by Travis Lauterbach

The doctor says to you, “If left untreated the cancer is terminal, but this medicine gives you an excellent likelihood of survival!

Christians have always used the analogy of sickness for sin.

Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:31-32)

The heart of the Christian message is that all people are infected with a terminal illness called sin, and the medicine that promises salvation is Jesus.

Jesus died for the sins of the world, that all may receive forgiveness of sins through Him. The cure for the sickness that infects us all is available to all.

The 16th century reformer Martin Luther said, “Imagine there was a doctor somewhere who understood the art of saving people from death or, even though they died, could restore them quickly to life so that they would afterward live forever. Oh, how the world would pour in money like snow and rain. No one could find access to him because of the throng of the rich!” (Large Catechism)

Jesus is that doctor and he gives that medicine of immortality. The medicine is the Good News of His death and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins, it is received through the ear. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing the Word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17)

Still, people come up with all kinds of excuses for not coming to receive the medicine through the ears.

Imagine if people told their doctors the same things they say about the medicine being administered in church: “Doc, I didn’t take my life-saving pills because I decided to sleep in.” “I know doctor, a heart operation was scheduled. But I wanted to golf.” “I wanted to make my chemo appointments, but I’ve been way too busy.” “Come on doc, unless you make this cure more of what I think is fun and entertaining, I’m not coming.”

It all just sounds silly.

The medicine is available to all people. Jesus invites everyone to receive the medicine He freely gives.