Luke 4:38-39 (ESV)
And he arose and left the synagogue and entered Simon's house. Now Simon's mother-in-law was ill with a high fever, and they appealed to him on her behalf.  And he stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her, and immediately she rose and began to serve them.
Simon had a mother in law. This means the first pope, Peter, was married. It’s always a bit strange when reading the gospels that wives don’t play a role. We also know that Peter was still married later on, because Paul mentions his wife. Chrysostom, who is much better at ferreting the implications of Greek than I am, actually uses that same statement of Paul’s to indicate that Paul was married. I don’t know what to make of that, as Paul mentions he is divorced in the seventh chapter of 1 Cor. I am guessing that Peter’s wife was probably among the many women that attended to the needs of Jesus and his disciples.
In any case, his mother in law was ill with a fever, Jesus healed her, and then she served him. She couldn’t very well serve them until she was healed.
Now Jesus didn’t heal her so that she would serve him. He healed her because he had compassion on her, and wanted to help. She served in gratitude.
I think this goes to show just how much Jesus healed her too. I’ve been known to get some killer headaches at times. They take so much out of me that even when I have gotten rid of the headache, I normally need to sleep a while before I can really do anything. But this lady rises immediately to serve.
It is that way with us. In and of ourselves we are too sick to serve Jesus. People think they can save themselves with their works, work their way out of the headache. It doesn’t work that way. But Jesus who cares for us and has compassion, he heals us. And the moment he heals us we immediately begin to serve him. Sometimes we are even conscious of serving him, but more often than not we aren’t. Thing is much of what we did before we were healed is much of what we do after. But now we do it to the glory of God. Not by our own power, but by the healing power of Jesus who forgives us our sins. And reconciles us to him.