Devotional: ‘The Great Physician’


Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. (Matthew 9:12)

Much of Jesus’ ministry must have seemed like a constant state of confusion to many. In Matthew 9 we see Him healing a man who was paralyzed and then declaring that his sins are forgiven. Following this miraculous event, Jesus called a tax collector named Matthew to become one of His disciples. Later that same day, Jesus attended a meal at Matthew’s house which included also several of Matthew’s friends who were nothing more than prostitutes and sinners.

Finally the Pharisees could contain themselves no longer and they cornered Jesus’ disciples and critically ask them, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” Perhaps that same question was going through the minds of some of the disciples. “What is going on? What are we doing here? Is this what heaven is all about?”

Knowing the condemnation of the Pharisees and the confusion of His disciples, Jesus answered their questions by saying, “It is not the healthy that need a doctor, but the sick…I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matthew 9:12-13) Matthew’s party was a health clinic for the spiritually sick and the Great Physician was on duty.

Every soul is infected with sin and salvation is the only cure. It doesn’t matter if you are a publican, a prostitute, or even a Pharisee; none of us has escaped being born with a sinful heart. Many try to go around the disease of sin with the determination to be a better person. Others begin a regiment of good deeds thinking that they can somehow work their way through the damage. But sin is a terminal illness and the only cure is salvation.

I remember many years ago when the Great Physician made a house call in order to cure a twelve year old boy. Like the lame man at the pool of Bethesda, Jesus offered to make me well. His remedy for my illness was not a prescription to help me manage my disease, but a heart transplant that would change my life forever. I accepted His gracious offer and now, even decades later, I am still glad I did.

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