In this passage, Christ is presented under the symbolism of a physician. Christ is a physician of the soul. He is the Great physician because there is no other person that can bring the souls of men to a health for time and eternity.
1. The physician and his patients (9:12) They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick
He did not come to call the self-righteous. His patents are those who are spiritually sick. Sickness qualifies a person for the doctor. Sin is the sickness that qualifies us for Christ. The sickness men have is their evil. There is a force within man that will eventually destroy man. This evil is seen in the tongue which is an unruly evil, full of poison. The tongue points to the fallen nature of man. This Physician's patients are not good people.
2. The physician and his pity (9:13a) "But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy and not sacrifice"
One of the indispensable elements of a physician is his compassion. Luke is called the beloved physician. The inference is that he had a care for people and was loved by people. Luke had pity, but there is no heart of pity like the Lord's. The Lord shows it by his mission. He goes into the house of sinners and sits down with him. The world doesn't have time for people but the Lord has time for you. God has pity not just your soul but also your body and will one day raise it up never again to be subject to weakness and sin.
3. The physician and his program (9:13b) "for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
The physician's program is repentance: turning from sin to Christ in all his sufficiency. Is this true of you?
Rev. John Greer is pastor of the Ballymena Free Presbyterian Church and former Moderator of Presbytery in Northern Ireland. Born in County Antrim, Mr. Greer was minister of Sixmilecross Free Presbyterian Church, County Tyrone, before moving to the United States in 1983 to pastor...