The Distinction Between Jesus and the Christ

The Distinction Between Jesus and the Christ

Jesus and the Christ

I was struck while studying the Christian Science Bible lesson for this week by the distinctions made between Jesus and the Christ. These very perceptive and helpful distinctions came around in later revisions of the Christian Science textbook, and correlated with an immediate and immense surge of growth both in the Christian Science movement at the time, as well as proportionate increased understanding of God and man in the public that results in healing.

The list compiled here is by no mean exhaustive; I can think off top of my head great bits that are not included from both the Bible and the Christian Science textbook. For example this bit from the Christian Science textbook is important: “The word Christ is not properly a synonym for Jesus, though it is commonly so used. Jesus was a human name, which belonged to him in common with other Hebrew boys and men, for it is identical with the name Joshua, the renowned Hebrew leader. On the other hand, Christ is not a name so much as the divine title of Jesus. Christ expresses God’s spiritual, eternal nature. The name is synonymous with Messiah, and alludes to the spirituality which is taught, illustrated, and demonstrated in the life of which Christ Jesus was the embodiment. The proper name of our Master in the Greek was Jesus the Christ; but Christ Jesus better signifies the Godlike.” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy page 333)

The list below comes solely from this one week’s Bible lesson, and is impressive when examined side by side just as it is. There is obvious overlap between Jesus and the Christ, but I find the differences especially illuminating. Keep in mind that we are both to follow Jesus’ example as well as be Christlike– this is quite a to-do list for us as well– although fortunately none of us has to be the Messiah!

In the photos you can see my notes, the two columns of which I reproduce below:

Jesus:

• the way-shower
• the highest human concept of the perfect man
• inseparable from the Christ
• the Messiah
• the mediator between God and man
• mapped out a path for others
• unveiled the Christ
• demonstrated divine Love
• cast out error and healed the sick
• demonstrated Christ
• was moved with compassion
• went about all Galilee
• taught in the synagogue
• preached the gospel of the kingdom
• healed all manner of sickness and all manner of disease
• great multitudes of people followed him
• he marked out the way for all men
• he healed the blind and raised the dead
• annulled supposed laws of matter, opposed to the harmony of Spirit
• “beheld… the perfect man where sinning mortal man appears to mortals”
• is the resurrection and the life
• knew that God heareth him always
• prayed for all those that believed
• taught and demonstrated man’s oneness with the Father

Christ:

• the divine idea outside the flesh
• expresses God’s eternal Godlike nature
• name synonymous with the Messiah
• without beginning of years or end of days
• the spiritual idea
• the reflection of God
• comes to all prepared to receive it
• the true idea voicing good
• the divine message from God to men
• speaks to the human consciousness
• incorporeal, spiritual
• the divine image and likeness
• dispels the illusions of the senses
• the Way, the Truth, and the Life
• heals sickness, destroys sin, disease and death
• casts out devils
• mediator between God and man
• Lamb of God (spiritual idea of Love)
• the stature of the fullness of Christ is the perfect man
• Life’s spiritual ideal
• “is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth”
• one lawmaker
• in Christ we triumph
• can improve on a false sense
• inseparable from the divine Principle, God
• is all, and in all
• the ideal of God now and forever, here and everywhere

Maybe a future project will be making a more exhaustive list from research, but meanwhile this gives me not only food for thought but some action items as well!

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I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.

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  1. […] further thoughts on this check out this old blog post for more on the distinction between Jesus and the Christ. Also read this post about welcoming in […]

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