As we near the Easter season with its celebration of Christ Jesus' resurrection, it's interesting to study the various biblical accounts of those momentous days in Jerusalem. It's striking that many of the disciples seemed to think, even after the resurrection, that the great mission of Jesus was a political one.
But their attitude is also understandable. After all, the nation of Israel was occupied by a foreign power, and foreign troops were everywhere, keeping order in a sometimes brutal manner. It's known that Rome had a difficult time with this feisty province. Yet the message of the promised Messiah was not political. He was engaged in turning the thought of all who would listen to look for and find the kingdom of God within. And he proved the relevance of this message with healing after healing.
In today's world, it's useful to remember that Jesus told his listeners, and, by extension, all who try to follow his example, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength" (Mark 12:30).
This complete attention to God so absorbs us in the contemplation of God's all-power that other issues, such as worries over political debates, economic insecurities, and chronic diseases, can no longer be seen as insoluble problems. It establishes a foundation of joy in our lives to know that God's omnipotence is real, here and now. This is the kingdom of heaven within, and we can feel it.
It involves turning away from a common-sense view of the world, where sickness and pain are seen as natural. This turning away is not just ignoring a problem and hoping it will disappear. Acknowledging God as omnipotent actually destroys these problems. By surrendering our belief in them as solid realities, we begin to understand God as Spirit. When we reach the joyous understanding that God never created them, we are walking in Jesus' steps, and acknowledging the divine perfection that is ours as God's sons and daughters. We also begin to understand that any argument against perfection is part of the lie that man is separated from God. This lie is one Jesus reversed through his resurrection, which disproved the power of death.
Mary Baker Eddy, who founded this newspaper, wrote in her major work, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," that wholehearted love for God "involves the Science of Life, and recognizes only the divine control of Spirit, in which Soul is our master, and material sense and human will have no place" (p. 9).
This control of Spirit makes possible the kingdom of heaven within, and nullifies predictions of inevitable evils, whether they appear as chronic disease, political instability, or economic downturns. It can resurrect health, a career, or even an economic system.
Jesus illustrated this divine control of Spirit, God, in his healings. He once encountered an insane man whom the locals had evidently given up on. The man had broken the chains that had restrained him and was living among the tombs, mutilating himself. Instead of being dismayed or horrified at the man's condition, Jesus commanded the insanity itself to leave. The man was healed instantly, and the townspeople were astounded to see him sitting calmly at Jesus' feet, conversing with him.
Jesus gently told the man, "Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee" (see Luke 8:26-39). Jesus showed that the self-control the man was exhibiting came from God, Spirit. Recognizing this divine control brought healing that not only benefited the individual but also the community.
No matter what the circumstances might be, we can call on God today to see His control. Recognizing the allness of God transforms our thinking, and this has an inevitable larger effect on our community and on our world.