When the Samaritans failed to welcome Christ Jesus, "because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem," James and John were so far lacking in understanding of their Master's mission upon earth that they asked him, "Wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?" The answer which they received not only rebuked this belief in human vengeance, but stated the Christ-mission with such vigor and terseness that there could be no doubt about the divine origin of that which they were being taught and which they saw demonstrated from day to day. Surely we may believe that it helped these disciples to qualify themselves for the places they subsequently filled in Christian history!

Jesus said, "Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them." The same Christliness of spirit echoes down the ages in those divinely tender words which fell from his lips in the supreme trial of his faith: "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." That Jesus interpreted his mission to save men's lives to include the healing of sickness, was amply proved by his ministry to the sick as well as the sinning ones of earth, to the weary and heavy laden, those who were bowed with the weight of sorrow and despair; and he also made it obligatory upon his followers to continue this ministry to the needy in token of their discipleship. In what other way, indeed, can professed followers of the great Teacher justify their claim to be known as such, if they are unable to do the works which he declared they that believed on him should do!

December 21, 1912

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