A Physician Metaphor

physician God a physician.

The idea that God is making up an arbitrary list of those who must be punished for being naughty and those who will be rewarded for being nice—that He is continually tallying up a “goodness” score that jockeys between paradise and wrath—flies in the face of what physicians do.

Make no mistake, although our Physician unconditionally and indiscriminately offers the same cure to all of us, the sickness of sin cannot remain unhealed without resulting in death. Sadly, some of us will die. But God only ever seeks to heal us, and He will never treat the bad patients differently than the good ones. Instead, the difference between life and death lies in the choice of the patient to follow their Physician’s treatment plan or not.

Death awaits the incurable, but not by the hand of the Physician. Doctors don’t kill their sick patients, even if they refuse their advice or medication, do they?

It’s the disease that kills those who refuse the cure, not the Physician (by some arbitrary judicial decree). God longs to heal us, is able to cure any disease, and has always been with us to indiscriminately remedy all of the damage done by our sin-sickness.

“The word for obedience means ‘listening under’ or ‘a willingness to listen.’ God does not expect perfect performance. If I’ve gone to my physician with an advanced case of arthritis, then he doesn’t expect me to run the 4 minute mile on the way home. He even helps me down the steps into my wheel chair maybe. He says, ‘Do a little better this week and be sure and come back and take your medication.’ All He asks of me is a willingness to listen and cooperate. I might die tomorrow, but I’m going to die His trusting patient. And I will arise His trusting patient, and all will be well.” – Graham Maxwell

Regardless of how it may seem, all will see that no death comes from the hand of our physician God. Physicians don’t kill uncooperative terminally ill patients. No. God doesn’t treat the wicked any more harshly than the righteous. The Bible is clear that He treats us all the same. He is trying to heal all of us, not destroy us.

In the end, the only list God checks twice is a diagnostic list; a list of who would take the cure and who wouldn’t; a diagnosis of who is incurable and who is not, of who will recover from the disease and who will not survive.

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