Ministry of Jesus

This Sunday’s Gospel concludes the paradigmatic ‘day’ of Jesus ministry. He heals one individual – Simon’s mother-in-law – then at dusk, after the Sabbath has ended, the place is flooded with people bringing their sick and possessed. “Immediately”, “straightaway”, “all” – these words are repeatedly used in these few verses and underline the vibrancy of Jesus’ ministry and how readily he drew people in their need.

The response of Simon’s mother-in-law is an example for all followers. The verb for her service is a significant one for Mark: it is used of the angels who served Jesus (1:13), the women who stood beneath his cross (15: 41) and of the service of the Son of Man (10:45) both in his living and dying. This story is not just a homely little miracle but offers a paradigm of the proper response to the Good News of Jesus.

After this extraordinary day, Jesus makes a concerted effort to get away and pray. Having burst on the religious scene in such a manner and having had such an overwhelming response from the people to his power, he goes away to commune with his Father. When Peter and his companions ‘hunt’ him down – yes that element of desperation is in the text- he responds with calm decisiveness. He knows why he has come and he will not allow the short term demands of people to deflect him from it. [Aapted Rev Kyme Himes]