Seeing and Acknowledging

         In the second epistle of Peter we are admonished to gain the spiritual qualities expressed in virtue, faith, knowledge, and brotherly love, and the apostle adds, "He that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off." From the spiritual viewpoint material sense is simply blindness to reality, and this is illustrated in a wonderful way in the third chapter of Mark. Here we are told that when Jesus went into the synagogue a man was there who had a withered hand, and the Pharisees who were present, and who themselves would not even attempt to heal the man, were watching eagerly to find some cause of condemnation against Jesus if he healed the man on the Sabbath day.

         From the text it is apparent that Jesus was aware of their cruel and condemning thoughts, but this did not hinder him in his holy work of proving God's all-power and the real man's likeness to God. Addressing himself to the afflicted mortal, he bade him "Stand forth." He then proceeded to remove the apparent obstacle of mortal belief as manifested through the Pharisees who were present, for his audible argument was undoubtedly addressed to them. He said, "Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill?" They made no response to this far-reaching inquiry, and then the text goes on to say that he "looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts." Another translation makes this passage read, "for the blindness of their hearts," but this is of less consequence than the result, which is always the important thing to the student of Christian Science; for in Jesus' words and works we find both assurance and enlightenment. When he said to the man, "Stretch forth thine hand," the man at once obeyed, and the text reads, "His hand was restored whole as the other."

         At this point we may recall with profit Mrs. Eddy's words on page 260 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures": "If we look to the body for pleasure, we find pain; for Life, we find death; for Truth, we find error; for Spirit, we find its opposite, matter. Now reverse this action. Look away from the body into Truth and Love, the Principle of all happiness, harmony, and immortality." So long as we accept the material evidence, whether willingly or unwillingly, we fail to see the spiritual evidence, which to the spiritual sense is never absent, namely, God expressed in His idea, man, in His own image and likeness.

         In the case of healing referred to, Jesus addressed himself to the general mortal belief which no doubt mockingly maintained the reality of the diseased condition. It is possible that the man's arm had been palsied for many years until it was regarded as being actually a part of the man's identity, and this is too often the case, even at the present time. When the belief of sin or sickness has been attached for some time to any unfortunate individual, the man's identity, with its divinely bestowed possibilities, is largely lost sight of, and blindness to spiritual reality is allowed to flaunt itself in the face of eternal facts. Thus we are told about a sick man, a blind man, a lame man, or a wicked man, but these mortal concepts have nothing to do with man as God made him and as God knows him, and God is calling the world through Christian Science to see and acknowledge this man and no other. Because Christ Jesus never turned aside from the truth of being, his healing work made its mark on human history. The names of the Csesars and the Herods are of no account today, but we pause in lowly love and reverence before that of Christ Jesus. Well says the apostle John of his own record of the words and works of the Master, "These are written, . . . that believing ye might have life through his name."

         Professed Christians are now at the parting of the ways. Formal religion, based upon the belief of material law, has failed to meet the world's deep need, but Christian Science, based upon divine Principle and spiritual law, is meeting that need in the face of blind opposition on the part of mortal mind. It matters not what steps may be taken by this so-called mind, if the omnipotence of Truth is being proved through the Christ healing. One of the surest means of grace for us as individuals is to recognize at all times and under all circumstances the spiritual fact which is never absent, and if we are not ready to declare it audibly, we can at least acknowledge it to ourselves, and that with limitless thanksgiving for the revelation which has come to bless our age and ourselves as individuals. As we do this from day-to-day, we become better and better fitted to acknowledge the truth to all who will listen, and, what is more, to demonstrate it in the way our Master did, by healing those who seek our loving aid.

         In closing the parable of the sower, the great Teacher spoke of those whose eyes and ears were closed to the truth so that the healing did not reach them, and then he said that which must have made glad the hearts of his faithful followers, "But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear." Shall we not unceasingly strive to be worthy of this benediction of Love?


"Seeing and Acknowledging" by Annie M. Knott, CSD
Christian Science Sentinel, February 22, 1919

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