And when Jesus entered Peter’s house, He saw his mother-in-law lying sick with a fever. He touched her hand, and the fever left her, and she rose and began to serve Him. That evening they brought to Him many who were oppressed by demons, and He cast out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: “He took our illnesses and bore our diseases.”Matthew 8:14- ESV
When Jesus touches you, He changes your life for the better. He restores your spirit and soul. He forgives your sin and reconciles your relationship to the Father. He even has the capacity to heal your sickness for the glory of God. But when Jesus touches your life and changes you, how do you respond? Do you respond with an attitude of gratitude, ready to serve Him in whatever way He needs you for the sake of the Kingdom? Or do you continue on your merry way accepting His grace as if it was owed to you?
The touch of Christ in our lives is always intended to inspire a Kingdom response. It is intended to shine a light on our Messiah who comes to take away the sins of the world. Too often we treat the touch of Jesus as if His primary purpose for coming to the world is to serve us. While it is true that He came to be a servant, He came to be the King of our hearts. When we treat Jesus as if He is nothing more than our genie granting wishes whenever we have a perceived need that will make our lives more convenient, what happens when He sovereignly chooses not to provide your desire?
A couple of interesting things to note in this passage to illuminate the grace of our God. First, Simon invited Jesus into His home and he didn’t restrict Jesus’ access or movement. As a result, not only was Jesus able to see his sick mother-in-law, He was able to touch her and heal her. Yes, we have already established that Jesus did not need to go in person to the centurion’s home to heal his servant, but it still required the invitation of the centurion inspired by faith in the one He knew could heal. Jesus doesn’t intrude where He is uninvited except where it is required to advance the purposes of the Father’s sovereign will and Kingdom purposes. He doesn’t force His love and grace upon us. He offers the gift of Himself in daily communion, but it is a gift that requires acceptance in order to realize the blessing.
Secondly, neither Simon nor his mother-in-law asked Jesus for healing. In fact, the healing that took place was at the full initiative of Jesus himself. He saw that she was sick with a fever. He saw that she was sick. He saw her. The single most important part of this entire passage is these two words: “He saw.” Jesus sees. He sees your situation. He sees what you are going through. He sees your pain. He sees your suffering. He sees your sickness. He sees your hopelessness. He sees your sin. He sees your isolation. He sees your rebellion. He sees your rejection. Yet He still loves you and He reaches out to touch you and restore you and reconcile you so that you might serve Him.
Finally, our service to the Kingdom, when performed with an attitude of gratitude for His grace, draws others to Him. There is no indication in this passage that Jesus left Simon’s house, but it is glaringly obvious that word got around as to what Jesus did and how she quickly responded by serving Him. And this drew others to their home in search of a touch from Jesus to restore their hearts, bodies, souls, and spirits. Not only did Simon’s mother serve the one who healed her out of gratitude, she and Simon opened their home for others to receive that same touch.
If you treat Jesus as a means to an end, what happens when you come to the end of your means? Time and again I see people make demands of Jesus like He owes us some material blessing. Jesus owes you nothing, but we owe Him everything! Jesus doesn’t owe you a new car or a house or even the designer clothes you think you deserve. The truth of the matter is because of our sin we deserve Hell. Because of our willful choices to disobey Him and reject Him in favor of our own selfish desires, because of our own self-inflated sense of self-worth, we are deserving of nothing more than to be cast out of Paradise for eternity.
But Jesus, in His great love and grace and mercy, wants to reach out and touch you and make you whole again. His touch is meant to inspire you to serve Him and His Kingdom and draw all people unto Him. Most importantly He sees you, but He will only touch you if you open the door of your heart and home to let Him in.
Note: Copyright of the video above is held by The Chosen Productions and VidAngel Studios. No copyright infringement is intended and the video is linked solely for educational purposes in keeping with fair use doctrines. As an additional side note, I highly recommend watching The Chosen. This program is without question one of the most original expressions of the gospel and gives unique insights into the personality of Jesus and the Biblical characters without compromising the heart and message of the Scriptures. To view The Chosen, you can download The Chosen app on your iPhone or Android device and stream through any streaming device (i.e., Roku, Amazon Fire, Chromecast, etc.) to your television.