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[Drink Freely from the Fountain of Life Eternal!]
Metaphysical Application Ideas from the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

for July 10—16, 2017

by Craig L. Ghislin, C.S. Glen Ellyn, Illinois (Bartlett) / (630) 830-8683


What is Life? And what is required to sustain it?

According to biology, life is still being defined. But simply put, life is generally thought of as an organized group of cells that consume and convert nutrients into usable and storable energy, maintain a stable internal environment despite external conditions, grow, reproduce, respond to stimuli, and evolve (see Each of these criteria can also be viewed from a spiritual standpoint, and as you may notice, a few of them are addressed in this week’s Lesson. According to Christian Science, God is Life.

As far as the question of the requirements to sustain life goes, it’s widely believed on the most basic level, all life requires: liquid water, essential chemicals, and an energy source (see Although God is not mentioned in these lists, there are also some parallels to the three criteria of sustainability in the Scriptures. The Golden Text indicates that in God we have precious commodities: steadfast love, a fountain of life, and a source of light. God’s steadfast love provides us with the essential elements of our true nature. God is also seen as a “fountain of life”—which corresponds to the need for liquid water. And thinking of God as light, and giving light, correlates to thinking of God as an energy source.

Theologian John Calvin (1509-1564) points out that those who view the world from a merely material basis consider God as having very little to do with life if anything at all. Commenting on Psalm 36 in the Golden Text he writes: “The ungodly do not acknowledge that it is in God they live, move, and have their being, but rather imagine that they are sustained by their own power; and, accordingly, David, on the contrary, here affirms … that the fountain of life is in God. By this he means, that there is not a drop of life to be found without him, or which flows not from his grace. The metaphor of light, in the last clause of the verse, is tacitly most emphatic, denoting that men are altogether destitute of light, except in so far as the Lord shines upon them.” As you study this Lesson, take the time to ponder to what degree you acknowledge God as the fountain, and light of life.

As we consider the Responsive Reading, we see that man is both created by God, and sustained by Him—nourishing us and being our source of light. Jeremiah tells us those who hope in the Lord are like trees planted by the waters. Even when the heat comes, and conditions are harsh, the deep roots are able to attain nourishment, thus enabling them to bear fruit irrespective of outward conditions.

Proverbs urges us be obedient to commandments and laws given to us by our parents for guidance, health, long life, and peace. This refers not to arbitrary household rules, but to spiritual instruction. John Gill (1697-1771) refers to these commandments as, “a system of precepts that is founded upon and agrees unto the revealed will of God, and which being so should be laid up and kept in the heart, and not forgotten; and should be observed and attended to and obeyed throughout the whole course of life, as if it was the commandment of God himself…”

Paying heed to these laws serves as a lamp to light our way through our life journey. As anyone who has ever spent time in a cave can tell you, having a lamp makes a big difference in his safety and progress. Without a light, our steps would be very slow and careful. We may be so frightened of falling or going the wrong way that we become almost paralyzed and unable to move in any direction. The light not only shows us which way to go, but it shows us dangerous places to avoid. As Albert Barnes (1798-1870) put it: following God’s law gives us good understanding “whereby to know thy duty, and to discern between good and evil.”

Section 1: “Life is Mind, the creator reflected in His creations.”

Continuing the analogy of God as the fountain of living waters, the Lesson quotes the psalmist’s declaration that his soul thirsts for God (B1). Generally speaking, living things require water to continue to live. Several Bible commentators point out that quenching thirst is a more urgent need than satisfying hunger because drinking provides immediate refreshment, and can alleviate hunger as well; whereas, consuming food takes time before becoming beneficial. Additionally, consuming food often requires liquid refreshment to aid, and ease the digestive process. This analogy steers us to the conclusion that the honest seeker for God is drawn to the most efficient method possible of satisfying his needs.

The psalmist doesn’t thirst for the gods and idols of the pagan world, but for the living God, who alone can give him life. The psalmist also uses the analogy of light: By giving us light, God gives us the day—“the day the Lord hath made” (B2). Many commentators believe this “day” refers to the Sabbath—a day of completion, when God declared everything He made to be “very good.” To believers, the Sabbath is also a time to part with the turmoil, and strife so common on other days of the week, and to turn their thoughts to God. In Job, Elihu declares that the Spirit of God is the source of his life (B3). Spirit means inspiration or breath, and could be thought of as one of the essential elements that sustain our being.

