Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Jesus the Great Physician by John Wright

John Wright

            The old hymn asks the question “why did my Savior come to earth and to the lowly go?"  And then answers with a chorus of ”Because he loved me so."  Jesus lived and died to demonstrate how much God the Father loves us.  The Bible reveals that we were created to be in relationship with God for all eternity but we blew it, and sin put a barrier between man and God.  Man-kind was lost!  Even though man was made in God’s image, the relationship was damaged seemingly irreparably.  The wonderful story of love begins to unfold in Genesis.  God tells an ordinary man to leave everything and go to a land that God would show him and that all the peoples of the earth will be blessed through this one man named Abraham.  The love story unfolds throughout the Old Testament where God pursues his people and they continually reject him.  God is persistent and forgiving and faithful.  Psalm 100 reads: “Shout for joy to the Lord all the earth.  Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.  Know that the Lord is God.  It is he who made us and we are his; we are his people the sheep of his pasture.  Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.  For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.  God loves us with a love that will endure for eternity!  What a remarkable thing that is.  1John 4:10: This is love; not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

When Jesus came into the world it was not what people expected.  Jn. 1:10: “He was in the world and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him."  Jesus' ministry was spent teaching the ordinary people, who were poor, sick, and outcast.  The rulers and the religious class rejected and opposed him because they were confident in themselves and their traditions; they didn’t believe they needed a savior.  In Matthew chapter 9 the Pharisees asked Jesus disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”  On hearing this Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.  But go and learn what this means: I desire mercy not sacrifice, for I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”  Romans 3:10 declares: There is no one righteous, not even one.  In the story of Sodom and Gomorrah if just ten righteous could have been found, those cities would have been saved from destruction, but in Gods eyes we are all guilty of sin.  The Pharisees were sick too, and they needed the Great Physician; unfortunately their spiritual blindness would not let them see.

I have reminded you of these things because we Christians need to remember who we are.  We are sinners under the care of the Great Physician, whose blood heals and cleanses us from our sin.  Jesus wants us to invite everyone to come to him for healing.  As the Lord's Church, we must do what Jesus did; seeking the poor, sick, and outcast.  When I ask myself do I look more like Jesus or more like the Pharisees?, I don’t like my answer very much because I have a long way to go.  Jesus’ advice to the Pharisees was to go and read Hosea 6:6, perhaps it would do us well too.  The 6th chapter of Hosea reads come let us return to the Lord, because Israel had been very unfaithful.  The people of the Northern Kingdom had more confidence in themselves and their religious traditions than their covenant with God.  The Lord laments: “for I desire mercy not sacrifice, and acknowledgement of God rather then burnt offerings.  Like Adam they have broken the covenant.”  We need to be a people committed to mercy and not committed to “looking religious” because our mission is to do as Jesus did and said.  "Come unto me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."  We have so much to offer this world, our arms are open wide, and our Lord's yoke is so much lighter and easier then the trappings of sin and death.

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