Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Luke Chapter 14
Metaphysically Interpreting Luke 14:1-6
14:1And it came to pass, when he went into the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees on a sabbath to eat bread, that they were watching him. 14:2And behold, there was before him a certain man that had the dropsy. 14:3And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath, or not? 14:4But they held their peace. And he took him, and healed him, and let him go. 14:5And he said unto them, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a well, and will not straightway draw him up on a sabbath day? 14:6And they could not answer again unto these things.
Metaphysically Interpreting Luke 14:7-14
14:7And he spake a parable unto those that were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief seats; saying unto them, 14:8When thou art bidden of any man to a marriage feast, sit not down in the chief seat; lest haply a more honorable man than thou be bidden of him, 14:9and he that bade thee and him shall come and say to thee, Give this man place; and then thou shalt begin with shame to take the lowest place. 14:10But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest place; that when he that hath bidden thee cometh, he may say to thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have glory in the presence of all that sit at meat with thee.14:11For everyone that exalteth himself shall be humbled; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
14:12And he said to him also that had bidden him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, nor thy kinsmen, nor rich neighbors; lest haply they also bid thee again, and a recompense be made thee. 14:13But when thou makest a feast, bid the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: 14:14and thou shalt be blessed; because they have not wherewith to recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed in the resurrection of the just.
July 20, 1913: Luke 14:1-13
To go into the house of a Pharisee on the Sabbath day has its metaphysical parallel in that state of mind in which we rest and meditate as to the right or wrong of certain thoughts and acts. The Pharisee always looks at the form of a thing, rather than its inspiring principle. The idea of Sabbath rest to this state of consciousness is inactivity. This leads to inertia and negation, represented by the man with the dropsy, whom Jesus (I Am) heals.
When we rest in the silence of Spirit, we are conscious of the perfection of all things in God. If there is lack of this perfection in our outer realm, the force of the Principle itself is set into action to make it manifest. God has already created all things and pronounced them good, and rests in that perfection. When we enter that realization, there is a great scurrying of mortal thought and an adjustment of all things to conform to the perfection of Being.
The ass and the ox represent physical strength. If your strength has fallen into a pit, or material bondage, you will lift it up in this consciousness of the perfection of all things in God's creation. The Pharisees are mute in the presence of these things, because they do not understand spiritual forces.
The feast on the Sabbath day is the inflow of Spiritual Substance, which we realize when we enter the inner silence. A “marriage feast” is where there is a conscious union between soul and body in this silent influx of substance. Pride, ambition, and avarice are to be repressed and the spirit of true worth cultivated. When the selfish, ambitious thoughts perceive that there is an all-pervading thought-substance, upon which they can feed and grow fat and rich in all ways, they strive for first place. We should curb this selfishness and let the master of the feast, Divine Intelligence, bid to honorable places worthy thoughts.
We should build up our weak points, “the poor, the maimed, the lame and the blind,” thus filling a vacuum in consciousness. If we fail to correct our errors, and give all our attention to the thoughts we take pride in, there will be an abnormal development, the excess acting and reacting upon itself.
– UNITY magazine.
November 18, 1917: Luke 14:1-13
What is the reality of the Sabbath day? The reality of the Sabbath day is that peace and poise of mind in man, conscious of the omnipresence of God, and the perfection of all things.
How does the Jesus Christ idea of the Sabbath differ from the idea entertained by the Pharisee? The Jesus Christ idea involves continual rest in Spirit, which manifests in harmonious activity without, while the Pharisee, looking to the letter and form of things, looks upon the Sabbath as a rest from outer activity, which leads to inertia and negation.
What in consciousness is typified by the “marriage feast” referred to in this lesson? The “marriage feast” typifies the conscious union between soul and body in a silent influx of substance, realized when the true Sabbath is established.
Why should man make a feast for the “poor, maimed, lame and blind”? These ideas represent the weak points in consciousness. In order to eliminate error, there must be first a feast of spiritual substance. A harmonious adjustment follows when error is denied and truth affirmed.
What in consciousness is represented by Jesus entering the Pharisee's house on the Sabbath day? Entering the Pharisee's house on the Sabbath day represents that state of mind in which one rests and meditates upon the right or wrong relation of certain thoughts to Divine principles.
