"The ideal man"

Has this world of ours ever yet glimpsed the ideal man? Has any group of people on the earth ever yet talked with or witnessed the deeds of an ideal man? These are arresting question, which would lead us to ponder over the words and deeds of such a man. Was he utterly different from other men? Or was the life he led, the example he set, capable of being reproduced, even in part, in human experience? In the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, are these remarkable words (p. 338). "The ideal man was revealed in due time, and was known as Christ Jesus." To the Christian Scientist, therefore, the master Christian understanding God's idea, man, demonstrated beyond all shadow of doubt a life of unparalleled power and words of spiritual authority.

Nigh on two thousand years ago, near the beginning of his ministry of but three short years, and at the age of thirty, Christ Jesus faced the men of his day with a statement of the faith that was in him. This statement, which is now known to all the world as the Sermon on the Mount, is given in full in St. Matthew's Gospel, and reveals in language of extraordinary simplicity the bedrock basis of all right conduct, the secret of all real and lasting success and progress among men and nations. Is it any wonder, therefore, that "when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes"?

In the crowd that listened to him that day probably there were rich and poor, good and bad, learned and ignorant, but his teaching was common to them all. They were listening to a man whose thought was wholly pure, whose words expressed his consciousness of the living God. This fact was the secret of his mighty power. It was his lifting up of the Christ which enabled him to draw men unto him for healing, guidance, and comfort.

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"Return every man to his house"
November 7, 1936

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