On to Section Five for deeper study this morning. I remember the last time I worked with this story of Jesus healing the nobleman's son. It is here again in this week's Bible lesson about man, a lesson that has seven sections, each focusing on a different synonym for God. This section is about Life.
The nobleman had journeyed from his home in Capernaum to where Jesus was in Galilee. His son was at the point of death. At another time a father will come searching for Jesus when his only daughter lies at the point of death. In this story the father pleads with Jesus to come and heal his son. He believes Jesus can heal this but he wants him to come with him to do it. Jesus' answer is to say 'Go thy way, thy son liveth'. And with that word given with authority and power, the man believed him and started home. The next day, he is met by his servants who have come to find him with good news. The boy lives! When the father questions when this change began to take place, they tell him that the day before the fever had completely left him. Instantaneous healing! And the father knew then that it was at the moment Jesus had spoken.
Mrs. Eddy points out something interesting. "Jesus never asked if disease were acute or chronic, and he never recommended drugs, never prayed to know if God were willing that a man should live. He understood man, whose Life is God, to be immortal, and knew that man has not two lives, one to be destroyed and the other to be made indestructible." (S&H 369:16-22) In this Bible account there is not mention of Jesus asking the father how bad this illness was, if that child had always had a tendency to it, or could he describe the symptoms. He did not give the man a prescription to go get filled, he did not kneel in prayer and ask God if He were willing to let this boy live. He just knew, right then and there, that the boy did not have two lives, one that could be lost and one that could be healed. He had one Life and that is God. He was already perfect and whole just as God had made him. He had never been exposed to anything that could endanger that Life. It had never been true about him because it had never been true about God. Jesus did not need to be physcially present for the healing to take place. It already had.
When we turn to God in an hour of need, when we seek out the healing power of the Christ, whether it is with our own prayers or with the support of a Christian Science practitioner, can we respond to the word spoken with authority that tells us to 'go our way, the problem is healed'? That father did not continue to plead with Jesus, he accepted his answer. He 'went on his way' because expected the healing. He might not have believed in instananeous healing but he was given proof of that the next day. Not only did he believe, but his whole household also believed.
"Faith should enlarge its borders and strengthen its base by resting on Spirit instead of matter." (S&H 429:6-7) The daily study and appplication of Christian Science does that for us. Enlarge the borders of your understanding. Strengthen the basis of your thinking. And be willing to 'go your way' confident of healing.