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Tangible Spirit

ONCE, when Christ Jesus touched a leper, the leper was instantly made well.1 When the mother-in-law of Jesus' disciple Peter was sick with a fever, the Master ``touched her hand, and the fever left her.''2 When he touched the eyes of two blind men, ``their eyes were opened,'' and they saw.3 He even restored to wholeness the high priest's servant whose ear was cut off by one of the disciples during Jesus' arrest in Gethsemane. The Bible says, ``And he touched his ear, and healed him.''4 The New Testament writer Mark sums up the profound effect of Jesus' power in these words: ``And whithersoever he entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole.''5

We might think of Jesus' physical touch as symbolic of the tangibility of Spirit -- as indicating God's nearness and realness and man's actual, spiritual identity. The effect of this Christly touch was always healing, for it was a product of Jesus' recognition of man's present spiritual perfection -- of his inherent goodness, wholeness, innocence, beauty, and intelligence. The instant human consciousness reached out to touch or was touched by the Christ, it was lifted higher; it became more spiritual.

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Tangible comes from a Latin verb meaning ``to touch.'' Yet touching, in the sense Jesus did it, clearly superseded mere physical contact with another person. It was really a mental touch. And though Jesus' power did result in physical healing, it was spiritual in nature. He told his listeners, in effect, that the only power he had was reflected power because God, Spirit, was his almighty Father -- the source of his healing power and of all power on earth. Jesus said that of himself he was able to do nothing.

Jesus' healings were originally recorded in the distant past. And Jesus as a physical person is no longer with us. But the Christ, Truth, he lived is still here. And the God he adored -- infinite, immortal, tangible Spirit -- is ever present. The truth that God, Spirit, is All and is our Maker is unchangeable fact.

Christian Science wholeheartedly embraces such spiritual facts and explains how we today may follow in the Master's way and learn to heal spiritually. If until now we have thought of spiritual matters as abstractions and of God as unknowable or very distant -- if we have believed that the only things tangible are things we can see with our eyes or touch with our hands -- a fresh, sincere look at Jesus' life and teachings in the light of Christian Science is bound to begin to dispel such impressions. In the process we'll start to see ourselves in the higher sense that Jesus saw all others, and our genuine, spiritual nature will become more apparent. Mary Baker Eddy6 writes: ``The individuality of man is no less tangible because it is spiritual and because his life is not at the mercy of matter. The understanding of his spiritual individuality makes man more real, more formidable in truth, and enables him to conquer sin, disease, and death.''7

Each of us is capable of knowing, at least to some degree, the spiritual truth Christ Jesus knew. In mentally reaching out to touch this Christly reality, we shouldn't be surprised to feel divine Spirit already touching us, reminding us that we are, and always have been, God's children and that heaven is our true home.

1Matthew 8:2, 3. 2Matthew 8:15. 3Matthew 9:30. 4Luke 22:51. 5Mark 6:56. 6The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. 7Science and Health, p. 317.

You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. John 4:24

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