Saturday, September 6, 2014

Embracing the Great Physician, Jesus Christ

Luke 4:17-19 "And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written, 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who are oppressed, 19 To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”

As Jesus was beginning His public ministry, the very first statement made about His public ministry in Luke comes on the heals of His temptation by Satan in the wilderness in Luke 4:1-14. Jesus' self-identifying statement connected Him to the prophecy of Isaiah 61. What Jesus would do in Luke 4:17-19 is summarized for his hearers in his own boy-hood hometown. Jesus' reading of the prophecy would serve to explain the exact nature of His pending earthly ministry. 

Jesus came as the great physician, demonstrating His power over emotional and physical ailments, and most importantly showing that He had the power to forgive sins. Author Ann Spangler in the book: "Praying the Names of Jesus", page 65, notes: "Jesus, the greatest of all physicians, performed more healings than any other kind of miracle. Nothing stumped him - not blindness, craziness, lameness, deafness, or even death. Every ailment yielded to his undeniable power, and every healing served as evidence that His kingdom was breaking into our fallen world."

Point of Application: As Luke 4:14-44 introduced us to the Great Physician, Jesus Christ, we will offer this main point of application: You and I must ever embrace and never reject Jesus Christ, the Great Physician. The following reasons gleaned from Luke's account will demonstrate why we must ever embrace and never reject the Great Physician, Jesus Christ. 

Medicine from the Great Physician. Luke 4:14-21
Any good doctor not only possess the wisdom to prescribe remedies, but also knows the best ones. What makes Jesus Christ so unique and worthy of the title "Great Physician" are the medicines He had to offer from His own, Spirit-endued reserve of power. Notice the list of medicines we find in Luke 4:18-19:

1. Spiritual Medicine. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor." 

2. Emotional medicine. We see this in verse 18 :"He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives....".

3. Physical healing medicine. Certainly in verse 18 we Jesus having the power to affect physical healing: "And recovery of sight to the blind...."

4. Supernatural medicine. Included in Jesus' ability to heal was the exorcisms He would perform, as explained in verse 18: "To set free those who are oppressed...." 

5. The medicine of the scriptures. Consider verse and then in verse 19: "To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.” 

All five types of these medicines would weave their way throughout the earthly ministry of our Lord. He as the Great Physician is unlimited in what He can do. The Lord God near the beginning of the Old Testament identified Himself as "The Lord who Heals" (Jehovah Rapha) in Exodus 15:26. Equally significant is the fact that the Old Testament revelation closed out by predicting the 2nd coming of the Messiah with "healing in His wings" in Malachi 3:2. Clearly Jesus' ability to heal body, soul and most importantly the human spirit demonstrated His identity as God in human flesh. Jesus opens up His public ministry in His first coming by referencing a prophecy pertaining to His ability to heal. By the power of the Holy Spirit today Jesus still offers various remedies, with the first (spiritual healing) and last type of medicine (scripture) being His chief remedies that govern the other three. So we see the medicines of the Great Physician, but notice also...

Massive rejection of the Great Physician. Luke 4:20-30
Jesus then rolls up the scroll of Isaiah and declares in effect that He was the fulfillment of it. The people in his hometown were astonished. Luke 4:22 records their marveling at the gracious words and then saying quite irreverently: "Is this not Joseph's Son"? Jesus then responds in Luke 4:23 And He said to them, “No doubt you will quote this proverb to Me, ‘Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we heard was done at Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well.’” In commenting on this proverb alluded to by Jesus (or what also could be translated "parable"), the great commentator Albert Barnes notes: "The connexion of this proverb, here, is this: 'You profess to be the Messiah. You have wrought miracles at Caprenaum. You profess to be able to deliver us from our maladies, our sins, our afflictions, etc. Show that you have the power, that you are worthy of our confidence, by working miracles here, as you profess you have done at Capernaum.'

This was undoubtedly a massive rejection of the Great Physician. He attempted to minister in His own Home town, and yet they rejected Him. Before long, virtually every town Jesus would go would turn Him away. Frighteningly the church itself, even in our day, can run the risk of rejecting the Great Physician's desire to want to come in and draw closer to His own people. Revelation 3:19-20 "Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door,I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me." And so again we must ever embrace and never reject the Great Physician Jesus Christ. Now consider briefly the next reason for embracing Him...

Miracles done by the Great Physician. Luke 4:31-41
Jesus ended up going down to the town that would become His ministry headquarters (compare Matthew 9:1). In keeping with His inaugural sermon in Luke 4:18-19, Jesus cast out demons and performed healings. All the miracles pointed to His authority. (Luke 4:32) Prior to Jesus, no one had performed a verifiable exorcism. Truly what Jesus did demonstrated what we read in Matthew 11:2-5 "Now when John, while imprisoned, heard of the works of Christ, he sent word by his disciples 3 and said to Him, “Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?” 4 Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you hear and see: 5 the blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. 6 And blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.”

So we see the medicine of the Great Physician, the massive rejection of Him and the miracles He did. Again, you and I must ever embrace and not ever reject the Great Physician, Jesus Christ. Notice the final reason for this....

The message of the Great Physician. Luke 4:43-44
Luke 4:43-44 states - But He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose.” 44 So He kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea." What was the mission of Jesus Christ? We know that He came to provide salvation. (Mark 10:45; Luke 19:10) We see too that Jesus came for a second and closely related purpose: to proclaim the Kingdom of God. There would have to be a cross before a crown. Jesus' role as Great Physician, healer of the mind and body, but moreso the soul, testified that the Kingdom was breaking into our world and history. Matthew 9:35 records -  "Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness." In Acts 10:38-40 Peter states - "You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. 39 We are witnesses of all the things He did both in theland of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They also put Him to death by hanging Him on across. 40 God raised Him up on the third day and granted that He become visible." Thus we see the mission of the Great Physician.

Closing thoughts:
Today we looked at meeting Jesus the Great Physician. We must ever embrace and not reject Him. Why? His ministry, the massive rejection He underwent, the miracles He did and the mission for which He came all point to the fact that He is worthy of embracing. His accomplished work on the cross and resurrection from the dead demonstrated that the Kingdom did indeed break into our world. His primary work of definite salvation and ministering through the scriptures, as well as the secondary benefits of possible emotional, physical and supernatural healings issue forth from the exalted King of Kings and Lord of Lords. 


  1. Thank you, Pastor. Wonderful post. It reminds me of this song:

    Together with you in Christ.


  2. Hi Abby:

    Thanks for posting that link. I may make that link a blog posting of its own. Blessings!

  3. Pastor, I'm glad you liked it. I really like the Liberty Campus Band. Here's three others you may enjoy.

    God bless you,