It’s all about time and timing. That’s what we’re reminded of in Ecclesiastes. With Jesus, timing was everything. And time was everything. Everything in His ministry in His incarnation followed a plan. But that didn’t mean He neglected people. Rather, for those who were truly in need, He seemed to have all the time in the world. We talk in the Church about having a relationship with Christ. But having a relationship means having time for the other person and actually spending it with that person. Jesus demonstrated that in the miracles we’re looking at today.
Then He got up and left the synagogue, and entered Simon’s home Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Him to help her. And standing over her, He rebuked the fever, and it left her; and she immediately got up and waited on them.
While the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and laying His hands on each one of them, He was healing them. Demons also were coming out of many, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But rebuking them, He would not allow them to speak, because they knew Him to be the Christ.
– Luke 4:38-41, NASB
This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: “HE HIMSELF TOOK OUR INFIRMITIES AND CARRIED AWAY OUR DISEASES.” – Matthew 8:17, NASB
Jesus was ever conscious of ensuring He met the requirements of the prophecies that had preceded His coming. And here, in Capernaum, He fulfilled what was said in Isaiah 53:4 about bearing our griefs, which can also be translated sickness, and about carrying our sorrows away. Our Savior does this even today, more than willing to help us bear the burdens of life, to give us His strength and His comfort. We only need to turn to Him when we are hurting, when we are lonely, when we are lost, when we are fearful. Christ waits with open arms for His children, willing and ready to hear our problems and provide the peace only He can grant. How can we be sure of that? Look at how He carried out the healing one evening in Capernaum.
Leaving the synagogue, Jesus knew there was an issue with Peter’s mother-in-law. Peter was one of His. Peter had been called. We know that with the second miracle Christ simply told the father his son was healed and it was done. In Jesus’ busy schedule, he could have done the same with Peter. He could have said, “Peter, you know I just need to speak the word and it’ll be done. Your mother-in-law is well again.” But this isn’t the way Jesus healed her. He went to personally visit Peter’s mother-in-law. He made a point to go to her bedside and rebuke the fever. He didn’t have to do any of this. Yet He did. Then look at what happened after that. As people brought their sick and possessed Jesus stayed there and healed them or cast the demons that was plaguing them. We don’t have any evidence to show He sent anyone home empty-handed. We don’t have record of Jesus saying anything like, “Make an appointment,” or asking, “What do you have to offer me?” These are things of the world at large around us. They aren’t to be part of the Christian’s world. To do so would be to fly in the face of Jesus’ own testimony and action. Jesus had time for those who truly needed Him. He has time for us now. It is only fitting that we have the time for those who need us, too.
And yes, Jesus was on a schedule. We see this in how He handled the demons. They attempted to shout out and bring attention to Him. However, Jesus didn’t let them speak. They knew He was the Messiah and to bring too much attention at this point in His earthly ministry would mean the plan would be disrupted. Everything He came to do might not get done. And besides, that evening wasn’t about Jesus. It was about the people He was tending to. See, our God has ever right to ask us to be humble and to be a servant of all. We are reminded of this in Philippians 2 by Paul. But we see it here, demonstrated by the actions of our Savior, who put the needs of the folks coming to Him above His own. While Peter’s mother-in-law immediately recovered and was able to wait on the disciples, the truth of the matter is that on this evening Jesus was waiting on those who were bringing the sick and possessed to Him.
We all have busy schedules. It seems like we all have more to do than we have time to do it. Something has to give. But something shouldn’t be the relationships we can establish or build upon. Christ knows exactly what we’re going through. He dealt with the same pressures Himself in situations like what was covered in these verses. But Jesus didn’t take any shortcuts. He didn’t put anybody off. He didn’t say, “Hey, respect my time!” He instead simply ministered, bringing comfort and healing to those who came to Him. If only we could master this lesson. If only we saw the time we have with each other for how valuable it really is. And this is especially true of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Where have you been spending your time lately? Has it been on people or on personal pursuits? Has it been on the Savior or on self-satisfying activities? If we’re to be like Christ, we need to become more and more selfless, giving of our time freely, in imitation of the Savior who already has done so for each one of us.