This week I took a trip to our local market. The veggie market is right across the street from the fish market. As I walked around the market, the stench from the fish market across the street was quite overwhelming. I am sure there was some pleasant smelling things in the veggie market. But, the stench from the rotting fish across the street just over powered anything good, and all I could smell was the fish.
Our lives can be kindof like what I experienced the other day. We can have Jesus inside, but because of the stench of flesh is so strong on the outside, the sweet fragrance of Jesus just get’s overpowered by the stench of fleshly self.
Matthew 8:14-17; Mark 1:29-34; Luke 4:38-41
- As you read each of the gospels’ account of how Jesus healed Peter’s mother in-law, what observations do you have? How does that relate to the overall theme each gospel writer was portraying?
- Why was it significant that people came after sundown?
- How many who came were healed?
- As we continue to follow the theme of Jesus being God’s Word in the flesh, displaying God’s character, and the light revealing the invisible God, how does Jesus do that in this story?
Jesus has just left the synagogue after casting a demon out of a man in the synagogue, on the sabbath. It was forbidden in Jewish law to heal on the sabbath, except to save a life. This was not that. So, he has upset the religious leaders once again.
As they go out from the synagogue, they follow the Jewish tradition by sharing the Sabbath meal together after the service. Which they do at Simon and Andrew’s house.
When they enter the house, they learn that Simon’s mother in-law is ill. Simon and Andrew introduce Jesus to her, and Jesus heals her.
Seeing it was Sabbath, it was not permitted to work until Sabbath was over. Sabbath ended at sundown (once 3 stars are visible in the sky). At that point, all those who had heard what happened in the morning, came for healing. Mark notes that those who came had 2 kinds of illness, demon possession OR physical sickness, which indicates clearly that the 2 are not the same.
As Jesus continue to reveal the glory of the Father, He is clearly not trying to win favor with the religious elite. But, what He is doing, is opening the eyes of many to the invisible God, revealing His glory.
The conclusion the people draw from what is happening is that Jesus is fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah. “He took our illnesses and bore our diseases.” They are seeing the invisible God in full color. And they are experiencing the Word of God touching their lives.
The result of what He did, drew others to want to see God. Like 2 Cor 2:14-15 describes as the fragrance of Christ. The fragrance of the glory of God was radiating from Jesus. To the religious leaders, it was the stench of death. To those who desired salvation, it was the fragrance of life.
Ps 111:7 reminds us that ALL God does is just and good! Ps 111:3 says, EVERYTHING HE does reveals his glory and majesty. This is what was radiating from Jesus’ life.
So, what fragrance is coming out of your heart? Our lives are a Christ-Like fragrance rising up to God. God uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere like a sweet perfume. Are you a sweet perfume? like Jesus? Is what radiates from my life pleasant? Would those who smell it describe it as a “life giving aroma?”
If the level of “sweetness” that radiates from me is in direct proportion to how much of my life is God Himself at work using my body vs self, what scent wins out? If for instance, the “scent” of self was the smell of dead fish (like the fish market) and the “scent” of Christ-likeness was the scent of flowers sold in the market, what do people smell when you walk by? The stronger the fish smell is the more difficult it is to enjoy the smell of the flowers.
What do you want people to “smell” as they pass by you today?