"As one having authority"

The  authority with which Jesus rebuked error and cast out evil wherever he encountered it, was decidedly baffling to the rabbis. They had to admit that he spoke with authority, for how else could the results be achieved? The record reads, "With authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him." It will repay the Christian Scientist to study this question of authority, for if one would have that Mind "which was also in Christ Jesus," he must know whence this authority was derived, whether it is still available, and how it may be exercised in these times in which we live.

According to the dictionary, authority means "power or admitted right to command or to act." There are, one may assume, as many opinions as to what constitutes authority as there are beliefs in law or power. In Science and Health (p. 247) we read that "custom, education, and fashion form the transient standards of mortals," and these are only some of the ways by which mortals have accepted a false and fleeting sense of authority. One thing is certain, namely, that true authority rests only with true law and those who uphold true law. It is found, however, that in all questions affecting the welfare of mankind, whenever authority is vested in a person, or even a number of persons, it generally rests on so frail a basis that at any time and in the most unexpected ways it may be reversed, superseded, or entirely annulled.

Sennacherib sent his messengers to the king of Judah with all the insolence of success in arms and human power,—"Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria,"—but through the spiritual insight of Isaiah, reassuring words from a higher authority were spoken to the king of Judah, that this boaster should neither enter the city, nor this claimant to supreme power shoot an arrow there. "By the way that he came, by the same shall he return," were Isaiah's words of assurance, and on that night the opposing army was annihilated, and Sennacherib returned to meet his own doom at Nineveh.

Ministry of Patience
April 3, 1915

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