Getting Close to “Sick” People


There’s a bug going around the office. You can tell when someone is coming down with the crud; they move slowly, cough, blow their nose, and they can be a bit grumpy after a night of poor sleep. Break out the hand sanitizer!

Sometimes a day off, extra rest, and some vitamin C will do the trick, but sometimes the sick person needs a doctor.

Jesus hung out with “sick” people and everyone knew it. It was obvious they were spiritually sick—the “messed up” people that “good” folks looked down on and stayed away from. One night Jesus was having dinner with a similar group. A few “good” folks questioned Him, wondering why He hung out with those people. Maybe they were thinking, “What did God think about Him being so close? Jesus would certainly catch their sickness!”

Jesus got right to the point: “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mark 2:17 NIV). Jesus knew the sick needed a doctor and that the doctor was Him.

We are not the cure, but we are filled with the Spirit of God and are called to be Jesus to a lost world. We are meant to be His hands and feet. But, sometimes I wonder, are we close enough to people, without God, to know and feel deep down that they need a Doctor?

When we get close to people, we see into their hearts and not only see their sin (the symptoms of a lost heart), but we also see their brokenness, which leads us to compassion rather than judgment. That helps us act in ways that brings them steps closer to the Doctor.

Are you involved, engaged with, or in the midst of people who are without Christ, even to the point that other people begin to think that you’ve crossed over to the “other side”? What actions can you take this week to move closer to friendships and service among broken people in your neighborhood, work, or sphere of influence?

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