“After these things He went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, ‘Follow Me.’ So he left all, rose up, and followed Him. Then Levi gave Him a great feast in his own house. And there were a great number of tax collectors and others who sat down with them. And their scribes and the Pharisees complained against His disciples, saying, ‘Why do You eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?’ Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.’” (Luke 5:27-32)
If you had a disease that was going to kill you and Someone offered to perform the operation necessary to cure you (the cost of which you could never afford) for free, would you put yourself on the operating table?
I think it is safe to say that all of us would answer “yes” to the question posed above. The kicker is that the scenario outlined is applicable to each and every one of us. How? Why? Because “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” and “the wages of sin is death.” (Romans 3:23 & 6:23)
When we break God’s laws (cf. 1 John 3:4), the result is a cancer more severe than those which can inflict our fleshly bodies. It is a cancer that permeates our very souls and severs our connection to God (Isaiah 59:1-2). If left untreated, said severance will last throughout all eternity (Revelation 21:8)!
That being said, Jesus, in the passage quoted above from the fifth chapter of Luke, refers to the fact that He has come as a spiritual Physician. One who is willing to operate on us and remove all traces of sin. Such a procedure is made possible through His death on the cross. His blood paid the price for our opportunity to be healed!
“For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” (Romans 5:6-9)
“Therefore take heed to yourselves [the Ephesian elders – vs. 17-18] and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.” (Acts 20:28)
And so the question becomes: “How does one place themselves upon God’s operating table?”
The answer is found in the book of Colossians…
“In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;” (Colossians 2:11-13 – KJV)
When an individual demonstrates faith by confessing Him as the Son of God (Acts 8:37), repenting of their sins (Acts 2:38), and being baptized for the remission of their sins (Mark 16:16), God operates.
Baptism puts one into Christ (Galatians 3:26-27)…
Baptism connects one with Christ’s blood (Revelation 7:13-14)…
Baptism is the appointed place…
Baptism is the point at which man is cleansed…
Baptism is when faith saves (1 Peter 3:21).
Baptism is not, as some propose, a “work” (as in a work of the law of Moses) through which we attempt to merit salvation. Baptism is a humbled spirit lying themselves onto God’s operating table in trusting faith of His ability to cleanse and heal so that they can then rise to walk in a newness of life!
Have you been healed by the Great Physician?
The great Physician now is near,
The sympathizing Jesus;
He speaks the drooping heart to cheer,
Oh, hear the voice of Jesus.
Your many sins are all forgiv’n,
Oh, hear the voice of Jesus;
Go on your way in peace to heav’n,
And wear a crown with Jesus.
All glory to the dying Lamb!
I now believe in Jesus;
I love the blessed Savior’s name,
I love the name of Jesus.
Sweetest note in seraph song,
Sweetest name on mortal tongue;
Sweetest carol ever sung,
Jesus, blessed Jesus.
– The Great Physician by William Hunter
God’s desire is for you to be saved. He is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)
“The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself. But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live. Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord God, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?” (Ezekiel 18:20-23)