Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Luke Chapter 2
Metaphysically Interpreting Luke 2:1-7
2:1Now it came to pass in those days, there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be enrolled. 2:2This was the first enrolment made when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 2:3And all went to enrol themselves, every one to his own city. 2:4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David; 2:5to enrol himself with Mary, who was betrothed to him, being great with child. 2:6And it came to pass, while they were there, the days were fulfilled that she should be delivered. 2:7And she brought forth her firstborn son; and she wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
December 19, 1948: Luke 2:1-4
When does the birth of the Christ take place in the individual soul? The birth of the Christ takes place in the individual soul when the soul awakens to a realization of the truth that life is spiritual, not material. The Christ is the divine-idea man.
What is the metaphysical interpretation of the statement that Mary laid the infant Jesus “in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn”? A manger represents the animal life of the body in which the new life is first manifested. An inn represents the higher ranges of thought. The instinct of the soul to express the life of God (the infant Jesus) enters into even the animal life and occupies it.
What is the “light” of the Christ like? Spiritual understanding or understanding love.
What is represented by the “decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be enrolled”? It represents the arbitrary action of the will, ruling in selfishness and directed by human reason, to exercise domination over all the thoughts.
Is selfish domination by the will inevitable? No. Just as the rule of the Caesars has long since ended, the selfishness of the personal will too will pass away as the light of the Christ increases in individual and race consciousness.
What is necessary to enroll the world in the Christ consciousness? The expression of good will under the guidance of enlightened reason and understanding.
What does the name Quirinius mean? The name means “armed peace,” and Quirinius signifies the ruling power in the egotistic, purely intellectual thought. The imposing of the will of the intellect on all men leads to recognition of the rule of force. The world believes that peace can be maintained only by military force. The state of armed peace now existing in the world is proof of the failure of this conception to bring real peace.
On whom can the light of the Christ idea dawn? On all who are willing to deny the reign of materiality and personality over them and to affirm that they are under the dominion of the law of Christ.
What will eventually lead men to realize peace on earth? A universal desire for peace and a co-operative effort to realize it, together with the renouncing of force as a means to insure security.
January 2, 1949: Luke 2:1-7
Is there any room for the Christ ideal in sense consciousness? No. There is no room in sense consciousness (the inn) for the Christ.
What holds ascendancy over the sense consciousness? The intellect (Rome). Those who are in sense consciousness expect intellect to solve all the world’s problems looking for aid directly to science rather than to spirit.
In the Christ consciousness what guarantees world peace? Good will. World peace is guaranteed only where there is good will among men. Ill will destroys peace.
When will world peace be finally realized? Only when men have a true desire for it in their heart and make a concerted effort to establish it. Their effort will bring about a state of world opinion that will cause peace to be realized.
December 23, 1951: Luke 2:1-7
What does the birth of the Christ mean to us individually? The birth of the Christ in us is the bringing forth into consciousness of the spiritual idea of man - the Christ of God - through the quickening power of the word of Truth. It is the beginning in the inner realms of consciousness of the development of a higher set of faculties that, when grown to full stature, save the whole man from ignorance and sin.
What is the significance of Jesus’ being born in Bethlehem of Judea rather than in Nazareth of Galilee? Bethlehem (“house of bread,” house of living”) symbolizes the abiding place of substance. The substance in which the Christ is born in us must be spiritual in character. Judea means “praise Jehovah,” or spiritual recognition, whereas Galilee means “a circle” or momentum, and symbolizes power, force, or energy, acting in conjunction with substance. At Bethlehem a union of love and wisdom takes place, and the Christ is brought forth in substance.
Metaphysically Interpreting Luke 2:8-20
2:8And there were shepherds in the same country abiding in the field, and keeping watch by night over their flock. 2:9And an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 2:10And the angel said unto them, Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all the people: 2:11for there is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. 2:12And this is the sign unto you: Ye shall find a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, and lying in a manger. 2:13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
2:14Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men in whom he is well pleased.
2:15And it came to pass, when the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing that is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. 2:16And they came with haste, and found both Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in the manger. 2:17And when they saw it, they made known concerning the saying which was spoken to them about this child. 2:18And all that heard it wondered at the things which were spoken unto them by the shepherds. 2:19But Mary kept all these sayings, pondering them in her heart.2:20And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, even as it was spoken unto them.
December 26, 1920: Luke 2:8-20
What is the new birth? It is the beginning in man’s consciousness of the Spiritual Man, idealized by Divine Mind. In the New Testament this Man is called the Christ of God or the Son of God.
What preparation should man make for this higher consciousness? He should watch his thoughts and protect them against the invasion of the senses from the destructive side. This is represented in the lesson by shepherds watch the flocks by night.
What are the angels of the Lord? They are the thoughts in Divine Mind expressed to do a specific work.
What is the difference between the Christ and the angels? Christ is the sum total of the ideas of Divine Mind incarnating in man, while the angels are special thoughts expressed by Divine Mind, working in purity and untainted by matter or material limitations.
How do the angels appear to man’s consciousness? In many ways, but usually as a guiding light.
What is man sometimes afraid of the light? Because his understanding is accustomed to material consciousness, and he is time of heavenly things.
What is the City of David, in which Christ the Man of Reality, is born? The City of David is Bethlehem, which means “house of bread”, metaphysically, the substance center in man’s consciousness.
