Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Luke Chapter 7
Metaphysically Interpreting Luke 7:1-10
7:1After he had ended all his sayings in the ears of the people, he entered into Capernaum. 7:2And a certain centurion's servant, who was dear unto him, was sick and at the point of death. 7:3And when he heard concerning Jesus, he sent unto him elders of the Jews, asking him that he would come and save his servant. 7:4And they, when they came to Jesus, besought him earnestly, saying, He is worthy that thou shouldest do this for him; 7:5for he loveth our nation, and himself built us our synagogue. 7:6And Jesus went with them. And when he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying unto him, Lord, trouble not thyself; for I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: 7:7wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say the word, and my servant shall be healed. 7:8For I also am a man set under authority, having under myself soldiers: and I say to this one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. 7:9And when Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned and said unto the multitude that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.7:10And they that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant whole.
Metaphysically Interpreting Luke 7:11-17
7:11And it came to pass soon afterwards, that he went to a city called Nain; and his disciples went with him, and a great multitude. 7:12Now when he drew near to the gate of the city, behold, there was carried out one that was dead, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her. 7:13And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. 7:14And he came nigh and touched the bier: and the bearers stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. 7:15And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he gave him to his mother. 7:16And fear took hold on all: and they glorified God, saying, A great prophet is arisen among us: and, God hath visited his people. 7:17And this report went forth concerning him in the whole of Judaea, and all the region round about. 7:18And the disciples of John told him of all these things.
April 15, 1906: Luke 7:1-17
What is the central truth of this lesson? Spiritual man's dominion over disease and death.
What is the foundation of this dominion? Faith. Jesus said, “I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.”
What other great truth is illustrated? The Omnipresence of Mind. The “word” of Jesus was evidently heard by the sick servant, though he was “far from the house.”
Is this the same as the absent healing that is being done in this day? Exactly. Where the consciousness of the healed is in the Spiritual, and the patient, or some very close friend, has faith, there is always a response.
What does this prove? That Jesus worked under laws that are universal and just as operative today as when he used them.
How does the “Word” that Jesus sent forth differ from the centurion's command? The centurion's proceeded from the intellect while that of Jesus was from the Spirit. One was with spiritual authority, which directs and controls all thoughts, while the other was material authority and confined to the realm of forms.
Yet it was the centurion's faith that caused Jesus to send forth his healing word. What is the meaning of this? The centurion believed that Jesus could order about disease as he orders his soldiers: say to fever, palsy, Go! and it will go. Thus the intellect may not have faith in its own power to command disease, but its expectancy of power on a higher plane will call it into action. This is one of the peculiar laws of mind action, which is being proven everywhere by those who put it to the test.
What does the raising of the widow's son illustrate? The authority of the Spiritual man over death? No, only those who have quickened and made alive the sleeping consciousness of their own souls.
What is the most potent and powerful factor in this quickened subconsciousness? Love, compassion. When man awakens the soul love, and unites it with the Spirit, there is a great sympathy and compassion flowing constantly forth that is life-giving and spiritualizing to everything it touches.
What does the “touching” of the bier by Jesus typify? The sympathetic life touching and unifying all life. Wisdom speaks the Word, “Arise,” and the head and the heart meet and bring to activity that which seemed inert and lifeless.
November 17, 1940: Luke 7:2-15
What are some of the first qualifications for obtaining spiritual healing? Faith is one, humility another. The centurion had both.
How is humility made evident in this lesson? The centurion did not feel worthy of meeting Jesus in person and sent elders of the Jews in his place.
On what did the elders lay stress in proof of the centurion's worthiness? They emphasized the fact that the centurion had helped the Jews. Reciprocal action is here invoked in behalf of the personal man.
Metaphysically what does the centurion represent? He represents the will, whose servant, the body, is sick. Sickness results from man's failure to blend his will with the divine will.
In this case how did the will accomplish the desired healing? The will recognized and called upon the higher law, the Christ, and asked that the Christ word go forth with the same imperative command that it (the will) was in the habit of exercising in control of the organism.
Why was Jesus astonished at the faith shown by the centurion? The will does not always deal with the word, but works sometimes through the subconsciousness. Christ was amazed at this evidence of faith in His naked word.
Was the word actually spoken before the healing took place? Quickened to action by the zealous will, the word was thought but not spoken, and the body was made whole.
