Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Luke Chapter 5
Metaphysically Interpreting Luke 5:1-11
5:1Now it came to pass, while the multitude pressed upon him and heard the word of God, that he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret; 5:2and he saw two boats standing by the lake: but the fishermen had gone out of them, and were washing their nets. 5:3And he entered into one of the boats, which was Simon's, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the multitudes out of the boat. 5:4And when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Put out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. 5:5And Simon answered and said, Master, we toiled all night, and took nothing: but at thy word I will let down the nets. 5:6And when they had done this, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes; and their nets were breaking; 5:7and they beckoned unto their partners in the other boat, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. 5:8But Simon Peter, when he saw it, fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. 5:9For he was amazed, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken; 5:10and so were also James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. 5:11And when they had brought their boats to land, they left all, and followed him.
January 31, 1904: Luke 5:1-11
We neither affirm nor deny the historical truth of the New Testament. The leading incidents probably took place, but that it is intended to be accurate in historical detail is questionable. Even sticklers for the historical theory are nonplussed at certain passages that cannot be interpreted other than allegorical, notably lesson three, in which is represented a conversation between Jesus and an “adversary.” It is stated this took place in the wilderness, and there was no one present save Jesus and this “adversary.” The question naturally presents itself, Who reported the conversation? Also, where is there a mountain from which may be seen “all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them”? Where in the wilderness was the temple upon which Jesus was seated by this adversary? The allegory is quite evident here, and, if here, why not elsewhere?
Mystics, who claim to know the origin of these writings, which are obscure in church history, tell us that they were written long after Jesus lived and taught. That the leading incidents actually took place, and were used as a basis for the history of the processes that work out in the soul's regeneration in everyone. Read according to the letter, the historical narrative seems complete, but let one enter into the spiritual consciousness and the page is transformed into a description of just what is taking place in the daily experience of one who is striving to overcome “the world, the flesh and the devil.”
Then the true interpretation of the lesson today is that Jesus did not actually meet three men on the lake shore and command them to follow him as his disciples, causing them to leave their occupation and families and travel about the country with him, but in a certain stage of soul travel we become conscious of characteristics in ourselves which these men represent.
Every Hebrew name has a meaning. Simon is one who bears and obeys. This evidently refers to that faculty of man that receives and obeys spiritual inspiration. This requires cultivation and discipline before it can be relied upon as a safe guide. This faculty that hears and obeys is not interested in spiritual things; its attention is engrossed in the outer world, and it knows nothing about the inner sources of power. The boat represents the human limitations in which it has been wont to exercise itself. The Higher Consciousness enters this boat and affirms the truths of Being to all the assembled thoughts. “He taught the multitudes out of the boat.” Personal effort has toiled all night, in the darkness of sense perception, and took nothing. But when Spirit enters and commands, “Launch, put into the deep,” there is “a great multitude of fishes.” This breaking away from the shore of personal limitations and enlarging the capacity of a faculty by mental boldness, is one of the very first and most important steps into that larger capacity which the soul is about to enjoy.
We must have a greater confidence in our ability as the child of the Mighty One, and put it to the test in doing things. Millions of competent people are today washing empty nets, because they do not know about this Higher Self right at hand, willing and ready to show them how to launch out into the deep, and fill the net of desire to the point of breaking. When the personality is first made cognizant of the tremendous increase of results in its efforts through obeying the Spirit, it is stricken with its own inadequacy, and, like Simon Peter, confesses itself a sinner, or one who falls short. James and John, the brothers who are “partners with Simon,” are Understanding and Love, necessary co-operators with Simon Peter, the impetuous one. They are sons of Zebedee, the Abundant One, meaning God.
– UNITY magazine.
February 11, 1906: Luke 5:1-11
The work of the I AM, Jesus, in redeeming his consciousness begins on the shores of the Universal Life, “Lake Gennesaret.” The meaning of this word is, to whirl in a circle, which exactly corresponds to the nature of the Universal Ether now postulated by science as the source of electricity, heat, light, in fact, everything in the universe. The flesh of man is but a certain vortex motion in this Universal Ether; the circulation of the blood is caused by ether pressure, and all the functions of the organism rise in some action in this great sea of life that is constantly in energy yet never moves away.
The two boats represent the two phases of body consciousness in man, the one within and the other without. The body is projected from the mind first as a thought picture or image. This primary body may be compared to the clouds that surround the earth. In due course it becomes dense and is precipitated to the earthly plane, and we call it the corporal body. Paul called this the “spiritual body,” more carefully translated, the psychical body. The Hindus call it the astral body.
The disciples represent the faculties of the mind. Under the Divine Law they function from the within to the without through the soul vehicle, which is the psychical body. But in ignorance and material darkness (night), they lose that inner connection and go off into the nothingness of material thought, “washing their nets.” The I AM enters the boat of Simon (hearing, receptivity, faith in things spiritual), and prays him put out a little from the land. We have to enter into spiritual consciousness and deny away the seeming presence and earthly reality of material surroundings. Then we may rest at ease and tell the Truth of Being to all our listening thoughts.
Then, when we have established through our Word of Understanding, the right relation between the man and his soul, we draw from the Great Sea of Life a multitude of ideas, (fishes). This influx first fills the psychical body and overflows into the material until both are full. When Faith (Peter) sees how great is the supply right at hand, he is convicted of his sin, or falling short, and confesses that he has been an ignoramus. This evidence of the power of the I AM to demonstrate on a higher plane than the material, quickens some of the other faculties that have been in material delusion, and when they make the unity between the soul and body, they leave all as sources of life, and follow the One Absolute, the I AM, which is above both soul and body.
– UNITY magazine.
Sunday; February 2, 1936: Luke 5:1-11
How can we make our thoughts serve us? By using our I AM power of spiritual discernment we train and organize our thoughts, directing them towards a chosen objective. As we develop power to concentrate, we use our thoughts constructively.
In order to teach the multitudes Jesus entered into a boat and put out a little from the land. What is symbolized by this statement? Many thoughts crowd the mind of the man in personal consciousness. To set them in order he employs a positive thought (a boat), and withdraws a little from personal things into the will of Spirit.
Are the thoughts of the personal consciousness the only ones that require setting in order? All the thoughts of man, including those which are reaching out for light, strength, and healing as well as self-centered personal thoughts, must be in divine order before man can gain self-mastery and dominion.
What does Jesus represent in this lesson? What does Simon? Jesus represents the spiritual I AM authority that speaks “the word of God” to unenlightened thoughts, and converts them from aimlessness to concentrated purpose. Simon (hearing) represents faith or spiritual perception.
What is the “deep” into which everyone is to launch out in faith, and what are the nets he is to let down? The sea of divine life is the deep, and the nets are prayer, concentrated attention, and confident expectation.
Is man able to accept unlimited new ideas on faith alone? Unaided faith is not equal to the task of dealing with the countless new ideas that swarm through the mind when constructive, concentrated thinking is practiced. Love and judgment as well as faith are required to meet the situation.
Name one aspect of Truth that is hard to take on faith in the beginning of metaphysical study. The truth that one can use spiritual means to demonstrate prosperity is often difficult to accept in faith, owing to the hold that previous interpretations of self-denial have on the mind.
January 1, 1939: Luke 5:1-11
What does the Lake of Gennesaret represent? Gennesaret (valley of riches) represents the sea of divine life. The universal life principle unites us with all creation, both within and without the consciousness.
What do the nets that the fishermen were mending signify? Fishermen represent gatherers of ideas in which there is great possibility of increase. The nets that gather these ideas are the traits of interest, attention, and application in the inquiring mind.
How are nets of this kind “washed”? By denying oneself distractions one is able to keep ones interest undivided. By refusing to give attention to externals, one insures concentration or close attention to ideas. By refusing to allow the mind to jump from one subject to another one learns to apply oneself. One retains the inquiring mind by remaining childlike or simple in one's tastes and interests. Thus one washes or cleans the nets in readiness for new ideas.
Interpret the command of Jesus “Put out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.” The I AM directs man to entrust himself to the universal life principle (the deep) and through meditation and prayer so fix his interest and attention on this principle and so apply himself to it in expectation of receiving new light, that he will fill his mind with new ideas.
January 13, 1952: Luke 5:1-11
How are we related to the rest of the creation, visible and invisible? Through the universal life principle, which functions both within our consciousness and external to it.
In this lesson what represents the life principle? The Lake of Gennesaret, or the sea of divine life. Our awareness of our oneness with this principle is represented by Jesus standing beside Gennesaret.