What does the “babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger,” represent? It is the beginning of a new body for the Christ Mind, forming at the very center of man’s being.
What does the going of the shepherds to Bethlehem to see this thing, mean? It means that we must give attention, or concentrate our thoughts around the idea of the new body forming in us.
When we return to outer consciousness, what should be our attitude of mind? As represented by the shepherds, “glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen.”
July 6, 1924: Luke 2:7-20
To one who is developing spiritually, what does the birth of Jesus represent? The birth of Jesus symbolizes the awakening of the soul and body to a larger spiritual consciousness.
What is the meaning of, “she wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn”? The manger represents that place where the animal forces of the organism receive their food. In man this is the stomach. The swaddling clothes represent the limitations of the material ideas of life. The inn represents the outer consciousness of spiritual things which cannot conceive, or give room to such an insignificant beginning of the great spiritual development of the soul.
What is represented by the shepherds keeping watch by night over their flocks? The flocks represent the divine natural forces in the subconscious, which are under the divine law of protection (shepherds), but obscure (night) to out consciousness.
What is the angel of the Lord who brought the good tidings of great joy to all the people? The angels represent latent spiritual ideas in which are implanted potentialities which exist in every soul. In the new birth these latent ideas are quickened and the whole man is awakened to a new spiritual consciousness.
When the soul is flooded with this new life and light does it always understand what is taking place? The words, “they were sore afraid,” reveal that the mystery of the regenerative process develops fear because of a lack of understanding. These words, however, are followed by an assurance that all is well. “Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all the people.”
What is represented by the shepherds going in haste to Bethlehem and finding Mary and Joseph and they babe lying in the manger? The attention of the protecting thoughts (shepherds) is called to the spiritual quickening, having its center of activity within the soul and body. Those who are forming the new Christ body realize that the birth is in a natural environment (manger), that the child has a mother (Mary) and a father (Joseph).
What kind of ego will possess the new body which is being formed in the soul? The higher self or Christ of God will take possession of the new organism when it has reached maturity.
Was this Christ man or promised Messiah in existence before Jesus? Yes. God’s idea of a perfect man has always existed. It was before Adam, and before David, and before Jesus. As jesus explained in Matt. 22:41-45.
December 23, 1928: Luke 2:8-20
What does the birth of Jesus represent? The birth of Jesus represents a new consciousness of spiritual life. It is the new birth proclaimed by Jesus to Nicodemus.
What is the significance of the statement that the shepherds were watching their flocks by night? Paul says that the birth of Christ in the individual is a great mystery. It is veiled in darkness, even to those who are on its very verge. This darkness is typified by the shepherds nightly vigil.
What is the meaning of the passage, “An angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about the: and they were sore afraid”? The “angel of the Lord” symbolizes spiritual presence; its manifestation in the inner life causes fear until one becomes familiar with the activities of the law of the new birth.
Does the Scripture text in today’s lesson indicate the difference of meaning between “Christ” and “Jesus”? Yes. In today’s lesson “Christ” signifies man’s divinity or his higher self born or realized in consciousness. The passage, “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour who is Christ the Lord," represents the spiritual birth. “Jesus” signifies the Child who was brought into the manifest world. The verse, “And this is the sign unto you: Ye shall find a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger,” represents the physical birth.
What is the significance of Jesus’ being born in the stable among the animals? The significance is that the new birth, or man’s realization of his divinity, takes place in the part of the body consciousness in which animal forces are operative (represented by the stable).
What is the significance of the verse, “But Mary kept all these sayings, pondering them in her heart”? Mary represents the mother principle of the soul; by subjective thought and mediation the mother principle (Mary) builds the manifestation of the new realization of life (body of the babe).
What is represented by the return of the shepherds, “glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen”? The shepherds’ return represents the spirit of devotion and praise, which should continue to exalt to spiritual consciousness all things that have been externally perceived.
October 12, 1930: Luke 2:15-19
Explain the verse, “The angels went away from them into heaven.” Angels represent exalted, spiritual thoughts that perceive that all lie is founded upon a spiritual basis. The activity of these thoughts naturally makes an impression upon the soul consciousness. After a time the mind grows more or less accustomed to this new concept of Truth, and the tendency is to slip back into old habits of thinking. “The angels went away from them into heaven.”
What does the birth of Jesus represent? The birth of Jesus represents a new consciousness of spiritual life. It is the new birth proclaimed by Jesus to Nicodemus.
What is the meaning of the shepherds’ going to Bethlehem to see Mary and Joseph, and the babe in the manger? The shepherds symbolize man’s will united with love. The heart hungers for the enduring ideal of the Christ. The result is the at the executive power of the soul sends forth loving thoughts, which penetrate “even unto Bethlehem” in the endeavor to make substantial in mind the true concept of the Christ.
What is the significance of Jesus the Christ’s being born in the stable among the animals? The significance is that the new birth, or man’s realization of his divinity, takes place in the part of the body consciousness in which animal forces are operative (represented by the stable).
Explain the verse “But Mary kept all these sayings, pondering them in her heart.” Mary represents the mother principle of the soul; by subjective sought and mediation she builds the manifest ion of the new realization of life (body of the babe).
December 20, 1930: Luke 2:8-20
What do Joseph and Mary represent? Joseph and Mary represent wisdom and love, which have been ideas in mind, but are now to bring forth a manifestation in substance.
