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[Follow Christ by imitating Jesus’ example and bearing witness to the Truth! (SH37:16)]

Metaphysical Application ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for
August 22-28, 2016

Subject: Christ Jesus

Prepared by Kathy Fitzer, CS of Lake St. Louis, MO


This week’s lesson encourages us to really get to know Jesus — and strive to follow his example more and more! As we get to know Jesus we start to understand Christ, and all the various activities of Christ. Christ is the divine nature of man, fully expressed by Jesus, but not restricted to him. Christ, as the ideal of God, has existed forever and was expressed before Jesus, continues to be expressed today, and is eternal in its nature. Let’s learn more about the nature of Christ this week and identify ourselves as also having that nature. As we learn to model the life of Jesus in our own lives — and look for Christly qualities in everyone with whom our paths cross (in person or through the news) — we can expect to see the radiance of Truth fully expressed! In each section, look for the special way that Jesus describes himself. Then seek to act accordingly. The seven “I am” statements made by Jesus [that are the themes for the seven sections in this week’s lesson on Christ Jesus] appear only in the gospel of John. They serve as a map for how we can follow Jesus’ example, discern man’s oneness with God, bear witness to the Christ, and demonstrate eternal Life.

Golden Text: This verse is Jesus’ response to Pilate’s question of whether or not Jesus was a king. The New Living Translation has, “Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.” Jesus didn’t see it as his job to convince anyone of the “truth.” He just lived it. And he knew that those who loved truth would recognize it and be receptive to it. If we are to emulate Jesus in all that he did, we need to make our reason for being also be bearing witness to truth. As we bear witness to truth, we will see truth right where false pictures (of fear, sin, disease, and death) appear to be! That’s how Jesus healed … and that’s how we must heal and experience healing. To “bear witness unto the truth” is our reason for being — as it was Jesus’ reason for being. [Mary Baker Eddy encourages “each member of this church…” to respond: “… I am able to impart truth, health, and happiness, and this is my rock of salvation and my reason for existing.” Miscellany 165:18]

Responsive Reading: Jesus clearly knew who he was and what his purpose was, and wanted his disciples to know, as well. He wanted to be sure they understood his uniqueness. He wasn’t a returning prophet. He was the promised Messiah — the Son of the living God! God introduced His Son directly to the disciples — in rebuttal to what others believed. Peter was the first to identify Jesus as the promised Messiah — the Christ — the ideal man (or Son) of God’s creating and the Savior of the world. I found it really interesting to read this account in conjunction with what follows from I John because, to me, it points out the importance of being sure we are seeing Jesus in this true light … to really appreciate the sacrifices he made to reveal God’s nature in a way that all could understand and emulate. Jesus was able to humanly demonstrate eternal life because he fully understood Christ to be his true and only nature. This same Christ is our nature. Jesus demonstrated it, and taught us all we need to know in order to live it. Just as we are one with God, we are all one in Christ — man constituting the divine image and likeness of God! Eternal life has been revealed to us through the Son of God. We can recognize the presence of Christ as surely as Peter did — and follow in the way of Life!