What does training in concentration accomplish for us? It brings self-dominion and mastery, as we learn to control our thoughts by using our I AM power of spiritual discernment in training and organizing them. To what do the multitudes correspond that Jesus taught from Simon's boat? They correspond to our thoughts that are receptive to light, strength, and healing. Through the I AM we train these thoughts to the limit of their receptivity.
What is the effect of such training on our thoughts? They are turned from aimlessness into concentrated purpose. We should remember that thoughts can be trained on either good or evil, and we should hold the good steadily before our mental vision in order to impress it firmly in our mind.
When are we ready to receive and develop new ideas and to understand deeper truths than we have before perceived? When we have put our thinking processes in order and have formed the habit of disciplined reasoning. We accept these ideas partly by the aid of faith (Simon).
What symbolism is involved in the washing of the nets and the putting out into the deep and letting them down for a draught? The washing of the nets represents denial of error. We launch out upon the sea of life under the direction of the I AM, the Christ. We “let down the nets” in the form of attention, prayer, and expectation, to catch rich ideas of spiritual substance.
When do we call faith into action? Early in our search for Truth. Judgment and love are called with faith to develop the new ideas that have entered the mind. Love gathers in ideas of substance and, in conjunction with faith, sets the law of increase in motion.
In what spirit should we undertake the solution of our problems? We should meet every problem in a fearless, indomitable spirit. We should never allow our fears to influence or disturb our faith, for to do so is to invite defeat.
Metaphysically Interpreting Luke 5:12-16
5:12And it came to pass, while he was in one of the cities, behold, a man full of leprosy: and when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. 5:13And he stretched forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou made clean. And straightway the leprosy departed from him. 5:14And he charged him to tell no man: but go thy way, and show thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing, according as Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them. 5:15But so much the more went abroad the report concerning him: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed of their infirmities. 5:16But he withdrew himself in the deserts, and prayed.
February 1, 1931: Luke 5:12-16
Did Jesus take any precautions to avoid infection from leprosy and other contagious diseases? There is no record that any precautions were taken by Jesus Christ to avoid infection when He was engaged in healing the sick. He was without fear of evil, because He acknowledged only the power of the Highest, which is good. He put His hand on the leper to prove to him that he was fearless and confident, and to strengthen the leper's faith, He spoke in short, decisive words: “I will; be thou made clean,” and we are told that “straightway the leprosy departed from” the afflicted man, although the text shows that he was in the last stage of the disease (“full of leprosy”).
Metaphysically Interpreting Luke 5:17-26
5:17And it came to pass on one of those days, that he was teaching; and there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, who were come out of every village of Galilee and Judaea and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was with him to heal. 5:18And behold, men bring on a bed a man that was palsied: and they sought to bring him in, and to lay him before him. 5:19And not finding by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went up to the housetop, and let him down through the tiles with his couch into the midst before Jesus. 5:20And seeing their faith, he said, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee. 5:21And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this that speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone? 5:22But Jesus perceiving their reasonings, answered and said unto them, Why reason ye in your hearts? 5:23Which is easier, to say, Thy sins are forgiven thee; or to say, Arise and walk? 5:24But that ye may know that the Son of man hath authority on earth to forgive sins (he said unto him that was palsied), I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go unto thy house. 5:25And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his house, glorifying God. 5:26And amazement took hold on all, and they glorified God; and they were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things to-day.
November 5, 1922: Luke 5:17-26
In today's lesson: Jesus is healing in Capernaum. What is the meaning of this? When the I AM identifies itself with the consciousness of wholeness, or perfection of body in Divine Mind, orderly life becomes active in the body. This is the ministry of Jesus in Capernaum.
What agent does Divine Mind use in healing the body? The healing agent in Divine Mind is the Holy Spirit, or Holy Mother.
What does the “man that was palsied” represent? The “man that was palsied” represents one who has sinned against divine order and cut off the free flow of life in his body.
When the pressure of material thoughts, represented by the “Pharisees and doctors of the law” is so great that one cannot by affirmation and denial reach the spiritual consciousness within, what should be done? The attention should be centered at the highest point in consciousness, the housetop, and then let down into the body.
What is the meaning of the word, sin? The word, sin, comes from the Greek; it means missing the goal. The Jesus Christ perfection is the goal of the Christian. Paul says, “I press on toward the goal unto the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:14).
What will heal all sins and their bodily out-picturings? The realization of the perfection of man, as idealized by Divine Mind, will overcome all error and all bodily sickness.
