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Luke 15 Metaphysical Bible Interpretation

Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Luke Chapter 15

Metaphysically Interpreting Luke 15:1-7

15:1Now all the publicans and sinners were drawing near unto him to hear him. 15:2And both the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.

15:3And he spake unto them this parable, saying, 15:4What man of you, having a hundred sheep, and having lost one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? 15:5And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 15:6And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and his neighbors, saying unto them, Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost. 15:7I say unto you, that even so there shall be joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine righteous persons, who need no repentance.

January 20, 1929: Luke 15:3-7

What is the standard of manhood of which Jesus is the great example? The standard of manhood for all people is divine perfection. “Ye therefore shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

In today's lesson, what do the shepherd and the sheep represent? The shepherd represents the Christ, the Master, redeeming and protecting man's thoughts; the sheep represent these thoughts after they have been assembled and disciplined.

What must we first do in order to conform to the Christ standard of manhood? To conform to the standard set by Jesus Christ, the first great demonstration is to overcome the errors of the mind that are formed by wrong thinking.

What does the one sheep that has gone astray represent? The one sheep that has gone astray represents an error thought that has separated itself from the master and the fold.

Why should there be more rejoicing over the finding of the one lost sheep than over the “ninety and nine” that had not gone astray? One may be ninety-nine per cent perfect and yet remain outside the kingdom. David was a man after God's idea, yet he did not enter the kingdom of heaven because he was a man of war. When we are almost perfect, yet not able to realize the glory of heaven because of some lost or hidden thought, we rejoice more over the restoration of that one thought than over all the thoughts that are secure in the good. “There shall be joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine righteous persons, who need no repentance.”

Metaphysically Interpreting Luke 15:8-10

15:8Or what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a lamp, and sweep the house, and seek diligently until she find it? 15:9And when she hath found it, she calleth together her friends and neighbors, saying, Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I had lost. 15:10Even so, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.
April 20, 1919: Luke 15:1-10

Some metaphysicians hold that error thoughts will perish of their own accord, if we ignore them entirely and keep our attention fixed on the good only. This is undoubtedly a correct position, assuming that the error thoughts will not insist upon bobbing up now and then. But the experience of most people is that these sinner thoughts have a way of making themselves especially prominent after the Truth has come into consciousness, as in this lesson we are told, “Now all the publicans and sinners were drawing near unto him.” So we find that the shortest and quickest way is to go after these sinners and bring them to repentance. This is called “demonstrating over error,” or according to Jesus, “overcoming.” Jesus lays unusual stress upon the necessity of “overcoming” in order to get into the kingdom of heaven; many times the expression is used in the Scripture, especially in Revelation. We are to be vigilant in correcting these thoughts that fall short of the Divine Ideal, the perfect man.

But “the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.” So those today who are in only the intellectual perception of Truth argue that, when we search out our faults and deny and affirm for them, that we are making too much of them, and that they will become prominent in consequence. [Thought?] partakes of his characteristics. Therefore, every so-called evil, or sinner thought, has a certain quantity of good in it; it has life and intelligence; it is a thinking entity itself, and must be dealt with just as you would deal with one of your children. So it is unwise to ignore these children of the mind, or give them a mental opiate, consoling ourselves that they are dead, when they are in reality out in the wilderness of the mortal realm, “lost sinners.”

The Truth is not afraid of being contaminated through association with sinners. Jesus did not associate with publicans to become one with them, but to raise them up. He did not pander to wrong in any person or class; he did not seek to gain favor with the publicans by avoiding the Pharisees. Both classes were sinners, and he had an object in associating freely with them.

The Pharisee state of consciousness draws aside from sin, and through its assumption of righteousness, fails to detect some glaring errors in its own thought. Search yourself, and see if you are short any sheep. It is a very pure character that is ninety-nine per cent good, and most of us would be content to rest with that high standard, but Jesus says, “Go after that one which is lost and find it.”

“There shall be joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine righteous persons, who need no repentance.” Heaven is peace, and love, and justice, and goodness; it is the real of God and man. We accept this as a matter of course and rest in its harmony. But if there is a part of the consciousness which has been outside of this heavenly condition, and we succeed in bringing it in, how we rejoice over the demonstration! Then we say to our friends and neighbors, “Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost.”

