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.

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 !


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


  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.


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