The Great Physician
27th April 2019
An allegory by Derek Mill
All Saints Church, Belton
Once I was visited by a Great Physician for what I thought was a quick check up, you know, the once over like you have at work. Well, you can imagine my reaction when he told me very gravely that all was not well, not well at all
He began to mention a few symptoms and ask a few questions and as he progressed I got more and more worried because he kept indicating that all I was telling him was confirming his diagnosis. I couldn't believe what was happening, I felt wonderful; on top of the world, well you know, apart from the usual problems we have in this life
I kept telling him I was fine, there was nothing to fuss over, but he told me something which chilled me to the bone. What I had was terminal. It was the most common cause of death. I was already one third dead and the rest was going to follow. I'd got sin, and it was terminal, eternally terminal
My spirit was already dead, and my mind and soul, the body, was going to die too. Perhaps you know what it's like, you can't believe it's you, you're not going to die, you'd be the one to live forever; and now I was hearing I was going to die forever.
I asked the physician "Is there anything that can be done?". He told me there was absolutely nothing I could do. But he could save me. He could bring my spirit back to life; he could renew my mind and when this present body died, he could renew it for me with a body which would be immortal, like his!
I asked him what all this was going to cost and he answered me with a conundrum, a riddle, something that made sense, but I couldn't understand
He said "It's free, but it will cost you everything"
I asked what that meant?
He said "An eye for an eye; a tooth for a tooth; a life for a life"
Still I didn't understand
"I give my life for your life, I pay your debt with my blood, and you give me your life so I can renew it, rebuild it, restore it"
I said "But there's nothing wrong with my life!"
And he described the symptoms of sin
He said "Do you think you are good? Do you despise goodness because you are evil? Do you despise goodness because you think it is weakness? Do you like to see goodness fail? Do you mock good people? What about love? Do you love people?"
I said "I love my friends"
He said, "Do you? What about when they let you down? Do you belittle them? Do you emotionally blackmail them if they don't do what you want? If they won't do the wrong things you want do you tell them they're chicken? Ridicule them? Call them names? If they do good do you call them soft? And what about your enemies? Do you love your enemies? If someone insults you, do you love them? Care for them? Help them? If you don't like someone do you resist them? Scoff their ideas? Run down their words? Never listen to them?"
I said "But that's natural, everyone does that!"
He said "It is natural. It's a symptom of sin
What about joy? Have you got joy in your heart?" he asked
I said I was OK. I was pretty happy most of the time
He said "More than happy - JOY!!" Not up and down feelings. A general joyousness, no matter what happened to me. No matter whether I was rich or poor, working or not working, hungry and thirsty or fed and watered, ill or in good health. Did I have joy?
I didn't know how I could do that
He said "That's a symptom of sin"
Was I at peace? I was angry. I was always angry. The world was unfair. I didn't have what I wanted. I felt like killing people who were spoiling the world. I didn't want more than my fair share, but I wanted more. I was angry
He said "So you're not very patient?"
"People are idiots" I said. "They can't do anything right. The world's a mess"
What would I do? I didn't know. Get rid of most of them
What about kindness, goodness, faithfulness? I was faithful, and kind and good.
"But your wife wants to leave you"
"How do you know that?"
"She told me. She loves you but can't live with you. Your cruel words, your uncaring look, your selfish ways. She's had enough. It's a common symptom of sin"
I was prepared to kill this so called physician
What about gentleness and self-control?
I had no self-control, no gentleness
If I had a cross and nails I would have crucified him!
"I know" he said. In a gentle voice he said "I know"
My heart cried out "Lord save me!"
And He did