Section 1: The bread of life

Jesus often made statements that were hard for his listeners to understand. Gratefully we have Science and Health which serves as a key to the scriptures to help us look more deeply into his message. To get a better feel for what Jesus was saying in what we have in the first section, it’s helpful to look at the context of the entire 6th chapter of John. Jesus had provided food for the multitude that had followed him as a result of having witnessed his healing works. Then, sensing that the people were about to anoint him king, Jesus slipped away and went to the other side of the lake (walking on the water to meet his disciples and then immediately reaching the other shore.) The people followed him, but Jesus accused them of just seeking him for more free food. He doubted their sincerity in seeking Truth. They were totally confused by what he meant when he identified himself as the “bread of life.” What was this “living bread which came down from heaven” that “if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever”? Certainly they couldn’t eat his flesh! And they knew his parents, so he hadn’t come from heaven! The record says that many of these “disciples” (not the 12) stopped following him at this point. (B2) So, what does this have to do with us? We have to ask ourselves …. Are we really seeking “the bread of life” — a genuine understanding of God and his Son — “the knowledge of Love, Truth, and Life”? (S3) Certainly we are blessed by every crumb of Truth that we digest. (S5) But let’s be careful that we’re not falling into the trap of seeking Christ for “the loaves and fishes” — that we’re not seeking a quick fix to some [lack or] problem or “using” Christian Science out of a sense of familiarity, duty or routine. Eating of the bread of life leads to spiritual awakening and a true leaning on God. This awakening is eternal life and is expressed in permanent health. That’s what we want! Everything Jesus did was the result of his knowledge of his inseparability from Christ — “the divine idea of God outside the flesh.” (S1) As we devour his teachings and follow his example, we are fed by “the bread of life” and flourish as a result! “Fed by Thy love divine we live, for Love alone is Life;” (Hymn 30) God’s spiritual, eternal nature — Christ, Truth — indeed constitutes our life! (S3) Let the inspiration of Christ — the bread of Life — feed you. You will be filled and nourished. [As Jesus promises in the Beatitudes: “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled.” (Matt. 5:6] And an appetite for anything that opposes Truth will surely fall away!

Section 2: Light of the world

Not only did Jesus identify himself as the light of the world, but promised that as we follow that light, all darkness disappears. (B3) I’ve often noticed that when I walk in the light of day I naturally cover the same ground more quickly than I do walking the same route at night — even when the path is very familiar and I’m not consciously concerned about stumbling. We see things in the light (good to appreciate and bad to be alert to, avoid, and destroy) that we tend to miss when it’s dark. And then there are the mysterious shadows that appear in the dark that can be really spooky — until we turn on the light and discover that they’re really nothing! What’s wonderful is that the light of Christ isn’t dependent on the sun or a light bulb. This light is always shining. This light that Jesus embodied reveals immortality as the natural, perpetual, and eternal status of man! (S6) The author of Ephesians calls on the disciples of Christ (that’s us!) to identify themselves (ourselves) as light and to “walk as children of light.” (B6) This command goes to the heart of Christianity, defined in Christian Science as “the demonstration of divine Love casting out error and healing the sick …. in demonstration of Truth.” Any time light is shed on a situation, it is seen more clearly and misconceptions are eliminated. Truth uncovers erroneous suggestions (no matter how subtle) and corrects them. Love is that light that enables Truth to be demonstrated. And this light is forever shining because “the cycles of divine light” are perpetual — with no darkness mixed in. (S8) The nature of each and every individual is one of light because we are all the offspring of God. As we really desire to see that light and walk in that light, we will find that the darkness (confusion, doubt and fear) yield to the fullness of Life!

Section 3: Door of the sheep

The Bible part of this section includes three different references to doors. To understand Jesus’ description of himself as “the door of the sheep” it’s helpful to have some background on how sheep were (and to a large extent still are) cared for in Israel. (B7) In nice weather shepherds took their sheep to the countryside to graze. At night the sheep pen was nothing more than a rough circle of rocks piled into a wall with a small open space to enter. The shepherd would drive the sheep through the opening and then would keep the sheep in and wild animals out by lying across the opening — literally becoming the door to the sheep. In this case, we see the protection and safety afforded by the ever-watchful Christ (divine idea of God.) So, Christ being the door can be thought of as the protecting influence of Love ever surrounding us. In Revelation we read of the “open door” that “no man can shut.” This open door is an indication of the complete dominion of Love being freely given to all. (From Studies in the Apocalypse of John of Patmos by Edyth Armstrong Hoyt) And, finally we have reference to Christ standing “at the door” and knocking, ready to enter the consciousness of anyone willing to open the door and accept the divine inspiration that is always available. (B8) It is vital that we respond to Truth knocking at the door of thought. Such a response “will reopen with the key of divine Science the gates of Paradise which human beliefs have closed.” And as we respond, we discover who we really are — “unfallen, upright, pure, and free.” (S12) I love the promise that the Christ (defined on page 332 of the textbook as, “the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness) watches over us and defends us, is ever open to us, and is always right where we are. We just have to give our consent and respond. Imagine a delivery truck pulling up to the door of your home filled with everything you could ever need. You’d open the door and accept the delivery, right? The Christ is like that. Jesus demonstrated how this Christ — this oneness with God — supplies us with the right ideas that meet every need — safety, supply, health, stability, satisfaction, purpose, and life itself. All we have to do is accept our oneness with God as Jesus did … and respond to the knock. (S11)

