Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Mark Chapter 8
Metaphysically Interpreting Mark 8:1-10
8:1In those days, when there was again a great multitude, and they had nothing to eat, he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, 8:2I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: 8:3and if I send them away fasting to their home, they will faint on the way; and some of them are come from far. 8:4And his disciples answered him, Whence shall one be able to fill these men with bread here in a desert place? 8:5And he asked them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven. 8:6And he commandeth the multitude to sit down on the ground: and he took the seven loaves, and having given thanks, he brake, and gave to his disciples, to set before them; and they set them before the multitude. 8:7And they had a few small fishes: and having blessed them, he commanded to set these also before them. 8:8And they ate, and were filled: and they took up, of broken pieces that remained over, seven baskets. 8:9And they were about four thousand: and he sent them away. 8:10And straightway he entered into the boat with his disciples, and came into the parts of Dalmanutha.
February 5, 1944: Mark 8:1-9
Is the supply of substance adequate to meet all demands that may be made upon it? Substance is infinite, therefore it can never be exhausted. However only those who learn to use the law of increase know how to draw upon substance at will.
In this lesson what new phase of development were Jesus' disciples called upon to accomplish? Jesus had trained His disciples to do the work of spiritual healing and of casting out demons. This mastered, they faced a greater work, namely the visualizing of unlimited substance with only a small visible nucleus.
What is represented by the loaves and fishes? They represent the nucleus of divine substance or seed from which supply is to come forth and be made manifest.
How is this nucleus increased? By the activity of the I AM (the Christ), who sees the nucleus in the light of Truth as unlimited supply, and "looking up to heaven" (beholding the action of the higher law) forms it into the particular manifestation that will meet our need.
Does everyone have within him power to make substance manifest? Yes, because within him dwells the Christ, the I AM, unto whom all power is given "in heaven and in earth."
Metaphysically Interpreting Mark 8:11-13
8:11And the Pharisees came forth, and began to question with him, seeking of him a sign from heaven, trying him.8:12And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation. 8:13And he left them, and again entering into the boat departed to the other side.
Metaphysically Interpreting Mark 8:14-21
8:14And they forgot to take bread; and they had not in the boat with them more than one loaf. 8:15And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod. 8:16And they reasoned one with another, saying, We have no bread. 8:17And Jesus perceiving it saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? do ye not yet perceive, neither understand? have ye your heart hardened? 8:18Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember? 8:19When I brake the five loaves among the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve. 8:20And when the seven among the four thousand, how many basketfuls of broken pieces took ye up? And they say unto him, Seven. 8:21And he said unto them, Do ye not yet understand?
Metaphysically Interpreting Mark 8:22-26
8:22And they come unto Bethsaida. And they bring to him a blind man, and beseech him to touch him. 8:23And he took hold of the blind man by the hand, and brought him out of the village; and when he had spit on his eyes, and laid his hands upon him, he asked him, Seest thou aught? 8:24And he looked up, and said, I see men; for I behold them as trees, walking. 8:25Then again he laid his hands upon his eyes; and he looked stedfastly, and was restored, and saw all things clearly. 8:26And he sent him away to his home, saying, Do not even enter into the village.
March 25, 1917: Mark 8:11-26
And the Pharisees came forth, and began with him, seeking of him a sign from heaven, trying him. The Pharisees, the religious thoughts pertaining to the realm of form, do not know that Truth comes into expression in the consciousness through understanding, but seek a sign in the external realm.
And he signed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek a sign? Verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation. No sign of the presence of Christ can be given unto the pharisaical state of mind, for the things of Spirit are spiritually discerned.
And he left them, and again entering into the boat departed to the other side. And they forgot to take bread; and they had not in the boat with them more than one loaf. The Christ withdraws to the positive center within, which is charged with the Substance of Spirit. The disciples had not yet entered into the realization of omnipresent Substance.
And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod. All the faculties of man’s mind (the disciples) must be lifted out of the limited thoughts - leaven of the Pharisees and of Herod. The leaven of Herod symbolizes the demands of the selfish will.
And they reasoned one with another, saying, We have no bread. The undeveloped faculties of mind, because they see not the outer manifestation of substance, are concerned with the evidence of lack.
And Jesus perceiving it saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? do ye not yet perceive, neither understand? have ye your heart hardened? Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember? The Christ knows that through is relation to the Divine Substance, it can supply all that is needed, but all the activities of mind must be centered in spiritual understanding in order to demonstrate the power of increase.
When I brake the five loaves among the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve. And when the seven among the four thousand, how many basketfuls of broken pieces took yet up? And they say unto him, Seven. And he said unto them, Do ye not yet understand? When the mind is raised through affirmations of God’s substance and life, we are supplied abundantly in every expression, and there is always a surplus.
And they come unto Bethsaida. And they bring to him a blind man, and beseech him to touch him. Bethsaida means “spiritually minded.” The blind man represents a darned mind. When we are exalted in consciousness, darns disappears.
And he took hold of the blind man by the hand, and brought him out of the village: and when he had spit on his eyes, and laid his hands upon him, he asked him, Seest thou aught? The Christ exercising its power in consciousness, leads man out from the realm of mortal thoughts (the village) and anoints him with the healing energies of a regenerated mind.
And he looked up, and said, I see men; for I behold them as trees, walking. Then again he laid his hands upon his eyes; and he looked steadfastly, and was restored, and saw all things clearly. If the toughest of darns and inability to understand is dominating the consciousness, persistent effort and patience in the use of the Word of Truth is necessary in order that all thought obstructions be dissolved from the mind.
And he sent him away to his home, saying, Do not even enter into the village. When man enters into spiritual consciousness, he must daily withdraw his thoughts from the ordinary trend, and center them in the Christ Mind.
March 25, 1917 (Unity): Mark 8:11-26
Like all genuine teachers of Truth, Jesus tried to get the attention of his people away from material things, in order that they might realize the spiritual. He refused to display his power like a necromancer or juggler. He was a teacher of the science of mind, which he could demonstrate at the opportune moment. When they saw not more than one loaf of bread, he told them to beware of the limited thoughts (leaven) of the Pharisees and of Herod. When we confine the Divine Law to the customary avenues of expression, and scoff at anything beyond, we are letting the leaven of the Pharisees work in us. When we allow the finer forces of the body go to fulfill lust and appetite, we are letting the leaven of Herod work to our undoing. When the mind is raised up through affirmations of God's omnipresent substance and life, we are not only fed, but there is a surplus. This is the teaching of Jesus, and it has always been exemplified by his faithful followers. It is not the outward demonstration that counts, but the increase of substance in mind and body that always follows the faithful application of the law.
There are Pharisees at every turn, tempting believers to do some great thing, like the healing instantly of some well known case in their community, to the end that everybody may believe. Such people are usually sincere in their claims that some such marvelous work will prove a sign to the unbelieving of the power of the Spirit. But every experienced healer knows the futility of such methods to convince people of Truth. Truth has entrance to the mind through the understanding, and not from any outward sign.
The healing of the blind man, beginning with verse 22, seems to have no connection with the first part of the lesson, but it has. Blind eyes represent blind understanding, and the treatment spiritually interpreted will quicken darkened minds. "He took the blind man by the hand and brought him out of the village." Segregate your thought from everyday associations. To the evil minded the act of spitting upon another is an expression of contempt, but to the spiritually minded it is the very reverse. The saliva of a Christ man can be transmuted into a free energy by the mind that will melt away the scum called cataract. Repeated treatments are often necessary because of the density of the thought of darkness and inability to understand.
The Christ-mind, or superconsciousness, exists in all people; the difference between a Christ-man and a natural man is in development. It is really a very easy matter to realize this higher principle if one gives it the proper attention: There must be a daily withdrawal from the common trend of thought. The mind must be lifted up by use of spiritual thoughts and words. Prayer and praise should form part of the daily exercise. The time thus spent will bring great returns, so great that all comparisons are odious. "What doth it profit a man if he gain the whole world, and lose his own life?"
Metaphysically Interpreting Mark 8:27-30
8:27And Jesus went forth, and his disciples, into the villages of Caesarea Philippi: and on the way he asked his disciples, saying unto them, Who do men say that I am? 8:28And they told him, saying, John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but others, One of the prophets. 8:29And he asked them, But who say ye that I am? Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ. 8:30And he charged them that they should tell no man of him.
