We have probably all heard Jesus called "the Great Physician." Long before the days of hospitals, Jesus reportedly healed the sick, made the blind to see and the lame to walk, and healed other illnesses. But it's interesting to note that he didn't just perform the healings; he included a spiritual message along with that healing touch. He was, for all intents and purposes, both a doctor and a chaplain.
One of my favorite examples of Jesus meeting the physical needs of a stranger relates to his healing of a blind man named Bartimaeus.
Jesus was leaving Jerusalem in the midst of a large crowd when he heard the cries of this blind man who was shouting "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me." Jesus stopped and told the disciples to call the man over to him, which they did. Then he asked the blind man, "What do you want me to do for you?" The man replied, "I want to see."
Jesus taught everyone around him a lesson about the importance of faith when he said "Go, your faith has made you whole." The story goes on to say that the man received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.
Another time, a man with leprosy was walking along the road. The scriptures tell us that when he saw Jesus, he fell with is face to the ground and said, "Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean."
With an outreached hand Jesus showed his willingness to heal those in need by saying "I am willing ... be clean." And we are told that immediately the leprosy left the man.
During his three years of earthly ministry, Jesus of Nazareth touched many lives. From his hands came healing. But he didn't just bring physical healing; he brought hope and emotional wholeness.
In today's society, doctors, specialists, technologists, and nurses provide medical care for patients who are not physically well. They provide cures and recovery and wellness.
But we also have chaplains and ministers who offer words of hope, comfort, counsel, strength, and advice to patients, their friends and family members, and caregivers whenever the need arises.
I'm thankful for both.