But when Jesus heard this, He said, "It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick." Matthew 9:12
There are so many sick and suffering in our world today. We all suffer to different degrees, and I know I always find it so encouraging to think about the suffering of Jesus when I am going through a difficult time. The writer to the Hebrews had a lot to say about suffering and Jesus' qualification for ministering to those who suffer.
For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted. Hebrews 2:18
Just as this hymnwriter says, no one who is suffering sickness, grief or in pain will turn to Jesus in vain - He will come to our aid since He has suffered also.
We can see Jesus in our suffering, and we also see Him when we minister to those who are sick, in grief or pain. And when we minister to them, we bring them the news of the love of Christ. The love that sent Him to the cross to bear our burdens and save us from our sin.
I am reminded of what Isaiah prophesied about the coming Messiah:
He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face. He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. Isaiah 53:3-5
Our griefs He bore. Our sorrows He carried. He was pierced for our sins, and by Him we are healed!
We all need the Great Physician. Whether we have physical ailments or not, until we have professed faith in Jesus Christ we are sick, even dead, in our sins. We need the great healer to save our souls and make them well again. And as Jesus instructed, we need to take the news of the gospel to those who haven't heard about His healing balm and His love for His people.
Today, I especially lift up in prayer my sister and the team she is travelling with to Guatemala to bring God's love to the people through healing of some of their physical ailments. I pray that as they minister to these people through medical care, that they will share the abundant love of Jesus in word and deed and that many souls will be brought to God, never to wander again.
Lord Jesus, I ask you to bring life and health to these people, both in their physical bodies and in their souls. Be with the team that will care for them - give them compassion and wisdom as they perform surgery. Give them opportunity to share Your love and Your message of hope and salvation. May the people of Guatemala come to know the Great Physician and sing Your praises evermore.
O Thou Through Suffering Perfect Made
Words by William How
O Thou through suffering perfect made,
On Whom the bitter cross was laid;
In hours of sickness, grief and pain,
No sufferer turns to Thee in vain.
The halt, the maimed, the sick, the blind,
Sought not in vain Thy tendance kind,
Now in Thy poor Thyself we see,
And minister through them to Thee.
O loving Savior, Thou canst cure
The pains and woes Thou didst endure;
For all who need, Physician great,
Thy healing balm we supplicate.
But, O far more, let each keen pain
And hour of woe be heavenly gain,
Each stroke of Thy chastising rod
Bring back the wanderer nearer God!
O heal the bruised heart within!
O save our souls all sick with sin!
Give life and health in bounteous store,
That we may praise Thee evermore!