Metaphysically Interpreting Mark 8:31-38
8:31And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders, and the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 8:32And he spake the saying openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him. 8:33But he turning about, and seeing his disciples, rebuked Peter, and saith, Get thee behind me, Satan; for thou mindest not the things of God, but the things of men.
8:34And he called unto him the multitude with his disciples, and said unto them, If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 8:35For whosoever would save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's shall save it. 8:36For what doth it profit a man, to gain the whole world, and forfeit his life? 8:37For what should a man give in exchange for his life? 8:38For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of man also shall be ashamed of him, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.
November 17, 1912: Mark 8:27-38
Golden Text: 16:16Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
When the spiritual I Am (Jesus) comes into the consciousness of power and dominion (Caesarea Philippi), the question arises, who am I in this faculty? In each faculty that the spiritual consciousness enters it takes on a different character, corresponding to the functions of that faculty. This is as it seems to the outer man only — to the Spirit it retains its distinctive character as the pure thought or Son of God - I AM. Power, dominion, mastery, has its center of action in the body in the throat, with its reserve force at the base of the brain or medulla. When man feels himself master his voice is strong and resonant, but when fear, doubt and inefficiency are in evidence, the voice is weak and thin.
From the viewpoint of personality, man has played many parts, and when he shows his supreme mastery in spiritual power the outer thoughts think he is the incarnation of some great personage of the past. These, however, are like the clothes a man has worn; they are past history, out of service, and a deeper insight must be evolved before he can see himself as he really is. Spiritual discernment is called the eye of faith, typified by Peter. It discerns that spiritual man is Christ, the Son, or Thought of the living God. This is the very truth, and it is the rock foundation of the real character of man. The "assembly" or “church" Jesus Christ is the aggregation of faculties.
When man realizes that he is a spiritual being, the I AM gives to him through faith "the keys to the kingdom of heaven," or Divine Order, and he has the power in his earthly tenement of binding and loosing both the material and spiritual realms. In order that spiritual man may be supreme in consciousness, mortal man must be crucified. This becomes clear to the inner consciousness as the universal character of the Christ man is revealed, hence the teaching of the necessity of a crucifixion of the man that appears to sense consciousness to have existence independent of God.
The disciples, or faculties of the mind, have been built up large on the outer plane of consciousness, and they do not understand the necessity of the crucifixion of personality. Peter, especially, rebukes such a proposition, but the Supreme One recognizes this thought as a stumbling block to that final giving up that precedes the transfiguration. Thus faith in the perpetuity of mortality is a stumbling block to spiritual development. The loss of this personal life is the only way to find eternal life. The acceptance of this mighty truth takes away the consciousness of death, and reveals the Son of God coming into his kingdom here and now.
February 11, 1917: Mark 8:27-38, 9:1
What is the real nature of man as shown in this lesson? Man’s real nature is spiritual. Through the Christ he is given the keys to the kingdom of heaven, when he becomes conscious of his divine inheritance.
Over what does spiritual man have power? Spiritual man has power over every realm of consciousness, thus governing himself and his world.
How is this power acquired? All power is given unto man by God, expressing through the I AM or Spiritual Center of Being. Through thinking in harmony with this Divine Idea, man acquires oneness with it and exercises supreme power in both thought and act.
Where does the faculty of Power have its center of action, and what disciple does it symbolize? Power has its center of action in the throat. It symbolizes the disciple Philip.
What disciple does Faith symbolize? Faith symbolizes the disciple Peter, representing the capacity of the mind to believe beyond the bounds of sight.
April 1, 1928: Mark 8:27-37
What two planes of consciousness are in action in today’s lesson? Today’s lesson shows the action of the personal consciousness and of the spiritual consciousness. Jesus and His disciples “went forth” to Caesarea Philippi. Caesarea Philippi was a Roman town; it represents the abiding external personality.
Jesus asked, “Who do men say that I am?” From what plane of consciousness did He get His first answers? The first answers came from personal observation, the realm of appearances, “And they told him, saying, John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but others, One of the prophets.”
Did the Jews believe in reincarnation? From the answers given in verse 28, it is quite evident that they believed in reincarnation. They took for granted that John the Baptist, Elijah, or one of the other prophets, had reincarnated in Jesus.
