"Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32

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CHRIST JESUS  

How interesting that letters from Paul, (formerly Saul who persecuted Christians until his transformation) should became the “Golden Text” for this lesson!  In fact, several of his letters are included in the New Testament even though he was not one of the original 12 disciples.   Especially moving are these quotations:  “…ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus…There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”  Jesus’ followers are those “who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”  (Galatians 1:26, 28; Romans 8:1)  

John the Baptist recognized the coming of “one mightier than I” who would  “baptize with the Holy Ghost.” (Mark 1:7-8)   Mary Baker Eddy defines baptism as “Purification by Spirit; submergence in Spirit.”  (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures 581:23) 

She recognized Jesus as “the mediator between Spirit and the flesh, between Truth and error.”  She continues:  “From him mortals may learn how to escape from evil.” (S&H 315:31-3)   I’ve always thought of the advent of Christ Jesus as the supreme example of God’s love for humanity.   In his brief ministry,  Jesus gave lasting evidence of the fact that “Truth is made manifest by its effects upon the human mind and body, healing sickness and destroying sin.”  (S&H 316:7)   He taught that “The kingdom of God is within” each of us and that “Truth and Love reign in the real man…”  

Mrs. Eddy writes:  “Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals.  In this perfect man the Savior saw God’s own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick.” (S&H 476: 32-5)  She adds that “Jesus aided in reconciling man to God by giving man a truer sense of Love, the divine Principle of Jesus’ teachings, and this truer sense of Love redeems man from the law of matter, sin, and death by the law of Spirit,--the law of divine Love.” (S&H 19:6)     

The important question is how do we “put off (our) material beliefs and false individuality”?   By knowing “no other reality”—having no other consciousness of life—than good, God and His reflection,” and by rising “superior to the so-called pain and pleasure of the senses.”  It involves willingness “to become as a little child and leave the old (mistaken sense of a material selfhood) for the new.”  

This transformation is illustrated by the account in John’s Gospel of a woman of Samaria who commented that “the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.”  Jesus’ response was: “whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”  When the woman asked for his water, Jesus exposed the fact that she had lived with 5 husbands and was now living with one who was not her husband.   She responded by recognizing Jesus as a prophet, and by calling others to meet him.  (John 4: 7-10, 14-19. 15-16, 28-29)  Mrs. Eddy comments:  “Christ expresses God’s spiritual, eternal nature. The name is synonymous with Messiah, and alludes to the spirituality which is taught, illustrated and demonstrated in the life of which Christ Jesus was the embodiment.” 

She adds:  “Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals.  It is the open fount which cries, `Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters.” (S&H 333:9-13 and 13:2-4)   In other words, Jesus’ teaching and his example are universal—available to anyone “prepared to receive Christ, Truth.” (S&H 333:16-23)   Jesus restoring of his friend Lazarus who appeared to have died is further proof of his authority “over sin, sickness, and death.”  Shall we not all rejoice that “we are subject to the divine powers that be.”  

As Mrs. Eddy puts it:  “Let us feel the divine energy of Spirit, bringing us into newness of life and recognizing no mortal or material power as able to destroy…The great spiritual fact must be brought out that man is, not shall be, perfect and immortal.”   Yes, Jesus “taught and demonstrated man’s oneness with the Father…He did life’s work aright” but not to relieve us of our own responsibility.  We each can follow “in some degree the example of the Master.  We can “…do unto others as we would have them do unto us, and be merciful, just, and pure.”  (S&H 497:24-27)   

Jamae van Eck