Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

The Greatest Teacher

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

The Greatest Teacher

Article excerpt

Take a moment. Close your eyes and think of those special teachers who made the biggest impact on your life. For me, I see my French teacher in high school, whose enthusiasm for internationalism opened my eyes to a world beyond my own. I remember my piano professor in college, who spent extra hours coaching and encouraging me when I faced performance hurdles. I think especially of my "first" teachers, Mom and Dad, and the lessons of love they taught by their own untiring examples.

But when I consider the one teacher who most inspires me and millions upon millions today, I find Christ Jesus to be the greatest teacher of all time. In the Bible it's recorded that his listeners "were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority" (Mark 1:22, New Revised Standard Version). He used inspired symbolism and stories to illustrate the spiritual truths he taught. He asked questions of his listeners - got them thinking in new ways. He taught in poor places and wealthy ones, to the educated and to the outcasts, along the roadsides, in fishing boats, and by a well.

And he taught by example. We see Jesus praying, healing the sick, forgiving his enemies, and being "moved with compassion" (e.g., Mark 6:34). His actions defined God anew to humanity as divine Love, the All-Father, who is wholly good and ever present to heal and save.

Yet remarkably, Jesus never took credit as a personal teacher. He said, "I have not spoken on my own, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment about what to say and what to speak" (John 12:49, NRSV). He was inspired by God at all times, teaching and living from the basis of his spiritual unity with his Father. In fact, his spiritual individuality was the eternal Christ, the divine manifestation of God, which redeems humanity from ignorance, sickness, and sin. Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science and of this newspaper, writes, "Jesus aided in reconciling man to God by giving man a truer sense of Love, the divine Principle of Jesus' teachings, and this truer sense of Love redeems man from the law of matter, sin, and death by the law of Spirit,[226 128 137 ]- [226 128 137 ]the law of divine Love" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," p. …

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