Section 4: Good shepherd

Jesus identified himself as “the good shepherd” — perhaps in contrast to the bad reputation some shepherds had in his day. He spoke of knowing his sheep (those who follow him) as God (his and our Father) knew him. [B9 and W’s PS 1 from Cobbey Crisler] Sheep recognize and respond to the voice of their shepherd (the one who provides, guides, protects, and companions with them) even when they are in the midst of several flocks and many voices are calling out. I love that thought. No matter how many voices are vying for our attention (calls of distraction, destruction or fear) we (as the innocent lambs of God) recognize and are inclined to follow the voice of Christ (our shepherd.) In the parable of the “lost sheep” Jesus particularly spoke of the love and devotion of a shepherd to his sheep — seeking the lost one until it was found, and bringing it back to the safety of the fold. (B10) Similarly, Jesus sought out those who were lost spiritually (the sinners) and physically (the sick and dying) and lovingly restored them to their state of wholeness. I see Jesus’ message as two-fold. ONE, the assurance that when we feel lost, the Christ (divine Truth) is reaching out to us, revealing to us that we are the “idea of God … which cannot be lost nor separated from its divine Principle.” Only a “sense material” can be lost. (S15 & S16) Thus we know that we are always safe and sought-after. TWO, we are being told that we should follow the example of our Master, letting our thought be held “in line with unselfed love, … (receiving) directly the divine power”, and responding with the same kind of love — healing those in need of healing. (S19) The actions of a good shepherd are always impelled by love. Love that heals is aligned with the Love that is God. It is this Love that “inspires, illumines, designates, and leads the way.” (S20) We just have to follow and respond.

Section 5: Resurrection and the life

Jesus was not in the least intimidated by reports that Jairus’ daughter had died. His response was to urge Jairus to have faith, [to say the perfect thing that brought about the response that enabled him to easily] put out the paid mourners and disbelievers from the room, and then to wake up the girl. [See B13 and PS2 of Cobbey’s comments on Luke 8:41-55] How could Jesus be so confident? I think it was because he so completely understood what constitutes Life. Mary Baker Eddy says, “Truth will be to us ‘the resurrection and the life’ only as it destroys all error and the belief that Mind, the only immortality of man, can be fettered by the body, and Life be controlled by death.” (S23) Jesus demonstrated that statement! As with all of Jesus’ “I am …” statements, when he referred to himself as the resurrection and the life, he wasn’t talking about himself as a human personality, but about “his divine nature, the godliness which animated him” — the Christ. (S24) This Christ is the ideal man that truly constitutes the nature of each and every one of us. Christ — of whom Jesus was the full representative — lifts human consciousness above the belief of mortality. As thought is lifted up — resurrected — the body must respond. (S22) Mrs. Eddy says that “it is the living Christ, the practical Truth, which makes Jesus ‘the resurrection and the life’ to all who follow him in deed.” (S21) So, our job is to try to follow his example. Every time the slightest bit of error is destroyed by Truth, we are that much closer to the destruction of all error and the demonstration of indestructible life! Let’s look for evidence of the resurrecting power of Christ, Truth, everywhere — and yield to it.

Section 6: The way (x10+)… [CedarS ’16 theme was “the way” as celebrated in a Prac Talk’ by the raising of hands & as downloadable online in a cartoon by clicking it at the upper right.]

