Wait: Peter's Married?!?
38 Jesus left the synagogue and went to the home of Simon. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Jesus to help her.
Last week we looked at the passage immediately before this: Jesus casts out the demon in the synagogue on the sabbath, the people marvel at his authority and power.
Immediately afterwards, we get this story and an interesting historical nugget if we don’t skim too quickly: Simon (Peter) was married. We get more details in the other gospels to confirm that it is, indeed, the same Simon Peter that Jesus calls to follow him and who leads the charge in the book of Acts at Pentecost.
Part of what I find helpful about this little nugget is it normalizes these people a bit. It’s still a foreign culture, 2,000 years ago, but some of Peter’s basic desires and pictures of what his life was going to look like probably weren’t all that different from most of us.
Peter probably wanted to have a great family (almost everyone in ancient Jewish culture wanted to have kids). He hoped his work would be able to pay the bills with maybe some extra on the side for a few small luxuries. He probably expected to work alongside his dad until he eventually took over the family business and then passed it along to his own kids someday.
Peter likely had a very clear picture of what his life was going to look like. And then he met Jesus.
And the call to follow Jesus was magnetic. And that magnet went through the iron filings of Peter’s life and re-ordered and re-organized every single thing. Some things got discarded or repelled altogether. Other things stayed in Peter’s life but got demoted to be of lesser importance. New things were added to the picture.
When Peter is called to follow Jesus, he’s not just hanging out with nothing better to do. He lays down everything to follow Jesus, allows Jesus to completely re-write his script. The same is true for all the disciples.
And while the specifics of what it might look like to follow Jesus might be a bit different for you and me today, there’s a common call on our lives to surrender and allow Jesus be the re-organizing principle in our lives.
In what ways are you resistant to letting Jesus be the re-organizing principle in your life? What are some small steps you might take today to allowing Jesus to that kind of access and authority?