Portraits of Christ | Physician
Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself. (Luke 4:23).
The term Physician is a title Jesus gave to himself. It is used only once, and coincidentally, Luke is the only one who records the scene. The apostle Luke was himself a physician (Colossians 4:14).
Medical practices and treatments in the days of Christ were crude and much of them ineffective. Luke often felt fustrated and helpless as he watched his patients suffer, and his attempts at making them well were largely unsuccessful. The miraculous healing touch of Christ had special meaning and significance to him. There were no sterile operating rooms, no medical technology, no anesthesia, and little research. Pain and disease were at times rampant, and the only weapons the typical physician had were a variety of herbs, spices, soothing oils, and perhaps wine and myrrh for pain. What was said of the woman with the issue of blood could have been said of almost anyone, "She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse." (Mark 5:26).
It is no small wonder then that when the electrifying news of a Healer spread throughout the region, great innumerable crowds gathered to follow Christ as he traveled across the countryside. Jesus had great compassion upon the people and was touched by their sicknesses and infirmities. Matthew writes, "Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them. The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel." (15:30-31).
Jesus didn't just heal people of their illnesses only. He cared about the whole person, and he would forgive their sins, cast out demonic oppression, and give peace to troubled minds. The scriptural portrait of Jesus as a Physician reveals not only his healing power, but also his care and compassion toward those who are hurting. He is our Great Physician who paid the price for our healing of body, and more importantly, our soul. He has born our griefs and carried our sorrows. He was wounded for transgressions and bruised for our iniquities, and with his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:3-5).
Will you be made whole?
If you could picture in your mind a battlefied littered with wounded, this would depict the scene around the Pool of Bethesda near the sheep market in Jerusalem. Hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of people have gathered around the pool hoping to receive a touch, praying for healing, begging that today would be their day.
As Jesus walks among them, He sees a man that has been sick 38 long and grueling years. Jesus asks the man, "Will you be made whole?" (John 5:6). It's an unusual question at first glance. You would think that a man who has been sick for so long would want to be healed. But Jesus didn't ask him if he wanted to be healed. No, Jesus asked him if he wanted to be made whole. And there is a difference.
Being healed involves the body only. But being made whole involves the body, soul, and spirit. There is a difference between salvation and a Savior, between healing and a Healer, between redemption and a Redeemer, and between deliverance and a Deliverer. The first is a thing. The second is a Person. Do you want only the things that Jesus can do for you, or do you want Jesus Himself? Do you want healing, or do you want to be made whole? A person who is healed will still eventually die. The person who is made whole will live eternally.