Following Christ Jesus

An introduction

Jesus' words and actions naturally inspire us to follow his example. This is more than worship. His pure and powerful love rouses us to love God supremely and to love others as ourselves. Learning from Jesus brings a desire to obey him by doing the works he instructed us to do. This includes healing the sick in body and mind by becoming so filled with the eternal Christ spirit that fear and doubt give place to God’s power. Christ is that Word of God lived so abundantly by Jesus that we can discern it in all ages. It is the healing power that dissolves suffering in exchange for the profound feeling of being loved and being well. Jesus was the divinely appointed Messiah, or Savior of the world, uniquely fitted to reveal the nature, all-power, and all-goodness of God in the way humankind could best understand. As the Bible explains, "there is one God and one mediator between God and humanity, the human Christ Jesus" (1 Tim. 2:5 Common English Bible).

Christ Jesus' life, works, and teachings

Jesus bringing back the lost sheep

"The Christian Science banner." Courtesy of The Mary Baker Eddy Library (more information)

When Jesus was born of a virgin in the Jewish community of Bethlehem, the world hardly knew that it happened or what it was going to mean. According to the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, only a few wise men, shepherds, and family members caught a glimpse of its significance before Jesus came of age and began his public ministry. One of the rare details known about Jesus’ early life offers an important indication about his understanding of his future mission. When his parents began the return home from Jerusalem after the Passover celebration when he was twelve, Jesus lingered behind. They searched for three days before finding him in the temple. He explained to his parents it was important for him to attend to the things of “his Father” (see Luke 2:49). From that time on, he referred to God most often as his Father. Later he taught his followers that his Father was also their Father. Christian Science teaches that it was Jesus’ inseparable relationship with God/his Father that enabled him to do his marvelous works. He healed people of immoral habits and all kinds of disease. On at least three occasions he raised those who had died.

Jesus’ inseparability from his Father was also crucial when he faced the darkest hours of his own trial and crucifixion. Although he foresaw the encounter he would face with the world’s hatred of his mission of self-sacrificing love, he prayed for the willingness and strength to stay faithful to God’s plan of salvation. Forgiving those who crucified him, praying for the wrongdoer crucified next to him, looking out for his mother’s well-being—all while he hung on the cross—hint at his measureless love for all humanity.

Jesus’ resurrection from death three days later proved to be the ultimate evidence of the power of Christ over all the world’s opposition to spiritual reality. It inspired hope and courage for his disciples to go and proclaim this greatest of news for humanity--that salvation from sin, suffering, and death had indeed come to earth as the prophets had foretold.

More insights

The relationship between Jesus’ works and his teaching that the kingdom, or government, of God is present now and within us, was a dawning light to Mary Baker Eddy.  She realized that Jesus understood a divine Truth, or Science, that is applicable in all ages to save the world from evil. She wrote in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, “The invisible Christ was imperceptible to the so-called personal senses, whereas Jesus appeared as a bodily existence.  This dual personality of the unseen and the seen, the spiritual and material, the eternal Christ and the corporeal Jesus manifest in flesh, continued until the Master's ascension, when the human, material concept, or Jesus, disappeared, while the spiritual self, or Christ, continues to exist in the eternal order of divine Science, taking away the sins of the world, as the Christ has always done, even before the human Jesus was incarnate to mortal eyes.” (p. 334)  The chapter titled "Atonement and Eucharist" from the same book explains more of Christian Science teaching about Jesus.

Also the 2013 document, “A Self-Understanding of Christian Science,” discusses the meaning of salvation, sacraments, and other theological topics in Christian Science.

The Christian Science Journal, Christian Science Sentinel, and The Herald of Christian Science regularly publish articles which provide healing insights into Jesus' life and teachings. Below are a few examples.

Heaven, hell, and salvation—in Bible terms
Jesus' healings ... today
God's Saving Power—for All