By: Dennis Bates
The problem I have with both sides of the health care reform debate currently raging is that neither side gets it. Whichever side you support, ultimately the bottom line is economics. How are we going to pay for medical care. I think that is the wrong focus and therefore the wrong question.
If somebody needs medical treatment, they ought to get it; it’s as simple as that. Of course I feel the same way about hunger. With the abundance we have in the world, nobody should ever die from malnutrition or starvation. Nobody.
When Jesus fed the multitudes, did he ask the disciples to make sure everybody deserved to eat, that they had done enough work to earn their meal? No. He fed everybody and anybody that showed up simply because they were hungry.
When Jesus healed the lame, the sick and the blind, did he ask to see what kind of medical insurance plan they had first? Did he ask whether their chances of survival were high enough to justify the use of his healing touch? No. If they needed to be healed, he healed them. The is no Biblical record that he received any kind of payment, and in a lot of cases his patients even forgot to thank him.
Some of you will say, But Jesus is God; His resources are limitless. Ours are not. It’s just not the same.
Perhaps our resources on earth are not as extensive as God’s are, but you will never convince me that our resources are inadequate when sports figures or actors or corporate CEOs make millions and millions of dollars each year while others go hungry. Furthermore, you will not convince me that a country’s governmental system makes all that much difference in the long run.
There were no democracies as we now know them when Jesus lived, and capitalism was not the preferred economic system, if it existed at all. On the other hand, you didn’t ever hear Jesus ask either the government or economic system to solve the problems of the day. They couldn’t then and they can’t now. He told Jewish leaders to give Caesar what he demanded and to give God what belonged to Him.
The solution lies in our hearts; nowhere else.
Some ask the question, How will we ever get our best and brightest people to become doctors if they can’t make more money than most people do? First, I’m not certain that the so-called best and brightest make the best doctors. Perhaps a better standard would be the most caring and loving. Medical care has become big business, and big business operates to make the most profit it can generate for its shareholders.
And I don’t mean to pick only on the medical profession. To some degree or another almost everything comes back to maximizing profits in today’s world, including a lot of our churches. That means everything comes down to efficiency, productivity and solid business planning. Again, I have to question the emphasis there. Where does the commandment to love one another fit into that?
Jesus said the world will know we are Christians by our love, not the size of our bank accounts or our profit and loss statement at the end of the year. To the extent that we focus on anything other than His love, we fail. We should feed others, heal others and help others because it is the right thing to do, whether it makes us money or not. Only by doing that do we show His love.