Getting better the "God way"

The gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke (aka the Synoptic Gospels) all record the same story of Jesus healing the mother-in-law of Peter. Before we go further, let's just get this out of our system - Jesus really must have been testing and refining Peter to bring his mother in law back from a serious sickness! Regardless of your view on this, there is an aspect of this story mentioned only in Luke's account that bears some reflection.

In Matthew and Mark, Jesus places His hands on Peter's mother-in-law to heal her but in Luke's account we see that Jesus "rebuked" the fever and it then left her. There are lots of examples in the gospels of Jesus rebuking demons or unclean spirits that are afflicting people, but here there is no mention of an unclean spirit, just a fever. I'm sure it was a serious fever but we are given no indication that it was caused by anything extra-normal. So why would Jesus rebuke a common sickness?

I believe that Jesus rebuked this woman's fever because it was operating contrary to the body's effective level. True, a fever is a response to an invading organism in the body, yet couple these things together and you've got something that goes against the body's normal healthy state. We simply function better when we are well. Luke was a physician. He knew that fevers were the body's way of fighting back, yet he carefully records that Jesus rebuked this fever. This fever was making this woman suffer and Jesus got rid of it.

When we pray for healing we don't often (or at least I don't) do so while rebuking some kind of evil spirit who is giving us that headache or messing with our heart or making our knee hurt. We ask for God to heal us or those who are afflicted. And this is good and right because it is the "God way". Instead of focusing on the "why" one is sick, we must now focus on the "how" this person will get better.

Medical technology is awesome and I am fascinated by all of the innovation and research that is helping to change lives. Yet every aspect of this field is severely limited compared to the absolute healing power of God. We pray for the doctors and nurses and technicians to be well-equipped and wise in treating our loved ones, yet we pray first and foremost to Jehovah Rapha, the Lord who heals (Exodus 15:26). Psalm 147:3 reminds us that God is the one who heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. And Isaiah 53:5 records the most profound healing of all - by the wounds of Jesus Christ we are healed. Healing goes way beyond the physical, doesn't it?

Wayne Macemore is a recipient of this healing. My second oldest daughter Reynolds was healed at 8 days old of a blood clot in her brain that "mysteriously disappeared" overnight. God simply rebuked what was affecting their bodies and told those issues to take a hike. Our Lord isn't just the mighty warrior over the big issues in life. He also takes time to heal the smaller wounds too.

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