To one who is developing spiritually what does the birth of Jesus represent? The birth of Jesus symbolizes the awakening of soul and body to deeper spiritual consciousness.
What is represented by the shepherds’ keeping watch by night over their flocks? The flocks represent the natural forces in the subconscious mind, which are under the divine law of protection (shepherds), although to outer consciousness their action is obscured (night).
What is the angel of the Lord who brought the good tidings of great joy to all the people? The angels represent latent spiritual ideas, in which are the inherent potentialities that exist in every soul. In the new birth, these latent ideas are quickened, and the whole man is awakened to a new spiritual consciousness.
What does the message of the angels to the shepherds signify? The message of the angels to the shepherds signifies those periodical outburst of divine illumination that come to us when we for a time know that something unusual is going on within us.
When the soul is flooded with this new life and light, does it always understand what is taking place? The words, “they were sore afraid,” reveal that the mystery of the regenerative process develops fear because of a lack of understanding of it. These words, however, are followed by an assurance that all is well. “Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all the people.”
What is represented by the shepherds’ going in haste to Bethlehem and finding Mary and Joseph keeping watch over the Babe lying in the manger? The attention of the protecting thoughts (shepherds) is called to the spiritual quickening of soul and body. Those who are forming the new Christ body realize that the birth is in a natural environment (manger), that the child has a mother (Mary - love) and a father (Joseph - wisdom).
What kind of ego will possess the new body that is being formed in the soul? The higher self, or Christ of God, will take possession of the new organism when it has reached maturity.
Was this Christ man, or promised Messiah, in existence before Jesus? Yes, God’s idea of a perfect man has always existed. It was before Adam, before David, and before Jesus. As Jesus explained in Matthew 22:41-45.
December 19, 1937: Luke 2:8-20
What do the shepherds watching their flocks by night symbolize in connection with the birth of Christ? The flocks guarded by shepherds represent aggregations of thoughts collected and assembled in order, through concentration of the will. These thoughts are as yet groping and unillumined (like flocks watch by night), but man’s desire for enlightenment and understanding (the faint but constant light of stars) presages greater light to follow.
An angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them.” What is the meaning of this statement? When man’s thoughts are concentrated on the ideal of perfection and he aspires with all his soul to actualize that ideal in himself, the result is a realization that his desire can be fulfilled. This realization is represented by the angel of the Lord standing by the shepherds. The glory of the Lord represents “the inevitable coming of divinity, the Christ, into all human consciousness.”
Why does realization of the ideal require courage? The first message of the Christ Spirit is one of reassurance and a call to courageous faith: “Be not afraid.” This is necessary because the way of the Christ is new to each individual who decides to follow it, and he must be ready to give up the old, easy, familiar way of the sense consciousness, and gladly and eagerly strike out in the opposite, untried direction.
Is the message of the Christ Spirit to each individual separately, or to all mean alike? The Christ message is universal in its scope. It is “good tidings of great joy which shall be to all the people.”
Why is the Saviour born in “the city of David”? Bethlehem, the name of the birthplace of Jesus Christ, means “house of bread,” and symbolizes the abiding place of substance. The name Judea means praise or spiritual recognition. The substance in which the Jesus man is born must be spiritual in character.
Why is the new birth in man symbolized by “a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, and lying in a manger”? A babe is a symbol of helplessness, and the new birth seems on first thought an event that is powerless to transform the outer life. Nevertheless it is potentially able to revolutionize man’s entree being. The manger, a feeding trough for animals, represents the animal life of the body in which the new life is first manifested.
Interpret verse 14: “Glory to God in the highest.” We glorify God only in the highest conscious reaches of our mind, soul, or body.
Why did the shepherds seek to verify their vision? Our first consciousness of the Christ life brings exaltation, but we soon wish to prove the reality of what we have experienced. The shepherds said one to another, “Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing that is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.”
“Mary kept all these sayings, pondering them in her heart.” What is the significance of this statement? The soul (Mary) puts meaning into life through meditation and reverie. The thought life enriches the soul (the shepherds verified for the mother the annunciation of the angel Gabriel that the babe was destined to become the Saviour of the world).
December 20, 1942: Luke 2:8-20
What is represented by the "shepherds in the same country abiding in the field, and keeping watch by night over their flock”? The shepherds represent the forces, chiefly subconscious, that watch over and control the natural life of the organism. The “field” is that of consciousness, and the fact that it was in darkness (by night) shows that it is the subconscious realm that is meant.
Who is the “Good Shepherd” or true guardian of all our forces? The I AM or Christ.
How is the birth of the Christ made manifest in the mind of man? As a faint conception on his part of his possibilities as a child of God. In the beginning he does not see how he can make practical use of it. The idea is immature, like a “babe wrapped in swaddling clothes”.
Does the idea of the Christ as the true nature of man come as an individual revelation? It comes to each man individually, but each one sees in it a principle of universal application. “Good tidings of great joy … to all the people.”
What is the significance of Bethlehem as the birthplace of Jesus Christ? Bethlehem means “house of bread”, and symbolizes the abiding place of substance. The substance in which the true man appears must be spiritual in character.
What does the angel represent, and why was “a multitude of the heavenly host” with it? Angels represent thoughts, and this “angel of the Lord” is a thought of great power, divine goodness, and love. Such thoughts attract to them a multitude of like thoughts and constructive powers.
What is the greatest “glory” that anyone can know? On earth peace among men whose life is in harmony with divine law (“in whom he is well pleased”).
