Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Mark Chapter 12
Metaphysically Interpreting Mark 12:1-12
12:1And he began to speak unto them in parables. A man planted a vineyard, and set a hedge about it, and digged a pit for the winepress, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into another country. 12:2And at the season he sent to the husbandmen a servant, that he might receive from the husbandmen of the fruits of the vineyard. 12:3And they took him, and beat him, and sent him away empty. 12:4And again he sent unto them another servant; and him they wounded in the head, and handled shamefully. 12:5And he sent another; and him they killed: and many others; beating some, and killing some. 12:6He had yet one, a beloved son: he sent him last unto them, saying, They will reverence my son. 12:7But those husbandmen said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours. 12:8And they took him, and killed him, and cast him forth out of the vineyard. 12:9What therefore will the lord of the vineyard do? he will come and destroy the husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others. 12:10Have ye not read even this scripture:
The stone which the builders rejected,
The same was made the head of the corner;
12:11This was from the Lord,
And it is marvellous in our eyes?
12:12And they sought to lay hold on him; and they feared the multitude; for they perceived that he spake the parable against them: and they left him, and went away.
May 27, 1928: Mark 12:1-12
In today’s lesson what does the man who planted the vineyard represent? The man who planted the vineyard represents God Mind.
What does the vineyard represent? The vineyard represents the universal elemental substance which forms man’s body and the world about him.
He “set a hedge about it, and digged a pit for the winepress, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen.” What is the meaning of this Scripture? The husbandmen represent ideas which were planted in the individual by Divine Mind, which are given free will and form the Adam consciousness “out of the dust of the ground.” The hedge represents divine protection; the winepress, the infinite life source; and the tower, the divine perception of Truth.
What do “the fruits of the vineyard” represent? “The fruits of the vineyard” represent the perfection of God expressed in the character of man. “Ye therefore shall be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
What do the servants who are sent for “the fruits of the vineyard” represent? The servants who were sent for the fruits of the vineyard represent the spiritually illumined thoughts in man’s consciousness. They come expecting to find a welcome and a companionship in the mind of man, but are destroyed by selfishness and ignorance. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, that killeth the prophets and stoneth them that are sent unto her.”
“They will reverence my son.” What is represented by the son? The son represents Christ, or man's spiritual identity.
Explain the parable which Jesus quoted from Psalms 118:22-23: “The stone which the builders rejected, The same was made the head of the corner; This was from the Lord, And it is marvelous in our eyes.” That Christ is the stone rejected by the builders is almost universally accepted. However, Christian metaphysicians who study the whole man Jesus Christ, and especially His resurrection, identify the body as the stone or substance side of being, which has been rejected by the builders. Even the immediate followers of Jesus, His disciples, did not understand the great work He did in resurrecting His body. Neither does the Christian world up to the present time understand or appreciate the great work Jesus Christ did in overcoming bodily dissolution. Christians have accepted the death of Jesus on the cross as a reality, and they believe that He was raised from the dead and went to heaven. Thus they have rejected the great and pivotal issue of His bodily resurrection. So we find that the stone or body of Jesus must be recognized and incorporated into our healthy, purified, redeemed, undying bodies.
Metaphysically Interpreting Mark 12:13-17
12:13And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, that they might catch him in talk.12:14And when they were come, they say unto him, Teacher, we know that thou art true, and carest not for any one; for thou regardest not the person of men, but of a truth teachest the way of God: Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? 12:15Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why make ye trial of me? bring me a denarius, that I may see it. 12:16And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar's. 12:17And Jesus said unto them, Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's. And they marvelled greatly at him.
May 20, 1928: Mark 12:13-17
Why did Jesus consider the Sadducees and the Pharisees hypocrites? He considered them hypocrites because they pretended to be what they were not. Secretly, they were trying to evade the taxes imposed by Caesar, but in asking Jesus whether or not they should pay tribute, they pretended they were honest.
What did Jesus illustrate after He called for the tribute money? He showed them the stamp of Caesar's face on the coin, signifying that the coin was identified with temporality and should be respected for what it was worth, but that we should not forget to put the thought of God into our monetary transactions.
Did Jesus call special attention to God's part in finances? Yes. He said, “Render ... unto God the things that are God's.” The secret of a harmonious life is to balance God and God manifest in one's thoughts and acts. Persons who become overzealous in religious observances are apt to treat with contempt temporal laws and conditions. This results in contention and discord between mind and body, and between the laws of God and the laws of man.
