Who Are the Chosen People?

How the chosen people of God came to be called the children of Israel is explained in the Bible narrative of Jacob's experience on his way to meet his brother Esau. He prayed (Gen. 32:11), "Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him." Later, after a struggle, he overcame the duplicity in his thought and the fear of his brother. As a result of this overcoming his name was changed to Israel, a prince or soldier of God, and he called the name of the place Peniel, which means the face of God saying, "For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved."

When Jacob met his brother, he said to him, "I have seen thy face, as though I had seen the face of God, and thou wast pleased with me." This seeing "the face of God," this perceiving his brother as in reality the image and likeness of God, instead of an evil, mortal personality, resulted in the uniting of the two brothers. In the same manner the children of Israel of today—all those who through spiritualization of thought are in some measure beholding the face or nature of God—are demonstrating the healing and regenerating power of the eternal Christ through the teaching of Christian Science.

On page 583 of the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mary Baker Eddy gives the following definition of "Children of Israel": "The representatives of Soul, not corporeal sense; the offspring of Spirit, who having wrestled with error, sin, and sense, are governed by divine Science; some of the ideas of God beheld as men, casting out error and healing the sick; Christ's offspring." This all-embracing definition applies to all people of every nation and language who, "having wrestled with error" as Jacob did, have become increasingly conscious of man's true status as a prince of God or soldier of God. His representative, governed by spiritual law, instead of by the material senses.

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The Infinite's Bestowals
April 5, 1947

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