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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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JESUS CAME FOR US

And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him. (Mark 2:14 ESV)

Every culture has people who are unpopular for one reason or another. How would you feel if you answered the door bell to find an agent of the IRS who has come to audit your taxes? However, Levi was a very different type of tax collector than we have experienced.

Levi was considered to be a traitor and collaborator by the Jews because he worked for the occupying Romans who ruled Israel during this time. Tax collectors in Israel were hated men because they not only worked for the enemy, they were thieves. The Romans sold tax collecting franchises to anyone who could afford them. Once you owned the right to collect taxes, you would collect so much to give to the Romans and then you were allowed to add whatever amount you wanted to the tax for your fee.

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The Greatest Physician

Portrait of Dr Robert Hawker, the most famous ...

Robert Hawker

Robert Hawker reminds us to whom we need to turn for healing:

“The beloved physician.” (Col. 4:14)

My soul, catch a thought of what the apostle speaks here about the servants of the Master. And think of the Master! If Luke the physician was beloved, how much more so ought Jesus to be by you in this beautiful picture. The Son of God came, as the great physician of the soul, to heal all who were diseased, to bind up the broken hearted, to give sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are bruised, and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.

My soul, do you know Jesus in this tender and affectionate office? Has he examined you in your illness, and told you his diagnosis? And are you, through his mercy, restored to health? Because of your shame and fear, you would never have made known your case to him, if he had not first, of his own free accord, called upon you. Has he done so? Have you heard him ask the tender question, “Will you be made whole?” And have you rejoiced to come under his care? Do you know what it is to have his blood applied to heal the wounds of sin, his righteousness to cover them, his grace to refresh under them, and his Name as ointment poured forth, to purify you from all uncleanness?

Moreover, has Jesus dispensed to you freely his remedies, without payment, without money, and without price? And does he do all this, and a thousand affectionate offices beside, which belong to the physician, calling himself by that endearing name, Jehovah Rapha, I am the Lord who heals you? No longer let it be said, then, “Is there no balm in Gilead; no physician there?” But tell to every poor sin-sick soul, Jesus is the beloved physician, who visits the poor and the needy, and heals every kind of sickness, and all types of disease among the people, he has healed me. (From: “The Poor Man’s Portions” by Robert Hawker)

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