Recommending the Great Physician
A critical Pharisee once asked why Jesus ate with tax collectors and sinners. The Bible says, “When Jesus heard that, He said to them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick’” (Matthew 9:12).When we are sick, it is to our great benefit to see a physician. This trained professional will look at our symptoms, diagnose our issue, and prescribe a course of action that will put us on the road to recovery. If we wish to be cured, we will take the prescription. What would we think of someone who said, “Don’t go to the doctor! Stay sick! Waste away with your disease!” We would rightly regard them as kooks. Yet, this is exactly what this Pharisee was advocating on a spiritual level.
Many take physical illness so seriously. They will spend their livelihood (and the livelihood of others) on treatments of one kind or another in order to be well. When it comes to spiritual matters, however, they are not willing to lift a finger to aid their fellow. Many simply do not know the sickness they possess, and it is the malignancy that goes undetected that deals the greatest damage and death. Would we refuse someone an opportunity to screen themselves from such a malignancy? Do we reflect the attitude of this Pharisee?
Physical diseases may or may not be cured, but there is a sure cure for spiritual sickness—Jesus. He is the great physician, and we need to be directing the spiritually sick toward him. How do we do this? Invite them to worship with us. Give them a tract or DVD. Put them on our bulletin mailing list. There are many ways that we can encourage the spiritually sick to receive treatment. Let’s be like Jesus, not the Pharisee.