Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of John Chapter 5
Metaphysically Interpreting John 5:1-18
5:1After these things there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 5:2Now there is in Jerusalem by the sheep gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew Bethesda, having five porches. 5:3In these lay a multitude of them that were sick, blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.5:4for an angel of the Lord went down at certain seasons into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the waters stepped in was made whole, with whatsoever disease he was holden.5:5And a certain man was there, who had been thirty and eight years in his infirmity. 5:6When Jesus saw him lying, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wouldest thou be made whole? 5:7The sick man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. 5:8Jesus saith unto him, Arise, take up thy bed, and walk. 5:9And straightway the man was made whole, and took up his bed and walked.
Now it was the sabbath on that day. 5:10So the Jews said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath, and it is not lawful for thee to take up thy bed. 5:11But he answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk. 5:12They asked him, Who is the man that said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk? 5:13But he that was healed knew not who it was; for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in the place. 5:14Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing befall thee. 5:15The man went away, and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him whole. 5:16And for this cause the Jews persecuted Jesus, because he did these things on the sabbath. 5:17But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh even until now, and I work. 5:18For this cause therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only brake the sabbath, but also called God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
February 19, 1905: John 5:1-15
Jerusalem is the spiritual center in consciousness. A feast in Jerusalem is a receptive state of mind toward all spiritual good. Jerusalem means “the city of peace.” When we get deep down into the silent recesses of our souls, we realize a stillness and sweetness beyond expression. There is a great peace there, the “peace that passeth understanding,” and a welling up of an indescribable substance that fills the whole being with satisfaction. This is the point in consciousness where the inflow of original substance takes place. It is physically a nerve center just back of the stomach; spiritually it is the realization in the soul of the unfailing substance of Divine Mind. This consciousness of the soul makes the physical representation.
By dwelling mentally upon God as our substance, and centering our attention at this place, we can increase the substance flow to the point of appeasing hunger. The coming man will supply his stomach with food in this way and through this process of thought appropriation, draw into his organism all the elements necessary to its needs on the plane of consciousness.
Sheep are the most harmless and innocent of all the animals, and they represent the natural life, which flows into man's consciousness from Spirit. It is pure, innocent, guileless, and when we open our minds to this realization of Spirit-life, we open the gate by the sheep market.
Here is a pool called Bethesda, meaning “House of Mercy,” or “Place of receiving and caring for the sick.” There are also five porches of covered colonnades. This “pool” is formed by the realization that our life is being constantly purified, healed and made new by the activity of mind. Physically this is expressed in the purification and upbuilding of the blood by coming in contact with the oxygen of the air in the lungs. The ebb and flow of the waters of the pool is constantly going on, and when our minds are active, all the depleted blood corpuscles are purified and renewed.
This great multitude of “sick folk,” or depleted life-corpuscles, lie here near this pool under the “five porches,” or five-sense limitations. The five-sense consciousness does not realize the power of I Am to quicken these inner functions of man's organism, but lets the weak, depleted life-cells accumulate and burden its system, when a thought of the activity of life would, through the Divine Law, set them free from their helplessness.
It is not necessary that all the purification and renewing of the depleted corpuscles shall take place through the lungs, when man understands the power of I Am to declare the word of activity. Jesus, the I Am of Spirit, did not tell the man to go down into the pool and be healed, but said, “Arise, take up thy bed, and walk.” Thus we see that the work of the Spirit is not confined to physical processes, although it does not ignore them. If your lung capacity is not equal to the purification of your blood, increase it by declaring the law of active life. Anaemic blood may be made vigorous and virile by daily centering the attention in the lungs, and affirming them to be spiritual, and under the perpetual inflow of new life and outflow of old life. Command these life centers to do your will.
Don't be limited by the so-called established laws of Nature, or man's mortal thought, that if you have reached the age of “thirty-eight” the life current is beginning to wane, that your “Sabbath,” or day of rest, is setting in. It is “lawful” in Spirit to declare the perpetual activity of life anywhere, at any time, and under all circumstances. Divine Life takes no cognizance of the laws that the intellect has set up for its governing. Life is ever active. It is constantly present in all its fullness and power, and it has no day of rest, or “Sabbath.”
November 25, 1917: John 5:1-15
What, in consciousness, does Jerusalem symbolize? Jerusalem symbolizes the spiritual center in consciousness. It is called the “city of peace.”
What does the “pool of Bethesda” symbolize? The “pool of Bethesda” symbolizes that point in consciousness where we feel the flow of the cleansing life of the Spirit.
What does the “sheep gate” typify? Sheep represent the natural, innocent expression of spiritual life, and the “sheep gate'“ is the channel through which this life flows into the organism.
What do the “five porches” represent? The “five porches” represent the five-sense limitation, which does not realize the power of the Spirit. The porches are filled with the “sick, blind, halt and withered,” or unregenerated ideas.
What redemptive work in consciousness is represented in the healing of the man at the pool? This healing represents the power of the I Am (typified by Jesus) to restore the equilibrium of the organism through the activity of spiritual ideas in consciousness, independent of the healing methods utilized by the man of sense.
What is the application in individual consciousness of the objections of the Jews to the “healing on the Sabbath day”? Here is pictured the activity of the letter (the Jews) and the Spirit (Jesus) of spiritual law. When man is really quickened of the Spirit he comes into the realization of the continuity of life in the organism, and is not limited by any laws of nature.
What is the Sabbath as related to healing? The Sabbath as related to healing involves the constant realization of the omnipresence of spiritual powers, wherein there is no cessation of the healing, transforming work of the Spirit.
March 23, 1919: John 5:1-13
What, in consciousness, do the “Jews” represent? In consciousness, the “Jews” represent those thoughts which recognize God as the Supreme Power. But they have not a working knowledge of the laws of being, which is attained through coming under the dominion and direction of Spiritual I Am (Jesus).
What does a “feast” symbolize? A “feast” symbolizes appropriation in a large measure.
What is the significance of “a feast of the Jews”? “A feast of the Jews” signifies the appropriation of Divine potentialities. As the consciousness lays hold of Divine Ideas, Spiritual I Am (Jesus) draws near to direct their activity.
Where, in body-consciousness, is “Jerusalem” located? In body-consciousness “Jerusalem” is located in the solar plexus region.
What, in consciousness, does the “poor of Bethesda,” “by the sheep gate.” and “having five porches,” represent? “Bethesda” means “House of Mercy.” “Sheep” represent the docile, negative animal forces. The “five senses,” represented by the “five porches,” bear the inharmonies throughout the mind and body to the solar plexus region for recognition and remedy.
What is the significance of the statement, “when the water is troubled”? “When the water is troubled” typifies the dependence of unawakened man upon certain slow, natural healing processes, which he calls “nature.” The “multitude” of weak, sick, infirm thoughts and conditions in the mortal man have not received the quick, swift healing power of Spiritual I Am.
What is the true spiritual healing method? The Word of authority, as spoken by Jesus, must be set into activity. Through the power of the Word the “infirmity” gives place to perfect equalization and strength.
April 17, 1921: John 5:17
What Is the meaning of, “My Father worketh even until now, and I work”? The meaning is that God has finished creation in the ideal, or heavenly, realms, and that the working out of the plans of the Divine Architect devolves upon spiritual man.
October 20, 1929: John 5:17
Is there any difference between “activity” and “work” as we understand the meaning of the word “work”? Work, as the term is generally understood, means labor or onerous duty, which compels man to earn his bread by the sweat of his face. This effect of man's activity is not in harmony with God's design for man, but it is the result of man's lack of understanding of what his activity shall be. Jesus said, “My Father worketh even until now, and I work,” a cooperative activity that makes play of that which the mortal man calls work.
January 23, 1943: John 5:2-17
What is the first requirement in spiritual healing? Faith that such a healing is possible. Faith must be present either in the one to be healed or in someone who is sufficiently interested in him to know for him that he is healed.
What follows faith as the next step in healing? What do the five porches by the pool of Bethesda represent? Acting upon faith. If you have faith that you are well in a spiritual sense, act as though you were actually well in physical sense. “Arise, take up thy bed and walk.” Only a well man can walk away carrying his bed.
Why is it important for the one who desires healing to speak and act as though he were already healed? Because the combined power of faith and the spoken word is very great and brings our desire into manifestation. “According to your faith be it done unto you, and the Word became flesh.” Our word too is made flesh, or takes visible form in us, when we put all our faith into it.
What is the metaphysical significance of much of the healing done on the Sabbath by Jesus? Considered metaphysically, a “Sabbath” is not a day of the week. It is a state of mind entered into by a person, when he goes into the silence of his own soul, into the realm of Spirit. In this mental state healing becomes the normal, easy thing. Much of the healing that Jesus did was accomplished on the Jewish Sabbath.
What do the five porches by the pool of Bethesda represent? They represent the five senses. In these porches the sick people lay awaiting the troubling of the waters. This troubling is a phenomenon of artesian wells or springs and imparts no healing properties to the water. The healing lies in the faith of the sick ones alone.
What does the spiritual healing of physical ills prove? It proves that spirit, soul, and body are an entity and that the greater (the spirit) controls the lesser (the body or manifestation).
Can everyone who needs spiritual healing receive it? He can if he keeps his thought on health and has a active faith. Some fix their thought on disease; others fail to put their faith into the thought of health. “A multitude of them that were sick, blind, halt, withered” lay in the five porches. After healing the man who had been waiting thirty-eight years, Jesus “conveyed himself away, a multitude being in the place.” Apparently the others remained unhealed.
Does this mean that the rest of the multitude were incurable by spiritual means? Nothing is incurable by spiritual means. The others evidently were not conscious of spiritual help as an actuality, and until they became conscious of it in this light, they remained outside its reach.
February 2, 1947: John 5:2-9
What part did faith on the part of the one who sought healing have to do with the final outcome? Faith is a mighty agent in the consummation of healing. “Only believe,” Jesus admonished those who sought His help. Without faith on their part there was no promise of healing.
What form of healing is normal for mankind? Spiritual healing. It calls for faith and courage of a high order, if one is to speak and act as if one were well, in spite of contrary appearances. It is not so simple and easy as it sounds.
Metaphysically Interpreting John 5:19-29
5:19Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father doing: for what things soever he doeth, these the Son also doeth in like manner. 5:20For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth him all things that himself doeth: and greater works than these will he show him, that ye may marvel. 5:21For as the Father raiseth the dead and giveth them life, even so the Son also giveth life to whom he will. 5:22For neither doth the Father judge any man, but he hath given all judgment unto the Son; 5:23that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honoreth not the Son honoreth not the Father that sent him. 5:24Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth him that sent me, hath eternal life, and cometh not into judgment, but hath passed out of death into life.
5:25Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour cometh, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live. 5:26For as the Father hath life in himself, even so gave he to the Son also to have life in himself: 5:27and he gave him authority to execute judgment, because he is a son of man. 5:28Marvel not at this: for the hour cometh, in which all that are in the tombs shall hear his voice, 5:29and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment.
April 17, 1949: John 5:25
What is meant by the words “the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live”? “The dead” are those who are spiritually asleep, who know nothing above or beyond the experiences of the physical nature. As they awaken to the reality of the divine nature within them, they are quickened to newness of life and enter into spiritual consciousness, where they really “live.”
Metaphysically Interpreting John 5:30-47
5:31If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. 5:32It is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true. 5:33Ye have sent unto John, and he hath borne witness unto the truth. 5:34But the witness which I receive is not from man: howbeit I say these things, that ye may be saved. 5:35He was the lamp that burneth and shineth; and ye were willing to rejoice for a season in his light. 5:36But the witness which I have is greater than that of John; for the works which the Father hath given me to accomplish, the very works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me. 5:37And the Father that sent me, he hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his form. 5:38And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he sent, him ye believe not.
5:39Ye search the scriptures, because ye think that in them ye have eternal life; and these are they which bear witness of me; 5:40and ye will not come to me, that ye may have life. 5:41I receive not glory from men. 5:42But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in yourselves. 5:43I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. 5:44How can ye believe, who receive glory one of another, and the glory that cometh from the only God ye seek not? 5:45Think not that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, on whom ye have set your hope. 5:46For if ye believed Moses, ye would believe me; for he wrote of me. 5:47But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?
October 3, 1943: John 5:39-40
In our efforts to enter into eternal life, what do we lack? We lack understanding that the divine law is our normal medium of expression. As we awake to this truth, we cease to avail ourselves of the manmade law of self-defense, the practice of defending self-interest, and other habitual thought for the self, and concentrate our efforts on observing the right relations between ourselves and others, that Jesus designated as essential to a full grasp of the meaning of life. We still need to seek complete understanding of the Christ Spirit and the will to come to it as the source of our power.
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 12-08-2013