Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of John Chapter 6
Metaphysically Interpreting John 6:1-15
6:1After these things Jesus went away to the other side of the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias. 6:2And a great multitude followed him, because they beheld the signs which he did on them that were sick. 6:3And Jesus went up into the mountain, and there he sat with his disciples. 6:4Now the passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. 6:5Jesus therefore lifting up his eyes, and seeing that a great multitude cometh unto him, saith unto Philip, Whence are we to buy bread, that these may eat? 6:6And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do. 6:7Philip answered him, Two hundred shillings' worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one may take a little. 6:8One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, saith unto him, 6:9There is a lad here, who hath five barley loaves, and two fishes: but what are these among so many? 6:10Jesus said, Make the people sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 6:11Jesus therefore took the loaves; and having given thanks, he distributed to them that were set down; likewise also of the fishes as much as they would. 6:12And when they were filled, he saith unto his disciples, Gather up the broken pieces which remain over, that nothing be lost. 6:13So they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with broken pieces from the five barley loaves, which remained over unto them that had eaten. 6:14When therefore the people saw the sign which he did, they said, This is of a truth the prophet that cometh into the world.
April 19, 1914: John 6:1-14
This lesson instructs us how to increase our vitality through blessing and giving thanks in spirit. To do this prudently, we must understand the anatomy of the soul, and the mind centers in the organism. All metaphysicians have found by experience that being thankful for what they have increases the inflow. Gratitude is a great mental magnet, and when it is expressed from the spiritual standpoint, it is powerfully augmented. Saying “grace” at the table has its origin in this power of increase through giving thanks.
A woman who was left with a large family and no means, related in an “experience meeting” how wonderfully this law worked in providing food for her children. In her extremity she asked the advice of one who understood the law, and she was told to silently thank God for abundant supply upon her table, regardless of appearances. She and her children began doing this, and in a short time an increase of food set in that was so great at times as to astonish them. Her grocery bill was met promptly, and in most marvelous ways they were supplied with food, and she said they had never since that time had any lack.
So it is found that we can increase our vitality by, in general terms, declaring unity with the One Energy; but there is a more definite and specific mode, which is symbolically set forth in this lesson. Man has a dual nervous system, which are the wires that conduct the messages of the mind to every part of the organism. The voluntary nervous system has its centers in the spinal cord. The involuntary, or sympathetic nervous system, has its center in the solar plexus. A constant flow of nervous energy is continually making the circuit of these nerves, and carrying all kinds of messages from the mind. This sea of vitality is designated in the history of Jesus as the Sea of Galilee. Galilee means “a circuit,” also “to whirl.” Verse one means that I Am passed over the voluntary nervous energy to the involuntary, “to the other side,” and concentrated at the solar plexus. The “great multitude” that followed are the legions of thoughts that swarm the mind, seeking harmony. The “mountain” into which Jesus went is the high spiritual consciousness. The “passover of the Jews” is a spiritualizing process that goes on at regular intervals in the subjective consciousness.
In right relation with Divine Mind, the whole universe, man included, is constantly refining itself. The food we eat goes through a refining or splitting up process in digestion. When, through the blood, it is carried to the nerves, glands and muscles, it goes through another expansion, or explosion, and becomes nervous energy. Here it passes over from the sense consciousness to the spiritual, from Egypt to Israel. Such a process is a “feast of the Jews;” the higher faculties are fed by this refined substance of the organism.
In all its work the I Am (Jesus) uses the faculties of the mind. I Am is Spirit, and it cannot move directly upon substance or formed states of consciousness. It uses the spiritual faculties as its agents. Philip means “Power,” and Jesus appeals to him to know how these hungry thoughts, or people, are to be fed. He did this to “try him.” This means that Power is still under the sense limitation; it has not yet been trained in the free energies of Spirit. It looks upon the visible supply, and bases its capacity from that viewpoint. Andrew, meaning “Strength,” brother to Peter, “Faith,” has a slight perception of supply in the seven-sense plane of consciousness; represented as the lad with five loaves and two fishes. This is a good starter for I AM. If you have this consciousness of the capacity of the natural man in his sevenfold nature, you have a good foundation upon which to build the twelve-fold, or spiritual man.
