The Internet-Educated Patient

The Internet-Educated Patient

When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had long desired to see him, because he had heard about him, and he was hoping to see some sign done by him. Luke 23:8

It isn’t uncommon for someone to come to the clinic with their diagnosis and treatment decided beforehand. They’ve been on the internet, researching their condition. They know what they have, and they tell me the treatment they require. They don’t want my opinion and they don’t believe anything contrary I have to say. They only want the power of my pen to prescribe what they want. They don’t have that capability and it’s really the only thing they need from me. Give me what I want, and I’ll be on my way, doctor.

This is somewhat similar to Herod’s attitude towards Jesus in today’s passage. In the story, Jesus had been arrested and eventually dragged before Herod, the Roman ruler over the territory. We’re told that Herod was curious about Jesus. He’d heard about his miracles and he wanted to see a magic show. Herod poked and prodded but got nothing. Jesus just stood there, doing and saying nothing. Not getting what he wanted from Jesus, Herod treated him with contempt and mocked him (Luke 23:11).

Herod didn’t believe in Jesus. He simply wanted to see a miracle for his own entertainment. He didn’t have faith in Christ. He didn’t follow him, and so, he got what he gave . . . absolutely nothing.

This unfortunately, is often where we find ourselves. Like my internet educated patient, we know what the problem is and we know exactly what we need from God. So, we go to him with our “prayers”. God, here’s my problem. Kindly take it away . . . now. We don’t follow. We don’t obey. We don’t ask God to work out his will. We simply inform him of our will, and we expect him to dance for us.

Using this approach, we often get exactly what Herod got . . . absolutely nothing. Then, we have the audacity to blame God. I asked but you failed me. The failure though, is ours. If we want to see God’s transforming work in our lives, then daily, we must follow him, seeking his will. It is often only in our obedience that we experience the life he intends for us. Faith isn’t believing that God will bring about our plan. Faith is living out God’s plan.

2 Responses

  1. Dave Swanson says:

    I have read that our approach to prayer tends to be like writing down a list of our wants on a piece of paper and handing it to God. It should be handing God a blank piece of paper and asking Him to fill it in.

    • Scott says:

      I like that. I think I’m supposed to take my requests to God, but like Christ, I’m supposed to then bow my will to his. Usually though, I just ask for what I want.

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