In the School of Christian Science

It was a remarkable sight which presented itself to the parents of the boy Jesus when, three days after the close of the feast at Jerusalem, they found him in the temple. Here was a lad—perhaps to most of those who knew him a very ordinary lad—sitting, probably on the floor as was the custom, at the feet of the great priests and religious teachers of the day, "both hearing them, and asking them questions." There are many apocryphal legends surrounding this incident, but they only tend to obscure its beautiful simplicity and to distort its meaning. Jesus was not there to teach, but to inquire and learn. He already knew that his mission on earth was to be about his "Father's business," and the information he there gained, giving him the point of view of learned theologians on those eternal questions which affect man's relation to God and his destiny, must have been of priceless value to him when he entered upon his three years' activity. In all the years that he spent in Nazareth, he stored up great treasures of spiritual wisdom and understanding, ever growing in the knowledge of truth and in the power for righteousness. It was apparently a long and slow process, this preparation for his divine career. But how adequate it was! And was it not because Jesus knew how much there was to learn, and how much there was to overcome materially, that he was always patient with his disciples?

One may gather from the plain records of the gospels that these disciples were not quick learners, but they were students in whom the Master must have seen fitting qualities for the high work before them. They were attracted to him by an influence which at first must have seemed mysterious, but which they came to know as the spiritual power which comes from the recognition of oneness with God, infinite good. So they followed him, and listened to him day by day, as he taught by the wayside and in the temple, and best of all in those quiet hours when the little band was alone, and when many pearls of divine wisdom must have fallen from his lips. There it was that the Master expounded the Science of Christianity and explained the operation of spiritual law,—the law of good,—which in these later days we are beginning to apprehend with clearer insight than has been known since the early years of the Christian era.

We are all learners in the school of life, yet we often fail to discriminate between knowledge which is essential and that which is non-essential. A little thought soon convinces us, however, that the only learning which is of any value is that gained from a spiritual source. The disciples became stalwart Christians, valiant, courageous, strong for the truth, because of their spiritual-mindedness. They were at all times eager to be taught, and in this respect they are an example to Christians for all time. There is nothing mysterious or impossible in the teachings of Jesus. This is being proved by the operation of the Principle of Christian Science.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

To Understand Life
July 11, 1914

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.