Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Mark Chapter 11
Metaphysically Interpreting Mark 11:1-11
11:1And when they draw nigh unto Jerusalem, unto Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives, he sendeth two of his disciples, 11:2and saith unto them, Go your way into the village that is over against you: and straightway as ye enter into it, ye shall find a colt tied, whereon no man ever yet sat; loose him, and bring him. 11:3And if any one say unto you, Why do ye this? say ye, The Lord hath need of him; and straightway he will send him back hither. 11:4And they went away, and found a colt tied at the door without in the open street; and they loose him. 11:5And certain of them that stood there said unto them, What do ye, loosing the colt? 11:6And they said unto them even as Jesus had said: and they let them go. 11:7And they bring the colt unto Jesus, and cast on him their garments; and he sat upon him. 11:8And many spread their garments upon the way; and others branches, which they had cut from the fields. 11:9And they that went before, and they that followed, cried,
Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord:
11:10Blessed is the kingdom that cometh, the kingdom of our father David:
Hosanna in the highest.
11:11And he entered into Jerusalem, into the temple; and when he had looked round about upon all things, it being now eventide, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve.
May 13, 1918: Mark 11:1-10
In what phase of consciousness is the I AM (Jesus) working, as indicated in the symbols in verse 1? “Bethphage” and “Bethany” mean “house of figs”; “Olivet” indicates the oil of love. These symbols indicate the centers where life forces are gathered in the organism. They not only indicate spiritual consciousness, but they also indicate the houses or cell centers through which the life forces work. We may term the center of this activity the animal nature.
Explain: “Ye shall find a colt tied, whereon no man ever yet sat; loose him, and bring him.” In Matthew 21:5 it is explained that this is the colt of an ass. The symbol represents a burden bearer; we locate its house, or center, in the abdominal region. Unregenerate man never has sat upon, or controlled, this animal force, and in the natural order of expression it never has been given perfect freedom.
What is the meaning of the following: “And if any one say unto you, Why do ye this? say ye, The Lord hath need of him.” In order to quicken and energize every cell in the organism, it is necessary that a larger life force be praised; the superman has need of more life than the natural man needs. “The Lord hath need of him.” “I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.”
What is the meaning of the disciples' throwing “their garments” upon the colt? Garments represent thoughts that have been expressed by the faculties and have become active soul energies. These thoughts form what is called personality or soul radiation. They are used by the I AM in overcoming the animal nature.
What is represented by the disciples' spreading “their garments upon the way”? Man opens the way into the realms of mind by sending his consciousness ahead. With this point in mind a metaphysician often says, “The Spirit of the Lord goes before me and makes easy and successful my way.”
Why did the disciples “rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works which they had seen”? The loud voice represents the outer manifestation through the power of the spoken word. By our words we should joyously express the evidence of the life that wells within us.
Should this expression be personal in its character? No, we should give all credit to the higher self, saying: “Blessed is the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest”
May 14, 1933: Mark 11:1-10
What is required of the follower of the Christ? In his journey towards peace, the follower of the Christ reaches a stage where he must assert his powers of mastery and dominion.
How does man reach that place in consciousness, where he is able to subdue his sense nature and to direct it? As man trains his faculties to do the bidding of his higher nature without question, he subdues by degrees the forces of his sense nature, so that he can direct them whither he will. The sense nature is symbolized in this lesson by the colt of the ass.
When only can man ride into Jerusalem the “colt whereon no man ever yet sat”? Only when man fully recognizes that his true nature is Godlike and gives undivided thought and purpose to its expression can he ride into Jerusalem (city of peace) the colt “whereon no man ever yet sat.”
What is the meaning of the colts being tied? This means that the sense nature has been held in check, instead of being allowed to run wild.
Is such restraint an advantage in spiritual unfoldment? Yes. The disciplined animal nature, when it is loosed by the faculties (represented in this lesson by the two disciples) is brought at once and without difficulty into the service of the higher self (the Lord).
Sunday, May 3, 1942: Mark 11:1-10
What significance have the places Bethphage and Bethany, mentioned at the beginning of this lesson? Both names mean “house of figs,” the former meaning also “house of unripe figs.” Bethany means also “wailing, lamentation, affliction,” from the sound of the wind in the foliage of the fig trees and from the “tears” (drops of gum that exude from the fruit). The significance of these meanings is that man, when he lacks self-dominion, is powerless to cope with life unaided. In this state his powers are not mature, but are as unripe fruit, without usefulness.
When we realize that we are not sufficient to ourselves, how do we begin to remedy this lack? We lay hold of the power that we lack in our human strength alone through relying on one higher than ourselves, the Christ in us.
