In the parables of the Nazarene Prophet we find many references to the supreme value of that which is purely spiritual. Long before Jesus' day the wise man had declared wisdom to be of greater value than silver, gold, or even rubies. He said of wisdom, or spiritual understanding, "All the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her." Here the question naturally suggests itself, What is to be gained by the possession of this wisdom, or this understanding of the truth, to which so much importance was attached by Christ Jesus? a question which might be answered variously, according to the view-point of the one concerned. A modern thinker has said, "Nothing brought more immediate suffering than Christianity." The writer adds that Jesus was aware of this, but that he "did not hesitate to give to humanity this new, creative, vital force."

Early in his career as a teacher and demonstrator of the truth Christ Jesus began to warn his followers of the sacrifices and sufferings inseparable from their discipleship, but never once did he leave them in doubt as to the value of the truth for the sake of which they were to be ready to endure all things and give up all things that were "of the earth, earthy." As might have been expected, some weaklings shrank from the demands of Truth and "walked no more with him;" but as it is the province and prerogative of Truth to make the weak strong and the fearful bold, many of these doubtless rallied to the Christ standard and proved by the greatest tests their loyalty to Jesus' teaching, the value of which they were coming to understand. The Master had told them that to gain the whole world would not compensate for the loss of the spiritual,—the truth of being.

We are told that Peter, in an hour when courage was most needed, belying the name given him by the Master, cowered before the questions of a maid servant and denied that Master. He must have lost sight of the vital issue at stake, when even for an instant he could put any personal consideration in the balance against it; but not long after we find the true Peter, as a "stone," a rock, standing undismayed before priests and rulers, challenging the whole world in his fearless devotion to Truth and to the great Teacher who had taught him how to do the healing work for which the authorities would have put him to death had they dared. Again, we read of his proving the value of Truth when he raised Dorcas from the dream of death, and when, everywhere he went, he declared and demonstrated the kingdom of God.

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January 11, 1908

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