It’s Time for Your Spiritual Wellness Exam
Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. 30 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?” 31 Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:29-32)
Twice in the Scripture Jesus calls himself a doctor. Luke 5 is the most prominent. These verses tell us several things: (1) We, or at least some of us, are sick; (2) Jesus equates this sickness with sin; (3) Jesus equates healing from this sickness with repentance; (4) Jesus declares Himself to be a Physician; the Physician who can deal with this disease; and (5) Jesus claimed to confront humanity in its deepest malady and that He does so as the Great Physician.
The irony of this text is that the Pharisees and the teachers of the law would have viewed themselves as “healthy” and not “sick.” The witness of the Scripture as a whole is that we are all sinners (Romans 3:23) in need of Jesus’ healing (Romans 6:23) and here I believe Jesus is either being ironic or at least acquiescing to their ignorance.
I believe my Dad was 84 when he first felt the pain in his side. Because of his age, he thought the windedness was just his growing older. However the pain led him to make a doctor’s appointment and the diagnosis came back stage 4 lung cancer. He was gone within two months. Lung cancer runs in the family. Had he just had more regular check ups, we may have caught it earlier.
I had a dear friend who hated doctor appointments–especially when they included drawing blood; he would always pass out. He appeared healthy, but then one day, without warning, he was not. He suffered a mini-stroke and then, as he was recovering, a total shutdown of his kidneys and liver. Had he only had more frequent check ups, maybe things would have been different.
When it comes to your physical health, ignorance is not bliss. The same is true for your spiritual health. Many of us go about in blissful ignorance of our spiritual health and never make an appointment with the Great Physician for a Spiritual Wellness Exam.
Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you– unless, of course, you fail the test? (2 Corinthians 13:4-5)
Sunday morning, using the metaphor of a Spiritual Wellness Exam, we’ll look at some things we need to check out with the Great Physician. I hope you plan to join us!