The Good News According to John
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Introduction to John
METAPHYSICAL BIBLE students recognize in the Gospel of John a certain spiritual quality that is not found in the other Gospels. Although this is not true of all Bible readers, it may be said that those who look for the mystical find it in the language of this book. The book is distinctive in this respect and is so successful in setting forth metaphysical truths that little interpretation is necessary. Only in a few instances does the original writing conceal the deep truths that the student seeks to discern. Written language is at best a reflection of inner ideas, and even though a teacher couples ideas and words as adroitly as Jesus does, elucidation is sometimes difficult.
Nevertheless ideas are catching, and this may be the best reason for publishing another book about this spirit-arousing Fourth Gospel. We are all heavily charged with ideas, and when these ideas are released they spring forth and pass from mind to mind, being "recorded" as they fly, and when they are expressed the whole race is lifted up—if the idea is charged with the uplifting Spirit. Jesus was God's idea of man made manifest in the flesh; so He was warranted in making that dynamic assertion, "I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto myself." Nowhere in all literature has this truth of the unity of God, man, and creation been so fearlessly expressed and affirmed by man as in the Book of John.
Here the question arises as to God's responsibility for all that appears in the flesh, both good and evil, which seems to confound our logic and understanding. We are in human consciousness the fruit of a tree that stemmed from the soil of Being. The laws instituted in the aeons and ages of the past still prevail in the present. Interpreting Being from a personal standpoint, we have ignored the principles and laws at the very foundation of all creation and substituted a personal God, and many contradictions have followed. Now through the unfoldment of the spiritual man implanted in us in the beginning we are discerning the unchangeable laws of the good and the absolute necessity of conforming to them.
So we see that Jesus taught plainly that God functions in and through man and nature instead of being a person somewhere in the skies; also that we demonstrate God by making His Spirit manifest in our life. "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father." Socrates was asked, "What is a good man?" He replied, "A man who does good." Again he was asked, "What is good?" "What the good man does," he replied.
No extended definition of good is necessary to those who follow Jesus; even converted savages understand good and do it. The universal desire among awakened Christians to love God and man is part of the law constantly operating through man when he finds his right relation to God.
The status of evil is that of a parasite. It has no permanent life of itself; its whole existence depends on the life it borrows from its parent, and when its connection with the parent is severed nothing remains. Apparent evil is the result of ignorance, and when the truth is presented the error disappears. Jesus called it a liar and the father of lies.
Men personalize good and evil in a multiplicity of Is and devils, but Truth students follow Jesus in recognizing the supreme Spirit in man as the "one God and Father of all."
Introduction to Mysteries of John by Charles Fillmore.
The Gospel of John stands in a class by itself, and is sometimes referred to as “the Spiritual Gospel.” This term should not be regarded as a reflection on the Synoptic Gospels, nor is there any suggestion that they are not of a “spiritual” nature. Rather, the term Spiritual is intended to indicate that there are several marked differences between John’s Gospel and the Synoptic Gospels.
(1) John’s Gospel was, in all probability, written at Ephesus, sometime between A.D. 90 and A.D. 120. This makes it of much later date than the Synoptic Gospels. The contents also indicate that John’s Gospel was written for what might be termed “advanced students”—that is, those who were already familiar with the Synoptic Gospels.
(2) John’s Gospel gives a great deal of what is usually termed “advanced teaching”—such as “the New Birth” (John 3), “the Bread of Life” (John 6), “the New Commandment” (John 15), to mention only a few such teachings. Then, there are the “I AM teachings”—”I am the light of the world” (John 8:12), “I am the resurrection, and the life” (John 11:25), and many similar passages. These “I AM teachings” do not appear in the Synoptic Gospels.
(3) John’s Gospel does not contain parables, such as are found in the Synoptic Gospels. However, it will be noticed that the writer of John’s Gospel frequently uses miracles to illustrate certain important teachings, instead of parables. Thus, we have the teaching, “I am the Light of the world”—and following is the account of healing the man born blind (John 8-9). Then there is the teaching, “I am the bread of life”—closely followed by the miracle of feeding the five thousand (John 6); and there are several other instances of this sort. Llowever, all this will be fully explained in a later lesson.
(4) The Synoptic Gospels record the Sermon on the Mount, in various forms—and this apparently covers teaching given during the earlier part of Jesus’ ministry. In contrast with this, John’s Gospel gives us the “Upper Room discourses” (John 14-17)—and these were given at the dose of Jesus’ ministry.
Thus, John’s Gospel gives us not only the “facts” of Jesus’ ministry, but also the interpretation of many of His teachings and activities. Indeed, the writer of this Gospel sums up the entire record of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ in a clear statement of purpose: “These are written, that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye may have life in his name” (John 20:31).
Introduction to The Good News According to John by Herbert J. Hunt, former Dean of Bible Studies for the Unity School of Christianity.
1:1 In the beginning was the Word,1 and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God. 1:3 All things were made through him.2 Without him was not anything made that has been made. 1:4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 1:5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness hasn't overcome it. 1:6 There came a man, sent from God, whose name was John. 1:7 The same came as a witness, that he might testify about the light,3 that all might believe through him. 1:8 He was not the light, but was sent that he might testify about the light. 1:9 The true light that enlightens everyone was coming into the world.4
1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, and the world didn't recognize him. 1:11 He came to his own, and those who were his own didn't receive him. 1:12 But as many as received him,5 to them he gave the right to become God's children, to those who believe in his name: 1:13 who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
1:14 The Word became flesh,6 and lived among us. We saw his glory, such glory as of the one and only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth. 1:15 John testified about him. He cried out, saying, "This was he of whom I said, 'He who comes after me has surpassed me, for he was before me.'" 1:16 From his fullness we all received grace upon grace. 1:17 For the law was given through Moses. Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.7 1:18 No one has seen God at any time. The one and only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him.8
- In the beginning was the Word. In pure metaphysics there is but one word, the Word of God. This is the original creative Word or thought of Being. It is the "God said" of Genesis. The Greek original refers to it in the 1st chapter of John as logos. Logos cannot be adequately translated into English. In the original it denotes wisdom, judgment, power, and in fact all the inherent potentialities of Being. This divine Logos was and always is in God; in fact it is God as creative power.
- All things were made through him. Divine Mind creates under law; that is, spiritual law. Humans may get a comprehension of the creative process of Being by analyzing the action of one's own mind. First is mind, then the idea in mind of what the act is to be, then the act itself. Thus the Word and the divine process of creating are identical.
- that he might testify about the light. Humans in their darkened, ignorant state dwell in a realm of material thoughts and perceives nothing higher until one arrives at the point of unfoldment where one is ready to receive understanding of the Christ Truth. The person then enters into the "John the Baptist" or intellectual perception of Truth. The intellectual perception of Truth by the natural man (John the Baptist) is not the true light (the Christ) but bears witness to the light and prepares the way for its dawning in consciousness.
- The true light that enlightens everyone was coming into the world. The true light (the Christ or Word) that lights every man coming into the world is and ever has been in man. Even the outer man was formed and came into existence through it. Up to a certain stage in his unfolding man does not recognize this truth; now however this mystery, which is "Christ in you, the hope of glory," is being revealed to the race with more and more clarity and with greatly increased power.
- But as many as received him. According to the 12th and 13th verses, the same truth that held good for Jesus will hold good for as many as receive Him (the Christ) and believe in His resurrecting power as Jesus believed in it.
- And the Word became flesh. Jesus recognized this truth that the Christ, the divine-idea man or Word of God, was His true self and that He was consequently the Son of God. Because Jesus held to this perfect image of the divine man, the Christ or Word entered consciously into every atom of His being, even to the very cells of His outer organism, and transformed all His body into pure, immortal, spiritual substance and life. Thus "the Word became flesh." The resurrecting of His whole being included His body. Jesus entered alive and entire into the spiritual realm.
- grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. The real saving, redeeming, transforming power came to man through the work that Jesus did in establishing for the race a new and higher consciousness in the earth. We can enter into that consciousness by faith in Him and by means of the inner spirit of the law that He taught and practiced.
- The one and only Son ... he has declared him. Through the Christ in us we come into an understanding of the Father, since the Son (the Word) ever exists in God, and Father and Son are one and are omnipresent in man and in the universe. Spirit Truth is discerned through Spirit only; not in outer ways or through intellectual perception do we come to know God.
The Testimony of John
1:19 This is John's testimony, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, "Who are you?"
1:20 He confessed, and didn't deny, but he confessed, "I am not the Christ."
1:21 They asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?"
He said, "I am not."
"Are you the prophet?"
He answered, "No."
1:22 They said therefore to him, "Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?"
1:26 John answered them, "I baptize in water,1 but among you stands one whom you don't know. 1:27 He is the one who comes after me, who is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I'm not worthy to loosen." 1:28 These things were done in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
- I baptize in water In the regeneration two states of mind are constantly at work. First comes the cleansing or denial state, in which all the error thoughts are eliminated. This includes forgiveness for sins committed and a general clearing up of the whole consciousness. The idea is to get back into the pure, natural consciousness of Spirit. This state of mind is typified by John the Baptist, who came out of the wilderness a child of nature whose mission it was to make straight the way for One who was to follow.
The Lamb of God
1:29 The next day, he saw Jesus coming to him, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 1:30 This is he of whom I said, 'After me comes a man who is preferred before me, for he was before me.' 1:31 I didn't know him, but for this reason I came baptizing in water: that he would be revealed to Israel." 1:32 John testified,1 saying, "I have seen the Spirit descending like a dove out of heaven, and it remained on him. 1:33 I didn't recognize him, but he who sent me to baptize in water, he said to me, 'On whomever you will see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.'2 1:34 I have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God."
- John testified. Metaphysically interpreted, John the Baptist symbolizes in each individual the natural man, but with an illumined intellect. His face is turned toward the light in the measure that he recognizes and pays homage to the higher self within the individual. John baptized with water all those who believed that Jesus was soon to make His appearance. This is a cleansing, purifying process, preparing the individual to see spiritually and to discern spiritually.
- baptizes in the Holy Spirit. The Father-Mind is the living principle, the absolute, the unlimited. The Son is the living Word. "Word" is used to designate man's I AM identity. The Holy Spirit is the action or outpouring or activity of the living Word. This activity produces what may be termed the light of Spirit, the breath of God, the "personality" of Being. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit is the sign by which the natural man recognizes the divine. Jesus, who became the "Lamb of God" or perfect expression of God, baptized in the Holy Spirit.
The First Disciples of Jesus
1:35 Again, the next day, John was standing with two of his disciples, 1:36 and he looked at Jesus as he walked, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God!" 1:37 The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. 1:38 Jesus turned, and saw them following, and said to them, "What are you looking for?"
They said to him, "Rabbi" (which is to say, being interpreted, Teacher), "where are you staying?"
1:39 He said to them, "Come, and see."
They came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day. It was about the tenth hour. 1:40 One of the two who heard John, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. 1:41 He first found his own brother, Simon, and said to him, "We have found the Messiah!"1 (which is, being interpreted, Christ). 1:42 He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him, and said, "You are Simon2 the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas" (which is by interpretation, Peter).
- We have found the Messiah. When the conscious mind recognizes the Christ Mind, the various faculties gradually awaken and attach themselves to it. Andrew is the first apostle mentioned, and with him was one whose name is not given here but who is supposed to have been John (love). Love is modest and retiring, "seeketh not its own." Andrew represents the strength of the mind, which, greatly rejoiced when it finds the inexhaustible source of all strength, exclaims, "We have found the Messiah."
- You are Simon. Strength is clearly related to substance (Simon), which in spirit we call faith. "Faith is the substance of things hoped for" (A.V.). What we hope for and mentally see as a possibility in our life comes into visibility, and we call it substantial.
Jesus Calls Philip and Nathanael
1:43 On the next day, he was determined to go out into Galilee, and he found Philip. Jesus said to him, "Follow me." 1:44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida,1 of the city of Andrew and Peter. 1:45 Philip found Nathanael, and said to him, "We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, wrote: Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."
1:46 Nathanael said to him, "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?"
Philip said to him, "Come and see."
1:47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and said about him, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!"
1:48 Nathanael said to him, "How do you know me?"
Jesus answered him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you."
1:49 Nathanael answered him, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are King of Israel!"
1:50 Jesus answered him, "Because I told you, 'I saw you underneath the fig tree,' do you believe? You will see greater things than these!" 1:51 He said to him, "Most certainly, I tell you, hereafter you will see heaven opened,2 and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man."
- Philip was from Bethsaida. The name Philip means "lover of horses," and Philip is symbolic of the vigor, power, vitality, and energy of the mind. Philip, Andrew, and Peter are of the same "city," Bethsaida. The name Bethsaida means "house of fishing," and Bethsaida signifies a group of thoughts in consciousness that have as their central idea a belief in the increase of ideas and their expression and manifestation in outer form.
- You will see the heaven opened. Among the apostles, Bartholomew represents the imagination. He is called Nathanael in the 1st chapter of John, where it is recorded that Jesus saw him under the fig tree, the inference being that He discerned Nathanael's presence before the latter came into visibility. This would indicate that images of people and things are projected into the imaging chamber of the mind and that by giving them attention one can understand their relation to outer things. Mind readers, clairvoyants, and dreamers have developed this capacity to varying degree. Consciousness is what is concerned with soul unfoldment both primarily, and secondarily and all the way! Forms are always manifestations of ideas. Whoever understands this can interpret the symbols shown him in dreams and visions, but lack of understanding of this law makes one a psychic without discernment. With this spiritual faculty it is possible for man to penetrate into the "fourth dimension" or what is usually called the "kingdom of the heavens" and to discern the trend of the spiritual forces. The angels of God are spiritual forces active in the Sons of God, the spiritually quickened.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Mark Hicks.
World English Bible Footnotes:
The Wedding at Cana
2:1 The third day, there was a marriage1 in Cana2 of Galilee. Jesus' mother was there. 2:2 Jesus also was invited, with his disciples, to the marriage. 2:3 When the wine ran out, Jesus' mother said to him, "They have no wine."
2:4 Jesus said to her, "Woman, what does that have to do with you and me? My hour has not yet come."
