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Lesson 4 Matthew 5-7

Lesson 4 Matthew 5-7
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A Spiritual Interpretation of the Gospels

As taught by:
Unity School for Religious Studies
Unity Village, MO 64065

Lesson Outline


Metaphysical insights from the Sermon on the Mount concerning:

  1. Keeping the single eye
  2. Be not anxious
  3. Avoiding unfair judgments
  4. Not casting pearls before swine
  5. Asking and receiving
  6. Erroneous belief in safety in numbers
  7. Warning against false prophets
  1. Matt. 5-7
  2. (Same as in Lesson 3)
  1. What is meant by keeping the single eye?
  2. Why is the habit of anxiety a serious mistake?
  3. How should we judge? How should we not judge?
  4. What is the metaphysical principle which assures us that sincere seeking will have successful results?
  5. What is the metaphysical meaning of "false prophets," and how can they be detected?

Lesson Text


"... if your eye is sound. ..." (single, KJV) "... you cannot serve God and mammon." (Matt. 6:22, 24) In this teaching our attention is called to one of the most vitally important of metaphysical realizations. The essential meaning here is the necessity that we acknowledge only ONE TRUE SOURCE for all our good. The "sound eye" or "single eye" is the acknowledgment of one source, God.

False sources (things which we erroneously believe to be sources) are called "mammon." Mammon cannot help being mammon. Mammon symbolizes the things of the world. There is nothing intrinsically bad or evil about this. But to worship mammon is wrong. And we worship that which we call the source of our good. Only God is the true source of all good, and only God should be worshipped. This is keeping the "single eye," and the result of keeping it is that "... your whole body will be full of light. ..." (Matt. 6:22)

Matt. 6:25-34 contains the great "be not anxious" statements. Anxiety is a negative emotion. There are times when moments of anxiety are quite natural, and they may even serve a useful purpose--just as the emotions of fright, sadness, remorse, etc., may sometimes serve useful purposes. But when any negative emotion becomes a habit or an attitude, then it becomes useless and dangerous. Anxiety is one of these.

The habit of anxiety is a type of rejection of God. And rejection of God is the most serious mistake a human being can make. Jesus urges us not to make that mistake. He urges us to let go of anxiety and remember the Truth instead. The Truth is always here. It is the omnipresence of God. And in His urgings, Jesus includes this wonderful assurance: "... your heavenly Father knows that you need them all (these things). But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well." (Matt. 6:32-33)

"Judge not, that you be not judged." (Matt. 7:1) This is the complete sentence spoken by Jesus, not the abbreviated version sometimes quoted, which can be misleading: "Judge not" (period). Judgment is one of our twelve spiritual faculties, and they are all to be used. If Jesus had simply told us not to judge, He would be contradicting much of His own teachings.

When Jesus tells us not to judge in a manner we would not want to be judged, He is also implying that we should judge in a manner we would be willing to be judged. The kind of judgment none of us wants is that of condemnation. Nor do we want anything negative about ourselves called a finality. Otherwise we can judge others fairly, as we are quite willing to be judged fairly.

"Do not give dogs what is holy; and do not throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under foot and turn to attack you." (Matt. 7:6) "Dogs" and "swine" can be metaphysically understood in this statement as symbols of anything in life to which we should not connect our sense of I Am. Our sense of I Am is a pearl of great price. It should also be considered as holy. It is very important that we give our sense of I Am only to that which is worthy. The worthiest of all are divine ideas. If we connect our sense of I Am only to divine ideas, then we are always on safe ground. Divine ideas will never "turn to attack" us. Swine (negative emotions) will always "turn to attack" us.

"Ask, and it will be given you: seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receiveth, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks, it will be opened." (Matt. 7:7)

These words are surely among the most positive in the entire Bible. Nothing quite like them had ever been uttered before. Why could Jesus make such a tremendously positive statement? Simply because He understood the laws of God so thoroughly. He also understood the powers within man's consciousness as no one else had ever understood them.

God's love, wisdom, substance, and power are omnipresent. These aspects of God are what respond'to man's efforts in consciousness. These aspects of God are what result in answers to prayer. On a trans-historical level, much of what Jesus taught seems particularly appropriate for later times, as though He knew that evolution for mankind would progress, and the time would come when man would have developed consciousness to the extent where swift and sure answers to prayer would be normal procedure.

That time has now come. We are evolving into the new Age (Aquarius, New Testament, Kingdom of Heaven, Worship of God in Spirit, etc.) The time has arrived for the fulfillment of many of Jesus' words, which were still only "promises" back when He uttered them. We now have a consciousness of sufficient power to assure us of swiftly, if not instantly answered prayer.

