ARE you worthy to be healed by God? If you believe God answers prayer according to personal merit, you may feel your prospects of being healed through prayer are pretty slim. After all, if even ``good'' people sometimes don't seem to have their prayers answered, how is someone who feels he's less than worthy going to be healed? It's interesting that Jesus didn't look at healing this way. On the contrary, he said he came to help and heal those that were scorned as unworthy of God's love and care. Many incidents in Jesus' life illustrate this.
Once, when he sat down to eat, many publicans (much-hated tax collectors of the time) and ``sinners'' came and sat down with him and his disciples. When the religious authorities said, ``Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?'' Jesus replied: ``They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.''
Jesus' words show us that spiritual healing is not a matter of human righteousness. It is a matter of receptivity to Christ, to the divine message that Jesus taught and lived. Those who condemned others would not receive the divine grace Jesus offered. Their hardness of heart -- masquerading as ``righteousness'' -- effectively shut the door on Jesus' message and therefore on God's healing love. On the other hand, the person who realizes his shortcomings and understands his need for God's saving grace is ready to receive Christ into his or her heart and be healed.
If you or I have this humility and receptivity, we are worthy of being healed by God. It doesn't matter how good or bad we think we are. What matters is that we are ready for a spiritual change in our hearts. If we want to yield to and let in the Christ, we are at the threshold of healing. When an individual brought this kind of receptivity to Jesus, the power of divine sonship he manifested would always do the rest.
Here you might be thinking, ``Yes, that was so. If a person was willing, Jesus could heal him or her. But that was the Son of God. Maybe I could be healed too, if Jesus were here today, but what you are talking about took place almost two thousand years ago. Can there be Christ-healing today, without Jesus' presence?''
Christian Science answers ``Yes!'' Christ-healing can and does occur today, because Christ is eternal. It is the spirit of God in human consciousness, ever available to heal and save. But just as was true long ago, when the human Jesus was with us, what is needed to receive Christ today is a receptivity, a willingness to be open to a wholly new and spiritual idea of Life, God. What Christian Science, the Science of Christ, does for the person seeking healing through prayer is to strip away the false beliefs about God and man that would obscure the immediacy and power of Christ.
Christian Science empowers prayer by revealing the infinitely good nature of God and the consequent infinite worth of man in God's image. In the final analysis, the reason why you and I are worthy to be healed is that God never created us as sick, sinning mortals in the first place. God made man in His likeness, as the Bible tells us, and the likeness of Spirit surely has to be totally spiritual!
This truth is at the very core of Mary Baker Eddy's discovery of Christian Science. As the Founder of Christian Science explains in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, ``The divine nature was best expressed in Christ Jesus, who threw upon mortals the truer reflection of God and lifted their lives higher than their poor thought-models would allow, -- thoughts which presented man as fallen, sick, sinning, and dying. The Christlike understanding of scientific being and divine healing includes a perfect Principle and idea, -- perfect God and perfect man, -- as the basis of thought and demonstration.''
If we accept this true idea of God and man -- humbly let in the Christ message of ``perfect God and perfect man'' -- we begin to see that our present, suffering, material sense of self and life cannot be the reality of life. We may have already glimpsed this fact in our prayers and communion with God. Material consciousness must be an illusion, a waking dream we need to wake up from. Christ, the divine message of man's sonship, comes to awaken us from the mortal dream and show us our absolute perfection and goodness as God's image.
This spiritual idea of ``perfect God and perfect man'' is so radical and revolutionary that, as of old, the human mind may reject it and thus lose the healing power that this divine idea of Life bestows. But if the woes of human life -- and our own inadequacy to save ourselves from them -- have convinced us of the need for something above our material sense of life, then we are ready for spiritual healing.
Christ is telling us that God is infinite Love. That He never ordains or supports disease and suffering. That we are worthy -- so infinitely worthy -- of being saved and released from these evils. This is because we are His children, loved, cared for -- perfect, even as the Father is perfect. Even a glimpse of this wonderful Truth is enough to heal.
Are you worthy to be healed? Yes, the eternal Christ says you are, because you are a child of God. Let Truth into your heart and it will transform your mind, and you will be healed.
You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine.