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Matthew 21 Metaphysical Bible Interpretation

Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Matthew Chapter 21

Metaphysically Interpreting Matthew 21:1-11

21:1And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and came unto Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 21:2saying unto them, Go into the village that is over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me. 21:3And if any one say aught unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them. 21:4Now this is come to pass, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophet, saying,
21:5Tell ye the daughter of Zion,
Behold, thy King cometh unto thee,
Meek, and riding upon an ass,
And upon a colt the foal of an ass.
21:6And the disciples went, and did even as Jesus appointed them, 21:7and brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their garments; and he sat thereon. 21:8And the most part of the multitude spread their garments in the way; and others cut branches from the trees, and spread them in the way. 21:9And the multitudes that went before him, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. 21:10And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, Who is this?21:11And the multitudes said, This is the prophet, Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.
Undated: Matt. 21:1-11

Unity interprets a living BIBLE LESSON

Prepared by Mary Mae Oesch


It was on the Sunday preceding the first Easter, but neither the words Palm Sunday nor Easter were yet part of men's vocabulary.

As Jesus and His disciples neared the village of Bethphage, Jesus sent two of them on an errand. They were to go into the village and bring to Him an ass and her colt, which they would find there. If questioned, they were to say that Jesus had need of the animals. (It was considered an honor to lend an animal to be ridden by a holy man.) Jesus explained that he would ride into Jerusalem, thus fulfilling a prophecy made years earlier.

When the animals were obtained, disciples spread some of their clothing on the colt's back, and Jesus rode him. As the group neared Jerusalem, a great crowd of people hailed Jesus as their king. Some of them had been present when Lazarus was raised from the dead. Many had seen or heard of the wondrous healings and other miracles Jesus had performed. Probably some had heard it rumored that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah or Savior promised to the people. So a multitude paid tribute to Him by spreading their outer garments in His path, and by waving palm branches and placing them on the road before Him.

There were shouts of "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" As Jesus entered the city amid shouts of praise, men at the edge of the crowd questioned who this new hero was, and they were told he was Jesus, a prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.

Our Practical Application

At some time most of us have been part of a crowd that welcomed a great hero, paid tribute to a notable public figure, or cheered a championship team. Remembering the eager acclaim and enthusiasm that marked such an occasion, we have a vague idea of the spirit in which Jesus was welcomed into Jerusalem on that first Palm Sunday. The people had hoped for a leader who would set them free from the oppression of the Romans; an earthly king who would make possible a better, more prosperous way of life. The people believed they had found such a person in Jesus. Thus they hailed Him as their king.

Certainly Jesus' life and teachings do show the way to freedom and happiness and prosperity. But Jesus had no intention of becoming an earthly king; and most of the people were not yet capable of understanding the spiritual kingdom in which the Christ is ruler.

Today when we hail Jesus Christ as King, let us know that our praise is not only in memory of a man named Jesus, but also in honor of the Christ Spirit that ruled in Jesus and should rule now in all our minds and hearts.

We honor the Christ.

  • When we remember that we are spiritual beings, children of God, capable of developing and expressing all the qualities of the Father.
  • When we control our thoughts, desires, words, and emotions, keeping them always constructive.
  • When we strive toward any high goal, confident that God works through us for attainment.
  • When we see the Christ potential in others, and praise and encourage their commendable traits and efforts.
  • When we refuse to accept disease or affliction, and know that God manifests through us as life and health.
  • When we think in terms of "you" and "we," more often than in terms of "I, me, and mine."
  • When we overcome fear with faith, hatred with love, ignorance with God-directed wisdom.
  • When we master unworthy desires and lowly impulses, and discipline ourselves to think and act wisely.
  • When we live each day in a spirit of love, forgiveness, and generosity.
  • When we pray regularly for the light of understanding, and let that light radiate through all our affairs to bless our world.
  • When we have faith in the goodness of God, faith in ourselves, and faith in our fellow men.

Questions and Answers

Explain: "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" The Lord is the higher ruling principle in man; it is to be in supremacy.

What is the significance of Jesus' riding into Jerusalem on a colt? Metaphysically Jesus' action symbolizes the mastery of the I Am over the animal nature. Such mastery leads to Jerusalem (spiritual consciousness).

What significance do we see in the tributes paid to Jesus? The hosannas of the multitude and the spreading of garments and branches of trees before Jesus, represent joyful obedience and homage that all the thoughts in one's mind give when error is overcome.

Undated: Matt. 21:1-11; Matt. 27:20-26
Also read: Matt. 27:20-26


Unity's Interpretation of the International Sunday School Lesson

Power and Dominion Realized.

Questions and Answers

What does Jesus represent? Jesus represents or symbolizes the I AM, man's spiritual identity.

What metaphysical meaning attaches to the statement "When they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and came unto Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples"? Jesus' drawing near to Jerusalem symbolizes the fact that the I AM, in order to overcome the personal self and gain dominion and power, draws near to the center of peace in man's heart (Jerusalem). Coming to Bethphage ("house of unripe figs" or the place in consciousness where grace is realized) is a step towards the achievement of peace. "The mount of Olives " is the place where divine wisdom and love are exalted in consciousness. This state attained, the I AM calls forth two of His faculties to serve His purpose (Jesus sent two disciples).

What do the ass and the colt represent, and why did Jesus ride the ass into Jerusalem? They represent the untrained animal forces, but forces that have been held in check by the I AM. The ass was tied, and the colt was with her. The fact that Jesus rode the ass was symbolical of His having conquered the forces in His own nature.

"The Lord hath need of them." What does this statement indicate? It. shows that the animal nature with its untried forces is not to be crushed or destroyed by man, but that through the I AM he is to master and control it and make it serve him.

In today's lesson, what does Pilate, the governor, represent? He represents the will, the executive power of the mind.

Does the will (Pilate) have spiritual understanding? No. Before the will can act wisely, it must be quickened by spiritual understanding.

Why did the multitude choose to have Barabbas released instead of Jesus? The multitude here represents those who are wedded to external forms of religion. They resent new presentations of Truth that revolutionize their creeds and dogmas.

When Pilate delivered Jesus to be crucified, he washed his hands and said, "I am innocent of the blood of this righteous man; see ye to it." Can the will thus excuse its erroneous acts? No. The will cannot escape responsibility for its erroneous acts merely by attempting to avoid accepting and acknowledging the authority of Truth.

What happens when the will endeavors to assert its authority over Truth? It may and sometimes does succeed in postponing for a time the full unfoldment of Truth in the consciousness (deliver Jesus to be crucified), but Truth is omnipotent and the I AM eventually realizes full power and dominion over man's being.

To Be Held in the Silence

The light of Christ inspires me to do the divine will.

Metaphysically Interpreting Matthew 21:12-17

21:12And Jesus entered into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of he money-changers, and the seats of them that sold the doves; 21:13and he saith unto them, It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer: but ye make it a den of robbers. 21:14And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them. 21:15But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children that were crying in the temple and saying, Hosanna to the son of David; they were moved with indignation, 21:16and said unto him, Hearest thou what these are saying? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea: did ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou has perfected praise? 21:17And he left them, and went forth out of the city to Bethany, and lodged there.

Metaphysically Interpreting Matthew 21:23-27

21:23And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority? 21:24And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one question, which if ye tell me, I likewise will tell you by what authority I do these things. 21:25The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven or from men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why then did ye not believe him? 21:26But if we shall say, From men; we fear the multitude; for all hold John as a prophet. 21:27And they answered Jesus, and said, We know not. He also said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.
Undated: Matt. 21:12, 13, 23-27


Unity's Interpretation of the International Sunday School Lesson

Power Realized.

Questions and Answers

What does the "temple of God" represent, and what is indicated by Jesus' casting out "them that sold and bought in the temple"? The temple is the body of man, and the desires, fears, and other negative emotions that act as destructive forces in the body or that put it to unworthy uses are they that sell and buy. With His word Jesus cast out these negations.

"My house shall be called a house of prayer." Why is the pronoun "my" used here? To designate the I AM, through whose efforts the body is developed. Through the right use of the I AM we take conscious possession of the body and cast out of it all that is unworthy of a son of God.

What saves the body from becoming a "den of robbers"? A prayerful attitude saves it by arousing and awaking it to the Christ consciousness.

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. 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.

To Be Held in the Silence

The name that is above every other name in power to exalt my life is the I AM, my spiritual principle.

A Habit to Avoid

Worry affects the circulation, the heart, the glands, the whole nervous system, and profoundly affects the health. I have never known a man who died from overwork, but many who died from doubt. — Dr. Charles Mayo.

Metaphysically Interpreting Matthew 21:28-32

21:28But what think ye? A man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to-day in the vineyard. 21:29And he answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented himself, and went. 21:30And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. 21:31Which of the two did the will of his father? They say, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, that the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. 21:32For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not; but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye saw it, did not even repent yourselves afterward, that ye might believe him.
MARCH 14, 1965: Matt. 21:28-31; 22:1-14
Also read: Matt. 22:1-14


Unity explains this week's International BIBLE LESSON

The Source of Man's Dominion.

Questions and Answers

How do we acknowledge the authority of God as supreme? By word or act or both. Unless words and acts are harmonized, action is the most complete acknowledgment.

Where our words are not in harmony with our acts, what state of consciousness is revealed in us? We are shown to be in a state of weakened faith with our will functioning improperly. If we are to reveal ourselves as sons of God, we need the courage of our convictions and the will to do what we say we intend to do.

What helps us to make our acceptance of divine authority unqualified? the realization on our part that only the good is true and that evil is not real, and that God is our Father, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient.

Is it important for us to use our understanding of Truth even though we may feel that it is small and weak? Yes. Our understanding of Truth and our ability to use Truth in every department of our life increase as we diligently and faithfully use the Truth that we know.

What is symbolized by the king and the marriage feast? The king is God, who has prepared infinite abundance for all who will accept and partake of it. The marriage is the union of man with Spirit. The feast is the unrestricted appropriation of divine substance.

Who are those who do not accept the king's summons? Those in personal consciousness. They not only make light of the good news, they continue to pursue their worldly interests, and definitely reject the summons (kill the king's messengers). The price they pay is loss of the spiritual abundance that God would give them.

What is required of us who obey the summons? We must prepare ourselves to participate in this good by spiritual thinking and living. The "wedding garment" is the robe of righteousness, without which we shall not be permitted to eat at the divine table.

Why are "few chosen" from the many who are called? This statement of Jesus does not mean that God and His laws are capricious, for His laws are always exact and impartial. Those are chosen who have made the necessary preparation and are in readiness.

To Be Held in the Silence

Seek in all things to express good will.

Undated: Matt. 21:23-32


Unity's Interpretation of the International Sunday School Lesson

The Source of Man's Dominion.

Questions and Answers

What do the "chief priests and the elders of the people" symbolize? They symbolize the religious thoughts that follow strictly the forms and ceremonies of religion, but do not recognize that the authority of Spirit that underlies them is greater than the outward forms and ceremonies.

What is represented by the priests' and elders' questions, "By what authority" and "who gave thee this authority?" the half-truths or partial truths that characterize the sense mind, which is full of arguments, disputes, and questionings.

Why did Jesus refuse to answer these questions? Truth is supreme. Having all dominion, it does not recognize or acknowledge the lesser dominion or authority of any partial truth that is inferior to it.

What, do the two sons in the parable represent? the first son represents willing obedience, the second, willfulness and deception.

How do we acknowledge the authority of God as supreme? By word or act or both. Unless words and acts are harmonized, action is the most complete acknowledgment.

