Lenten Devotion Day 17

Family First

Peter’s Mother-in-law

It can be tough getting and keeping priorities straight. Some days, work gets in the way of family matters and other days, work has to take a back seat. I think, though, we can all agree on the importance of family.

Jesus called men in the community to follow Him in ministry. These men gave up their careers, left their families and spent 3 years traveling with Jesus. Much of their work kept them in their own community so I’m certain they saw their families on a regular basis but still, they made Jesus and His ministry their priority. Yet, in this brief account, Jesus shows that family is always important.

It’s hard to focus on the work at hand when you’re worried about the health of a loved one. Simon’s mother-in-law was sick with a fever, a very serious thing in those days since any number of things could cause a fever and many of them were difficult if not impossible to diagnose and treat.

The disciples spoke to Jesus, telling Him about the crisis in Simon’s family. Jesus immediately went to Simon’s house and healed his mother-in-law. Not just healed her but made her completely well so she was able to immediately get up and serve them.

I remember a time when I was very young. I suffered from severe asthma. Serious attacks often came in the middle of the night when I would be moved to the recliner in the living room, my parents keeping watch in case things got worse.

One night, I had a very serious attack. I still remember crying for my grandmother. No one else could help me so, in the middle of the night, my parents called and my grandmother came in a taxi to take care of me. Having her there helped calm me and soon my asthma settled down. My parents would have done ANYTHING to help me that night and on other long nights.

Simon would have done ANYTHING to help his mother-in-law, to ease the concern of his family. Jesus was able to offer the help he needed. These days, we must remember our priorities when illness strikes our family. We must take the steps necessary to give aid and comfort to those in need. Finally, we must call on Jesus to take them by the hand and lift them up. A wonderful prescription then AND now.

Discussion Questions

1. Do you sometimes struggle to get priorities straight when family members become ill?

2. How do you handle the illness of a child when your job doesn’t allow you time to care for them?

3. What steps do you take when family members become ill?

4. Talk to your children about their responsibilities when members of your extended family become ill?

5. Do you always offer up prayer when a member of your family is ill?

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