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Power and authority to heal

From the June 1980 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Suppose you had been one of Christ Jesus' close disciples. You would have learned to heal. Think what was behind this statement: "He called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick."Luke 9: 1,2; How marvelous! To be given power and authority to heal.

How was this authority instilled? There was nothing mystical in Jesus' actions, no magic wand sweeping over the disciples. There were two important factors—important because they illustrate what is needed for healing today.

First, Jesus taught his disciples. He revealed something of the nature of reality—of God, and man's relationship to Him. Second, the disciples needed to recognize that Christ Jesus truly was the prophesied Saviour. They had to be receptive enough to admit that he was the individual chosen by God to reveal God. Their recognition of this divine authority vested in Jesus enabled them to apply his explanations and thus exercise the power to heal.

Similar factors are essential for healing today. Jesus' presence and teaching must have been a profound comfort to his disciples. But he promised another Comforter—one that would be present forever. He said further, "The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."John 14:26; The Comforter has come to this age. It is the Holy Ghost, divine Science.

Christian Science does thoroughly explain the teachings of the Master. But like the immediate disciples, we too must have enough spiritual insight to recognize the source of our teaching. The prophesied Comforter has been revealed. This revelation of divine Science came to Mary Baker Eddy from God. It is with us today. And its divine origin needs to be genuinely perceived if we are to be blessed by its authority.

Far more is required of us than a routine acknowledgment or an unspoken assumption that Christian Science heals. One must feel something of the profound significance of the heritage of the Comforter—the prophecy of its appearing and its present fulfillment. When we experience the impact of this truth we will be in a stronger position to exercise power and authority to heal.

Science teaches us the allness of God. It reveals to receptive consciousness the universe of Spirit—completely separate from mortality. It shows us that this is the only universe; that man is the expression of perfect Spirit; that existence is whole, enduring, divine.

While this is a radical departure from what the corporeal senses tell us about existence, God reveals His truth of being in divine Science as surely as He revealed it to Christ Jesus. An acceptance of this truth and an understanding of its implications enable us to heal the sick. Mrs. Eddy explains: "Entirely separate from the belief and dream of material living, is the Life divine, revealing spiritual understanding and the consciousness of man's dominion over the whole earth. This understanding casts out error and heals the sick, and with it you can speak 'as one having authority.' "Science and health, p. 14;

An exercise of power and authority to heal scientifically never stems from the human mind. It is never the result of human will, but of relinquishing the belief that man has a personal, finite will. Man has only one Mind. That Mind is God. This is the nature of reality. God is infinite Mind, and man eternally expresses the intelligence, the wisdom, the understanding, of one divine Mind. Intelligence is the very substance of existence. Man is idea, he is the reflection of all-knowing Mind.

The corporeal senses, obviously, identify man as a corporeal entity. But when we understand that divine Mind is the basis of all existence and that man is the representation of this Mind, we realize man is spiritual, and then discord submits to harmony. "Mind is the master of the corporeal senses, and can conquer sickness, sin, and death," Mrs. Eddy insists. Then she encourages us: "Exercise this God-given authority. Take possession of your body, and govern its feeling and action. Rise in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good. God has made man capable of this, and nothing can vitiate the ability and power divinely bestowed on man."ibid., p. 393;

This is precisely what the Master did. He exercised "this God-given authority." He saw it as a "power divinely bestowed." God gave Jesus authority to heal illness, to destroy sin, to overcome death. Jesus taught his disciples, by word and example, the perfection of God and man. And with this teaching—especially after the great lessons of his resurrection and ascension—they too, on many occasions, were able to challenge evil effectively. Jesus assured us the Comforter would teach all things. What we are learning of divine Science gives us now, just as it gave those in Jesus' time, the capacity to confront and overcome evil.

We do this not through some personally possessed power but through the authority God has revealed in divine Science. "Like the great Exemplar, the healer should speak to disease as one having authority over it," writes Mrs. Eddy, "leaving Soul to master the false evidences of the corporeal senses and to assert its claims over mortality and disease."ibid., p. 395.

Today, evil, in whatever form, can be destroyed. When we challenge evil we should do so with a deep conviction of why we have power and authority over it. More important than the words we say is our certainty that God is revealing His power through divine Science, giving the ability to heal just as when Christ Jesus taught the disciples to overcome evil.

Divine Science insists upon the present perfection of being. It denies evidence that true existence is mortal, sinning, dying. Science reveals reality, and with a discernment of reality, we are empowered to heal. God gives us this authority. It cannot be denied those who are spiritually-minded enough to recognize its source.

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