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Paul Schneidmill


Recently, I obtained and cross-referenced some extensive information on a historical figure named, Hippocrates.  This gentleman was the ancient Greek physician who is believed to have lived sometime between 450-380 BC, became known as the founder of medicine, and is regarded as the greatest physician of his time.


Hippocrates is largely well known for the Hippocratic Oath, the example for medical etiquette throughout the centuries that is still applicable and modeled to date in a modified manner.


As I studied his oath in its original form, I was surprised to read that this obviously pantheistic person, involved in the medical profession, was against injustice, abortion, sexual misconduct, and even stated that, “In purity and in holiness I will guard my life and art (medical training).” 


While studying Hippocrates, I learned about two ancient medical symbols, each of which are utilized by medical organizations (mostly American) today.  They are the Caduceus and the Staff of Asclepius (Asclepius was an ancient Greek physician who was deified as the god of medicine; his staff is known as the personification of medical or healing art and its ideals).   


I encourage you to do a study on these two as you are able, because you’ll find that the visual link these two symbols of medical representation have in common concern serpents on a pole or staff.


Depending on what information you obtain, all types of reasoning will be given regarding the probable origin and logic of these symbols, but if you’ll dig deep enough, it’s possible (again, depending upon the research) you’ll be directed to a historically true and accurate story in the Biblical book of Numbers 21 (Numbers 21:4-9).  This story should lead to a related one in 2 Kings 18 (2 Kings 18:1-4), and culminate with an intensely powerful and purposeful meaning from the lips of Jesus in the Gospel of John (John 3:14-17).


The story in Numbers has to do with a situation in early Jewish history when the people of God got themselves in a position that required a need for their health to be restored.  God, who had pronounced to them during their large-scale departure from Egypt, that He was the one who provided healing (Exodus 15:26), did so via His power, through a symbol similar to the ones mentioned earlier (both of which came about well after the Numbers account).


The story in 2 Kings concerned the Jewish people, generations later, believing/viewing that original symbol from the Numbers story, to be a source of healing in and of itself, and an object of worship. 


However, the words of Christ in John 3 relate that in the same manner in which Moses raised up the serpent symbol for all to see for the purpose of healing the Israelites in the Numbers story; Christ Himself must be raised up in full, public view during His crucifixion, to provide salvation for all mankind.


This salvation is the preservation of and the deliverance from the power and penalty of sin that includes sickness and death (physical, emotional, mental, and most of all, spiritual). 


Only Christ, can and does, offer and provide that.


The serpent symbol in the Numbers story, as well as the Caduceus and the Staff of Asclepius, are merely symbols indicative of the power to heal.


Additionally, physicians and medically-trained people (whom I am grateful to God for) can be, and have been greatly instrumental in providing large contributions associated with and instrumental to various types of healing, but Christ remains the only true and ultimate healer for all of humanity.


In 1999, I was diagnosed with Hepatitis C.  This is a viral, blood infection for which man has no current cure.  After I read and meditated upon Psalm 119:71, Christ came alongside me and “taught” me His statutes.  Since the summer of 2002, numerous laboratory reports indicate that there is no indication or trace of Hepatitis C in my body!


As I write this, my two youngest children are at home from school due to fevers, my wife is recovering from several days of being sick, and the world has many people who are suffering some sort of illness in various degrees and stages.


Yet the fact remains, that Jesus is the Lord who “forgives our sins and heals us when we are sick,” (Psalm 103:3 – CEV)


Come to Him, learn His statutes, read about accounts of His healing attributes in Scripture (Matthew 8:16; 10:1; 12:22; 21:14, Mark 1:34, Luke 5:17; 6:19), how His Word alone heals (Psalm 107:20, Proverbs 4:20-22), and find out that the suffering He willingly endured during His crucifixion, directly relates with His ability/availability to heal us today (Isaiah 53:5, 1 Peter 2:24). 


He is Christ, the Healer.


Copyright © Paul Schneidmill