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Demonstrate Christ Jesus' message: Man is free from laws of matter!

Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Christ Jesus”

for August 26-September 1, 2019

Kerry Jenkins CS, House Springs, MO

Whatever we believe, or where ever we are in our journey to understand life and spirituality, it is clear that Jesus made a deep impression on humanity. His life and works, his preaching and his story in the Gospels left mankind a legacy that continues to bless, to make us strive for good, to ask questions of the nature of reality, to this day. Whatever mankind has done to attempt to tarnish his message through bigotry, dogma, hatred or exclusivity of any kind over the centuries since he walked the earth, his central message of love and healing continues to shine through unblemished. The Truth and Love that he preached and practiced are universal, and therefore eternal, and available to all. They offer freedom and harmony to all seekers.

Our Golden Text this week, as usual, is a guide to help us interpret each section. When we superimpose the theme of Christ Jesus and the law of God that he lived over the stories and citations in this week's Bible lesson, we glimpse how the Master Christian, the son of God, the Messiah, holds an eternally unique and special place in Christianity. And we learn how the Christ that he embodied has continued eternally to imbue his followers (and predecessors!) with that healing power that stemmed from his understanding of man's sonship/daughtership—spiritual nature.

We are all "…the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." This passage from the Responsive Readingthis week is worth pondering. What does Paul mean by "faith"? What does he mean by "children of God"? We know that Jesus was the son of God, specifically of divine parentage. How is our sonship different from that?

Jesus "gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of the Father:" Why? Was it not to help us to understand the nature of man and God more clearly so that we could live in Spirit and not be chained by the beliefs of material law/material life? The spirit of Christ which he embodied so much more clearly because of his divine sonship, helped him to illustrate for us our own divine nature.

We are not "condemned" ("There is now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."). Condemnation is the Adam and Eve myth. The "present evil world" is unconscious thought. It is the dream sense of an external "Eden" that we can never regain, except, perhaps, in a distant future.

Jesus revealed that we have a "kingdom within", a paradise that we have within, where God reigns and the Christ consciousness is revealed to one and all. This consciousness brings true freedom. Freedom from sin, from insanity of every sort, disease, dissatisfaction, and even from death. When we glimpse the Christ, truth, that life is not in matter, but in Christly living, we see there is no beginning or end to this true life.

Section 1: Christ Jesus, the son of God, reveals our own sonship/daughtership.
John the Baptist was Jesus' cousin. He is often associated with the prophetic words in citation B1 as making "…straight in the desert a highway for our God". It is thought-provoking that the term "highway" refers to a public road, one on which everyone is welcome to travel. Consider how this points to the fact that access to the message of the Savior is free to all, and how it also declares that "…all flesh shall see it together:" Doesn't this tell us that wherever we are in our understanding of the message that Jesus shared/on that highway, we will see, discern, understand, the glory of the freedom that God has bestowed on us? This freedom is the freedom that a divine Father bestows on His beloved child.

We recognize our holy place as sons and daughters when we engage in spiritual baptism—when we purify our consciousness by "…submergence in Spirit" (S3)—when we have cleared away the grime of a false sense of self that is steeped in guilt, in separation from Love. This is Jesus' message to mankind throughout the ages. He had a unique and divinely holy place as God's son, "anointed" by God with the "oil of gladness above [his] fellows." (See quote in citation S4)

If you consider the definition of "Oil" in Science and Health by Mary Baker Eddy (MBE) on p. 592, you can expand on your understanding of this Biblical passage: "Oil: Consecration; charity; gentleness; prayer; heavenly inspiration."

I love the idea that Jesus' work was joyous. This means that following in his footsteps and embracing our son/daughtership, is joyful, satisfying, glad work!

Section 2: Christ reveals the reign of harmony.

The "…reign of harmony." is part of MBE's definition of the "kingdom of heaven" (p.590 SH). In citation S9 MBE states that "When speaking of God's children, not the children of men, Jesus said, "The kingdom of God is within you;" that is, Truth and Love reign in the real man, showing that man in God's image is unfallen and eternal." "…Truth and Love reign in the real man…" It is this government or "reign" that Jesus showed us through his healing work.

In citation B4, after asking Simon Peter and his brother Andrew to leave their nets and become "fishers of men", Jesus goes into a synagogue and heals an insane man with the rebuke "hold thy peace." We can follow his example in circumstances when our thoughts seem to leave us in valleys of gloom or more aggressive forms of mental trouble.

Notice that the insane man resists him, while at the same time recognizing who he is, that he is there to "destroy us". This resistance is typical in each of four cases where Jesus heals the insane. What does that say about "mortal mind", which fancies itself a separate and egoistic identity from God? Where is the "sonship" in this form of identification? This false "self" is destroyed but in the wake of that destruction, our true, satisfied, joyful, peaceful self is revealed. Sometimes this may take insistent Christly rebuke and formidable desire on our part. But this persistence is truly rewarded! The kingdom of heaven within is a worthy gift, where Truth and Love reign in our consciousness.

