The healing of Peter’s mother-in-law and the subsequent response of the city paints a powerful picture of what the local church can be in the community in which it is planted. Jesus healed one person and empowered that woman to serve others and what happens? The Word tells us that the “whole city gathered at the door” (1:34). Why? Because they realized that Jesus was there and healing had taken place in that house. Whenever Jesus is allowed to be Lord and Head of your church, there will be healing in the house for the hurting and broken. People will be drawn to you and to your fellowships in all their brokenness and sin-ridden displacement. But this will only happen so long as we live out and preach the gospel of the kingdom and offer the Christ of Scripture and not of our particular denominational or even personal making.
I’m convinced the reason why a number of churches do not grow spiritually or numerically for that matter is because they are not houses of healing for the hurting. Instead they become inspectors, looking for everything wrong with a person before that person is allowed to experience the ruthless mercy and grace of Jesus Christ. I believe there is something in us that is afraid of healing—physical, emotional, or spiritual—because it somehow reminds us that we too are in need of the same touch that the “others” are in need of. Yet, we must constantly remind ourselves that wherever there are hurting people, there also will be the Master, always working through His disciples to share the Good News of salvation with people in desperate need of some good news that will change their lives for ever.