Tradition versus Inspiration

From the beginning of recorded history there has been a conflict between the traditions of the past and the new ideas which are continually unfolding through heavenly inspiration. All the great spiritual leaders of the Bible were men and women who were animated by the progressive impulse of the divine Mind. This true impetus compelled them to break with the traditions of the past and to point out improved standards of morality.

One of the outstanding examples in the Old Testament is Joseph, the eleventh son of Jacob. From his early boyhood he seemed to be guided by inspiration. His brothers were shepherds, who followed the customary life of their time in merely preserving mundane existence, but Joseph was brought by his deep spiritual intuition and fidelity to good through trying experiences to be the second in authority in the land of Egypt. It will be remembered that Joseph had incurred the jealousy of his brethren by reason of his dreams, in which he saw them bowing down in obeisance before him. These dreams were fulfilled when his brothers were forced by famine to seek food at the hands of Joseph, whom they did not recognize, food which was available only because of his inspired interpretation of the dream of Pharaoh and his obedience to wisdom's guidance in meeting the human need.

Similarly, rising above traditional ways of life, only in a much greater degree, Christ Jesus incurred the hostility of the traditional priesthood. He made no attempt to conciliate the scribes and Pharisees, but boldly denounced them as blind adherents to the outworn Levitical rituals. From his spiritual viewpoint Jesus saw the need of revitalizing the law of Moses with fresh proofs of its moral strength and healing power. Fortunately there were some, in addition to the disciples, who saw the light and were able to say, like the Samaritan woman (John 4:29), "Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?"

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January 11, 1947

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