And when Jesus heard it, He said to them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners." Mark 2:17
The doctors in Kenya's public hospitals are on strike.
Unlike many other work stoppages, this has nothing to do with wages or long hours or fringe benefits. This strike centers around the physicians not being able to perform the duties for which they have spent years in training. As of this writing, the government has fired 1,000 of the 2,000 doctors who refuse to work because the government has failed to make good on promised reforms.
So, how bad are conditions? Here are a few examples:
1. Emergency rooms often don't have gloves or medicine. Power outages have forced some doctors to use the light from their cell phones to finish an operation.
2. Tuberculosis patients who ought to be isolated have been placed in hallways, which have been converted into wards for the sick.
3. People have survived accidents but have later died because there was no blood for transfusions, no splints, and no intensive care group to deal with emergencies.
4. Kenya has one physician for every 6,250 people. The World Health Organization recommends there be one doctor per 100 citizens.
It is a sad situation, and I can understand the frustration of the physicians who are involved. They dedicated their lives to healing, and they are unable to accomplish that task.
There are times when I think Jesus must also be frustrated, albeit for a different reason. Unlike the Kenya doctors who can't do the jobs for which they have been trained, Jesus has finished His work of redeeming the world. Having led a perfect life, having resisted all temptations, having carried our sins to the cross, He was able to announce, "It is finished." His resurrection from the dead three days later is visible proof He had done all that was asked of Him.
No, Jesus' frustration stems from the fact that so many of the sick souls for whom He died refuse to be brought to Him for help. Some of these dying individuals think they can heal themselves; some refuse to believe they are ill; others imagine they can wait until a later time to receive Jesus' forgiveness, which washes away the cancer of sin.
Sadly, many die before they ever meet the great Physician of body and soul. Theirs is a tragic and an unnecessary loss.
This is why I would like to take this opportunity to encourage you to invite someone to worship. Don't browbeat them; don't antagonize them; don't argue with them; don't belittle them. Just say, "I've been given a new life through my Savior. I'd like to introduce you to Him. If you come, I think you won't be disappointed."
Then, offer to bring them through those intimidating church doors. Offer to bring them to Jesus who is waiting to heal sin-sick souls.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, today I pray for those I know who don't know You. May the Holy Spirit use me to touch their hearts and introduce them to the Redeemer. Finally, may those hearts be receptive to the wonderful healings our great Physician can accomplish in them. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries