Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of John Chapter 13
Metaphysically Interpreting John 13:1-20
13:1Now before the feast of the passover, Jesus knowing that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto his Father, having loved his own that were in the world, he loved them unto the end. 13:2And during supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him, 13:3Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all the things into his hands, and that he came forth from God, and goeth unto God, 13:4riseth from supper, and layeth aside his garments; and he took a towel, and girded himself. 13:5Then he poureth water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. 13:6So he cometh to Simon Peter. He saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? 13:7Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt understand hereafter. 13:8Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. 13:9Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. 13:10Jesus saith to him, He that is bathed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. 13:11For he knew him that should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.
13:12So when he had washed their feet, and taken his garments, and sat down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? 13:13Ye call me, Teacher, and, Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. 13:14If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another's feet. 13:15For I have given you an example, that ye also should do as I have done to you. 13:16Verily, verily, I say unto you, a servant is not greater than his lord; neither one that is sent greater than he that sent him. 13:17If ye know these things, blessed are ye if ye do them. 13:18I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled: He that eateth my bread lifted up his heel against me. 13:19From henceforth I tell you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he. 13:20Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.
June 7, 1914: John 13:1-15
In every act Jesus taught some lesson of soul unfoldment. When he sat at the last supper, there was contention among his disciples as to who should occupy first place at the table. This was pride of position. In countries where royalties are allowed, precedence at table is governed by rigid rules, and pride of rank cultivated and indulged to most ridiculous extremes. Mortal man loves to [be] “dressed in a little brief authority” and as a rule he is “most ignorant of what he's most assured.”
Spiritual consciousness puts to a common level all men and things. In the sight of God there is no great and no small. The Principle of Life supplies the dirty, lazy tramp as fully and freely as it does the most cultured lady. Those who “put on Christ” must do away with rank and file. The title of God in the heart makes man love and serve his enemies with the same service that he gives to his friends. Jesus washed the feet of each of his disciples, including Judas.
The feet are the most willing and patient servants of the body. They go all day at the bidding of the mind, and upon them rests the burden of the thought of materiality. The more we believe in matter the greater the burden laid upon the feet, and the more tired they become. The denial of materiality is illustrated in the washing by Jesus of the feet. Even Peter, Spiritual Faith, must be cleansed of his belief in the reality of material conditions. It seems a menial thing to wash feet, but Jesus taught and exemplified the willingness of Divine Love to serve in this humble way, that man may be redeemed from the pride of the flesh.
As Christ cleanses our understanding through his great love, so should we cleanse the understanding of our fellows. The great teacher delegated to his disciples and students in every age and land the ability and power to cleanse the mind of false standards of life. This is not only a teaching, but a life to be lived. The true teacher of practical Christianity must be himself a Christian, a follower of Jesus in all his ways. If there are those who need ministering to, yet like Judas are possessed of the adverse mind, they should receive the same humble service that is given to those in the faith. Of all the great teachers Jesus was the most impartial and humble. He associated with the despised publican and sinner, and did the menial office of a servant, that men might appreciate the unity of the One Life. Every adverse condition will succumb to Divine Love. Pour your love out upon your enemies and they will surrender in the end.
– UNITY magazine.
November 30, 1919: John 13:5-16
What was Jesus’ object in washing his disciples' feet? There had been contention among the disciples as to who would sit at the Master's right, and who at his left, in the kingdom. Jesus was wiping out this strife, thus bringing home to his followers that truth that he, who willingly performs lowly, humble service for others with no thought for personal distinction, the same is greatest in God's kingdom.
What symbolical meaning does this act typify? Jesus is the I Am, and the feet represent spiritual understanding, especially that phase of spiritual understanding which connects with the manifest world, and which reveals the right relationship towards worldly conditions in general. The “washing,” therefore, typifies a cleansing process, or a denial of personality and materiality.
Sunday, March 6, 1932: John 13:1-15
What does the feast of the Passover represent? The feast of the Passover was instituted in memory of the destroying angel's passing over the Hebrew households in Egypt. In spiritual evolution the Passover represents the passing of the soul consciousness from one plane to another without death of the body. The Passover is typified as a feast, because Spirit uplifts and transmutes both soul and body to spiritual essence.
What is the meaning of the statement, in the 1st verse of our text that Jesus knew that his hour had come in which He should depart from this world and go to the Father? The “world” means the sense of materiality in which the soul of man is immersed. Jesus had overcome materiality, and was about to be translated into completely spiritual consciousness.
