Mark 2:15-17 – “And it happened that He was reclining at the table in his house, and many tax collectors and sinners were dining with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many of them, and they were following Him. 16 When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that He was eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they said to His disciples, ” Why is He eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners?” 17 And hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” NASU
My brother wrote a poem about “Fishing in the Live Well” regarding the ministry of the Church that fits this perfectly. I don’t have the words of that poem, but the thought was that too often we are fishing in the live well of the boat rather than fishing in the vast ocean of humanity. I preached a message years ago about being “keepers of the aquarium” to highlight what I believe our text addresses, being physicians to the well not to the sick and lost.
Many churches have altar calls for salvation at the end of their services but there are no lost there. The fish are not in the boat they are in the sea of humanity. Yes, there are lost that come to the church service and we must never forget to address them, but if we are truly Physicians of Value and Fishers of Men we must go where the fish are and for the most part, the lost are not in a Sunday Church Service.
Before, I anger anyone, and you feel I am attacking pastors, preachers, and churches, I am not, I am one. I am simply calling attention to the words of Jesus regarding being around, talking to and even associating with those who are lost, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous but sinners, to repentance.” I am not suggesting that you hang out with them in the bars or strip joints but that you go where they are in the highways, byways, and hedges.
I truly believe that if the Church, the Body of Christ, Believers were to leave the confines of the four walls of their local sheep shed (Church Building and Service) and talk to people one on one seeking to discover their needs we would have a far greater impact than simply having Sunday services. We need the fulfillment of the prayer Jesus taught the disciples, “…thy kingdom come, they will be done on earth as it is in heaven…” No, I did not say, do away with the Sunday meeting, although sometimes it might be well to dismiss it and send everyone into the highways, byways, and hedges seeking the lost. The Church should be a hospital, not a Country Club. In hospitals, there are pain, suffering, and things that are not pleasant.
I had a cousin that lived in the Houston area who practiced just what I’m talking about. His own brothers were unaware of the impact he had had on the lives of the downtrodden. When he died, there were literally hundreds of people who had been beggars, alcoholics, drug addicts, thieves, and as one said, “I was a vagabond.” They came to his memorial and one after the other told his family of the impact of my cousin on their lives and how his love and willingness to fish in the sea of humanity had brought them to salvation and saved their lives both naturally and spiritually. That kind of life makes me rejoice and weep at the same time. I rejoice because of the demonstration of God’s love and weep because too often I am not demonstrating that level of commitment and obedience to the heavenly call.
We have a choice, as in everything in life, to be those who actively seek to fulfill the Great Commission, or we can Fish in the Live Well of our boats and be Physicians to the Well. There is a need for ministry to the healthy but there is also a need for the healthy to minister to the sick. Please don’t think me talking down to you, because I am preaching to me as much or more than to anyone else. I want More and More of God’s Love to be shed abroad in my heart and I want to be More and More like Jesus in all that I do.
My prayer today is, “Lord, help me to become a Physician of Value spiritually and go into the highways, byways, and hedges and find those hurting and dying and lead them to the Rock that brings life. That is, You Lord! Help me not only equip the saints for the work of ministry but throw out the lifeline to those struggling on the sea of life.”
God bless you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Jesus!