The Coming of the Christ

Christian people everywhere are apt to assume that if they had been alive when Jesus was on earth they would have been among his followers. Even in the time of Jesus, however, the recognition of the Christ came only to a very limited number of those who were brought into contact with Jesus. On the other hand the Christ-idea had come in much earlier ages to individuals who had never seen the personal Jesus. The real interest of the Bible history lies in the glimpses it affords of the spiritual idea unfolding itself in the consciousness of individuals, and in this way reaching out to and molding the thought of a nation.

Thus divine Truth came to Abraham as he sat at his door at noonday. An exalted idea of life appeared to him, which his receptive thought, already prepared for the revelation, at once went out to meet, and, bowing himself with his material beliefs of age and material law to the ground, in meekness he entertained the angel—the spiritual sense of being. Man's sonship with God was then revealed to him, and the son of man was lifted up in his consciousness. It was an angel or message from God that showed this to him. At the same time the spiritual idea of man dawned in some faint degree on the consciousness of Sarah also. She "heard" the message, and when later it returned to and took form in her consciousness, Isaac, the child of promise, was born. The birth of Isaac, was not a miracle, but a link in the chain of scientific demonstration. It was part of the gospel "preached before" unto Abraham, as Paul tells us in Galatians. To some extant it may have prepared the thought of the children of Israel to understand the birth of Jesus the Christ; to some extent it may lead our own thought also toward that more spiritual understanding of man which we celebrate on Christmas day.

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