Sunday, January 26,1941: Luke 15:1-10

Lesson Interpretation

Why did the publicans and sinners draw near to Jesus Christ to hear Him? Because the Christ Spirit is the saving power that transforms man's wrong habits of thinking (publicans and sinners) and permits him to realize newness of life and peace.

Why do the Pharisees and the scribes in man murmur at the presence of the publicans and sinners? Man's self-righteous nature (scribes and Pharisees) objects to the undisciplined thoughts of the sense mind and desires to banish them without making an effort to redeem them. The Christ knows that this cannot be done successfully.

What does overcoming include? It includes hardship, testing, and trial as well as joy, thanksgiving, and the elation of victory. Nothing that is worthwhile comes to man without effort on his part.

What brings about a change in the consciousness from error to Truth? Denying error and affirming Truth effects the desired change.

What does the parable of the lost sheep indicate? That there must be complete dedication of the thoughts to the ideal of Truth before one can claim the redeeming power of the Christ or enter into the kingdom.

Why is there more joy over one sinner who repents than over ninety and nine just persons who need no repentance? Because changing the mind (repenting) requires effort and depth of purpose, whereas considering oneself good enough without making an effort to improve is the static condition under which man makes no progress.

What does the finding of the lost piece of silver by the woman represent? It represents the perfecting of the soul (woman) through diligent thought for the things of God. What are the “angels of God”? They are thoughts of Truth that delight everyone who entertains them.

What and where is heaven? Heaven is a state of mind where perfect peace, love, justice, goodness, and wisdom are realized by man as existing within himself.

November 28, 1948: Luke 15:3-10

What does the parable of the lost sheep signify? The necessity of dedicating our thoughts completely to the ideal of Truth. No stray thought can be allowed to remain out of the fold of constructive thinking.

Metaphysically Interpreting Luke 15:11-32

15:11And he said, A certain man had two sons: 15:12and the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of thy substance that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. 15:13And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together and took his journey into a far country; and there he wasted his substance with riotous living. 15:14And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that country; and he began to be in want. 15:15And he went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 15:16And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.15:17But when he came to himself he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish here with hunger! 15:18I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight: 15:19I am no more worthy to be called your son: make me as one of thy hired servants.15:20And he arose, and came to his father. But while he was yet afar off, his father saw him, and was moved with compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. 15:21And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight: I am no more worthy to be called thy son. 15:22But the father said to his servants, Bring forth quickly the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: 15:23and bring the fatted calf, and kill it, and let us eat, and make merry: 15:24for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

15:25Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing. 15:26And he called to him one of the servants, and inquired what these things might be. 15:27And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound. 15:28But he was angry, and would not go in: and his father came out, and entreated him. 15:29But he answered and said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, and I never transgressed a commandment of thine; and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: 15:30but when this thy son came, who hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou killedst for him the fatted calf. 15:31And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that is mine is thine.15:32But it was meet to make merry and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

May 15, 1904: Luke 15:11-24


The two sons are soul consciousness and sense consciousness. Through the soul we are related to the Spirit, and through the sense to the flesh. These mental states are thought aggregations. Jacob and Esau represent these two sons of I AM. All the thoughts of a spiritual character gravitate together and form a state of consciousness that is pervaded by Spirit, and perpetually sustained by the Divine Mind. This is the Spiritual Soul, or superconsciousness, to whom the Father said, “Son, all mine are thine.” The Human Soul is the “younger son,” or thought. This thought aggregation finds its first pleasure in sense avenues. It is the exuberance of youth, where every human sense is flooded with life. It draws freely from the One Source, the Father Mind, life, love, substance, power and intelligence. These are the riches of God which are divided between the states of mind. These two souls, or states of thought, are referred to by Paul as the Spirit and the flesh at enmity, one warring against the other. It is not strictly correct to say that this higher plane of thought is the Spirit, but rather that it is the spiritual consciousness. The Spirit does not war against anybody or anything.

The mind that revels in pleasures of sense, gradually finds itself centering about the things it thinks so much of. This is a law of thought action. What you think a great deal about, and like to do, you gradually become attached to it, and in due course the attachment becomes so strong that you separate yourself from everything else. The constant thought of man about sense objects and sense pleasures gradually sunders him from the spiritual, and he grows to believe that it does not exist. This is the journey into the “far country.” But being detached in consciousness from the real sources of existence, the sense consciousness gradually uses up the life it has in the lusts of the flesh, and not knowing how to go within and draw from the original fount, there is a “mighty famine in that country, and he began to be in want.”

