Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Luke Chapter 18
Metaphysically Interpreting Luke 18:1-8
18:1And he spake a parable unto them to the end that they ought always to pray, and not to faint; 18:2saying, There was in a city a judge, who feared not God, and regarded not man: 18:3and there was a widow in that city; and she came oft unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. 18:4And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;18:5yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest she wear me out by her continual coming. 18:6And the Lord said, Hear what the unrighteous judge saith. 18:7And shall not God avenge his elect, that cry to him day and night, and yet he is longsuffering over them? 18:8I say unto you, that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
June 15, 1919: Luke 18:1-5
Is prayer a form of words? No. Prayer is not a form of words, but an attitude of mind. The prayerful attitude of mind may result in a silent or audible speaking of words.
Explain Jesus' statement that we “ought always to pray.” Jesus' statement that we “ought always to pray” is that inner urge of the spiritual I Am that acts deep down in the soul, and which, if heeded, will enable us to go forward in the consciousness of health, peace and plenty, unto the attainment of perfection.
What in consciousness is “a widow”? In consciousness “a widow” is a belief in lack. The “widow” thought is not good in itself, but it serves to call man's attention to the law (judge). Dependence upon the judgments of the law, without the consciousness of love, subjects one to hard experiences and laborious expression.
[Transcriber's note: this lesson is found with the PDF for Luke 17]
Metaphysically Interpreting Luke 18:9-14
18:9And he spake also this parable unto certain who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and set all others at nought: 18:10Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 18:11The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 18:12I fast twice in the week; I give tithes of all that I get. 18:13But the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote his breast, saying, God, be thou merciful to me a sinner. 18:14I say unto you, This man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be humbled; but he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
June 15, 1919: Luke 18:9-14
What in consciousness is a Pharisee? In consciousness “a Pharisee” is a selfish state of mind produced by the intellect. It is this self-satisfied mental attitude which causes man to lose sight of the real needs of soul and body, and which finally results in dissolution of its own false structure, often at the expense of man's body.
What in consciousness is a “publican”? In consciousness a “publican” is the spirit of meekness that opens man to the inflow of cleansing, illuminating Truth.
Explain, “he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” “He that humbleth himself” has reference to the crucifixion of personality. One who has crucified or humbled himself is “afar off,” but empty and receptive to the love and wisdom of God, while the consciousness is being illumined and the Christ within exalted.
February 11, 1923: Luke 18:1-14
What did Jesus illustrate in the two parables of this lesson? He illustrated two activities of the mind in prayer, namely, persistence and self-righteousness.
Do we find the same necessity for persistence in attaining spiritual ends that we do in attaining material ends? Yes. Persistence in prayer strengthens the inner powers of man, and fits him for the attainment of great spiritual ends.
Does verse 7, which gives the idea that God is a God of vengeance, convey the right meaning? No. According to the original text, this verse should be translated: “And will not God grant justice to his chosen, who cry to him day and night, and have pity on them? He will, I tell you, grant them justice instantly.”
What often hinders the demonstration of our prayers of justice? When we take the stand that we are right, and that others are wrong, the law fails to justify us.
What does the divine law of justice require? The divine law of justice requires that we admit that we may be falling short in our demands for justice, or, as Jesus has put it in the parable: “God, be thou merciful to me a sinner.”
Is self-righteousness one of the minor sins? No. Self-righteousness is a major sin, or shortcoming, and especially so in the attainment of divine justice through prayer. The law of justice always works for us when we call upon it, if, like the prisoner at the bar, we plead guilty, and ask the court for mercy.
What effect does self-exaltation have upon one's spiritual unfoldment? Self-exaltation tends to inflate the personal ego, which prevents the unfoldment of the Christ I AM. We should remember that Jesus, although the greatest soul yet developed in the kingdom of the heavens, said: “The words that I say unto you I speak not from myself: but the Father abiding in me doeth his works.”
February 17, 1929: Luke 18:9-14
What often hinders the demonstration of our prayers for justice? The fact that we often take the stand that we are right and others are wrong hinders the demonstration of our prayers for justice; the divine law of justice does not permit of self-righteousness.
What does the divine law of justice require? The divine law of justice requires that we admit that we may be falling short in our demands for justice, or, as Jesus has put it in the parable, “God, be thou merciful to me a sinner.”
Is self-righteousness one of the minor sins? No, self-righteousness is a major sin, or shortcoming; it is especially a sin, when we seek the attainment of divine justice through a self-righteous attitude in prayer. The law of justice always works for us, when we call upon it, if, like the prisoner at the bar, we plead guilty and ask the court for mercy.
