A Doctor’s Prescription

Send a link to a friend  Share


A young mom tells the following story. . . . Because of an ear infection, my young son, Casey, had to
go to the pediatrician. I was impressed with the way the doctor directed his comments and questions to my son. When he asked Casey, "Is there anything you are allergic to?" Casey nodded and whispered in his ear. Smiling, the pediatrician wrote out a prescription and handed it to me. Without looking at it, I tucked it into my purse.

Later, the pharmacist filled the order, remarking on the unusual food drug interaction my son must have.
“What are you talking about?” I asked. When the pharmacist saw my puzzled expression, he showed me the label on the bottle. As per the doctor's instructions, it read: "Do not take with broccoli."

As we have been studying from the Book of Luke we have read that Jesus, the great physician, often lays down a prescription for us too.

Luke 6 is what we call the Sermon on the Plain. It sounds an awful lot like Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount but is worded a little differently. Throughout the chapter, Jesus is giving us a prescription for how to treat others and on his list are those we often call enemies. People who persecute us. People who are mean and cruel and unkind. And what is the doctor’s prescription? Love them. Pray for them. Be kind to them. Really?

That’s hard enough with people we hardly know. But have you discovered it’s just as difficult with family members? I was caught up in an argument with my grown son and at first I really tried to be like Jesus but he said too much . . . he went too far . . . and my inner lawyer showed up. I started bringing charges against him presenting him with my evidences: “Let me tell you how much I do for you, kid, since you seem to have amnesia!”

Then I started carelessly raising my voice when out of the corner of my eye I see I see my
wife—his mother! She had one of those looks like “who invited the demon to the party?” It was then
I realized it’s easy to be nice when people are nice or who you don’t really know, but nearly impossible to be kind when people are hostile in return. I’m pretty confident that’s why I need Jesus so badly.

The doctor’s prescription is difficult. “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:27–28).

Most of the world works like this: ‘I will be nice to people who are nice to me and I will retaliate against people who hurt me or are mean to me.’ Jesus is about systematically disassembling these philosophies. This teaching right here is what separates the major leagues from the minors. This is what separates Christians from all other religions. This text separates us from the entire world. Our first reaction is usually to retaliate, but that’s not what Jesus asks of His followers.

It’s easy to be nice to people who are nice to you. . . . Jesus said, “Big deal!” The challenge is can you be kind to people who haven’t been kind to you?

I don’t think this is about a war with my enemies, nor a war with my persecutors, nor a war with people who have been unkind. Jesus is identifying a war waging inside of me. It’s about who I am. It’s about me fighting me. Will I retaliate like my inner voice wants me to or will I mimic Jesus? Will I retaliate or will I pray for them, bless them, love them, and turn the other cheek and forgive them? And that ladies and gentlemen, can be a hard pill to swallow.

[Ron Otto, preaching minister at Lincoln Christian Church]


Back to top