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BELOW THE SURFACE
EVERY SECTION in this week's Bible Lesson, titled "Substance," connects with a synonym for God given in the explanation of substance from the chapter "Recapitulation" in Science and Health (see p. 468, citation 1). That is, substance is the manifestation of God as Truth, Life, Love, Spirit, Mind, and Soul. The Lesson offers wonderful insights on how true substance is observed and made practical through these aspects of the Divine.
The word substance means literally "standing under," and is a direct translation of the Greek word hypostasis, "a setting or placing under," or "a foundation." But it also means "that which has actual existence" (Strong's Concordance, G5287). A dictionary defines substance as "essential nature" and "ultimate reality that underlies all outward manifestations and change" (Webster's 1950). Greek philosophers and early Christians used hypostasis to describe the primary substance, or essence. Hypostasis is used by the author of the book of Hebrews when he wrote, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (11:1, cit. 3).
In Section II, the Gospel of John uses the metaphor of a well to help us understand the substance of Life. Jesus is talking with a Samaritan woman at Jacob's well in Samaria (see John 4, cit. 7). When Jesus asks the woman for a drink, she questions why a Jewish man would drink from a Samaritan woman's cup, because of the historical tensions between the Jews and the Samaritans. He takes the opportunity to tell her about a different kind of "water," available to all, irrespective of personal histories. This water is the understanding of the Christ, or "a present knowledge of his Father and of himself" (Science and Health, p. 410, cit. 10), which will become "a well of water springing up into everlasting life" (John 4:14).
About the author
Christa Kreutz lives in St. Louis, Missouri, and has a master's degree in theological studies.
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