What use do we make of our new-found power? We first train our faculties (disciples) to do our bidding. Next we transform the forces of our sense or animal nature (the “colt whereon no man ever yet sat”).
The disciples found the colt tied. They “loosed” him and brought him to Jesus. What does this incident indicate? In some persons the animal nature is repressed from birth and is thus kept disciplined or under control. Repression of these forces however defeats their purpose. They are meant to be brought into the service of the ideal self and to express their share of his self-realized destiny as a son of God.
What enables one to achieve one's destiny? The Christ Spirit does this when it is made active in the mind and heart of man.
What is the first step toward transforming the natural forces after they are loosed from the bonds of repression and misunderstanding? They should be clothed with praise and appreciation. The garments that were cast on the colt before Jesus rode into Jerusalem represent praise and appreciation. The natural forces are not evil in themselves. They are evil only when they are misdirected.
What does the ride into Jerusalem represent? It represents man's progress toward peace and satisfaction as the sense nature learns to obey the commands of the Christ.
Who “cometh in the name of the Lord”? He who expresses the Christ Spirit through his right use of the I AM comes in the name of the Lord or divine law.
February 27, 1944: Mark 11:1-10
How do we make conscious contact with the unseen world of Spirit within and around us? Through the use of the I AM, the directive power within us. We identify ourselves with whatever we choose by saying in effect, “I am that which I will to be.”
Is it presumption in us to make the claim “I am the Christ”? No, it is true in the spiritual realm. We are one with the Christ in an ideal sense. However we may affirm: “The Christ Spirit is in me, and I give it faithful expression.” This is the same claim in less emphatic words.
What do Bethphage and Bethany represent? Both names mean “house of figs,” and Bethphage and Bethany represent the nature that has not been tried or tested. Tests must come before the fruits of life can ripen. Bethany signifies that negation has been overcome through successful standing up to tests.
When is it vitally important for us to acknowledge the Christ? When difficulties and trials loom ahead, we need the strength and staying power of the Christ within us. It is then most important for us to acknowledge or claim the mind of Christ as our own.
When should we acknowledge the Christ in ourselves? Always. No matter if appearances are contrary to our statement, we should make the statement faithfully.
May 1, 1949: Mark 11:1-11
What do the names Bethphage and Bethany mean? Both names mean “house of figs,” but Bethany also means “wailing, lamentation, affliction.” Bethany signifies demonstration over these conditions; whereas Bethphage signifies a place in consciousness where grace is realized.
What did Jesus' riding of the colt into Jerusalem signify? It signified His messiahship and was the proclamation of His rulership through the I AM.
Why did Jesus ride an ass instead of a horse on His entry into Jerusalem? The horse was a symbol of war and was used for war; the ass was a symbol of peace. The Prince of Peace thus proclaimed the nature of His rule. The ass also represents the forces of the so-called lower or animal nature.
Does the higher nature have use for the animal forces? Yes, the animal forces are essential to a full expression of man's whole nature, but they are to be used by the I AM in the furtherance of this expression.
Has the word "hosanna" any special significance? It means “save now,” and it was used to herald the coming of the Messiah in the sense: “Lord, preserve this Son of David; heap favors and blessings on Him!” Metaphysically the word means prayer offered by the inner thoughts that are awakening spiritually, prayer for the preservation and safe growth of the Christ child, every blessing and good for the true Christ ideal within us.
What is the effect of the gaining of self-mastery or dominion over the animal nature? The effect is peace (Jerusalem). Jesus rode the ass into Jerusalem, thus announcing His mastery of the animal forces and His power to establish peace in the heart and life.
Metaphysically Interpreting Mark 11:12-14
11:12And on the morrow, when they were come out from Bethany, he hungered. 11:13And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find anything thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for it was not the season of figs. 11:14And he answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit from thee henceforward for ever. And his disciples heard it.
Metaphysically Interpreting Mark 11:15-19
11:15And they come to Jerusalem: and he entered into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and them that bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money-changers, and the seats of them that sold the doves;11:16and he would not suffer that any man should carry a vessel through the temple. 11:17And he taught, and said unto them, Is it not written,
My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations?
but ye have made it a den of robbers.
11:18And the chief priests and the scribes heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, for all the multitude was astonished at his teaching. 11:19And every evening he went forth out of the city.
May 12, 1928: Mark 11:15-18
What is the spiritual significance of the temple? The temple is the body. “Know ye not that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you?”
