The Good Doctor and Other Such Scandals

Congratulations to the Gramercy Christian High School Drama Class for their brilliant production of  The Good Doctor, a somewhat scandalous look at the often disguised, and sometimes blatant, fallen condition of humankind.  Written by Neil Simon, and based on a collection of short stories by Anton Chekhov, The Good Doctor is a series of vignettes, both comical and tragic, that ultimately lead the audience into a confrontation with some of mankind’s more subtle sins.  Although he grew up in the Russian Orthodox church, there is much debate as to whether or not Chekhov was a born-again believer; nonetheless, according to Father Robert Arida, Chekhov “was in a passionate struggle for the meaning of human existence and, through his characters, one encounters a doctor and writer who tenaciously wrestles with Christ, the Church, and the Gospel.”

Because Drama, much like the other Arts, deals with human nature and how human nature presents itself in the world, it is oftentimes messy, confusing, difficult, and even depressing.  An honest look at the human condition demands an honest look at sin and an honest look at sin demands an honest look at the human condition.  Ultimately, The Good Doctor is a play about the brokenness of human nature and our need for a remedy.  The good news at Gramercy is that we are not just looking at the fallen condition of mankind, but also looking intently at the reality of Redemption.

1 Corinthians 1: 23 says this:  “Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”   The word for “stumbling block” in this verse is the Greek word skandalon, meaning scandal, and it is applied to Jesus Christ, whose “person and career were so contrary to the expectations of the Jews concerning the Messiah, that they rejected him and by their stubbornness shipwrecked their salvation.”  Oddly enough, Jesus was the biggest scandal of His day and even now, He is often the subject of much controversy.  Ultimately, the point of this verse is that neither the religion of the Jewish Pharisees nor the philosophy of the Gentiles had the power to save.  Only Jesus Christ and Him crucified could bring the remedy mankind needed.  He alone could be The Great Physician.

In Mark 2:17 Jesus says, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick,” which is why Jesus so often went to the messiest, most broken, most confused people in Israel.  And He hasn’t changed.  Although we cannot keep our children from the realities of fallen people on a fallen planet,  I am thankful that at Gramercy our students are not only being exposed gently to the sickness of sin in the world, but also to the scandalous Gospel of Jesus Christ and the remedy only He provides.