The Disciples and the Multitude

The Master's disciples were comparatively few in number Jesus chose them because of their receptivity to his teachings; but the multitudes were attracted more by his healing power and the benefits which it brought to them. In John's Gospel it is recorded that "a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased." On one occasion Jesus said to the Jews which believed him, "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed, and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." What distinguished the disciples from others was their greater consecration to his teachings, which enabled them to reflect more consistently the qualities which Jesus himself reflected, and through this understanding to heal the sick and sinning, as he taught them to do.

In the account of the feeding of the four thousand, as given in the fifteenth chapter of Matthew, we read, "And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude." Well might each one today ask himself, Am I seeking Christian Science for the material benefits which I may receive, or is my object to attain a higher spiritual understanding of Christ, Truth? Am I seeking only the loaves and fishes, or am I striving to receive the Christ in my own thinking and living? Am I reflecting in my daily life the qualities which show forth man's oneness with God?

The earnest student may well be likened to the faithful disciples giving the healing words of Truth to the multitude seeking help. With patience and consecration does he strive to gain a higher understanding of the truth in order that he may in turn give it to others. He knows that in order to become a true disciple it is imperative that he gain the correct apprehension of God and man's relationship to Him, through the study of Christian Science, which lifts his thinking from materiality to spiritual understanding. This requires much more than a casual reading of the textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, and a half-hearted applying of the truths learned therein. It requires dilligent and persistent study and application. Our Leader makes this very clear when she says (ibid., pp. 322, 323): "Mortals may seek the understanding of Christian Science, but they will not be able to glean from Christian Science the facts of being without striving for them. This strife consists in the endeavor to forsake error of every kind and to possess no other consciousness but good." It is only as the student grasps the fundamental fact that his true selfhood is one with God, and arouses himself from the false beliefs of material living, that he is able to demonstrate the healing power of Truth and Love either for himself or for others.

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Holy Ground
September 30, 1939

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