Having quickened your idea of Power and Strength in Universal Spirit, you “sit down,” or center your forces within, and begin to bless and give thanks. In Divine order you make connection with the Universal Mother, or Vital Energy of Being, and fill your whole consciousness with vitality. The surplus energy settles back into the various centers as reserve force. This is the “twelve baskets” which remained over.
January 31, 1926: John 6:1-14
What does the feeding of the five thousand represent? The feeding of the five thousand is a symbolical representation of the steps taken and the ideas involved in supplying the outer, physical consciousness of man with inner, spiritual substance.
What is the meaning of the statement that “Jesus went away to the other side of the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias”? Galilee represents life activity, whose power is greatest on “the other side” or inner side. Tiberias means promptness and order. The real meaning of this passage of Scripture is that one who makes this demonstration must act in spiritual life with promptness and order. “But seek ye first his kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
What does the great multitude that followed Jesus represent? The great multitude represents the multitude of thoughts living in material consciousness. These thoughts are hungry for Truth and for spiritual substance and life, which are their real sustenance. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
What is represented by Jesus' going up into a mountain with his disciples? Jesus’ going up into a mountain represents the I AM ascending to a high state of consciousness. When man enters into that high realization of his spiritual character, all his faculties (disciples) are lifted up with him. “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto myself.”
Why did Jesus ask Philip how to get the food necessary to feed the multitude of hungry thoughts? The disciple Philip represents the power of the number about five thousand word. The word has not been used before to command spiritual increase sufficient to feed the hungry mentality, and it doubts its ability. But Jesus knows its capacity.
What are represented by Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, and the lad with the five barley loaves and two fishes? Andrew represents spiritual strength, which has great faith (Peter) in the increasing capacity (lad) of a few seeds of substance (loaves) and fishes (life).
What is represented by Jesus' command to make the people sit down on the grass? Sitting represents a restful, expectant state of mind, and grass represents the consciousness of unfolding substance. Jesus' command symbolizes the I AM arranging receptive thought forces in just the order that will best enable them to receive spiritual inspiration.
What are the means that may be used to increase substance and life, until the whole consciousness is supplied and satisfied? Thanksgiving and praise are the key that opens the door into the great storehouse of spiritual ideas, the kingdom of the heavens. When this door is opened by one who understands and fulfills the righteous law of conserving and multiplying substance and life, a great flood of vitality flows to the whole consciousness of that one, and his every hungry thought is satisfied.
What are the twelve baskets which were filled with broken pieces from the five barley loaves? The twelve baskets represent the twelve centers of consciousness in the body. All the hungry thoughts are fed, and the overflow sinks back to the subconscious and fills these twelve centers, giving complete satisfaction within and without.
January 31, 1932: John 6:1-13
[TruthUnity note: this lesson is a reprinting of the January 31, 1926 lesson with a few modifications]
What does the feeding of the five thousand represent? The feeding of the five thousand is a symbolical representation of the ideas involved and the steps taken in supplying the outer, physical consciousness of man with inner, spiritual substance.
What is the meaning of the statement that “Jesus went away to the other side of the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias”? Galilee represents life activity, whose power is greatest on “the other side,” or in the spiritual nature of man. Tiberias means observance. The real meaning of this Scripture is that one who would demonstrate abundance must observe promptness and order.
What does the great multitude that followed Jesus represent? The great multitude represents the countless thoughts abiding in material consciousness. Those thoughts are hungry for spiritual substance and life.
What is represented by Jesus' going up into a mountain with His disciples? Jesus' going up into a mountain represents the I AM ascending to a high state of consciousness. When man enters into the true realization of his spiritual character, all his faculties (disciples) are lifted up with him.
Why did Jesus ask Philip how to get the food necessary to feed the multitude of hungry thoughts? The disciple Philip represents the power of the word. We learn from this lesson that, because the word had not yet been used to command spiritual increase sufficient to feed the hungry thoughts of the material consciousness, the disciples doubted its ability. But Jesus knew its capacity.
