Summary: Fatigue. Anybody out there who never deals with that? If so, please write the book—it will be a best-seller! I hear from people all the time about how stressed they are—it seems as if we have a hard time getting a handle on our obligations and time management. And how do we decide if our obligations are really necessary, or we just *think* they are?
Did you ever wonder if Jesus got tired? I don’t think I did, really. I mean he was God, after all. But he was also human. Fatigue? God?
Today’s scripture could be a day taken from the diary of a very busy man. The *meat* of this passage, though, is not the busyness (there is plenty of that) but what that very busy man does with his time. And his focus. And his fatigue.
Scripture: Isaiah 40:21-31; Mark 1:29-39
Full Service Video
At times, we are not as laser-like focused on our God given mission as Jesus was. It is easy to focus on ME. To allow my disease, my fever to sap my strength. To give in to the natural fatigue that comes from honest work and ministry. What did Jesus do? He got away. He took time off to spend in prayer. He rested with the Father who created the universe and gives strength to the weary.
Study Guide (Download PDF)
Read the text aloud. Then, read the text to yourself quietly. Read it slowly, as if you were very unfamiliar with the story.
- What are the possible reasons why Simon informs Jesus of his mother-in-law’s sickness?
- What is significant about the way Jesus heals Simon’s mother-in-law? Keep in mind it would have been taboo for a man to touch a woman who was not related to him.
- Some early Christians looked metaphorically at the fever of Simon’s mother-in-law. The fever was a stand in for anything that causes us to sin. What kinds of “fevers” have plagued your life in the past? What kinds of fevers do you suffer from now? How has Jesus healed you from those things in the past? How might Jesus heal you now?
- Simon’s mother-in-law’s first response is to get up and serve Jesus and his followers. What is this important? Have you gotten up after your healing and begun to serve?
- Why might Simon really want Jesus to stick around in Capernaum? What reason does Jesus give for moving on?
- Jesus exercised laser-like focus on his mission to proclaim the Kingdom of God all around. He refused to be tempted by the immediate and initial successes he enjoyed in Capernaum. As a church, are we ever tempted to go with whatever is successful at the expense of faithfulness to our mission?
- Jesus had a single-minded focus on his mission of preaching the Kingdom of God. Simon’s mother-in-law, once healed, became a servant of Jesus and supported his mission. As a church, the third part of our mission statement is to bear witness to the Kingdom of God. List some of the ministries in our church that help us do that:
- What keeps us from focusing on and participating in those ministries?
- Have an honest conversation about whether or not you are like Simon’s mother-in-law. Are you one who has been healed by God’s grace and is now serving and ministering? What would it take for you to take the next step toward faithful service and ministry?