Although recorded ever so briefly in God’s Word, three Gospels include the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law. Matthew 8:5, Mark 1:21 and Luke 4:31 all agree that Jesus was in Capernaum, and that Peter’s house was there. Mark makes it appear that Andrew, Peter’s brother, also lived there. Peter was married, but no children are mentioned. Peter’s wife’s mother lived with them, which was very common in their culture in Bible times and to this day. There is no father-in-law indicated, which implies that Peter’s mother-in-law was a widow. Mark also includes the fact that James and John were present to witness this healing miracle. Jesus was teaching in the synagogue every sabbath day, suggested by Luke’s Gospel. (4:31) Jesus was also likely staying at Peter’s home.
Matthew 8:14-15, Mark 1:30-31 and Luke 4:38-39 give all the details that can be known about this healing. After teaching in the synagogue, and dramatically setting a tormented man free from an evil spirit, Jesus and a few disciples went to Peter’s house. Luke, “the beloved physician” (Colossians 4:14) wrote that “Simon’s wife’s mother was sick with a high fever” and the meaning of “lying” in Matthew is equal to the Western idiom, “lying on her deathbed” or “at death’s door.” Jesus was at once informed of her condition, and acted without delay. Luke writes that Jesus “stood over her and rebuked the fever,” and Mark records that He “took her by the hand and lifted her up.” As soon as He touched her, the fever “left her.” She was immediately healed, and got up and served them.
Often the more spectacular miracles are remembered and taught, but to have three Gospel writers record this miracle clearly shows its importance to God. God cares about every person, and His will is always to heal and restore to health those who are suffering. Jesus never ignored an opportunity to heal or minister when someone had a need. This miracle also is a testimony to the woman’s faith. She was very sick, indeed close to death, but the words and touch of Jesus was all it took to get her back on her feet. She was a giver, indicated by her instantly resuming her service to those in the home. This, too, was yet another experience for Jesus’ disciples to see the will of God in action, to witness the personal attention given to one of God’s precious people.