In what did the centurion's faith consist? He understood that the Christ was the absolute authority as regarded all that had to do with life, just as he, in a limited way, was in authority as regarded his one hundred soldiers and was able to exact unquestioning obedience from them. His faith consisted in his understanding of the scope of the Christ word.
In Jesus' raising of the widow's son to life, what point is outstanding? The practical value of Truth stands out in contrast with the negative compassion of the personal man. When Jesus Christ felt compassion, He at once acted upon it to remove the circumstances that had aroused it.
Metaphysically Interpreting Luke 7:18-35
7:19And John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them to the Lord, saying, Art thou he that cometh, or look we for another? 7:20And when the men were come unto him, they said, John the Baptist hath sent us unto thee, saying, Art thou he that cometh, or look we for another? 7:21In that hour he cured many of diseases and plagues and evil spirits; and on many that were blind he bestowed sight. 7:22And he answered and said unto them, Go and tell John the things which ye have seen and heard; the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good tidings preached to them. 7:23And blessed is he, whosoever shall find no occasion of stumbling in me.
7:24And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to behold? a reed shaken with the wind? 7:25But what went ye out to see? a man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they that are gorgeously apparelled, and live delicately, are in kings' courts. 7:26But what went ye out to see? a prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet. 7:27This is he of whom it is written,
7:28I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there is none greater than John: yet he that is but little in the kingdom of God is greater than he. 7:29And all the people when they heard, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John. 7:30But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected for themselves the counsel of God, being not baptized of him.
We piped unto you, and ye did not dance;
we wailed, and ye did not weep.
7:33For John the Baptist is come eating no bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a demon. 7:34The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold, a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners! 7:35And wisdom is justified of all her children.
September 11, 1912: Luke 7:18-28
John the Baptist represents the intellect hemmed in, imprisoned in Castle Malcherus, through seeing sin and evil large, and condemning them. Some people see evil in the world as a power so formidable that it paralyzes all their efforts and they accomplish nothing in the service of Truth. To them sin seems a reality, and they fight it and it fights back. In the end it imprisons those who stoop to quarrel with it.
The writer once heard some W.C.T.U. workers say that they were almost discouraged in their efforts because the evils of the liquor traffic seemed to be growing in the world faster than their power to meet them. Thus it will ever be among those who make a personal fight against evil; it will build its idea into the mind of the worker until he is bound in the prison of material illusion. Sin and evil cannot be met successfully on their own plane of action, which is material consciousness.
The Christ does not strive with sin and evil in its many forms, but asserts absolute spiritual dominion and “puts out” these “plagues and evil spirits.” When intellect (John) sends out its thought of doubt as to the identity of this miracle-worker, the reply is not one of argument, but of results; “the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good tidings preached to them.” This is typical of that special development of the individual, there true reform begins.
So long as there is a desire in the mind of any man for a drink of whisky, that desire will bring the whisky into visibility. That is a law fundamental to being in its manifesting processes and it cannot be broken. “Blessed is he who shall find no occasion for stumbling in me,” means that the one who puts no obstruction of intellectual methods or ways in doing the Spirit's work shall have blessings, or increase, in that which he is doing in the Christ way. Christ commends the one who strives to do good in an intellectual way as the greatest born of women; yet the very least in spiritual understanding is greater than this John the Baptist.
Sunday, February 16, 1936: Luke 7:19-28
Is one's faith in spiritual truth subject to change? When one fails to demonstrate Truth in one's life and affairs one is tempted to doubt its reality. John the Baptist at first recognized Jesus as the Christ, but later in prison began to feel that he had been mistaken in his first judgment.
How does the spiritual I AM convince the intellect (John the Baptist) of the truth of the Christ presence? It cites the works of the Christ Spirit in proof of its presence and enabling power, and in the absence of inner conviction in the seeker relies further on the testimony of sight and hearing.
“Faith cometh by hearing.” In what sense is this true? Hearing is here the perception of the inner ear, or understanding and discernment, not merely the physical registering of sound.
Name some expressions of the Christ Spirit. The healing of the sick, the raising of the dead, and the preaching of the and abundant life (good tidings) to the poor are all works of the Christ Spirit.
What do good works reveal to the one who sees with discernment? They reveal a beneficent and powerful worker expressing his will in characteristic action.
Are the works of Spirit in man brought about by external agencies? All the works that Jesus listed were in the nature of the restoration of powers inherent in man. Even the preaching of good tidings to the poor awakens them to a realization of the riches of the inner kingdom.
