Luke 5:31 – “And Jesus answered and said to them, “It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick.” NASB
I preached from this passage many years ago and had a man come to me afterward and say, “Preacher you missed it completely today, we are not sick.” I understood his view but was somewhat surprised since we have a very powerful time of ministering to people who came forward for prayer. God healed bodies, hearts, and relationships in that service. So, this man’s view of the condition of the church was different than those who came for prayer and ministry.
He considered himself a religious man, and he was. However, simply being religious is not necessarily without the need for ministry. Jesus was addressing the self-righteous Pharisees and Scribes in His statement. Recognizing the need for ministry is somewhat like being lost if you don’t know you have a need you will seek no help.
There is a key principle taught in the Bible regarding ministering to others. Jesus illustrated who our neighbor is in the Parable of the Good Samaritan. He addressed the need of serving others in His washing the disciples’ feet. Paul brings this into focus powerfully in Galatians 6:1 as he spoke of discovering a brother or sister entrapped in a spiritual or moral failure. What is the right biblical response? Restoration! Restoration with ourselves in mind, realizing that we could easily be in their shoes.
God’s purpose is always Restoration! God’s purpose is not condemnation, judgment, and punishment, but restoration. That should be our view as well. I ask that you call to mind the declaration of Jesus in Matthew 7 as He spoke about dealing with others who have issues. His instruction was that we are to ‘seek healing for our own sins’ before trying to correct others. In that declaration, He made it clear that, from time to time, we all need a doctor, spiritually.
I remember as a young Christian and a fledgling preacher developing a sense of personal piety and falling into the trap of comparing myself to others. I would look at people who did not look right, talk right, dress right, or, in my view, live right and would piously think, “Thank God I’m not like that.” One day the Holy Spirit rattled my cage and said, “No, you are worse.” That shook me more than I can describe.
I attempted to argue and present my good works and abstentions as qualifiers for my belief that I was somehow better than those I was looking down on. The more I argued the more I realized that I was nothing but a Pharisee and had lost the view of God’s purpose for people. I was elevating myself, thinking I was whole, when there was a hole in my heart that needed the loving attention of God’s balm of Grace.
I wanted to please God more than I wanted anything. I had my list and was checking all the right boxes. However, in that process, my heart was growing cold toward my brothers and sisters. I was not as compassionate as I thought I was. I was not as loving as I envisioned myself. I was judgmental although I would have argued that I was just inspecting the fruit not judging. As, I realized my own deficiencies and need, in repentance, I was brought into the Emergency Room of God’s Love and the Healing Balm of God was applied. I was transformed in a very real way.
I could, once again, speak of sin with a broken heart. I could, once again, speak of love out of a heart overflowing with love. I needed a doctor and thank God the doctor was in the house and willing to treat me and bring me back to health. In that experience, I discovered that it would not be the last time I needed a doctor, Doctor Jesus to come and address an area in my life. Thank God, that I have learned that if I have a need, my heavenly doctor is always ready to minister healing.
God bless you as you reach out to Doctor Jesus in your time of need.