Explain this phrase: “And during supper the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him.” Judas represents the life consciousness in the soul. The devil is the personal mind, which believes that it is sustained by material food. The belief that the body lives upon the food that it eats is responsible for material or sense consciousness, Satan.
How does one who understands the power of the spiritual word overcome the sense of materiality? As explained in the succeeding verses of this text, the overcomer, represented by Jesus, must know that the Father has given all things into his hands; that he is Spirit; that he came forth from God, and now identifies himself with God. The overcomer then proceeds to wash his disciples’ feet, which means that metaphysically he denies all sense of materiality in understanding.
Does Peter, representing faith, also require this cleansing of his understanding? Faith, like all the other faculties of the mind, must be freed from identification with material things. The faith of the unregenerate man functions in sense consciousness, and before such faith can attain spiritual ideas, the hold of matter and of material sensation must be dissolved.
Should this cleansing of the consciousness be confined to ourselves? When we have purified our own souls and lifted them to spiritual consciousness, we should then extend the same purifying service to others, that they too may be lifted up. “If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye also should do as I have done to you.”
Sunday, January 20, 1935: John 13:1-17
Did Jesus make clear to His disciples the way to greatness? Jesus taught His disciples by precept and example that greatness comes through service: “Whosoever would be first among you shall be your servant.”
What good does the one who serves derive from the service he renders to others? He learns to set aside his personal whims and to take thought for others, instead of considering his own pleasure and profit. He learns willingness to serve, and if he makes good use of his opportunities, he learns also guilelessness and trustfulness.
Communism seeks to put all men on a common level by breaking down the power of the capitalist class. Is there a better way to realize equality? Cultivating the spiritual consciousness offers a more satisfying solution than communism, for it puts all men on the same level without the use of violence.
In modern phraseology, what is the principle of life? The principle of life is God immanent in the universe as the great underlying cause of all manifestation.
What mind was in Christ Jesus? Divine Mind, the Spirit of infinite love and wisdom, animated Jesus Christ, making Him willing to become a servant to all and to crucify the personal self in order to do so.
On what principle does a man act who treats his friends and his enemies exactly alike? He is moved by the principle of impartiality or perfect equilibrium.
What makes the feet tired? Carrying the burdens that result from material thought tires the feet as well as the mind. Believing in the false importance of matter casts a heavy burden on these faithful servants also.
Did Jesus, in washing His disciples' feet, teach them other lessons than humility and service? Yes. He taught them that the race idea of matter as all-important is not true, and that whatever is worth doing is worth doing whole-heartedly.
How can divine love in the heart of man be recognized? Divine love makes itself known by its willingness to serve in humble ways, and also by the fact that it redeems man from personal pride.
Name the greatest spiritual service that we can render to others. We can speak for them the word of freedom from disease, lack, inharmony, and every other limiting condition, knowing that according to their own faith, united with ours, will it be unto them.
Sunday, March 14, 1943: John 13:12-20
From the viewpoint of the individual what is service? It is an opportunity to learn self-discipline and put aside the personal self in order to give full loyalty and devotion to the person or the cause that is served.
The Master performed a menial task for His disciples. What lesson do we find in that act? Self-mastery is gained through self-forgetfulness in service to those who need or require it, without reference to their rank or station. He who serves others best serves himself best.
Why is humility desirable? Because it makes us teachable. Pride closes the mind to further understanding.
Why are we “blessed” if we continue humble? Because the Infinite includes all wisdom and understanding, and our progress in these fields is without bound or limit, as long as we have an open mind and a desire to learn. He who is greatest in understanding is closest to God.
Why is it that he who serves others serves also himself? Because all are one in Christ. We cannot benefit others without benefiting ourselves at the same time.
What does spiritual understanding include? It includes knowledge of past and future, as well as understanding of the present. “Henceforth I tell you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he.”
“He that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.” What is the import of this verse? The mind of Christ is the mind of God. Whoever awakens the Christ in himself and expresses it in his life and actions receives God into his inner life and expresses God.
