Science and Health
with Key to The Scriptures
by Mary Baker Eddy
Chapter XII
Christian Science Practice
Why art thou cast down, O my soul [sense]?
And why art thou disquieted within me?
Hope thou in God; for I shall yet praise Him,
Who is the health of my countenance and my God. – PSALMS.
And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name shall they
cast out devils: they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up
serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them;
they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. – JESUS.
A gospel narrative
IT is related in the seventh chapter of Luke's Gospel
that Jesus was once the honored guest of a certain
Pharisee, by name Simon, though he was quite unlike
Simon the disciple. While they were at meat, an unusual
incident occurred, as if to interrupt the scene
of Oriental festivity. A "strange woman"
came in. Heedless of the fact that she was debarred from
such a place and such society, especially under the stern
rules of rabbinical law, as positively as if she were a Hin-
doo pariah intruding upon the household of a high-caste
Brahman, this woman (Mary Magdalene, as she has
since been called) approached Jesus. According to the
custom of those days, he reclined on a couch with his
head towards the table and his bare feet away from it.
It was therefore easy for the Magdalen to come behind
the couch and reach his feet. She bore an alabaster jar
containing costly and fragrant oil, – sandal oil perhaps,
which is in such common use in the East. Breaking
the sealed jar, she perfumed Jesus' feet with the oil,
wiping them with her long hair, which hung loosely
about her shoulders, as was customary with women of her
Parable of the creditor
Did Jesus spurn the woman? Did he repel her adora-
tion? No! He regarded her compassionately. Nor was
this all. Knowing what those around him
were saying in their hearts, especially his host,
– that they were wondering why, being a prophet, the
exalted guest did not at once detect the woman's immoral
status and bid her depart, – knowing this, Jesus rebuked
them with a short story or parable. He described two
debtors, one for a large sum and one for a smaller, who
were released from their obligations by their common
creditor. "Which of them will love him most?" was the
Master's question to Simon the Pharisee; and Simon re-
plied, "He to whom he forgave most." Jesus approved
the answer, and so brought home the lesson to all, follow-
ing it with that remarkable declaration to the woman,
"Thy sins are forgiven."
Divine insight
Why did he thus summarize her debt to divine Love?
Had she repented and reformed, and did his insight
detect this unspoken moral uprising? She
bathed his feet with her tears before she
anointed them with the oil. In the absence of other
proofs, was her grief sufficient evidence to warrant the
expectation of her repentance, reformation, and growth
in wisdom? Certainly there was encouragement in the
mere fact that she was showing her affection for a man
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