In the book of Matthew, it is recorded that when Christ Jesus went up into a mountain, thousands of men, women, and children followed him, many of them seeking healing (see 15:29–38). He realized the people were far from anywhere they could get food before setting off on their journey home, and he asked his disciples if they had any food to share. They said they had a few little fishes and seven loaves of bread.
It is reported that Jesus told all the people to sit down. Then he took the loaves and fishes, gave thanks, and passed them to the disciples to distribute. As they did, the food multiplied, and all were fed—with seven full baskets left over.
What I love about this Bible story is that no one was left out. In all of those thousands of people, there may have been various kinds of personalities and sinners, but all shared in the good at hand. Jesus saw all before him through the eyes of divine Spirit. He perceived everyone as children of Soul, eternally in full possession of God’s unlimited, loving provision.
From his love-filled spiritual perspective, Jesus was able to prove that no one is ever deprived of God’s care. He presented man as originating in God, blessed and whole, unable to lose any part of his immortal being. Christian Science explains that Jesus was not really fixing hunger. He was demonstrating that, from a spiritual perspective, hunger could not really be any part of the universe of God, the universe of all-inclusive Love. In the all-presence of divine Love, there is no place where any good could ever be lacking.
Seeing man’s individuality through the lens of Spirit rather than matter, as we learn to do in Christian Science, we too can know ourselves and others as God created us, in His own image and likeness. Each of us has the capacity to prove man’s divine nature. And as with Jesus, we are never really fixing things through prayer. We are instead celebrating what is always here to be known and shown, the spiritual wholeness and wellness of man as God’s precious child.
The ringtone on my telephone is Handel’s “Hallelujah” chorus. In my work as a Christian Science practitioner, before I answer a call from a patient, I am already celebrating—“and he shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 11:15). For me, a patient’s call for help is an invitation to celebrate what Jesus knew when he fed the multitude. He understood that God’s love for man is eternally uninterrupted, and he proved that truth in visible, tangible ways in human experience.
When Jesus healed, he saw man in the true and holy light of universal goodness and completeness. Recently, the story of Jesus feeding the multitudes helped me see more clearly what it really meant that he fed them all. Since then, it has become easier for me to remember that man is God’s beloved and innocent child, no matter how strongly the human appearance suggests otherwise.
Jesus showed us that the Christ, the timeless presence and power of God, is here to meet humanity's needs today.
Increased trust in the impartial nature of God’s love allows thought to be more receptive to divine guidance when sharing the teachings of Christian Science with others. Moreover, we need not fear that we won’t be able to explain Christian Science to a newcomer when we realize that no one is ever new to God. We can depend on God to reveal the truth of divine sonship as inherently valid for all of His children.
It’s a great joy to know that in spiritual reality man is divinely created and sustained, so all are already whole and well. In the practice of Christian Science healing, we do not change bad to good. Rather, we understand that good, the expression of divine Love, is always present to be understood, rejoiced in, and demonstrated, here and now.
This does not mean that we turn a blind eye to problems or allow dangerous people to freely do harm. But our spiritual perspective on man as God’s idea allows us to be wisely discerning and guided by the divine Mind in a way that protects all.
In the feeding of that hungry crowd, it was Jesus' divine selfhood, the Christ, that enabled him to be so conscious of divine Love, and Love’s ever-availability to destroy all lack and meet every human need. His demonstration of Truth made him our Exemplar. He showed us that the Christ, the timeless presence and power of God, is here to meet humanity's needs today.
In writing of Jesus, Mary Baker Eddy provides this glorious promise: “The purpose of his great life-work extends through time and includes universal humanity. Its Principle is infinite, reaching beyond the pale of a single period or of a limited following. As time moves on, the healing elements of pure Christianity will be fairly dealt with; they will be sought and taught, and will glow in all the grandeur of universal goodness” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, pp. 328–329).
When I think of the baskets of fish and bread left over on that day so long ago, I like to consider that God’s love is so universally bountiful that no matter how many times we yearn to feed on God’s saving grace, it’s forever impartially right at hand, in overflowing, unconditional abundance.
Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals. It is the open fount which cries, “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters.”
Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 13
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