2:5 His mother said to the servants, "Whatever he says to you, do it." 2:6 Now there were six water pots of stone3 set there after the Jews' manner of purifying, containing two or three metretes apiece. 2:7 Jesus said to them, "Fill the water pots with water." They filled them up to the brim. 2:8 He said to them, "Now draw some out, and take it to the ruler of the feast."4 So they took it. 2:9 When the ruler of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and didn't know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the ruler of the feast called the bridegroom, 2:10 and said to him, "Everyone serves the good wine first, and when the guests have drunk freely, then that which is worse. You have kept the good wine until now!" 2:11 This beginning of his signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.
2:12 After this, he went down to Capernaum,5 he, and his mother, his brothers, and his disciples; and they stayed there a few days.
- a marriage. Spiritually, a marriage represents the union of two dominant states of consciousness. Mary, the mother of Jesus, represents intuition, the spiritual soul, Eve, "the mother of all living." Jesus is the personal I AM and His apostles are the twelve faculties.
- in Cana. Cana is a "place of reeds"; so is the larynx found in the body. The name Galilee means "to whirl"; air is rapidly forced through the larynx in speaking or singing. The apostles represent the dominant nerve centers, the spiritual symbolism of each being concealed in the name. Philip means "one who is fond of horses." The horse symbolizes vigor, vitality, power. Vigor or its opposite, weakness, is betrayed by the voice, so we designate Philip as the power faculty, and his place in body expression is in the larynx (at Cana).
- six waterpots of stone, Six nerve centers in the body. Water may be compared to natural or human life, and wine to spiritual life. In the regeneration spirit and body are united, but before this union can be accomplished the exhausted natural life must be quickened with spirit (symbolized by the turning of water into wine).
- the ruler of the feast. The supreme I AM, pronounced the transformed water to be superior to the best wine. This transformation of the negative, watery fluid of the organism into vitalizing Spirit is accomplished by adding to every word a spiritual idea. The idea of omnipresent life will then quicken the natural life in man, and it will make conscious contact with the one life and draw it out for the benefit of the many.
- went down to Capernaum Capernaum designates or represents an inner conviction of the abiding compassion and restoring power of Being. When one enters this state of consciousness a healing virtue pours out of the soul and transforms all discord into harmony.
Jesus Cleanses the Temple
2:13 The Passover of the Jews was at hand,1 and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2:14 He found in the temple those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, and the changers of money2 sitting. 2:15 He made a whip of cords, and threw all out of the temple, both the sheep and the oxen; and he poured out the changers' money, and overthrew their tables. 2:16 To those who sold the doves, he said, "Take these things out of here! Don't make my Father's house a marketplace!" 2:17 His disciples remembered that it was written, "Zeal for your house will eat me up."3
2:18 The Jews therefore answered him, "What sign do you show us, seeing that you do these things?"
2:19 Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."4
2:20 The Jews therefore said, "Forty-six years was this temple in building, and will you raise it up in three days?" 2:21 But he spoke of the temple of his body. 2:22 When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he said this, and they believed the Scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.
2:23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in his name, observing his signs which he did. 2:24 But Jesus didn't trust himself to them, because he knew everyone, 2:25 and because he didn't need for anyone to testify concerning man; for he himself knew what was in man.
- the passover of the Jews was at hand. In individual consciousness, the “passover of the Jews” represents the time set aside for fasting and prayer, the cleansing and renewing of the body temple through denial and affirmation, making it ready for the coming of the Lord.
- “Those that sold oxen and sheep and doves” and “the changers of money” are errors in the subconsciousness.
- Zeal for thy house will eat me up. “Zeal,” by its very nature, is intense activity. If allowed to take possession of the mind, it turns the attention to observance of forms, following the line of action that brings the appearance of greatest results, and the Spirit is lost sight of. To the Greek philosophers, passion (zeal) was a problem. That is because the ancients did not want to become a “beast.” This contrasts with contemporary philosophy which is more concerned about becoming a “machine.”
- and in three days. The three degrees or parts of man's consciousness: spirit, soul and body. The spiritual I Am must establish its mastery in these before the Word of God is fulfilled and the perfect man brought forth.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Mark Hicks.
World English Bible Footnotes:
Nicodemus Visits Jesus
3:1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus,1 a ruler of the Jews.2 3:2 The same came to him by night, and said to him, "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher3 come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do, unless God is with him."
3:4 Nicodemus said to him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb, and be born?"
3:5 Jesus answered, "Most certainly I tell you, unless one is born of water and spirit, he can't enter into the Kingdom of God! 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh. That which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 3:7 Don't marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born anew.' 3:8 The wind blows where it wants to, and you hear its sound, but don't know where it comes from and where it is going. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit."5
3:9 Nicodemus answered him, "How can these things be?"
3:10 Jesus answered him, "Are you the teacher of Israel, and don't understand these things? 3:11 Most certainly I tell you, we speak that which we know, and testify of that which we have seen, and you don't receive our witness. 3:12 If I told you earthly things and you don't believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 3:13 No one has ascended into heaven, but he who descended out of heaven,6 the Son of Man, who is in heaven. 3:14 As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,7 3:15 that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 3:16 For God so loved the world,8 that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 3:17 For God didn't send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through him. 3:18 He who believes in him is not judged. He who doesn't believe has been judged already,9 because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God. 3:19 This is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light;10 for their works were evil. 3:20 For everyone who does evil hates the light, and doesn't come to the light, lest his works would be exposed. 3:21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his works may be revealed, that they have been done in God."
- a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus. All "inheritance" of ideas and beliefs has a mental basis. We "inherit" some states of mind from our ancestors. An "inherited" or transmitted religion is a dark state, if there is no real understanding in it. This is the Nicodemus mentality. Nicodemus was a Pharisee and a ruler of the Jews. He represents the Pharisaical side of our mentality that observes the external forms of religion without understanding their real meaning.
- a ruler of the Jews. This should be properly translated "a ruler of the Judeans." Jesus was from Galilee, not from Judea. Much of the hostile language in the Gospel of John toward "the Jews" reflects hostility between the Galileans, of which was Jesus, and the Judeans, who were invested in temple sacrifice and conservative religious thought.
- We know that you are a teacher. The Pharisees refused to be baptized by John. They did not consider that they needed the repentance that he demanded. They thought they were good enough to take the high places in the kingdom of God because of their popularly accepted religious supremacy.
- Except one be born anew. The new birth is an uncertainty to the intellectual Christian, hence there has gradually evolved a popular belief that after death the souls of those who have accepted the church creed and have been counted Christians will undergo a change. But in His instructions to Nicodemus Jesus makes no mention of a resurrection after death as having any part in the new birth.
- The wind bloweth where it will. Jesus cites the ever present though unseen wind as an illustration of those who are born of Spirit. The new birth is a change that comes here and now. It has to do with the present man, that he may be conscious of the "Son of man," who is the real I AM in each individual.
- but he that descended out of heaven. There is but one real man, the ideal or spiritual man that God created. Jesus explains to Nicodemus the evolution of this spiritual man from his ideal to his manifest state. Man is fundamentally spiritual and so remains throughout his various manifestations. He comes out of heaven, manifests himself as a personality in the earth, and returns to heaven.
- even so must the Son of man be lifted up. In these few words is summed up the fall of man from an Edenic state, where he had the constant inspiration of creative Mind, to a consciousness of matter and the desperate struggle of personality for existence. The natural man must evolve into the spiritual.
- for God so loved the world. To believe in Jesus is to believe that in the regenerate state we are to be, like Him, "joint-heirs with Christ." This belief must then lead us to a desire and an effort to attain our inheritance, because then we know that there is no other thing in the universe worth striving for. Every person in his real, true self desires to be just as great and just as good as it is possible for him to be. The open door to the attainment of this objective is to believe in one's own divinity and then to raise oneself to its level by following the example of Jesus Christ. Eric Butterworth comments on this well-known verse in clip 16 of Eric Butterworth: Great Teachers — Meister Eckhart — the Eternal is forever begetting the only begotten:
- he that believeth not hath been judged already. Salvation from the results of error thought begins at once when we have faith in the power of the Lord Jesus Christ to save us from the judgment. He comes to us in Spirit to do away with the effects of transgression of the law.
- men loved the darkness rather than the light. World chaos results from the lack of spiritual light. We may plan peace and achieve it, but if this peace is not based on divine law, evolving love, and that law incorporated into the pact of peace as well as into the minds of those who sign that pact, we shall have no permanent peace.
The Testimony of John the Baptist
3:22 After these things, Jesus came with his disciples into the land of Judea. He stayed there with them, and baptized. 3:23 John also was baptizing in Enon near Salim,1 because there was much water there. They came, and were baptized. 3:24 For John was not yet thrown into prison. 3:25 There arose therefore a questioning on the part of John's disciples with some Jews about purification. 3:26 They came to John, and said to him, "Rabbi, he who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified, behold, the same baptizes, and everyone is coming to him."
3:27 John answered, "A man can receive nothing, unless it has been given him from heaven. 3:28 You yourselves testify that I said, 'I am not the Christ,' but, 'I have been sent before him.' 3:29 He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice. This, my joy, therefore is made full. 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease.2
- John also was baptizing. John the Baptist represents the intellectual concept of Truth and his baptizing means a mental cleansing. The name Salim means "peace." "Near Salim" signifies the illumined consciousness of spiritual life and peace in the individual. The water refers to a natural rising in consciousness of the cleansing power of the thought and word of purification and life.
- He must increase, but I must decrease. John the Baptist (representing the illumined intellect) decreases on the sense plane in proportion as the intellect is lifted up in Spirit and is in truth swallowed up in spiritual consciousness. The faculty decreases on one plane only to be reborn on a higher one. The illumined intellect wholly co-operates with Spirit, so there is a merging and blending of these powers until the mere intellect ceases to be mere intellect and is swallowed up in Spirit. This is the ideal unfoldment.
The One Who Comes from Heaven
3:31 He who comes from above is above all. He who is from the Earth belongs to the Earth, and speaks of the Earth. He who comes from heaven is above all.1 3:32 What he has seen and heard, of that he testifies; and no one receives his witness. 3:33 He who has received his witness has set his seal to this, that God is true. 3:34 For he whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for God gives the Spirit without measure. 3:35 The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into his hand. 3:36 One who believes in the Son has eternal life, but one who disobeys the Son won't see life, but the wrath of God remains on him."
- he who comes from heaven is above all. In order to fulfill the divine law of his being man must realize that he is the Son of God in manifestation, that he came from above and is above all; also that in his evolution he leaves the earthly consciousness and ascends into the spiritual under a law of mind. "He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is of the earth, and of the earth he speaketh."
Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Mark Hicks.
World English Bible Footnotes:
Jesus and the Woman from Samaria
4:1 Therefore when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John 4:2 (although Jesus himself didn't baptize, but his disciples), 4:3 he left Judea, and departed into Galilee. 4:4 He needed to pass through Samaria. 4:5 So he came to a city of Samaria, called Sychar, near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son, Joseph. 4:6 Jacob's well was there.1 Jesus therefore, being tired from his journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour. 4:7 A woman of Samaria came2 to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink." 4:8 For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.
4:9 The Samaritan woman therefore said to him, "How is it that you, being a Jew,3 ask for a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?" (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.)
4:10 Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give me a drink,' you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water."
4:11 The woman said to him, "Sir, you have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. From where then have you that living water? 4:12 Are you greater than our father, Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself, as did his children, and his livestock?"
4:13 Jesus answered her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again, 4:14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never thirst again; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life."
4:15 The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water,4 so that I don't get thirsty, neither come all the way here to draw."
4:16 Jesus said to her, "Go, call your husband, and come here."
4:17 The woman answered, "I have no husband."
Jesus said to her, "You said well, 'I have no husband,' 4:18 for you have had five husbands;5 and he whom you now have is not your husband. This you have said truly."
4:21 Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe me, the hour comes, when neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, will you worship the Father. 4:22 You worship that which you don't know. We worship that which we know; for salvation is from the Jews. 4:23 But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such to be his worshippers. 4:24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth."
4:25 The woman said to him, "I know that Messiah comes," (he who is called Christ). "When he has come, he will declare to us all things."
4:26 Jesus said to her, "I am he, the one who speaks to you." 4:27 At this, his disciples came. They marveled that he was speaking with a woman; yet no one said, "What are you looking for?" or, "Why do you speak with her?" 4:28 So the woman left her water pot, and went away into the city, and said to the people, 4:29 "Come, see a man who told me everything that I did. Can this be the Christ?"
4:32 But he said to them, "I have food to eat that you don't know about."6
4:33 The disciples therefore said one to another, "Has anyone brought him something to eat?"
4:34 Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work. 4:35 Don't you say, 'There are yet four months until the harvest?' Behold, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and look at the fields, that they are white for harvest already. 4:36 He who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit to eternal life; that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. 4:37 For in this the saying is true, 'One sows, and another reaps.' 4:38 I sent you to reap that for which you haven't labored. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor."
4:39 From that city many of the Samaritans believed in him because of the word of the woman, who testified, "He told me everything that I did." 4:40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they begged him to stay with them. He stayed there two days. 4:41 Many more believed because of his word. 4:42 They said to the woman, "Now we believe, not because of your speaking; for we have heard for ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world."
- Samaria, Sychar, Jacob. THE NAME Samaria means “watchtower”; and Samaria represents that department of the objective consciousness which functions through the head. The name Sychar means “drunken,” and the place symbolizes a confused state of mind. Sychar was located near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph; physiologically it corresponds to the forehead, seat of intellectual perception. Here also is Jacob’s well—inspiration through the intellect alone.
- A woman of Samaria. The Samaritan woman represents the duality of the soul or subconsciousness. It is not the true source of wisdom, although many searchers after Truth fail to distinguish between its revelations and those of Spirit. In Hindu metaphysics it is known as the human and animal soul.
