In the synagogue in Nazareth, Christ Jesus once referenced this compelling statement: “Physician, heal thyself” (Luke 4:23). What did he mean? It seems the scribes and Pharisees (doctors of the Jewish law) in the synagogue had little understanding of what he meant, or didn’t want to know, because his healing work confounded them. But was he speaking only to those there that day, or to his disciples and to us—for all time?
Jesus showed that we all have the capacity and capability to heal and be healed, to understand what true health is. In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy states that a fundamental part of the revelation of Christian Science is: “The proof, by present demonstration, that the so-called miracles of Jesus did not specially belong to a dispensation now ended, but that they illustrated an ever-operative divine Principle” (p. 123).
Paul wrote to the Philippians, “It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (2:13). As we understand more and more that God is unfolding only good and let the Christ, which Jesus manifested, work within our consciousness, we see the deific order and harmony increasingly evidenced in our lives.
When any presentation of discord or disease appears, we can affirm that in reality we are the spiritual expression, the emanation or reflection, of all that is good, Godlike. The belief that we can be anything less is a false suggestion about what we truly are.
As we welcome the Christ into our hearts, we realize that we have God-given authority and dominion over every suggestion that evil or disease is real, and that we are armed with the ability to absolutely rebut any claim of evil or disease. We can refuse to be impressed; we can turn expectantly and understandingly to the real source of comfort and healing—God, the ever-operative Principle of health and well-being.
As our thought yields to God, divine Mind, instead of our clinging to an image of discord or disease, peace and harmony flood our consciousness. Jesus averred, “I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you” (Luke 10:19).
Today most folks seek relief from ills through medical means. This is perpetuated by the belief that man is a biochemical being; whereas, Christian Science shows that man is wholly spiritual, made up of a compound of spiritual ideas that function in harmony under the jurisdiction of one divine Principle. Man is idea, made in the image and likeness of the infinite Mind that is God, good. God’s infinitude is the law of safety, security, protection, supply, and well-being.
As the beloved creation of infinite, inexhaustible divine Love, we have the inherent capacity to know the divine Truth that heals. Jesus said, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). For every lie, there is always the counter fact of spiritual truth, impelling us to replace cynical thoughts, criticism, or malice with kindness, compassion, and love for our fellow man.
Years ago, I had a certain physical ailment. I had seen doctors, who each had a different diagnosis and a different remedy. I was confused as to the best way forward, but I had some knowledge of the healing effect of Christian Science, having read testimonies of healing of all types of maladies in The Christian Science Journal and the Sentinel. I thought that if those folks could be healed, maybe I could be also.
Instead of pursuing medical treatment, I decided to commence a deep study of the Bible and the writings of Mrs. Eddy. I had read of people who had been healed through such a study, as found in the testimonies in the last one hundred pages of Science and Health.
I thought about the idea, “Physician, heal thyself.” I pondered how this might be possible, but not satisfied that I knew enough, I called a Christian Science practitioner. She helped me see that disease is a false suggestion, a distorted image, an illusion in human consciousness, perhaps with some fear underlying it—and that understanding more of the omnipresence of Love could completely obliterate inharmony.
Jesus showed that we all have the capacity and capability to heal and be healed.
Gradually, as I read and prayed, I began to see I had been holding hard, resentful, even malevolent thoughts about family, the community, the volatile political climate, terrorists, and business partners. Then I saw that these negative thoughts were much bound up in self: self-justification, self-will, and self-love.
Science and Health states: “Christian Science silences human will, quiets fear with Truth and Love, and illustrates the unlabored motion of the divine energy in healing the sick. Self-seeking, envy, passion, pride, hatred, and revenge are cast out by the divine Mind which heals disease” (p. 445). This helped me, for I realized I had been focusing on imperfection and corruption. I sought to learn more of the perfection of God, and of man (all of us) in God’s image, and refused to accept distorted images about man’s true, spiritual nature any longer.
As I continued studying the books and praying for understanding for some months, I felt a greater sense of comfort and peace, an awakening to and a growing awareness of our oneness with God, good. I increasingly felt that I was blessed and loved.
This consistent turning in prayer to God became a disciplined way of thinking, of feeling grateful every day, of humbly saying, “Father-Mother Mind, show me what I need to see.” Along with an increasing sense of compassion and love in my own thinking, I found my business improving and relationships harmonized. I was thrilled by the spiritual discoveries I was making, of seeing God and man in their true light, of understanding more of our relation to God. The sense of disease disappeared from my thought, and then one day I realized the physical difficulty had been completely healed. I was profoundly grateful and saw this as an instance of “Physician, heal thyself.”
All mankind can awaken to the glorious truth that Christ comes right to the consciousness of each of us. Our Redeemer lives; that gentle Love that knows no evil, that heals and blesses all, is right here for us to turn to. The prophet Jeremiah writes: “I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people” (31:33). Let us rejoice that we possess God-given aptitude and competency for spiritual understanding, that we can all realize through prayer our inseparable oneness with good, with the Principle that meets every need, the Truth that nullifies every disease.
With this spiritualized thought comes a clearer sense of our spiritual purity and innocence, and we find healing. As Science and Health assures us, “When the Science of being is universally understood, every man will be his own physician, and Truth will be the universal panacea” (p. 144).
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