side.
By Him heav’n and earth abide – God forever reigns in Zion!

He is faithful evermore; He gives justice to the poor,
feeds the hungry from His store – God forever reigns in Zion!

Jesus sets the pris’ner free, heals blind eyes that they may see,
lifts those burdened painfully – God forever reigns in Zion!

He the righteous loves the best; wand’rers in His grace are blessed.
Needy ones in Him find rest – God forever reigns in Zion!

T. M. and Susie Moore

You can listen to a summary of last week’s Scriptorium study by going to our website,, and clicking the Scriptorium tab for last Sunday. You can download all the studies in our Luke series by clicking here.

What is grace? How may we have more of it? For what does God grant His grace to us? These questions and more are addressed in our book, Grace for Your Time of Need. You can order a free copy by clicking here.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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