Section 3: The pure "son"/child self is what Jesus came to reveal.

Citation B5 has the scribes and Pharisees, the lawyers and educated among the Jewish people, criticizing Jesus for "eating with publicans and sinners…" Jesus answers them that he came to help those that were "sick" since those that are whole don't need that help. If you think of "sinners" as those who feel separate from Love, or God, and, in this case the "righteous" as those who are lost in their own sense of identity as personally "good", you can see where there might be irony in Jesus' statement.

We must all be searching for our true, Godlike identity and not ever satisfied with the false material sense of self with which the Pharisees and scribes were mostly content. This doesn't mean that we are to regard ourselves as "sinners". Rather we must ever be rich in the humility that Jesus refers to when he speaks of the "poor in spirit" or the "meek", in his Sermon on the Mount. (Matt. 5:3,5) The reward for this Christly humility is to receive the kingdom of heaven (reign of harmony within!), and to "inherit the earth", (which, to me means that we experience our God-given dominion over the earth bound suggestions of life, rather than become victim to them).

This humility is beautifully illustrated in MBE's statement in citation S14 where she states "Willingness to become as a little child and to leave the old for the new, renders thought receptive of the advanced idea." This "advanced idea" is the Christ! It is speaking to us when our hearts and our "self" is humble, pure, free from either pride and self-righteousness, or its opposite, a heavy, personal sense of sinfulness.

Section 4: Throughout the ages Christ feeds all who hunger and thirst.

The Samaritans and Jews had similar religious backgrounds, but their differences made them especially unfriendly to one another. It was unusual therefore, for a Jew, especially a Rabbi, to speak to a Samaritan, much less, a woman, in public! Apparently, it was even unusual that the disciples were off buying food from the Samaritans in the nearby city. Jesus shows here that the Christ is come to every consciousness who is prepared to receive it.

This woman is at the well where he is looking for water. Symbolically she was ready and present! She had the curiosity and courage to question the Master about why he would stoop to speak to her, much less ask her for water. She is also completely humble—without ego—as Jesus reveals her not-so-pure life (without judgement). She is thirsty for the "living water" that Jesus mentions. This is a beautiful analogy, comparing a spring that constantly replenishes itself, with the spiritually eternal life that is in Christ.

We can expect this Christ "spring" to well up within us as we welcome a humble and curious consciousness within ourselves. This Christ has been present to refresh and heal eternally, and is just as present today as it was in Jesus' time, because the Christ is the spirit which Jesus embodied and never died or lived in a material body.

Section 5: Christ Jesus revealed man's consciousness of life as ever-present and not in matter.

Citation B10 is often interpreted in terms of dead rising again when Jesus returns. But what if we think in terms of our consciousness being aroused from the "sleep/death" that we are experiencing when we believe the lie of life in matter. What if we are living when we are conscious of the Christ and the reign of harmony/the kingdom of heaven within? This is the life that Jesus came to show us. It is a living conscious "awakeness" of the presence of the Christ, the "life in Christ" spoken of in the Golden Text of this Bible lesson.

In this section Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. He removes the "stone", the hardened law of mortal belief that tells us we are born into, and die out of, matter. The antidote to this myth is to "live" in a consciousness of Christ. Mary Baker Eddy puts it this way "Let us feel the divine energy of Spirit, bringing us into newness of life and recognizing no mortal nor material power as able to destroy." and "The great spiritual fact must be brought out that man is not shall be, perfect and immortal. We must hold forever the consciousness of existence, and sooner or later, through Christ and Christian Science, we must master sin and death." (S24) It was this understanding of life that raised Lazarus, and ultimately raised Jesus himself from death. It can do the same for us— genuinely awakening our consciousness to the ever-present Christ.

Section 6: Show our love for Christ Jesus by following his example.

It sounds ridiculous to claim that we can do what Jesus did, especially the "death" part. Yet there are thousands of well-authenticated examples in the Bible, before and after Jesus, and in periodicals of Christian Science over more than a century.

It is tempting to think that his era of healing is over and done with. But Mary Baker Eddy discovered the truth behind his healing methods and through her study of the Bible, was able to write down her discovery and revelation in a way that helps us spiritually understand more of the Bible's healing power. "It is possible…" she says, "…–yea, it is the duty and privilege of every child, man, and woman—to follow in some degree the example of the Master by the demonstration of Truth and Life, of health and holiness." This is a glorious promise to us, the followers of Christ Jesus today.

Jesus’ message of healing and his call to follow in his footsteps (B13), are divine demands. We have the holy instructions in the Bible and in Science and Health. We take the first step of discipleship by employing whatever humble, childlike truth we know. We are each a son/daughter of God, so God's reign of harmony already exists within each of us. The spirit of Christ shines a light in our consciousness and illuminates this harmony, dispelling the darkness of materiality and mortality. This makes us truly free!


Watch for Warren's Post-Scripts (now called CAPs—Citation Application Possibilities):
Application ideas from Cobbey Crisler and others on select citations will be
available online and emailed as completed.


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