“Reliance” on Doctors

Dear Reggie,

DO you know if Luke continued in his profession as a physician?

I have searched and read many things but none made mention of this. The reason I am questioning is if he gave all these accounts of Jesus being used by the Father to manifest healings and miracles but there is no writing of Luke’s of his own personal experiences, except Acts ; which were the other apostles, not himself. I understand he was considered a historian and he wrote from that perspective. I am trying to determine if we, as believers, are supposed to rely on medicine. I would think that Luke heard Jesus say, “what I have done you shall do and greater”, so would he have continued to pursue his medical profession, or would he have given it up?

If you can provide me with info on where I can look up the info I am seeking that would be fine too.

I appreciate that you are busy with other questions so thank you if you have the time to reply,

I will look into this, Frank, but I don’t think we are told either way. It would appear that the “beloved physician” laid all aside to devote himself to the missionary enterprise, as did the fishermen and tax collectors, but I can’t see where continued use of his medical skills would be in the least conflict with the gifts of healing in the church.

A couple of things do come to mind. Anyone that is biblical understands that a living faith in the promises of God is incompatible with a carnal ‘reliance’ on man or mere nature. Asa’s death was attributed to his defection of faith, in that he looked to the doctors rather than to the Lord (“Yet in his disease he sought not to the Lord , but to the physicians”).

However, Isaiah prescribed a poultice (“For Isaiah had said, Let them take a lump of figs, and lay it for a plaister upon the boil, and he shall recover”). Hence, it is obvious that the believer is no less a believer by his or her use of many things in nature. We “use” many things that we dare not rely on, theologically speaking. “Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman wakes in vain.” That doesn’t mean it is vain to employ a “watchman”.

What is vain is to put one’s trust in the sufficiency of anything “apart” from the blessing and grace of God. It is the independent and self-sufficient spirit that God hates, and will at length bring down. However, anything that is agreeable and compatible with the humility of the Spirit is, in my view, agreeable with God.

I knew firsthand of an incident where a band of missionary families fell ill with malaria in Africa. All determined to stick it out and glorify God by refusing to seek medical assistance. All save one weakened in their resolve and took the prescribed antidote. The one of unflinching resolve died.

I don’t presume to judge that good brother’s decision. It is possible he glorified God in his death more than we can know. But I do think that God is more interested in the humility that casts itself on the mercy of God at every discovery of deficiency, whether of faith or of any other weak grace. God will only vindicate a faith of which He is both author and finisher.

Certainly it is easy to place undue trust in medicine or medical skill, but it has always struck me as strange that people who do not scorn the use of a filling for a tooth or a splint for a broken finger will go to such lengths to shun medical help for the more internal types of illness. Just some thoughts that your question evoked.

In His tender mercies, Reggie

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