Then there is a still further descent into sense conditions. The sense soul attaches itself to the realm of flesh, and tries to get sustenance out of it. The original text here indicates that he literally glued himself to the selfish personality of the flesh consciousness. He fed the swinish nature with the husks of life, and got no soul satisfaction. When we get down into the animal, and try to feed our souls with its mere outer covering of Truth (husks), we starve. The human is eliminated until there is no man in it, “and no man gave unto him.”

The coming to himself of the Human Soul is the awakening of understanding. Why should the body grow old and lose its life, “perish with hunger,” when in the Father's house the hired servants have substance enough? “I will arise and go to my father.” The mind that has been groveling in sense must rise to a higher range of thought and go, or continually send its thought, in spiritual ways. This journey back to Spirit is not completed in a day, but is a gradual step by step traveling, sometimes over rough roads.

“He arose and came to his father.” The moment the thought arises to the contemplation of Spirit, there is a union with the Divine Mind; his father “fell on his neck and kissed him.” Confession of sin, or falling short, is good for the self-centred man. It opens the door to higher things, and mellows the soul. An Eastern proverb is, “Who draws near to me (God) an inch, I will draw near to him an ell, and whoso walks to meet me, I will leap to meet him.”

When we make the unity between the outer sense and the inner Spirit there is great rejoicing, and the outer is flooded with vitality (robe), unending power is put into his hand (ring), and his understanding (feet) clothed upon. The “fatted calf “ is the richness of strength always awaiting the needy soul. When all these relations have been established between the within and the without, there is rejoicing. The dead man of sense is made alive in the consciousness of Spirit; the lost is found. “And they began to be merry.”

August 12, 1906: Luke 15:11-24

The “two sons” are the two departments of the soul or consciousness. The son who stays at home is the religious and moral nature, and the son who goes into the far country, the appetites and passions. Going into a “far country” is separating the consciousness from its parent source. When any department of man's nature is exercised without thought of its relation to Divine Mind, there is a certain separation in consciousness. Independent mental habits are formed and a realm of thought and action set up that has no consciousness of the source of its existence. To avoid this we are enjoined to “do all things to the glory of God.”

Any function of the organism used without uniting it in thought with Divine Mind eventually fails. It does not make any difference who you are, if you are exercising any of the sensations of the flesh without first dedicating them to God, and mentally asking the Divine Presence in what you are doing, you will finally come to want.

Hence we should ask and affirm the presence of Divine Mind, when we eat our food and when we eliminate it. There should be no distinction or separation in the character of the function. In Being, one is as important as the other, and the Great River of Life must flow into all. The various forms of prolapsus of womb, bladder and rectum are mute evidences of the lack of the One Sustaining Life. These may seem homely truths, but they are vitally important to the health and well-being of the human family.

A child in a certain community is noted for her beauty and harmony of character, and her mother told a friend that she and her husband made her begetting a subject of earnest prayer and submission to God. This is a practical demonstration of the return of the Prodigal to the Father' s house. Every father and mother must so hallow their acts in order to fulfill the Divine Law. The offspring thus brought forth will not be born of the “will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

The light of truth is being turned on in this Great Day of the Lord in finance, government and food manufacture, yet men are seeking to hide the “riotous living” of this Prodigal son under the veil of secrecy. The time is at hand when this veil will be lifted. All the dark places of the land are to be opened up, and the expositions of iniquity in high places will be appalling, but the error must be shown in order to have it corrected. The purification of the moral atmosphere will make easier the descent of the sunlight of Truth into the minds of those who are seeking righteous ways.

The bounty of Divine Mind will be poured out upon depleted men and women everywhere, if they will in consciousness comply with the law of return to the Father's house. The first step is repentance and confession, not to man, nor under theological forms, but to God direct. Say to the Divine Presence, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and in thy sight.” Though you may seem “afar off,” the Father will see you and have compassion and kiss you and receive you into his presence. The rejoicing and the feast, the ring and the best robe, symbolize your various possessions of soul and body under the law of conscious unity with God.

November 2, 1924: Luke 15:11-24

In this allegory of the prodigal son, who is represented by the man who had two sons? Jesus was giving a series of lessons on the subject of the repentance of sinners. In this parable he said: “I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.” From this we understand that the man who had two sons is God.

What do the two sons represent? The two sons typify two activities of soul consciousness. The son who stays at home represents the religious and moral activities, and the son who goes into the far country represents the appetites and passions.