When Jesus appealed to the spiritual discernment, instead of to the personal observation of His disciples, what answer did He get? Peter, representing spiritual faith, saw within the personality and told what he perceived, “Thou art the Christ.”
Why did Jesus charge His disciples that they should tell no man that He was the Christ? Jesus knew that ordinary men, who function wholly in personality, would not understand His spiritual nature; therefore He advised that they make no display of their spiritual perception.
What is the inner meaning of verse 31, in which Jesus taught that “the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders, and the chief priest, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again”? The Son of man is the spiritual identity, which the accepted religious authorities reject; through their opposition it is killed, but it rises again in three days. This prophecy was literally fulfilled in Jesus according to the Scriptures.
What do “three days” signify? “Three days” signify three degrees of movements of mind, which may be designated as perception of the truth, realization of the truth, and manifestation of the truth that man is a spiritual being. These three degrees may also be designated as representing the spiritual, the psychical, and the physical natures of man, which have to be quickened and adjusted to a higher plane of consciousness in the regenerative process.
Why does Peter (who represents the spiritual faith that sees the reality of man’s spiritual nature) rebuke Jesus because of the prophecy of the loss of life? When a person clearly perceives man’s spiritual nature, he cannot see the necessity for a crucifixion of life or the necessity for loss of any phase of life. But Jesus teaches - and those who follow Him experience the truth of the teaching - that the personal consciousness of life must be given up in order to gain the consciousness of spiritual identity, and in order to gain eternal life. “For whosoever would save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s shall save it.”
April 9, 1933: Mark 8:27-38
“And Jesus went forth, and his disciples, into the village of Caesarea Philippi: saying unto them, Who do men say that I am?” Interpret this metaphysically. When the spiritual I AM (Jesus) comes into the consciousness of power and dominion (Caesarea Philippi), the question arises, Who am I in this faculty? In each faculty that the spiritual consciousness enters it takes on a different character, corresponding to the functions of that faculty. This is as it seems to the outer man only; to the Spirit it retains its distinctive character as the pure thought or Son of God - I AM.
When man realizes that he is a spiritual being, what is the result? The I AM then gives to him, through faith, “the keys of the kingdom of heaven,” and he begins to see divine order made manifest in life.
Jesus commanded His disciples to tell no man. Why? The knowledge of man’s Christhood is not readily received by those in personal consciousness. Living the Christ life is the only convincing testimony, and to accept even this testimony man must have the eyes of his understanding opened.
Do the disciples (or faculties of the mind) understand the necessity of crucifying the personality? No, because they have been built up largely on the outer planes of consciousness. Peter, especially, rebuked such a proposition; but Jesus Christ recognized Peter’s throughout as a stumbling block to that final giving up which precedes the resurrection.
Is death an open sesame to the higher things of life? No. The acceptance of the mighty truth that the larger life opens only to the one who has closed the door on the petty interests of the personal self takes away the consciousness and the fear of death, and reveals the Son of God coming into His kingdom here and now.
Explain Jesus’ words “God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” There is much misunderstanding of the meaning of this quotation. However, the realm of Spirit is perfect now, and man can reach it only by letting go of his personal ambitions and doing the will of God. Then all things are added; he rises supreme out of the every trial and proves his Christ power.
April 10, 1938: Mark 8:27-38
What is represented by “the villages of Caesarea Philippi”? Caesarea Philippi represents consciousness of power and dominion. The villages are aggregations or concentrations of heightened power and dominion in consciousness.
As one’s consciousness of power increases what question naturally arises in one’s mind? How the power shall be used or with what cause one shall identify oneself. Who do men say that I am?”
How does man settle the question of self-identification? Man brings all his faculties to bear on the solution of this problem. When he is in personal consciousness his conclusions are diverse and illogical; “They told him, saying, John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but others, One of the prophets.”
Why is this conclusion illogical? Because Jesus and John the Baptist lived at the same time, Jesus could not have been an incarnation of John. Metaphysically spiritual man (Jesus) is much more than the intellectual consciousness (John).
With what does enlightened faith (Peter) lead man to identify himself? With his spiritual or divine self, the Christ of God.
