When Was Peter's Mother In-Law Cured?

Mohd Elfie Nieshaem Juferi

In Mark 1:16 – 31, we read that Jesus(P) had made his call to his disciples before he cured one of his disciple’s (Simon Peter) mother in-law:

    16 Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
    17 And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.
    18 And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him.
    19 And when he had gone a little further thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets.
    20 And straightway he called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after him.
    21 And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught.
    22 And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.
    23 And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out,
    24 Saying, 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.
    25 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him.
    26 And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him.
    27 And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him.
    28 And immediately his fame spread abroad throughout all the region round about Galilee.
    29 And forthwith, when they were come out of the synagogue, they entered into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.
    30 But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick of a fever, and anon they tell him of her.
    31 And he came and took her by the hand, and lifted her up; and immediately the fever left her, and she ministered unto them.
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However, in Luke 4:31-5:11, the opposite is true. Jesus (P) cured his disciple’s mother in-law after Jesus had made his call to the disciples, including Peter:

    4: 31 And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days.
    32 And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power.
    33 And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice,
    34 Saying, 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.
    35 And 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.
    36 And 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.
    37 And the fame of him went out into every place of the country round about.
    38 And 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.
    39 And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she arose and ministered unto them.
    40 Now 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.
    41 And 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.
    42 And 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.
    43 And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent.
    44 And he preached in the synagogues of Galilee.

    5:1 And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,
    2 And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.
    3 And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.
    4 Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.
    5 And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.
    6 And when they had this done, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.
    7 And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.
    8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.
    9 For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken:
    10 And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.
    11 And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.

So which is the correct version, was Peter’s mother-in-law cured before or after Jesus (P) had made his call to the disciples? This behooves for the missionaries to ponder upon and give us an answer!

Interestingly, this obvious contradiction between the different gospels was noted by Brown, who wrote that

…Luke’s sense of “order” is often logical rather than chronological. For instance, in 4:31 – 5:11 he reverses the order he found in Mark 1:16 – 31: the Marcan Jesus called four disciples and then healed Peter’s mother-in-law; but Luke seems to have thought it more logical to have the miracle precede the call, so that the disciples would have a reason to follow Jesus.[1]

And only God knows best!

Reference

[1] Raymond E. Brown, The Birth Of The Messiah (Cassell & Collier, 1977), p. 239

2 Comments

  1. And how many sick people did Allah heal after YOUR prayers?

    Spiritual Blindness
    35 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.” 37 Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.” 38 Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. 39 Jesus said,1“For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” 40 Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?” 41 Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.

  2. salam’alaykum,

    Haven’t you spelt ‘bismika’ in Arabic incorrectly ? Unlike the basmallah’, the hamza al-qat’
    is not elided.

    Thanks

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