Each of the three Bible citations make it clear that God is the only source of life, and this life meets our most elementary needs in the most efficient way. Mary Baker Eddy goes a step further. God doesn’t merely give life, light, and the essential elements that comprise us—God is Life. Life is one of several names used in Scripture for God (S1). Our Leader defines Life as, “Mind, the creator reflected in His creations” (S2). Think about that statement for a moment. Usually when people use the word “life” they are describing a collective group of living things or beings that grow, reproduce and adapt to their surroundings. But Mrs. Eddy tells us that Life is “the creator reflected in His creations.” So the life we see around us is actually God being reflected in His own work.

Mrs. Eddy defines “Day” as the “irradiance of Life” (S3). The “day the Lord hath made” is not defined by a clock or a calendar. It is an unfolding of good. Everything that appears to the senses, to take place in time, disappears when the light of God illuminates our spiritual understanding. Everything in God’s creation has total access to this light, and can never be separated from it (S4). To take the analogy of light a bit further, everything real—everything God made—is like the light. It’s a presence. When light is present, darkness flees. Darkness only seems to be present if there is no light. The darkness represents that which God did not create—sin, sorrow, disease, and death. God, being All, there is nothing beside Him. Light dispels darkness, and the light of Truth, God, dispels all seeming evil. But remember, the darkness is only a supposition—a false belief—that makes evil appear to be real. In reality the light doesn’t even need to displace the darkness because the light of God is all encompassing. It’s only from the standpoint of false belief that darkness exists at all.

Finally, touching briefly on the origin of life, our textbook tells us that only “Spirit, Soul, can evolve Life” (S5). That confirms that Life creates itself. Matter has nothing to do with life: Matter neither evolves, creates, nor sustains Life.

Section 2: The Path of Righteousness Leads to Life

An awful lot of effort is devoted to prolonging material life. I almost wrote “human life.” But the fact is, much effort is devoted to preserving and prolonging all life—including plants and animals. As far as humans go, people exercise and eat right, and do all the things they are told in order to live as long as they can. But the Scriptures teach a different path to life—the path of righteousness (B5). This righteous path is lit by following the word of God (B4). There is no death when following this path. Genesis tells of Enoch (B6)—one of only three people recorded in the Bible to ascend rather than die out of the flesh. The book of Hebrews says Enoch was “translated that he should not see death” because he pleased God (B7). Notice that the path to eternal life doesn’t mean that we will live forever in a material form. Eternal life means awakening to our forever oneness with God completely free from the belief of time. In reality there is no time at all, and as II Peter puts it: “a day with the Lord is as a thousand years” (B8).

The textbook says that the more we trust God, the longer our days will be (S6). If we think back to the glossary definition of “Day” that means the more we understand that Life is deathless, the brighter our light will shine, and the clearer we will see the reality of all things.

In her answer to the question, “What is Life?” our Leader writes, “Life is without beginning and without end. Eternity, not time, expresses the thought of Life, and time is no part of eternity” (S7). Eternity has nothing at all to do with time. It just is the present fact—the forever “now.” Enoch could “walk with God” because he didn’t rely on the sense testimony to inform him of who he was, where he was, or how he was. He relied on God alone (S8).

Earlier we mentioned that even though in reality there is no darkness, to human sense it seems that light dispels it. In the same way, even though in eternity there is no time, to human sense, the better understanding of eternity is evidenced in greater longevity (S9). Eventually the mortal picture will be replaced by the reality of immortal life altogether. Citation S10 crystalizes the ideas of the Lesson so far: Man is God’s idea (Mind reflected in His creation), and he lives in the day the Lord hath made, radiating the light of life as God’s reflection—untouched by time, sin, frailty, and death. He doesn’t live forever in matter, or even temporarily in matter, but coexists with God, forever.

Section 3: Life Does Not Depend on the Food You Eat

The psalmist declares, God is light, and the strength of life (B9). This assurance frees us from all fear. The psalmist also mentions meekness as a quality necessary to achieving true satisfaction, and promises that those who praise the Lord shall live forever. Add to meekness, praise, and you have a combination leading to eternal life (B10). It’s worth noting that Albert Barnes points out that ‘’meekness” in this case, denotes the afflicted, the poor, and the distressed. So that means the meek—the afflicted, poor, and distressed— find their way to life through praising God even in the worst of circumstances.

