Bible Lens—November 13–19, 2017

Subject: Soul and Body


The Lord my God will enlighten my darkness. 

Psalms 18:28

Exploring Bible Verses

An exploration of Bible citations from the Christian Science Quarterly® Bible Lessons

“. . . a lesson on which the prosperity of Christian Science largely depends."—Mary Baker Eddy

from Section 2

5 | Psalms 139:1, 14

O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.… I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

A key theme in this psalm is that God knows His children—a theme that reaches beyond mere acquaintance to divine care and protection. Recurring references to God’s knowledge serve to illustrate the fullness of His omniscience.

The Hebrew word translated fearfully (yara) most often refers to the emotion of fear. Here, however, it expresses reverence—similar to the intent of Ecclesiastes 12:13, “Fear God, and keep his commandments.”

from Section 3

9 | Psalms 90:17

Establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.

Perhaps recognizing the ephemeral nature of human experience as expressed in other Old Testament verses (see Ecclesiastes 2:11, for instance), the writer prays fervently that God direct and strengthen his work. A commentator observes, “It is God’s grace alone which gives purpose to life and durability to the work of man.”

11 | Joshua 14:7

Forty years old was I when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh-barnea to espy out the land.

Kadesh-barnea (also called simply Kadesh) figures prominently in the history of the Hebrew people. It was a wilderness stopping point for the children of Israel when Moses sent agents to assess the land of Canaan (see Numbers 13:26)—as well as where Moses’ sister, Miriam, died and was buried (see Numbers 20:1), and where Moses struck the rock to bring forth water after the people complained of thirst (see Numbers 20:2–11). Modern excavations have revealed springs of water, indicating it became an oasis in the northern Sinai desert.

from Section 4

15 | Matthew 6:22, 23

The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness.

In both Jewish and Greek tradition, eyesight and light were common symbols of understanding or revelation. Two Greek words for light occur in these verses:

“The light of the body” is a translation of lychnos, signifying a candle or lamp; 

“full of light” is a translation of phōteinos, which means shining or bright. 

Jesus teaches that spiritual clarity (the eye that is single, meaning whole or sound) is like a brightly shining inner light. Confusion or laxness regarding spiritual things (the eye that is evil) is mental darkness. 

from Section 5

20 | Luke 18:35–38

A certain blind man sat by the way side begging: and hearing the multitude pass by, he asked what it meant. And they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by. And he cried, saying, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me. 

Some scholars note that the name Nazareth is derived from the Hebrew word netser, meaning shoot or branch. The statement in Matthew 2:23, “He shall be called a Nazarene,” is probably a play on words—referring to Isaiah’s Messianic prophecy, “There shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots” (Isaiah 11:1). That the blind man addresses Jesus as “thou son of David” indicates his belief that Jesus is indeed the descendant of David promised to be the Savior of mankind.

from Section 6

23 | Romans 12:1

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 

“Reasonable service” describes something more than just what is sensible or rational. Some sources translate reasonable as spiritual, and one offers the paraphrase “worthy of thinking beings.” Another sees the sacrifice of self to the service of God as the logical outcome of receiving God’s mercy. More than the ritual or compulsory sacrifice of animals, spiritual sacrifice is “holy, acceptable unto God.”

Resources quoted in this issue

Cit. 9: Weiser, Artur. The Psalms: A Commentary. Translated by Herbert Hartwell. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1962.

Cit. 23: The Jerusalem Bible, 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd Ltd and Doubleday and Co. Inc.; Mays, James Luther, et al., eds.; Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching. 43 vols. Vol. 32, Romans. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 1982–. 

Related Healing Ideas

Happy eyes

By Edith P. Swanson
From the December 26, 1970, issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

“There, young lady!” Dr. Morris finished adjusting Trina’s glasses. “These are your helpers until we can get this eye condition corrected.”

Trina had first learned that God heals disease that time when the children next door had taken her to the Christian Science Sunday School with them. She saw how they depended on God for healing, and now she wanted God to heal her.

Every day after school Trina and her mother hunted for Bible verses or some healing thought from the textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. They wanted to understand more of God’s healing power.

After a few days Mother suggested they ask a Christian Science practitioner to help them. It was Trina’s first visit to a practitioner, and she lagged behind as they went up the steps. But Mrs. Johnson’s welcome made Trina feel right at home. 

She picked up Science and Health from her desk and read part of Mrs. Eddy’s definition of eyes: “Spiritual discernment,—not material but mental” (p. 586).

Then she said, “The child God made always sees the lovely things of Spirit. Christ Jesus expected us to have normal use of our eyes. He knew that good sight is linked directly with our understanding of God and His perfect creation. He said, ‘Having eyes, see ye not?’ (Mark 8:18). And another time when His disciples had shown by healing that they understood what God is, he said, ‘Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see’ ” (Luke 10:23).

Blessed eyes! Happy eyes!

Turning to Trina, she asked, “Can you think of something else Jesus said about seeing?”

After a moment Trina answered, “ ‘Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God,’ ” (Matthew 5:8).

Mrs. Johnson smiled. “Purity, love, these qualities help us see God, good. Then our sight is clear and vivid, too.”

Trina couldn’t find words for her joy. Just then the sun broke through the clouds.

“Oh, look!” She pointed. “The park is beautiful!”

In a few moments Trina was running through the red and yellow leaves that made bright splashes of color on the grass. She looked into the fountain and saw the reflection of the crimson maple trees, patches of blue sky and tumbling clouds. It reminded her that she was God’s reflection. God is all-seeing, and she reflected His all-seeing perfectly.

She took off her glasses and looked around. Every leaf and sparkling drop of water was clear. She read Mrs. Johnson’s house number across the street, “1232.” She saw Mother coming down the steps, so she put on her glasses and ran to join her.

As they walked toward home, Mother said, “Trina, you’re splashing me! Why do you step in the middle of the water puddles?”

“I’m sorry, Mother! I think I am stepping over them and I land right in the middle. It must be these glasses.”

“Take them off and drop them in here.” Mother held out her handbag. “That’s better,” said Trina. “I don’t need them.”

Trina soon forgot all about the glasses, but she always remembered that the pure in heart see God, see good!

This article has been shortened to fit this page. To read the entire article, go to

© 2017 The Christian Science Publishing Society. The design of the Cross and Crown is a trademark owned by the Christian Science Board of Directors and is used by permission. Bible Lens and Christian Science Quarterly are trademarks owned by The Christian Science Publishing Society. Unless otherwise indicated, all scriptural quotations are taken from the King James Version on the Holy Bible.

This is the end of the issue. Ready to explore further?
November 13, 2017

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.