Is the first thought that comes to man in confirmation of the conception of his nature as divine a convincing one, or does he require further proof before accepting it as true? He looks for further proof. “The shepherds said on to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing that is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.”
What follows final conviction of the truth? The imparting of it to others. “When they saw it, they made known concerning the saying which was spoken to them about this child"?
December 24, 1944: Luke 2:8-12
Of what is the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem a symbol? Of the dawning in consciousness of the conception of the Christ as a power that, rightly used, will give us self dominion and mastery over circumstance. Bethlehem (“house of bread”) is the substance out of which this conception is formed and enters the mind.
What does the “same country” in which the shepherds were keeping watch by night over their flocks represent, and what does the night signify? The flocks signify the mysterious life forces, in themselves innocent and defenseless, over which the guardians of conscious thought (shepherds) keep watch.
What watchfulness does the new Christ idea in the mind require on the part of one to whom it has just occurred? If it is to develop until it fills the consciousness and dominates the life it must be watched over with compete absorption and unremitting watchfulness.
Does the entrance of the Christ idea in the mind bring joy with it? It brings the deep, abiding joy of the spiritual consciousness. At first the idea is seen as only a possibility.
What change will herald the transformation of the earth to the heavenly state in which all people will be joyful? A change of consciousness that will put joy in doing good in place of the self-gratulation that the sense man feels in doing evil.
December 23, 1945: Luke 2:1-20
Jesus was born in Bethlehem rather than in Nazareth, where Joseph and Mary lived. What is the significance of this fact? The name Bethlehem means “house of bread” and Bethlehem represents the substance of Truth whereas the name Nazareth means “sprout” or “branch” and Nazareth represents the commonplace mind of man. The Christ has its origin in the substance of Truth, not in a commonplace or mediocre conception of life, although it later enters into the commonplace in order to transform it into a harmonious part of the whole.
How does the idea that our true nature is divine in origin first come to us? As a faint conception of our possibilities only. We do nothing to make it actual in the beginning, but we allow our mind to dwell on the thought as a possibility under favorable conditions.
Why was the newborn Jesus put into a manger? The manger represents the animal forces that are evidence at birth. The infant Jesus, wrapped in swaddling clothes, represents the helplessness of the dawning idea of the indwelling Christ in the heart of man.
What is the first reaction of the heart and soul to the thought that our true self is divine in strength and love? Joy fills the heart and the whole race is seen as one. “Great joy … shall be to all the people.” Exaltation follows.
In what portions of our being are we conscious of rendering glory to God? Only in the highest reaches of mind, heart, and soul.
Upon awakening to the newness of life that is in Christ is it our natural impulse to prove the reality of what we have experienced? Yes, We wish to prove the truth of what has come to us, and for this reason we send our thought down into the very substance of Truth to see the meaning of what has taken place.
What did Mary ponder in her heart the things that were told her by the shepherds? The soul of a person is devout and trustful towards God but oftentimes is inarticulate towards the souls of others. By meditating on what she did not understand Mary learned that right attitude to take toward events in the outer as well as toward the inner side of life.
Shepherds represent thoughts. Why did the shepherds return giving glory and praise to God? Because the revelation they had received had proved to be true. They were attested by the two quickest senses, seeing and hearing. The shepherds praised God “for all the things that they had heard and seen, even as it was spoken unto them.”
Metaphysically Interpreting Luke 2:21
2:21And when eight days were fulfilled for circumcising him, his name was called JESUS, which was so called by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
Metaphysically Interpreting Luke 2:22-38
2:22And when the days of their purification according to the law of Moses were fulfilled, they brought him up to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord 2:23(as it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord), 2:24and to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.
2:25And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 2:26And it had been revealed unto him by the Holy Spirit, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ. 2:27And he came in the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, that they might do concerning him after the custom of the law, 2:28then he received him into his arms, and blessed God, and said,
2:29Now lettest thou thy servant depart, Lord,
According to thy word, in peace;
2:30For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
2:31Which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples;
2:32A light for revelation to the Gentiles,
And the glory of thy people Israel.
2:33And his father and his mother were marvelling at the things which were spoken concerning him; 2:34and Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the falling and the rising of many in Israel; and for a sign which is spoken against; 2:35yea and a sword shall pierce through thine own soul; that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed.
2:36And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher (she was of a great age, having lived with a husband seven years from her virginity, 2:37and she had been a widow even unto fourscore and four years), who departed not from the temple, worshipping with fastings and supplications night and day. 2:38And coming up at that very hour she gave thanks unto God, and spake of him to all them that were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.
October 19, 1930: Luke 2:25-39
What is the meaning of Simeon? The name Simeon means “one who listens and obeys”. The listening faculty of mind shows itself in the devout Christian as the mental state that looks for and expects spiritual guidance and instruction direct from God. Its meaning may be summed up in the word obedient.
How may one be guided by the Holy Spirit? One who believes that God communes with man, and who open the way to such communion be being obedient to every hint received in visions, or dreams, or from the “still small voice,” is guided by the Holy Spirit.
How may one be shown that one is on the way to immortal life? Immortal life must be demonstrated by each individual. He who is devout, receptive, obedient, is shown that he is on the way to immortal life. He finds in the Temple (body) the Lord’s Christ; that is, the Lord’s anointed.
