Healing the mother of Peter's wife

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Healing Peter's mother-in-law by John Bridges, 19th century.

The healing of the mother of Peter's wife is one of the miracles of Jesus in the Gospels, reported in Matthew 8:14–15, Mark 1:29–31, and Luke 4:38–41.[1]

In the Gospels of Mark and Luke, this episode takes place after Jesus had been preaching at the synagogue of Capernaum. Jesus goes to Peter's house, where he sees the mother of Peter's wife lying in bed with a high fever. Jesus touches her hand and the fever leaves her, and she gets up and begins to wait on him. In Matthew's gospel the event is the third in a series of healings recorded in chapter 8 which take place following Jesus' Sermon on the Mount.

Peter's mother-in-law was sick with a great fever before Jesus came into the house and was made aware of the sickness. Jesus was with some of his disciples when he walked over to her and rebuked the fever in a similar fashion to the way he rebuked devils. Jesus commanded the sickness to leave, and it went away immediately. She was healed so quickly and thoroughly that not only was the fever gone, but she was able to immediately resume performing household duties such as serving food to the guests. In the ancient world, fever was a distinct illness and not just the symptom of various infirmities. In the Talmud, fever is described as a fire.[2]

In the majority of readings of Matthew 8:15, she began to wait upon "him" (i.e. Jesus) but in the Textus Receptus she began to wait upon "them" (Greek: αὐτοῖς, autois). Mark and Luke both refer to "them"; Johann Bengel therefore argues that in Matthew's gospel, "him" is the correct reading and "them" is an "erroneous reading ... introduced from the other Evangelists".[3]

Following this event, the Gospels report that at sunset, "the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness or were demon-possessed, and laying his hands on each one, Jesus healed them and cast demons out of them" (Matthew 8:16–18).

Biblical commentator Matthew Henry used the incident to argue that "Christ ... showed that he approved of the married state, by being thus kind to Peter's wife's relations".[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ John Clowes, 1817 The Miracles of Jesus Christ, published by J. Gleave, Manchester, UK page 31
  2. ^ van der Loos, Dr. Hendrik (1965). The Miracles of Jesus. E.J. Brill, Leiden, Netherlands. pp. 552–555.
  3. ^ Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament on Matthew 8, accessed 23 December 2016
  4. ^ Matthew Henry's Commentary on Matthew 8, accessed 23 December 2016