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Mothers-in-law - a different story

February 4, 2024 - Rev. Dr. Jan Remer-Osborn

Mark 1:29-39

I don’t know if this scripture grabs me more because I am becoming a mother-in-law or that my daughter soon will have a mother in law.

We always joke about them.

A husband and wife had a fight.
Wife called her mom: "He fought with me again, I am coming to stay with you."
Mom: "No dear, he must pay for his mistake. I am coming to stay with you!"

Maybe I’ll keep that one for the future.

Just prior our story Jesus healed a man with an unclean spirit in the Capernaum synagogue. He leaves the public space, a synagogue, a public place for men and enters into a house.  Hearth and home, a private place, where women live,  a place of intimacy.  Not a crowd, but a family.   Jesus, again breaks Jewish law, following a higher one, as he heals on the Sabbath.  Yet, this is different, this is private, this is personal, the relative of his own disciple.

Jesus “came and took her by the hand and lifted her up.” Jesus simply “raises her up.” “…and the fever left her and she served them.” Simon Peter’s mother-in-law is ἠγέρθη (eherse) raised up by Jesus, a word that for Mark and us evokes a powerful meaning because it also describes what happens to Jesus in Mark, 16:6. A young man said, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here.”

Diakoneo, to serve is used by Jesus to describe the core of his ministry in Mark 10:45, “For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and to give his life a ransom for many.”  “To serve” rather than “to be served” was Jesus’ mission and hopefully is ours as well.

Jesus also tell us “to go and make disciples of all nations,…(Matt. 28:18)

While worshipping Jesus is right and good, this is not what he commands us to do.  We need to do the work, he can no longer do.  We are his legs and his legacy, and he is depending on us.

Read a bible verse daily, pray, and then go out and help someone.  Serve them.  You will be blessed each day as Jesus will be with you every day until the end of this present age. And he will raise you up.  Thanks be to God. Amen

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