TruthUnity note: for an elaboration on this interpretation, see Dealing With Stress Through Spiritual Methods — How To Overcome Guilt And Anger by Winifred Wilkinson Hausmann.
Metaphysically Interpreting Luke 5:27-32
5:27And after these things he went forth, and beheld a publican, named Levi, sitting at the place of toll, and said unto him, Follow me. 5:28And he forsook all, and rose up and followed him.
5:29And Levi made him a great feast in his house: and there was a great multitude of publicans and of others that were sitting at meat with them. 5:30And the Pharisees and their scribes murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with the publicans and sinners? 5:31And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are in health have no need of a physician; but they that are sick. 5:32I am not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.
July 29, 1923: Luke 5:27-28
When a higher state of consciousness than the material is shown to man, and he decides to follow the light, what faculty carries out his decision? The will. “And he forsook all, and rose up and followed him.”
April 14, 1946: Luke 5:27-28
What state of mind is our greatest need at the present time? That of devotion to Truth. We take Truth for granted, and this makes for lukewarmness. We need to love it with our whole heart, mind, soul, and service, if we are to lift up in ourselves what is common and unclean to the immaculate standard of the Christ.
February 2, 1936: Luke 5:27-28
In the closing verses of this lesson Jesus calls Levi (Matthew) to be His disciple. What does this disciple represent, and why is his work needed? Levi or Matthew represents the will. His calling is important, because until the will is disciplined and taught to work in conjunction with faith, love, and spiritual judgment, man cannot fully exert his authority and dominion.
Metaphysically Interpreting Luke 5:33-39
5:33And they said unto him, The disciples of John fast often, and make supplications; likewise also the disciples of the Pharisees; but thine eat and drink. 5:34And Jesus said unto them, Can ye make the sons of the bride-chamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? 5:35But the days will come; and when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, then will they fast in those days. 5:36And he spake also a parable unto them: No man rendeth a piece from a new garment and putteth it upon an old garment; else he will rend the new, and also the piece from the new will not agree with the old. 5:37And no man putteth new wine into old wine-skins; else the new wine will burst the skins, and itself will be spilled, and the skins will perish. 5:38But new wine must be put into fresh wine-skins. 5:39And no man having drunk old wine desireth new; for he saith, The old is good.
January 20, 1952: Luke 5:27-39
Is the appeal of material success greater or less than that of selflessness and spiritual living? The appeal to come up higher or the call to spiritual living and selflessness is greater than any appeal to mere material success. When Jesus called Matthew, or Levi, to follow Him that disciple immediately left his work of collecting taxes or toll, and followed Jesus.
What else did Matthew do that showed the sincerity of his conversion to Christ? He made a great feast for Jesus, and invited many other publicans and others as guests. When the will is converted to Truth, it endeavors to show the riches of the spiritual life to the thoughts not yet receptive to Truth (“publicans and others”).
In this lesson what goes Matthew represent? He represents the will. It is through the exercise of the will that faith is built up, held fast, and strengthened.
In what respect is the will a tax gatherer or an enforcer of duty? In the personal consciousness the will reminds us to do what we ought to do, but what we do not always desire to do. The will is represented by the despised class of publicans, whose duty it was to levy and collect taxes from all.
What distinction can be made between personal and spiritual will? Spiritual will is good will or will directed by love, in which duty and desire merge into one. In the spiritualized will there is no willfulness or considerations of self interest.
Do prayer and meditation play any part in the stabilizing of the will? Yes. These exercises help us to stabilize the universal substance so that the will becomes a producer of good under the direction of the Christ.
How is the promise of Jesus that those who have left material gain, family, or property for His sake shall receive a hundredfold more in this present life fulfilled? The joy and satisfaction that comes to the believer through his faith is richer compensation than any material or personal gain he could experience as an unbeliever. Paul “suffered the loss of all things” (Phil. 3:8), and counted them “but refuse” that he might gain Christ.
In making decisions the will plays an important part. What other faculties reinforce its action? Zeal and enthusiasm make the work of the will much easier than it otherwise would be.
How do we overcome our secret sins? We overcome our secret sins not by ignoring them, but by uncovering and correcting them. Jesus sat down to eat with publicans and sinners not because sin appealed to Him, but because He wished to help those men and reclaim them to right ways of living. The word of Truth seeks to redeem those who are spiritually in darkness.
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 01-17-2014