CSEC ON-LINE REFERENCE LIBRARY
ANNIE M. KNOTT, CSD
Among those who had come to the feast were some Greeks, and they approached Philip, one of the disciples, and said, "Sir, we would see Jesus." It would seem that their request was granted, though we are told nothing as to the outcome; yet the words linger in the chambers of memory, as well they may, for they express the deep longing of untold millions from that day down to the present time. Even little children when oppressed by the fear of sickness and death, either for themselves or for some dear one, longingly think that if they could only see Jesus as did the children who sang his praises in the temple, they too would receive healing. Alas that such hope and faith should ever be stifled by doubt, doubt born of the worldly wisdom which to God is but foolishness!
The critical Pharisees who sought to "entangle him in his talk," never saw Jesus, and this is explained by Mrs. Eddy's words on page 314 of Science and Health; "Because of mortals' material and sinful belief, the spiritual Jesus was imperceptible to them." There were probably thousands who looked upon the face of the Nazarene during the years of his earthly experience, yet how few of these could be said really to have seen him in the sense implied by his own daring but truly reverent words: "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father." It is certain that those who sought to crush the divine purpose of his life never saw Jesus, for mortal eye has never looked upon the divine idea, of which he was the highest earthly representative.
If, therefore, only a few faithful followers at that day did "see Jesus," and but few others since the early Christian centuries, it is surely of the utmost importance to us as individual students of Christian Science to learn where we stand, so that we may be better prepared to lay hold upon our immortality and possess "the unsearchable riches of Christ." We should never forget that Jesus "was inseparable from Christ, the Messiah, the divine idea of God outside the flesh" (Science and Health, p. 482). Many sincere Christians have failed to see beyond the fleshly Jesus, and even while contending for his divinity they have robbed themselves and others of the priceless promise of the Master that as the Christ he would be forever with us. "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world," is a promise to which every professed Christian should cling as to his very life, for it is indeed the beginning of life, the dawn of the true Christmastide, for him who has grasped its real meaning.
The first epistle of John deals in a wonderful way with the idea of Life as manifested through Christ Jesus and lifts thought from the fleshly material concept to the Christ that is one with Truth and Love. After the direct teaching and the healing work of the Master, as found in the gospels, perhaps no other portion of the Scriptures is so closely linked to Christian Science as is this epistle. It uncovers sin with the light of Truth and leads thought up to the understanding of evil's nothingness, as announced in these words: "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin;" in other words, it has for him neither reality nor power. It is of the utmost importance that we rise above the fleshly concept of Jesus, but this does not mean that we are to lose sight of him. In the second chapter of this epistle we read: "Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ?"
On page 583 of Science and Health, Christ is defined as ''the divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error," but until the Christ was manifested through Jesus no one had the understanding needed to "destroy incarnate error" in all its forms, sin, sickness, and death. Our revered Leader found the truth of being in studying the words and works of Christ Jesus, and her reverence for him was unbounded. This is evidenced in the fourth of the tenets of The Mother Church, as set forth in its Manual (p. 15), also the statement in Section 3 of Article VIII of the Manual, which begins: "He who dated the Christian era is the Ensample in Christian Science. Careless comparison or irreverent reference to Christ Jesus is abnormal in a Christian Scientist, and is prohibited."
The Master himself said that in the very midst of the world's severest birth throes "all the tribes of the earth . . . shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." In Revelation we read, "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him." Should it not then be our unceasing endeavor to see amidst the clouds of mortal sense the Christ-idea so gloriously lived by the Master, and should we not day and night cling to the promise, "Surely I come quickly." We cannot too often pray, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus."
The Christian Science Journal, December, 1915
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