- How is it that you, being a Jew. The questioning, analytical attitude taken by the woman at the well represents the tendency of intellect to argue: “I see no visible means whereby you can get the everlasting water of life. Are you greater than all the precedents and antecedents of intellectual inheritance and experience?” These assumptions of the spiritual-minded that they have a truth higher than human reason seem to be farfetched and ephemeral. These are but a few of the many questions and objections of the intellectually wise.
- give me this water. The Samaritans claimed to be descendants of Jacob, and they used portions of the Hebrew Scriptures, but in the eyes of the Israelites the Samaritans were pretenders, not true followers of Jehovah. Thus spiritually enlightened people see in psychic and spiritistic phenomena and the revelations of that branch of occultism an imitation of Truth, without a true understanding of its relation to Spirit. But the soul must have Truth, and Christ recognizes the soul as worthy; hence this wonderful lesson of John 4:9-26 given to one auditor. The soul draws its life from both the earthly side of existence (Jacob’s well) and the spiritual (the Jew), but is destined to draw from a higher fount, omnipotent Spirit. Jesus asked the woman for a drink, which indicates the universality of the spiritual life, present in the Samaritan woman as well as in Jesus.
- you have had five husbands. The five husbands to whom this soul had been attached are the five senses. Jesus, who represents Truth, discerned that the woman (soul) had not the understanding of the true, but was being guided by a psychic force, which was not her true husband.
- I have food to eat that you don't know about. The natural man (represented by the disciples) thinks that the substance necessary for food must be put through the material process of planting and harvesting, but in Spirit the pure substance is always at hand ready to be appropriated by the inner consciousness. In states of high spiritual realization the desire for material food vanishes. Jesus fasted for forty days and “afterward hungered.”
Jesus Returns to Galilee
4:43 After the two days he went out from there and went into Galilee. 4:44 For Jesus himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country. 4:45 So when he came into Galilee, the Galileans received him, having seen all the things that he did in Jerusalem at the feast, for they also went to the feast.
Jesus Heals an Official's Son
4:46 Jesus came therefore again to Cana of Galilee, where he made the water into wine. There was a certain nobleman whose son was sick at Capernaum. 4:47 When he heard that Jesus had come out of Judea into Galilee, he went to him, and begged him that he would come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. 4:48 Jesus therefore said to him, "Unless you see signs and wonders, you will in no way believe."
4:49 The nobleman said to him, "Sir, come down before my child dies." 4:50 Jesus said to him, "Go your way. Your son lives." The man believed the word1 that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way. 4:51 As he was now going down, his servants met him and reported, saying "Your child lives!" 4:52 So he inquired of them the hour when he began to get better. They said therefore to him, "Yesterday at the seventh hour, the fever left him." 4:53 So the father knew that it was at that hour in which Jesus said to him, "Your son lives." He believed, as did his whole house. 4:54 This is again the second sign2 that Jesus did, having come out of Judea into Galilee.
- The man believed the word. Faith on the part of the patient or of someone connected with him is found to be an important factor in absent healing. This nobleman had faith that Jesus could heal his son, and when Jesus uttered the positive truth “Go thy way; thy son liveth,” he “believed the word.”
- The second sign. Spiritual healing is so marvelous and so far beyond the range of human explanation that it may appear to be supernatural. We cannot explain it clearly, but this we know: When we attain oneness with the invisible force that moves the mind, a new and higher energy sweeps through us; the thought is ablaze, and even our spoken words seem alive. When the word or spiritualized thought is sent to a receptive mind, it is conducted like the oscillations of the wireless telegraph; there is a universal thought ether that carries the message.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Mark Hicks.
World English Bible Footnotes:
Jesus Heals on the Sabbath
5:1 After these things, there was a feast of the Jews,1 and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.2 5:2 Now in Jerusalem by the sheep gate,3 there is a pool, which is called in Hebrew, "Bethesda,"4 having five porches.5 5:3 In these lay a great multitude of those who were sick, blind, lame, or paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water; 5:4 for an angel of the Lord went down at certain times into the pool, and stirred up the water. Whoever stepped in first after the stirring of the water6 was made whole of whatever disease he had. 5:5 A certain man was there, who had been sick for thirty-eight years. 5:6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had been sick for a long time, he asked him, "Do you want to be made well?"7
5:7 The sick man answered him, "Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I'm coming, another steps down before me."
5:8 Jesus said to him, "Arise, take up your mat, and walk."8
5:9 Immediately, the man was made well, and took up his mat and walked.
Now it was the Sabbath on that day.9 5:10 So the Jews said to him who was cured, "It is the Sabbath. It is not lawful for you to carry the mat."10
5:11 He answered them, "He who made me well, the same said to me, 'Take up your mat, and walk.'"
5:12 Then they asked him, "Who is the man who said to you, 'Take up your mat, and walk'?"
5:13 But he who was healed didn't know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a crowd being in the place.
5:14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, "Behold, you are made well. Sin no more, so that nothing worse happens to you."
5:15 The man went away, and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. 5:16 For this cause the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill him, because he did these things on the Sabbath. 5:17 But Jesus answered them, "My Father is still working, so I am working, too." 5:18 For this cause therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the Sabbath, but also called God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
- The Jews. In consciousness, the “Jews” represent those thoughts which recognize God as the Supreme Power. But they have not a working knowledge of the laws of being, which is attained through coming under the dominion and direction of Spiritual I Am (Jesus).
- Jerusalem. The spiritual center in consciousness. It is called the “city of peace.”
- Sheep gate. The natural, innocent expression of spiritual life, and the “sheep gate'“ is the channel through which this life flows into the organism.
- Pool of Bethesda. That point in consciousness where we feel the flow of the cleansing life of the Spirit.
- Five porches. The five-sense limitation, which does not realize the power of the Spirit. The porches are filled with the “sick, blind, halt and withered,” or unregenerated ideas.
- Stirring of the water. typifies the dependence of unawakened man upon certain slow, natural healing processes, which he calls “nature.” The “multitude” of weak, sick, infirm thoughts and conditions in the mortal man have not received the quick, swift healing power of Spiritual I Am.
- Do you want to be made well? This healing represents the power of the I Am (typified by Jesus) to restore the equilibrium of the organism through the activity of spiritual ideas in consciousness, independent of the healing methods utilized by the man of sense.
- Arise, take up your mat, and walk. Jesus gives a simple directive here to take action and be accountable: Spirit calls our wholeness into action. Each of us creates a life that reflects our relationship with inner wholeness or a consciousness of outer limits and victimhood. When we stop blaming the outer world for unhappy conditions and instead recognize our wholeness, we claim the healing of “taking up our mat” and tap in to our spiritual power to take responsibility for our lives. (Rev. Joy Wyler, Radical Wholeness)
- It was the sabbath on that day. “Sabbath” is not a day of the week. It is a state of mind entered into by a person, when he goes into the silence of his own soul, into the realm of Spirit. In this mental state healing becomes the normal, easy thing. Much of the healing that Jesus did was accomplished on the Jewish Sabbath.
- It is not lawful for you to carry the mat. Here is pictured the activity of the letter (the Jews) and the Spirit (Jesus) of spiritual law. When man is really quickened of the Spirit he comes into the realization of the continuity of life in the organism, and is not limited by any laws of nature.
The Authority of the Son
5:19 Jesus therefore answered them, "Most certainly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing of himself,1 but what he sees the Father doing. For whatever things he does, these the Son also does likewise. 5:20 For the Father has affection for the Son, and shows him all things that he himself does. He will show him greater works than these, that you may marvel. 5:21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom he desires.2 5:22 For the Father judges no one, but he has given all judgment to the Son, 5:23 that all may honor the Son,3 even as they honor the Father. He who doesn't honor the Son doesn't honor the Father who sent him.
5:24 "Most certainly I tell you, he who hears my word, and believes him who sent me, has eternal life, and doesn't come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. 5:25 Most certainly, I tell you, the hour comes, and now is, when the dead will hear the Son of God's voice; and those who hear will live.4 5:26 For as the Father has life in himself, even so he gave to the Son also to have life in himself. 5:27 He also gave him authority to execute judgment, because he is a son of man. 5:28 Don't marvel at this, for the hour comes, in which all that are in the tombs will hear his voice, 5:29 and will come out; those who have done good, to the resurrection of life; and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment.
- The Son can do nothing of himself. The Father is the great source of all light and all understanding, and the Son is the idea that expresses the light and the wisdom of God.The Son is the idea of God-Mind, of man in his perfection. Under divine law man makes manifest what God has in His mind.
- So the Son also gives life to whom he desires. The divine idea, the Christ, has been given eternal life and has the power to impart it to the Adam man. In addition to this He has been given judgment: He determines how the life shall be made manifest. The Father of life is a great river in the Garden of Eden, which represents man's innate capacity ready to obtain expression in all wisdom and understanding.
- That all may honor the Son. We honor the Christ when we recognize it as having the authority of God. In its life-giving capacity it is equal to God and has the power of God. When that is enthroned in us which possesses spiritual identity we have the realization that we are speaking the word right from the Father. Jesus in this state of unfoldment proclaimed: "The words that I say unto you I speak not from myself: but the Father abiding in me doeth his works."
- The dead shall hear the Son of God's voice; and those who hear will live. “The dead” are those who are spiritually asleep, who know nothing above or beyond the experiences of the physical nature. As they awaken to the reality of the divine nature within them, they are quickened to newness of life and enter into spiritual consciousness, where they really “live.”
Witnesses to Jesus
5:30 I can of myself do nothing.1 As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is righteous; because I don't seek my own will, but the will of my Father who sent me.
5:31 "If I testify about myself, my witness is not valid. 5:32 It is another who testifies about me. I know that the testimony which he testifies about me is true. 5:33 You have sent to John, and he has testified to the truth. 5:34 But the testimony which I receive is not from man. However, I say these things that you may be saved. 5:35 He was the burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. 5:36 But the testimony which I have is greater than that of John, for the works which the Father gave me to accomplish, the very works that I do, testify about me, that the Father has sent me. 5:37 The Father himself, who sent me, has testified about me. You have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his form. 5:38 You don't have his word living in you; because you don't believe him whom he sent.
5:39 "You search the Scriptures,2 because you think that in them you have eternal life; and these are they which testify about me. 5:40 Yet you will not come to me, that you may have life. 5:41 I don't receive glory from men. 5:42 But I know you, that you don't have God's love in yourselves. 5:43 I have come in my Father's name, and you don't receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him. 5:44 How can you believe, who receive glory from one another, and you don't seek the glory that comes from the only God?
5:45 "Don't think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you, even Moses, on whom you have set your hope. 5:46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote about me. 5:47 But if you don't believe his writings, how will you believe my words?"
- I can of myself do nothing. The divine law is our normal medium of expression. As we awake to this truth, we cease to avail ourselves of the manmade law of self-defense, the practice of defending self-interest, and other habitual thought for the self, and concentrate our efforts on observing the right relations between ourselves and others, that Jesus designated as essential to a full grasp of the meaning of life. We still need to seek complete understanding of the Christ Spirit and the will to come to it as the source of our power.
- You search the scriptures. The Scriptures alone are not sufficient to impart spiritual understanding. The Pharisees were inveterate students of the Hebrew Scriptures, but Jesus accused them repeatedly of lack of understanding. The Bible is a sealed book to one whose own spiritual understanding has not been quickened by the living Word. "The word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it." Jesus so identified Himself with the living Word that His words became, like it, creative. He submerged His personality in God-Mind until He became the expression of that Mind, the idea clothed in flesh.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Mark Hicks.
Feeding the Five Thousand1
6:1 After these things, Jesus went away to the other side of the sea of Galilee, which is also called the Sea of Tiberias.2 6:2 A great multitude followed him, because they saw his signs which he did on those who were sick. 6:3 Jesus went up into the mountain,3 and he sat there with his disciples. 6:4 Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. 6:5 Jesus therefore lifting up his eyes, and seeing that a great multitude was coming to him,4 said to Philip,5 "Where are we to buy bread, that these may eat?" 6:6 This he said to test him, for he himself knew what he would do.
6:7 Philip answered him, "Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that everyone of them may receive a little."
6:10 Jesus said, "Have the people sit down." Now there was much grass in that place.7 So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 6:11 Jesus took the loaves; and having given thanks,8 he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to those who were sitting down; likewise also of the fish as much as they desired. 6:12 When they were filled, he said to his disciples, "Gather up the broken pieces which are left over, that nothing be lost." 6:13 So they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets9 with broken pieces from the five barley loaves, which were left over by those who had eaten. 6:14 When therefore the people saw the sign which Jesus did, they said, "This is truly the prophet who comes into the world." 6:15 Jesus therefore, perceiving that they were about to come and take him by force, to make him king, withdrew again to the mountain by himself.10
- The feeding of the five thousand is a symbolical representation of the steps taken and the ideas involved in supplying the outer, physical consciousness of man with inner, spiritual substance. Having quickened your idea of Power and Strength in Universal Spirit, you “sit down,” or center your forces within, and begin to bless and give thanks. In Divine order you make connection with the Universal Mother, or Vital Energy of Being, and fill your whole consciousness with vitality. The surplus energy settles back into the various centers as reserve force. This is the “twelve baskets” which remained over.
- the other side of the sea of Galilee, which is also called the sea of Tiberias. Galilee represents life activity, whose power is greatest on “the other side” or inner side. Tiberias means promptness and order. The real meaning of this passage of Scripture is that one who makes this demonstration must act in spiritual life with promptness and order.
- Jesus went up into the mountain The I AM ascending to a high state of consciousness. When man enters into that high realization of his spiritual character, all his faculties (disciples) are lifted up with him.
- a great multitude was coming to him. The multitude of thoughts living in material consciousness.
- Philip. The power of the number “about five thousand” word. The word has not been used before to command spiritual increase sufficient to feed the hungry mentality, and it doubts its ability. But Jesus knows its capacity.
- Andrew, a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. Andrew represents spiritual strength, which has great faith (Peter) in the increasing capacity (lad) of a few seeds of substance (loaves) and fishes (life).
- Make the people sit down, there was much grass. Sitting represents a restful, expectant state of mind, and grass represents the consciousness of unfolding substance. Jesus' command symbolizes the I AM arranging receptive thought forces in just the order that will best enable them to receive spiritual inspiration.
- having given thanks, he distributed to the disciples. Thanksgiving and praise are the key that opens the door into the great storehouse of spiritual ideas, the kingdom of the heavens. When this door is opened by one who understands and fulfills the righteous law of conserving and multiplying substance and life, a great flood of vitality flows to the whole consciousness of that one, and his every hungry thought is satisfied.
- filled twelve baskets. The twelve centers of consciousness in the body. All the hungry thoughts are fed, and the overflow sinks back to the subconscious and fills these twelve centers, giving complete satisfaction within and without.
- Jesus ... withdrew again to the mountain by himself. Those who are evolving spiritually know whether or not they are equal to certain demands made on them, and they withdraw to the within for further spiritual realization and power.
Jesus Walks on the Water
6:16 When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, 6:17 and they entered into the boat, and were going over the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not come to them.1 6:18 The sea was tossed by a great wind2 blowing. 6:19 When therefore they had rowed about twenty-five or thirty stadia, they saw Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing near to the boat; and they were afraid.3 6:20 But he said to them, "It is I. Don't be afraid." 6:21 They were willing therefore to receive him into the boat.4 Immediately the boat was at the land where they were going.
- it was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. Lack of spiritual awareness.
- Wind. Waves represent the ordinary ups and downs which every ordinary life characterizes. Wind refers to the way things are going or appearing in movement to the consciousness.
- and they were afraid. Jesus at first is believed to be an apparition to the disciples; and this is the attitude of many people who for the first time hear these words “God is my help.”
- They were willing therefore to receive him into the boat. The first of the twelve to actually show willingness to believe is Peter, Faith, the ability to say "yes" to Truth, the affirmative faculty and the faculty which connects us with the substance of Truth.
The Bread from Heaven
6:22 On the next day, the multitude that stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was no other boat there, except the one in which his disciples had embarked, and that Jesus hadn't entered with his disciples into the boat, but his disciples had gone away alone. 6:23 However boats from Tiberias came near to the place where they ate the bread after the Lord had given thanks. 6:24 When the multitude therefore saw that Jesus wasn't there,1 nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats, and came to Capernaum, seeking Jesus. 6:25 When they found him on the other side of the sea, they asked him, "Rabbi, when did you come here?"
6:26 Jesus answered them, "Most certainly I tell you, you seek me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves, and were filled. 6:27 Don't work for the food which perishes, but for the food which remains to eternal life,2 which the Son of Man will give to you. For God the Father has sealed him."
6:28 They said therefore to him, "What must we do, that we may work the works of God?"
6:29 Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent."3
6:30 They said therefore to him, "What then do you do for a sign, that we may see, and believe you? What work do you do? 6:31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness.4 As it is written, 'He gave them bread out of heaven to eat.'"
6:32 Jesus therefore said to them, "Most certainly, I tell you, it wasn't Moses who gave you the bread out of heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread out of heaven. 6:33 For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world."
6:34 They said therefore to him, "Lord, always give us this bread."
6:35 Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life.5 He who comes to me will not be hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. 6:36 But I told you that you have seen me, and yet you don't believe. 6:37 All those who the Father gives me will come to me. Him who comes to me I will in no way throw out. 6:38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. 6:39 This is the will of my Father who sent me, that of all he has given to me I should lose nothing, but should raise him up at the last day. 6:40 This is the will of the one who sent me, that everyone who sees the Son, and believes in him, should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day."
6:41 The Jews therefore murmured concerning him, because he said, "I am the bread which came down out of heaven."6 6:42 They said, "Isn't this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How then does he say, 'I have come down out of heaven?'"
6:43 Therefore Jesus answered them, "Don't murmur among yourselves. 6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up in the last day. 6:45 It is written in the prophets, 'They will all be taught by God.' Therefore everyone who hears from the Father, and has learned, comes to me. 6:46 Not that anyone has seen the Father, except he who is from God. He has seen the Father. 6:47 Most certainly, I tell you, he who believes in me has eternal life. 6:48 I am the bread of life. 6:49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 6:50 This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, that anyone may eat of it and not die. 6:51 I am the living bread which came down out of heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. Yes, the bread which I will give for the life of the world is my flesh."
6:52 The Jews therefore contended with one another, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"
6:53 Jesus therefore said to them, "Most certainly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you don't have life in yourselves. 6:54 He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 6:55 For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 6:56 He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me, and I in him. 6:57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father; so he who feeds on me, he will also live because of me. 6:58 This is the bread which came down out of heaven--not as our fathers ate the manna, and died. He who eats this bread will live forever." 6:59 These things he said in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.
- Jesus wasn't there. After feeding the multitude, Jesus retired to the mountain and spent the night in prayer. It is the universal testimony of those who are in the regeneration that they have to spend much time in prayer on the mount of spiritual realization. To pray all night is not unusual with one who is striving to make complete atonement with God.
- food which perishes, but for the food which remains to eternal life. The proclamation of one who has found the real substance and source of supply . The outer consciousness strives for the things of sense.
- This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent. To do this inner work that redeems the whole man and puts him in touch with spiritual realities, one must believe on, or have faith in, him “whom he hath sent.” This one who is sent of God is Christ, Spiritual Man, the higher self of every man. We must believe that there is a Spirit in man that transcends the mortal, and that it has power to do all that we conceive possible to God. Thus God's work is done in us.
- manna in the wilderness. Moses caused manna to fall from heaven to feed the Children of Israel. The body of Christ is a spiritual substance that we incorporate into consciousness through faith out of the heavens of mind. That the food we eat has a spiritual source is proved by those who fast in spiritual faith much longer and easier than those who are forced to starve.
- I am the bread of life. The I AM is the living principle that enables us to make our desires manifest in whatever form we choose. To do this we recognize and draw upon universal substance.
- I am the bread which came down out of heaven. The tendency of men to believe that some prophet or wise one has access to God which they have not must be refuted. The Jews counted the manna given to their ancestors by Moses as in some way having to do with their salvation. Jesus says, “The bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven.” You must be your own high priest and prophet. God is the sustaining substance and life, manifesting through each soul; how, then, can he pass his resource to that soul through some human instrument? He cannot, and all dependence upon such helps is weakening and futile in the end. “I Am the bread of life.” Whoever believes on the spiritual I Am as his Oversoul, and affirms it as his substance and life, shall never hunger nor thirst.
The Words of Eternal Life
6:60 Therefore many of his disciples, when they heard this, said, "This is a hard saying! Who can listen to it?"
6:61 But Jesus knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at this, said to them, "Does this cause you to stumble? 6:62 Then what if you would see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? 6:63 It is the spirit who gives life. The flesh profits nothing.1 The words that I speak to you are spirit, and are life. 6:64 But there are some of you who don't believe." For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who didn't believe, and who it was who would betray him. 6:65 He said, "For this cause have I said to you that no one can come to me, unless it is given to him by my Father."
6:70 Jesus answered them, "Didn't I choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?" 6:71 Now he spoke of Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, for it was he who would betray him, being one of the twelve.
- It is the spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. Being, the original fount, is an impersonal principle; but in its work of creation it puts forth an idea that contains all ideas: the Logos, Word, Christ, the Son of God, or spiritual man. This spiritual man or Christ or Word of God is the true inner self of every individual. Man therefore contains within himself the capacities of Being, and through his words uses the creative principle in forming his environment, good or bad. So we make our own heaven or hell.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Mark Hicks.
World English Bible Footnotes:
-  v6:19. 25 to 30 stadia is about 5 to 6 kilometers or about 3 to 4 miles
-  v6:19. see Job 9:8
-  v6:20. or, I AM
-  v6:31. Greek and Hebrew use the same word for "heaven", "the heavens", "the sky", and "the air".
-  v6:31. Exodus 16:4; Nehemiah 9:15; Psalm 78:24-25
-  v6:45. Isaiah 54:13
The Unbelief of Jesus' Brothers
7:1 After these things, Jesus was walking in Galilee, for he wouldn't walk in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill him. 7:2 Now the feast of the Jews, the Feast of Booths, was at hand. 7:3 His brothers therefore said to him, "Depart from here, and go into Judea, that your disciples also may see your works which you do. 7:4 For no one does anything in secret, and himself seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, reveal yourself to the world." 7:5 For even his brothers didn't believe in him.
7:6 Jesus therefore said to them, "My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready.1 7:7 The world can't hate you, but it hates me, because I testify about it, that its works are evil. 7:8 You go up to the feast. I am not yet going up to this feast, because my time is not yet fulfilled."
7:9 Having said these things to them, he stayed in Galilee.
- My time has not yet come; but your time is always ready. Jesus was developing his spiritual nature, which is under spiritual law. The Pharisaical Jews followed the letter of the law, which resists and seeks the destruction of the Christ. The Christ usually moves in secret. It does its spiritual work quietly instead of showing off. Some of the multitude thought Jesus was a good man; others thought He had led the people astray. This represents the quibbling of the lesser mind.
Jesus at the Festival of Booths
7:10 But when his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he also went up, not publicly, but as it were in secret.1 7:11 The Jews therefore sought him at the feast, and said, "Where is he?" 7:12 There was much murmuring among the multitudes concerning him. Some said, "He is a good man." Others said, "Not so, but he leads the multitude astray." 7:13 Yet no one spoke openly of him for fear of the Jews. 7:14 But when it was now the midst of the feast, Jesus went up into the temple and taught.2 7:15 The Jews therefore marveled, saying, "How does this man know letters, having never been educated?"
7:16 Jesus therefore answered them, "My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. 7:17 If anyone desires to do his will, he will know about the teaching, whether it is from God, or if I am speaking from myself. 7:18 He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory, but he who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.3 7:19 Didn't Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keeps the law? Why do you seek to kill me?"
7:20 The multitude answered, "You have a demon! Who seeks to kill you?"
7:21 Jesus answered them, "I did one work, and you all marvel because of it. 7:22 Moses has given you circumcision (not that it is of Moses, but of the fathers), and on the Sabbath you circumcise a boy. 7:23 If a boy receives circumcision on the Sabbath, that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me, because I made a man completely healthy on the Sabbath? 7:24 Don't judge according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment."
- then went he also up, not publicly, but as it were in secret. Jesus' disciples wanted Him to go up to Jerusalem for one reason: to prove that He was the Christ, but He realized that He had not yet attained the necessary power. After they had departed He got more spiritual consciousness and was moved to go under the protection of Spirit, and in this state of mind the Jews could not lay their hands on Him or injure Him in any way.
- Jesus went up into the temple and taught. Jesus, like all persons who are growing spiritually, felt the power within Him to be much stronger than He could manifest without. He wanted to prove to His friends that He was the Christ but doubted His ability.
- he who seeks the glory ... and no unrighteousness is in him. He was not speaking from Himself for His own glory, but He was seeking the glory of Him that sent Him. Glory (doxa, Greek) is used repeatedly by John: Realization of divine unity; the blending and merging of man's mind with God-Mind (RW/glory).
Is this the Christ?
7:25 Therefore some of them of Jerusalem said, "Isn't this he whom they seek to kill? 7:26 Behold, he speaks openly, and they say nothing to him. Can it be that the rulers indeed know that this is truly the Christ? 7:27 However we know where this man comes from, but when the Christ comes, no one will know where he comes from."
7:28 Jesus therefore cried out in the temple, teaching and saying, "You both know me, and know where I am from. I have not come of myself, but he who sent me is true, whom you don't know. 7:29 I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me."
7:30 They sought therefore to take him; but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come. 7:31 But of the multitude, many believed in him. They said, "When the Christ comes, he won't do more signs than those which this man has done, will he?"
Officers Are Sent to Arrest Jesus
7:32 The Pharisees heard the multitude murmuring these things concerning him, and the chief priests and the Pharisees sent officers to arrest him. 7:33 Then Jesus said, "I will be with you a little while longer, then I go to him who sent me. 7:34 You will seek me, and won't find me; and where I am, you can't come."1
7:35 The Jews therefore said among themselves, "Where will this man go that we won't find him? Will he go to the Dispersion among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks? 7:36 What is this word that he said, 'You will seek me, and won't find me; and where I am, you can't come'?"
- where I am, you can't come. The all-knowing Christ Mind can easily handle the Pharisaical mind that is following the letter of the law. The intellectual mind cannot understand the claim of the spiritual that it can go where it cannot be found by those present. The mind that functions in matter cannot comprehend a state in which matter can pass through matter.
Rivers of Living Water
7:37 Now on the last and greatest day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink!1 7:38 He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, from within him will flow rivers of living water."2 7:39 But he said this about the Spirit, which those believing in him were to receive. For the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus wasn't yet glorified.3
- If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink! Jesus realized that man's real thirst is for Spirit and that this thirst can only be quenched through an outpouring of the Holy Spirit within the soul, which thrills one with new life and energy and vitality.
- from within him will flow rivers of living water. If we have understanding faith we know that there is no cessation of life and that we have only to open our consciousness more and more to the Spirit of life in order to realize that from within flow rivers of living water.
- for the Spirit was not yet given; because Jesus wasn't yet glorified. The Holy Spirit was in evidence before the time of Jesus, but He gave a new impetus to this indwelling helper and promised that the holy Comforter would be with us throughout all time.
Division Among the People
7:40 Many of the multitude therefore, when they heard these words, said, "This is truly the prophet." 7:41 Others said, "This is the Christ." But some said, "What, does the Christ come out of Galilee? 7:42 Hasn't the Scripture said that the Christ comes of the seed of David, and from Bethlehem, the village where David was?" 7:43 So there arose a division in the multitude because of him.1 7:44 Some of them would have arrested him, but no one laid hands on him.
- So there arose a division in the multitude because of him. When one is in a mixed state of consciousness there is always dissension and questioning. However when one is born anew into the Christ consciousness all things are made clear. "For all shall know me, From the least to the greatest of them." This quotation could be from several verses: Heb. 8:11, Jer. 31:34, Isa. 54:13
The Unbelief of Those in Authority
7:47 The Pharisees therefore answered them,2 "You aren't also led astray, are you? 7:48 Have any of the rulers believed in him, or of the Pharisees? 7:49 But this multitude that doesn't know the law is accursed."
7:53 Everyone went to his own house,
- Never man so spake. The "chief priests" of the Pharisaical consciousness are the highest thoughts in authority in the Pharisaical hierarchy. The "officers" are thoughts that execute the law.
- The Pharisees therefore answered them. However, when it reaches a certain state of unfoldment even the Pharisaical mind, which believes in the strict letter of the law, is open to conviction if it can entertain a higher truth safely.
- Nicodemus said to them. This is proved by Nicodemus' spiritual conversion. The Pharisaical side of man's mind in its faithful adherence to religious forms eventually becomes aware of the presence of divine power.
- Never man so spake. This truth was in evidence when the officers replied, "Never man so spake," revealing that the higher light of the Christ had found entrance into their consciousness.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Mark Hicks.
World English Bible Footnotes:
Men Who Cast Stones
8:1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.1 8:2 Now very early in the morning, he came again into the temple, and all the people came to him. He sat down, and taught them. 8:3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman taken in adultery. Having set her in the midst, 8:4 they told him, "Teacher, we found this woman in adultery, in the very act. 8:5 Now in our law, Moses commanded us to stone such. What then do you say about her?"2 8:6 They said this testing him, that they might have something to accuse him of.
But Jesus stooped down, and wrote on the ground with his finger. 8:7 But when they continued asking him, he looked up and said to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him throw the first stone at her." 8:8 Again he stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground.
8:9 They, when they heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one,3 beginning from the oldest, even to the last. Jesus was left alone with the woman where she was, in the middle. 8:10 Jesus, standing up, saw her and said, "Woman, where are your accusers? Did no one condemn you?"
8:11 She said, "No one, Lord."
Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you. Go your way. From now on, sin no more."4
- Jesus went to the mount of Olives. Jesus' going up into the Mount of Olives means the soul's ascending to the state of consciousness where absolute Truth is manifest and from this high vantage point teaching a lesson in brotherly love to the intellectual faculties.
- what then do you say about her? Sometimes the intellectual faculties imagine they are in supreme authority, as in this case, where the woman caught in adultery is presented as an example. "Now, spiritual man, what are you going to do about that?
- And they, when they heard it, went out one by one. The intellectual faculties, thus trapped in their own conceit, slink away.
- Neither do I condemn you. The final injunction. Thus the overcoming power of the Christ Mind is doing its perfect work.
Jesus the Light of the World
8:13 The Pharisees therefore said to him, "You testify about yourself.2 Your testimony is not valid."
8:14 Jesus answered them, "Even if I testify about myself, my testimony is true, for I know where I came from, and where I am going;3 but you don't know where I came from, or where I am going. 8:15 You judge according to the flesh. I judge no one. 8:16 Even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent me. 8:17 It's also written in your law that the testimony of two people is valid. 8:18 I am one who testifies about myself, and the Father who sent me testifies about me."4
8:19 They said therefore to him, "Where is your Father?"
Jesus answered, "You know neither me, nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also." 8:20 Jesus spoke these words in the treasury, as he taught in the temple. Yet no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.5
- he that follows me ... will have the light of life. The first lesson in spiritual development to be learned is that everyone has within him the light of divine understanding.
- You testify about yourself. Those who do not recognize that they have this inner light are thinking intellectually instead of spiritually.
- I know where I came from, and where I am going. The Christ light comes forth from God and under all circumstances is aware of its source.
- the Father who sent me testifies about me. It places all judgment in the Father, knowing that its light is from that source alone. The intellectual man has no conception of this truth but depends more on man-made judgment.
- because his hour had not yet come. Jesus (symbolizing the Christ) was working in the substance consciousness and under the light of Spirit and was master of the situation. Therefore no man took Him, because His hour was not yet come. He put all protection under God, who was ever-present as His witness and defense.
Jesus Foretells His Death
8:21 Jesus said therefore again to them, "I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sins. Where I go, you can't come."
8:22 The Jews therefore said, "Will he kill himself, that he says, 'Where I am going, you can't come?'"
8:23 He said to them, "You are from beneath. I am from above. You are of this world. I am not of this world.1 8:24 I said therefore to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am he, you will die in your sins."
8:25 They said therefore to him, "Who are you?"2
Jesus said to them, "Just what I have been saying to you from the beginning. 8:26 I have many things to speak and to judge concerning you. However he who sent me is true; and the things which I heard from him, these I say to the world."
8:27 They didn't understand that he spoke to them about the Father.3 8:28 Jesus therefore said to them, "When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he,4 and I do nothing of myself, but as my Father taught me, I say these things. 8:29 He who sent me is with me. The Father hasn't left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him." 8:30 As he spoke these things, many believed in him.
- I am from above ... I am not of this world. Jesus, symbolizing the I AM, the Christ, again is proclaiming Truth from the absolute standpoint.
- Who are you? Through self-righteous adherence to outer forms man resists his true unfoldment or evolution.
- They didn't understand that he spoke to them about the Father. The egotistical personality assumes that its world of phenomena is real and that all talk about disappearing into spirit is illusion. Sanctimoniousness develops from the belief that intellect can be spiritually sanctified.
- then you will know that I am he. The spiritual mind (the I AM) is the Saviour and is working to come into evidence. It is working to redeem the self-righteous, Pharisaical, intellectual man. When this man has been lifted up, "then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself, but as the Father taught me. I speak these things."
8:33 They answered him, "We are Abraham's seed, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How do you say, 'You will be made free?'"
8:34 Jesus answered them, "Most certainly I tell you, everyone who commits sin is the bondservant of sin. 8:35 A bondservant doesn't live in the house forever.1 A son remains forever. 8:36 If therefore the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. 8:37 I know that you are Abraham's seed,2 yet you seek to kill me, because my word finds no place in you. 8:38 I say the things which I have seen with my Father; and you also do the things which you have seen with your father."3
- A bondservant doesn't live in the house forever. The "house" is man's body. No one who allows intemperate desires to rule his life and to gain expression through his thought and conduct can hope to remain long in the body or to experience in it any measure of true satisfaction.
- you are Abraham's seed. As the chosen people, the Jews were in bondage to racial pride, and their intemperance in this regard was difficult to uproot.
- you also do the things which you have seen with your father. Jesus in effect said, "If you live in the spirit of My teachings, you will become truly My disciples, and you will be freed from all your limitations through the understanding of Truth that comes to you as the result of your steadfastness."
Jesus and Abraham
8:39 They answered him, "Our father is Abraham."1
Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children, you would do the works of Abraham. 8:40 But now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth,2 which I heard from God. Abraham didn't do this. 8:41 You do the works of your father."
They said to him, "We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father, God."
8:42 Therefore Jesus said to them, "If God were your father, you would love me, for I came out and have come from God. For I haven't come of myself, but he sent me. 8:43 Why don't you understand my speech? Because you can't hear my word. 8:44 You are of your father, the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and doesn't stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks on his own; for he is a liar, and its father. 8:45 But because I tell the truth, you don't believe me. 8:46 Which of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? 8:47 He who is of God hears the words of God. For this cause you don't hear, because you are not of God."
8:48 Then the Jews answered him, "Don't we say well that you are a Samaritan, and have a demon?"
8:49 Jesus answered, "I don't have a demon, but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me. 8:50 But I don't seek my own glory. There is one who seeks and judges. 8:51 Most certainly, I tell you, if a person keeps my word, he will never see death."
8:52 Then the Jews said to him, "Now we know that you have a demon. Abraham died, and the prophets; and you say, 'If a man keeps my word, he will never taste of death.' 8:53 Are you greater than our father, Abraham, who died? The prophets died. Who do you make yourself out to be?"
8:54 Jesus answered, "If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say that he is our God. 8:55 You have not known him, but I know him. If I said, 'I don't know him,' I would be like you, a liar. But I know him, and keep his word. 8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day. He saw it, and was glad."
8:57 The Jews therefore said to him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?"
8:59 Therefore they took up stones to throw at him, but Jesus was hidden, and went out of the temple, having gone through the midst of them, and so passed by.
- Our father is Abraham. Those who think of themselves as descended from human ancestors are in bondage to all the limitations of those ancestors. It is a falling short of the full stature of man to regard himself as descended from the human family. This is a sin that keeps the majority of men in bondage to sense consciousness.
- you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth. It seems incredible that men should seek to destroy and kill out of their thoughts this super-conscious mind, but such is the self-sufficiency of ignorance identified with human lineage. Mortality has failed generation after generation, yet men cling to it as the summum bonum of existence, and antagonize the Spirit.
- before Abraham came into existence, I am. It is hard for the intellect to realize the spiritual "I AM THAT I AM." It always argues back and forth, endeavoring to prove that the intellect itself is the highest authority.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Mark Hicks.
World English Bible Footnotes:
A Man Born Blind Receives Sight
9:3 Jesus answered, "Neither did this man sin, nor his parents; but, that the works of God might be revealed in him.2 9:4 I must work the works of him who sent me, while it is day.3 The night is coming, when no one can work. 9:5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world." 9:6 When he had said this, he spat on the ground, made mud with the saliva, anointed the blind man's eyes with the mud,4 9:7 and said to him, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam" (which means "Sent").5 So he went away, washed, and came back seeing. 9:8 The neighbors therefore, and those who saw that he was blind before, said, "Isn't this he who sat and begged?" 9:9 Others were saying, "It is he." Still others were saying, "He looks like him."
He said, "I am he." 9:10 They therefore were asking him, "How were your eyes opened?"
9:11 He answered, "A man called Jesus made mud, anointed my eyes, and said to me, 'Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash.' So I went away and washed, and I received sight."
9:12 Then they asked him, "Where is he?"
He said, "I don't know."
- who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind? The inquiry indicates a previous incarnation of the man in the flesh body, where it is possible he may have sinned.
- that the works of God might be revealed in him. The perfect ideas of a perfect man-Idea in Divine Mind. Jesus’ response says that everyone is born with a clean slate and with a unique path for revealing their own divinity. Every condition we deem as adversity is an opportunity to reveal the depth of power, wisdom, and love in our true nature. “God’s work revealed in him” describes the work of everyone—it’s not a special charge to individuals with physical challenges or disabilities. (Rev. Joy Wyler, Radical Wholeness.)
- We must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day. When the inspiration of God moves us and we respond and do His will, we have the “day,” or the light, and we should act upon our inspiration. On the other hand, if we neglect to do the will of Him that sent us, we shall sink into darkness, ignorance, “night.”
- anointed the blind man's eyes with the mud (clay, ASV). Clay represents materiality. This is to be washed away before the material-minded person can see with the eye of the mind or use his innate powers of discernment.
- wash in the pool of Siloam. Siloam means “sent,” “sending forth, or putting away.” To wash in Siloam is to deny all belief in materiality and affirm the spiritual nature of all substance.
The Pharisees Investigate the Healing
9:13 They brought him who had been blind1 to the Pharisees. 9:14 It was a Sabbath when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. 9:15 Again therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he received his sight. He said to them, "He put mud on my eyes, I washed, and I see."
9:16 Some therefore of the Pharisees said, "This man is not from God, because he doesn't keep the Sabbath."2 Others said, "How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?" There was division among them. 9:17 Therefore they asked the blind man again, "What do you say about him, because he opened your eyes?"
He said, "He is a prophet."
9:18 The Jews therefore did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and had received his sight, until they called the parents of him who had received his sight, 9:19 and asked them, "Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?"
9:20 His parents answered them, "We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; 9:21 but how he now sees, we don't know; or who opened his eyes, we don't know. He is of age. Ask him. He will speak for himself." 9:22 His parents said these things because they feared the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that if any man would confess him as Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue. 9:23 Therefore his parents said, "He is of age. Ask him."
9:24 So they called the man who was blind a second time, and said to him, "Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner."
9:25 He therefore answered, "I don't know if he is a sinner. One thing I do know: that though I was blind, now I see."
9:26 They said to him again, "What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?"
9:27 He answered them, "I told you already, and you didn't listen. Why do you want to hear it again? You don't also want to become his disciples, do you?"
9:30 The man answered them, "How amazing! You don't know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. 9:31 We know that God doesn't listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshipper of God, and does his will, he listens to him. 9:32 Since the world began it has never been heard of that anyone opened the eyes of someone born blind. 9:33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing."
9:34 They answered him, "You were altogether born in sins, and do you teach us?" They threw him out.3
- Unity Bible commentary says that the main theme of this lesson is the teaching of the quickening of spiritual discernment, that is, how to see with the inner eye. The Ed Rabel commentary says "the works of God are needed here, not an analysis of how it came about." We should not ask "why did this happen" but rather "how can we heal."
- This man is not from God, because because he doesn't keep the Sabbath. The Pharisees regarded the keeping of the Sabbath day as a commandment to be observed in the letter. They did not understand spiritually.
- They threw him out. The Pharisees (traditional faith) casts out (one whose spiritual vision has been quickened) because faith that is rooted in tradition has nothing in common with Truth for Truth's sake. Its foundation is the authority of past leaders and thinkers, not Truth itself.
9:35 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and finding him, he said, "Do you believe in the Son of God?"1
9:36 He answered, "Who is he, Lord, that I may believe in him?"
9:37 Jesus said to him, "You have both seen him, and it is he who speaks with you."
9:38 He said, "Lord, I believe!" and he worshiped him.2
9:39 Jesus said, "I came into this world for judgment, that those who don't see may see; and that those who see may become blind."
9:40 Those of the Pharisees who were with him heard these things, and said to him, "Are we also blind?"
9:41 Jesus said to them, "If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, 'We see.' Therefore your sin remains.
- Do you believe in the Son of God? Jesus had awakened the man's intellectual understanding, but the awakening was not complete until the man had been grounded in the divine Sonship.
- And he worshipped him. Was Jesus referring here to his own personality? It is quite evident that Jesus was instructing the man to have faith in his indwelling Lord. This is borne out by the answer which the man gave in verse 38: “Lord, I believe.”
Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Mark Hicks.
World English Bible Footnotes:
Jesus the Good Shepherd
10:1 "Most certainly, I tell you, one who doesn't enter by the door into the sheep fold,1 but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.2 10:2 But one who enters in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 10:3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice.3 He calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out. 10:4 Whenever he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 10:5 They will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him; for they don't know the voice of strangers." 10:6 Jesus spoke this parable to them, but they didn't understand what he was telling them.
10:7 Jesus therefore said to them again, "Most certainly, I tell you, I am the sheep's door. 10:8 All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep didn't listen to them. 10:9 I am the door. If anyone enters in by me, he will be saved, and will go in and go out, and will find pasture. 10:10 The thief only comes to steal, kill, and destroy. I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly. 10:11 I am the good shepherd.4 The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 10:12 He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who doesn't own the sheep, sees the wolf coming, leaves the sheep, and flees. The wolf snatches the sheep, and scatters them.5 10:13 The hired hand flees because he is a hired hand, and doesn't care for the sheep. 10:14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own, and I'm known by my own; 10:15 even as the Father knows me, and I know the Father. I lay down my life for the sheep.6 10:16 I have other sheep, which are not of this fold.7 I must bring them also, and they will hear my voice. They will become one flock with one shepherd. 10:17 Therefore the Father loves me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it again. 10:18 No one takes it away from me, but I lay it down by myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. I received this commandment from my Father."
10:19 Therefore a division arose again among the Jews because of these words. 10:20 Many of them said, "He has a demon, and is insane! Why do you listen to him?" 10:21 Others said, "These are not the sayings of one possessed by a demon. It isn't possible for a demon to open the eyes of the blind, is it?"
- the door into the sheep fold. The sheepfold represents the mind with its thoughts; the door represents the I AM consciousness.
- climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. All forces that come into our consciousness in any other way than through our own I AM are thieves and robbers. No man can be saved from the limitations and mistakes of ignorance except through his own volition.
- the sheep listen to his voice. Man learns to control his thought life through attention, study, and practice as well as through prayer. When his thoughts become orderly and obedient to his will, it is then that the sheep hear his voice.
- I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd is the Christ, I AM, or the individual I AM, Christed, illumined, lighted by the understanding of Truth. Man is saved by the Good-Shepherding of his thought powers, or by his learning to think in harmony with divine law and thereafter controlling his thoughts accordingly.
- The wolf snatches the sheep, and scatters them. Wolves represent worldly thoughts, always wanting and never finding, always hungry and never satisfied, restless, searching here and there and everywhere for Truth. These thoughts are let into the consciousness by the hireling, the personal ego, and the result is a scattered state of mind.
- I lay down my life for the sheep. This means that the high spiritual I AM lets itself become identified with the limitations of self-consciousness that it may lift all up to the spiritual plane. “I lay down my life, that I may take it again.”
- I have other sheep, which are not of this fold. Our temporal Gentile thoughts and states of consciousness, which we have considered not included in the divine plan of perfection for us. A non-metaphysical interpretation by Ed Rabel mentions that Jesus may be indicating sheep from another world or dimension.
Jesus is rejected by the Jews
10:22 It was the Feast of the Dedication at Jerusalem. 10:23 It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in Solomon's porch. 10:24 The Jews therefore came around him and said to him, "How long will you hold us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly."1
10:25 Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you don't believe. The works that I do in my Father's name, these testify about me. 10:26 But you don't believe, because you are not of my sheep, as I told you. 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 10:28 I give eternal life to them.2 They will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 10:29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of my Father's hand. 10:30 I and the Father are one."3
10:33 The Jews answered him, "We don't stone you for a good work, but for blasphemy: because you, being a man, make yourself God."
10:34 Jesus answered them, "Isn't it written in your law, 'I said, you are gods?' 10:35 If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture can't be broken), 10:36 do you say of him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, 'You blaspheme,' because I said, 'I am the Son of God?' 10:37 If I don't do the works of my Father, don't believe me. 10:38 But if I do them, though you don't believe me, believe the works; that you may know and believe that the Father is in me, and I in the Father."
10:39 They sought again to seize him, and he went out of their hand. 10:40 He went away again beyond the Jordan into the place where John was baptizing at first, and there he stayed.4 10:41 Many came to him. They said, "John indeed did no sign, but everything that John said about this man is true." 10:42 Many believed in him there.
- If you are the Christ, tell us plainly. In this Scripture Jesus symbolizes the I AM or Christ, and the Jews symbolize our high-brow intellectual thoughts, which hold to the letter of the law to such an extent that they cannot let the spiritual word expand in and through the consciousness.
- I give eternal life to them. By identifying ourselves only with true thoughts and ideas and proving both in our daily life, we give them vitality and permanence.
- I and the Father are one. We may use it in the same form in which Jesus stated it, or we may say, “I am one with Divine Mind, and I think divine thoughts.”
- he went away again beyond the Jordan ... and there he stayed. After the Christ has done a positive work it always withdraws to an inner state of consciousness in order to replenish its power before it goes forth to achieve again. Into this state of consciousness opposing intellect cannot find entrance.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Mark Hicks.
World English Bible Footnotes:
The Death of Lazarus
11:1 Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus from Bethany,1 of the village of Mary and her sister, Martha.2 11:2 It was that Mary who had anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother, Lazarus, was sick. 11:3 The sisters therefore sent to him, saying, "Lord, behold, he for whom you have great affection is sick." 11:4 But when Jesus heard it, he said, "This sickness is not to death, but for the glory of God, that God's Son may be glorified by it." 11:5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. 11:6 When therefore he heard that he was sick, he stayed two days in the place where he was. 11:7 Then after this he said to the disciples, "Let's go into Judea again."
11:8 The disciples told him, "Rabbi, the Jews were just trying to stone you, and are you going there again?"
11:9 Jesus answered, "Aren't there twelve hours of daylight? If a man walks in the day, he doesn't stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 11:10 But if a man walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light isn't in him." 11:11 He said these things, and after that, he said to them, "Our friend, Lazarus, has fallen asleep, but I am going so that I may awake him out of sleep."3
11:12 The disciples therefore said, "Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover."
11:13 Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he spoke of taking rest in sleep. 11:14 So Jesus said to them plainly then, "Lazarus is dead.4 11:15 I am glad for your sakes that I was not there,5 so that you may believe. Nevertheless, let's go to him."
- Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus. Lazarus is the ruling thought in the intellect; the name means court of God. At its center it is good; we could not draw to ourselves the potentialities of Being without this accumulative faculty, but its fault is in piling up thoughts and things on the material plane. When man lets his intellect spend all his energies in money getting, he is sowing the seeds of a long sleep in matter.
- Mary and her sister Martha. The human love, Mary, and the natural life, Martha, are sisters to this intellect, and although they, like all women, have faith in the Spirit, they allow themselves to fall under the mortal law thought, and believe in the reality of death. The whole world is under the hypnotism of this material belief, and it is making tombs for thousands every day.
- I am going so that I may awake him out of sleep. The lifting up of the whole man, spirit, soul, and body, into the Christ consciousness of power.
- Lazarus is dead. The meaning of “Lazarus” is “God is helper.” When man fails to recognize God as the one Helper and the one support of his life, spiritual understanding becomes weak in him and he sinks into materiality. To all intents, he is dead to the truth of his own being.
- I am glad for your sakes that I was not there. Jesus, who represents the I AM in each individual, is always glad of the opportunity to develop a greater faith in the disciples, or the twelve faculties of man.
- Thomas ... who is called Didymus. The phase of understanding represented by Thomas is that which includes reason and intellectual perception. Thomas did not understand that life is eternal, but did understand the truth that made Jesus fearless in the face of danger, and was loyal enough to his Master to be willing to die with Him if necessary.
Jesus the Resurrection and the Life
11:17 So when Jesus came, he found that he had been in the tomb four days already. 11:18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about fifteen stadia away. 11:19 Many of the Jews had joined the women around Martha and Mary, to console them concerning their brother. 11:20 Then when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary stayed in the house.1 11:21 Therefore Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if you would have been here, my brother wouldn't have died. 11:22 Even now I know that, whatever you ask of God, God will give you." 11:23 Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again."
11:24 Martha said to him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."
11:27 She said to him, "Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Christ, God's Son, he who comes into the world."
- Martha ... went and met him, but Mary stayed in the house. Martha represents the part of the soul that is preoccupied with externals. Mary was preoccupied with the inner realities of thought and understanding. Martha ministered to His physical needs. Mary allowed Him to minister to her spiritual needs. His physical presence was not essential to her. When He drew near she “still sat in the house.”
- the resurrection at the last day ... I am the resurrection. Jesus denies the belief that the resurrection of the dead occurs “at the last day.” The resurrection is an occurrence in the present. It is an inner awakening, not an external fact. The “I” is the “Word” that was made flesh, the eternal truth of life. The eternal, the primordial, that existed in the beginning, rose again in Lazarus.
- He who believes in me will still live, even if he dies. This statement sets forth man’s uninterrupted consciousness of individual identity with Christ regardless of life, death, or other limiting circumstance. Man cannot lose his identity as a son of God.
- Whoever lives and believes in me will never die. The restorative and renewing functions are adequate to the perfect health, strength, and youthfulness of the body. The mind first lets go its hold upon the idea of eternal youth, and the body follows the action of the mind.
11:28 When she had said this, she went away, and called Mary, her sister, secretly, saying, "The Teacher is here, and is calling you."
11:29 When she heard this, she arose quickly, and went to him. 11:30 Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was in the place where Martha met him. 11:31 Then the Jews who were with her in the house, and were consoling her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up quickly and went out, followed her, saying, "She is going to the tomb to weep there." 11:32 Therefore when Mary came to where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying to him, "Lord, if you would have been here, my brother wouldn't have died."
They told him, "Lord, come and see."
11:35 Jesus wept.
- Jesus ... groaned in the spirit and was troubled. There is very strong reason for believing that Lazarus was the rich young ruler referred to in Mark 10:17-22, whom Jesus loved, and whom he bade to sell all he had and follow him, but who had “much possessions,” and could not give them up. Lazarus is the ruling thought in the intellect; the name means court of God. At its center it is good; we could not draw to ourselves the potentialities of Being without this accumulative faculty, but its fault is in piling up thoughts and things on the material plane. Jesus loves this young man, but groans in spirit and weeps over his sense sleep and entombment in matter.
Jesus Raises Lazarus to Life
Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to him, "Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days."
11:40 Jesus said to her, "Didn't I tell you that if you believed, you would see God's glory?"
11:41 So they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, "Father, I thank you that you listened to me. 11:42 I know that you always listen to me, but because of the multitude that stands around I said this, that they may believe that you sent me." 11:43 When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!"3
11:44 He who was dead came out, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth.
Jesus said to them, "Free him, and let him go."
- Now it was a cave, and a stone lay against it. The cave represents the darkness of materiality, and the stone that “lay against it” represents that which seals the thought that youth has come to an end.
- Jesus said, Take away the stone. Jesus makes a denial of the thought that material conditions can confine life.
- Lazarus, come out! The treatment for this sleep in matter is silent asking, then audible commanding. This is the formula given by Jesus, and it is found very effective by Christian healers. Then give perfect freedom: “Free him, and let him go.”
The Plot to Kill Jesus
11:45 Therefore many of the Jews, who came to Mary and saw what Jesus did, believed in him. 11:46 But some of them went away to the Pharisees, and told them the things which Jesus had done. 11:47 The chief priests therefore and the Pharisees gathered a council, and said, "What are we doing? For this man does many signs. 11:48 If we leave him alone like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation."
11:49 But a certain one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, "You know nothing at all, 11:50 nor do you consider that it is advantageous for us that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish." 11:51 Now he didn't say this of himself, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, 11:52 and not for the nation only, but that he might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. 11:53 So from that day forward they took counsel that they might put him to death. 11:54 Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews, but departed from there into the country near the wilderness, to a city called Ephraim. He stayed there with his disciples.
11:55 Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand. Many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover, to purify themselves. 11:56 Then they sought for Jesus and spoke one with another, as they stood in the temple, "What do you think--that he isn't coming to the feast at all?" 11:57 Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had commanded that if anyone knew where he was, he should report it, that they might seize him.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Mark Hicks.
World English Bible Footnotes:
Mary Anoints Jesus
12:1 Then six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany,1 where Lazarus was, who had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. 12:2 So they made him a supper there. Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with him.2 12:3 Mary, therefore, took a pound of ointment of pure nard, very precious, and anointed the feet of Jesus,3 and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment.4 12:4 Then Judas Iscariot,5 Simon's son, one of his disciples, who would betray him, said, 12:5 "Why wasn't this ointment sold for three hundred denarii, and given to the poor?" 12:6 Now he said this, not because he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and having the money box, used to steal what was put into it. 12:7 But Jesus said, "Leave her alone. She has kept this for the day of my burial. 12:8 For you always have the poor with you, but you don't always have me."
- Bethany. “A place of fruits” and is realized in the subconscious. When man is quickened of the Spirit, he gets a certain result in mind and body, which is the fruit of his thought.
- Martha served; but Lazarus sat. Signifies the giving and receiving of the forces that feed us on the invisible side of life. The “supper” is the consciousness of sustenance for the physical man.
- Mary ... anointed the feet of Jesus. Anointing of the feet represents the willingness of love to serve. Love is the fruit of devotion and thanksgiving expressed by Mary.
- and the house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment. Every emotion has a corresponding emanation. When we do a loving, unselfish thing, or even think an unselfish thought, there pours forth from the solar plexus a real substance. Those who are sensitive to odors often catch its sweet perfume, and think it comes from some external source.
- Judas Iscariot. The sense consciousness of man. Its satisfaction is in personal gains and it is continually opposed to the outpouring of Love. Judas is transformed and redeemed, when all pertaining to personality is surrendered and the substance of Love is poured into consciousness. Love overcomes all selfishness and transforms the sense man into his pure and original state. The quickening life of Spirit anoints the whole body and resurrects it into newness of life and substance, thus begetting the new creature in Christ Jesus.
The Plot to Kill Lazarus
12:9 A large crowd therefore of the Jews learned that he was there, and they came, not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead. 12:10 But the chief priests conspired to put Lazarus to death also, 12:11 because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus.
Jesus' Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem
12:12 On the next day a great multitude had come to the feast. When they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,1 12:13 they took the branches of the palm trees, and went out to meet him, and cried out, "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, the King of Israel!"
12:14 Jesus, having found a young donkey, sat on it. As it is written, 12:15 "Don't be afraid, daughter of Zion. Behold, your King comes, sitting on a donkey's colt." 12:16 His disciples didn't understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about him, and that they had done these things to him. 12:17 The multitude therefore that was with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb, and raised him from the dead, was testifying about it. 12:18 For this cause also the multitude went and met him, because they heard that he had done this sign. 12:19 The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, "See how you accomplish nothing. Behold, the world has gone after him."
- Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. Jesus' riding into Jerusalem represents progressive unfoldment, the fulfillment of the time when the I AM is to take control and lift all our animal forces into the spiritual realm of mastery, purity, and peace. Jerusalem means “habitation of peace,” and represents spiritual consciousness.
Some Greeks Wish to See Jesus
12:20 Now there were certain Greeks1 among those that went up to worship at the feast.2 12:21 These, therefore, came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida3 of Galilee, and asked him, saying, "Sir, we want to see Jesus." 12:22 Philip came and told Andrew, and in turn, Andrew came with Philip, and they told Jesus. 12:23 Jesus answered them, "The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 12:24 Most certainly I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone. But if it dies, it bears much fruit.4 12:25 He who loves his life will lose it. He who hates his life in this world will keep it to eternal life. 12:26 If anyone serves me, let him follow me. Where I am, there will my servant also be. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.
- Now there were certain Greeks. Greeks represent intellectual reasoning, and the “certain Greeks” mentioned in the text of today's lesson represent that branch of modern scientific thought which interprets the universe in terms understandable to both science and religion.
- at the feast. A feast represents appropriation in a large measure, or the laying hold of divine potentialities.
- Bethsaida. (“house of fishing,” “place of nets”) represents a consciousness of increase of ideas, of gathering of substance. It also represents a mental state of continual search after new ideas, and of endeavor to gain them by every means possible. This approach is typical of both science and religion in that both seek Truth with complete lack of self-interest.
- but if it dies, it bears much fruit. The possibility of increase in the spiritual realm depends on disinterestedness or unselfishness. The life that is lived to and for itself alone must be given up in favor of the larger life that is lived for all, before man can deepen and enrich his life consciousness.
Jesus Speaks about His Death
Then there came a voice out of the sky, saying, "I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again."
12:29 The multitude therefore, who stood by and heard it, said that it had thundered. Others said, "An angel has spoken to him."
12:30 Jesus answered, "This voice hasn't come for my sake, but for your sakes. 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world. Now the prince of this world will be cast out.2 12:32 And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself." 12:33 But he said this, signifying by what kind of death he should die. 12:34 The multitude answered him, "We have heard out of the law that the Christ remains forever. How do you say, 'The Son of Man must be lifted up?' Who is this Son of Man?"
12:35 Jesus therefore said to them, "Yet a little while the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, that darkness doesn't overtake you. He who walks in the darkness doesn't know where he is going. 12:36 While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become children of light."
- Father, glorify your name! The natural man when in trouble prays, “Father, save me from this hour.” God's name is glorified when man brings his intellectual reasonings into contact with the Spirit of truth and permeates his reason with the wisdom that is from above, God's name is glorified; that is, the good of mankind is increased.
- now will the prince of this world be cast out. Ignorance and superstition rule the race mind. With the dawn of a better understanding of life and the part that man is fitted to play in it, these negative states disappear.
The Unbelief of the People
Jesus said these things, and he departed and hid himself from them. 12:37 But though he had done so many signs before them, yet they didn't believe in him, 12:38 that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke,
"Lord, who has believed our report?
To whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?"
12:39 For this cause they couldn't believe, for Isaiah said again,
12:40 "He has blinded their eyes and he hardened their heart,
lest they should see with their eyes,
and perceive with their heart,
and would turn,
and I would heal them."
12:41 Isaiah said these things when he saw his glory, and spoke of him. 12:42 Nevertheless even of the rulers many believed in him, but because of the Pharisees they didn't confess it, so that they wouldn't be put out of the synagogue, 12:43 for they loved men's praise more than God's praise.
Summary of Jesus' Teachings
12:44 Jesus cried out and said, "Whoever believes in me, believes not in me, but in him who sent me. 12:45 He who sees me sees him who sent me.1 12:46 I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in the darkness. 12:47 If anyone listens to my sayings, and doesn't believe, I don't judge him. For I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. 12:48 He who rejects me, and doesn't receive my sayings, has one who judges him. The word that I spoke, the same will judge him in the last day. 12:49 For I spoke not from myself, but the Father who sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. 12:50 I know that his commandment is eternal life. The things therefore which I speak, even as the Father has said to me, so I speak."
- He who sees me sees him who sent me. Jesus (symbolizing the indwelling Christ) declares to the whole soul consciousness that the preponderance of power is spiritual. Spiritual character is the rock foundation of Being; therefore He is urging the multitude of thoughts to realize that their redemption comes through decreeing their oneness with Spirit and that the will of God is active in consciousness.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Mark Hicks.
World English Bible Footnotes:
-  v12:3. a Roman pound of 12 ounces, or about 340 grams
-  v12:5. 300 denarii was about a year's wages for an agricultural laborer.
-  v12:13. "Hosanna" means "save us" or "help us, we pray."
-  v12:13. Psalm 118:25-26
-  v12:15. Zechariah 9:9
-  v12:34. Isaiah 9:7; Daniel 2:44 (but see also Isaiah 53:8)
-  v12:38. Isaiah 53:1
-  v12:40. Isaiah 6:10
-  v12:41. Isaiah 6:1
Jesus Washes the Disciples' Feet
13:1 Now before the feast of the Passover,1 Jesus, knowing that his time had come2 that he would depart from this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 13:2 After supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him,3 13:3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands,4 and that he came forth from God, and was going to God, 13:4 arose from supper, and laid aside his outer garments. He took a towel, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 13:5 Then he poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet,5 and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 13:6 Then he came to Simon Peter. He said to him, "Lord, do you wash my feet?"
13:7 Jesus answered him, "You don't know what I am doing now, but you will understand later."
13:8 Peter said to him, "You will never wash my feet!"
Jesus answered him, "If I don't wash you, you have no part with me."6
13:9 Simon Peter said to him, "Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!"
13:10 Jesus said to him, "Someone who has bathed only needs to have his feet washed, but is completely clean. You are clean, but not all of you." 13:11 For he knew him who would betray him, therefore he said, "You are not all clean."7 13:12 So when he had washed their feet, put his outer garment back on, and sat down again, he said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you? 13:13 You call me, 'Teacher' and 'Lord.' You say so correctly, for so I am. 13:14 If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet.8 13:15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. 13:16 Most certainly I tell you, a servant is not greater than his lord,9 neither one who is sent greater than he who sent him. 13:17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. 13:18 I don't speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen. But that the Scripture may be fulfilled, 'He who eats bread with me has lifted up his heel against me.' 13:19 From now on, I tell you before it happens, that when it happens, you may believe that I am he. 13:20 Most certainly I tell you, he who receives whomever I send, receives me; and he who receives me, receives him who sent me."
- Now before the feast of the passover. In spiritual evolution the Passover represents the passing of the soul consciousness from one plane to another without death of the body. The Passover is typified as a feast, because Spirit uplifts and transmutes both soul and body to spiritual essence.
- knowing that his time had come. Jesus had overcome materiality, and was about to be translated into completely spiritual consciousness.
- the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot ... to betray him. Judas represents the life consciousness in the soul. The devil is the personal mind, which believes that it is sustained by material food. The belief that the body lives upon the food that it eats is responsible for material or sense consciousness, Satan.
- Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all the things into his hands. The overcomer, represented by Jesus, must know that the Father has given all things into his hands; that he is Spirit; that he came forth from God, and now identifies himself with God. The overcomer then proceeds to wash his disciples’ feet, which means that metaphysically he denies all sense of materiality in understanding.
- Then he ... began to wash the disciples' feet. Jesus is the I Am, and the feet represent spiritual understanding, especially that phase of spiritual understanding which connects with the manifest world, and which reveals the right relationship towards worldly conditions in general. The “washing,” therefore, typifies a cleansing process, or a denial of personality and materiality.
- If I don't wash you, you have no part with me. Peter, representing faith, like all the other faculties of the mind, must be freed from identification with material things. The faith of the unregenerate man functions in sense consciousness, and before such faith can attain spiritual ideas, the hold of matter and of material sensation must be dissolved.
- You are not all clean. Because Judas (Life) was not established in the purity and the freedom of Spirit, the whole man was not yet redeemed.
- you also ought to wash one another's feet. When we have purified our own souls and lifted them to spiritual consciousness, we should then extend the same purifying service to others, that they too may be lifted up.
- a servant is not greater than his lord. There had been contention among the disciples as to who would sit at the Master's right, and who at his left, in the kingdom. Jesus was wiping out this strife, thus bringing home to his followers that truth that he, who willingly performs lowly, humble service for others with no thought for personal distinction, the same is greatest in God's kingdom.
Jesus Foretells His Betrayal
13:21 When Jesus had said this, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, "Most certainly I tell you that one of you will betray me."
13:22 The disciples looked at one another, perplexed about whom he spoke. 13:23 One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was at the table, leaning against Jesus' breast. 13:24 Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, and said to him, "Tell us who it is of whom he speaks."
13:25 He, leaning back, as he was, on Jesus' breast, asked him, "Lord, who is it?"
13:26 Jesus therefore answered, "It is he to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it." So when he had dipped the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 13:27 After the piece of bread, then Satan entered into him.
Then Jesus said to him, "What you do, do quickly."
13:28 Now no man at the table knew why he said this to him. 13:29 For some thought, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus said to him, "Buy what things we need for the feast," or that he should give something to the poor. 13:30 Therefore, having received that morsel, he went out immediately. It was night.
The New Commandment
13:31 When he had gone out, Jesus said, "Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. 13:32 If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and he will glorify him immediately. 13:33 Little children, I will be with you a little while longer. You will seek me, and as I said to the Jews, 'Where I am going, you can't come,' so now I tell you. 13:34 A new commandment I give to you,1 that you love one another, just like I have loved you;2 that you also love one another. 13:35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples,3 if you have love for one another."4
- A new commandment I give to you. The new commandment of Jesus Christ is based on the impersonal principle of love for love's sake, regardless of the attitude of those who are loved.
- just like I have loved you. Jesus loved His disciples by seeing them as spiritually perfect. The I AM sees man's faculties as perfect also. Faith is unfailing, love divine, strength inexhaustible, judgment flawless, understanding perfect, will good, imagination true, power always sufficient, appropriation selfless, zeal always in order, wisdom unceasing, order divine.
- By this everyone will know that you are my disciples. Although love is invisible, its effects are plainly manifest. The love of the Christ, when fully exerted, has power to protect its object, and it stirs those who receive it to express the ideals that are held of them. Those who express the love of the Christ and those who receive it are alike outstanding.
- if you have love for one another. With reference to the faculties, the spiritual nature and relationship of the faculties is made manifest when they are developed harmoniously and expressed in unity.
Jesus Foretells Peter's Denial
13:36 Simon Peter said to him, "Lord, where are you going?"
Jesus answered, "Where I am going, you can't follow now, but you will follow afterwards."1
13:37 Peter said to him, "Lord, why can't I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you."2
13:38 Jesus answered him, "Will you lay down your life for me? Most certainly I tell you, the rooster won't crow until you have denied me three times.
- Where I am going ... you will follow afterwards. Jesus (the I Am), though sure of spiritual guidance, was carefully making preparations to travel over new, untried ground, the object of which was to open the way into the kingdom, that realm of Divine Ideas, which would make the path easier, not only for his disciples, but for all humanity. He knew that his disciples (faculties of mind) had a work to do before they were strong enough to follow and to enter therein.
- Peter said ... I will lay down my life for you. The leading characteristic of Peter (Faith) before he is firmly established in spiritual consciousness is changeableness. He typifies that state of unsteadiness which fluctuates from the high spiritual to the material, yet with an ever recurring desire for Spirit and for the things of Spirit, which is bound to always lead into the light.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Mark Hicks.
World English Bible Footnotes:
Jesus the Way to the Father
14:1 "Don't let your heart be troubled. Believe in God. Believe also in me. 14:2 In my Father's house are many homes.1 If it weren't so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you. 14:3 If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and will receive you to myself; that where I am, you may be there also. 14:4 Where I go, you know, and you know the way."2
14:5 Thomas3 said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going. How can we know the way?"
14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life.4 No one comes to the Father, except through me. 14:7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on, you know him, and have seen him."
14:8 Philip5 said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us."
14:9 Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you such a long time, and do you not know me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father. How do you say, 'Show us the Father?' 14:10 Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I tell you, I speak not from myself; but the Father who lives in me does his works. 14:11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me; or else believe me for the very works' sake. 14:12 Most certainly I tell you, he who believes in me, the works that I do, he will do also;6 and he will do greater works than these, because I am going to my Father. 14:13 Whatever you will ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14:14 If you will ask anything in my name, I will do it.
- In my Father's house are many homes. “Many mansions” means many abiding places. “Mansion” comes from the Latin manere, to remain. The meaning of Jesus was that He was making a permanent abiding place for those who believed in His teaching and accepted Him for what He really was—God manifest. The idea usually held out is that Jesus was preceding His disciples to heaven, where He would await and welcome them. But there is no such meaning in the text. The permanent abiding place to which Jesus invites His friends is “prepared” by Him: He makes the place Himself, in fact He is the place. “Where I am, there ye may be also.
- Where I go, you know, and you know the way. Jesus meant that those who find the inner spiritual kingdom know Him, and that they also know the way to reach Him wherever they may be.
- Thomas. Thomas means “twins.” Spiritually considered, Thomas is understanding, whose twin is Matthew, the will. Intellectual understanding assures us of the truth of our sense impressions. It says, “Seeing is believing.”
