Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel account of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ as written and recorded by the beloved physician Luke. More specifically, today’s passage is found in verses forty through fifty-six of the eighth chapter. When you come to this particular portion of scripture you will find the beloved physician Luke writing and recording an event which took place within the life and ministry of Jesus Christ and was recorded by the apostle Matthew, as well as John Mark. As it sit here this morning I can’t help but wonder what it must have been like for a physician who was used to diagnosing the conditions of men, women and children to write a gospel account of the life and ministry of Jesus. In all reality I fond it absolutely wonderful and incredible that of the four gospel authors who wrote an account of the life and ministry of Jesus, one of them was an actually physician. This is quite astounding and remarkable when you think about it, for not only was Luke used to diagnosing patients, but Luke was also used to doing whatever he could to bring a cure for some of the conditions which would be brought before him. Undoubtedly as a physician, Luke witnessed a number of conditions within the lives of men and women which were brought before him and would use his knowledge of medicine and his knowledge of various conditions to treat men and women. I can’t help but wonder what the medical career of Luke was like prior to encountering the apostle Paul, and prior to writing this gospel account concerning Jesus the Christ. What was it like for Luke prior to encountering Jesus the Christ for himself—this Jesus who would and could heal any infirmity, any condition, and issue that would be brought before Him, or which He would encounter as He travelled throughout the region of Judaea, Galilee, Samaria, Jerusalem, and the towns, villages and cities of Israel. What was it like to write of one who brought healing into the lives of so many men and women when you had devoted your entire life to treating, diagnosing and seeking to cure those who were brought before and unto you?
THE CONTRAST BETWEEN PRESENCE AND MEDICINE! THE CONTRAST BETWEEN TREATMENT AND HEALING! THE CONTRAST BETWEEN SCIENCE AND POWER! In all reality this beloved physician Luke has something in common with Jesus the Christ, for if you take the time to think about it you will realize and recognize that both Luke as a physician and Jesus as the healer would experience men, women and children brought unto them in and with their conditions. Luke as a physician and Jesus as the healer were used to having men and women brining others, or even bringing themselves unto them expecting them to provide them with a cure for their condition. One of the fundamental differences between the two of these men, however, was that whereas Luke was expected to diagnose first and treat after, Jesus never needed to diagnose any condition that was brought before Him. Jesus never needed to ask questions in order to determine the condition of someone and then decide for Himself—not only whether or not He could heal them, but what needed to be done in order to bring healing into the lives of such men and women. Luke had spent a considerable amount of time studying and training in order that He might prepare himself and make himself ready to diagnose and treat those who would be brought unto him. What’s more, is the fact that I would dare say of Luke that not only were others brought unto him in and with the hopes of His being able to diagnose and treat them, but undoubtedly he would go to where others were—he would journey to the place of need in order that He might bring the power of medicine with him. What was it like for Luke to write this gospel account of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ and to write about men, women and children being brought unto Jesus for healing and deliverance knowing that men and women were brought unto him, and came unto him for healing themselves? What was it like to write of a Jesus who would agree to travel and walk with men and women to the place of their need knowing full well that this was something he himself was used to doing? In many areas and in many respects the beloved physician Luke and Jesus the Christ were similar in their endeavors among men, for both were looked to to bring healing within the lives of those who desperately needed it.
I can’t help but wonder what types of conditions the beloved physician Luke saw, witnessed and experienced within and throughout his medical career. I can’t help but wonder how many different cases he saw and witnessed as men and women would come unto him for themselves, and even as men and women would come unto him on behalf of others. What was it like for Luke to look into the eyes of one who desperately desired a cure and treatment for the condition within their lives? Undoubtedly there were times when Luke would see certain individuals multiple times with and for the same condition, and there were times when Luke would have to deliver news the patients and individuals did not and would not want to hear. Perhaps one of the most intriguing realities concerning and surrounding the occupation of Luke is that he would and could not treat everyone who would come unto him, nor could he offer any solution to everyone who would come unto and be brought unto him. I am convinced that one of the most interesting realities surrounding the occupation and profession Luke chose to enter into was having to deliver difficult news to those who came unto him expecting a solution, and in some cases—perhaps even a miracle. There is not a doubt in my mind that there were instances within the life and ministry of Luke when those who came unto him not only expected a solution, but also expected a miracle. There would have been those times when men and women came unto him and they knew the condition was dire and that a miracle would need to take plaice for them to survive, or even for their loved ones or friends to survive. I am sitting here this morning and I can’t help but be gripped with and by the fact that there were several times when parents would bring their children, husbands would bring their wives, wives would bring their husbands, and family members would bring other family members unto him in a desperate place with a desperate condition, and Luke knew there was nothing he could do. There were times when men and women would be brought unto Luke in order that Luke might somehow bring healing within their lives, and Luke would have to deliver the news and report they did not and would not want to hear. I am absolutely and thoroughly convinced that there were times when Luke would have to declare unto those who would be brought unto him that there was nothing he could do for the patient, and that the only thing left to do was to make them as comfortable and peaceful as they could be before they passed from this life to the next. There were times when Luke would have to declare unto those who came unto him that which they already knew, but Luke would simply confirm what they already knew, and perhaps were in denial in believing and accepting.