What is the spiritual meaning of Jesus' casting out of the temple those that sold and bought, and His overthrowing their tables? In the regeneration one's mind is changed in regard to commercial transactions. The old thoughts of greed and gain must be cast out; even the very foundation (tables) must be overturned. “For other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
Explain: “Is it not written, My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations? but ye have made it a den of robbers.” Jesus taught that, when we pray, we should enter into the inner chamber and close the door and pray to the Father who is in secret. This chamber has both an inner and an outer. The inner is a holy state of mind; the outer is a holy place, where the mind has established a court, or cell center. So we find that our bodies are temples, constructed out of living substance, for the worship of God. In these temples we can find refuge, quietness, and seclusion, even when there is turmoil in the world about us.
May 13, 1933: Mark 11:15-18
What is the meaning of Jesus' casting the money changers out of the temple? Jesus represents the manifestation of the Christ, the King of life. The money changers represent thoughts of commercialism and greed that work only for a selfish end. Under the Christ light these greedy, selfish thoughts must be cast out, and true Christ righteousness established. “The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof.”
February 26, 1944: Mark 11:15-18
“My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations.” What is “my house” and what “the nations”? “My house” is the body of man that contains in essence the mind or Spirit of God. “The nations” are the varying aggregations of thoughts that use the body as a tenement, having their origin in the mind or invisible part of man.
How is the body made to become a “den of robbers”? Through failure to set the thoughts in order in prayer, meditation, and communion with God. This leaves the body a prey to discordant forces that rob it of health, peace, and understanding.
What right and what duty have we in the matter of our thoughts and words? Our right and our duty are one, namely to train our thoughts to call forth the Spirit of the Christ within us, and our words to give that Spirit faithful expression.
May 1, 1949: Mark 11:15-18
What does the Temple represent? The transformed body of man. As a person approaches completeness in universal Mind, he becomes “a temple of the living God.”
How can the body be made “a den of robbers”? By being dedicated to unworthy selfish and material uses. The body should house the triumphant spirit of life, love, and wisdom.
March 11, 1951: Mark 11:15-19
How can we distinguish Truth from falsity? Truth is that which is divinely right and good, and it endures eternally. Within us dwells the Spirit of truth, through whose wisdom and guidance we are enabled to perceive Truth and not be misled by what is out of accord with Truth.
What identifies the person who practices Truth? He who practices Truth in thought, word, and deed is kind, compassionate, loving, and free from all hatred, resentment, and fear. He seeks to do the good will of God in all things and endeavors to serve his fellow men devotedly and sincerely with no desire for personal glory.
What is represented by the nations for which the temple is called the house of prayer? Aggregations of thoughts that dwell in the body consciousness.
What “den of robbers” may inhabit the body? Fear, greed, anger, malice, evil speaking, and other discordant and negative forces that enter into the body and rob it of health, peace, and all the other blessings that are its heritage under divine law.
Metaphysically Interpreting Mark 11:20-26
11:20And as they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away from the roots. 11:21And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Rabbi, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away. 11:22And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. 11:23Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou taken up and cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that what he saith cometh to pass; he shall have it. 11:24Therefore I say unto you, All things whatsoever ye pray and ask for, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
11:25And whensoever ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have aught against any one; that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. 11:26But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
Metaphysically Interpreting Mark 11:27-33
11:27And they come again to Jerusalem: and as he was walking in the temple, there come to him the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders; 11:28and they said unto him, By what authority doest thou these things? or who gave thee this authority to do these things? 11:29And Jesus said unto them, I will ask of you one question, and answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 11:30The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or from men? answer me. 11:31And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; He will say, Why then did ye not believe him? 11:32But should we say, From men--they feared the people: for all verily held John to be a prophet. 11:33And they answered Jesus and say, We know not. And Jesus saith unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.
May 8, 1949: Mark 11:27-33
What authority must the teacher of Truth have? The authority of Truth itself; that is, he must be true to himself. He must know Truth, be able to distinguish it from error, and be conscious of its essence within him.
Does any authority surpass that of the inner man? No. The authority of man's inner conviction and knowledge is pre-eminent.
Are we under any obligation to answer every question put to us? In general, specious questions should be turned aside, as should those put in an attempt to snare us. “In vain is the net spread in the sight of any bird.” Our spiritual understanding will aid us in this matter. Even man-made law protects an accused person by providing that he need not answer incriminating questions.
Why did Jesus not answer directly the question of the priests, scribes, and elders? He saw that their purpose in asking it was to discredit Him and His teaching, and that no good would be accomplished by a direct answer that would lead to argument and strife. The Christ, having divine authority, cannot be fettered or bound by the reasonings of the intellect.
How should a legitimate question be answered? Fully and faithfully, as Jesus answered the second question in the text.
What is a legitimate question? One that is prompted by a genuine desire for information and that can be answered without harm. Most impersonal questions are legitimate.
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 01-23-2014