What does Caesar represent? In consciousness Caesar represents the tyrannical rule of the personal will unmodified by spiritual love and mercy and justice. The government of the personal will has dominion over the Pharisees and the Sadducees (intellectual and religious beliefs). However, the consciousness of love and righteousness, which has been published in the individual through instruction and example of Jesus (the spiritual man), is outside the domain of Caesar, though seemingly at his mercy at times.
November 3, 1929: Mark 12:13-17
Why did Jesus consider the Sadducees and the Pharisees hypocrites? Jesus considered them hypocrites because they pretended to be what they were not. Secretly, they were trying to evade the taxes imposed by Caesar but in asking Jesus whether or not they should pay tribute they pretended that they were honest.
What truth did Jesus illustrate after He called for the tribute money? He showed them the stamp of Caesar's face on the coin, signifying that the coin was identified with temporality and should be respected for what it was worth, but that we should not forget to put the thought of God into our monetary transactions.
Did Jesus call special attention to God's part in finances? Yes. He said, “Render ... unto God the things that are God's.” The secret of a harmonious life is to balance God as Spirit and God manifest, both in one's thoughts and acts.
What does Caesar represent? In consciousness Caesar represents the tyrannical rule of the personal will unmodified by spiritual love and mercy and justice. The personal will has dominion over the Pharisees and the Sadducees (intellectual and religious beliefs).
May 22, 1938: Mark 12:13-17
What do the Pharisees and the Herodians represent in this lesson? The Pharisees represent old established religious beliefs that are tenacious of the forms in which they are cast; the Herodians, the same beliefs in the guise of selfishness and materialism.
What does the fact that these two sects or classes were set on catching Jesus in His talk signify? Old established religious beliefs make men jealous of the accepted order, intolerant of new truth untried by them. To detect and stamp out what he considers heresy appears to the strict conformist to be a Christian duty.
Interpret the words in verse 14 that ascribe a love of truth to Jesus. This was flattery meant by His questioners to disarm Jesus and trick Him into a direct answer to the question that followed it.
Why did it not succeed? Jesus had spiritual perception of truth and He recognized no sincerity in their words. He saw instead the trap they were laying for Him.
Could the suggestion of Jesus “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's” be carried out literally? It could not, since to pay only to Caesar, the coins bearing his image would have defeated the purpose of the coin, which was to serve as a medium of exchange in trade. At the same time no literalist could gainsay the logic of the statement.
What of the suggestion to render “unto God the things that are God's”? This suggestion takes into account the truth that all things are God's. It is a statement of universal truth that cannot be disputed.
December 13, 1942: Mark 12:13-17
Why did the Pharisees and the Herodians “marvel greatly” at the reply of Jesus to their question concerning the payment of tribute to Rome? They did not comprehend the source of His understanding, therefore they were unable to grasp the fact that He could reply truthfully without laying Himself open to prosecution at the hands of either Romans or Jews. The Spirit of the Christ gives one clarity of mind, alertness, and complete understanding of motives.
Is it right to subject ourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake? It is right for the individual not to waste his energies in futile opposition. He should put them forth where their weight will be felt. When an order is established, the individual only upsets himself by struggling alone to overturn it. He who stands alone should keep himself at peace with others.
What is the divine will, where ignorance and foolishness are concerned? The divine will contrasts the negations of ignorance and foolishness with wisdom and sound judgment, and through making constructiveness imperative shows the nothingness of all things negative.
How is freedom realized by those who are in worldly bondage? Each individual realizes within himself freedom to obey of his own volition the commands of his worldly superiors; freedom to honor others, to love those of like mind with himself; to “fear God” (or understand the inevitability of divine law), and to “honor the king” (or render due respect to those in authority over him).
November 19, 1944: Mark 12:13-17
What do the Pharisees and the Herodians represent in this lesson? The Pharisees represent old established religious beliefs that are tenacious of the forms in which they are cast; the Herodians, the same beliefs in the guise of selfishness and materialism.
What does the fact that these two sects or classes were set on catching Jesus in heresy signify? Old established religious beliefs make men jealous of the accepted order, intolerant of new truths untried by them. To detect and stamp out what he considers heresy appears to the strict conformist to be a Christian duty.
On the face of things is it right always to pay a tax without questioning the justice or equity of it? If we wish to contest the validity or equitableness of a tax, we should follow the procedure provided by law for that purpose and abide by the decision arrived at. As long as the law remains unrepealed the duty of the law-abiding citizen is to obey it. He has no right to take the law into his own hands.