In the quest for long life, and healthy living, many people look to their diet as a key factor in maintaining peak condition. There is certainly nothing wrong with eating wholesome foods, and supporting responsible practices in growing, manufacturing, and distribution of food products. But over emphasis on dietary laws leads some to be obsessed with these laws and fads.

Being afraid of what we eat or don’t eat gives food more power than God. The Bible tells a story of how during a famine Elisha sent someone out to find some herbs to make a stew. The person ended up inadvertently putting toxic gourds into the stewpot. Some commentators have surmised that the gourds were called “coloquintida” whose nickname was, “the gall of the earth”—not very appetizing. When they tried to eat it, they urgently appealed to Elisha for help (B11). The record says he instructs them to add meal to the pot whereby the stew becomes edible. Of course, viewed in Christian Science, adding the meal had nothing to do with it. Elisha was a prophet, and was exercising his spiritual sense to heal the situation.

Generally, people spend an inordinate amount of time debating and worrying about what they eat. But the Master, Christ Jesus, sets the record straight: “Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink…”(B12). He goes on to tell us our needs are known, and supplied at all times, and if we seek God’s kingdom first, everything we need will be ours.

Our textbook teaches that God feeds and clothes all of His creation (S11). It also teaches that our crops bear fruit at God’s command (S12). Mrs. Eddy addresses the belief of dietary theories head on. She points out the contradictory nature of dietary laws that periodically swing from one extreme to the other (S13, 14). Based on the premise that God is our Life, food has no power to help or harm us. Food only seems able to harm us if we fall for the belief that it can. Mrs. Eddy suggests that rather than avoiding the food that we’re afraid of, we can instead, eliminate the false belief that the food is harmful. Once the belief is gone the issue is resolved. As the meal Elisha prescribed neutralized the poison stew, so the truths of Christian Science neutralize the errors of material dietary laws (S15). God, the divine Principle, is our Life and God only produces harmony (S16).

Section 4: We Have to Look for Good in the Right Places

Where do you look for security in your life? The psalmist knew better than to look to material sources for happiness. He sought no earthly riches because he knew his inheritance was found only in his sonship with God (B13). He not only knew that God would be his forever source of supply, but that if he found himself in trouble, no matter how off the path he might be, that God would not leave him without help. The true path of life is accessible at all times. As John Calvin writes: “That true and solid joy in which the minds of men may rest will never be found anywhere else but in God; and that, therefore, none but the faithful, who are contented with his grace alone, can be truly and perfectly happy.”

Unfortunately though, many people consider their lives from the perspective of "What can I get? How much can I accumulate? What's in it for me?” And so on…. I saw a bumper sticker on a big truck once that said something to the effect of "whoever dies with the most toys wins."

Looking for what you can get out of life, and defining life by accumulation of possessions is an empty path because if all you’re after in life is to accumulate “stuff,” no matter how much “stuff” you have, you will always want more. Wasting resources on selfish consumption and frivolous desires is a road to emptiness. True fulfillment and fullness of life is the product of giving not getting. While the pursuit of happiness through materialism is a well that can never be filled, a life of giving leads to joy that can never be depleted.

Putting ourselves in the shoes of the young prodigal (B15), we would suppose that it seemed we’d hit the jackpot. After boldly asking for our inheritance while our father is still alive, he actually gives it to us! But the young man in the story is looking in the wrong place for happiness and fulfillment. Not surprisingly, everything is lost. His wastefulness and misguided sense of joy leads him to destitution and emptiness. At his lowest point, he realizes his mistake and returns home. It’s hard to say if many human dads would take the son back, and restore him with as much kindness as the father in the story. But of course, the father in the story represents our divine Father-Mother God.

Science and Health teaches that we are God’s offspring (S17). God is our “primitive [original] and ultimate [final] source of being.” We really can’t find happiness and fulfillment through anything but living spiritually (S18). Try as we might, looking to material things brings little light or joy (S20). Looking for happiness in the flesh is like looking into a black hole to find visible light. But all is not lost. Those sharp experiences turn us to God (S21). As we learn to let go of the belief that life is in matter, we begin to learn that Life is God. Sometimes we have to strive to let go of evil, but the aim is “to have no other consciousness but good.” This may feel like such a tall order that it could take years if not decades to accomplish. But, according to our Leader, it doesn’t have to. She tells us, “If you believe in and practice wrong knowingly, you can at once change your course and do right” (S22). The impetus to be good, and seek the path of righteousness that leads to eternal life, comes directly from God. It destroys false appetites, and shines the light on our true selfhood (S23).