What are represented by Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, and the lad with the five barley loaves and the two fishes? Andrew represents spiritual strength, which has great faith (Peter) in the increasing capacity (lad) of a few seed thoughts of substance (loaves) and life (fishes).
What is represented by Jesus' command to make the people sit down on the grass? Sitting represents a restful, expectant state of mind; grass represents the consciousness of unfolding substance. Jesus' command symbolizes the I AM as arranging its receptive thought forces in the order that will best enable them to receive spiritual inspiration.
What are the means that may be used to increase substance and life, until the whole consciousness is supplied and satisfied? Thanksgiving and praise are the keys that open the door into the great storehouse of spiritual ideas, the kingdom of the heavens.
What is represented by the twelve baskets that were filled with broken pieces from the five barley loaves? The twelve baskets represent the twelve centers of consciousness in the body. All the hungry thoughts are fed, and the overflow sinks back into the subconscious mind and fills these twelve centers, giving complete satisfaction to both the conscious and the subconscious sides of man's nature.
January 31, 1943: John 6:8-14
What is needed to set the law of increase in motion in the spiritual realm? Un-divided faith.
How is undivided faith represented in this lesson? By the two brothers Andrew (strength) and Simon Peter (faith).
Is a material nucleus also necessary to the increase of material substance, when acted upon under divine law? It may not be necessary, but the text of this lesson, as well as that in the 8th chapter of Mark covering the feeding of the four thousand, shows that it was used.
How does the Christ Spirit meet the doubt: “What are these among so many”? By putting all the faculties to work constructively. The disciples were told to make the men sit down and prepare to receive food. No attention was given to the question whether the supply at hand would be sufficient. The Christ Spirit sees abundance always.
What insures increase in the spiritual realm? Praise and thanksgiving. Jesus gave thanks before He broke the bread for distribution to the multitude.
Why was Jesus acclaimed as a prophet by those whom he had fed? Because He had eliminated the time element normally involved in increase in the natural world, the multitude considered Him the spokesman of God or “promise of God.” The divine law however is that all must be earned. Even “My Father worketh even until now,” and Jesus worked always.
By what name is spiritual work known? It is called faith. “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”
November 5, 1950: John 6:15
To whom does the “mind of the flesh” ascribe supreme power and authority? To the one who can supply its material needs. After Jesus had fed the five thousand they were ready to “take him by force, to make him king.” In the eyes of the world whoever can demonstrate the law of increase is all-powerful.
How do we escape the desire to stand high in the esteem of others and to use our power over them? By elevating our thought to the level of impersonal service (withdrawing into a mountain ourselves alone).
Metaphysically Interpreting John 6:16-21
6:16And when evening came, his disciples went down unto the sea; 6:17and they entered into a boat, and were going over the sea unto Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. 6:18And the sea was rising by reason of a great wind that blew. 6:19When therefore they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they behold Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the boat: and they were afraid. 6:20But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid. 6:21They were willing therefore to receive him into the boat: and straightway the boat was at the land whither they were going.
Metaphysically Interpreting John 6:22-59
6:22On the morrow the multitude that stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was no other boat there, save one, and that Jesus entered not with his disciples into the boat, but that his disciples went away alone 6:23(howbeit there came boats from Tiberias nigh unto the place where they ate the bread after the Lord had given thanks): 6:24when the multitude therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they themselves got into the boats, and came to Capernaum, seeking Jesus.
6:25And when they found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither?6:26Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw signs, but because ye ate of the loaves, and were filled. 6:27Work not for the food which perisheth, but for the food which abideth unto eternal life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him the Father, even God, hath sealed. 6:28They said therefore unto him, What must we do, that we may work the works of God? 6:29Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. 6:30They said therefore unto him, What then doest thou for a sign, that we may see, and believe thee? what workest thou? 6:31Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, He gave them bread out of heaven to eat. 6:32Jesus therefore said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, It was not Moses that gave you the bread out of heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread out of heaven. 6:33For the bread of God is that which cometh down out of heaven, and giveth life unto the world. 6:34They said therefore unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.