What is represented by the father's dividing his living between his sons? Life, love, substance, intelligence, power, in fact everything that we see manifest, have origin in the one Mind, and are inherited by man, God's offspring. All that God is in Spirit is given to his offspring to manifest in self-consciousness.

What is represented by going “into a far country”? Going “into a far country” represents a sense of separation between thought and its parent source, infinite Mind.

How is man’s substance wasted in riotous living? The consciousness that has to do with substance and life in which the animal propensities predominate, is likely to set up an independent realm of existence; it no longer listens to the Lord God, but feels the sensations (serpent) and wastes the elixir of life in sensuous pleasures.

What is represented by the statement: “There arose a mighty famine in that country; and he began to be in want”? When man depletes his organism by wasting his substance in sensuousness, the functions of both mind and body come to want and finally fail, and the body perishes.

Who are guilty of the sins of the prodigal as set forth by Jesus in this parable? The whole human race has sinned in this respect and has set up a consciousness of life in the sensations of the flesh independent of divine guidance.

What is represented by the citizen of the country who kept swine but who gave no sustenance to the prodigal son? The citizen who kept the swine represents selfishness. Another name of this citizen is greed. This miserly state of mind not only refuses to give to others, but often starves in the midst of its own possessions.

What is the first step in man’s return to the consciousness of God as his resource? When man comes to himself, he realizes that God is his resource and he decides to go to the Father for his supplies.

What is the next step? The next step is to acknowledge that the law has been broken: “I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight.”

When man, in Spirit, takes these steps, what is the result? This question is fully answered in verse 20: “And he arose, and came to his father. But while he was yet afar off, his father saw him, and was moved with compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.”

What is represented by the symbols in verses 22, 23, and 24? The best robe represents a new consciousness; the ring represents divine love; the shoes represent clothing the understanding with thoughts of the right relation of mind and substance; the fatted calf represents the rich life of the natural man. Taken all together these verses symbolize the joy in the hierarchy of heaven over the return of the redeemed soul.

February 9, 1929: Luke 15:11-24

In today's lesson is the statement, “A certain man had two sons.” What do the two sons represent? The two sons represent the dual consciousness of the soul. In its outer consciousness the soul is related to sense. In its inner consciousness the soul is related to Spirit.

Which state of consciousness is represented by the younger or prodigal son? The consciousness of the outer world of sense is symbolized by the younger son, who takes the substance of his father and uses it according to his desire.

Explain the sentence, “The younger son ... took his journey into a far country.” The “journey into a far country” represents a gradual, conscious separation from God, which takes place in those who seek enjoyment in sense.

What is the meaning of these statements in today's lesson: “There arose a mighty famine in that country: and he began to be in want”? When man fails to connect consciously with the Father as the source of his being, he loses the mental contact which is necessary to a perpetual inflow of life, substance, and intelligence; a great lack or famine sets in, and he becomes starved in both mind and body.

What is meant in the lesson by the citizen of the country who sent the prodigal son “into his fields to feed swine”? In this parable the citizen represents carnal mind, whose sphere of action is confined to the selfishness of the swinish nature.

What is represented by the hunger of the prodigal son and his inability to be satisfied with the things of sense? This hunger is fully explained in one of Jesus’ sayings, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” The soul must be fed with spiritual substance and spiritual life.

What is meant by the sentence, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight”? Heaven is the realm of spiritual ideas, which must be ever in sight of the spiritually developing soul.

When the soul finds that the things of sense do not nourish it, do not satisfy, what recourse has it? It can rise to spiritual consciousness, go to the Father, and in meekness and obedience seek again to be recognized as His child.

When this is done, what follows? The Father Mind receives the prodigal son with compassion and love, clothes him with the robe of righteousness, with endless power, and with spiritual understanding.

May 5, 1935: Luke 15:11-24

What is repentance? The Greek word metanoia is translated repentance, meaning a change or transformation of the mind, or a change of thought and purpose.

What change must take place before the saying “In Christ shall all be made alive” can be fulfilled? Sense consciousness in the individual must be transformed into consciousness of the eternal life principle before all his faculties can be made alive in Christ.

[Explain] briefly the lesson contained in the parable of the prodigal son. This parable teaches the necessity of changing the mind from sense thought to spiritual thought and belief, and outlines the steps or processes to be followed to that end.

