Apart from Him we can do nothing

Jesus is the Great Physician

Jesus is the great physician

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Jesus is the great physician because He has the answer for all of our healing. He heals the body, mind, and most importantly, soul.

A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding. She had suffered a great deal from many doctors, and over the years she had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. In fact, she had gotten worse. She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe. For she thought to herself, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.” Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition.

Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my robe?”

His disciples said to him, “Look at this crowd pressing around you. How can you ask, ‘Who touched me?’”

But he kept on looking around to see who had done it. Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done.  And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.” (Mark 5:25-34)

The Work of the Great Physician

As often as we hear the phrase “Jesus is the Great Physician”, we would expect to find that phrase in the Bible, but we don’t. Not being sure of the origin of the phrase, it nevertheless is a common term people use to describe Christ.

Jesus heals our most deadly wound when He accepts our act of repentance and forgives us of our sins, so that we may have life with Him. But we know from Bible that he brought all manner of healing to those in His presence – body, mind, and soul. Today’s passage where Jesus heals a long-suffering woman is an example where Jesus does all 3 in the same instance. Let’s look at this and understand why Jesus is truly the Great Physician and see how we may apply this in our walk with Christ.

How Jesus Heals our Whole Being

The story in our passage today shows how Jesus healed more than just physical illness.

If Jesus is the Great Physician only for physical healing, He very well could have just kept on walking after the woman touched his garment.

Instead, Jesus stops and says, “who touched my garments?” There were probably many people touching Jesus, but Jesus stopped for that one woman.

She had already been physically healed and Jesus knew this because he felt the power flow to her, yet Jesus stopped and turned around to address this woman. He said “Daughter, your faith has made you well”.

Jesus calls her “daughter”. I didn’t realize what a big deal this is until I read in Leviticus 15 about ceremonial purity. This woman was considered unclean for 12 years! This meant she was isolated from worship and from the community, because if anyone had even touched something she had touched during her state of uncleanness, they would be considered unclean as well (Leviticus 15:19-27).

Even more, because of the nature of her issue, this would have rendered the woman unable to bear children. How incredibly isolated and alone she must have felt.

And yet, here is Jesus calling her “daughter”.

Jesus did more than heal her body. In this moment, he healed her entirely, body, mind and soul. She was restored in every way. Jesus is the Great Physician indeed! He didn’t just heal her – Jesus restored her to relationship with Himself, as God.

Becoming Transformed by the Great Physician

Jesus had a different view of this woman than did others in her community. He responded with empathy and sympathy.

Empathy is to understand another person’s experience. Sympathy can be simply feeling sorry for someone.

Link to Pinterest pin image of a hunched over homeless man with text that reads "For followers of Christ, sympathy must lead to actively loving the unloved". For followers of Christ, sympathy must lead to actively loving the unloved.

God showed empathy and sympathy for all humankind through Jesus Christ.  Because we believe in the one and only almighty God who sent his Son to show the world unbelievable grace, we should follow Christ’s example and do the same (1 John 2:6).

When we consider fellow human beings who are as lost and destitute as the woman in today’s passage, do we show empathy? And if so, does empathy become active sympathy?

If you consider that we are to love our neighbor as ourselves, this can become a vulnerable and difficult thing to do. Truthfully, we cannot do this on our own and requires us to abide with Christ.

If all Christians responded to those our world considers “unclean” with empathy and active sympathy, I wonder how many would have found the love of Christ?

Have confidence in your faith in God; when we focus on God we can overcome the world with grace. We can overcome evil, not by demonizing people, but rather by leading them to Christ, so that His grace will overcome evil.

Introducing Others to the Great Physician

As we consider how we respond to the people of our society who we have labeled as unclean, may we do the same for them?

Let’s stop, turn around and address them as the children of God that they truly are.  Sons and daughters of God almighty. Perhaps not yet joint heirs in Christ, but all created in His image (Genesis 1:27).

If we have the Holy Spirit of God which comes through our faith in Christ, through His power we will be able to treat others differently. Especially those who society turns away. And in so doing, perhaps help them discover for themselves that Jesus is the Great Physician.

More Bible verses about Jesus being the Great Physician:

Psalm 147:3; Isaiah 53:5; Mark 2:17; 1 Timothy 1:15; James 5:14-15; 1 Peter 2:24; Revelation 21:4

All Biblical reference links courtesy of Bible Gateway, a searchable online Bible tool hosting more than 200 versions of the Bible in over 70 languages.

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