The Apostle Philip felt great joy in what he had seen and experienced. He wanted his friend Nathanael to have the same opportunity he had had to be with Christ Jesus. In fact, he was sure that in Jesus' ministry a Scriptural prophecy had been fulfilled.
But Nathanael didn't show much initial enthusiasm. He was somewhat skeptical that Jesus could be the Teacher and Messiah they had been waiting for. ''Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?'' Nathanael asked Philip, doubtfully. Philip didn't quibble or try to convince him. He simply replied, ''Come and see.''n1
n1 John 1:46
When we hear about something new that offers us hope, the natural thing is to judge it according to our own firsthand experience. Honest investigation on our own is the best way to find out what it's all about.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, wrote the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, after years of consecrated study of the Bible, reasoning deeply about the Bible's spiritual meaning. She wanted to find out for herself what Jesus had taught and lived. She encouraged others to turn directly to the Bible, where they would find fresh spiritual light.
Mrs. Eddy experienced prejudice and even outright hatred when she began to share her convictions about the power of God and His Christ to heal disease in our age. Much of this prejudice was directed at her because of what some individuals supposed were her views; often, critics had not fairly examined her writings.
On the first page of the Preface to Science and Health Mrs. Eddy writes: ''The time for thinkers has come. Truth, independent of doctrines and time-honored systems, knocks at the portal of humanity. Contentment with the past and the cold conventionality of materialism are crumbling away. Ignorance of God is no longer the stepping-stone to faith.'' n2
n2 Science and Health, p. vii.
To understand God is the steppingstone to faith - a living faith that enables us to do His will, which includes healing and being healed in the way that Jesus taught his disciples.
When I was in college, some friends invited me to a Christian Science college organization meeting. I didn't want to be rude or hurt their feelings, but I was reluctant to go. I had heard things about Christian Science that didn't seem to make sense to me. ''I don't know,'' I said in response to their invitation. Their reply was similar to Philip's - they suggested that I just come and see for myself what Christian Science teaches. I respected my friends and decided that I couldn't really judge without firsthand knowledge, so I went.
The readings from the Bible and Science and Health interested me. I was also helped by hearing people at the meeting explain how they had been able to successfully apply Bible truths to their problems. During the next few weeks I decided that I would try out for myself some of the ideas I had heard there. Quietly, in the privacy of my own thoughts, I conscientiously began to reason with the spiritual fact that God is omnipotent - the only power. The Bible implies this over and over again. And Science and Health echoes the theme. It says: ''There is no power apart from God. Omnipotence has all-power, and to acknowledge any other power is to dishonor God.'' n3
n3 Ibid., p. 228.
Within a short time, purely through this prayerful reasoning, I became free of a physical trouble that I had suffered from for years. The misconceptions I had held about Christian Science were corrected.
Someone who is spiritually inquisitive and wisely listening for divine direction will be able to find practical answers to his or her searching questions. Christ Jesus expected an inquiring thought on the part of his followers. Blindness and ignorance were not characteristics of his active disciples. He had told them, ''Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.'' n4
n4 Matthew 7:7
Although Jesus himself is not present, the living Christ, Truth, which he so fully embodied, is openly and universally available to all. Any honestly investigating individual cannot be deprived of its healing influence. The healing Christ has no boundaries in what it can do or for whom. It speaks to every receptive heart.
DAILY BIBLE VERSE Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. Psalms 119:18