The Gospel According to Luke. It doesn’t sound like a very intriguing book title. In fact, from one avid reader to another, it sounds bland and unoriginal. But like many books, this book holds many treasures within its pages.
I’ve had some opportunities the past few months to discover some new books by listening to them while I’m working. Some have been fairy tales, some devotional, but recently, I’ve been burdened to start getting back into the Word of God. Growing up in a Christian home, Christian school, Christian college, I’ve read the books of the Bible many times over. I know many facts about the books and authors and stories themselves, and growing up with that can make a person numb to the depth and the beauty of these precious words. I often feel I already know so much about the Bible and have read it or memorized so many passages or heard so many sermons that I don’t need to read it in my spare time. It becomes second hand and loses its beauty and intrigue for me. Actually, being perfectly honest, I’ve tried to start reading the Bible many times over the past few years. I pick it up and search for a place to start or a passage to help during my time of need, but come up empty. The words seem dry and inapplicable, even though I know deep down God’s Word is a living wellspring of information and instruction as well as comfort and peace.
Well, thanks to my job, I’ve started listening to the Bible. I downloaded the Bible Experience, which is a dramatized version of the Bible, and have been listening to the four Gospels, Psalms, Esther (one of my all time favorite Bible stories!). As wonderful as it is to hear the words of Jesus and to hear His story over and over again in each of the Gospels, I keep getting drawn back to the Gospel of Luke. Maybe it is how the actor portrays Jesus in his voice. Or maybe it is the focus on the healing ministry of Jesus that keeps drawing me back.
For those of you who don’t know, Luke was a doctor, and though he wasn’t a direct part of Jesus’ ministry on earth, he did his research, like doctors often do. He talked to as many people as he could so he could write down the eye witness accounts of what Jesus’ life looked like. His account is similar in many respects to the other three Gospels, but his retelling of the life of Christ portrays a different side of Christ
Perhaps I’m drawn to the way Luke focuses on the healing ministry of Christ. Looking through a healer’s eyes, Luke saw a man who reached out to those who had leprosy and healed them. He saw a man who when he felt power go out of him, stopped to ask who touched him. And when his disciples flippantly said, “It’s just the large crowd,” Jesus saw the woman who believed she could be healed just by touching his cloak and said, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace.” He saw a man who stopped on his way into a city to bring a lonely widow’s only son back to life so she wouldn’t have to endure the wrenching heartache of another loss. He saw a man who heard a blind man cry out to him and asked to be healed. He saw a man whose eyes were full of compassion for a hurting and dying world, and he shared that man with us.
There is no doubt that Jesus healed many, many people in his short time on earth, but do you realize how compassionate he was when he healed them? I’m sure if you’ve been to the doctor, you’ve had good experiences and bad experiences. If you’re like me, you prefer the doctor who takes time to listen to your symptoms and works hard to find the answers you need. Someone who fills out a prescription and slaps a drug on your problems usually doesn’t get kudos for being friendly.
“When he saw them, he had compassion on them.” Jesus didn’t turn people away when they came to him. No matter how tired he became or how much he wanted to be alone after a long day, he never failed to see the people who came to him through the eyes of a compassionate healer. No sickness was too small or too big for him to heal. No question was too low or too high. When he saw people who genuinely wanted to be healed, he had compassion on them and healed them.
He is the healer of all things. He brings hope to the hopeless and rest for the weary. He is not above any sickness or weakness. He heals our wounded hearts and binds up our brokenness. He reaches into the deepest recesses of our souls and touches our deepest scars with his healing hand. Let the Lord of healing bring healing to your life. Let your faith heal you.
“Your faith has healed you. Go in Peace.”