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Sending 'multitudes' away

- Lessons from the Pastor

Not long ago, the weekly Christian Science Bible Lesson included a verse in Matthew, chapter 14, which spoke to me in a fresh way and from which I gleaned a helpful spiritual insight. “And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone” (verse 23). The context involves Christ Jesus’ feeding of the five thousand after which the disciples got into a ship to go to the other side of the sea of Galilee.

In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy writes, “The most distinguished theologians in Europe and America agree that the Scriptures have both a spiritual and literal meaning” (p. 320). The note in the margin next to this passage here is “Interior meaning.”

To me, the phrase “when he had sent the multitudes away” suddenly took on an “interior,” or spiritual, signification. Christ Jesus must have sent away the thousands whom he had fed both spiritually and literally by directing them to disperse, to go back to their homes. But the thought that came to me that particular morning during my study was that sending “the multitudes” away could be spiritually interpreted in a way that would be applicable to each of us.

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