What is the first of “the things that are God's” that the divine law requires us to render to Him? Faith in the reality of the spiritual kingdom is our first clear duty in the inner realm. Without faith that it exists we cannot become citizens of this realm.
Is it ground for marveling that anyone whose aim is to be true in thought and expression should be able to discern falsehood and silence it? Such ability is marvelous only to those in sense consciousness. To all others it is logical and to be expected.
Metaphysically Interpreting Mark 12:18-27
12:18And there come unto him Sadducees, who say that there is no resurrection; and they asked him, saying, 12:19Teacher, Moses wrote unto us, If a man's brother die, and leave a wife behind him, and leave no child, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. 12:20There were seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and dying left no seed; 12:21and the second took her, and died, leaving no seed behind him; and the third likewise: 12:22and the seven left no seed. Last of all the woman also died. 12:23In the resurrection whose wife shall she be of them? for the seven had her to wife.
12:24Jesus said unto them, Is it not for this cause that ye err, that ye know not the scriptures, nor the power of God? 12:25For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as angels in heaven. 12:26But as touching the dead, that they are raised; have ye not read in the book of Moses, in the place concerning the Bush, how God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? 12:27He is not the God of the dead, but of the living: ye do greatly err.
April 5, 1942: Mark 12:24-27
Why did Jesus tell the Sadducees that they knew not the Scriptures? He meant that although they were familiar with the wording of the Scriptures they did not understand the meaning of what they read. Without this understanding they did not really know the law or inner truth underlying the words.
What is the chief teaching that Jesus gave in the text of this lesson? His teaching that eternal life is the life of the Spirit, not that of the flesh. In Luke's account the following occurs: “They that are accounted worthy to attain to that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: for neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.”
What is implied in the phrase “They that are accounted worthy to attain to that world”? It implies effort and perseverance. Nothing is attained without effort.
How does man attain to eternal life? Through consciousness of God he knows eternal life or the life of the Spirit here and now. “This is life eternal, that they should know thee the only true God, and him whom thou didst send, even Jesus Christ.”
Why is God the God of the living but not of the dead? Because God is life. Death is the absence or suspension of life, therefore death is not the right approach to God.
Metaphysically Interpreting Mark 12:28-34
12:28And one of the scribes came, and heard them questioning together, and knowing that he had answered them well, asked him, What commandment is the first of all?12:29Jesus answered, The first is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God, the Lord is one: 12:30and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. 12:31The second is this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. 12:32And the scribe said unto him, Of a truth, Teacher, thou hast well said that he is one; and there is none other but he: 12:33and to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbor as himself, is much more than all whole burnt-offerings and sacrifices. 12:34And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question.
October 7, 1906: Mark 12:28-34,39-44
A commandment is not the edict of a king or lawgiver, which all men are bound under penalty to obey, but a statement of axiomatic truth. That God is one and indivisible, is good logic and fundamental in all true worship and demonstration. If our minds are divided by the thought of more than one creative power, we cannot concentrate. It is found that those who believe in the power of evil, or destructive forces, are themselves in such discord that they cannot control their thoughts. So the first step in keeping the Commandments is to realize the Oneness of the Creative Power.
Love is the binding, joining force of Divine Mind. When Levi, who represents the faculty Love in human consciousness, was brought forth by Leah (Human Soul) she said, “Now this time will my husband be joined unto me.” We connect our soul forces with whatever we centre our love upon. If we love the things of sense or materiality, we become attached to them and lose the ability to enter into the untrammeled realms of Spirit-Mind. This is why the Lord commanded Moses not to make any graven image of him. These graven images are made by mental pictures. The thought of God as a great king in a place called heaven makes just such a material image in our thought realms, and we grow to believe in and worship such an imaginary Being, instead of the true God, who is Spirit.
Millions of people are joining themselves through their love nature to this personal image of God, and are building up false conditions that must eventually be destroyed. This is, of course, much better than no love to God, but we can just as well understand the truth about God's nature and worship Him in His spiritual reality, and get the fruits in the right relation which follows.
Love is expressed through the heart, and to make room in our consciousness for God Love we must quicken that faculty. On the human side our love is developed through family and friendship relations, but in the regeneration we set up love activity through direct concentration upon the idea, “Divine Love, manifest thyself in me,” with the attention fixed at the heart or solar plexus centre. This sets into action certain spiritual energies that open the way to God Consciousness.
But we must add to our love, mind, that is wisdom, and strength, that is endurance. When these qualities are brought forth, there is a love power developed that can manifest its potentialities in the face of hate, injustice, and unrighteous persecutions of all kinds. With this Divine Love active in the heart, it is no effort to love our neighbors, even though they despitefully use us. Jesus had this Love Consciousness when he said, “Forgive them, Father, they know not what they do.”
May 20, 1928: Mark 12:29-34
What is the great unifying element? Love is the great unifying element. When the consciousness is saturated with love, it overflows into body and affairs and brings harmony into every hitherto discordant condition.
What state of mind will saturate the whole man with divine love? Man can be permeated with divine love by understanding that love is the essence of Being, and by affirming love as his in heart and soul and mind.
After the love consciousness has been established in us, what should be our next attitude? We should make love the basis of all our relations, especially our relations with those persons and things that are nearest to us, that is, our “neighbors.” In this way we shall fulfill the law of God and demonstrate divine harmony within and without.
Can the law of divine love be described? The law of divine love is such a transcendent thing that words describing it seem flat; but words used in right understanding will quicken the soul in love, and we should not despise them. Affirming that we love God with all our hearts, with all our souls, with all our minds, and with all our strength will cause us to feel a love we have never felt before.
October 6, 1929: Mark 12:28-34
Metaphysically considered, what is a scribe? The definition of the word scribe is “a copyist” or “a writer”; metaphysically considered, a scribe is the faculty within us that endeavors to engrave upon the tablets of the mind an interpretation of the Scriptures and of the law.
Explain Jesus' words, “Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” The sense man has many gods; his thoughts are scattered. Jesus' behest, “Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God, the Lord is one,” in reality is a drill in concentration. All the real thoughts (Israel) are commanded to dwell upon God, the one presence, one power, and one intelligence.
What is the great unifying element in man and among men? Love is the great unifying element. When man's consciousness is saturated with love, it overflows into his body and into his affairs, and brings harmony into every hitherto discordant condition within and without.
What state of mind can saturate the whole man with divine love? Man can be saturated with divine love by understanding that love is the essence of Being, and by affirming love as his in heart, soul, mind, and strength.
After the love consciousness has been established in us, what should be our next attitude? We should make love the basis of all our relations, especially our relations with the persons and the things that are nearest to us, that is, our “neighbor.” In this way we shall fulfill the law of God and demonstrate divine harmony within and without.
Can the law of divine love be described? The law of divine love is such a transcendent thing that words describing it seem flat; but words used in right understanding will quicken the soul in love, and we should not despise them. Affirming that we love God with all our hearts, with all our souls, with all our minds, and with all our strength will cause us to feel love that we never have felt before.
May 22, 1938: Mark 12:28-34
To what test was Jesus subjected in the question concerning the first commandment? The scribe tested Jesus' sense of relative values. The question concealed no trap, and Jesus answered it fully and freely. It was in line with His daily teaching.
Why was the scribe “not far from the kingdom of God”? The scribe understood that loving God and his neighbor were man's two chief duties, but his attitude showed that his interest was intellectual, not spiritual. He was not following what he understood to be essential.
October 2, 1938: Mark 12:28-34
What does the keeping of the first commandment as given by Jesus require of us? To love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength requires concentration of a high order and complete devotion to the spiritual ideal.
Why did Jesus choose as second in importance a commandment not found in the Decalogue? The commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves enjoins upon us a high degree of self-control as well as selflessness, qualities that are developed by observing the first commandment. Both commandments are constructive, in contrast with the “Thou shalt not” of the Decalogue.
What does the scribe who questioned Jesus represent? Scribes sometimes represent thoughts that come to us from other persons or from books. In this case they represent man's external religious thoughts, which are “not far from the kingdom of God,” but which at the same time are not aware of that kingdom.
December 12, 1943: Mark 12:28-34
Why is one commandment greater than another? Love of God and love of neighbor are the two great commandments, because love is the strongest and most instinctive quality of the human soul, and it is all-important for us to control and direct it into channels of constructiveness.
What thought underlies the two commandments that have to do with love? The thought of unity. “The Lord our God, the Lord is one: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.” Complete devotion to the One is the perfect expression of unity.
How is the second commandment to love related to the first? The second is a sequel to the first. “He that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, cannot love God whom he hath not seen.” By practicing love of our brother or neighbor we learn to love God or express the spirit of love.
Why is it wiser to love than to hate? Because loving develops in the soul constructive power that holds the lover in harmony with life universal. Hate separates the hater from a consciousness of the universal life and leaves his powers depleted.
