Doctor Doctor

I have this thing about going to the doctor. I don’t like it.

I don’t like yearly check ups, eye exams, or flu shots……even when I’m sick…….I resist going to the doctor. I’ll ignore my symptoms until I can’t, then I’ll plan my own course of treatment, try an essential oil or a handful of vitamins and as a last resort, buy the over-the-counter stuff. If all of that doesn’t work, I’ll finally make the call for an appointment to see the doctor.

The doctor can see what I can’t see. He has more knowledge about what ails me and has access to what can help me – usually a prescription for medicine.

Jesus talks about doctors in the Gospel of Luke chapter 5:27-32.

Levi, who is better known as Matthew, is thrilled at his new life away from tax collecting. To celebrate, Matthew threw a feast for Jesus. Apparently, Matthew invited a lot of his friends to the party. Maybe because he wanted them to meet Jesus, or maybe because he thought the more the merrier. Probably both.

But the religious leaders were upset that Jesus was eating with “those kind” of people and asked Jesus’ disciples why he had anything to do with them. Jesus answered them.

“Healthy people don’t need a doctor, only the sick.”

The King James Version of the Bible uses the word whole instead of healthy.

“They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick.”

Jesus continues, “I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent.” Verse 32 in the NLT.

Because of their observance of the law the Pharisees deemed themselves whole. They were blind to their spiritual sickness therefore had no need for the Sovereign Physician of souls.

The same story in Matthew 9 verses 9-13 has an additional statement. Jesus told the Pharisees to “Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’

The Pharisees missed the point. Loving and caring for others is more important to God than religious rituals.

Before we judge the Pharisees and the teachers of the law we should ask ourselves if we have any of the same attitudes. Do we think we’re good? Do we tend to think “those people” need to get it together?

We all have our own definition of “those people”. Corrupt politicians, thugs, meth heads, strippers, racists or murderers. Those who rule the system and the ones who abuse it. The ones who are left out and the ones who leave them out. Those we think Jesus would never dine with. Those we think are too far gone.

Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy people who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to invite good people but sinners to change their hearts and lives.”  5:32 NCV

Photo courtesy of Pexels.

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  1. Robin Turner on October 23, 2017 at 7:33 am

    Sometimes I wonder, who are those that out of spiritual blindness I put in a hospital. How many do I misjudge? Which I am not supposed to do at all… judge that is. Are there people with whom I will not party? Yes there are. God loves everyone and I should too. He loves me! Which is hard!!

  2. Bruce Martin on October 23, 2017 at 9:35 am

    My favorite line…”Probably both.” One of the things we may have lost in Christian subculture is the ability to simply have fun, to make merry with folks who don’t know Jesus. If the Gospel truly is good news, we oughta be able to celebrate well!

  3. Gbolabo Adetunji on October 24, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    I find this account of Jesus mingling with the “ungodly” interesting at first because it was chronicled by Luke, one of the twelve disciples who was also a physician. Doctors, by nature, are regarded as the creme de la creme of any society. Yet they spend more time with the lowly people – the sick than any other category of people. Probably Jesus used that analogy, as you pointed out, to teach the scribes not to judge others on the basis of their level of faith. I like how you applied the same lessons to the rest of us . One thing that comes to mind is the commandment that Christ gave his followers before his ascension. He told them to go to all the world- to love them, to lift them up and to let them come to the knowledge of God by going to them with a message of salvation. This post is a reminder that despite the tendency to judge, mock or condemn those who are different from us, our mission as followers of Christ is to go to these people, break the ice and let the Holy Spirit show them the love of God. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post.

    • mariegriffith on October 24, 2017 at 12:42 pm

      Thank you for your insightful and thoughtful comment. Yes, the Great Commission is to go – into the unfamiliar and uncomfortable places – to “those people” – and show them God’s love.

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