Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of John Chapter 18
Metaphysically Interpreting John 18:1-11
18:1When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Kidron, where was a garden, into which he entered, himself and his disciples. 18:2Now Judas also, who betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus oft-times resorted thither with his disciples.18:3Judas then, having received the band of soldiers, and officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons. 18:4Jesus therefore, knowing all the things that were coming upon him, went forth, and saith unto them, Whom seek ye? 18:5They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, who betrayed him, was standing with them. 18:6When therefore he said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground. 18:7Again therefore he asked them, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth. 18:8Jesus answered, I told you that I am he; if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way: 18:9that the word might be fulfilled which he spake, Of those whom thou hast given me I lost not one. 18:10Simon Peter therefore having a sword drew it, and struck the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. Now the servant's name was Malchus. 18:11Jesus therefore said unto Peter, Put up the sword into the sheath: the cup which the Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?
Metaphysically Interpreting John 18:12-14
18:12So the band and the chief captain, and the officers of the Jews, seized Jesus and bound him, 18:13and led him to Annas first; for he was father in law to Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. 18:14Now Caiaphas was he that gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.
June 21, 1914: John 18:1-14
The I AM must demonstrate that it is Spirit, omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent. The first step in this demonstration is to send forth the words of consummation, just as it had taken place. Jesus spoke such words in the previous chapter, John 17. Then these words spoken from the powerful standpoint of the I AM set up counter thought vibrations in the consciousness and there is unusual commotion. Because of this chemicalization which frequently takes place in consciousness, some people refrain from “high statements,” but high places spiritually cannot be attained by the fainthearted. When you perceive the Truth, speak the words regardless of consequences. “Hew to the line, and let the chips fall where they may.”
After Jesus had made that most transcendently beautiful prayer of renunciation of self, as recorded in John 17, he had to meet the personal self and handle it in an orderly way, that “the Scripture might be fulfilled,” or the prescribed order, through which man passes from one state of consciousness to another, be carried out. Character building is according to exact scientific laws, and every thought generates a current that goes to clothe in form some faculty of the mind. These faculties are God-given, and man is held responsible for the forms in which they appear. He cannot set them aside with the arbitrary word of their nothingness, but must deal with them in an intelligent manner.
After Jesus, the I Am, had made the renunciation of self, he had to deal with the various forms of self in the world and in his own consciousness. There is an impersonal thought current of selfishness in the race consciousness which we all touch, when we deal with the things of this world. We call it the cold selfishness of the world. The brook Cedron, verse 1, means in the original Greek, “winter torrent,” and the “garden” locates it in the world of universal thought. But this is a small matter compared to that great personal self in the subjective consciousness, Judas, who knows the place, and takes advantage of its darkness to capture the I AM. He comes with a “band” (combative thoughts) and “officers from the chief priests and Pharisees” (the ideas of priestly authority and religious guidance from the standpoint of the letter), “lanterns, torches, and weapons” (light of the intellect, torch of reason, and force of circumstances).
But Jesus knows that these must be met, and he boldly stands forth and says, “Whom seek ye? They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I AM.” (The word “he” [in “I AM he”] is not in the original Greek, and should be omitted, not only here, but in nearly every place in the scripture where Jesus uses I AM). “As soon as he had said unto them, I AM, they went backward, and fell to the ground.” This is to show us the distinctive power of the I AM by constantly affirming ourselves to be it, in spite of apparent subjugation to temporary circumstances.
Your faith (Peter) in the righteousness of your cause may lead you to combat the thoughts of the ruling religious powers, and in your impetuosity you resent their counsel(“Maichus,” counselor), and deny their capacity to receive Truth (“cut off his right ear”), but good judgment and a broad comprehension of the divine overcoming, through which you are passing, causes you to adopt pacific means. “Put up thy sword into thy sheath.”
“The cup which the Father hath given me” is the consciousness of eternal life. This must be attained through an utter crossing out or crucifixion of the personal self, both on its objective and subjective planes of volition; hence “they lead him away,” that other processes of the divine law might be carried out.
- UNITY magazine.
April 18, 1943: John 18:10-12
How should we take the “cup from the hand of the Father”? We should accept as divinely ordered all that for the present seems inevitable. We thereby avoid the negative attitude of criticism, resentment, and rebellion, all of which unfit us for meeting and coping with our daily tasks. “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to accomplish his work.” This firm conviction sustains us at all times.
Metaphysically Interpreting John 18:15-18
18:15And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Now that disciple was known unto the high priest, and entered in with Jesus into the court of the high priest;18:16but Peter was standing at the door without. So the other disciple, who was known unto the high priest, went out and spake unto her that kept the door, and brought in Peter. 18:17The maid therefore that kept the door saith unto Peter, Art thou also one of this man's disciples? He saith, I am not. 18:18Now the servants and the officers were standing there, having made a fire of coals; for it was cold; and they were warming themselves: and Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself.
Metaphysically Interpreting John 18:19-24
18:19The high priest therefore asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his teaching. 18:20Jesus answered him, I have spoken openly to the world; I ever taught in synagogues, and in the temple, where all the Jews come together; and in secret spake I nothing.18:21Why askest thou me? Ask them that have heard me, what I spake unto them: behold, these know the things which I said. 18:22And when he had said this, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, Answerest thou the high priest so? 18:23Jesus answered him, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me?18:24Annas therefore sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest.
Metaphysically Interpreting John 18:25-27
18:25Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They said therefore unto him, Art thou also one of his disciples? He denied, and said, I am not. 18:26One of the servants of the high priest, being a kinsman of him whose ear Peter cut off, saith, Did not I see thee in the garden with him? 18:27Peter therefore denied again: and straightway the cock crew.
December 14, 1919: John 18:15-27
From a metaphysical viewpoint, what is the important point brought out in this lesson? The important point to the metaphysician, is an understanding of the experiences which the supreme realization brings about before the spiritual demonstration is made manifest. As a result of Jesus Christ (the spiritual I Am in expression) boldly penetrating into the Jewish synagogues and temples (fixed religious states of consciousness), and there laying the foundation for the real Church of Christ (that which follows true spiritual light), the testing time of the strength and durability of this great Power, represented by Jesus, was at hand.
Were Jesus’ disciples (the faculties of the I Am) strong enough to sustain him through this trial? No. They fled, all but two. One disciple, supposed to be John, was able to follow, enter in, and support the Master. Peter (Faith) followed afar off.
Was John (Love) able to bring Peter (Faith) into closer touch with the Master? Yes. The spiritual warmth of love draws into closer proximity the faculty of faith, proving that these powers are closely allied with each other.
Is Peter to be condemned for denying Jesus? No. He had not yet unfolded to that spiritual degree where he was able to face seemingly strong adversity and stand firm. He had not yet learned that “Truth crushed to earth” always arises stronger and more beautiful than ever, that, as the rose (the symbol of truth) must be crushed in order to give forth its sweetest perfume, so, too, the living Word must go through a similar process in order that its essence and fragrance may be scattered to the uttermost ends of the earth.
June 15, 1952: John 18:15-27
Since we have the power to lay hold of ideas and to turn our thoughts towards either good or evil, what responsibility rests upon us in regard to our Speech? Our duty is to create images or lay hold of ideas in harmony with Truth, the images of Divine Mind, and to give them expression in words that truly out-picture these ideas.
What law do evil thoughts and reports obey? The law of increase. They grow by what they feed on. To say that someone is ill fixes on him the down-drag of the race thought and tends to retard his recovery.
Is the true word also subject to increase? Yes, but less noticeably, because the truth is taken for granted and attracts less attention than falsehood.
What influence may quench truth? Fear is one potent influence. Peter, who was among the first of the disciples chosen by Jesus, feared the Jewish rulers, and his fear caused him three times to deny that he knew the Master. Love knows no fear, but in this case fear overcame love for a time, and the truth went down with it.
In the Spirit of the Christ is the truth easily spoken? The Spirit of the Christ is the Spirit of truth. The testimony of Jesus, when questioned by the high priest, is an example of the truth spoken in wisdom. He denied teaching any secret doctrine, and called for the corroborative testimony of witnesses who had heard it and who could testify to its content. Under the Mosaic law, He was entitled to this corroborative testimony, as His hearers well knew.
Is absolute truth ever mistaken for falsehood? By those in sense or material consciousness it is usually so taken. Sense consciousness leads a person to consider disease, poverty, and other negative evils true states, when they are seen in expression in the physical or mental realm.
Metaphysically Interpreting John 18:28-38a
18:28They lead Jesus therefore from Caiaphas into the Praetorium: and it was early; and they themselves entered not into the Praetorium, that they might not be defiled, but might eat the passover. 18:29Pilate therefore went out unto them, and saith, What accusation bring ye against this man? 18:30They answered and said unto him, If this man were not an evildoer, we should not have delivered him up unto thee. 18:31Pilate therefore said unto them, Take him yourselves, and judge him according to your law. The Jews said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death: 18:32that the word of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he spake, signifying by what manner of death he should die.
18:33Pilate therefore entered again into the Praetorium, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews? 18:34Jesus answered, Sayest thou this of thyself, or did others tell it thee concerning me? 18:35Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done? 18:36Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. 18:37Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end have I been born, and to this end am I come into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. 18:38Pilate saith unto him, What is truth?
Metaphysically Interpreting John 18:38b-40
And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find no crime in him. 18:39But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews? 18:40They cried out therefore again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber.)
May 21, 1905: John 18:28-40
When Jesus, the I AM identity in every man, makes a unity with the Christ, or super-consciousness of his being, a spiritualizing process of the whole manifest part of the man sets in and is slowly carried forward, or rapidly, according to the attention given to spiritual matters. In the case of Jesus Christ we have portrayed one who was faithful to the higher law, and who went from stage to stage of development without a break in the chain.
When man perceives the universality of Truth, he outgrows both religion (Jews) and mortal laws (Romans). Yet these have been in thought built up in consciousness, and they rebel against the new order or kingdom which the higher law is setting up. The religious thought is the loudest in its denunciation of the Universal Truth. It has its rites and ceremonies, and its points of separation between the spiritual and material. This Jewish thought demands the death of the one who has denounced its Phariseeism, yet will not enter the palace of the Roman governor for fear of defilement.
This disregard for justice is characteristic of the religions mind. There is a religious hypnotism that argues justification for acts that the law of the land count criminal. Pilate represents justice disassociated from religious fanaticism. When religion denounces the one who opposes its bigotry, it calls upon the mortal law to carry out the death penalty which it promulgates but has not the power to execute.
There is a very deep significance in the statement of Jesus, signifying by what manner of death he should die. The fact is that it is the Jews and the Romans that die at the crucifixion of Truth. The real ego is resurrected, and the Truth which he proclaims supersedes both Judaism and paganism. The “manner of death” is the cross, which is symbolical of the mathematical accuracy of the law under which the body has been brought. The upright standard and crossbar of the cross have a deep significance to the student of religious symbols. The cross represents the exact proportions of the man in Christ, and the physical form is nailed to this standard again and again, until it conforms to the law of perfect manifestation.
The I Am in its hours of agony seems a sorry looking king. Its claims are mocked by Jews with a crown of thorns and questioned by Romans in sarcastic derision. Yet it quietly assents “I am a king.” Yet “My kingdom is not of this world,” “My mind to me a kingdom is,” said the poet. It was this kingdom of the mind to which Jesus referred. The mind in Divine Order bears witness to the Truth, and this is above and beyond all earthly rulers.
March 30, 1947: John 18:37-38
What faculty is among the first to develop in life? The will, which is directed in infancy and throughout life by the sense self, unless it is brought under control of the divine will.
When can self-will be transformed into good will? This transformation becomes possible, when the individual enters into the Christ consciousness.
How do we control our faculties? Through the I AM, when we affirm our oneness with it, and are conscious of its dominion.
Can personal will or self-will be transformed completely, when it has gained entire ascendancy over a person? It can be, although the process of transformation tests a person's mettle. The personal will is represented in the text for today by Pilate (“armed with a javelin”).
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 01-14-2014