Science and faith have revealed otherly realms normally unobservable to our physical senses. Both have uncovered universes we never knew existed. From the macro to the micro, our accumulated knowledge has yielded information and wisdom which have partially tamed the physical universe and freed us somewhat from the bonds of materiality.
“You will experience for yourselves the truth, and the truth will free you.” Jesus’ statement uttered over two millennia ago is the impulse for the theology he taught. It also happens to be the underpinning of all scientific enterprise. Revealing fundamental truth is the incentive of religion and scientific endeavor. The resulting discernment encourages freedom to express mastery over life’s perplexities.
Jesus’ life was divinely inspired. His service to God, love of mankind, and unrelenting reliance on an infinite wisdom he referred to as “my Father” is obvious and recorded in Scripture for the ages.
At the same time Jesus’ life was profoundly scientific. How so? He looked deep into reality, past the obvious objects of physicality and into the creativity of Mind or God. “Jesus of Nazareth was the most scientific man that ever trod the globe,” wrote Mary Baker Eddy. “He plunged beneath the material surface of things, and found the spiritual cause.”
Known today as Savior to millions of followers, Jesus’ motivation of ultimate truth-telling and love-giving was the basis of his healing work. He backed up his words with proof. Whether impacting one life through curing physical and mental disease or changing the course of thousands by providing sustenance where no food was available, Jesus’ works were the evidence of his deep understanding of reality and its underlying spiritual elements.
And it was knowledge of those elements that allowed him to consistently substantiate the theology he professed. Rather than one-and-done exhibitions of some unexplainable, mysterious force, Jesus’ recorded healings offered an undeviating and credible view into a knowable dimension outside the standpoint of physicality.
Just as important, these healing demonstrations are replicable by those who begin to understand and follow his teaching. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father,” Jesus confirmed. He went on to teach his students the healing efficacy of what came to be known as Christianity. And they went on to teach others. And while the healing element of Christianity lay largely dormant for many centuries, it was eventually reinstated in the 19th century with the discovery of Christian Science.
Jesus found ways to explain his precepts so that all could gain a level of understanding. Parables, analogies, questioning, repetition and object lessons were some of the means he employed to instill knowledge. And though he offered no formulaic methods to convey his understanding of reality, he did articulate basic rules that promoted progress in his students and advanced their conceptual curiosity.
Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount is a good example. In this beloved sermon he exposed his listeners to deeper concepts of God and reality, offered bold ways to think outside of accepted norms, and set forth new patterns of behavior that promoted health and unity. “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth,” he announced. “Ye are the light of the world.” No sooner had he finished sharing his thoughts when he healed a man of leprosy.
Over two thousand years later, I have used Jesus’ instruction to heal rashes, injuries, headaches, colds and other sickness, along with stress and depression. Business concerns, financial issues and relationships have also been improved. Jesus’ explanations of spiritual reality and subsequent proofs in the physical world hold true today.
While Jesus’ was concerned with the relations and nature of being, it shouldn’t be lost on us that he was able to bring into mankind’s focus, including mine, the connection between human experience and the infinite, eternal, and spiritual concepts he taught. His message was not theological rhetoric but practical insight into the day’s pressing issues.
Jesus understood many of these issues centered around the effects of feeling disconnected from God, from each other, and even from ourselves. These feelings were then manifested in distrust, disrespect and hatred. He offered what he called two great commandments as a countermeasure: love God and love your neighbor as yourself. While these might seem simplistic to some and outside of scientific endeavor, the effects of following these fundamental rules have changed the course of mankind.
Why love? Because love in its broadest terms sets our course on inclusiveness where each individual is considered significant; not just one of billions, but one in wholeness, uniqueness, and originality. Love is the spark that helps define our purpose. “Love inspires, illumines, designates, and leads the way,” writes Eddy. “Right motives give pinions to thought, and strength and freedom to speech and action.
Those ah-ha moments of spiritual inspiration and intuition along with knowledge attained through study and practice – in a word, science – allow us to launch out from the confines of ignorance and into the limitless stream of divine wisdom that cannot remain hidden from those who seek answers to the big and little questions that are a part of daily life.
Originally published on Cleveland Plain Dealer, @clevelanddotcom