6:35Jesus said unto them. I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall not hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. 6:36But I said unto you, that ye have seen me, and yet believe not. 6:37All that which the Father giveth me shall come unto me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. 6:38For I am come down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 6:39And this is the will of him that sent me, that of all that which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 6:40For this is the will of my Father, that every one that beholdeth the Son, and believeth on him, should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
6:41The Jews therefore murmured concerning him, because he said, I am the bread which came down out of heaven. 6:42And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how doth he now say, I am come down out of heaven? 6:43Jesus answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. 6:44No man can come to me, except the Father that sent me draw him: and I will raise him up in the last day. 6:45It is written in the prophets, And they shall all be taught of God. Every one that hath heard from the Father, and hath learned, cometh unto me. 6:46Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he that is from God, he hath seen the Father. 6:47Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth hath eternal life. 6:48I am the bread of life. 6:49Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 6:50This is the bread which cometh down out of heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. 6:51I am the living bread which came down out of heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: yea and the bread which I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world.
6:52The Jews therefore strove one with another, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? 6:53Jesus therefore said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, ye have not life in yourselves. 6:54He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life: and I will raise him up at the last day. 6:55For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 6:56He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood abideth in me, and I in him. 6:57As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father; so he that eateth me, he also shall live because of me. 6:58This is the bread which came down out of heaven: not as the fathers ate, and died; he that eateth this bread shall live for ever. 6:59These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.
October 28, 1917: John 6:22-40
What is Substance? Substance is the underlying quality of Mind, designated as the Father-Mother Principle, out of which all is made.
How does man become conscious of Substance? Man becomes conscious of Substance through ideas in Mind for Substance is purely spiritual.
How is Substance expressed, or brought into visibility? Through centering one’s attention in ideas of substance, and looking to this inner kingdom as the source of supply, the various faculties of Mind unite to bring forth the substance of the ideas imagined in Mind.
What is the “food which abideth unto eternal life,” referred to in this lesson? The “food which abideth unto eternal life” is the productive realm of Divine Ideas. Eternal life is the goal of man, and is entered into through coming into the consciousness of God as All-in-All.
What is meant by [believe on him whom] God hath sent, as mentioned in this lesson? God hath sent Christ, the “living bread” who is the spiritual identity of Man. To believe in Christ is to become conscious of him as the living substance within.
What is the Will of God? The Will of God is holiness and perfection in Mind and in Expression (heaven and earth).
What is meant by “last day” referred to in this lesson? The “last day” symbolizes the last degree of understanding. When man enters into the full consciousness of his oneness with God, he will be “raised up” into perfect spiritual illumination, the fruit of which is eternal life.
Sunday, March 30, 1919: John 6:27-40
After feeding the multitude, Jesus retired to the mountain and spent the night in prayer. It is the universal testimony of those who are in the regeneration that they have to spend much time in prayer on the mount of spiritual realization. To pray all night is not unusual with one who is striving to make complete atonement with God. In the depths of the soul are thought aggregations that require the redeeming power of the Spirit, exercised to its utmost. No one knows his strong and weak points thoroughly, until he has analyzed the structure of his soul. Redemption requires concentration, meditation, prayer; in fact, all the movements of the mind put to their highest activity. Prayer is but a name for mental activities far beyond the range of ordinary comprehension. For example, to overcome the subjective thought of old age involves the cleansing of co-related thoughts preceding it. These have to be raised to a high vibration through energizing the whole system with a new life current.
The outer consciousness strives for the things of sense, but one who has found the real substance and source of supply proclaims, “Work not for the food which perisheth, but for the food which abideth unto eternal life.” To do this inner work that redeems the whole man and puts him in touch with spiritual realities, one must believe on, or have faith in, him “whom he hath sent.” This one who is sent of God is Christ, Spiritual Man, the higher self of every man. We must believe that there is a Spirit in man that transcends the mortal, and that it has power to do all that we conceive possible to God. Thus God's work is done in us.
The tendency of men to believe that some prophet or wise one has access to God which they have not must be refuted. The Jews counted the manna given to their ancestors by Moses as in some way having to do with their salvation. Jesus says, “The bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven.” You must be your own high priest and prophet. God is the sustaining substance and life, manifesting through each soul; how, then, can he pass his resource to that soul through some human instrument? He cannot, and all dependence upon such helps is weakening and futile in the end. “I Am the bread of life.” Whoever believes on the spiritual I Am as his Oversoul, and affirms it as his substance and life, shall never hunger nor thirst.