I have to admit that the more I sit here and read the New Testament gospel of Luke, the more I find it to be absolutely and incredibly captivating and breathtaking, for with this gospel we find a physician—one who was used to diagnosing and treating those who came unto him—writing about one who never needed to diagnose a single individual who was brought unto or came unto Him. As Luke set out to write this gospel account of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ, he wrote about one who never treated a single individual who was brought unto Him, but One who actually healed those who were brought unto Him. JESUS DIDN’T HAVE ANY TREATMENT PLANS! JESUS DIDN’T HAVE ANY PRESCRIPTION PLANS! One of the things I absolutely love about the New Testament gospel accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ is that Jesus never developed a treatment plan for those who were brought unto Him. Jesus never needed to prescribe certain procedures which needed to take place in order that certain men and women who came unto Him could experience healing within their lives. Jesus never had to develop a treatment plan for those who came unto Him such as you would find with those who have cancer or some other life threatening illness or disease. Jesus never had to develop a treatment plan in order for those who would come unto Him could find and experience healing within their lives. Jesus never had to give out scripts to those who would come unto Him in order that their condition might change for the better, and in order that they might find healing and wholeness within their physical bodies. One of the greatest realities that I am finding myself thinking about and considering when reading the New Testament gospel of Luke is that Jesus never had to issue a script to those who would come unto Him in order that they might take certain medications in order that they might be healed and made whole. Jesus never had to deliver various treatment plans to those who would be brought before and brought unto Him, for with Jesus you either left His presence healed and made whole, or you didn’t. In all reality, there were very few instances—if any at all—when someone entered into the presence of Jesus and left without being healed and made whole. In fact, there are multiple times within the four gospel accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ when we read that He healed all those who came unto and all those who were brought unto Him. There are instances and examples within each of the gospels when and where we read of Jesus healing every single soul and person which came unto and was brought unto Him—a thought and reality which is absolutely and truly astounding and remarkable when you take the time to consider it.
The more I read the New Testament gospel which the beloved physician Luke wrote, the more I can’t help but be absolutely disgusted with the plethora of books which have been written throughout the years that set forth “Seven Steps to be Whole,” or “Five Steps to be Healed,” or various other books which make a feeble attempt to set forth certain treatment plans, or certain prescriptions in order to find and experience within your life in order that you might find and experience healing and be made whole. I have a complete and utter hatred, disgust and distaste for such book which attempt to outline certain steps which need to take place in order to find deliverance, or in order to be healed, or in order to be made whole within their lives. I absolutely can’t stand books that are more like scripts which you would find given out in doctors’ offices, for they attempt to treat the grace and power of God as something that can be managed and prescribed within one’s life. As I sit here this morning and read and write concerning the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ as it was written by a physician, I can’t help but be gripped and captivated with and by the fact that with Jesus there was never, there has never, and there will never be any type of treatment plans. Jesus never had a seven step to healing teaching, nor a five step program to be delivered. Jesus never had to prescribe a particular program for those who came into His presence in order that they might be healed and made whole. Jesus never had to issue any type of step by step program for those who would enter into His presence in order that they might find and experience healing and wholeness, for He would simply heal and/or deliver you. With Jesus and in His presence you were either healed or you weren’t; you were either delivered or you weren’t. With Jesus you were either raised from death to life, or you weren’t. With Jesus you were either given sight when once you were blind, or you weren’t. With Jesus you were either caused to hear when you were once deaf and could not hear, or you weren’t. With Jesus you were either able to rise and pick up the mat which you were once confined to, or you weren’t. In fact, there is only one instance that I can think of when Jesus encounters a number of men and women who were gathered together in a single place in their desperate conditions, and Jesus healed only one of the men and women who were there. The instance I am thinking about is the pool of Bethesda where countless men and women would be gathered around a specific pool of water in order that they might make it into the waters when an angel would stir the waters, for whoever would enter into the waters would be healed of whatever malady and infirmity they had. The event which I am speaking of is found in the fifth chapter of the New Testament gospel of John and begins with the first verse of the chapter:
“After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatever disease he head. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath” (John 5:1-9)
This particular instance is perhaps the only one in all of Scripture where Jesus encountered a great multitude of sick folk, and yet He only healed one individual out of the countless many who were present before and around Him. There is also the account of Jesus in His own hometown, and how Jesus could do no great miracle or offer any great healing in the town of Nazareth because of the hardness of their hearts and their unbelief. As you read the four gospel accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ you will find time and time again that Jesus would instantly cause the blind to see and the deaf to hear. Within and throughout the gospels you would find Jesus causing the lame to walk instantly and immediately, and the mute to speak instantly. Within the four gospel accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ you will find example after example of those who were raised from the dead instantly and immediately, and those who were sick and dying made completely and absolutely whole. Oh, I can’t help but wonder what it was like for a physician—one who had to deliver the news that not only were some of those brought before and unto him dying, but certain of those who were brought before him would die and there was nothing he could do fore them—to write of Jesus raising the dead to life. What was it like for a physician to write concerning certain individuals who were sick and dying to encounter and experience Jesus the Christ, and not only was their sickness healed and cured, but death was driving back and no longer a threat within their lives? What was it like for Luke to write in such concrete terms that Jesus caused the blind to see, that Jesus cased the deaf to hear, and that Jesus caused the mute to speak? What was it like for Luke to write concerning a Jesus who could heal those who were dying when Luke knew full well that there would have been nothing he could have done to save them? What was it like for Luke to write about the Roman Centurion’s servant who was sick and dying, and even Jairus’ daughter who was sick and dying, and to write how Jesus healed the centurion’s son from a distance, and raised Jairus’ daughter from death to life knowing that if he was called in for such individuals, there would have been nothing he could have done to offer any solution? Oh, I find the New Testament gospel account of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ as written by the beloved physician Luke to be absolutely wonderful and incredible, for within it we find one who was used to treating people with science and medicine writing about One who needed neither science nor medicine in order to heal and make men whole.
As I sit here this morning and read the words which are written and found within the New Testament gospel account of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ as written and recorded by the beloved physician Luke, I can’t help but be absolutely captivated and gripped with and by the fact that this physician who was used to writing scripts, and was used to possibly offering treatment plans in order to bring healing and wholeness into the lives of his patients, wrote about one who not only did not need medicine, but One who also did not need to offer and prescribe and treatment plans. In fact, the only thing that could be remotely considered as a treatment plan is when the ten lepers came unto Jesus and He instructed them to go and shew themselves unto the priests, and when one who was blind had mud put on His eyes by Jesus and was then instructed to go and wash in the pool of Siloam. In all reality, neither of these two examples were in fact a treatment plan, but were simply instruction given by Jesus in order that these individuals might find and experience healing and wholeness within their lives. You can read the four gospel accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ and you will never find a single instance or occurrence of Jesus offering and providing any treatment plan for those who would come unto Him, for Jesus needed merely speak a word and men could and would be healed, or Jesus would simply place His hand on men and they would be healed and would be made whole. Within the four gospel accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ we find Jesus speaking unto people, and immediately they would healed and made whole, and/or would even be delivered of and from that which tormented and oppressed them. I read the words which are written and found within the New Testament gospel of Luke and I can’t help but be drawn to the fact that I absolutely hate and abhor men and women who attempt to overcomplicate the life and ministry of Jesus, and His ability to heal and make men whole. Entire volumes of books have been written attempting to offer what could only be described as prescription and treatment plans for the grace and mercy of the living God. Multiple books have been written making feeble attempts to offer and provide men and women with certain and specific treatment plans in order that they might be made whole, and in order that they might be healed. There are entire books that have been written which have contained within them step by step instruction or step by step suggestions on what to do if you want to experience healing and wholeness within your life. Entire books have been written by men and women who attempt to offer a step by step program in order for one to be delivered from that which torments and oppresses them—books and volumes which I absolutely abhor and disgust.
