”Live in the Joy of Serving ”
The Gospel of Mark 1:29-34 is paralleled in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. It is said to be based on an oral tradition that was circulated in the early church. We would like to take it as a description of the amazing events of God as conveyed by Simon (Peter). No, is not the vital point of family evangelism implied?
Simon and Simo’s brothers, James and John, the sons of Andrew and Zebedee, had already become disciples of the Lord Jesus, as is written in Chapter 1, verse 16 and following. They made the decision to leave their nets, fathers, and employers and follow the Lord Jesus at His invitation, ”Follow Me. But the Lord Jesus returns to the home of Simon and Andrew.” Did Simon’s family plead with the Lord Jesus?
Then a strange thing happens. Simon’s mother was lying in bed with a fever, and the people immediately told Jesus about her. Jesus went to ’er, took her by the hand, and woke her up. “The fever went away, and she entertained them all” (vv.30, 31). The phrase "entertained: meaning to serve, to take care of food, clothing’ and shelter" is in the imperfect past tense, which implies continuity.
Simon's mother-in-law continued to serve the Lord Jesus after this. Not once or twice, but repeatedly, over and over again, she must have continued to offer hospitality. The Bible describes those who were watching the horrific scene when the Lord Jesus was crucified as "these women are those who followed Jesus and cared (the same word as hospitality) for Him when He was in Galilee" (chap. 15, v.41). (v. 41).
Simon's mother-in-law must have lived in the joy of serving the Lord Jesus. Furthermore, we must not forget the important teaching that the Lord Jesus gave at the risk of His own life. He said, "He who wants to be great among you should be a servant of all, and he who wants to be first should be a servant of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many" (10:43-4). (v. 5) The word serve here again is the same word as entertain. It is the salvation and redemption of the cross of the Lord Jesus. Simon's mother-in-law must have bet on that.
What is surprising is Simon's wife. Paul states in Corinthians I, Chapter 9 verse 5, Paul says, "Have we not the right to walk with wives who are believers, like the other apostles, the brethren of the Lord, and Kephas (Peter)? Peter's wife has become a Christian. The attitude of his mother, who continued to serve the Lord Jesus, must have had some influence on him. Let us not forget that the fear of God and willingness to serve others is a step toward evangelism.