There’s only one way to get to know our Father/Mother God and that is to get to know His Christ — the image of God’s being. (See S&H p. 313) Jesus was the best example of that image there has ever been. As we follow Jesus’ example, we are sure to find ourselves following the way to the “living Truth, which heals the sick” that was “taught and demonstrated by Christ Jesus.” (S28) I was struck in the story of “blind Bartimaeus” that Bartimaeus went from sitting by the highway to following Jesus in “the way.” [Listen a Prac Talk on "WWJD? (What Would Jesus Do?) when "Blind Bart" was in the Bible lesson this summer.] Even while he was sitting and begging, he called out to Jesus (actually called out to Christ, Truth) in expectation of healing. Those around him tried to silence him, but he persisted. When Jesus called him, Bartimaeus left behind the cloak that identified him as poor. Confident of receiving his sight, he knew he’d be able to move on to a more productive life. Bartimaeus wasn’t afraid to ask for what he needed — sight. Jesus attributed his healing to the faith he had exhibited. But, most important is that after receiving his sight, he didn’t just wander off, he followed Jesus into Jerusalem — where Jesus was soon to be accused and crucified. (B15) Lessons for us? What false sense of identity might we need to throw off — confident that Christ will respond to our needs? Are we sincerely asking for healing — expecting Love to respond — or might we be harboring a little doubt that perhaps we have to do something to earn a healing? And, are we grateful for every evidence of God’s care and re-doubling our efforts to truly follow Christ’s leading (keeping thought in line with Truth)? Isaiah promises that we will hear God telling us which way to turn. (B16) Don’t be afraid to trust what you’re hearing. If there needs to be an adjustment, that direction will come through loud and clear, as well. This section has some wonderful descriptions of Christ. Understanding Christ to be “the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness,” we can be sure the message is available to each and every one. (S26) The more we practice listening for the message, the more confident we can be that we will hear it. And the more we identify everyone as being the offspring of God, embodying the nature of God, the more we can trust that everyone will hear Christ in a language they can understand and be compelled to follow in the only way — the way of Truth and Life! It’s sometimes tempting to look at our world and throw up our hands in despair. But, we can find confidence in the fact that man is governed by God (that’s the reality of things) and when (because) man is governed by God, “the ever-present Mind who understands all things,” we know that “with God all things are possible.” (S28)

Section 7: True vine

The vine is considered a symbol of the Messiah. So, as at the beginning of the Lesson, Jesus is again clearly identifying himself as the promised Messiah — the Christ and Son of God. Jesus again acknowledges God as the source that governs all that Jesus does (the husbandman or gardener responsible for the fruit-bearing vine and its branches.) And, Jesus makes it clear that just as a branch can’t bear fruit unless it is attached to the vine, Jesus’ followers can’t follow his example unless they stay attached to the vine — unless they recognize the authority of Christ as the healing power. (B21) Realizing our unity with Christ and Christ’s unity with God supplies us with all that we need in order to follow the commands of Jesus — including healing as he healed. It is the sap that runs through the vine and to each branch that enables fruit to appear at the end of the branches. Similarly, it is the inspiration that comes from God through His Christ that enables the fruit of healing to follow our prayers. An understanding of God (such as Jesus had) enables the fruit of healing to be seen. (S31) Our job is to follow Jesus’ example and obey his commandments — primarily to have only one God, giving all power to the divine all-power! Not only is this the only way to express our gratitude to Jesus, but it is the only way to continue his healing ministry. What a joy it is to do just that! In fact, 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.” (S32) So, let’s just each agree to do the best we can to follow Jesus’ example and welcome every opportunity we have to “bear witness unto the truth.” (GT) No need to get down on ourselves for what we think we should be doing better. Just do what you can, and work to do a little more — acknowledge God’s power more and more consistently — each day. Then be grateful that Father/Mother Love is leading us as it led Jesus because of our unity with God. As we watch, we’ll find examples of Christ, Truth, (the light of Love) active everywhere we look. Magnify those examples and continue to bear witness to Truth. The darkness of error must ultimately be destroyed by the light of Truth. And, we can be part of that demonstration as we follow Jesus in the Way!