The passage before us within the eighth chapter of the New Testament gospel of Luke is quite remarkable and astounding when you think about it, for contained within it are two distinct realities which Luke as a physician would have been accustomed to. In all reality, there are present within this passage of Scripture three distinct realities which Luke as a physician would have been used to—realities which we would be incredibly wise to think about and consider. As you read this particular chapter you will find that Jairus who was a ruler of one of the synagogues had a daughter who was sick and dying, and who came unto Jesus in order that Jesus might heal his little girl. This type of reality would have been no surprise for Luke, for undoubtedly he had similar encounters when men and women would come unto him regarding those who were sick and dying. Undoubtedly there were those times when parents would bring their sick child unto Luke—their child who was on the verge of dying—in order that Luke might diagnose and treat the one who was sick and on the verge of death. I am completely and utterly convinced that there were countless times when Luke found himself walking with men and women to the place of their need—to the place where those lie sick and dying, or perhaps sick and in a great deal of pain, or sick and in desperate need of healing and wholeness within their physical bodies. Luke would have been no stranger to walking with men and women through and in the midst of their hurt, their pain, and even their desperation. The eighth chapter of the New Testament gospel of Luke begins and opens with Luke writing concerning Jairus who was a ruler of a synagogue coming unto Jesus on behalf of his daughter who lay at home dying. Luke writes and records how Jesus agreed to walk with this father as he led Him to the place where his daughter lie dying in order that Jesus might heal her, for she was his only daughter. Oh, how many times had Luke walked with parents as they led him to the place where their child or children lie dying? How many times had Luke walked with men and women in the place of their hurt, pain and desperation in order that he might provide some type of solution for that which their family member, friend, or loved one desperately needed? How many stories did Luke hear from men and women which could have very easily broken his heart and caused his soul to be exceedingly and incredibly heavy and sorrowful? How many times did Luke walk with men and women in the midst of and through their pain because they turned to him for help and assistance? How many times was Luke put in the place where men and women expected him to work a miracle in the lives of family members, friends and loved ones? Oh, I would dare say that one of the great similarities between the physician and the great Physician is that they both agreed to walk with men and women in the midst of their hurt and pain, and they both agreed to walk with men and women into and unto the place of their desperation and need. WHEN THE PHYSICIAN WRITES ABOUT THE GREAT PHYSICIAN! WHEN A PHYSICIAN WRITES ABOUT HEALING AND MIRACLES—THAT WHICH GOES AGAINST EVERYTHING HE WAS TAUGHT AND TRAINED!
What so intrigues and amazes me about the New Testament gospel of Luke is also the very same thing that intrigues me about the other New Testament book which Luke wrote—the New Testament book of Acts—for in his first treatise Luke would write about those things which were completely contrary to everything he had been taught and learned, and in his second book he wrote about Paul who encountered and experienced something that went against everything he himself was taught and learned. WHEN THE PHARISEE AND THE PHYSICIAN ENCOUNTER JESUS! WHEN THE PHARISEE AND THE PHYSICIAN HAVE TO GIVE UP EVERYTHING THEY LEARNED AND WERE TAUGHT! The most intriguing reality surrounding the New Testament gospel of Luke, as well as the New Testament book of Acts is that in the one book we find a physician encountering the great Physician, and in the other we find the Pharisee encountering the Messiah and the Christ. Oh, we dare not miss and lose sight of this, for it bring us face to face with the incredible and tremendous reality that there are times in our lives when we are going to have to give up everything we have learned, and everything that we have been taught in order that we might truly encounter and experience Jesus the Christ. Both the Pharisee and the physician spent their entire lives devoted to thinking, operating and believing one way, and now both men were faced with a decision to give up everything they had learned and been taught in order that they might truly encounter and experience Jesus. In the case of the New Testament gospel of Luke we find a physician writing about a Jesus who agreed to walk with men and women in the place of, and in the midst of their pain and sorrow as Jesus did when He agreed to walk with Jairus to his home and to the place where his daughter lie dying. What’s more, is that Luke wrote concerning the woman who had the issue of blood for twelve years and spent all her living upon physicians, and could not be healed of any. Pause for a moment and consider this reality, for it is actually quite astounding when you truly think about it. Within this passage we find a physician writing how one single woman spent all her living on others in the same profession as him, and yet could not be healed by any. Within this passage of Scripture we find a physician who followed Jesus writing how other physicians could not heal and provide any cure of this woman who had the issue of blood for twelve years. Imagine what it was like for Luke to write concerning this woman, and to write how she had spent all her living on other physicians, and yet was in no wise made whole. Do you want to know what would have been truly ironic? It would have been truly ironic if one of the physicians this woman encountered was Luke, and how there was nothing Luke could do for this woman. Of course we know that Luke was a Gentile, and wasn’t of Jewish origin and descent, but it would be quite the interesting concept for this physician was one of the physicians whom this woman encountered, and yet could in no wise be made whole or offered any healing.