What does Anna, the prophetess, represent? Anna, the prophetess, who had long been a worshiper in the Temple, represents a certain conservation of spiritual life that has been built up by devotion and faithfulness.
Explain the verse, “And when they had accomplished all things that were according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee.” When the conscious and subconscious minds (Joseph and Mary) have united in carrying into effect in the body (temple) the freeing power of Spirit (all things that were according to the law of the Lord”), the mind comes down from its state of high exaltation and resumes the practical trend of everyday affairs (“they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth”). Galilee means “circuit,” and in this connection means that the normal round of life was again resumed.
January 12, 1936: Luke 2:25-35
What in this lesson is a symbol of divine insight or understanding? Simeon, meaning “hearing” or “one who listens and obeys,” symbolizes divine insight.
What law must be observed by man if he would gain divine insight or spiritual understanding? The law of expectation, stated in the words of Jesus as “Seek, and ye shall find,” must be kept by one who wishes to gain divine insight and understanding. Insight into the del things of Spirit does not come to man unsought.
Does God commune with man? The Creator communes with His entire creation, but man, His son, becomes conscious of this universal communion only as he mediates on spiritual things, turns to God in prayer, and seeks to be one with Him.
Though what avenue or avenues does understanding come to man? Understanding as conscious wisdom can reach man only through spiritual avenues, through the mind. The body possesses understanding only in subconscious form, as instinct. Man knows, and knows that he knows, through his spiritual nature.
What does understanding prove to us concerning the Christ? That we do not have to die and go to a place called heaven, in a time known as the hereafer, in oder to see the Christ, but that we may see the Christ here and now in the temple of the body or own own higher life consciousness.
Was Simeon a priest? If not, what does that fact signify? Simeon was not a priest but a righteous and devout man who was “looking for the consolation of Israel.” Hearing is not a function of the religious nature alone. It is used by man constantly in everyday matters. It can be turned towards the spiritual realm and trained to function as well on that plan as on the physical.
What does the Christ consciousness accomplish in man? It transforms his whole life by enabling him to become one with his aspirations and spiritual ideals in a practical way.
“Behold, this child is set for the falling and the rising of many in Israel.” Give the interpretation of this statement. Those who experience birth into the Christ consciousness find it necessary to readjust their religious convictions in many respects, discarding those which are no longer convincing in the light of spiritual understanding, and embracing in stead ideas that are new to them but compelling in their reasonableness.
Metaphysically Interpreting Luke 2:39-40
2:39And when they had accomplished all things that were according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth. 2:40And the child grew, and waxed strong, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.
January 12, 1936: Luke 2:40
How does man grow in the Christ Spirit? As man consciously dwells upon the thought of the Christ Spirit within him and submits himself to it as his guiding principle, he grows in spiritual strength and gains true wisdom.
Metaphysically Interpreting Luke 2:41-52
2:41And his parents went every year to Jerusalem at the feast of the passover. 2:42And when he was twelve years old, they went up after the custom of the feast; 2:43and when they had fulfilled the days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and his parents knew it not; 2:44but supposing him to be in the company, they went a day's journey; and they sought for him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance: 2:45and when they found him not, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking for him. 2:46And it came to pass, after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both hearing them, and asking them questions: 2:47and all that heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. 2:48And when they saw him, they were astonished; and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I sought thee sorrowing. 2:49And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? knew ye not that I must be in my Father's house? 2:50And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. 2:51And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth; and he was subject unto them: and his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.
2:52And Jesus advanced in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
January 3, 1904: Luke 2:40-52
Jesus represents the growing consciousness within that we are Son of God; Joseph represents the son of man, and Mary the Divine Motherhood. These all enter into the consciousness of the individual, and the object of their labors is the rounding out of the Son of God, or Jesus, until he is a perfect demonstration of God. The two sides of Being are always in evidence to the one who thinks deeply. Why the formless must become formed, and why the invisible must become visible is not easily answered. (Why do two and two equal four?) It is not necessary to explain how - observation proves the fact, and experience demonstrates that satisfaction comes by following this law of creation. The religionist calls it regeneration and the scientist evolution. We may differ as to the character of the process, but the final results are identical. All men are striving to be God manifest. “BE ye perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
“The child grew and waxed strong, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon him.” The growth of strength and wisdom of the Jesus consciousness is not always patent to the outer man. It is the “grace of God upon him: that brings about an inner spiritual strength that remains hidden until it reaches a certain development in all parts of the mind and body. At first we realize a change in thought, next a distinct vibration in body. When the growth is regular there is a spiritualization of some centre in the mind and body each year, until the whole twelve have been raised to a higher rate of activity and a clearer perception of Truth. This is the going up each year to the feast of the passover at Jerusalem. The “passover” is the passing over from a lower to a higher plane of consciousness. To attain this “sacrifices” have to be made in the city of Jerusalem, or place of spiritual peace and harmony. Thus it is found that when we are progressing in orderly steps in regeneration that we give up some sense appetite or passion about every twelve months. This involves a certain facility in going within the consciousness, in which is a place of peace, Jerusalem, and a returning to the without with the fruit of the communion. Sometimes the soul and body, Mary and Joseph, in their hurry to come to the surface of life, or return home, forget the young child Jesus or take for granted that he is in the company. But he is not found, and they return for him. This means that we are to be specific in bringing forth from the inner or invisible side of Being all the factors that enter into consciousness, because if we do not we shall have to return sorrowing after “three days”, which is an entering into spirit, soul and body, where we find the Son of God in the temple “sitting in the midst of the doctors.” The thoughts in the organism that preside over and regulate the various functions are here referred to as the “doctors.” Jesus, the Wisdom of God individualized, gives these doctors a new understanding of the Divine Law, and all are amazed at the higher revelation.