Section 5: “Life is real, and death is the illusion”

Most people would say one of their biggest fears about life is death. Of course this fear is based on the belief that we live in a material body, and that our existence is fragile, and at the mercy of material conditions. Throughout the Scriptures, we are taught to put our full trust in God (B16). Doing so will alleviate the fears of a fleshly demise. Our heavenly Father never leaves us in the darkness. The living light of Truth always shows us the way.

Like the story of the prodigal son, the story of Lazarus (B17) is very well known. To human sense Lazarus’ condition was urgent. Yet Jesus remained completely at peace. Even though he was fully aware of the apparent gravity of Lazarus’ condition, he never once accepted the material picture as true. As he arrived the situation seemed irreversible. To human sense death seems very final. Mary, as well as others, thought it was too late for Jesus to be able to help. The Bible tells us that Jesus groaned as he saw the depth of sorrow surrounding him. Whether moved by general sadness for the human condition, or the lack of faith of those around him, he takes action, and opposes what the senses are saying. Refusing to accept any suggestion of defeat or lost opportunity, Jesus has them remove the stone from the tomb, and thanking God he calls Lazarus from the grave. Here Jesus overcame apparent defeat, in the face of a seemingly overwhelming amount of opposition.

Science and Health tells us that “Life is real, and death is the illusion,” (S24) reminding us that we can expect to prove Jesus’ statement, “if a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.” Recounting Jesus’ raising of Lazarus, Mrs. Eddy points out that Jesus never believed that Lazarus had died. If he had, he wouldn’t have been able to raise him (S25). As mentioned earlier, to mortal sense, death is “the king of terrors.” But Christ can still overcome death thus proving it to be only an illusion of material sense (S26). Man’s true life is “entirely separate” from the belief of life in matter (S27). That doesn’t mean however, that our “real” life is somewhere else. Our real and only life is right here, and right now. The belief that we live in matter isn’t real now, nor has it ever been—even temporarily. Life in matter is only an illusion—a misstatement of our true life.

Section 6: Jesus Taught Us the Way

In the beginning of the Lesson we saw living waters used as a metaphor for God as Life. We end with the same idea. The wellspring of life is spiritual understanding (B18) because our thought determines our experience. The more we know of real life, the more we will experience it. Christ Jesus taught the path to eternal life. Understanding his mission, and what he taught us about God and man opens the way to knowing we are in Him—we live in God.

Mrs. Eddy saw what Jesus taught as not merely something we should believe in, and hope that it turns out to be true. She saw it as a Science—actual fact—that could be demonstrated and proved right now (S28). She says it’s something we all have to learn. Life isn’t animated matter. Life is God. She challenges us to examine ourselves and see whether we are living and demonstrating the healing power that comes with understanding God is our Life (S29). Many Bible commentators wrestle with the concept of us living “in” God. They consider it metaphorically as a branch being connected to a vine. While such descriptions hint at the intimate union between man and God, Christian Science considers it at face value. We literally “live, move, and have our being in the infinite God” (S30). This is the fact. Understanding this truly is a “wellspring of life to him that hath it.” So, let’s drink it up!

[Warren Huff’s Bonus: Some Cobbey Crisler insights from this week’s Christian Science Bible Lesson

PS#1: Cobbey Crisler comments on Psalm 42:11 (B1) Hope in God cures depression
Psalm 42, Verse 11 is a refrain in this psalm and the next. It’s a question we all need to ask ourselves, "Why art thou cast down?” Depression, if not an economic fact, seems to be a mental one at present. "Why art thou cast down? Examine the reasons. "Why art thou disquieted within me?" That's getting mad in a sense. That's challenging what we are accepting without question. Why am I depressed? Why is this disquiet? What's the reason for it? Then notice the remedy. "Hope thou in God: praise God, hope in God. The health of our countenance is in God. "
“Leaves of the Tree: Prescriptions from Psalms” by B. Cobbey Crisler

