Jesus Heals Many at Simon’s House
As soon as they left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them.
That evening, at sunset, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. And the whole city was gathered around the door. And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.
In the gospel of Mark, we often see Jesus enabling people to blend into their communities. Jesus acknowledges folk ostracized because of perceived shortcomings, be they physical, moral, or spiritual, and brings them back into community. For Jesus that was a costly exercise. It cost him energy and street cred. Often Jesus, in their place, took on their marginalization so that his physical, moral, and spiritual well- being was called into question. And there were few opportunities for him to recharge. When Jesus healed Simon’s mother- in- law, word soon got around and, it seems, by suppertime, the backyard was full of those seeking healing. Jesus was simply unable to move around without attracting much unwanted attention. The “Everlasting God” of Isaiah specializes in bringing the powerless to the fore and in giving courage to those who are afraid. Those who weary are called by name and given strength. Their eyes are opened to the reserves that reside within. Perhaps effective discipleship today consists of blending well with our communities and bearing witness to Jesus who stands out from the crowd, offering wholeness and acceptance to all. Discipleship then becomes an enabling ministry in which people are alerted to their own strengths and encouraged to experience the wholeness that is God’s will for all people.