The Master Diagnostician
“…God…knows the heart…” Acts 15:8
As a young medical student, I was often amazed by physicians who were able to come to a diagnosis with apparent ease. They asked the right questions of a patient, performed a thorough and expert physical examination, ordered focused and targeted lab work, and applied critical thinking skills undergirded by innate intelligence and honed by years of experience. These physicians could get to the bottom of a patient’s problem in a way I could not. They could get to the essential core of the matter quickly and efficiently. They knew what was wrong with their patients and could then proceed to the required treatment. They were excellent diagnosticians in that they considered their patients’ symptoms and signs, and then were able to know the true condition of their patients. It is obvious that without the correct diagnosis, the patient will likely receive the wrong treatment. Also, even with the correct diagnosis, if the proper treatment is not initiated, the diagnostic work-up is futile.
Luke, a physician of his day, wrote the books of Luke and Acts in the New Testament. I love reading these books because it is obvious that Luke is a physician. He is observant, precise in his language, painstakingly descriptive, and often uses medical terminology. In Acts 1:24 and Acts 15:8 he depicts God as the one who knows the heart. He uses the Greek word kardiagnostes in these verses, and the full implication of the term is easy to see. Luke tells us that God is the great heart-knower, the great diagnostician of the hearts of humans. God knows the diagnosis of our hearts, the condition and status of our inmost beings. He knows who we are and what we are. He knows us better than we know ourselves and, therefore, he knows what each of us needs.
God knows that each of us has a sinful heart, that we tend to do evil and rebel against him. He knows that we have broken, wounded, and hurting hearts from the disappointments and traumas of life. He knows we have sick hearts. He knows if we are hardened and he knows if we have no heart to keep on living. He knows if our hearts are empty or bitter. He knows if we have little or no heart for him. He knows the shame and guilt we hide deep in our hearts from others. Yet, here is an amazing thing: he knows us fully and deeply, yet loves us anyway. God does not hate us or despise us, and he does not reject us. He accepts us in Jesus.
God is God and therefore knows all. He is the diagnostician of your heart condition and mine. He has the cure. God looks at us and makes the diagnosis, then offers the cure. He loves us even though he knows we have sick hearts. He promises to heal our hearts and give us new hearts (Ezekiel 36:25-27). What God is doing, in essence, is making the diagnosis and offering the cure, a radical cure through Jesus Christ. Jesus came to give us new hearts, new inner beings. He gives a heart that is new, free from disease, and full of joy and goodness. He gives a heart that is free of guilt, a heart that desires to good and that is able to do it. He can heal our hurts and our disappointments because he is the Son of God, risen from the dead, alive forevermore, and he loves people like you and me who have diseased hearts.
God knows our hearts better than we do. We have very limited self-awareness. Yet, we each have at least a nagging doubt that there must be more to life than we are experiencing, and that even though we are no different from anyone else, the condition of our hearts is not normal, maybe average, but not normal. Something is wrong. God knows the problem, and he knows the cure which he offers to you and me for free in Jesus.
There is no safer place in the universe than to be in the hands of God, the Master Diagnostician, who knows us completely, loves us, and offers the cure for our sick hearts.
See “The Ultimate Solution” to discover how to receive God’s cure.
Copyright, Jerry Miller, Jr., 2008. All rights reserved.