Physician Heal Thy Self: The Imperfect Saviour


There once was a great physician who specialized in treating one specific and very deadly disease. Leaving the big city behind, the good doctor and her entourage headed for the rural coast, where many people were in need of her special skills.

As they traveled through the region, her party repeatedly encountered a local man who, very persistently, kept asking for the doctor to come look at his son. The boy was apparently suffering from an illness that was not related to the doctor’s specialty.

Being very busy, she paid him no mind. Her assistants, though, had lost patience and asked that she at least talk to the man. Perhaps the doctor could convince him to leave them alone. She agreed to meet with him.

“Look”, she said, ” I am a specialist. I’ve come to take care of those people who need me. My work is very important. I can’t just help anybody who is sick.”

The local man dropped to his knees, “Please, doctor. Please help me. Your skills are well known. My son may die without you.”

“Surely,” said the great physician, “there are local doctors who can help you. It would be unwise for me to be distracted by the common ailments of ordinary people. My training has been exclusively devoted to the curing of a very specific malady and I have been expressly sent to save just those people.

“But” said the man, “weren’t you first trained to help ordinary people, before you learned to specialize in great diseases? Don’t all diseases, including the lowly ones, hurt innocents just as well as the great ones?”

They were both silent for a long moment, the doctor intensely studying the man’s upturned face.

“Dammit, man!” she finally exclaimed. “By God, if you aren’t right. Now where’s that child of yours?”

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  1. #1 by Christian Beyer on August 20, 2008 - 11:29 pm

    Sorry, just got back in from the beach.

    If, as Buddy and Steph suggested, Jesus was on the ‘sly’ here, teaching a lesson by being somewhat of a devil’s advocate (and that seems reasonable to me) who was he teaching? The woman, as Net suggests? Or his disciples, as Stephanie has suggested? Of course, he is also teaching us a lesson, but which students are we most like here – the woman or the disciples?

    I tend to think that the message is directed to us as we are learning to be disciples, as Stephanie has suggested. It is to help us to not be the ugly Christian that Net describes. Why would anyone persist like this Canaanite women if talked to in that fashion by a minister of the faith? If I encountered a ‘minister’, a person with vested religious authority, who addressed me in such a demeaning way I would assume that either he was a poor example of the faithful or that I should knock on some other doors. Of course she was not approaching a mere minister. I still think it is possible that it was a genuine exchange.

    Dan, your reformed slip is showing. I think the point of the story is that God wants to save us all, not just the ‘predestined’. If that throws a monkey wrench into the “omni”-works then maybe we are looking through the wrong end of the microscope. I’m not necessarily an Open Theist but it is no more heretical than Calvinism. Just ask a priest. 😉

    Bruce – you’ll get over it. I really can’t see Jesus as being human unless he was subject to human frailty. His perfection is in his ‘sinless’ relationship with the Father, not necessarily in all that he did. Maybe he waited until he was 30 to start his ministry because it took him that long to figure out he was a lousy carpenter. 🙂

  2. #2 by Stephanie on August 21, 2008 - 12:07 am

    Did I really need to know that you were at the beach? Probably not. Kidding, kidding. Hope you had a great time, I’m sure you did.

    Very well put Christian.

  3. #3 by Robert on August 21, 2008 - 8:06 am

    ‘WOOT’ alert…

    Did you download any of those ‘Physics for Future Presidents’ lectures?

    You were the only one who commented on the post (which really isn’t all that surprising)….

    If so, wondering what your thoughts were! 🙂

    R.

  4. #4 by Christian Beyer on August 21, 2008 - 8:45 am

    Thanks, Steph. The beach day trip – the last “Hurrah” of the summer. My daughter goes back to school next week, I start taking classes (after nearly a 30 year hiatus) and my son will be reporting to Parris Ilsand on Sept. 8th. It was a good day (once we made it down there – always a challenge for the Beyers)

    Rob, did you say ‘woot’, sir? What is a ‘woot’? Anyway, no. I haven’t had a chance yet. I tied reading this book “The Physics of Christianity” by this physic professor named Tipler. Just a little bit over my head and just a tad crazy but there was some interesting stuff in it. I should mail it to you and ask what you think of it.

  5. #5 by Robert on August 21, 2008 - 10:07 am

    WOOT = “Way Off Of Topic”

    a way of saying ‘what i am about to say has nothing whatever to the current conversation’

    I think you’ll enjoy those lectures as they pertain to a lot of what’s going on in the world today.

    R.

  6. #6 by netprophet on August 21, 2008 - 12:48 pm

    Christian said: “If, as Buddy and Steph suggested, Jesus was on the ’sly’ here, teaching a lesson by being somewhat of a devil’s advocate (and that seems reasonable to me) who was he teaching? The woman, as Net suggests? Or his disciples, as Stephanie has suggested? Of course, he is also teaching us a lesson, but which students are we most like here – the woman or the disciples?”

    Actually, I was thinking, after reading your post, it also could have been meant for the Pharisees who were on hand. Jesus most often spoke in parables, allegories, and what not when they were around. And the reference to giving the masters food to the dogs would be a sly way to show them what their own attitudes where like.

    There seems to be a lot of possibilities in this message… Huh?

  7. #7 by Christian Beyer on August 21, 2008 - 2:32 pm

    Isn’t that a beautiful aspect of God’s Word?

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