Doctor Death



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Doctor Death

Killed up to 265 

One day in January I looked in my Friday newspaper and found a man looking back at me. He had no horns and had I lived elsewhere in England he could well have been my doctor. The headline read that he had killed up to 265 of his patients! By the evening over 300 were being spoken of as murdered by him. I found this a very disturbing case for three reasons.

The Absence of National Shock

Twelve months previously this doctor had been convicted of fifteen murders. Now we were being told that that might be a small as five per cent of his crimes. Yet the nation was not really horrified. This is as disturbing as his crimes. As a nation we have grown to accept the normality of these things. They come and go from our newspaper headlines or the television screen. People grow to accept them as part of the kind of life that we live. Jesus Christ never accepted sin or its consequences as normal. He made it plain that such things demand change. We read of him: "Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel." (Mark 1.14-15) This is the urgent need. God does not view sin as normal. His time is now upon us to address the problem of sin. We can see sin all around us. We read about the terrible extreme cases. We need to be disturbed. We need to see how much it is an offence against God. We need to realize that each of us are sinners. Each of us has offended God. We need to have a real sorrow for our personal transgressions so that we turn from them to God hating our own sins and sorrowing because of them. Jesus taught that this is the urgent thing in life.

Who Can You Trust?

This is a disturbing question. We had a family doctor once who eventually left the practice. His sideline sex operations of various kinds had featured in the press. We did not know anything about them previously. Perhaps you will think do we now need to ask our doctors about their attitudes and actions? The New Hampshire Republican in the House of Representatives was reported as saying that nobody will ever be safe until the last cop is dead. He defended the non-disclosure of his views during the election campaign by saying, "Nobody asked me." Jesus Christ was never like that. There is an openness about Christ. He could honestly say at his trial, "I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing." (John 18.20) From the beginning of his ministry Christ made it plain that he was tough on sin and Satan. When the demons wanted to get an advantage for themselves, he was quick to silence them. Consider the following account from Markís Gospel. "And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out saying, let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? Art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God. And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him." (Mark 1.23-27) Jesus had come to deliver sinners from Satan and their own sin. He would not leave them contented with the consequences of sin and in bondage to evil. Mark wants us to understand that Jesus had come full of caring love to save and help the unclean. He recounts an example of this. "And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean. And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed." (Mark 1.40-42) Mark wants us to understand, not only that Jesus Christ has the answers and is able to save, but that he really loves those who come to him and is willing to save.

Life in Old Age

The attitude to old age is the third disturbing aspect of the conduct of the doctor to whom we referred. Many of his victims were elderly and lying behind this case and its low impact compared to the murder of a single youngster is the idea that the quiet disposal of the aged is not too bad an idea. They have had their lives and a bit earlier death is not too great a problem. It is disturbing that there are people who think like that. We now debate voluntary euthanasia. But whose choice will it be? Will it be the patientís choice, the relativesí choice or the doctorís choice? Whose will is to prevail? There are those who think that life is over when you are old. Jesus Christ never thought like that. He cared for the old as much as for the young and for the poor as much as for the rich and he still does. Age or disabilities are not problems to Christ. The eternal life that he gives triumphs over such things. Paul knew this. Look at what he says. "For which cause we faint not; but though the outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day." (2 Corinthians 4.16) All who seek Jesus Christ are safe in his hands. O yes he requires you to quit your love of sin and to turn from your iniquities with godly sorrow, but in turning to him you are turning to one who can be trusted absolutely and the life that he gives triumphs not only over disabilities, ageing and all other problems but over death itself. Christians can say with Paul, "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 15.55-57) That kind of assurance is worth having and belongs to all of those who put their trust in Christ. Believe upon him and it will be yours too.


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