When Jesus went into the room where the elderly lady lay, Luke writes, "He stood over her and rebuked her fever," another detail Matthew and Mark omit. Was he addressing some hostile power? On another occasion, He rebuked the raging wind and water to end a storm on the Sea of Galilee (Luke 8:24). "Rebuked" in this verse is the same word used in Luke 4:35 and Mark 1:25, where Jesus "rebuked" the demon during the exorcism in the synagogue. The word means "to censure or admonish." When Jesus rebuked something, evil was present, and His example instructs us that evil must be condemned if real healing is to occur.
There are times when the solutions to our problems may require rebuke or strong admonition. No one enjoys being on the receiving end of a rebuke, yet if sin has caused the problem, it must be rebuked before repentance can happen. In a larger sense, the world desires peace, but few are willing to punish evil. The attitude toward evil today is not that of condemnation but of toleration.
Even so, not all sickness is caused by sin (John 11:4). At times, God permits sickness to provide an opportunity to bring glory to Himself and His Son.
Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing Peter's Mother-in-Law
What Jesus did on the first Sabbath of His ministry is to signal an attack against the forces of evil. He began a holy war to free mankind from Satan and sin. The demon knew it, which is why it reacted the way it did. It threw a tantrum. If we would put what the demon said into modern, colloquial terms, it snapped at Jesus, "Why are You interfering here?" And Jesus came right back, with authority, "Shut your mouth! And come out of him."
The demon was not about to give up easily. It was probably a strong demon, but it did obey its Master and came out - yet not without thrashing the man around. Fortunately, the man was not hurt.
So the first shot that was fired in this war was a spiritual healing: Jesus liberated a man from a demon on the Sabbath day. He may have done a few other things before, but this was the first public act as part of His ministry.
This began the war for control of the earth, for the right to rule over it after He had defeated the demons' master, Satan. Jesus was showing that the demons would not fare any better than he. By casting out the demon, He restored order and peace to the congregation, as the possessed man had been causing trouble.
The second thing He did, then, was a physical healing that resulted in service to others. This unfortunate woman, who was bound by a disease, is relieved of it by Jesus Christ. Then she rose and immediately served everybody else. This ought to give us a clue - those of us who receive healing - as to what we are supposed to do with our healing. We are to rise and serve.
Here, in a nutshell, are major principles by which our Sabbath activities can be judged. The Sabbath is for redemption, liberty, joy, peace, and service that comes through fellowship and instruction that reorients our devotion to the right direction.
John W. Ritenbaugh
The Fourth Commandment (Part 2)
Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing Luke 4:39: