Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Luke Chapter 16
Metaphysically Interpreting Luke 16:1-13
16:1And he said also unto the disciples, There was a certain rich man, who had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he was wasting his goods. 16:2And he called him, and said unto him, What is this that I hear of thee? render the account of thy stewardship; for thou canst be no longer steward. 16:3And the steward said within himself, What shall I do, seeing that my lord taketh away the stewardship from me? I have not strength to dig; to beg I am ashamed. 16:4I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses. 16:5And calling to him each one of his lord's debtors, he said to the first, How much owest thou unto my lord? 16:6And he said, A hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, Take thy bond, and sit down quickly and write fifty. 16:7Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? And he said, A hundred measures of wheat. He saith unto him, Take thy bond, and write fourscore. 16:8And his lord commended the unrighteous steward because he had done wisely: for the sons of this world are for their own generation wiser than the sons of the light. 16:9And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends by means of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when it shall fail, they may receive you into the eternal tabernacles.
16:10He that is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much: and he that is unrighteous in a very little is unrighteous also in much. 16:11If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? 16:12And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own? 16:13No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Metaphysically Interpreting Luke 16:14-18
16:14And the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things; and they scoffed at him. 16:15And he said unto them, Ye are they that justify yourselves in the sight of men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.
16:16The law and the prophets were until John: from that time the gospel of the kingdom of God is preached, and every man entereth violently into it. 16:17But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away, than for one tittle of the law to fall.
Metaphysically Interpreting Luke 16:19-31
16:19Now there was a certain rich man, and he was clothed in purple and fine linen, faring sumptuously every day: 16:20and a certain beggar named Lazarus was laid at his gate, full of sores, 16:21and desiring to be fed with the crumbs that fell from the rich man's table; yea, even the dogs come and licked his sores. 16:22And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and that he was carried away by the angels into Abraham's bosom: and the rich man also died, and was buried. 16:23And in Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 16:24And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am in anguish in this flame. 16:25But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things: but now here he is comforted and thou art in anguish.16:26And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, that they that would pass from hence to you may not be able, and that none may cross over from thence to us. 16:27And he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house; 16:28for I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.16:29But Abraham saith, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. 16:30And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one go to them from the dead, they will repent. 16:31And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, if one rise from the dead.
April 24, 1921: Luke 16:19-25
What is the meaning of the parable of the rich man and Lazarus? The meaning is that, when one who has built up a consciousness of love for material things, dies, he continues to long for those things, and has no means of satisfying his desire. This brings “torment.” Lazarus, through his nonattachment to things, rests peacefully in the bosom of Abraham, Abraham representing the Father.
April 19, 1931: Luke 16:19-31
In this lesson, what does the rich man represent? The rich man represents that consciousness of the soul which takes delight in material things, and which has dominated and used the substance and the life of the body in sense ways.
What does Lazarus, the beggar, represent? Lazarus, the beggar, represents that part of the soul which desires spiritual things, but which, because of the selfishness of the sense man, is anemic and starved.
What is represented by “Abraham's bosom,” the place to which the beggar was carried when he died? According to the best Bible authorities, “Abraham's bosom” represents a state of felicity, or celestial happiness.
What is the meaning of “Hades,” the place to which the rich man was carried? A good Bible translator says that “Hades” means “the invisible land, the realm of the dead, including both Elysium and paradise for the good, and Tartarus, Gehenna, and hell for the wicked.” The fact is that people who go through the change called death do not go anywhere, if location is meant. They simply change their relation to dominant states of consciousness.
Are we to understand that “Abraham's bosom” refers to a place called heaven, and that “Hades” refers to a place called hell? No. The author of this allegory was striving, evidently, to depict the two states of consciousness in which the higher and the lower principles of the Soul find themselves after the death of the body.
Explain the anguish and the torment of the selfish soul, represented by the rich man. The anguish and the torment of the selfish soul represent that desire for sense expression which continues in the mind after the death of the body. The desire for sensual pleasure, lacking a body through which to express itself, throws the mind into a state of torture and distress.
How shall we profit by getting an understanding of this allegory? If we are cultivating sense consciousness through any of its avenues of expression to the exclusion of spiritual consciousness, we are in danger of anguish and torment. To avoid such punishment and to establish ourselves in the constructive Christ consciousness, we should seek the law of Spirit and should follow it.
How shall we minister to and supply the needs of the starved Lazarus of the soul? The soul is fed and built up spiritually by prayer and meditation, by the realization that man is spiritual, and that his soul requires spiritual food. Jesus said: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
April 26, 1936: Luke 16:19-31
What two phases of consciousness are contrasted in this lesson? The consciousness of lack (represented by Lazarus) and the consciousness of plenty (represented by “a certain rich man”).
What characterizes the former state? Intensity of desire characterizes lack.
What else do Lazarus and the rich man represent? Lazarus represents the religious nature; the rich man, the sense nature. Instead of being equally developed, the one is a starveling, the other an epicure.
The name Lazarus means “whom God helps.” What is the significance of that fact in this lesson? The religious nature has its origin in God. Therefore as long as a man through selfishness and material-mindedness starves the religious nature, he must remain in “torment” or apart from his good.
Why is Lazarus described as being “carried away by the angels into Abraham's bosom” after death? The religious or better nature, having known a long period of starvation, or unsatisfied desire for expression, attracts to itself the fulfillment of that desire, as soon as the shackles of sense are broken and it is free.
What is the ultimate effect on the sense nature of the habit of gratifying every material desire? The sense nature, deprived of the physical vehicle of expression, realizes its need for religious feeling to liberate it from the result of past sins, but through lack of intensity of desire it fails to make contact with the higher plane.
What is the gateway that divides the higher nature from the lower during man's earth life? What is the impassable gulf that separates the two completely? The self is the gateway between the two phases of man's nature. The great gulf is the chasm caused by the removal of the body consciousness, the place of union of all the attributes of man.
What is represented by the brethren of the rich man, and why did Abraham refer them to Moses and the prophets? The five brethren represent the five senses, and Moses and the Prophets the moral and spiritual law. The senses must be transformed under the law before they can become worthy to endure.
February 9, 1941: Luke 16:19-23
What do “a certain rich man” and Lazarus represent? They stand for two states of consciousness, the outer and the inner, of the average worldly-minded person. A consciousness of externals causes man to express the attributes of mind and body through sense avenues. It appropriates all man's forces, leaving the inner man to starve at the gateway of consciousness.
What is the meaning of the beggar's desiring to be fed with the crumbs from the rich man's table? The inner man craves the sustenance of man's thought, even the least portion of the outer man's attention. These are the crumbs that fall from the rich man's table, but they do not avail to nourish or sustain the inner man.
Interpret the term “Abraham's bosom.” This is a Jewish name, not of heaven, but of the intermediate state of bliss, in which the souls of the just await the resurrection. Metaphysically the term means a state of faith in which man's soul rests safe and undisturbed from all thought of worldly trials and suffering.
Why was the rich man, in Hades, able to see Abraham “afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom”? As the worldly-minded man sees living in the same world with him some person whose mind is given to higher values, so after the death of the body the mind, which is eternal, discerns that certain states that the earthly consciousness has never penetrated afford rest and peace to those who have attained them. Perceiving this Truth is a different matter from attaining to it, for between the two states of consciousness there is a great gulf fixed.
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 01-20-2014