The House of Peter and Andrew
In my previous post, “Translation Decisions” I talked about the house where the paralytic man was healed. According to the gospel account (Mark 2:4), the man’s friends could not get him past the crowd to Jesus, so they broke up the roof and lowered him down. In the last paragraph of that post I asked the following questions.
- So either way, “at home” or “in the house” Jesus had return to a place He had previously stayed. Can we know the specific house?
- Is the house significant?
- What else might have occurred in this house during Jesus’ time here on earth?
In “Translation Decisions”, I said, “Examining verses before and verses after Mark 2:1 sheds no additional light on what specific house the author is talking about.” Maybe I should leave it to my readers to challenge the things I write, but today I feel compelled to do it myself.
In response to the idea that examining verses before and after Mark 2:1 sheds no additional light on the specific house…let me say something. At first glance it may be true, but maybe we just didn’t look back far enough. Here’s what I mean.
Look at Mark 1:29 (NKJV)
29 Now as soon as they had come out of the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.
Could the house of Simon (Peter) and Andrew mentioned in Mark 1:29 be the same house mentioned in Mark 2:1? Many scholars believe so. Incidentally, I did not realize that the brothers Peter and Andrew shared a house. How many hundreds of times have I read this verse and never took notice of that little detail?
This newly discovered detail, underscores for me, the importance of slowing down and committing to intentionally, and carefully observing biblical text. Although some details may not be theologically significant, they do enrich our encounter with God’s word. Remember there are no throw away words in the Bible! God is very intentional about the details He inspired His human authors to include in His Holy message to mankind. It is therefore very important that we take notice of those words and allow them to communicate the message God wants us to comprehend.
Jesus, James and John entered Andrew and Peter’s house. What’s next?
Mark 1:30 (NKJV)
30 But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick with a fever, and they told Him about her at once.
This house is getting smaller all the time! The text seems to indicate that Peter’s mother-in-law lived with him and his wife (and don’t forget brother Andrew). Maybe the text isn’t clear enough to conclude that his mother-in-law lived with Peter. Maybe she was just visiting and happened to get sick while she was there. According to Jewish tradition of the day, it was common enough for a Mother-in-law (possibly widowed) to live with her daughter and son-in-law. Either way, she was there in the house.
Next, I’d like to address question 3 before question 2. Question 3 asks, “What else might have occurred in this house during Jesus’ time here on earth?”
In Mark 1:30 Peter’s mother-in-law is sick in the house. In the very next verse Jesus takes her by the hand, lifts her up, and immediately the fever left her. Wow what an incredible privilege! She was just instantaneously healed by the great physician Himself. But wait! Her blessing didn’t stop with receiving her healing touch from Jesus. She immediately served Jesus and the others.
What’s the next thing we are told happened in the house? Consider the next three verses.
Mark 1:32-34 (NKJV)
32 At evening, when the sun had set, they brought to Him all who were sick and those who were demon-possessed.33 And the whole city was gathered together at the door. 34 Then He healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He did not allow the demons to speak, because they knew Him.
Can you imagine? The sun has gone down over the horizon. Electricity had not yet been invented, so almost all work was done for the day. But not for Jesus. The people gathered up every sick or demon-possessed person they could find and brought them to Jesus. His work wasn’t done that night. The whole city was gathered together at the door of the house. Which house? Peter and Andrew’s house. And what happened? Jesus healed the sick and cast out demons! As an aside, read closely. Maybe not all the sick were healed and not all the demonized were liberated. They brought to him All, but He healed or delivered many.
There is probably much more to consider about this house, but I need to draw this to a close. Let’s quickly answer question two, “Is the house significant?”
It certainly was if you were Peter’s mother-in-law, or one of the other people healed or freed from demons.
So was the house mentioned in Mark 2:1 the same house, Peter and Andrew’s house, talked about in the first chapter? I believe it was, but there is something more important to consider about Peter and Andrew’s house. How was it that so many life changing events occurred at this house at the hands of Jesus?
I believe this house was available for the Master’s use because Peter and his brother Andrew, had decided to follow Jesus. They made their lives, and their resources, including their home, available to their Lord Jesus the Messiah.
What can we learn from this? Maybe it’s time for us to self assess. Have we decided to follow Jesus? Have we committed our time and resources over to His use? Will our lives and possessions glorify Jesus our saviour?