What is the forerunner of the Christ spirit? A conscience quickened to observe the moral law in conscious thought and life is the forerunner of the Christ in man.
For what do we look when we seek first the kingdom of God? We look for a state of mind in our selves that expresses in spiritual terms the things we have spiritually discerned.
March 13, 1949: Luke 7:20-23
Why did John the Baptist question the messiahship of Jesus? John the Baptist in prison represents the intellect hemmed in and imprisoned, which because it sees in sin and evil such great power, hesitates to accept Truth and to recognize that Truth has supreme power in the world. The intellect's lack of faith in Truth is shown in the question “art thou he that cometh, or look we for another?”
What is the supreme degree of faith? Steadfastness in the face of apparent failure to prove one's faith. Such steadfastness brings the blessing of the independence of the inner man. “That ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and, having done all, to stand.”
Metaphysically Interpreting Luke 7:36-50
7:36And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he entered into the Pharisee's house, and sat down to meat. 7:37And behold, a woman who was in the city, a sinner; and when she knew that he was sitting at meat in the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster cruse of ointment, 7:38and standing behind at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. 7:39Now when the Pharisee that had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have perceived who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him, that she is a sinner. 7:40And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Teacher, say on. 7:41A certain lender had two debtors: the one owed five hundred shillings, and the other fifty. 7:42When they had not wherewith to pay, he forgave them both. Which of them therefore will love him most? 7:43Simon answered and said, He, I suppose, to whom he forgave the most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. 7:44And turning to the woman, he said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thy house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath wetted my feet with her tears, and wiped them with her hair. 7:45Thou gavest me no kiss: but she, since the time I came in, hath not ceased to kiss my feet. 7:46My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but she hath anointed my feet with ointment. 7:47Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. 7:48And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. 7:49And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that even forgiveth sins? 7:50And he said unto the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.
April 22, 1906: Luke 7:36-50
What is a Pharisee? One who observes the forms, but neglects the spirit of religion. Henry Ward Beecher said, “A Pharisee is one who worships instruments. Whoever believes that churches, or books, or institutions, or customs, are more valuable than men, is a Pharisee.”
How can we get the most profit out of this lesson? By applying it to our own mental condition.
In analyzing our own character, that we may grow in grace, where do we find the Pharisee? In the intellectual domain.
Where the woman that is a sinner? The affectional nature, here represented as repentant.
Who is Jesus? The Spiritual man.
Do these various personalities exist in everyone as separate entities? Yes, they form the consciousness of man, and under certain conditions may all be brought into conjunction and action, as here represented.
What is the meaning of Jesus entering the Pharisee's house to eat with him? Eating is symbolical of mental appropriation of thoughts of substance. The intellect, like the Pharisees, possesses and controls the outer manifestation, and the Spiritual man enters into his house, or state of consciousness, that he may appropriate a share, and at the same time instruct him in righteousness.
Why should this strange woman take this liberty with Jesus in the Pharisee's house? When the Spiritual Consciousness enters the intellectual domain, it opens the way for tenderness and love. The intellect “desired him that he would eat with him.” This desire for the spiritual, though it be in its beginnings cold and ungracious, opens the door of the mind to the soul, and it pours the precious ointment of love out upon the understanding. The washing of the feet, the tears and the passionate evidence of tender regard, represent the readiness of the soul of man to give up everything for Spiritual Self. Our souls are our heart sympathies, and we sin because the intellect seeks without for satisfaction, instead of within.
Does the intellect, the Pharisee, believe itself a sinner? It believes that it has a sinning soul, and herein is found the cause of the great plan of salvation of the intellectual orthodox church. It is the Pharisee in us that causes us to separate our good and our evil tendencies. We all expect to be condemned for our evils, and when the Spiritual Consciousness begins to manifest, we look for condemnation, instead of forgiveness. The intellect would have all sinners, even its own sinning soul, separated from the good and put under condemnation. This was the attitude of this Pharisee. (Verse 39.)
What is the office and power of the Spiritual Consciousness? To instruct the intellect in Truth, and to forgive all the short-comings of the affections. Our desires and our loves have sought satisfaction in sense ways because of ignorance. When the Higher Self comes down into the temple, the soul is glad, and pours out all its wealth of rich substance upon this welcome savior. It has the inherent faith in the good that always saves. Do not hold any part of your nature under condemnation for past sins, but accept the salvation of the Spirit in its fullness.
