Question: I often hear Christians emphatically refer to Jesus as their healer, even their GP. Can they be right?
Dr Bernard Shiu, well-known Geelong General Practitioner, responds:
General practitioners such as myself strive to practise a holistic approach. We take into consideration the biological, psychological and social factors relevant to the care of our patients.
Our duties are not limited to specific parts of our body, rather we tend to deal with multiple health and health related issues all at once.
And, as our patients may vary in age, sex, ethnic and educational background, we are trained to treat and communicate at an appropriate level suitable for the individual.
I often refer our profession as a ‘Swiss army knife’ – that is, we are equipped to manage a little bit of everything within medicine. Sometimes we are paediatrician; sometimes we are psychiatrist; sometimes we are diabetes specialist; sometimes we are gynaecologist and so on.
In answering the above question, I would draw a clear parallelism to our Lord and Saviour. When Jesus was on earth, he was a son, a friend to many, a religious teacher, but more importantly, he was a great doctor!
Jesus, the great GP
Looking back on the ‘medical career’ of Jesus Christ, he would have fitted in perfectly as a GP! Let’s take a look at some of his ‘medical cases’:
Infectious Diseases – Leper in Galilee
Rehabilitation program – Paralytic at Capernaum
Ear, nose and throat problems – Deaf man with speech problem
Gynaecological problems – Woman with bleeding problem
Paediatric cases – Jairus’ daughter
Matthew 9:18-19; 23-26
Mark 5:22-24; 35-43
Luke 8:40-42; 49-56
Ophthalmological problems – Blind men
Psychiatric cases – Demoniacs at a tomb
Rheumatologic problems – Muscle and joint stiffness
Cardiovascular/nephrological illness – Dropsy man (Swelling)
Orthopaedic surgical conditions – Man with a withered hand
Neurological illness – Epileptic son
• He cared not only for our basic nutrition needs (Matt.14.13-21 – feeding the five thousand) but also to our spiritual needs (Matthew 5:7- the Sermon on the Mount).
• He matched his healing approach to the individual patient according to their specific needs
– Some he personally touched (Matthew 8:3 – Jesus reached out)
– Some he worked together with (John 9 – Jesus healed him with mud)
– Some he allowed to be touched (Luke 8:42-48 – woman with bleeding problem)
– Some, his presence was not even required for healing to take place (Luke 7 – Solder’s servant).
Jesus is our Jehovah Rapha
Jesus cared for us so much, that he even died on the cross so we could have perfect health – the ‘glorious body’ (Philippians 3:21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body) – when we are in heaven.
While we are still in our weakened flesh, I encourage all our readers to rely on Jesus for his healing power along with the expertise from our medical profession so we can experience the depth of his grace and mercy.
We can trust him!
After all, this is the great general practioner who said, ‘The things which are impossible with men are possible with God’ (Luke 18:27).
Dr Bernard Shiu, BSc, MD, FRACGP is a General Practitioner, Geelong, Victoria, Medical Educator, Southern GP Training Program and a Senior Clinical Lecturer, Deakin University, School of Medicine. He attends Waterfront Christian Church
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