"That which was lost"

In the eighteenth chapter of Matthew, Christ Jesus states his earthly mission in these words: "The Son of man is come to save that which was lost." Then follows the beautiful and oft-quoted parable of the lost sheep, which is also given by Luke. However viewed, this parable strikingly presents the unchanging nature of divine Love, and shows how unfailingly it follows its own until the oneness of God and His manifestation is realized. It has been thought by many that the good shepherd went out to bring back one who was wilful and lawless; but in Christian Science we find another meaning for this parable, one which does not conflict with the idea of divine Love reaching out to human need, but which lifts thought from the material to the spiritual. We are helped to discover this when we ponder the definition of sheep as given on page 594 of Science and Health: "Innocence; inoffensiveness; those who follow their leader." This divine idea lies down in green pastures, beside the still waters of Soul; it fears no evil, even in passing through "the valley of the shadow of death," and is comforted alike by the rod and the staff of the shepherd.

When Christ Jesus went among men and saw the sick, the sinful, and the sorrowful, he knew that there was a sure remedy for their woes, and it was "that which was lost." Now it was quite possible to find at every turn of the way the densest belief in evil's reality and power; but to mortal sense the power which had brought the children of Israel safely through the Red sea, fed them in the wilderness, and assured them of freedom from disease, was "lost," and no one apparently knew where it was to be found. It is true that Daniel had known it when he was delivered from the lions, and his three companions when they came forth unharmed from the fiery furnace, but to those whose dependence was matter and material law the truth that heals and saves was lost.

Among the Churches
July 31, 1915

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