The Glory of Man
IF we were to speak of the glory of Christ Jesus, few would argue. His wonderful healings, feeding the multitudes, restoring broken lives, raising the dead--now there was true glory! But sometimes people don't seem all that glorious-- including, or perhaps especially, ourselves. Are we missing something about man's true, spiritual identity?
Jesus spoke often of his oneness with God. We may feel that his unique birth bestowed only on him the ability to understand God's law of goodness clearly, and thus to perform such marvelous healings. Yet the Master's lifework showed us our unity with our creator, God, as His spiritual offspring. In John's Gospel, for example, Jesus assigns to his followers in every age the glory he himself expressed: "And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them.
Christ Jesus healed, not as an exhibition of personal power but as a method of teaching the glory of man's real identity. Every healing illustrates man's dignity as the son of God. It teaches us that the living God, the Father that sent Jesus, gives His children wholeness and joy now--not sometime in a doubtful hereafter. These facts were verified by Jesus when he healed discord and even raised the dead as proof of God's will.
Jesus taught his followers to heal as he did, by turning wholeheartedly to God in prayer. He expected his followers in all ages to heal sickness and sin in themselves and others. To be honest, as a new student of Christian Science I couldn't see how I could do this. I was so in awe of what he had done for mankind. But Jesus instructed us to follow him, and I knew that I had at least to try to be obedient. Not that I ever could minimize his works, but the realization he was teaching by example gave me the
courage to make the effort.
And I found that I could, at least to a small degree, follow Jesus' example in healing the sick. Here's what happened. I was in bed with a fierce headache. I turned to God in prayer, and almost without thinking about it, it seemed, I picked up a nearby copy of the Monitor. I turned to this column where the daily religious article appears and read this Bible verse from Matthew: "Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? Suddenly I
realized that, like Jesus, I had "legions of angels on my side. Christian Science explains that angels are intuitive messages from God. They show us our innate spiritual purity and perfection, and they awaken us to our inherited freedom as the sons of God. Since I could count on these spiritual intuitions as surely as Jesus could, I could see that my oneness with God provided the same spiritual power he had. I was certain that I could depend on God's power and willingness to heal me. And the headache disap peared.
Teaching by parable, example, and healing, Jesus gave us an example that he meant us to follow. Learning to love and heal as our Master taught is an unselfish privilege. In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, writes of Jesus, "His consummate example was for the salvation of us all, but only through doing the works which he did and taught others to do. My own healing occurred as I understood and followed Jesus' example more fully.
It is a never-ending adventure to learn of the absolute goodness of God and to find my own and my fellowman's identity to be the exact reflection of this perfect God. In understanding our true being as this harmonious image and likeness of God, we reject the sorrows, sins, sicknesses, of mortality; and we accept our inherited glory as sons of God.