A Physician, not a Judge

7. The one who evangelizes is a witness not a judge.

There is a basic difference between Moses and Jesus.

The law was given through Moses; grace and reality came through Jesus Christ. –John 1:17

Because the law given through Moses could only place demands on man, his ministry is called the ministry of condemnation and death (2 Cor. 3:7-9). Wow. That should shock us. Ministry and condemnation are two words we don’t normally put together. The law of Moses accuses, condemns, and kills. Under the law, there was no supply to meet the demand. However, grace and reality, supply and fulfillment, came through Jesus Christ. Thus, the new covenant ministry is a ministry of the Spirit (who gives life) and righteousness.

  • Old covenant vs new covenant
  • Law vs grace
  • Condemnation vs righteousness
  • Death vs life

Jesus Himself drew this difference between He and Moses.

Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; there is one who accuses you: Moses, in whom you have set your hope. –John 5:45


For God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. –John 3:17

For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which is lost. –Luke 19:10

Jesus and Moses represent different basic approaches to fallen humanity. Witness Lee, based on the story of the Good Samaritan, described Jesus’ earthly ministry as a “lost-one-seeking and sinner-saving ministry journey.” The Gospel of Luke often uses the word compassion to describe the God-man’s profound feeling for needy, suffering, fallen, and ruined human beings.

The American Heritage Dictionary, which I own, defines compassion as, “Deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish to relieve it.”

Jesus’ ministry flows out from this deep awareness and profound affection. He came as a Physician for the ill. He came to call sinners.

The Recovery Version has a great study note on Matthew 9:12 about Christ as the Physician:

In calling people to follow Him for the kingdom, the King of the heavenly kingdom ministered as a Physician, not as a Judge. A judge’s judgment is according to righteousness, whereas a physician’s healing is according to mercy and grace. Those whom He made people of His heavenly kingdom were lepers, paralytics, the fever-ridden, the demon-possessed, those ill with all kinds of diseases, despised tax collectors, and sinners. If He had visited these pitiful people as a Judge, all would have been condemned and rejected, and none would have been qualified, selected, and called to be the people of His heavenly kingdom. However, He came to minister as a Physician, to heal, recover, enliven, and save them that they might be reconstituted to be His new and heavenly citizens, with whom He could establish His heavenly kingdom on this corrupted earth.

In our preaching the gospel, we should remember that we are the continuation of Christ, not Moses. Thus, the gospel preacher is not a judge to condemn sinners, but a witness proclaiming the forgiveness of sins (Luke 24:47).

3 thoughts on “A Physician, not a Judge

  1. The Life of God is a Love-Life, for “God is Love”.
    “God’s salvation is the concrete expression of God’s love….Grace is God’s love coming forth to accomplish something for the fallen, lost and perishing sinner. Now we not only have an abstract love and a sentimental mercy, but we have grace to meet our needs in a concrete way.”
    (Nee, The Gospel of God, ch.3 “The Nature of Grace”)


  2. Pingback: How to Study the Bible for Light Rather than Knowledge - Holding to Truth

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