Matthew 9:12 - But when He (Jesus) heard it, he said, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick."
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The salvation story of Jesus Christ reaches around the world. So that the readers of our Daily Devotion may see the power of the Savior on a global scale, we have asked the volunteers of our international ministry centers to write our Sunday devotions. We pray that the Spirit may touch your day through their words.
In Christ, I remain, His servant and yours,
Kenneth R. Klaus
Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour
Jesus came for the sick? Of course, He did. He came for you and me and for every person everywhere: the spiritually ill, sin-sick human race. He is the physician of our souls.
But didn't He also come for the physically sick?
It strikes me as odd that we tend to minimize the physically sick, especially in light of all the healing that He did. While every person in the world suffers from the sickness of sin, there are also a lot of people who are ill in other ways. And yet, it often seems that our evangelism efforts are directed almost exclusively towards those who are physically well.
What about the sick?
Those questions partly explain what I like about Tuesdays. On Tuesday in Santiago, Chile, the Lutheran Hour sets up a small table outside the door of a local medical clinic. These neighborhood clinics serve the poor with low-cost medical attention and subsidized products such as medicine, milk, and baby formula.
At our tiny table, we set out a display of the folletos (booklets) that LHM-Chile has produced. Each booklet offers Scripture-based counsel and encouragement for a variety of issues such as parenting, marriage, facing illness, depression, and the like. We invite the people entering or leaving the clinic to stop by our table and register for a free booklet.
Most Tuesdays the booklet on depression has the highest demand.
We never ask why people are visiting the clinic; although, sometimes they tell us. Most people aren't being treated for a life-threatening illness. They're just sick and are looking to get better. In other words, they are looking for healing.
Like the people who came to Jesus.
Our little booklets offer healing of a different kind than what they are treated for in the clinic. At our table, a lot of people find this different healing -- people such as Humberto, who stopped by our table to see what we had to offer. A diminutive man with a shock of snow-white hair on his head, Humberto had a lot to say about a lot of topics. He was sick, all right: sick and tired of the hypocrisy that he claimed to be hearing from the church.
I invited him to come to our Lutheran church, so he could have something more to complain about. To our surprise, he came.
And he heard the Gospel. He didn't come back ... not for a while, anyways. But in an unseen way, the Gospel which had been planted took root in his heart and, eventually, Humberto came back, this time for good. He loves his church and his Savior, and we love him.
He still complains, but that's okay. After all, Jesus came for the sick, even those who are just sick and tired.
THE PRAYER: Lord, sometimes we are healthy, and sometimes we are sick, and sometimes we are just sick and tired of it all. We are the people whom You came for! Help us to see that your Good News is for everyone, no matter what condition they may be in. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by the Rev. Dr. James Tino. Pastor Tino is the director of Global Lutheran Outreach, and serves as a missionary with the Confessional Lutheran Church of Chile. He lives in Santiago and volunteers as an evangelist and Bible teacher with Lutheran Hour Ministries.
Known in Chile as Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones-Chile, LHM has a ministry office in Santiago, from which it conducts evangelistic and outreach activities throughout the country. One strategy has been to sponsor workshops or talleres -- which are led by volunteers on a diversity of subjects. The ministry center also uses the Equipping the Saints (ETS) and brochures about social topics.
In this South American country of nearly 18 million people, LHM-Chile serves as the primary evangelism partner of the new Evangelical Lutheran Church of Chile (IELCHI). Additional LHM-Chile activities include youth music programs, elder care programs, holistic women's workshops, and drug abuse prevention programs.
Be sure to check out LHM's International Ministries' blog page. You can find it by clicking here.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries