Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Going to the Horse's Mouth Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to World Events and Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Going to the Horse's Mouth Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to World Events and Daily Life

Article excerpt

Whenever I want to be sure of my information, I feel safer going to "the horse's mouth." That old saying means to go to the original, or authoritative, source.

Today's society considers itself to be civilized. Credit for its advancements is not given often enough to the one book that has been influencing human thought for thousands of years -- the Bible. There is scarcely a subject or a condition that is not touched on in the Bible. I recall having heard as a teenager that when faced with a difficult decision, I could always find an answer in the Bible. I was not a Bible student, not even a willing churchgoer. Religion wasn't cool. But a day came when I was forced to make an important decision. In desperation, I picked up a Bible and resolved to follow honestly whatever directive I found. I opened it at random. To my astonishment, the very problem I faced was set forth, as well as the steps necessary to solve it.

If people were asked to name the ten most influential men and women in history, Jesus would stand near the top of many lists. By the time he was twelve, he had decided to be about his "Father's business" (see Luke 2:49). He showed this was of inestimable practical value. He faced down political, social, economic, and physical challenges. He knew the Hebrew Scriptures, and always went to their teaching. And he was obedient to their laws. Today's troubles are, fundamentally, the same ones Jesus faced. One common problem today is a feeling of isolation. We wonder where help and hope are to be found. Jesus might have felt this when he was without food or water, alone in a wilderness (see Matthew 4:1-11). The way Jesus responded is preserved in this account of an intimate conversation he had. The Bible sets it out in the form of a dialogue with the devil, or evil thoughts. The devil's temptations began with: "If thou be the Son of God, . . ." And Jesus' answers began with: "It is written . . . ," referring to the law of God as recorded in Hebrew Scripture. Jesus relied solely on the law of God, the keystone of which is the First Commandment, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" (Exodus 20:3). …

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