This work of Jesus in the “Father’s House,” as it is in the Revised Testament, is one of the most vital points in developing health of mind and body. The outer consciousness may not understand (verse 50) why the all-powerful Son of the Most High should spend so much time in this inner communion, but experience proves that it is necessary, and those who give due attention to it find that a certain harmony is established, which may be brought to the outer realms (Nazareth), and made to serve and be subject to the commonest walks of life. This balancing of the within and without brings about that harmonious evolution in soul and body which is described in verse 52, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.”
January 21, 1906: Luke 2:40-52
Golden Text: 2:52And Jesus advanced in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
The growth and expansion of man is a matter of exceeding interest. The greatest minds of the race, like Darwin and Huxley, have made the object of their lives research and study of this most interesting subject. They have found irrefutable evidence of man’s development step by step in intelligence and general capacity. They have not gone into a discussion of the causes lying back of his steady unfoldment, but have merely read the record in nature. They have recognized an invisible and to them unknown force that is apparently pushing man forward, but its character they do not attempt to explain. They find evidences of great leaps in man’s development that they cannot explain on the Natural plane. The “missing link” of Darwin is an example. The reason they are unable to fill in these gaps is that they are not informed of the processes that enter into the evolution of mind.
Every idea in the Principle of Being has unlimited capacity of expression. Mind is the causative and directive agent in the whole universe, and man is ints choicest fruit. It is the mind in man that has brought the rosebud to be a luscious apple, and it is that same mind that is constantly striving to make a higher type of mankind. It is waste of effort to discuss whether this mind is God or man - they are so closely related in the work that an analysis of one blends into the other; so let us be content and call it Mind.
As we graft higher types of fruit onto common trees, so Mind is grafting higher types of men into the minds of those who think. The Jesus Christ man is a type far in advance of the race average at present, but possible to all. When the mind is impregnated with the ideas which are the formative factors in producing that higher man there is a new birth; the Christ possibility begins to take form. But there must be a steady growth in order to attain the fuller capacities of the larger man. This is the child who grows and waxes strong and is filled with wisdom and grace of God.
The “passover” is the illumination that comes to consciousness as we pass from the ignorance of the outer to the understanding of the inner. The “feast” is a physical change that takes place in a union of the vitality with the higher forces of the soul. The soul absorbs a certain vital energy when we feel what is termed “vibrations.” The energy is passing from the life centre up to the heart where a union takes place. This the going up to Jerusalem to the feast of the passover.
This refining and unifying of the substance in the heart centre lays the foundation for a still higher union. The Wisdom Sphere comes down and an illumination follows. This is Jesus in the temple asking and answering the questions of the doctors. The search for Jesus by his parents, and his discovery in his “Father’s house,” indicates a lack of adjustment of the new consciousness to old conditions. We want it to return with us to the affairs of the outer world, and we presume that it has, when we all at once miss its presence, and, searching find it deep within the temple. All parts of consciousness do not understand the import of all this, but it sinks deep into the soul, Mary, who “kept all these sayings in her heart,” where the child Jesus is advancing in “wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.”
July 8, 1923: Luke 2:41-52
What does Jesus represent in this lesson? Jesus represents the new state of consciousness which is growing in those who have the right understanding of the true character of God and of man.
What is the symbolical meaning of Jesus, at the age of twelve, going up to Jerusalem to the feast with his parents? The feast represents the appropriation of spiritual substance from the inner consciousness. Twelve is the number of the spiritual man, and in this lesson it represents the first full perception of man’s twelvefold powers.
What is the meaning of the passage: “The boy Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem”? In our high moments of spiritual understanding the ego attaches itself to the inner life and wisdom and abides there for a time, while the soul, repressed by the parents, returns to outer consciousness.
What is represented by Jesus’ sitting in the midst of the teachers in the temple, hearing them and asking them questions? The temple represents the body in which is the “secret place of the Most High,” (Psalms 91:1) where spiritual consciousness communes with the Lord. It was into this inner cave that Elijah retired and heard the “still small voice” (I Kings 19:12)
Why did Jesus say to his parents when they returned and found him in the temple: “How is it that ye sought me? Knew yet not that I must be in my Father’s house?” The soul, represented by Mary and Joseph, is not yet acquainted with the redemptive work to be accomplished in the body by the Christ. Many people in the regeneration think that all that is necessary is to set the mind right. However, experience shows that there is an organic work to be done in the organism that will raise it from material life to spiritual life.
What is the meaning of: “And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth; and he was subject unto them: and his mother kept all these sayings in her heart”? The Christ Spirit is an all-pervading essence working in every realm of mind and body. When we do not understand its true character, we make it subject to our will, but in our hearts we have the realization that it is more than the child Jesus.
What is the spiritual meaning of: “And Jesus advanced in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men”? When once the Christ idea has been conceived by man, and man allows it to do its transforming work freely in him, he advances, as it is here recorded that Jesus advanced in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men.
October 9, 1932: Luke 2:40-52
In the lesson today, what do the principal characters represent? Joseph represents the natural man (the son of man - the conscious mind); Mary represents divine motherhood, the love of the subconscious mind; Jesus is the individualized entity, which the Christ is developing in the regeneration to the end that a higher form of man may be brought forth.
How does the consciousness that the spiritual body is becoming wise and full of the grace of God come to those who are in regeneration? The consciousness of the new body of the indwelling Christ comes through communion with the soul in meditation and prayer. Those who are in the regeneration learn to feel the new life and substance quickening and forming the new body in Christ. Let “Christ be formed in you.”
What is the meaning of “the feast of the passover”? In the regeneration the substance of the flesh body is refined and transmuted until it passes from material consciousness to spiritual consciousness. This transmuted substance is appropriated by the new body, as food is appropriated at a feast.
What does the number twelve in the age of Jesus represent? The twelve spiritual ideas are fundamental in man’s constitution. At a certain stage of development these twelve ideas begin to express in the body, and there is a quickening of all the functions. This change corresponds to puberty in the natural man.
Explain the verse, “the boy Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and his parents knew it not.” After we have had a feast of the soul and have returned to our outer duties, we are likely to forget the Christ; then we have to return to the inner consciousness (Jerusalem), where we find Him.
Explain the meaning of the 46th verse: “And it came to pass, after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both hearing them, and asking them questions.” Days symbolize degrees of mind activity. These three days symbolize three different planes of consciousness. All outer activities function through the body “day” or the degree of materiality. The next inner degree is the soul or mind degree, and at the very center of our being we find the spiritual degree or “day.” Jesus said: “I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another made without hands.” When we have passed through these three degrees or steps we find that the original fount of wisdom and understanding within us answers all our questions.
Explain the words, “And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? knew ye not that I must be in my Father’s House?” The growing spiritual ego, Jesus, is engrossed in its work of building the new body temple, and to it the outer is trivial and secondary. It knows that the salvation of man depends, in part, upon the construction of a perfect body. Jesus is represented as the carpenter, and the climax of His mastery was the reconstruction of His body until He overcame the last enemy, death.
November 3, 1934: Luke 2:42-52
Under what law of growth does man develop? Man must grow physically, mentally, and spiritually in order to fulfill the law of his being, which is to come into the perfection of the Christ life.
Does Jesus represent a feature of this law? The child Jesus represents our growing inner consciousness that we are sons of God. The law is in process of fulfillment in Him.
What do Joseph and Mary represent in the lesson today? Joseph represents the son of man - the conscious mind. Mary represents divine motherhood - the subconscious mind.
On what does the spiritualization of man in mind and body depend? This state is attained through the regular exercise of the spiritual qualities of faith, right conduct (virtue), knowledge, self-control, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love.
May and Joseph went up to Jerusalem each year to the feast of the Passover. What is symbolized by this journey? The custom of going up to Jerusalem each year to the feast of the Passover symbolizes the ascent from material to spiritual consciousness by man.
How can the giving up of sense appetites and passions be done easily and successfully? The one who earnestly seeks to regenerate himself finds sense appetites and passions falling away from him as he progresses in his chosen course.
Joseph and Mary left the child Jesus behind them in Jerusalem, and were not aware of His absence from the company until they had gone a day’s journey. What is represented by this incident? We see in this incident the truth that the conscious and the subconscious mind may easily lose sight of the growing inner consciousness of man as a son of God. We may forget both our true origin and our goal.
Why is regular communion with God in prayer and mediation important? Communion with God is essential to health of mind, body, and soul. It precedes all growth in the spiritual realm. Through communion with God comes the harmonious evolution of the mind and soul symbolized by the statement “And Jesus advanced in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.”
November 6, 1938: Luke 2:46-52
"How is it that ye sought me? knew ye not that I must be in my Father's house?” What does the metaphysician understand by these questions? He sees that the Christ must abide in the body of man (the Father's house), and that this divine principle indwells in man. It need not be sought elsewhere, for it is close at hand.
What should be the development of a child of God? The normal development of a child |of God should follow that of Jesus, who "advanced in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.”
October 13, 1940: Luke 2:40-52
In what respect did the boyhood of Jesus differ from that of other boys? “The grace of God” was upon the adolescent Jesus. Others of His age grow strong and progress towards maturity, but unless the grace of God is upon them they do not develop their spiritual powers as Jesus did.
What do Joseph, Mary and Jesus represent? Joseph represents the son of man, Mary divine motherhood, and Jesus the consciousness by which each one knows himself to be a son of God.
What law governs growth? Without activity there is no growth. This applies to mental and spiritual growth as well as to physical.
To what extend is the grace of God made manifest in man? To the extent that man manifests Godlikeness in his relations with others.
What symbology is found in the sacrifices offered each year at the feast of the Passover in Jerusalem? The lower or animal consciousness is given up to make room for the higher. This occurs at the heart center or place of peace (Jerusalem).
What is out pictured by the tarrying behind of the boy Jesus in Jerusalem after His parents had departed for Nazareth? This event shows that those who are as yet undeveloped in the Christ life sometimes prefer to enjoy their new found peace instead of setting the Christ Spirit to work in the heart, where it will make all things new.
The mother of Jesus kept all His sayings in her heart. What does that mean? The soul (represented by the mother) meditates on the Christ ideal in an effort to understand the universal life as it applies to the individual.
What steps in the regeneration are visible to the inner eye? A change in one’s habitual thinking is observed and finally a clearer perception of Truth.
