“So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up.”
First, the rest of the story…
“As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told Jesus about her. So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them.”
…because I don’t like to comment on a verse in the Word of God without knowing why it’s there.
Jesus went to her.
He went to her. As far as we know, she never sought Jesus out. He sought her after He heard her story from her son-in-law. He met her right where she was. Sick. Weak. Helpless to do anything for herself or anyone else. In that society…worthless.
But He went to her.
Jesus took her hand.
He touched her. He got her attention. Gently. Filled with compassion and understanding for her suffering and pain. Filled with love stronger than death. Filled with the Power that created the universe. More than anyone else in that room, He understood. He didn’t speak to her, nor she to Him.
He just took her hand in His.
Jesus helped her up.
He did the work for her. She didn’t have to do anything but submit to His help. He lifted her up out of that bed and put her on her feet. While she was still weak. Still feverish. Still hurting.
“The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.”
~1 Thessalonians 5:34 (NIV)
She did nothing to earn, deserve, or even request His help. He was faithful, compassionate, and true. He did everything for her. She did nothing except give in to His help.
And He got her to her feet.
Then the fever left her.
Once she submitted, and allowed Jesus to help her, her fever left her. No words were exchanged. No audience. No fight. Just obedience, followed by healing. Complete, painless, drugless, real healing.
Then she began to serve.
After she was healed by the Master, she began to serve. In her gratitude for His Love, she began to wait on them.
During this time in history, men usually didn’t even speak to women they weren’t directly related to, let alone touch them. This story is one more illustration of Jesus’ ability to level the playing field. He came and showed men how a woman was truly supposed to be treated. Somehow, I wonder if Simon was only telling Jesus about his MIL in order to warn Jesus that there was fever in the home, and that He should be careful not to catch it. The Bible doesn’t say. Either way, Jesus did what NO OTHER MAN IN HIS RIGHT MIND would do in those days.
Bunny trail ended…
I genuinely believe this woman waited on Jesus out of love and gratitude for His healing touch, and not out of obligation to her duties as a woman. There was probably a certain amount of joy and grace in her movements that betrayed her love for this Man whom she probably now knew to be the Saviour of the world.
Of course, that last paragraph is what I see in this story… Nothing more, nothing less. It’s just my impression based on my sentiments as a woman. 🙂
With us, the process is the same…
We are sick, weak, feverish, and probably infectious.
Someone prays for us – tells Jesus about us (with or without good intentions…you never know).
Jesus comes to us in the middle of our pain. He never waits for us to come to Him. (Romans 8:29, 30; Ephesians 1:5, 11)
He touches us. Meets us where we’re at. Shows us His scars. Lets us know that He has suffered too.
He helps us up. He does the work. We let Him pull us to our feet.
Then, we serve Him, bringing Him joy. And in the process, we know that we know that we know…that God is good. And we learn to walk into Love Himself. Never desiring to leave that precious place ever again.