Sunday, July 20, 1913: Luke 7:36-38
Jesus here represents the Divine Mind in its search for the motive, rather than the outer act. The Pharisee is the good that is seen of men, while the woman, “which was a sinner,” is the sincere desire of the repentant soul for the good. Those who are formally good, intellectually good, are apt to be dry, cold, rigid. They are proud of their morality or “churchianity” and sweep by on the other side, when the notorious sinner appears. This good is not to be condemned, but it does not meet the demands of God of the offering up of the whole man. The heart is cold, its fountains have not been broken up, its alabaster box of ointment has not been broken open.
The Christ does not condemn the sinner; the sinner condemns himself in his transgressions of the Divine Standard of right thinking and living. When the sinner opens the inner springs of innate love for the spiritual things, and in exalted purity pours out the whole, it is counted large for righteousness, even larger than the formal devotions of the pious Pharisee. And no matter how great the sinner, the Christ consciousness is equal to a complete cleansing and forgiveness. But the repentant soul must wash away with cleansing words (tears) and anoint with affirmations of gladness (ointment) the understanding (feet) of the Christ (Truth).
– UNITY magazine.
November 18, 1917: Luke 7:36-38
What in consciousness does Jesus and the Pharisee, mentioned in this lesson, symbolize? Jesus symbolizes the activity of Divine Mind. The Pharisee symbolizes that state of mind which looks to externality, rather than the principle.
What in consciousness is symbolized by the “woman with the alabaster cruse of ointment,” and “anointing” of Jesus? The “woman with the alabaster cruse of ointment” symbolizes the repentant soul seeking the good. The inherent desire for good brings one to the feet (understanding) of the Christ consciousness, and gladness and joy (the anointing) naturally follow.
November 19, 1922: Luke 7:37-48
Who is the leading character in this lesson? The leading character in this, as in every lesson in the Scripture, is Jesus, who takes the part of I AM identity.
Who is the most interesting character in this lesson? The most interesting character in this lesson is the woman who was a sinner, representing love under the dominion of sense.
What does the Pharisee represent? The Pharisee represents the intellect without spiritual illumination.
What is the object of this gathering at the house of the Pharisee? The house of the Pharisee represents the abiding consciousness of the intellect. It was here that Jesus, the I AM, came to appropriate and instruct.
What is signified by the anointing of Jesus' body by the woman? This is a portrayal of penance, the outpouring of the precious substance of love upon the divine body.
When does this occur in the development of soul and body? Whenever we realize the forgiving love and compassion of God, this invisible anointing of the body takes place.
From this lesson what do we learn to be the greatest venue through which forgiveness is exercised? Love is the greatest thing in the world. The intellect may entertain the divine man, and give him intellectual thoughts, but love pours out her substance upon him, and he is thereby transformed, purified, and lifted up. It is to this loving heart that the Son of God says: “Thy sins are forgiven.”
Sunday, February 15, 1931: Luke 7:36-50
Who is the leading character in this lesson? In this, as in most of the lessons for this year, the leading character is Jesus, who takes the part of the I AM identity.
What character holds the interest in this lesson? The woman who was a sinner, representing love under the dominion of sense, holds interest for the student of metaphysics.
What does the Pharisee represent? The intellect without spiritual illumination is symbolized by the Pharisee.
What is the object of this gathering at the house of the Pharisee? The house of the Pharisee represents the abiding consciousness of the intellect. It was here that Jesus, the l AM, came to instruct and to illumine spiritually.
What is the keynote of the Pharisaical consciousness in man? Self-righteousness is the keynote of the Pharisee. He believes in the “sinning soul” in others, if not in himself, and in that belief is founded the orthodox theory of salvation for the wicked. It is the Pharisee in us that causes us to separate our good tendencies from our evil ones. The intellect would have all sinners separated from the good and put under condemnation. This was the attitude of the Pharisee in today's lesson.
What is signified by the anointing of Jesus' body by the woman? This act is a portrayal of penance, the outpouring of the precious substance of love upon the divine body.
When does this outpouring occur in the development of soul and body? Whenever we realize the forgiving love and compassion of God, this invisible anointing of the body takes place.
From this lesson what do we find to be the greatest avenue through which forgiveness is exercised? Love (woman) is the great forgiver. The intellect may entertain the divine man, and give him intellectual welcome, but love pours out her substance upon him, and she, in return, is thereby transformed, purified, and lifted up. It is to this loving heart that the Son of God says, “Thy sins are forgiven.”
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 01-19-2014