Have you ever thought how different the world would be today if there were no such thing as the printed page? Reading and writing are now such a normal and necessary part of daily living, can you imagine what it would be like to depend upon a restricted group of lettered scholars for your knowledge of history, of world affairs, of religion?

It is difficult to realize that in Jesus' time there were no printing presses to help him spread his message of healing and salvation. Reading and writing were confined almost exclusively to a hierarchy of scribes, on whom even the chief priests and Pharisees largely depended for traditions and for the letter of the law. Jesus' healing of the multitudes, his free and expansive wayside ministry to the lowly, the humble, the sinner, and the outcast, was in striking contrast to the scribes' zealously restricted teaching. In fact, Jesus denounced the scribes and Pharisees and the hierarchical system which they represented in these strong words (Matt. 23:13): "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in."

In contrast to the scribes' concept of God as vague and far removed from daily living, Jesus proved the ever-presence and practical availability of God by healing the humblest, the weakest, and the outcast. While the scribes' materialistic and ineffectual teaching was available only to a chosen caste, Jesus' blessed ministry was for the whole world.

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April 14, 1951

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