• Tom Strode

Health care in the New Testament church

Spending time in a hospital this week has provided some lessons regarding life as the church of Jesus.

We received word Sunday evening Linda's mother had suffered a heart attack, and we headed out Monday morning by car for Arkansas. Since arriving Tuesday afternoon, much of our time has been spent in the hospital with this woman whom we love.

This time has offered not only the opportunity to visit with her, as well as family and friends who have come to see her, but to interact with a litany of health-care workers. Multiple doctors, nurses and aides have entered her room -- and our lives -- as they seek to serve her and to help her recover. God has blessed us with the opportunity to engage with them and to visit at length with some.

Their care for our loved one has reminded me of what life is like in the body of Christ.

Just as these professionals seek to help those who are ailing physically, those who belong to the true church endeavor to help those who are sick spiritually. We seek to provide the remedy everyone needs -- the gospel of Jesus. We seek to come alongside others in the church and help them by direct or indirect means to diagnose why they are unhealthy. We seek to provide others with doses of truth and grace to gain healing and to recover from the infirmities of sin.

At least one difference exists in the analogy. Those of us who are doing spiritual health-care work in the church are patients at the same time.

All of us need our fellow saints in the church to help us become or remain spiritually healthy. We need others to provide spiritual health care to us, and they need us to offer the same kind of spiritual health care to them.

Jesus said in Mark 2:17, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

He is indeed the Great Physician, but we -- the sick who have been healed eternally -- are spiritual health-care providers on His behalf and in His power. We need to extend and receive this care in our lives together.

-- Photo by Alex wong on Unsplash

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