In this section of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus makes a statement which many Truth students choose to ignore (or they blame it on incorrect translation!). "If you then, WHO ARE EVIL, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!" (Matt. 7:11)

This is clearly a case of Jesus using the word "evil." He uses it many other times. He also often uses the words "sin" and "wicked." These are not words which Truth students like to hear. They are words which many Truth teachers refuse to ever speak. Yet Jesus did not hesitate to speak them when they were the words which said what He had in mind.

Evil is not the name of a "thing." There is not something in the world called "evil." The same goes for sin. It is not the name of "something." Yet sin and evil exist. Then what exactly are they? On a metaphysical level of thinking, the meanings of "evil" and "sin" become quite clear: Evil and sin are words we use to refer to ANY HUMAN ATTEMPT TO NEGATE ANY DIVINE IDEAS.

There must be a human being involved in order for it to be sin or evil. Without a human being who is doing ft, there is no sin or evil. But the moment any human being is doing it, then there is sin or evil. But we should always remember that sin and evil are not the names of real things; they are words which name certain misguided human efforts.

"Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few." (Matt. 7:13, 14) This is another statement made by Jesus which seems to be largely ignored. He is, in effect, telling us that it is unwise to trust large numbers just because they are large. He warns us not to believe that safety lies in large numbers. We need not be ashamed to be a minority, if that minority is on a right path. The mob may choose a wider and easier path, but mobs are usually untrustworthy. "The way is hard" means exactly what it says. Development of the whole person; spirit, soul, and body, is a gift from God. Our part in receiving that gift requires hard work (not "toil"), a dedication for Truth and perseverance in consciousness like no other human endeavor. Advanced metaphysical thinking always sees God as ONE. And metaphysical thinking always understands that one with God is a majority.

"Thus you will know them by their fruits." (Matt. 7:20) Jesus makes this commentary after giving His warning about false prophets. (Matt. 7:15-19) What are false prophets? Most people think they are persons who do not belong to the same religious movement that they do. Anyone who believes in or teaches something religious which I do not understand or agree with, I am tempted to call him a false prophet.

But, as in all cases, Jesus had a meaning that goes much deeper than the surface of religious opinions. There is an important metaphysical meaning here, and metaphysical meanings are the same for all persons, regardless of time, place, or circumstances. A false prophet refers to anything in life which makes promises but does not keep them. Fa\lse prophets abound in the world. They can be found in religion, in business, in the arts, and in human relationships. They are not necessarily "wicked," but they are false. They do not produce the results they promise.

How can we recognize a false prophet from a true one? By the results in people's lives. "Thus you will know them by their fruits." Examples of false prophets:

  1. All negative emotions
  2. One-sided opinions
  3. Negative thinking
  4. Belief that anything can be a finality
  5. Seeking revenge
  6. The belief that "more" equals "better"

Jesus ends the Sermon on the Mount using the imagery of a house built upon a foundation of rock and one built on a foundation of sand. (Matt. 7:24-27) The house is a symbol of consciousness. A person who builds his consciousness on teachings of metaphysical Truth is building an indestructible edifice, which nothing in the outer world can damage or destroy. A person who builds his consciousness only on outer appearances, popular opinion, negative thoughts and emotions, etc. is building a dangerous edifice for his place of abode.

It is interesting to note that in all teachings Jesus includes the fact that man always has freedom of choice in his use of consciousness. God does not force Truth on us. God reveals it. We have freedom of choice, and life is always bringing to us opportunities for choice.

The final paragraph concerning the Sermon is: "And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were ASTONISHED at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes." (Matt. 7:28, 29) Indeed they must have been astonished. Nothing like this can be found in all recorded literature. Jesus' sentences are like a series of beneficial shock treatments to the mind. Most persons are in a state of semi-sleep where religious thinking is concerned. Most persons live by the motto "seeing is believing." The words of the Sermon on the Mount go against this state of mind inertia. When spoken with the divine authority which Jesus had, these teachings must have had an impact difficult for us today to imagine.

But every word of this Sermon is totally comtemporary. In fact, the teachings are more applicable today than when Jesus spoke them. Mankind has evolved a great deal in 2,000 years. Jesus' teachings are on the level of new age thinking (Aquarian, New Testament, God as Spirit, Kingdom of Heaven) and mankind is now in process of evolving into this new level.

Preceding Entry: Gospels Metaphysics 3: Lesson 3 John 5 and Matthew 5
Following Entry: Gospels Metaphysics 5: Lesson 5