Vol. 9, No. 4
~ Page 16 ~
On the occasion of calling Levi to become his disciple, Jesus associated with the publicans and sinners present, eating and drinking with them. This invoked the wrath of the self-righteous scribes and Pharisees. In answer to their criticism Jesus replied, "They that are in health have no need of a physician; but they that are sick. I am not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance" (Luke 5:29-32). Luke, the physician, wrote of the Great Physician, Jesus Christ. Jesus had to be great because of the nature of the disease called sin. There are times when a general practitioner is all that one needs; however, there are occasions when a specialist is required because of the seriousness of the disease. In combating the malady of sin, there is no other one to whom man can go except Jesus Christ.
We can best understand how effective Jesus is when we view the horribleness of sin. First of all, the seat of this sickness is the heart. This is where sin originates in the individual. Jesus knew this fact and stated it in this fashion, "For out of the heart come forth evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, railings: these are the things which defile the man" (Matthew 15:19-20). The wise man wrote, "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he" (Proverbs 23:7). We can readily see the need of following Solomon's admonition to "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life" (Proverbs 4:23).
Second, sin is universal in its scope. Paul declared in Romans 3:10, "As it is written, there is none righteous, no not one." "For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Jesus Christ was the only person who has lived on this earth who has not been tainted with sin [except for babies, small children and the ever mentally incompetent, Editor].
Third, sin is contagious in nature. Paul expressed an eternal truth when he wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:33, "Be not deceived: Evil companionships corrupt good morals." How many young people, guilty of transgression, have cried, "I fell in with the wrong crowd."
Fourth, there is a deceitful nature of sin. It has a way of appearing good and acceptable when in reality it is evil and damnable. "But exhort one another day by day, so long as it is called To-day; lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin" (Hebrews 3:13).
Fifth, the eventual consequence of sin is death to the one who is afflicted with this awful malady. Paul made it clear in Romans 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." A person may die physically with a terminal disease, but be saved eternally through Jesus Christ; however, the individual who dies with the disease called sin is forever separated from God in eternal punishment (Romans 6:23). "Death" in this passage is in contrast to the expression "eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Thus, Paul has reference to eternal death or separation. We can readily see the awful nature of the disease called sin. Therefore, a physician was needed who would be able to cope with and cure such a malady. Jesus Christ, the Great Physician, possessed all the qualifications of such a one to whom the sin-sick world could turn to for healing.
The first qualification we want to mention is that Jesus has the proper endorsement. God the Father confessed at the baptism of Jesus, "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17). Again, at the transfiguration, the Heavenly Father declared, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him" (Matthew 17:5). The goodness of the life of Jesus, the lessons he taught, the miracles he worked and his victory over death all testified to his divine Sonship and the endorsement of heaven (John 20:30-31; Romans 1:4).
Second, Jesus possessed a sympathetic attitude toward mankind. He heard the cry of distress and came. He suffered with and for mankind. Matthew records such a scene that displayed this attitude in Matthew 9:36, "But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion for them, because they were distressed, and scattered as sheep not having a shepherd." His death on the cross was an expression of his matchless love (Isaiah 53:4-5).
Third, Jesus possesses all knowledge of human nature and the disease called sin. It is stated in the Holy Scriptures that he "knew what was in man" (John 2:25). Though Jesus was never afflicted with the malady of sin, he knew all about it. He even mentioned that sin originates in a man's heart (Matthew 15:18-19). Jesus knows that eventually the consequence of sin leads to a spiritual death (James 1:13-15).
Four, the Lord always maintained perfect and moral spiritual health. Unlike other physicians who often contact diseases and die, Jesus never knew sin in his life. The Hebrew writer spoke of this fact when he mentioned that Jesus was tempted in all points like we are "yet without sin" (Hebrews 4:14-16). In reference to Christ, Peter wrote, "who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth" (1 Peter 2:22). Had he been a sick man, he would have endangered the lives of his patients.
Fifth, the Great Physician has the remedy for sin, regardless of how dark and base it might be. "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool" (Isaiah 1:18). The apostle Paul declared that the Gospel is "the power of God unto salvation" (Romans 1:16). The remedy is of proven worth. By it countless numbers have been saved from sin and death and have been prepared to make this world a better place in which to live.
Though the remedy is infallible, restoration to health is conditional. One may spurn it or neglect it, the result is the same. Faith in the Great Physician and a willingness to follow his instructions are necessary. Jesus taught in Matthew 7:21, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven."
The prophet Jeremiah raised the question, "Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there" (Jeremiah 8:22)? Jesus is that Balm and that Physician. He is the only one who can save. But a person's heart must be submissive to his will as found in the words of Jeremiah, "Heal me, O Jehovah and I shall be healed; save me and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise" (Jeremiah.17:14).
The prescription that the Great Physician has given for the healing of our sin-sick soul is that we should believe in him as the Son of God, repent of our sins and based upon our confession of faith to be immersed in his name for the remission of our sins (John 3:16; Acts 17:30; Acts 8:37; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38). If we do this and live for Jesus Christ, our souls will prosper in this world and we will live eternally with our Savior (3 John 2; 1 John 5:11-13).
The Great Physician
The great Physician now is near, The sympathizing Jesus;
He speaks the drooping heart to cheer; O hear the voice of Jesus;
All glory to the dying Lamb! I now believe in Jesus;
I love the blessed Savior's name, I love the name of Jesus.
His name dispels my guilt and fear, No other name but Jesus;
O how my soul delights to hear The charming name of Jesus.
And when to that bright world above, We rise to see our Jesus,
We'll sing around the throne of love His name, the name of Jesus.
Sweetest note in seraph song, Sweetest name on mortal tongue,
Sweetest carol ever sung, Jesus blessed Jesus.