WHILE I was listening to the radio this morning, I heard a news reader report that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, had announced the discovery of a new, and fatal, disease. She gave the name and then began to detail the symptoms.
At this point I turned the radio off, remembering the following insight found in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. There the author of the Christian Science textbook notes: ''The press unwittingly sends forth many sorrows and diseases among the human family. It does this by giving names to diseases and by printing long descriptions which mirror images of disease distinctly in thought. A new name for an ailment affects people like a Parisian name for a novel garment. Every one hastens to get it. A minutely described disease costs many a man his earthly days of comfort. What a price for human knowledge! But the price does not exceed the original cost. God said of the tree of knowledge, which bears the fruit of sin, disease, and death, 'In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die' '' (pp. 196-197).
The point is not to behave like the proverbial three monkeys that covered their eyes, ears, and mouths so that they would ''See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.'' There is no safety in ignorance, nor is mankind helped when we ignore evil. But we do need to avoid an education that instills fear of disease and builds a propensity to succumb to it.
Faced with such reports, we need to know something of the absolute power of God to deliver people from disease. Disease actually violates the commandment of Christ Jesus to have no other God, not to believe in or honor any power or influence or activity other than God, good. Disease claims to adulterate the purity and soundness of man's life. It claims to steal away his health and happiness, and to kill.
While many consider Jesus to be a great moral teacher, they seem not to have noticed that his teaching points out the immorality of disease. Jesus never accepted the jurisdiction of disease. But he persistently delivered mankind from its effects, in direct obedience to his Father's will. Even the aggravated symptoms of epilepsy failed to shake him from the certainty of God's power to maintain man's well-being; the young man was delivered from the disease and restored to his dad in good health.
Jesus not only was the Saviour of mankind, he is our Saviour, in that an understanding of his life's work and his teachings continues to deliver people from sickness and sin. Some of his most important sayings were introduced by the repetition of the words Verily, verily-or, as it is sometimes rendered, Truly, truly-giving what followed particular importance. He told his disciples, ''Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father'' (John 14:12). Christian Science gives daily proof that this is so by continuing to heal through the power of Christ, Truth.
When we truly obey the commandment to have only one God, Christian healing becomes natural, for this commandment dethrones disease. Most Christian creeds acknowledge God as the Almighty. Doesn't this indicate there is no other cause, creator, or power but God? Would it be right to believe that God, who is wholly good, could or would create the evil we call disease? Would Jesus have healed disease if it had been part of God's will, part of His creation? If God is seen to be the only cause-as Jesus so evidently saw Him-there ceases to be anything to cause or sustain disease. This gives us an insight into how Jesus healed.
Many news broadcasts these days include detailed medical reports. Unfortunately, they tell us very little about true health. It is an understanding of true health-the divine Science of health-that mankind greatly needs and yearns for. This understanding is revealed in the record of Jesus' life. He did not describe disease or warn mankind against it. And he did not close his eyes to suffering. Instead he fixed his gaze on the reality of being, the absolute jurisdiction of God over all the earth, and so delivered humanity from disease. This divine power remains and can be felt by us all.