"Feed my sheep"

The poetic mind in all ages has been wont to compare humanity, driven by "every wind of doctrine," wandering in the difficult and dangerous ways of mortal sense, to a flock of frightened and strayed sheep, and there are no lovelier parables in any literature than those in which our Lord describes the relationship of God to man as that of a shepherd to his flock. When the people followed the Master into a desert place, running "afoot thither out of all cities," his heart was touched with compassion "because they were as sheep not having a shepherd." Again he said, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give unto them eternal life; ... neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." Then, going back as he always did to first cause, he added, "My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand." Long before this, Ezekiel had heard the divine voice saying, "Should not the shepherds feed the flocks?" And when Peter, slowly awakening to the tremendous significance of the Master's reappearance after the three days' struggle with the last enemy to be destroyed, was reminded of his own triple denial by the thrice reiterated question, "Lovest thou me?" he was given that lifelong task which was to be the proof of his protestations, in the thrice reiterated command, "Feed my sheep."

Does not this command come to us all? And does it not present the inevitable question, What food have we to offer to the sheep? Christian Scientists must realize that what they have to offer is all the truth that Jesus demonstrated, all of which he reminded Peter on that glad, victorious morning by the lakeside. Theirs is the serene assurance that there is no evil in the world which cannot be overcome by the Christ, the spirit of Truth. All this Christ Jesus demonstrated later, when Spirit had so triumphed over material sense that he passed out of mortal vision. He was no longer Jesus of Nazareth, but the complete manifestation of divine power, of that life which is "hid with Christ in God," discernible now only to the awakened spiritual sense.

July 18, 1914

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