Why "a desert place"?

That human beings like to do things, or have them done for them, rather than to know the truth about a situation, was clearly shown by the attitude of the disciples when they were confronted with a hungry multitude which had followed Jesus that they might understand something of the Christ that animated him, and enabled him to heal those in need of healing. When it became apparent to the disciples that the multitude needed to be fed, they went to Jesus and requested him to send the people away to the village, where food could be procured.

One cannot but wonder how the disciples felt when Jesus, instead of accepting their advice, told them to feed the multitude. Why was it that the disciples would send the multitude away to obtain food? Why was it that Jesus told them to feed the multitude? The false testimony of material sense was unchallenged, unrejected, and accepted as real and worthy of consideration by them. With Jesus, there was such spiritual understanding of men's ability to reflect God, when consciousness is spiritualized, that he found the feeding of this great host of people possible right where they were.

The human mind is reluctant to leave human methods and plans. It is loath to trust the spiritual facts and law. This reluctance to dismiss as false the testimony of material sense is always due to lack of spirituality, to insufficient spiritual understanding. It was this insufficiency of spiritual understanding that made the disciples accept a sense of lack. Mrs. Eddy has stated in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 405), "The basic error is mortal mind." So it was mortal mind that declared, through the disciples, "We are here in a desert place." Mortal mind is saying to many today: You are here "in a desert place." There is depression, there is unemployment, uselessness, and lack. There are creditors and debts.

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January 23, 1937

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