May 8, 1949: Mark 12:28-34
Who is best qualified to answer a question? The person whose work is in line with the subject being questioned. Jesus was a teacher of the law and the prophets, and He held that they are capable of fulfillment here and now. He was therefore qualified to answer a question that dealt directly with His teaching.
Who is near to the kingdom of God? He who knows the law and understands its underlying truth but does not adhere to it in his life. If he is converted he has only to apply his already sufficient academic knowledge and practice the Truth, which before has been to him only theory, in order to enter into the kingdom.
What type of questions are best avoided? Those which raise doubt and skepticism without in any way compensating for the loss of faith they cause.
March 11, 1951: Mark 12:28-31
What do the two great commandments stated by Jesus include? The entire substance of the Mosaic law.
How do we evidence the fact that we love others as we love ourselves? By serving their needs as freely and gladly as we look after our own needs, since love of the higher self is part of universal love.
How do we worship in spirit and in truth? We worship thus as we cultivate the inner life or our deepest nature, and as we develop in ourselves the Spirit of the Christ.
Metaphysically Interpreting Mark 12:35-37
12:35And Jesus answered and said, as he taught in the temple, How say the scribes that the Christ is the son of David? 12:36David himself said in the Holy Spirit,
The Lord said unto my Lord,
Sit thou on my right hand,
Till I make thine enemies the footstool of thy feet.
12:37David himself calleth him Lord; and whence is he his son? And the common people heard him gladly.
Metaphysically Interpreting Mark 12:38-40
12:38And in his teaching he said, Beware of the scribes, who desire to walk in long robes, and to have salutations in the marketplaces, 12:39and chief seats in the synagogues, and chief places at feasts: 12:40they that devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayers; these shall receive greater condemnation.
May 21, 1933: Mark 12:28-40
Was Jesus versed in universal Truth? Yes. He identified Himself so completely with the one Mind that He was able to know universal Truth on every occasion.
What did Jesus consider the supreme rule of life? Undivided faith in God, sincerity, and love of one's fellow men were considered by Jesus the supreme rule of life.
According to Jesus, what is the first great commandment? The first commandment is: “Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God, the Lord is one: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.”
What is the second commandment? “The second is this, Thou shaft love thy neighbor as thyself.” Jesus said, “There is none other commandment greater than these.”
In the text of this lesson why were, the Pharisees and Sadducees questioning Jesus? The object of the Pharisees and Sadducees in questioning Jesus was not to convince themselves of His fitness to teach and to heal the multitudes as He was doing. Rather, their predetermined aim was to discredit Jesus, catch Him off His guard, and find valid ground for accusing Him before the Jewish authorities.
What was the result? Jesus' reply to their question was so simple, so clear, so straightforward that it could not be gainsaid. At the same time, its forcefulness was intensified by the lack of sincerity of His questioners. Double-dealing could not stand before such clarity as that which characterized the Master.
In what way should one love another as himself? When we seek divine wisdom in this matter, we find that it is one's higher self that one must love, in order to bring it into expression in one’s life. Jesus taught that man should always recognize and love this same divine self in others.
Where is the field in which the Christ Spirit must first be cultivated? The inner life, or one’s own deepest nature, is the field in which the Christ Spirit must be first cultivated.
In Truth, what is prayer? Prayer is a means of connecting man with source, in order that he may know wisdom and use it in his life. To love Truth with all the heart, soul, mind, and strength is to do away, once and forever, with all that is not true in the life.
Metaphysically Interpreting Mark 12:41-44
12:41And he sat down over against the treasury, and beheld how the multitude cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. 12:42And there came a poor widow, and she cast in two mites, which make a farthing. 12:43And he called unto him his disciples, and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, This poor widow cast in more than all they that are casting into the treasury: 12:44for they all did cast in of their superfluity; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.
April 29, 1928: Mark 12:41-44
How is true giving to be measured? True giving is measured by the love and substance and faith that the giver puts into the gift. The statement,
“Who gives himself with his alms feeds three,
Himself, his hungering neighbor, and Me,”
is founded on the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Is there within the consciousness of man that which in many cases delights in making a show of giving? Yes. Personality delights in making a show of giving. It is prone to think it does much toward the maintenance of the body temple and toward the mind's religious worship; but until the intellect is quickened by Spirit and comes under the instruction of true wisdom, its gifts do not really count for much.
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 01-26-2014