February 16, 2018 at 6:00 AM
Dr. Jose Luis Guerrero gives a devotional to the residents of Nicaragua as the during the opening of the Ochomogo water system. (File photo)
Recently, a colleague — who is also a pastor from one of the northern states of Mexico — knowing that I serve in an organization called the Luke Society, told me that I should call Luke 911.
At first I did not understand, but then he explained "yes, 911 is a very important number for the general population because it can save your life in the middle of an emergency. And so is the work of Jesus revealed in the Gospel according to Luke 9:11.”
In that verse the Word of God says: "but the crowds learned about it and followed him. He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing.” (NIV)
Luke, the beloved physician, describes to us the triple response of Jesus to a multitude that, upon learning that he was there, followed him because of their tremendous need:
1.) He welcomed them: That crowd outside of Bethsaida was surely formed not by the principals of Israel, not by Pharisee scholars or learned scribes, but by fishermen, peasants, persons of the populace who lived under the oppression of the imperialist Roman and under the religious yoke of the hierarchs of Judaism. Jesus did not reject anyone, but as the father of the parable of the prodigal son, he received them with open arms, that was his main urgency, to be accepted and received by the rabbi of Galilee.
2.) He spoke to them about the Kingdom of God: Surely in the synagogue many of them had heard about the Kingdom of God as a religious and complicated concept, but that young rabbi, spoke to them about the Kingdom of God with easy-to-understand and everyday examples, comparing it to yeast, to a coin that a woman found when sweeping, to a pearl of great Price. Most importantly, he not only announced the Kingdom, but gave them samples of what the Kingdom is, not only did he tell them "the Kingdom of heaven has approached, but with his works showed them that it was.
3.) He healed those who needed healing: Not only did he show his power and his love by making the skin of the lepers completely clean; not only did he open the eyes of the blind and made the paralytics walk; but with mercy he healed the broken hearts and restored the afflicted souls, as he did with the woman caught in adultery or with the Samaritan woman.
Today, as in the times of Jesus, our world, many times without realizing it, is in danger of death, in such a way that if there were a spiritual number 911, we should call them quickly.
As Luke Society doctors, it will help us to remember the triple response of Jesus to piously administer care. We should:
1.) Receive all those in need of help with open arms and without reservation or prejudice;
2.) Proclaim the Kingdom of God with words, but also with our lives, giving signs of what the Kingdom is and living the values of that Kingdom every day;
3.) Heal those who need to be healed, wisely and prudently using our medical knowledge, our training and our experience. But also simply embrace the sad and discouraged and dry the tears of the afflicted. Our world urgently needs us to do it.