Where our words are not in harmony with our acts, what state of consciousness is revealed in us? "We are shown to be in a state of weakened faith with our will functioning improperly. If we are to reveal ourselves as sons of God we need the courage of our convictions and the will to do what we say we intend to do.

What helps us to make our acceptance of divine authority unqualified? The realization on our part that only the good is true and that evil is not real, and that God is our Father, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient.

To Be Held in the Silence

I seek in all things to express good will.

Undated: Matt. 21:28-32; John 13:12-17

Read also: John 13:12-17


Prepared by MARY MAE OESCH

Some scribes and Pharisees, who were superficially religious but spiritually blind, had questioned Jesus' authority as a Teacher sent from God. Jesus, knowing that His questioners had failed to live up to their obligations as spiritual leaders, avoided a direct answer. Instead, he replied by giving several parables.

The parable of the two sons shows that individual worthiness is measured more by what one does than by what he says. When the first son had taken time to reflect, he realized that he had been foolish in not obeying his father. So he repented of his hasty refusal and went willingly to work in the vineyard. He is like one who at first rejects a spiritual standard of living, but later accepts it.

The second son agreed readily to work. But he was not a man of his word, and he made no effort to go near the vineyard. He is like one who knows Truth ideas intellectually, but does not try to apply them.

Jesus explained in effect that those who had lived in error and had changed their ways were closer to spiritual understanding than were the religious "authorities" who ignored God's will.

John the Baptist, who had been sent by God to prepare the way for the Truth of Jesus Christ, had been accepted and followed by many who had previously lived sinful lives. But the scribes and Pharisees had refused to accept John, or to admit their mistakes and correct them.

In the Gospel according to John, we are told that at the Last Supper Jesus gave another example of the truth: "If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them." There had been dissension among the apostles, a vying for honor. But by the simple act of washing the apostles' feet, Jesus made it clear that he who is greatest is the one who serves best.

It was customary that one coming into a house should remove his sandals, and often a guest was made more comfortable by a foot bath. Many times a servant in the household performed this, menial service. But Jesus took it upon Himself to perform this courtesy for His companions.

Jesus explained the lesson he wanted to convey: If he could disregard worldly rank and offer them a menial service, surely they too should be willing to give themselves in loving service to one another and to mankind. (Jesus' act symbolized the willingness of divine love to serve, and also the cleansing process necessary to. redeem man from the pride of the flesh.)

Our Practical Application

How many times have we promised our higher self: "I won't criticize again. I'll try to be understanding ... I'm through with bigotry and prejudice. I'll show brotherly love ... I won't give way to panic next time. I'll keep calm and strong by keeping faith ... I won't be depressed by thoughts of fear and pessimism. I'll keep a positive mental attitude and depend on God's love and power." Have these been empty promises? They need be empty no longer.

Whenever possible, Jesus taught by example. He did not merely tell people about God's power. He performed miracles of healing. He not only talked about humility and service. He washed the apostles' feet, shortly before His supreme service of personal sacrifice. He did not boast about eternal life. He proved it through His own resurrection. Jesus was a practical idealist who understood Truth principles and applied them to change people's lives. He followed up His promises with action; and we can follow Him by keeping our promises to our higher self.

All the Truth we can ever hear about or read about or know intellectually will help us only to the extent that we use it. Every single Truth idea that we put into practice in any are a of living will strengthen and help us for further application. When we apply Truth in a practical way, we make it our own, and benefits accrue. Thus step by step we build up a positive pattern of thinking and doing, so that it becomes a habit actually to live the Truth we know. "If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them."

Questions and Answers

What does the vineyard of Jesus' parable symbolize? "The fruit of the vine is a symbol of life. The vineyard represents manifest man, or humanity which was planted in perfection, and perfection is its destiny."

What kind of work does God want us to do in the vineyard of our own life? To accept and live by a spiritual standard; to spiritualize our understanding, that we may think, speak, and live in conscious oneness with Him.

