Scripture Reference: Luke 4:38-39
Very briefly in Luke chapter 4 beginning in verse 38, we see Jesus entering the home of Simon (not peter) and finding Peter’s sick mother in law in bed. Before going deeper into the scripture I would like for you to think about your mother for just a second. Now think of the last time that you saw her visibly sick. Now think about your dad, and the last time you saw him sick. The mental image that most people have of these instances probably differs greatly from the image of their sick mom to the image of their sick dad. The last time that my mother was sick (and I knew it) she got up, cooked breakfast for my family, made sure everyone had all that they needed, then took some medicine to get some relief from her illness.
On the other hand the last time that I saw my father sick, he had a common cold and would hardly move from the bed. He wanted my mom to bring him his meds, and long story short he wanted to be catered to because he was sick. Apparently this is not the case with just my family either. Shortly after this I noticed many posts on the internet about men being babies when they get sick while women typically hold everything together and push through while they fall ill. After a lot of thought I had to admit that there had to be some merit to what was being said. After all, I remember many instances of my father having a cold growing up while I hardly ever remember my mom being sick, much less making mention of it. When she did get really sick everything in the house was notably a little different.
This takes us back to our text where Simon’s mother in law is really sick. She is in the house laying down which is not typical of of most biblical mothers mentioned. Most of the time they are praying or working or at least doing something noteworthy but certainly not ever just laying there. It is also worth mentioning that there are actually only these two verses dedicated to Simon’s mother and her name is not even mentioned. So what makes her significant other than the fact that Jesus heals her you might ask? I mean Jesus comes in and heals her which is awesome (He is always awesome), but what does she contribute? In verse 39, this pressing question is answered and you have to pay very close attention to even catch it otherwise it will go right over your head. After Jesus heals her the bible says that “immediately she arose and ministered to them”.
Two things worth taking note of here: first being that the bible says immediately. After we are delivered from the things that bind us or hinder our service we tend to look back at them, not so much wishing to go back to them but more to just look at the situation and assess the differences from then and now. But why pause and look back? Why do we spend unnecessary time on things from our past that were clearly holding us back. Simon’s mother didn't waste any time with the blessing that Jesus had given her in that she immediately got up and began to minister to those in the home. The second thing to note was that she ministered immediately. Now let's not get this confused and think that she got up and started preaching right away for there are many different kinds of ministry. We can minister in song, dance, giving, evangelism, teaching, a multitude of different ways. In some translations of the bible this verse reads “immediately she got up and prepared a meal for them”. So let me make it more clear and universal.
Right away she got up and SERVED those in her home. This is the mark of a Godly mother. A true woman of God always ministers to others when the opportunity presents itself and will strive to do so immediately. Today we know these women because when we enter their presence we feel them ministering with their love, their time, the efforts and their wisdom. And like Simon’s mother in law, they don't serve so that their name will be called. They serve because it is what God has placed on their hearts to do. Recognized or not, honored or not they continuously answer the call of ministry through serving others.
Be thankful for these mothers in your life as you reflect on this passage this mothers day. Whether it be your mom, a friends mom, or even a woman with no children of her own but has been a mother figure in your life. Again, her name or title isn't important,but you will recognize her and be grateful to her due to her services rendered in your life.
Happy Mother's Day
Michael E. McIntosh, Jr.
Gospel Temple Missionary Baptist Church - Pine Bluff, Arkansas