Why is it stated that a famine began as soon as the prodigal had spent all that he had? Because an exhaustion of material resources and a surfeit of sense pleasures leave the one whose life is devoted to such low standards nothing apparently with which to satisfy his true needs. Lacking all himself, he sees lack in his surroundings.

Name one of the “hired servants” in the Father's house that has “bread enough and to spare.” The mental state that embraces Truth merely for the material advantages to be gained through following it, and not for Truth's sake or to win understanding of life, is a hired servant.

Show how man is reconciled to the Father. A complete change of thought and purpose from the lower to the higher plane reconciles man to God.

Are penalties for sin punishments or corrective measures? Penalties are corrective. “Cast away from you all your transgressions, wherein ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel.” (Ezek. 18:31)

Does faith play a part in repentance? Faith in the reality of the things that are above must be strong in the one who would change from the lower to the higher plane. A half-hearted effort here as in any other line of endeavor is barren of worthwhile results.

Has joy anything to do with repentance? Joy of a very real kind is the inevitable result of repentance. “There shall be joy in heaven {the consciousness of perfection} over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine righteous persons, who need no repentance” (Luke 15:7).

Sunday, April 19, 1936: Luke 15:11-24

Where is perfect goodness found? Only in the Infinite or Divine Mind. “None is good, save one, even God.”

Is not goodness possible to man? Since God is infinite, this perfect Spirit is immanent in man, and he can express it to the degree that he is conscious of his ability.

What is the chief effect of goodness on man? Goodness overcomes sin, when all else fails. “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.”

What do the “two sons” mentioned in this lesson represent? The two sons represent two phases of consciousness: the elder, the religious or moral nature; the younger, the appetites and passions.

Is the religious or moral nature subject to temptation? Pride and self-righteousness are the sins against which the religious or moral nature must be guarded.

What does the parable of the prodigal son reveal concerning the nature of God? That God is always the same, the infinite source of love and wisdom or perfect fatherhood.

How do divine love and wisdom restore the soul that has fallen into sin? Divine love in man’s soul silently but constantly attracts man toward that which is above the plane of sense or sin. Divine wisdom shows him that to follow the higher urge is for his best good.

What freeing statement can man make in this connection? “I desire to do only that which it is right for me to do.” Divine wisdom shows me what is right.

How does man find real satisfaction in the Father's house (the body)? By attaching himself in thought to what is true and ideal, man realizes satisfaction and peace.

Sunday, November 9, 1941: Luke 15:11-24

Lesson Interpretation

What is the first point emphasized by the parable of the prodigal son? The necessity of changing the mind from the basis of sense to that of Spirit. He who is satisfied to be identified in every way with the race thought must discern the better way, break away from the old, and develop the Christ mind in himself instead.

What do the two sons of the parable represent? They represent two states of consciousness. The elder son represents the religious or moral nature, which on the mortal plane may be prone to self-righteousness and criticism. The lower nature is represented by the younger son.

What is represented by the journey into a “far country”? The separation of man, in consciousness, from his source, Divine Mind. Such a separation takes place when man exercises any function of his being without considering the relation it bears to Divine Mind.

Does the father in this parable truly represent the nature of Divine Mind? The father represents the love of Divine Mind. The story of the prodigal is primarily the story of the Father-Mind, which is infinite in compassion.

Can patience, love, goodness, and understanding be exhausted? In Divine Mind these qualities are infinite and inexhaustible.

What truth is brought out in the statement that the younger son “joined himself to one of the citizens of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine”? The truth that the one who gives himself over to the pleasures of sense makes himself a slave to sense. The prodigal became a hired servant and fed swine but was unable to satisfy his hunger.

What saves man from the consequences of mistaken beliefs and unworthy living? Patient correcting of his habits of thinking to conform to Truth and perseverance in following what is good, these correct error and dissipate its consequences in man's life.

What is meant by the words of the father, “This my son was dead, and is alive again”? He who is a slave to the senses is dead to all considerations of the spiritual truths of life. He cannot express his better nature because it is lost under the thick blanket of sense that envelops his thoughts.

How is the joy of freedom from sense bondage represented? The joy of divine love is shown in the father's restoration of the penitent son to his full status of a loved and honored son in the household, served by others and allowed to drop his mistakes from mind.

March 6, 1949: Luke 15:11-14

What causes prodigal waste of substance? Accepting selfish sense pleasures as the end of life, instead of regarding life as a trust and a responsibility (a talent) to be put to wise and fruitful use.

Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 01-24-2014