Through Christ she was set free to serve

Set Free to Serve

Women Impacted by Jesus – part 5

We are traveling together through the gospel of Luke, reflecting on women who received “more” through the life-transforming work of Jesus.

This month we enter the ministry phase of Jesus’ life here on earth. In Luke 4, we read this account: Jesus left the synagogue and went to the home of Simon. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Jesus to help her. So he bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up at once and began to wait on them. [vs. 38-39 NIV]

My unsanctified, Spirit-less reaction to this story has often been, “Typical. The woman is expected to serve the men. Is that why they asked Jesus to help her, so they would have someone available to serve them?”

Ugly, I know. Graciously, the faithful ministry of the Spirit reminds me of these words of Jesus: “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant…For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” [Mark 10:43-45 NIV] And these instructions: “Serve one another humbly in love” [Galatians 5:13b NIV], “Serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace” [1 Peter 4:10 NIV].

Prior to the personal healing ministry of Jesus, Simon’s mother-in-law was unable to participate in the Christ-honoring and Christ-honored ministry of serving others. Through Christ, she was set free to serve. Jesus rebuked the fever. It left her.

According to, a fever “is not by itself an illness. It’s usually a symptom of an underlying condition, most often an infection.” Spiritually, what underlying conditions hinder serving? Apathy? Bitterness? Fear? Is there anything in our lives that needs Jesus’ rebuke? He offers the same healing to us.  He wants to set us free to serve.

Let’s ask Jesus to do his healing work in us.

Finally, who has served well in your context recently? Have you honored and appreciated her? Let’s encourage one another. Send a card. Make a phone call. Send a text. As we begin the month that reminds us to be thankful, let’s serve each other as faithful stewards of God’s grace.

Jen Vogel

Jen Vogel

Jen is the national director for Alliance Women; she serves in a variety of ministry capacities, including on the President's Cabinet for The Alliance. She enjoys reading, travel, and completing the New York Times crossword puzzle daily. Jen and her husband, Doug, attend Dover Avenue Alliance Church in Orange City, Iowa.

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