29: Healings in Capernaum
Jesus and His disciples left Capernaum's synagogue and went to the home of Simon Peter and Andrew. There was sorrow in the house, for the mother of Peter's wife lay in bed sick. She was in the grip of a burning fever.
When Jesus found out, He went to her bed, took her hand in His, and got her to sit up. At once the fever disappeared.
The woman was able to get out of bed. Feeling strong and fit again, she was soon busy in the house with her usual activities. She prepared food for Peter, Andrew and the guests.
The sabbath was drawing to a close. The tops of the mountains surrounding the Sea of Galilee shone in the evening sunlight, but it was already twilight on the water, in the valley and in the quiet town of Capernaum.
Then the people came down the streets and alleys. They came from all corners of the town toward the house where Jesus was staying. A strange looking crowd gathered in front of the house.
Blind people were led to the door. Cripples hobbled on crutches. Those who were possessed by demons were tied up and brought to Jesus. People who were too sick or wounded to walk were carried.
All that day, after they heard what had happened in the synagogue, these unfortunates had waited for a chance to go to Jesus. Because they feared the strict scribes and rabbis, they had not dared to go to Jesus for healing while it was still the sabbath.
But now, at last, the sabbath was officially over. Now a pitiable group stood outside the house and cried out for Jesus. All the misery of the town was brought together at His door.
Then Jesus came outside. He moved among the unfortunates and touched them with His special hands. When He touched people, pain went away and sickness fled. Even the cripples were restored. Eyes that had been shut for years were opened. Useless legs suddenly became strong. The dumb began to speak.
When He finally finished this mighty work, a crowd of happy, healthy people stood before Him. Rejoicing, they went their way. The cripples danced through the streets, the blind walked boldly back to their homes, and the sick carried the stretchers on which they had been borne. This was the great sabbath of their lives, the day of the Lord that they would never forget.
What happened that day in Capernaum had been foretold long before by the prophet Isaiah: "He had taken our diseases upon Himself and borne our pain."
Late that night, when everyone was sleeping, the door of the house where Jesus was staying swung open. The Savior stepped outside alone. He walked through the quiet, dark streets. He walked along the Sea of Galilee, where the waves shimmered softly in the first rays of morning light. He went into the dark hills and sought a desolate place. There, alone between the rocks, Jesus kneeled and prayed.
Above Him the sky grew pale. A bird began to sing. On the horizon, silent and majestic, the sun slowly rose. A new day was dawning. What new difficulties would it bring?