2. JESUS AROUSES FAITH
Background: The brothers Simon Peter and Andrew were
from Bethsaida. They might have moved to Capernaum as a
consequence of Simon’s marriage, settled in the
wife’s home and continued the profession of fisherman.
Jesus had just moved into the same town and called those two
brothers and their fishing companions James and John to be his
disciples (1:16-20). Our text tells about the first Sabbath of
Jesus in Capernaum when he had just preached in the synagogue
and driven a demon out of a man. After the service, Simon called
Jesus, James and John into his house for the Sabbath meal.
Meanwhile, his mother-in-law had got a malaria attack. Malaria is
a life-threatening disease for an old person.
- What had Simon’s wife and mother-in-law maybe thought
when the breadwinners of the family stopped fishing and left to
be with Jesus (see also 1:17-18)?
- What do you think Simon’s wife’s feelings might
have been when the men were in the synagogue and the mother lay
sick to death in the back room? What about the children’s
- Whose idea might have been that Jesus and fishing partners
were invited to eat? Think of various possibilities.
- What does it show that Simon and his wife did not ask Jesus
for a miracle of healing?
- What does a person usually experience when getting a high
fever? If you have personal experience or professional knowledge
of this matter, let others know.
- Jesus took the mother-in-law by the hand and helped her up
(31). Jesus did not cure other sick people in this way. Why did
he do so this time? (How did Jesus take into account the nature
of the patient’s illness? Why didn’t Jesus say
anything in this situation? How does noises sound like in the
ears of a fever patient?)
- How does recovering from a very high fever normally happen?
(How long does it take before the patient can get up?)
- Imagine what the mother-in-law experienced in the very moment
she opened her eyes? (What did she see in front of him?)
- At which moment did faith come into the mother-in-law’s
- What does it show that the mother-in-law immediately began to
- How do you think Peter’s mother-in-law found the
situation where his son-in-law began to follow Jesus and left
them alone, without a breadwinner and supporter for the family?
- From now on, the mother-in-law’s home was also
Jesus’ home (see e.g. 2:1). Consider how Simon’s
wife’s and mother-in-law’s lives changed when Jesus
and his friends walked in and out of their home between their
Verses 32-34. Sabbath ended at sunset. In the dark people
didn’t usually move.
- Why didn’t these people wait for the next morning, but
instead they took the sick to the mother-in-law’s house in
- What was the faith of the Capernaum people in Jesus like at
the end of that Sabbath? What did they think who Jesus was?
- What does it show that Jesus didn’t ask anyone’s
faith, but healed all the sick brought to him?
- Think about why only one in a hundred is healed in the
healing meetings of our time? (Why are no miracles needed in our
time to the same extent as during Jesus’ public ministry?)
- Why weren’t the demons allowed to say aloud who Jesus
was (cf. 1:23-25)?
Verses 35-39. Jesus’ evangelistic campaign in
Capernaum lasted only one day.
- Compare Jesus’ morning with your morning.
- Why did Simon and his friends go after Jesus? What was their
- Why didn’t Jesus take advantage of the popularity he
had gained in his new home town?
- Read verses 38-39 and think about why the Christian church
has not spread everywhere in the world even in 2,000 years?
- What do you think about it that later Jesus had to shout a
woe cry against these cities because they had seen his great
miracles, but did not repent (Matt. 11:20-23)?
- What was the significance of this Sabbath to Simon’s
Glad tidings: Our text is about the one-sided love
of Jesus. He healed Simon’s mother-in-law though no one did
even ask for that. He healed folks in Capernaum, even though he
knew they would not repent. He died on the cross for the whole
world though the majority of the world rejected him. Today he is
coming through this gospel text to you and your family to help
you in your present distress.