Are you sick?

The Word of God Speaks by Fr. Dana Jackson

Mark 2:16-17

And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, “How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?”

When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

In this passage Jesus uses the analogy of sickness to represent the human condition of sin. There are at least three types of human beings: those who are well and know it; those who are sick and know it; and those who are sick but think they are well.*

Let us speak, as Jesus does, in spiritual terms.

The first type is no problem at all. A person who is truly well – who is without sin, or who recognizes when they sin and immediately confess and repent – live a life of healthy growth.

The second type have greater struggles, yet there is hope. A person who recognizes they are sick acknowledges their need of a doctor – specifically, a Savior. They are not afraid of revealing their sickness because it is the only way they can receive the medicine (forgiveness) they require in order to be healed of (saved from) their disease (sin which leads to eternal death).

The third type is in extreme peril. A person who is sick but thinks they are perfectly well ignores the signs of disease. There is a cure for their sickness, but until they accept the fact they are sick they will continue in the very behavior that is killing them!

This is confirmed in another analogy, appearing in the book of Revelation. In the letter to the church of the Laodiceans John is instructed to write: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.” (Revelation 3:15-16). In essence the Lord is saying, “I could wish you were sick or well. So then, because you are sick but think you are well, and neither truly sick nor truly well, I will reject you from My presence.” This is the one type of person we do not want to be, for it is the one type without hope.

So I ask again: Are you sick?

Word of God: speak!

Non nobis Domine+

* There may be a fourth, but in terms of spiritual health I’ve never met one: those who are well but think they are sick; in terms of physical health this sort of person might be called a hypochondriac, taking medicines or seeking remedies for a sickness they don’t actually have.

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