As you continue reading this particular gospel you will find a third reality which Luke would have been accustomed to—a reality which was perhaps one of the most difficult parts of his occupation and profession. While Jesus was speaking to the woman who had experienced healing within her physical body, a member of Jairus’ house came unto him and declared unto him that he need not trouble the Master any longer, for his daughter had died. The one who came unto Jairus delivered what was perhaps a terrible blow and discouraging word fore Jairus, for he was walking with Jesus to the place where his daughter lay, and while walking along the way, his daughter died. Oh, I can’t help but wonder what it was like for Luke as he had to deliver the news to family members that their loved one had died and passed from this life to the next. What was it like for the beloved physician Luke to have to leave the room where certain individuals lie dying in order to deliver the news that the one he was brought in to treat and to heal had died and was no longer with them? In this particular instance Jesus encounters a member of Jairus’ house who came unto him and declared unto him that his daughter was dead, and that he didn’t need to trouble the master any longer. It’s actually quite remarkable and astounding to think about and consider the fact that when Jesus heard the words which were spoken unto Jairus, He instructed him to fear not, and to believe only, and she would be made whole. What’s more, is that even though Jairus’ daughter was dead, Jesus continued to walk with him to the place where his daughter was lying. When the journey began, Jesus was walking with Jairus through the hurt and pain of a daughter who was dying, and now Jesus was walking with Jairus through a completely different place, for Jesus was now walking with him through actual loss, for this little girl was dead. Oh, please don’t miss the tremendous significance of what we have here, for not only did Jesus walk with Jairus through a place of desperation and hopelessness, but Jesus also walked with Jairus through what would seem to be an incredible impossibility. What is so absolutely remarkable about this particular passage is that this woman who had the issue of blood for twelve years was made whole by simply touching the hem of Jesus’ garment, and this daughter of Jairus who had died while Jesus walked with him in the place of hurt and pain was raised from death to life. Oh how absolutely wonderful and incredible this particular passage truly is when you think about it, for within this passage we find the physician writing of Jesus healing one who could not be healed or cured by any physician, and how Jesus raised from death to life a young girl who had died while Jesus walked with the father through the place of hurt, sorrow, pain and suffering. How absolutely wonderful and remarkable it is that not only do we find a Jesus who is willing to walk with us through our pain and suffering, but we also find a Jesus who doesn’t need to offer any prescription or treatment plan for those who are suffering and in great need, for Jesus needs only speak the word, or lay His hand on one, and they can be instantly and immediately healed. If there is one thing we must come to terms with when reading this passage of Scripture, it’s that Jesus doesn’t need to deliver any prescription plan, nor does Jesus need to offer any treatment plan for what you are going through, for Jesus can instantly and immediately heal and deliver you, and make you whole—even when you have spent all your living on and with others, and could in no wise be made whole. Oh that we would read these words which were written by a physician, and that we would encounter a Jesus who is able to heal rather than treat, and make whole rather than prescribe certain medicines and certain actions. Oh that we would recognize that Jesus has never and will never need to diagnose any issue or condition you or I face, and can in a single instant and moment offer complete healing and deliverance within our physical bodies, as well as within our hearts, our minds, and our souls. Oh that we would place our trust in the One who is not merely a physician and healer, but the One who is the Great Physician and Healer, and one who has never and will never needed or required the help of men.