PS#2: Cobbey Crisler comments on Matthew 6:25-33 (B12)
Matthew 6: (Verse 25). Now Jesus is going to show us how to control our thinking better than we have been able to thus far. This is the first of several verses which begin ‘Take no thought or utilizing that concept.
“Let’s determine just what thought-taking is. Does it mean to be thoughtless? Thought-taking is the way Jesus is using this in context. It’s anxiety, it’s care, it’s concern. Alright, let’s ask ourselves how we do in this test.
‘Take no thought for your life, what you are going to eat, drink, or wear.’ How much time do we give in any day to those three objectives, eating, drinking, wearing? Then Jesus said, ‘Do you know what? It’s not the menu that counts so much as your life which is bigger than what you’re eating, and your body, or identity, much bigger than what you wear.’
(Verse 26), 'Look at the fowls of the air; they don't sow or reap, but your heavenly Father feedeth them.' I'd like to say that that thought-taking also can run to the taking of photographs because I'm convinced there was something more than a human hand in one of the photographs. Gordon Converse and I were traveling in a little yellow Volkswagen down by the Sea of Galilee. I saw a field of wheat blowing in the wind, just beautiful. I said to him, "Hey. there's our Biblical verse, ''the wind bloweth where it listest' (John 3:8). Let's go get that wheat."
That was a human plan, as we found out very shortly. Because we got down there and Gordon opened the window of our little Volkswagen and rolled it down. Got his camera ready. Right in front of the camera came forty to fifty birds. And there they are, feeding right off the wheat.
You would have to stand there a century to get that picture. And here it was a couple of feet in front of us. If you study those birds carefully, you will see that some have the wheat in their mouths already, some have some are just landing. He froze those birds positions with his camera. I looked at Gordon thunderstruck because I said, 'I'm sorry, we'd better change the Bible verse, we've just been handed another one.' That is, 'Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them.' … (Verse 28). Or, 'What you're wearing, why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow.' They're disappearing from the Holy Land rapidly with all this building, but you can still see some of them…. all red anemones behind the snow-covered 10,000 foot peak of Mount Hermon is absolutely magnificent. There's no difficulty at all when you're visiting the Holy Land in the Spring to love your anemone. They're simply magnificent.
(Verse 29). You can understand really why it says, 'That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.'
(Verses 30 and 31). So, 'if God so clothed the grass of the field, why should we be so concerned and anxious about what we wear?
(Verse 34). Again, he repeats, 'Take no thought.'
(Verse 33). And then Jesus gives the priority equation, 'Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." In other words, is what we eat, drink or wear of no significance? They are natural and normal on earth. He's not wiping them all out as if it were a branch of some ascetic cult. But rather, 'Seek God first and all these things will be added.' Added. The heavenly law of mathematics is priority first and all those that we would normally take thought of would come into our experience naturally. Instead of wasting so much good mental time, taking thought, worrying, and being anxious, we spend that same time seeking the kingdom of God, and all those things come naturally as a result of that."

“Book of Matthew, Auditing the Master: A Tax Collector’s Report” by B. Cobbey Crisler

PS#3: Cobbey Crisler comments on Psalm 16: 5 (B13) the source of your inheritances"Psalm 16:5, heredity is being dealt with in this pharmacy of the Psalms. "The LORD" is what? "The portion of mine inheritance!" Sometimes we're proud of our inheritances. At other times, we're ashamed of them. To anchor inheritance, heritage, and heredity in God, is, first, a radically different concept of origin, where we came from. Secondly, it only allows for the expression of the nature from which it is flowing, and that's divine. The only inheritances, then, can be divine, if that logic prevails.
In Verse 6 you will note that [deep] concern the psalmist [has] about hereditary limitations on his ability. Apparently he comes to the conclusion through accepting the divine fact, the prescriptions he’s had filled, "Yea, I have a goodly heritage.”
“Leaves of the Tree: Prescriptions from Psalms” by B. Cobbey Crisler