April 26, 1931: Luke 18:1-14
Did Jesus teach the necessity of man's communing with God through prayer? Yes. The necessity of prayer had prominent place in the teachings of Jesus Christ. He prayed, or in some such manner invoked the consciousness of God, whenever the slightest difficulty confronted Him; and He said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.”
We read that Jesus spent whole nights in prayer. Explain. When we read of Jesus' spending whole nights in prayer, the first thought is that He was begging God for something. But we find prayer to be many-sided. Prayer is both an asking and a receiving. Pray, believing that you have received, and you will receive. In the silence man may make conscious union with God-Mind; he may affirm Truth and deny error; may meditate on God's laws, and realize their mighty activity in his life. All this is generally termed prayer. Thus through the night Jesus was demonstrating over the error thoughts of mortal mind. By prayerful thought He was cleansing the natural mind and was realizing truth as it is spiritually discerned.
Do we find the same necessity for perseverance in attaining spiritual ends that we encounter in attaining material ends? Yes. Perseverance in prayer strengthens the inner powers of man, and fits him for the attainment of great spiritual ends.
What often hinders the demonstration of man's prayers for justice? If a man's prayers are based on the thought of his own righteousness and of the sinfulness of others, he will not fulfill the law of true prayer. Self-righteousness is a thought of exclusiveness, and it closes the door to the great Father love. We are not to justify ourselves in the sight of God; we are to let the Spirit of righteousness do its perfect work through us.
What effect does self-exaltation have on one's spiritual unfoldment? Self-exaltation tends to inflate the personal ego, which prevents the unfoldment of the Christ I AM. We should remember that Jesus, although His was the greatest soul yet developed in the kingdom of the heavens, said: “The words that I say unto you I speak not from myself: but the Father abiding in me doeth his works.”
May 10, 1936: Luke 18:1-14
What is the object of prayer? Prayer enables us to make conscious union with Divine Mind and recognize our true relation to it.
Why is the prayer habit important? The habit of prayer brings the necessary elevation of spirit to make man [aware] of his divine source. To make [his] thinking habitual, prayer must [be habitual].
How is answer to prayer delayed? Delay occurs only through man's failure to observe the principles that govern prayer.
Name some of these principles. Active faith in the reality of the inner kingdom is the first requirement. The power to realize that there is fulfillment in Spirit before the manifestation occurs is another. Praise and appreciation is a third.
How is prayer made effectual? To be effectual prayer must be based upon an understanding of one's spiritual relationship to God. The divine law is “high and lifted up,” and man must spiritualize his thought before he can be sure that his prayer will produce the results he desires.
Why should a son of God be humble? A Son of God can exercise self-dominion only through acknowledging his dependence on the father who is greater than he. This, acknowledgment is a proof of humility, which is necessary to all who would be teachable. “God dealeth with you as with sons.”
What in man is represented by the Pharisee? Man's habit of taking credit to himself for his righteousness and of mentally recounting his observances of the law is represented by the Pharisee. To take credit to oneself for deeds done is to look backward instead of forward, and to enter the kingdom of God one must look forward, not backward.
Is self-condemnation less harmful than self-justification? Self-condemnation shuts man off less completely from the consciousness of God than the habit of self-justification. The latter seals the mind against things of the Spirit.
Interpret the statement “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” Meekness opens the mind and heart to the inflow of cleansing, illuminating truth, and the result is understanding. Men of understanding inherit the love and veneration of the world. Thus Jesus inherited the earth in the sense that He has held its love and adoration through thousands of years.
February 23, 1941: Luke 18:1-14
Why is prayer important? Because it connects man in consciousness with the Infinite and removes his sense of limitation so that he can do what he could not do in his unaided personal capacity.
To what does a life without prayer [re]duce? To discouragement over failure and the loss of courage or persistence to try again. Prayer is a source of inner strength to man. He who prays habitually does not “faint” or give in to [discouragement].
To what “self” does Jesus refer in the words, “every one that exalteth himself shall be humbled”? To the personal self, which is subject to mistaken judgments and over-esteem. No one can exalt personality without laying himself open to disillusionment.
Why is “he that humbleth himself in line for exaltation”? Because the humble person is open-minded and impressionable to good. Humility accompanies faith and love; in fact it is associated with all spiritual qualities. It leads man to look to a higher source for wisdom to meet his problems from day to day. Its close connection with the qualities of Spirit causes the humble person to become exalted.
Why is habitual prayer effectual? Because it leads to God consciousness and God consciousness makes contact with God, first in thought and later in fact.
