One of the significant Christological titles that is ubiquitous in the Syriac Liturgical corpus is “Physician”. Christ is identified as the Good Physician / Great Physician / Heavenly (Celestial Physician). In the Qolo of Sh’himo Monday Matins we pray;
“𝘗𝘳𝘢𝘪𝘴𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘦𝘭𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘢𝘭 𝘱𝘩𝘺𝘴𝘪𝘤𝘪𝘢𝘯 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘥𝘦𝘴𝘤𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘥 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘥𝘦𝘱𝘵𝘩𝘴, 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘭 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘪𝘤𝘬𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘈𝘥𝘢𝘮. 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘭𝘦𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘮𝘦𝘵 𝘩𝘪𝘮 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘤𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘯𝘴𝘦𝘥. 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘣𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘥 𝘢𝘭𝘴𝘰 𝘴𝘢𝘸 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘭𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘧𝘶𝘭 𝘸𝘰𝘮𝘢𝘯 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘢𝘤𝘩𝘦𝘥 𝘩𝘪𝘮 𝘳𝘦𝘤𝘦𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘥 𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘨𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴.”
Salvation can then be conjured as the integral healing of the entire creation. After all one of the derivatives of the term salvation is salve – an ointment applied on a wound. However the healing is contingent upon the mutual will of both the Physician and the Patient.
The leper remarks: “𝐋𝐨𝐫𝐝 𝐢𝐟 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥, 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐦𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐦𝐞 𝐜𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐧” (Lk 5:12). Elsewhere the Lord asks the man lying beside Bethzatha pool; “𝐃𝐨 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐞 𝐦𝐚𝐝𝐞 𝐰𝐞𝐥𝐥?” (John 5:6). Since our Creator very much respects our creaturely liberty, He cannot heal us without our consent. Therefore healing ensues only if the will of the patient and the physician concur.
Unlike His predecessors Moses and Elisha who too have cured lepers (Nm 12:9-15; 2 Kings 5:1-14) howbeit without any physical contact with the afflicted, Jesus touched the leper and healed him. This is the difference between curing and healing. When the former focuses on physical restoration the latter is more concerned with social rehabilitation along with physical restoration.
I conclude with the words of Ched Meyers;
“𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘨𝘰𝘴𝘱𝘦𝘭𝘴 𝘪𝘯𝘴𝘪𝘴𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘑𝘦𝘴𝘶𝘴 𝘸𝘢𝘴𝘯’𝘵 𝘢 𝘴𝘰𝘤𝘪𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘻𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘱𝘩𝘺𝘴𝘪𝘤𝘪𝘢𝘯, 𝘱𝘢𝘵𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘱𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘶𝘱 𝘵𝘰 𝘤𝘢𝘳𝘳𝘺 𝘰𝘯 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘶𝘴 𝘲𝘶𝘰. 𝘙𝘢𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳, 𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘢 𝘳𝘢𝘥𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘭 𝘥𝘰𝘤𝘵𝘰𝘳 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘴𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘳𝘰𝘰𝘵𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘥𝘪𝘴-𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘦. 𝘏𝘦 𝘰𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘥 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘯𝘨 𝘮𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘤𝘪𝘯𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘦𝘹𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘰𝘱𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘱𝘴𝘺𝘤𝘩𝘰𝘴𝘪𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘦𝘮𝘱𝘪𝘳𝘦, 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘤𝘩 𝘪𝘴 𝘸𝘩𝘺 𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘴 𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘢𝘭𝘸𝘢𝘺𝘴 𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘳𝘶𝘱𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘶𝘴 𝘲𝘶𝘰, 𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘩𝘪𝘮 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘪𝘳𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘢𝘶𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘦𝘴.”
~ 𝐃𝐚𝐲𝐫𝐨𝐲𝐨 𝐅𝐫. 𝐁𝐚𝐬𝐢𝐥