[Warren’s PS 1 from Cobbey Crisler on John 10 (B9): bring a shepherd’s care to all you do!
“Chapter 10. Not too many of us keep sheep anymore. So, this is a lost simile on the twentieth century. Should we be keeping sheep in the real meaning of it? What could you and I do more about our job, our home, our world, our political situation, our community, and church, if we introduced more of the shepherd motive into all of them?
John 10:13 shows the difference between the shepherd-motive and the hireling’s motive who was working just for pay. “The hireling fleeth, because that’s all he was working for is money.” Where’s the difference? “He doesn’t care.”
Let’s ask ourselves the question, do we care? If we care, that’s the shepherd motive. Jesus cared. He walked in the midst of the dissolute, the despairing, the injured, the grieved, and the broken in heart as well as in body. And nobody knew why he did it. The upper classes, those who didn’t have similar problems, wondered why he was with the publicans and sinners. But he said that “the whole didn’t need a physician” (Matt. 9:12; Mark 4:23; Luke 5:31).
He apparently contemplated an Israel in prophecy which the existing Israel, the establishment, had not remotely seen.
He saw the Israel in prophecy which is exactly in accord with Jeremiah’s prediction of the new covenant and Isaiah’s. The new Israel would be composed of those whose needs had been met, where the recipients were, no class, no mass, no private sector, no ghetto, but receptivity gathering the sons and daughters together. They are gathered to prove what is possible on earth as in heaven. The shepherd motive of caring brings us into that new Israel.”

[“Jesus says that he is the Shepherd and he also says he is the door. It may look like he is confused. Let me give you an example of how he isn’t. When my wife and I were in Israel, we stopped in a place between Jerusalem and Bethany. I saw what I thought was an unattended flock of sheep. There was also a rock wall with one door or gate. It was an almost complete square. As I wandered around, I was suddenly surprised by the shepherd whom I had disturbed. He rose up. He was stretched across that entry way, getting a few winks.
Right there I had illustrated for me what Jesus meant in John 10: 2, 11, 14, “I am the shepherd” and in John 10: 7, 9, “I am the door.” Now there was no confusion at all. With the sheep inside an enclosure and the only possible entrance of wild animals or thieves being that door, you had to get through the shepherd in order to get to the sheep. The shepherd was also the door.
In Mary Baker Eddy’s poem, “Feed My Sheep”, there is the statement, “I will listen for Thy voice.” [Hymn 304] While we were down in that area of Beersheba, we saw many sheep all mixed together. I said to Janet, ‘I wonder how the shepherd is ever going to sort out his sheep. They’re all just mingled together.’ I had the answer to the question very readily. It wasn’t very long before our shepherd separated himself from the crowd, walked away never looked over his shoulder at the mixed up sheep, but made some kind of identifying click or clack of his tongue or voice.
“Do you know that every one of his sheep separated themselves from that flock and followed him? He never doubted. He never looked back. The sheep did their job.. The sheep knew his voice. “I will listen for Thy voice.” These lessons are things that in the busy moments of our own twentieth century we need to contemplate. They’re not just symbols. They’re not done just as ancient history. They’re attitudes. They’re states of mind and thought. This is something we often need to consider.”

Book of John, A Walk with the Beloved Disciple, B. Cobbey Crisler, p.56, 57 You can buy your own transcripts of 28 of Cobbey’s talks at this website, It’s maintained by his widow, Janet Crisler, who can be reached by email at]

[W’s P.S.2: Cobbey Crisler’s partial comments on Luke 8:41-48, raising Jairus’ daughter
“In this case we have something that might present a problem. Two people that need attention simultaneously. What do you do?… Here’s how Jesus deals with it. He is first summoned by a ruler of the synagogue with a great deal of human priority. Jairus has the rank and he asks first. He’s got a more urgent need. His daughter is on the verge of dying (Luke 8:41). But Jesus can’t even get to the location where this girl is because of the crush of people in the narrow lanes of the Palestinian villages. The Greek word for “thronged” is often used to describe how close these groups got to one another. Jesus was nearly suffocated by the crowd.

