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`Doctors of the law'

`AND it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, andJud8a, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them.''1 Who knows how many times I had read this passage about Christ Jesus in Luke. Dozens, I'm sure. As my eyes prepared to skim this verse and go on to the next, they lingered over the words ``doctors of the law.''

Suddenly, I thought of a colleague who had asked me earlier in the day to pray for him as I had learned to do in Christian Science. He was involved in a series of difficult negotiations with many other lawyers who were spending a great deal of time in acrimonious disagreement with one another.

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Inspired by the Bible verse, I mentally raced back to Jesus' time. As a lawyer myself, I could imagine the doctors of the law gathered around Jesus, each bringing his own separate opinions and disputing with Jesus and with the others about what this or that Scriptural passage meant or how such and such a law should be applied. Then I thought of the law firm conference room where the lawyers were arguing over how to draft a particular contract. I realized that ``the power of the Lord'' was present today to resolve disputes of all kinds just as it was present twenty centuries ago. I saw that the law of God does not involve two or more human wills knocking against each other. Instead, it resolves disputes through the truth of divine Mind's oneness.

God, Mind, is One, and man reflects Mind, because man is God's image, as the Bible teaches. Oneness means that Mind is not divided into parts with each championing its own claim. On the contrary, Mind is intelligent, complete, consistent. It knows all, and all that it knows is the expression of its own pure, harmonious nature. Since each child of God reflects the one Mind, there is, in absolute truth, no basis for conflict.

The very opposite, of course, seems to be the case in human experience. But a clear perception of the spiritual reality can help resolve conflict in individual lives and in the wider scene. As Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, ``When the divine precepts are understood, they unfold the foundation of fellowship, in which one mind is not at war with another, but all have one Spirit, God, one intelligent source, in accordance with the Scriptural command: `Let this Mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.'''2

Eliminating discord and animosity from a dispute may improve an unpleasant situation, but it does not necessarily heal the underlying disagreement. Healing requires something more: a solution that benefits everyone involved. Such solutions come to light when we turn to God, infinite good, the sole creator. And such solutions unfold naturally. These words of the prophet capture the feeling: ``As the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.''3

This verse made me realize that God does not bury good ideas in barren soil. They spring forth before all the nations so that everyone will see and acknowledge what He has done.

As I thought about how God heals disputes, by both eliminating the discord and providing a solution, I felt confident that each participant in the contract negotiations could be receptive to the appropriate healing ideas.

It was no surprise when my colleague thanked me later for my prayer and told me that the negotiations had been much smoother that day and that agreement had been reached on a number of controversial points. I was also grateful for the reminder that even the most obscure-seeming Bible verse may well contain a healing lesson.

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1Luke 5:17 2Science and Health, p. 276. 3Isaiah 61:11. You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: Be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous. I Peter 3:8

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