Now as soon as they had come out of the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick with a fever, and they told Him about her at once. So He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and immediately the fever left her. And she served them. (Mark 1:29-31)
The Family Of The Apostle Peter
There are many things that are not explained in scripture and often completely left out. One of the important keys of Bible study is to understand everything contained in scripture is there for the single purpose of God revealing His Son to all men for salvation and many details are left out because they are of little or no importance to the larger picture. Knowing more about the lives of those whose characters grace the pages of holy writ intrigue the reader but are left to wonder without any fuller explanation. Peter was one of the original apostles called along with his brother Andrew and fellow fishermen James and John. He was an impulsive man who often was at odds with the Lord but just as often filled with the clarity of the message. Little is known of his personal life outside him being a fisherman by trade. On one occasion Jesus was in the city of Capernaum (located on the western shores of the Sea of Galilee) and entered the home of Peter. The city of Capernaum was a central place for Jesus and is sometimes called “His city.” Arriving at the home of Andrew and Peter, the Lord was told the mother-in-law of Peter was sick with a high, burning fever. This would be very dangerous in a day with proper medicine and caused great concern. Living close to the sea would have made this a common occurrence with fears those who came down with the fever would die. Jesus comes to the woman and heals her of the fever completely. Showing the power of the healing, Peter’s mother-in-law begins to serve the people who have arrived. Nothing else is known about her and she fades from the story of the Bible.
Peter will write two epistles that are preserved by the Holy Spirit and in his first epistle refer to himself as a “fellow elder” indicating that he was married and had believing children. Unlike the brothers of Jesus who are named in scripture along with references to sisters of the Lord, none of the family of Peter is mentioned by name. What is learned by these references is that Peter had a normal family as any other man with the extended family of in-laws. Mrs. Peter must have been a remarkable woman to be married to such a charismatic man like her husband. It would be interesting to know the conversations Peter had with his wife about the ministry of Jesus. What did he tell her about the miracles, teachings and amazing things witnessed through the power of God? Did she know about Peter walking on the water? Was her counsel part of the reason Peter mellowed in his spirit to become the devoted man found in his two epistles? He traveled a lot when he began the work of the early church. How did Peter’s mother-in-law take the news her daughter’s husband being arrested by the Jewish leaders? When they were put on trial again and beaten did Mrs. Peter help bandage up the wounds from the beatings? Without being said it would seem apparent these women had a huge part in the life of Peter to be the man he would become.
The scriptures do not say anything about the children of Peter. Did he have a son like himself or a daughter who fully wrapped the old fisherman around her heart? His children were in the kingdom of God and as a family Peter and his wife were key ingredients to the local church and the spread of the kingdom. How much Mrs. Peter and the family traveled with Peter are not known but he did find himself in many places: Jerusalem, Samaria, Lydda, Sharon, and Joppa and all parts of the country. Peter traveled to Caesarea on the Mediterranean coast to talk with a Roman Centurion. What stories did Peter tell his family about the man Saul of Tarsus who obeyed the gospel of Jesus Christ and was now a disciple of the Lord? Paul on one occasion had to rebuke Peter publically because of his hypocrisy with the Gentiles. One can only imagine the conversations with the family and how Mrs. Peter probably told Peter, “I told you so.” The lesson that is learned is that Peter was just a regular guy married with a family that loved the Lord and did a lot of work to make possible what all men enjoy today in the revelation of God’s grace. He was a dutiful husband, father, son-in-law and prayerfully a grandfather one day that watched his family endure the hardships of those early days as followers of Christ. Among all things he was a leader in his home guiding the family to the heavenly portal of salvation. As a preacher of the gospel and apostle of Christ, Peter leaves a legacy to follow to care for family and to guide them in the paths of righteousness.