Mark 1:29-34 As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told Jesus about her. So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them. That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.

Jesus was gentle. He went in to Simon’s mother-in-law, took her hand and helped her up. He didn’t call from the other room, ‘‘Woman, be healed, and get out of bed.’’ We should picture Jesus speaking softly, bending over and smiling as he took her hand. We should see him gently helping her to sit up, and then steadying her as she stood.

There can be no doubt but that Simon’s mother-in-law would adore Jesus from this point onward. Here was the man who had caused some rifts in her family, who had pulled Simon out of his respectable and financially secure occupation to be part of a roving band of preachers, a change in life-style which had the potential of hurting his wife—her daughter. But now here he was, in her own home, treating her with such gentleness and respect that she must have felt like crying. Indeed, emotions well up in our hearts some twenty centuries later as we read about this tender episode.

‘‘He will not quarrel or cry out; no one will hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out . . .’’ (Matthew 12:19-20)

Often it is not the loud voice that will truly move people, but the soft whisper. We all appreciate being treated with gentleness; how many of us try to practice it toward others? At times we may need to raise our voices and push in order for things to get done. But often, using a gentle tone and pitching in to help will accomplish far more good.

What a great example for us! Just one paragraph ago, we saw Jesus amazing the people with his authoritative speech. Now we see the emphasis placed upon his gentleness and tenderness. Jesus combined in his character a perfect balance of power and gentleness: man of steel, man of velvet. Who could fail to be impressed?