“And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
At Wednesday’s prayer meeting, our dear sister Elaine shared an interesting—and somewhat ironic—observation with us. She noted that in doctor’s offices and medical clinics there are signs posted instructing sick people to stay away! Of course this has everything to do with the alleged pandemic, which governments around the world have used to their own advantage. By causing people to live in fear of viruses, fines, or even imprisonment, governments were able to expand and extend their control even into the deepest recesses of the private lives of their citizens. To this very hour, the saga continues as a weird blend of confusion and uncertainty, wickedness and deception. Whatever the case, the strange decision for medical clinics to refuse to see sick people is the direct opposite of God’s heart on the matter. As today’s verse passage reminds us, in God’s sight human sin is very much like a deadly and highly contagious disease. “The heart is deceitful above all things,” wrote Jeremiah the prophet, “and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). Literally, the Hebrew text indicates that the unregenerate heart is dangerously sick and incurable. The prophet Isaiah draws a ghastly picture of sin as putrefying disease (Isaiah 1:4-6), which we know from other verse passages is contagious in nature (1 Corinthians 5:5-7; 15:33; 2 Timothy 2:16-18). How good it is to know that our God does not operate as foolish humans and their institutions are wont to do. Rather than ignore or expel the sick and needy, our Lord did better than to admit them into His presence for ministry; He came to them personally in their hour of need. “The Word became flesh,” wrote John, “and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father), full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). Today our Lord invites into His presence anyone who has been infected by the deadly “virus” called sin. The Savior of the world is also the architect of the human family. He knows our frame, and He is acutely aware of our need. He is the Great Physician Who alone can cure us of sin’s devastating influence in our lives (Matthew 1:21). We are even now free from sin’s condemnation (Romans 8:1) and are in the process of being saved from sin’s power and influence (Romans 6:14; Philippians 2:12-13). One day, He will save us from sin’s very presence (Revelation 21-22). Let us praise God today as the One Who forgives all our sins and heals all our diseases (Psalm 103:2-3).