PS#4: Cobbey Crisler comments on John 11: 1-44 (B17) Jesus raises Lazarus
In Chapter 11 note how Jesus handles news of a severe sickness. In John 11:3, "Jesus gets a message from Lazarus' sisters that Lazarus is sick." In John 11:4, the first thing Jesus says is, "This sickness is not unto death."
Remember that's what he said about the man born blind in John 9:3, " Neither has this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God might be manifest in him. "We find the same kind of approach to a patient with Jesus' method of healing including that concept.
John 11:5, "He loved the family very much, the family of Bethany, "
John 11:6, "But he still remains for two days."
Then in John 11:7, he says, "Let us go into Judea again."
John 11:8, "His disciples say, What? Last time we were there we had to duck projectiles. "Then in John 11:11, "he says to the disciples, Our friend . . . "See the shepherd­ motive. "Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep." There are two Greek words for sleeping here. The first one is as if taking rest in sleep. The second one, "awake him out of sleep," is the Greek word "exhyp,nos”. It includes within it the root of our word hypnotism. It has a suggestion of a trance like not-normally-induced sleep. It is interesting to see Jesus referring to death as a process of needing to be awakened from a trance.John 11:12. His disciples misunderstand that whole thing and "they say, If he’s sleeping, leave him alone. He’s fine if he’s resting."
John 11:13 shows how Jesus was using what we would call a euphemism. He avoided the word die, because he is seeing it differently.
In John 11:14, when, "they don't comprehend him, he says very plainly, Lazarus is dead.” …
John 11:17, "When Jesus arrives, we find that four days Lazarus had been in the tomb. " He sees the scene that was so often associated with death, the hired mourners and the official mourners.Martha appears in what I hope will always be a new light. We have a tendency to stereotype, even people we haven't known. Martha has been labeled for centuries, "Don't be a Martha." Some people are sorry their name is Martha, because of that.
In John 11:25, it is only to Martha that Jesus ever makes the statement, "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." Since we know that Jesus only addressed the receptive thought, and sil_!s;e Martha is the onl.t,_one to whom he felt free to say, "I am the resurrection, " it is somewhat of an honor to be named Martha from that point of view. …
John 11:33, "shows the weeping and the groaning that's going on."
John 11:35 is the shortest verse in the Bible. It indicates Jesus' humanity, "Jesus wept."
John 11:36, "Behold how he loved him!"
John 11:37, "They asked, Could this man have prevented this incident?"
John 11:38, "Jesus comes to the cave."
John 11:39, "And says, Take ye away the stone. …John 11:40, "Jesus," supporting her continuing faith "said, Didn't I tell you that if you would believe, you would see the glory of God?" Thereby he continued to support the resurrection trust in womanhood.
John 11:41, "They took away the stone. Jesus lifts up his eyes, and makes a pronouncement that what he is desiring through prayer has already been accomplished. I thank thee that thou hast heard me."
John 11:42, "And I knew that thou hearest me always. That's a remarkable statement of Jesus' theology.
Here's what the Anchor Bible says: "The prayer of petition is not the only form of prayer. If prayer is a form of union with God, then the Johannine (John's Gospel) Jesus, is always praying, for he and the Father are one."
1 John 5:14 is another work attributed to the beloved disciple and one of the most beautiful views and definitions of prayer. It comes through the transparency of this thought that was so close to Jesus. Check your prayer against this measurement.
Here is the "Bureau of Standards" on prayer, "This is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us." Notice the qualification. It is not according to our will. It is totally selfless.
1 John 5:15. But that's not all, "If we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” That's prayer of affirmation coming through there.
In John 11:42, isn't that exactly what Jesus said, "I know that thou hearest me always. If we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions." It is important to examine how our prayers measure against that standard. We also find Jesus expressing gratitude before the event.
John 11:43. Then he says, “Lazarus, come forth." Obviously, he wouldn’t yell if he didn't think Lazarus could hear. You notice he's communicating with a so­ called dead man, expecting him to be able to hear, using one of the faculties that as supposedly shut off. At the point of death, he doesn't regard it as shut off.
John 11:44, "Lazarus comes forth,” very awkwardly, I may add, but nothing could keep him from answering that demand. As a matter of fact, if you have been through the traditional tomb of Lazarus in Bethany, I consider it much more of a miracle that he ever emerged from the tomb, let alone being raised from the dead. I’m quite sure he would have bumped his head several times on his way out.
There's another part of the healing that’s necessary. "Jesus turns to those around him, “the environment, holding him in this grave, "and says, 'Loose him, and let him go. '" There is a sense of freedom which is so important. Remember what he says to a woman in another gospel, Luke 13:12, "Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.”
Book of John, A Walk with the Beloved Disciple” by B. Cobbey Crisler

You can buy your own transcripts of most of Cobbey’s 28 talks at a new website: Please email your order or inquiry to or directly to Janet Crisler at]


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