January 31, 1943: John 6:30-35
What is meant by the words “I am the bread of life”? The I AM is the living principle that enables us to make our desires manifest in whatever form we choose. To do this we recognize and draw upon universal substance.
What alone satisfies us completely? Understanding of Truth, and full reliance on the I AM in bringing it into manifestation in our life.
February 9, 1947: John 6:25-35
What is the first thing to seek in order to sustain life? Spiritual understanding, because it nourishes and sustains the life of mind and soul.
Why are we not to work “for the food which perisheth”? Because, when we center our whole thought on gaining material substance, we render ourselves impervious to the entrance of spiritual substance into the mind. Without this conception we cannot demonstrate the substance of true ideas in which resides all satisfaction of both mind and body.
How do we acquire consciousness of spiritual substance? By centering our attention on the idea of spiritual substance and keeping it constantly in mind.
Why have material methods alone been used in the rebuilding of the stricken areas of the world since the war? Because spiritual methods are not understood and are therefore discounted as impracticable and unworkable. This supposition is far from the truth.
If we accepted and acted upon the idea of spiritual substance, what would be the outcome? Wars would disappear; for the availability of the universal substance would be realized by all, and self-seeking would become obsolete. The aim of the enlightened citizen would be to give rather than to get.
What by-products of this universal state would become apparent? Love and good will would be universal also.
To whom does an idea belong? To all who are able to comprehend it when it is expressed. In the beginning it belongs to the one who apprehends it, but once he expresses it, it becomes universal property. However no one who fails to comprehend it can claim it as his own.
How should we meet the need for food, clothing, and shelter? In divine order, which means that we should first realize the availability of universal substance and invoke it, after which the way will open to the supplying of the need in full.
How are the “works of God” done? Through faith in the truth of spiritual law as the basis of life here and now.
February 8, 1948: John 6:35-40
What is the nature of Jesus' teaching in regard to Himself? It is both ideal, having to do with the inner life of thought and the substance of the Infinite, which underlies all manifest forms, as well as practical, showing how the right understanding and practice of Truth leads to life eternal.
What is the “bread of life”? It is the Christ-quickened consciousness, and in it our deepest desires and hungers find satisfaction and fulfillment.
How can the self-centered person overcome his restlessness and frustration? By arousing his faith in the Christ Spirit as being always present and available to him in need, and as being always greater than all demands that he may make upon it.
To what are we led by faith in the Christ and the observance of the Christ as active within our mind and heart? To consciousness of eternal life. “This is the will of my Father, that every one that beholdeth the Son, and believeth on him, should have eternal life.”
What is the important thing for us to realize about the will of God? That the will of God in us is for us to have perfect faith in the eternal truths and to behold the Christ in ourselves as our true nature.
Metaphysically Interpreting John 6:60-71
6:60Many therefore of his disciples, when the heard this, said, This is a hard saying; who can hear it?6:61But Jesus knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at this, said unto them, Doth this cause you to stumble? 6:62What then if ye should behold the Son of man ascending where he was before? 6:63It is the spirit that giveth life; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I have spoken unto you are spirit, are are life. 6:64But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who it was that should betray him. 6:65And he said, For this cause have I said unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it be given unto him of the Father.
6:66Upon this many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. 6:67Jesus said therefore unto the twelve, Would ye also go away? 6:68Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. 6:69And we have believed and know that thou art the Holy One of God. 6:70Jesus answered them, Did not I choose you the twelve, and one of you is a devil?6:71Now he spake of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.
October 11, 1942: John 6:66-69
How are errors best overcome? By uncovering them and correcting them through the forgiving love of the Christ mind as well as by speaking words of Truth.
Why does the I Am hold our allegiance? Because it is the inner core of Truth at the center of our being. If we would be true in our inmost heart, to whom else should we go but to this Spirit of truth within us?
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 01-12-2014