Sunday, January 14, 1923: Luke 14:7-14
What is a parable? The dictionary says that a parable is a narrative of a possible event in life or in nature, from which a moral is drawn.
Are the parables of Jesus confined to morals? No. The parables of Jesus go deeper than the moral nature. They illustrate the relation which the I AM, or man, bears to God, Christ, Spirit, soul, and body.
What does the parable of the marriage feast illustrate? The parable of the marriage feast illustrates the celebration of the union which takes place between Spirit and soul.
Who is the guest bidden to the marriage feast? The guest who is bidden to the marriage feast is personality, or the unfolding ego, man.
What lesson is Christ teaching to personality? The Christ is teaching to personality the lesson of meekness, humility, and selflessness.
Who is the greatest example of meekness? he greatest example of meekness is Christ, the man of God, in whom all men have existence.
Of what do the guests at this marriage feast partake? The guests at the marriage feast of the union between Spirit, soul, and body, partake of the Christ life and the Christ substance. The life purifies the body and the substance gives texture and stability to the soul.
Should only the healthy, harmonious thoughts be invited to this inner marriage feast? All the thoughts that have taken up their abode in the subconscious, should be invited. But the maimed thoughts, the lame thoughts, the blind thoughts, the ignorant thoughts, the fearful thoughts, in fact, those thoughts that need the most help, should receive the most urgent invitation to the marriage feast.
What reward does man get from seeking the inner union of Spirit, soul, and body in a spirit of meekness? This act brings a distinct realization of peace and harmony, and a relaxation of nerve tension and strain in the whole system. “If ye know these things, blessed are ye if ye do them.”
January 12, 1941: Luke 14:1-14
Why did Jesus often eat with the Pharisees? The Pharisees represent the religious thoughts pertaining to the realm of form. The Christ mind in Jesus, the I AM, undertook to lift these thoughts to a higher realm than form, namely that of Truth, and in doing so He affirmed the spiritual sustenance on which all thought depends. Eating represents this affirmation.
Is formal religious thought influenced by spiritual truth? The chief aim of formal religion is to preserve the form intact. Instead of seeking to learn the law of spiritual healing, so as to help Jesus in that work of true religion, the Pharisee invited Him to a Sabbath meal, placing before Him a man who had dropsy and thus confronting Him with a situation that the Jews thought it unlawful to change on that day.
When we are challenged to uphold our principles by word or act, what should be our reaction? We should quietly accept the challenge. “And he took him, and healed him, and let him go.” We should meet the issue as squarely as that.
What do the ass and the ox mentioned in the text represent? They represent physical strength.
What is meant by drawing up the ox or the ass that has fallen into a well on the Sabbath day? One's physical strength is at a low level in illness. No one hesitates to relieve those who are ill on the Sabbath, the same as on any other day.
What lesson is found in the teaching concerning the choice of seats at a feast? The lesson of humility. “In honor preferring one another.”
Can this teaching be interpreted metaphysically? The student whose interest in Truth is new should remember that humility and understanding are closely related. He should not make extravagant claims for his ability to demonstrate over negative conditions, but should make his affirmations quietly and meditate on them faithfully. Affirmations are mental feasts, and he who claims more than he can yet prove and makes known his claim to others is like the person who chose the chief seat at the feast and had later to give it up.
In what respect is he who humbles himself exalted? The humble person is the teachable person, and he who is teachable learns understanding of life and in turn learns to master life and make it serve him. Humbling himself, he is afterwards exalted.
What metaphysical meaning has the statement of Jesus to His host that he should ask the poor, the maimed, the lame, and the blind to his feast, rather than friends, brethren, kinsmen, or rich neighbors? This means that we should affirm strength, when we are weak, love when we are tempted to hate, and in every way try to equalize our qualities, building up those which are lacking in constructiveness rather than continuing to build up those which are already well developed at the expense of the undeveloped.