Metaphysically Interpreting John 13:21-30
13:21When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in the spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. 13:22The disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake. 13:23There was at the table reclining in Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. 13:24Simon Peter therefore beckoneth to him, and saith unto him, Tell us who it is of whom he speaketh.13:25He leaning back, as he was, on Jesus' breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it? 13:26Jesus therefore answereth, He it is, for whom I shall dip the sop, and give it him. So when he had dipped the sop, he taketh and giveth it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 13:27And after the sop, then entered Satan into him. Jesus therefore saith unto him, What thou doest, do quickly. 13:28Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him. 13:29For some thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus said unto him, Buy what things we have need of for the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor. 13:30He then having received the sop went out straightway: and it was night.
Metaphysically Interpreting John 13:31-35
13:31When therefore he was gone out, Jesus saith, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him; 13:32and God shall glorify him in himself, and straightway shall he glorify him. 13:33Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say unto you.13:34A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; even as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 13:35By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
February 27, 1937: John 13:34-35
How is love applied to [?] reasonings? Peace and good will are expressions of love that free man to develop his intellectual and spiritual powers to the full. Hatred, strife, and contention interrupt or retard his development of Godlikeness.
How did Jesus love His disciples? Jesus kept faith with Peter, even when the latter denied Him. Judas Iscariot He treated as an honored guest on the night of betrayal. Jesus kept faith with the Father and beheld only Him in His disciples and in other men, regardless of appearances.
December 18, 1938: John 13:34-35
What is the basis of the new commandment? The new commandment of Jesus Christ is based on the impersonal principle of love for love's sake, regardless of the attitude of those who are loved.
How did Jesus love His disciples? He took thought for them first, and last for Himself, even when He was facing arrest and crucifixion. He held them in His thought and kept and guarded them in the Father's name, and He continued to teach them as long as He was with them in the flesh.
Sunday, November 30, 1941: John 34-35
Is love subject to man's control and direction? Yes. He can develop and express love in harmony with the principles of the Christ mind regardless of whether its object is lovable or unlovable.
How did Jesus love His disciples? By seeing them as spiritually perfect. The I AM sees man's faculties as perfect also. Faith is unfailing, love divine, strength inexhaustible, judgment flawless, understanding perfect, will good, imagination true, power always sufficient, appropriation selfless, zeal always in order, wisdom unceasing, order divine.
With reference to the faculties, what is meant by the words “if ye have love one to another”? The spiritual nature and relationship of the faculties is made manifest when they are developed harmoniously and expressed in unity.
December 11, 1943: John 12:34-35
What is new in the commandment that Jesus gave to His disciples? They were to love one another as He had loved them. He had taught them the perfect expression of love without condemnation or false judgment, and He had held them in the thought of their innate perfection regardless of appearances. “While I was with them, I kept them in thy name which thou hast given me.” Love intelligently directed and truly expressed is what Jesus wished His disciples to have for one another.
How could the disciples be recognized by the exercise of the invisible quality love? Although love is invisible, its effects are plainly manifest. The love of the Christ, when fully exerted, has power to protect its object, and it stirs those who receive it to express the ideals that are held of them. Those who express the love of the Christ and those who receive it are alike outstanding.
Is the wisdom of loving easily learned? To keep the commandments of the Christ is not easy, because such keeping requires complete faithfulness and devotion. When faithfulness and devotion are equal to the keeping of the commandments of the Christ, then it is easy to abide in love.
Metaphysically Interpreting John 13:36-38
13:36Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered, Whither I go, thou canst not follow now; but thou shalt follow afterwards. 13:37Peter saith unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee even now? I will lay down my life for thee. 13:38Jesus answereth, Wilt thou lay down thy life for me? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.
November 30, 1919: John 13:36-38
What is the leading characteristic of Peter (Faith) before he is firmly established in spiritual consciousness? Changeableness. He typifies that state of unsteadiness which fluctuates from the high spiritual to the material, yet with an ever recurring desire for Spirit and for the things of Spirit, which is bound to always lead into the light.
Why did Jesus (the I Am) say that “Ye are not all clean”? Because Judas (Life) was not established in the purity and the freedom of Spirit. Therefore the whole man was not yet redeemed.
Define Jesus' words, “Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow afterwards.” Jesus (the I Am), though sure of spiritual guidance, was carefully making preparations to travel over new, untried ground, the object of which was to open the way into the kingdom, that realm of Divine Ideas, which would make the path easier, not only for his disciples, but for all humanity. He knew that his disciples (faculties of mind) had a work to do before they were strong enough to follow and to enter therein.
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 01-08-2014