Bible Lessons for the Little Ones

 •  6 min. read  •  grade level: 9
(Read Matt. 8:14-1814And when Jesus was come into Peter's house, he saw his wife's mother laid, and sick of a fever. 15And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them. 16When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: 17That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses. 18Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment to depart unto the other side. (Matthew 8:14‑18); and Luke 4:33-4233And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice, 34Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God. 35And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not. 36And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out. 37And the fame of him went out into every place of the country round about. 38And he arose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon's house. And Simon's wife's mother was taken with a great fever; and they besought him for her. 39And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she arose and ministered unto them. 40Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them. 41And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ. 42And when it was day, he departed and went into a desert place: and the people sought him, and came unto him, and stayed him, that he should not depart from them. (Luke 4:33‑42).)
SEE whether you can find on the map the place where the city of Capernaum once stood. You know it was in Galilee, beside that beautiful lake in which Peter and Andrew, and James and John used to fish.
It was in this city that all the wonderful things of which we have just been reading were done by the Lord Jesus. We have read a little history, which God has given us, of how the Lord spent one of His days, while He was here in this world, doing always what God wished Him to do, and showing us what love is in God's heart to those who have never done anything to please Him, or make Him love them, but always turned away from Him.
This was the Sabbath day, and the Lord Jesus had been, in the morning, in the synagogue, teaching the people. You have just read, in the gospel of Luke, of the wonderful work which He did there, and how astonished all the people were when He commanded the wicked spirit to come out of the man, who was crying aloud in the synagogue, and the spirit came out of him, and hurt him not. This wonderful work was done before all those who were there, and as they left the synagogue that day, and went to their homes, all the people were speaking to each other about it, so that the fame of the Lord went out into every place of the country round about.
The next wonderful work of power and kindness which the Lord did was not done before a great many people, but in the house of two of His disciples, where a sick woman lay. St. Mark tells us that directly the Lord went out of the synagogue, He went to this house, the house of Simon and Andrew, and that James and John were with Him. They had all been present while He taught in the synagogue, and while He set free the poor man who had the wicked spirit from the dreadful power of Satan which had held him fast. We may fancy that the disciples spoke low and moved gently as they entered the house, for they knew that Peter's wife's mother was very ill indeed. Have you ever known anyone who has been ill of a fever?
If you have, I am sure you must remember how anxiously all the friends of the sick person spoke, for often people do not get well when they have a fever; and if they do not die, the fever takes away their strength, so that they are very ill and helpless, even for a long time after the fever has quite gone, and they are getting better.
The poor woman who lay ill in the house at Capernaum to which the Lord went with His disciples had a great fever, so we know that all her friends must have been very sad and anxious. What could they do? They did the very best thing, and the instant the Lord Jesus came into the house, they told Him about her. The Lord loved Peter, and felt for him, and cared very much about the mother of his wife being so very ill. Just as He had rebuked the wicked spirit which had power over the man who cried out in the synagogue, so now, as He stood beside the bed where the sick woman lay, He rebuked the fever. Just as the wicked spirit had left the man whom it had tormented, at the word of Christ, so now the fever let go its hold upon the sick woman, and immediately she arose and ministered unto them.
What does that mean? To minister means to serve. It means that the instant the Lord touched the hand of Peter's wife's mother, and rebuked that great fever which had laid her so low, she got up, quite strong and well, and began to go about the house and do all she could to serve and wait upon the Lord Jesus and His disciples. So two people were blessed and healed that day in Capernaum, and the hearts of a great many were comforted and lifted in praise to God.
But the day was not over yet. In that country, after the sun has set, it soon becomes dark, but just at the time when the sun begins to go down, the great heat of the day is past, and the air becomes pleasant and cool. In the cool evening time of that Sabbath day great crowds of people came to Jesus; they had heard of what He had done in the synagogue and in the house of Simon and Andrew, and so they brought to Him many that were possessed with devils, and He cast out the spirits with His word. And all who had any sick with different sorts of diseases, brought them to Him, and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them. When the wicked spirits cried, "Thou art Christ the Son of God," Jesus would not allow them to speak. What they said was quite true, for God had spoken from heaven to the Lord Jesus, and said, "Thou art My beloved Son"; but He did not allow the devils to say who He was, because they knew that He was Christ.
Thus, on that day in the city beside the lake, the words which God had spoken by His prophet Isaiah, a great many years before, came to pass.
You read those words in the last of your verses from the gospel of Matthew: "Himself look our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses." We know of whom the prophet spoke. No one could ever feel for those who were sick and suffering in the same way as the Son of God did. No one ever felt so sorry as He did when He saw the sorrows of others. It is true that when He saw people in great trouble, He knew that by one word or one touch He could change it all, and bring gladness instead of mourning; but still He suffered with those whom He saw suffering, and felt deep sorrow when He saw what sorrow sin had brought into the world. This is what it means when we read that He had compassion upon sick, or sorrowful, or hungry people. How wonderful it is to know that the blessed Lord feels just the same now, in heaven where He is, and that the youngest child may still go to Him with anything that troubles him, and tell Him all the truth about it, and be sure that He is listening, and will give help and comfort, when perhaps the trouble is so great that no one else could be of any use.