What is one of the influences that contribute to the spiritual evolution of the child? The influence of devoted, faithful parents.
October 18, 1942: Luke 2:40, 52
Why do we study growth? Because growth is the law of life. While conscious life persists there must be growth; therefore we wish to understand the conditions that govern it.
By what other name is this law sometimes called? The law of increase.
Does the law of growth apply to the Christ also? It applies to man’s consciousness of the Christ in himself. This grows as he brings his thoughts, impulses, and conduct into harmony with the Christ principle.
What are the conditions of spiritual growth, of growth in faith for example? We must believe in the integrity of spiritual truth before our faith can be absolutely unwavering. If we believe that the law is as unvarying in its application to things of the mind and soul as it is to physical and material things, our faith is steadfast and grows firmer day by day. We obtain “a like precious faith … in the righteousness of our God and the Saviour Jesus Christ.”
Could a God who is not invariably right and just or a Saviour who does not always save command our allegiance? No; there must be firmness of conviction if faith is to be worthy of the name. Spiritual realities and moral principles must be recognized as absolute.
October 24, 1943: Luke 2:48-51
Is our growth in understanding and knowledge according to ordinary law? Yes, it is normal and right that under the influence of the Christ Spirit we should increase in both knowledge and understanding just as the child does.
Where does all thought originate? In Divine Mind. The latter is the "father" of the thought processes.
What meaning do we find for ourselves as individuals in the words of Jesus "Knew ye not that I must be in my Father's house"? We see that each of us, through the use of the I AM, must build a consciousness of our divine nature and a body (house) that is an expression that nature.
What then does obedience to the Father mean? It means that we gladly acknowledge our debt to Divine Mind as the source of all our thoughts, of the light that we have, and that we seek to follow the way of Truth as embodying the thoughts of Divine Mind in divine order.
October 14, 1945: Luke 2:51,52
As a youth in Nazareth Jesus was subject to His parents. Is a metaphysical truth found in this statement? The name Nazareth means “branch”, "offshoot," and Nazareth symbolizes the commonplace mind of man or the mind that is occupied with the ordinary affairs of every day. Jesus grew to manhood in ordinary surroundings, advancing "in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men." His growth in wisdom and favor was the result of His development under the divine law of obedience to His parents and of His mother's meditation on Him as the Son of God. (She "kept all these sayings in her heart.")
August 11, 1946: Luke 2:51, 52
Did Jesus, the Son of God, express the ideal of sonship in an earthly sense also? He did. He was subject to His parents and accepted their authority over Him.
What traits making for ideal manhood or womanhood are developed in ideal childhood? Unquestioning obedience to rightful authority, reverence for superior experience and wisdom, gratitude for love and care, and awareness of individual responsibility.
January 16, 1949: Luke 2:39-43
In this lesson what do Joseph, Mary and Jesus represent? Joseph represents the Son of man or, in other terms, conscious mind; Mary represents divine motherhood or, in other terms, the soul or subconscious mind; Jesus represents the perfect-idea man, the individualized Christ consciousness growing to spiritual maturity.
What is symbolized by Nazareth in Galilee, where Joseph and Mary and the infant Jesus returned? Metaphysically Nazareth in Galilee symbolizes the ordinary or commonplace surroundings in which Truth is received and in which spiritual development takes place. Our first perception of Truth (the birth of Jesus) is accompanied by a great spiritual awakening (the song of the angels), but our understanding of Truth grows amid the ordinary experiences of life.
Why are we told that “the grace of God was upon” Jesus? Jesus the boy and the man had innate within Him all the qualities and powers of God. Through His recognition of His oneness with His heavenly Father He brought His divinity to perfect spiritual maturity.
What is symbolized by the “feast of the passover” at Jerusalem? The passover symbolizes a transition from a lower to a higher state of consciousness. The mind appropriates few and higher ideas of Truth at the “feast”, in Jerusalem (“habitation of peace,” the inner dwelling place of spirit).
What is the metaphysical meaning of the words “the boy Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and his parents knew it not”? After we have enjoyed a spiritual “feast," where we have laid hold of new, uplifting ideas of Truth and have returned to our outer duties, we are likely to forget the Christ; then we have to return to the inner place of peace, where we find Him.
January 16, 1949: Luke 2:46-52
Explain what is symbolized by Jesus "in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both hearing them, and asking them questions." Jesus In the Temple symbolizes the Christ Spirit in the midst of our being, illumining us with divine wisdom, healing our ills and troubles, and establishing in us a sense of peace and divine order.
Why were the parents of Jesus astonished and apparently provoked when they found Him? The outer consciousness does not clearly understand the work that is going on within. It gives undue importance to temporal matters and neglects to give attention to spiritual ones.
What is the meaning of Jesus' words "Knew ye not that I must be in my Father's house"? The work of the Christ is not only to uplift the inner man but to build a new body temple through regeneration of the physical body. Jesus is represented in the Scriptures as the carpenter, and the climax of His mastery was the reconstruction of His body until He overcame the last enemy, death.
The mother of Jesus kept all His sayings in her heart. What does this mean? The soul (represented by the mother) meditates on the Christ ideal in an effort to understand divine life as it applies to the individual.
August 27, 1950: Luke 2:48-51
What is the "Father's house," where the Christ, the divine-idea man, can always be found? The regenerate body of man houses the Christ, the divine idea.
Transcribed by Tracie Louise on 11-04-2013