Why must the son of man “suffer many things,” including rejection by the acknowledged rulers, and be put to death? The Son of man is the thought of spiritual man or idea of God. Until this idea is realized man lacks understanding of his true nature, a lack not supplied by his external religious thoughts (the scribes) or his natural religious tendencies (the priests). These external thoughts and tendencies stifle and destroy man’s true thought of himself as son of God.
Why did Jesus refer to His suffering, rejection by the rulers, death, and resurrection as “the things of God”? Spiritual man sees the ultimate triumph of principle and accepts all that goes before this triumph as contributing to it. Even death is negligible when resurrection follows, and resurrection is one of the things of God.
How does one deny oneself in order to follow the Christ? One denies the personal self, and identifies oneself with the true Son-of-God self individualized in the soul.
What does a man give in exchange for his life? He gives himself to that with which he identifies himself. If he gives himself to Truth, he gives up his petty personal conceptions for true understanding; and he gives up his limited realization of life as a physical expression of material energy for a quickened realization of eternal life here and now and of himself as one of its manifestations.
June 10, 1945: Mark 8:27a, 29, 31
When is our understanding equal to the acceptance of the idea that the Christ consciousness is possible to us as we claim it through the I AM? As soon as our faith is strong enough to make the claim. “Peter [faith] … saith unto him, Thou art the Christ.”
Why must the “Son of man … suffer many things”? The Son of man is the thought of the ideal man, Christ, in the mind of God. In the disciplining of the mind thought undergoes many testings before it becomes steadfast enough in Truth to remain constant. These testings cause us to suffer distress of mind.
How is the Son of man “killed”? By thinking that follows the set letter of the law without reference to its practical use or its inner spiritual import (priests) as well as by thinking in objective terms altogether. Whatever destroys our consciousness of the ideal destroys also the Son of man.
July 28, 1946: Mark 8:34-36
What does following the Christ mean? It means denying the lower self, shouldering whatever handicap we may have, and living according to our best understanding of the truth of God.
How does anyone save his life and yet lose it? By selfishly taking to himself all the good that he can command and turning a deaf ear to his brother’s need he loses the larger life of service to others, with its attendant joy and satisfaction.
How do we “forfeit” our “life” when we “gain the whole world”? Our life on earth is a God-given opportunity to grow in spiritual stature and in the consciousness of things eternal. We gain nothing of lasting value and waste our divine opportunity (“forfeit” our “life”) when we devote our energies to gaining material advancement or acquiring material possessions.
February 18, 1951: Mark 8:27-37
What does the I AM mean to us? I AM is the name of the perfect spiritual man. When we speak the words “I am” we identify ourselves with whatever we actually are or with what we intend to become.
Is the spiritual man more than the sum of his faculties? Yes. He is the Christ, the pure thought of Son of God.
What faculty first perceives the Christ? Faith (Peter).
How do those in personal consciousness think of Jesus the Christ? As a glorified person whom no one else can hope to equal or emulate, who service to the race set a unique record not to be duplicated. Jesus perfectly expressed the Christ and is the pattern that all men may follow, for every man is a potential Christ.
Why did Jesus warn His disciples not to tell any man of Him? The teaching that Jesus was the Christ was sacrilegious to the Jews (thoughts not receptive to Truth). The Truth of the Christ can be perceived only through spiritual illumination, and efforts to explain the nature of the Christ to those in personal consciousness stir up antagonism and prejudice.
What is represented by the villages of Caesarea Philippi into which Jesus and His disciples entered? They represent consciousness of power and dominion on a limited scale. When the Christ principle in man (the I AM) enters this consciousness of power and dominion, it begins to train the faculties (disciples) to recognize the truth concern it.
In what respect can suffering, rejection, and violent seat be considered “the things of God”? Suffering is known only to the personal consciousness, and as long as a vestige of personality remains in the consciousness there will be suffering, for the light of spirit must shine more and more to the perfect day without being dimmed by personality. Traditional beliefs and ruling religious ideas (“the elders” and “chief priests”) reject the ideal of the indwelling Spirit and quench it for a time. They “kill” (overshadow) the spiritual self, but the ideal persists and rises again.
Must crucifixion always precede resurrection? Yes. We must “die” to the old conception of life before we can rise into a new consciousness of dominion over the self.
In what does the glory of the Christ consist? In the perfecting of spiritual consciousness and the command of Truth.
Transcribed by Tracie Louise on 12-01-2013