Metaphysically Interpreting Luke 14:15-24
14:15And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God. 14:16But he said unto him, A certain man made a great supper; and he bade many: 14:17and he sent forth his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. 14:18And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a field, and I must needs go out and see it; I pray thee have me excused. 14:19And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them; I pray thee have me excused. 14:20And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. 14:21And the servant came, and told his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor and maimed and blind and lame.14:22And the servant said, Lord, what thou didst command is done, and yet there is room. 14:23And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and constrain them to come in, that my house may be filled. 14:24For I say unto you, that none of those men that were bidden shall taste of my supper.
October 7, 1917: Luke 14:15-24
Of what is the Great Supper typical? The Great Supper typifies the feast of the pure Substance of Spirit ever accessible to the individual.
What attitude of mind is necessary before one can partake of this feast of Substance? Before one can partake fully of the Substance of Spirit there must be a willingness to turn the attention to the ideas of Spirit, to the exclusion of all outer attractions.
How do we appropriate this great Substance quality in which we live and move and have our being? Having turned our attention to the invisible Substance, we move upon it with our words of Truth, in faith believing that our words are instantly fulfilled (filled full) in Spirit.
What does the “field” mentioned in this lesson, symbolize? The “field” symbolizes the belief in materiality which prevents feasting on the pure Substance.
What does the “five yoke of oxen” symbolize? The “five yoke of oxen” symbolize the dependence of man upon the five senses for his satisfaction.
What does “marrying a wife” symbolize? “Marrying a wife” is to center the affections upon the things of the without; becoming lost in personal love.
What in consciousness does the inviting of the “poor and maimed and blind and lame” to the feast represent? If one does not invite the inflow of the pure Substance of Spirit into consciousness, the discordant thoughts of the subconsciousness of the race come in and feast upon the natural life and substance of the organism, thus depleting the vitality.
What is necessary to insure the continual feast of Substance? There must be a constant communion with the Spirit within through true ideas, prayer, meditation and words. In this way union is made with the indwelling Substance, and the soul is fed and satisfied with the abundance of Good.
April 5, 1936: Luke 14:15-24
What is meant by the expression “eat bread in the kingdom of God”? To eat bread in the kingdom of God is to appropriate the essence of ideas through the mind and build up the understanding by assimilating them.
What is symbolized in the parable by the man who bought a field and afterwards went to look at it? The material-minded man is thus symbolized. The one who spends his time and thought on the things that have only transitory value does not foresee the effects that will follow such a course of action.
Interpret metaphysically the phrases, “bought five yoke of oxen” and “go to prove them.” To buy five yoke of oxen is to put one’s powers to work in the realm of the senses. Man enters upon sense expression unconsciously under the influence of the race thought, but to continue in it consciously after he knows of a better way is to “prove” the oxen.
Of what is marrying a wife the symbol? This expression symbolizes the attaching of the soul to personality. The personal man clings to the soul qualities and considers himself justified in ignoring spiritual things. He allows his feelings or subconscious thoughts to control him.
Why did Jesus advise His host to invite the poor, the maimed, the blind, and the lame to his supper instead of his social equals? Because man must equalize all his forces by developing first the qualities that are latent or that he apparently lacks.
What do the poor represent? Man's judgment, when it is not developed in conformity with Truth, is poor. The poor may represent also foresight, intuition, or any other mental trait not well formed or in conscious use by man.
Interpret the “maimed and blind and lame” in metaphysical terms. The maimed represent those convictions to which man does violence by modifying them rather than standing alone in his opinions. The blind represent the personal affections; the lame, the faith that leans heavily on these and falls, because it is not unified with Principle and does not express Truth.
What is meant by the highways and hedges mentioned in this parable, and what are some of the guests that are found in them and compelled to come to the supper? The highways and hedges are well-worn thought habits. Notions of health, prosperity, peace, and harmony are all found in these mental grooves, and must be brought into line with the substance of true thought before man's life can be rounded out and made complete.
January 19, 1941: Luke 14:15-24
Who is able to “eat bread in the kingdom of God”? Only he whose chief desire it is to know Truth and who works faithfully to realize this desire can assimilate the substance of Truth; that is, eat bread in the kingdom of God.
What does the “certain man” who bade many to his great supper represent? He represents the Lord, and the great supper is the supply of infinite substance awaiting all who demonstrate that they are children of the divine Father.
