The Great Physician
Read Luke 4:18-21 (ESV)
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
How is Jesus the greatest doctor of all time?
At some point in our lives, we all need to see a doctor. That’s the problem with these earthly bodies in a fallen world. We get viruses, infections, cancers, and injuries, some more serious than others. My family has seen its fair share of medical problems and we’ve definitely been blessed with really good medical professionals who have provided healing for our family. The problem is that healing is always temporary. We always end up needing to go back to the doctor eventually for something else and we know that no matter how great a doctor we see, at some point, these earthly bodies are going to give out. We are going to die. That’s why we need more than just any doctor. We need the Great Physician.
Luke, who was a physician himself, wrote the Gospel of Luke most likely during the early 60s A.D. Luke was close to the apostle Paul and accompanied him on his missionary journeys. In Colossians 4:14, Paul referred to him as “Luke, the beloved physician.” He is mentioned as being present during both of Paul’s imprisonments which demonstrate his loyalty to Paul (Philemon 1:24, 2 Timothy 4:11).
Luke is the author of both the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts. Like any good physician, he was extremely detail oriented and included details in his Gospel that aren’t recorded in any of the other Gospels. This makes his Gospel the longest book in the New Testament. At the very beginning, he stated his purpose for writing his account: “Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught” (Luke 1:1-4).
In other words, Luke was not an eyewitness to Jesus’ life but he was a meticulous researcher. He was closely associated with the eyewitnesses and ministers of the word (the apostles) and he sought to compile those narratives into one orderly (chronological) account. He wanted to write a historically accurate and detailed account that demonstrated the trustworthiness and truth of the good news of Christ. Luke wanted to make it clear that it is true that Jesus is the Savior of all people, not just the Jews. He wrote: “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). To demonstrate this, Luke made special mention of Jesus’ attention to both the rich and the poor, male and female, multiple ethnicities, blessed and oppressed, and even little children.
As you might expect from a physician, Luke included numerous accounts of Jesus’ miracles that brought physical healing. The prophet Isaiah had prophesied that the Messiah would bring good news to the poor, brokenhearted, and captive (Isaiah 61:1) and that He would bring healing to the blind and the deaf (Isaiah 35:5). In today’s verses, we read that Jesus proclaimed Himself the fulfillment of those prophecies.
But ultimately, Jesus didn’t come to physically heal us, He came to be our Savior. We needed a Great Physician to heal us from our deadliest disease—sin. In Luke 5:31-32, Jesus said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” In Luke’s detailed account of Jesus’ birth, miracles, teaching, death, and resurrection, Luke shows how Jesus is the perfect Son of God, the only one who can heal us from our sin. Luke also emphasized that it is our faith that brings us this spiritual healing from God. Luke recorded that after Jesus healed someone, he often remarked that it was because of their faith in Him and nothing they had done to earn it (for example, Luke 7:9 and Luke 8:48).
Friends, we all have a deadly disease. It is sin and it threatens to kill us. Our only hope is to put our faith in the Great Physician. He’s the only one who can save us. If you haven’t placed your faith in Jesus Christ for the healing and salvation of your soul, what’s holding you back? Luke made sure we understood that Jesus came to save us and that goes for everybody.
Jesus, I confess that I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I have the sickness of sin and I need You to heal me. Thank You for being the Great Physician. The only doctor who can heal me both physically and spiritually for all eternity. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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