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Physician, heal thyself (Ἰατρέ, θεράπευσον σεαυτόν) is a proverb found in Luke 4:23.

And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country.

The usual interpretation of this passage is, during the Rejection of Jesus, Jesus expected to hear natives of his hometown of Nazareth use this phrase to criticize him.[1]

The moral of the proverb is counsel to attend to one's own defects, rather than criticizing defects in others[2], a sentiment also expressed in the Discourse on judgmentalism.

Jesus used these words to show not only that he was fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah 61, but also, he was actually prophesying that his adversaries would say these words even as he hung on the cross at his crucifixion. [3]


Some or all of this article is forked from Wikipedia. The original article was at Physician, heal thyself. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

  1. Martin, Gary. "Physician, heal thyself". The Phrase Finder. Retrieved 2008-12-05. 
  2. E. D. Hirsch, Jr., Joseph F. Kett and James Trefil, ed (2002). "Physician, heal thyself". The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0-618-22647-8. OCLC 50166721. Retrieved 2008-12-05. 

3. Matthew 27:42 - He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. Mark 15:31 - Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save. Luke 23:35 - And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided [him], saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God.

See also

Hometown Rejection of Jesus, "Physician, heal thyself"
Life of Jesus: Ministry Events
Preceded by
Samaritan Woman at the Well
  New Testament 
Followed by
Calling of Matthew