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Luke: The Story of the Great Physician (5 of 29)
Series: Through the New Testament
Luke 1:1-4; 19:1-10
Introduction: Luke was a doctor (Col 4:14). We easily forget that the medical profession has been around a long time. Consider a few of the New Testament references:
Jesus says, "They that are whole have no need of a physician," shows that there were physicians in Galilee (Mt 9:12; Mk 2:17; Lk 5:31). In Nazareth Jesus quotes the proverb: "Physician, heal thyself" (Lk 4:23). The Gospels mention physicians in Galilee. They received fees from the woman who had the issue of blood (Mk 5:26; Lk 8:43). They accepted payment without results.
The Jewish writings of the period speak of physicians. One writer notes, "There is a time when in their very hands is the issue for good." Another observes, "He that sinneth before his Maker, let him fall into the hands of the physician." Apparently to fall into the hands of a doctor wasn't always a good thing.
Luke's account of Jesus' life has special interest for us. Luke was a convert. He was not among the eyewitnesses of Jesus' life and teachings. He had no special Damascus road experience, as did Paul. He came to faith as we do--upon the word of others. That doesn't make his testimony any less important. Likewise our faith in Christ is no less effective than that of Peter, James or John.
Luke also looks with the careful and studied eye of a physician. First century doctors were probably just like their modern counterparts. Luke was probably nobody's fool. He would have been well educated and highly skilled. He would have wanted the facts. He would have wanted them straight.
Most doctors have a fair degree of compassion. Most enter the profession to help others. Making a fair amount of money doesn't hurt. But that's not what keeps a doctor going during the long hours of training. Strangely enough, that caring is what can make some doctors seem a bit impersonal and cold. ...
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