What is symbolized by Jesus' washing His companions' feet? "The washing of the disciples' feet by Jesus typifies a cleansing process, or a denial of personality and materiality. "

What additional meaning do we Attach to the washing of the apostles' feet? "In this humble way Jesus taught and exemplified the willingness of divine love to serve, that man may be redeemed from the pride of the flesh. "


By Phoebe A. Brown

How heavy, how dragged-down
one can feel ...
putting off, making excuses,
dreading the first step
toward the working through of something
that should or must

be done! How grand!
How great!
How downright thrilled one feels
when, getting into the middle
of the problem,
one discovers that, with far less
wear and tear than you might suppose, the solution
comes gradually
and smoothly-and almost easily!

And how relieved, and free,
and thankful one feels—and at-one with the
universe—and all that is in it!

Metaphysically Interpreting Matthew 21:33-46

21:33Hear another parable: There was a man that was a householder, who planted a vineyard, and set a hedge about it, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into another country. 21:34And when the season of the fruits drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, to receive his fruits. 21:35And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. 21:36Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them in like manner. 21:37But afterward he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son. 21:38But the husbandmen, when they saw the son, said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and take his inheritance. 21:39And they took him, and cast him forth out of the vineyard, and killed him. 21:40When therefore the lord of the vineyard shall come, what will he do unto those husbandmen? 21:41They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those miserable men, and will let out the vineyard unto other husbandmen, who shall render him the fruits in their seasons.
21:42Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures,
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?
21:43Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken away from you, and shall be given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. 21:44And he that falleth on this stone shall be broken to pieces: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will scatter him as dust.
21:45And when the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them. 21:46And when they sought to lay hold on him, they feared the multitudes, because they took him for a prophet.
JUNE 13, 1971: Matt. 21:33-43



Unity's Interpretation of the International Sunday School Lesson

The Source of Man's Dominion.

Questions and Answers

What does the householder represent, and what the son? The householder is God; his son is the Christ or Son of God, the divine idea man in expression.

What does the vineyard represent? It represents the religious nature of man (the Jews). Men sometimes lose sight of the religious nature (the vineyard was taken away from the wicked husbandmen).

Where is the vineyard planted? In the body consciousness (Promised Land).

What do the hedge about the vineyard and the winepress in the midst of it signify? The hedge represents the law, which outlines the bounds of the religious nature and makes observance easy to define. The winepress represents the altar of sacrifice or the establishing of a permanent consciousness of purity and conformity to the higher law of obedience.

What is the tower? the tower represents the Temple or body of man.

What is meant by the statement that the householder "went into another country"? This refers to the state of mind in which we are no longer conscious of the presence of God.

What is the "season of the fruits"? This is the season of character unfoldment, the purpose of the planting and tending of the vineyard. The building and unfolding of character is the work of the Christ consciousness in man.

What do the husbandmen represent? These are the "scribes" and "Pharisees" or the external religious thoughts and formal beliefs of man. They "kill" the servants of the householder (Moses and the prophets, which represent the evolutionary process of developing understanding).

How can man realize the source of his dominion? By loosening the hold of man-made custom and authority over his life (destroying the miserable husbandmen, the scribes and Pharisees) and putting in its place the authority of intuitive Truth or inspiration (other husbandmen).

What are the fruits of the vineyard? These are peace, joy, and the other blessings that become manifest as a result of our keeping of the law. Our belief in good as well as its practice leads to the unfoldment of Christlike character.

To Be Held in the Silence

I am one with Christ in mind and body.

The Expression of God

Unity beholds man moving under the inspiration and guidance of the Spirit of truth. Man is in the process of becoming Christ conscious as did Jesus. He is letting the same mind that was in Christ be in him. He is letting the Word of God become flesh. He is letting divine love possess him. Divine love is the heart of Unity; it is God in expression. — L. E. Meyer.

Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 10-16-2013