Summary: The healing of Peter’s Mother-in-law. Not only must we invite Jesus into our hearts, but also into our homes.

29And immediately after they came out of the synagogue, they came into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30Now Simon’s mother-in-law was lying sick with a fever; and immediately they spoke* to Jesus about her. 31And He came to her and raised her up, taking her by the hand, and the fever left her, and she waited on them.

32When evening came, after the sun had set, they began bringing to Him all who were ill and those who were demon-possessed. 33And the whole city had gathered at the door. 34And He healed many who were ill with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He was not permitting the demons to speak, because they knew who He was.

35In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there. 36Simon and his companions searched for Him; 37they found Him, and said* to Him, “Everyone is looking for You.” 38He said* to them, “Let us go somewhere else to the towns nearby, so that I may preach there also; for that is what I came for.” 39And He went into their synagogues throughout all Galilee, preaching and casting out the demons.(Mark 1:29-39)

I’ll never forget the morningI walked into my in-laws house and my mother-in-law and father-in-law were sitting at the table reading the newspaper. My father-in-law is a great guy. But, he is not one to tell a lot of jokes. When I walked in, he looked up and saw me and said, “Hi, Steve.” When I returned the greeting, he just kind of smiled and said to me, “Hey, do you know what the definition of ‘happiness’ is?” I wasn’t sure how to respond, so I said, “well, what is yours?” He just sort of smiled and said, “opening the refrigerator door and seeing your mother-in-laws picture on the milk carton.” As his wife smacked him with the newspaper, I figured it probably wasn’t a good idea to laugh to hard.”

You know, Mother-in-laws have been the brunt of jokes since the beginning of time. Well, I guess that isn’t exactly accurate since Adam and Eve didn’t have a mother-in-law. But probably shortly after that, Mother-in-law jokes became popular. Out of curiosity, I went to the internet this week and you wouldn’t believe how many web sights that there are that are dedicated to horrible mother-in-law stories and jokes.

One thing that I have found out in the last year and a half, becoming an in-law is no easy task. In her book "How to Be the Perfect Mother-in-Law," Camille Russo likens the transition to “feeling as if you’ve been strapped to a chair with a sock stuck in your mouth.”

Suddenly, your well-meaning advice is no longer accepted as well-meaning. The child you so lovingly nurtured into adulthood suddenly has a spouse ready to scrutinize your every word and action.

Mike Scholl’s relationship with the woman he now describes as “the perfect mother-in-law,” had a sour beginning. Before Mike married Kathleen Cronin, her parents invited Mike and his parents to dinner. Here’s where things turned sour. As mother-in-law- to-be Agnes Cronin describes it, “we always drink skim milk at our house. But Mike only likes whole milk.”

Wanting to accommodate her future son-in-law, Agnes bought whole milk especially for Mike. Unfortunately, the milk was sour. Not wanting to offend Agnes’ kind gesture, Mike drank it anyway without saying a word.

Today, 24 years later, Mike and Agnes get along great. “She’s always there when we need her, but never in the way or interfering,” the Fairfield man says. “She’s just a neat lady.” And, according to Mike, she’s a great cook. But, he brings his own milk.

Although we may not admit it all of the time, most of us really do like our mother-in-law. I know that before she passed away, I loved Deby’s mom. She was a wonderful woman with a big heart, a great laugh and a love for the Lord.

I also understand Peter’s desire to see his mother-in-law healed. Let’s take a quick look at this miracle this morning. This is an important event in the discipleship of Peter.

First, let’s take a minute to think about Peter’s family.

This miracle gives a rare glimpse into a very interesting family. One of the things that we must understand is that family life 2000 years ago was vastly different than family life in 21st century America. First of all, family members had very specific roles.

In this case, the head of the family would be Peter. Peter was the oldest male child. He would be expected to provide for the family’s well being. He would be the bread winner – his brother would help him, but it would be mainly his responsibility. He would also be the family spokesman. He would make the important decisions for all of the members. If a son were to marry, he would have to find the bride. If a daughter were to marry, he would approve the marriage and receive the dowry.

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