In Luke's gospel we read, "And Simon's wife's mother was taken with a great fever; and they besought him for her. And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her." Jesus' mental attitude in the sick-room contrasts strikingly with that of the matter physician. Jesus' thought-model was one of perfect health, strength, and perfection; while that of the modern doctor is too often one of disease, weakness, and imperfection. In the healing of Peter's wife's mother, as recorded in three of the four Gospels, all agree upon this one point, that the fever was very soon dispelled after Jesus entered the sick-room. Matthew says that Jesus "touched her hand;" Mark relates that he "took her by the hand, and lifted her up;" while Luke declares that "he stood over her, and rebuked the fever." None of them record the application of any material means. It was clearly a case of mental or spiritual healing.

In the light of Christian Science there are several lessons which may be learned from this incident of healing. In the first place, let it be observed that Jesus did not rebuke the woman; he "rebuked the fever," which proves two facts: first, that he regarded the malady as purely mental and not physical; and second, that it was something which did not lawfully belong to the woman; in other words, was something separate and apart from her true selfhood. Being wholly mental, the so-called fever was but the externalization of some thought-image, and, understanding as he did the allness of God and His thoughts, Jesus knew that it was human thought or wrong thinking which needed correction. His pure spirituality enabled him to detect the wrong thought or belief which was finding unlawful expression upon the body in the form of a fever, and what is termed his "rebuke" was a positive denial of this thought as having any right to exist. He knew its nothingness. He knew that there was no law of God to validate or to sustain any such erroneous belief. He knew that God was in no way responsible for its seeming existence; in other words, that it was simply an illusion of material sense. Under the search-light of Truth the fever ceased to have even any seeming existence. The woman was immediately well and strong,—"she arose and ministered unto him,"—she was no longer under the mesmeric influence of wrong thought.

December 14, 1907

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