What is the servant sent forth by the lord to remind the guests that all was ready? The servant is desire.
Why should the invited guests excuse themselves from attending the supper? These guests represent man's inherent gifts which enable him to appropriate substance. If man's inherent powers are not quickened by desire for the higher realm, they fail to build up his character or fit him to occupy the kingdom. He then excuses himself from seeking the benefits of mind, soul, and spirit, and confines his desires to the purely material or physical.
What is the function of desire? To connect man with the substance of Truth, so that his soul may be satisfied with the bread of life.
What are some of the desires that constrain man to enter the kingdom? The desire to regain health, to demonstrate prosperity, to realize harmony and peace in the personal life, or to succeed in business. These desires concern the personal self of man.
What desires partake of the universal or common life of mankind? The desire for world peace and good will among men, to advance the knowledge of truth, to love God unselfishly, in fact all desires that have as their mainspring the good of all.
Why is there room for still more guests after the streets and lanes of the city have been searched for uninvited persons? Because the derelict thoughts of man are not enough to fill the mind or make a substantial background for his life. Selfish thoughts lack substance sufficient to renew man's life.
Why are none of the invited guests allowed to taste the supper prepared by the lord? The substance of Truth can be appreciated only by those who partake of it, because they are conscious of needing it. One who takes up the study of Truth idly, as a pastime, fails to get from it the value that is found by the one who comes to it because of some deep need.
Metaphysically Interpreting Luke 14:25-33
14:25Now there went with him great multitudes: and he turned, and said unto them, 14:26If any man cometh unto me, and hateth not his own father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 14:27Whosoever doth not bear his own cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. 14:28For which of you, desiring to build a tower, doth not first sit down and count the cost, whether he have wherewith to complete it? 14:29Lest haply, when he hath laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all that behold begin to mock him,14:30saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. 14:31Or what king, as he goeth to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and take counsel whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? 14:32Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and asketh conditions of peace.14:33So therefore whosoever he be of you that renounceth not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
June 9, 1946: Luke 14:25-27
What measure of devotion must we give to Truth in order to demonstrate Spiritual power? Full measure. “If any man cometh unto me, and hateth not his own father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” Personality must be ruled out completely before the senses can function on a spiritual basis.
July 14, 1946: Luke 14:25-27
What kind of hatred is meant by Jesus as a qualification of discipleship? The word “hatred” as used in the lesson is a comparative term. Jesus meant that the love of Truth must be so all-possessing in the heart of the disciple that in comparison with it his feeling for those who are natural objects of his affection is completely negative.
What is the cross that each one must himself bear? His dual nature, personality and spirituality. Added to this is the cross of that which is out of harmony with his highest good, that which he has as yet not overcome. This he must bear until he learns to make his demonstration through Christ.
April 24, 1949: Luke 14:27-33
What is the “cross” that we must bear if we are to merit discipleship? Faithful and loyal obedience to the divine law. We must remember to be what we desire to be, instead of following the impulses of the self, vacillating between sense and Spirit, between the human and the divine.
After we have begun the work of reconstructing our thought and conduct to bring them into harmony with the Christ mind, what must we do to bring the work to completion? We must give up all habits that conflict with the constructive work of the Christ (renounce all that we have). By so doing we are able to build up without interruption instead of alternating between constructive and destructive work.
April 27, 1952: Luke 14:25-27
Why must we, in order to serve the Christ, hate all who are naturally near and dear to us as well as to “hate” our own life? The word “hate” is used here in a figurative sense to emphasize the necessity of complete loyalty to the spiritual side of life. We must “love” (give supreme allegiance to) only God: we must “hate” (consider of secondary importance) all else. In reality we are to love our neighbor as ourselves in order to keep the second great commandment of the law. We are not forbidden to love our better self, for in so doing we love life, which is of God. However, our first allegiance is to the ideal of the Christ.
Metaphysically Interpreting Luke 14:34-35
14:34Salt therefore is good: but if even the salt have lost its savor, wherewith shall it be seasoned? 14:35It is fit neither for the land nor for the dunghill: men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 01-21-2014