Later the disciples rebuked Jesus, in Verse 45, for asking “Who touched me?” To them it was ridiculous. Everybody was touching him. The Greek verb that’s used is a verb that means what happens to grain kernels between two grinding stones. They were ground really together. The people were that crowded.

What happens? The woman does not wish to delay Jesus’ mission, but she is at the absolutely desperate end of a rope. Here we find the receptivity. Blessed are those who are in this state. Happy are those because the state of mind can be changed.

This radical change of thought was in the presence of the Christ-correction that Jesus was exercising in the mental realm. It’s going to be sufficient and the woman feels that it will help her. She’s lost all her money on physicians. [No health insurance…] Mark even tells us that she’s worse because of that choice. [Mark 5:26] All she does is touch the border of his garment. The issue of blood, the continuous hemorrhaging that had occurred for twelve years had kept her out of the temple, kept her out of worship and made her as unclean as the lepers. With all sorts of legislative rules around her, she herself could not be touched because it would make the individual who did it unclean. But we find that Jesus welcomed that dear woman from the standpoint of God’s welcome, because he said, “the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the father do.” (John 5:19).

In Luke 8, Verse 48 he calls that lady, “Daughter.” Who’s daughter? Certainly, not his. In fact, he lifts that word “daughter” entirely out of any sense of blood relationship. That was the woman’s problem. He lifts even her identity out of blood.

Daughter, be of good comfort” (Verse 48). Look at how he’s addressing the thought of that woman. Not only the precious relationship to God, but the comfort. She hasn’t experienced that in twelve years. She’d lost all her money. She was about to be thrown on the society. There was nowhere to go when you were thrown on society. That may have happened to the woman who had been a sinner. Prostitution was the only open career for many women when they were simply thrown out and discarded from normal humanity. She could not get a living unless her family supported her, and there is no indication of that happening.

Jesus refuses to allow that woman to walk away from the scene thinking that physical contact with his robe had anything to do with the healing. He says, again, “Your faith hath made you whole.” The word “whole” and the word “heal” in Anglo-Saxon have the identical root. It implies that disease is something less than wholeness, that it is a fragmentation of our being. Healing is the condition of being made whole.

We understand that equation when Jesus said, “If your eye be single” Matthew 6:22), indivisible, not shared, no divisions in it and no double-vision. It is single-mindedness and persistency, as we see Jesus requiring later in our book, which results in man being whole as God views him.

When he goes to the raising of Jairus’ daughter, we don’t find any reason to bemoan the delay in getting there. Even though the news comes back that the daughter has died in the mean time (Verse 49). That is the human news. Jesus goes right in and clears the environment out (Verse 51). Notice, again, this must be telling us something about what is required in order to heal.

The thought of death is so weighted down with its inevitability and grief that Jesus has to clear it out. Notice how he does so, incisively and brilliantly. He couldn’t clear them out while they were weeping. That was acceptable at a funeral. Jesus would have occupied the villain’s role.

So, he simply tells them something that was an absolute fact to him, “That maid, right there that you see horizontal, no movement, no breath, no pulse, no anything, that little girl, she’s really not dead. That appearance that you see there is like sleep (Verse 52). And I am going to awaken her life.” All the paid mourners who were earning their salary for conducting a funeral service, and everybody else who had witnessed the tragedy associated with this little girl passing away laughed (Verse 53).

Can you clear laughers out of funerals? There is certainly more justification from a social standpoint than with weepers. It also showed how deeply their grief had run. Forgetting every reason why they were there, they turned to laughing him to scorn. He put them all out.

He went to the little girl, “Maid arise” (Verse 54). “Her spirit came again, she arose straightway” (Verse 55). And that beautiful practicality of Jesus, “Give her meat,” give her something to eat (Verse 55). What else would a twelve-year-old girl want anyway? It was also an announcement that everything was quite normal.”

From a talk by B. Cobbey Crisler Luke, the Researcher from Transcription Notes
You can buy your own transcripts of 28 of Cobbey’s talks at this website, It’s maintained by his widow, Janet Crisler, who can be reached by email at]

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