A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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not absolute. Where no principle was involved He advocated the observance of the law, < Go, show yourself to the priest and offer for thy cleansing ', He told the leper who had been healed. But whenever it seemed that law or the commentary thereon would supersede the demands of humanity, He brushed them aside with such revolutionary dicta as, ' The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath \ To the unnecessary things of life He attached small importance. The avaricious man made no profit if he gained the whole world but lost his own soul in the process. Jesus was no respecter of persons ; He swept away all artificial barriers between man and man, regarding all as being equally the children of God, a fact which love is bound to acknowledge.
It is a natural consequence of the true inwardness of His Gospel that Jesus was tolerant of the merely disreputable sins, and He looked beneath the surface to diagnose the diseases of which vice and blameworthy conduct were the symptoms. His sternest censure and reproof were reserved for pretence, which implies any kind of double dealing and deliberate concealment of motive ; for hard-heartedness and want of love ; and for calculating worldliness. Usually He spoke of sin in connection with repentance, and His outlook was far from being morbid or self-tormenting. In this respect mediaeval piety was harsh and untrue to Him ; it often turned humility into self-abhorrence a very different feeling. Strongly critical of tradition, Jesus sought always to adopt a positive attitude to life. This is especially conspicuous in His treatment of physical suffering. When the Jews would have sat down to discuss whether it was the sick man or his ancestors who had sinned, Jesus set about to heal the sickness. In this connection He taught a doctrine very different from that which was current among His contemporaries.