Why is faith mentioned in connection with the teaching about continuous prayer? Because faith is the attitude of mind in which man is able to receive what he asks of God. Without faith his prayer is so much wasted breath.
Did Jesus condemn the Pharisees in the parable with which this lesson closes? He did not condemn the Pharisees but the self-righteousness they showed, as well as their scornful attitude toward others. The Pharisee in the parable prayed “with himself,” not to God. He merely summed up his own excellencies instead of fixing his thought on God.
Why is the attitude of the publican commended? He showed humility without self-abasement. The humble attitude is the receptive attitude, and the publican was able to realize forgiveness with subsequent peace of mind, whereas the Pharisee realized nothing but self-importance and went down to his house self-deceived.
Metaphysically Interpreting Luke 18:15-17
18:15And they were bringing unto him also their babes, that he should touch them: but when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. 18:16But Jesus called them unto him, saying, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for to such belongeth the kingdom of God. 18:17Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall in no wise enter therein.
Metaphysically Interpreting Luke 18:18-30
18:18And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 18:19And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, even God. 18:20Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor thy father and mother. 18:21And he said, All these things have I observed from my youth up. 18:22And when Jesus heard it, he said unto him, One thing thou lackest yet: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. 18:23But when he heard these things, he became exceeding sorrowful; for he was very rich. 18:24And Jesus seeing him said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! 18:25For it is easier for a camel to enter in through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
18:28And Peter said, Lo, we have left our own, and followed thee. 18:29And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or wife, or brethren, or parents, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake, 18:30who shall not receive manifold more in this time, and in the world to come eternal life.
December 2, 1945: Luke 18:18-24
How do we “inherit eternal life”? By realizing that we are children of God and making this ideal an actuality in our life by thought, word, and act.
May 26, 1946: Luke 18:24-30
What intangibles are among our priceless possessions? Honesty, faithfulness, trustworthiness, loyalty, friendliness, unselfishness, considerateness, reverence, and truthfulness. The list might be extended indefinitely.
How are these possessions obtained? All are developed by use, although they may be innate in the beginning. The faculties that are active in our life are those which determine what our character is to be.
In developing our intangible riches what is the first essential possession? Faithfulness. Without this we find it difficult to persevere in developing any desirable trait.
February 10, 1952: Luke 18:18-23
What is the law of the Christ? It is the law of divine love, and also the law of moral soundness. The Christ fulfills the divine law. “I came not to destroy, but to fulfil.”
What is freedom in Christ? Freedom is power within and by virtue of the law, not outside the law. When we abide by the law, we are free from all the undesirable consequences of lawlessness. Further, we are free to use constructively the power that comes from living in harmony with the requirements of our better nature.
What is the negative approach to the keeping of the law? It is the keeping of traditions and ordinances without undertaking to meet life constructively on our own initiative or with the aid of our inner resources in an original fashion.
In how many ways can we keep the divine law? First, negatively, by refraining from breaking it, and second, positively, by putting to good use the power we gain through keeping it, so that the advantages of the life that is law-abiding may be obvious to all, and may serve as an inspiration to them to lead such a life.
Why is honesty a principle rather a policy? Honesty goes to the root of character, making its possessor true and sincere in his dealings. Jesus affirmed: “I am ... the truth.” Until we are honest, we have no sure foundation on which to build the permanent structure of a Christian life.
Why have graft and political and other forms of moral and social corruption gained such headway at the present time? Because the children of the succeeding generations have not been taught the divine law and the necessity of keeping it as a matter of course. By failing to teach the importance of divine law in human life we have removed the foundations on which the character of our youth of other generations was built.
Metaphysically Interpreting Luke 18:31-34
18:31And he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all the things that are written through the prophets shall be accomplished unto the Son of man. 18:32For he shall be delivered up unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and shamefully treated, and spit upon: 18:33and they shall scourge and kill him: and the third day he shall rise again. 18:34And they understood none of these things; and this saying was hid from them, and they perceived not the things that were said.
Metaphysically Interpreting Luke 18:35-43
18:35And it came to pass, as he drew nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side begging: 18:36and hearing a multitude going by, he inquired what this meant. 18:37And they told him that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by. 18:38And he cried, saying, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me. 18:39And they that went before rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried out the more a great deal, Thou son of David, have mercy on me. 18:40And Jesus stood, and commanded him to be brought unto him: and when he was come near, he asked him, 18:41What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? And he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight. 18:42And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight; thy faith hath made thee whole. 18:43And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God: and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise unto God.
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 01-22-2014