- I am the way, and the truth, and the life. Jesus talked from the I AM standpoint. The I AM in man is the center of attention and is the open door into the kingdom of God. When man in the silence centers his attention on his spiritual I AM, realizing that he is pure being, he finds his way to the Father's house.
- Philip. Philip represents the power of the Word. The I AM in man is the open door into the kingdom of God. The power faculty must, by acknowledgement that the word of the I AM spoken through it is not of the mortal but of God, be raised to realization of the omnipresence of Spirit.
- he who believes in me, the works that I do, he will do also. This is the greatest promise to all people who have faith in the spiritual man in this lesson.
The Promise of the Holy Spirit
14:15 If you love me, keep my commandments. 14:16 I will pray to the Father, and he will give you another Counselor,1 that he may be with you forever,-- 14:17 the Spirit of truth,2 whom the world can't receive; for it doesn't see him, neither knows him. You know him, for he lives with you, and will be in you. 14:18 I will not leave you orphans. I will come to you. 14:19 Yet a little while, and the world will see me no more; but you will see me. Because I live, you will live also.3 14:20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 14:21 One who has my commandments, and keeps them, that person is one who loves me. One who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him, and will reveal myself to him."
14:22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, "Lord, what has happened that you are about to reveal yourself to us, and not to the world?"
14:23 Jesus answered him, "If a man loves me, he will keep my word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our home with him. 14:24 He who doesn't love me doesn't keep my words. The word which you hear isn't mine, but the Father's who sent me. 14:25 I have said these things to you, while still living with you. 14:26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name,4 he will teach you all things, and will remind you of all that I said to you. 14:27 Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you;5 not as the world gives, give I to you. Don't let your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful. 14:28 You heard how I told you, 'I go away, and I come to you.' If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I said 'I am going to my Father;' for the Father is greater than I. 14:29 Now I have told you before it happens so that, when it happens, you may believe. 14:30 I will no more speak much with you, for the prince of the world comes, and he has nothing in me. 14:31 But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father commanded me, even so I do. Arise, let us go from here.
- Counselor (Comforter, ASV). The Counselor, the Advocate, the Spirit of truth is omnipresent as divine wisdom and power, which are brought into active touch with our consciousness through our believing in Him. In "the world"—on the phenomenal side—we cannot know this guide and helper, but having learned the truth about the omnipresence of Spirit, with all the abundance of life, love, Truth, and intelligence through which it is made manifest, we at once begin to realize that the Mighty One dwells with us, and "shall be in you."
- the Spirit of truth. The universal world teacher who comes to every disciple of Jesus as a guide, director, comforter, and executive power. When we call upon Christ to be with us in our hours of trial, or to help us make some demonstration, it is “the Spirit of truth” that responds; in other words, “the Spirit of truth” is the executive of the Christ. In the early stages of our work this “Spirit of truth” seems to be external to us, but as we continue our unfoldment in the Christ consciousness we become more and more aware of spiritual Truth as an indwelling presence.
- because I live, you shall live also. With this expansion of the sense of our divine identity comes a perception of our unity with the Father, and the absolute identity of our sense-limited I with the universal I AM, the Christ.
- But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name. The Father is principle. The Son is this Father principle revealed in a creative plan. The Holy Spirit is the executive power of both Father and Son. The Holy Spirit is not all of Being, nor the fullness of Christ, but an emanation or "breath" sent forth to do a divine work. Thus circumscribed, the Holy Spirit may in a sense be said to take on the characteristics of personality, but personality that for capacity transcends all man's conceptions. The Holy Spirit was before the time of Jesus. However Jesus' life and demonstration gave a new impetus to it. The Holy Spirit or Spirit of truth is man's one sure guide in his spiritual ongoing. An outpouring of the Holy Spirit always brings peace and infinite faith in the Father through the Son.
- My peace I give to you. The peace of Christ (based on consciousness and compassion) is not the peace of Rome (Pax Romana, peace based on power and domination) nor the peace of Judeo-Christian tradition (Justice, peace based on law).
Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Mark Hicks.
World English Bible Footnotes:
Jesus the True Vine
15:1 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the farmer. 15:2 Every branch in me that doesn't bear fruit,1 he takes away. Every branch that bears fruit, he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 15:3 You are already pruned clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 15:4 Remain in me,2 and I in you. As the branch can't bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you, unless you remain in me. 15:5 I am the vine. You are the branches. He who remains in me, and I in him, the same bears much fruit,3 for apart from me you can do nothing. 15:6 If a man doesn't remain in me, he is thrown out as a branch, and is withered;4 and they gather them, throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 15:7 If you remain in me, and my words remain in you, you will ask whatever you desire,5 and it will be done for you.6
15:8 "In this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; and so you will be my disciples. 15:9 Even as the Father has loved me, I also have loved you. Remain in my love. 15:10 If you keep my commandments,7 you will remain in my love;8 even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and remain in his love. 15:11 I have spoken these things to you, that my joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be made full.
15:12 "This is my commandment, that you love one another, even as I have loved you. 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 15:14 You are my friends, if you do whatever I command you. 15:15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant doesn't know what his lord does. But I have called you friends,9 for everything that I heard from my Father, I have made known to you. 15:16 You didn't choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain; that whatever you will ask of the Father in my name, he may give it to you.10 15:17 "I command these things to you, that you may love one another.
- true vine, husbandman, branch, fruit. Metaphysically stated, the Father is the God-Mind; Jesus is the individual incarnation of that Mind, here called the true vine. "Every branch in me" means the faculties of mind, and the "fruit" is the thought.
- Remain (abide, ASV) in me. "Abiding in the Word" is a conscious centering of the Mind in the depths of one's being, thus keeping up connection with the Father within.
- He who remains in me, and I in him, the same bears much fruit. The natural effect of "abiding in the Word" is to liberate the forces of one's Being through which perfection is attained, and to cease from external efforts.
- and is withered. An unused faculty atrophies and withers away.
- ask whatever you desire. Desire: A promise from God, God tapping at the door of your consciousness with His infinite supply. LIT/Faith.
- and it will be done for you. In order to receive that which we ask, the I Am must be centered in the Realm of Ideas (Divine Mind) within, in faith and understanding.
- If you keep my commandments. Commanding, controlling and directing every thought according to the harmonious law of love to one another.
- you will remain in my love. Love dissolves all negative, reactionary tendencies, and makes progress possible for us. Love also brings joy in its wake, and sets the mind and heart free to see and appreciate the good.
- No longer do I call you servants ... but I have called you friends. Jesus knew definitely that henceforth the apostles were to do the works of Him that sent them. As co-workers with Him, He called them "friends." In all His ministry Jesus taught freedom of the individual. We are not "servants" but agents free to do as we will.
- whatever you will ask of the Father in my name, he may give it to you. The Father does not give things per se. The Father responds to our asking by imparting more of His qualities into us that result in our connection and acceptance of His divine ideas. Then these will take myriad channels or modes of expression to finalize at what we call the right answer, the desired blessing. Another meaning of asking in the name of Jesus Christ would be to align yourself with the givingness part of God's nature. Remember that God is givingness itself, or let us say that givingness itself is one of the divine ideas in God-Mind. It is a beautiful idea, givingness.—Ed Rabel
The World's Hatred
15:18 If the world hates you, you know that it has hated me before it hated you. 15:19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. But because you are not of the world, since I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 15:20 Remember the word that I said to you: 'A servant is not greater than his lord.' If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will keep yours also. 15:21 But all these things will they do to you for my name's sake, because they don't know him who sent me. 15:22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have had sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. 15:23 He who hates me, hates my Father also. 15:24 If I hadn't done among them the works which no one else did, they wouldn't have had sin. But now have they seen and also hated both me and my Father. 15:25 But this happened so that the word may be fulfilled which was written in their law, 'They hated me without a cause.'
15:26 "When the Counselor has come,1 whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will testify about me. 15:27 You will also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning.
- But when the Counselor (Comforter, ASV) is come. The Counselor or Holy Spirit is the law of God in action and when thought of in this way it appears to have personality. From this truth the Hebrews got their conception of the personal, tribal God. The functions ascribed to the Holy Counselor or Holy Spirit or Spirit of truth imply distinct personal subsistence: He is said to speak, search, select, reveal, reprove, testify, lead, comfort, distribute to every man, know the deep things of God, and He can be known by man only through his spiritual nature.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Mark Hicks.
World English Bible Footnotes:
The World's Hatred (continued)
16:1 "These things have I spoken to you, so that you wouldn't be caused to stumble. 16:2 They will put you out of the synagogues. Yes, the time comes that whoever kills you will think that he offers service to God. 16:3 They will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me.1 16:4 But I have told you these things, so that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you about them.
- They will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me. The Pharisaical or worldly state of mind has no conception of the higher realm within but thinks it governs the whole man and is jealous of any attempt to usurp its power. Hence persecution follows.
Work of the Spirit
I didn't tell you these things from the beginning, because I was with you. 16:5 But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, 'Where are you going?' 16:6 But because I have told you these things, sorrow has filled your heart. 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth: It is to your advantage that I go away,1 for if I don't go away, the Counselor won't come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. 16:8 When he has come, he will convict the world about sin, about righteousness, and about judgment;2 16:9 about sin, because they don't believe in me; 16:10 about righteousness, because I am going to my Father, and you won't see me any more; 16:11 about judgment, because the prince of this world has been judged.
16:12 "I have yet many things to tell you, but you can't bear them now.3 16:13 However when he, the Spirit of truth, has come, he will guide you into all truth,4 for he will not speak from himself; but whatever he hears, he will speak. He will declare to you things that are coming. 16:14 He will glorify me, for he will take from what is mine, and will declare it to you. 16:15 All things whatever the Father has are mine; therefore I said that he takes of mine, and will declare it to you.
- It is to your advantage that I go away. Jesus realized that, so long as He remained manifest in material form to His followers, they would continue to focus all their attention on Him in a personal way, that thus they would fail to recognize the Spirit of truth within themselves. In order to overcome as Jesus overcame, it was necessary that they should consciously know the power and presence of Spirit; hence arose the necessity that Jesus disappear from their mortal vision.
- The Counselor ... will convict the world about sin, about righteousness, and about judgment. The Spirit of truth quickens the conscience of man, which, as Paul says, has been seared over as with a hot iron. Spirit then reveals the right way to think and to live. Sinlessness is taught in the Bible and man must demonstrate it. When ill-temper, vanity, greed, selfishness, or error of any other kind appears, it should be denied, and the love, unselfishness, purity, uprightness, and integrity of the higher self should be affirmed, until the Christ righteousness is fully realized and demonstrated.
- I have yet many things to tell you, but you can't bear them now. The only reason why there is Truth we do not know yet, is that there is no reason why we have to know certain things yet. There are certain things that we once knew but have forgotten and for the reason that we no longer need that knowledge. That knowledge has been incorporated into other knowledge. Nothing is lost in Spirit, but forms come and go. It is the essence of knowledge which matters, not the current factual form of knowledge which one must preserve forever. It is the essence of knowledge that will be preserved forever.—Ed Rabel
- will guide you into all truth. For Metaphysical Christians, authority the Spirit of truth is the one and only authority in the study of Truth. See Matthew 7:29 (RW/authority)
Sorrow Will Turn into Joy
16:16 A little while, and you will not see me. Again a little while, and you will see me." 16:17 Some of his disciples therefore said to one another, "What is this that he says to us, 'A little while, and you won't see me, and again a little while, and you will see me;' and, 'Because I go to the Father?'" 16:18 They said therefore, "What is this that he says, 'A little while?' We don't know what he is saying."
16:19 Therefore Jesus perceived that they wanted to ask him, and he said to them, "Do you inquire among yourselves concerning this, that I said, 'A little while, and you won't see me, and again a little while, and you will see me?' 16:20 Most certainly I tell you, that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy.1 16:21 A woman, when she gives birth, has sorrow, because her time has come. But when she has delivered the child, she doesn't remember the anguish any more, for the joy that a human being is born into the world. 16:22 Therefore you now have sorrow, but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.
16:23 "In that day you will ask me no questions.2 Most certainly I tell you, whatever you may ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. 16:24 Until now, you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be made full.
- but your sorrow will be turned into joy. Spiritual perception reveals to us that we are not persons but ideas in the cosmic Mind. Jesus knew that the hour for His crucifixion was approaching. Crucifixion means the giving up of the whole personality. This was the demonstration that the Master was facing. However, He knew His spiritual power, and He was well aware that He would rise from the dead, would again be with His disciples, and would be more able than ever to instruct them in the mysteries of Being. "I will see you again."
- in that day you will ask me no questions. The apostles would have unfolded to the point where they would understand the laws of Spirit and would be able to read out of the law for themselves.
Peace for the Disciples
16:25 I have spoken these things to you in figures of speech.1 But the time is coming when I will no more speak to you in figures of speech, but will tell you plainly about the Father. 16:26 In that day you will ask in my name; and I don't say to you, that I will pray to the Father for you, 16:27 for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me, and have believed that I came forth from God. 16:28 I came out from the Father, and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world, and go to the Father."2
16:29 His disciples said to him, "Behold, now you speak plainly, and speak no figures of speech. 16:30 Now we know that you know all things, and don't need for anyone to question you. By this we believe that you came forth from God."
16:31 Jesus answered them, "Do you now believe? 16:32 Behold, the time is coming, yes, and has now come, that you will be scattered, everyone to his own place, and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. 16:33 I have told you these things, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have oppression; but cheer up! I have overcome the world."
- figures of speech (dark sayings, ASV). The figures of speech, or "dark sayings", refers to the darkened consciousness that cannot see the true light. But this Scripture indicates that "the night is far spent, and the day is at hand." The apostles are coming into a great illumination and will be able to go direct to the Father for light and guidance and power. Hitherto the apostles have been students. Now they are to come into a consciousness in which they can tap the great universal reservoir and receive therefrom.
- I came out from the Father, and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world, and go to the Father. Where did He come from? What was his pre-natal state and where did He go to? Where did He go from the transition? Jesus does not explain or elaborate. He simply calls his pre-incarnation state the Father, and He leaves it up to our intuitive understanding to guess what this means.—Ed Rabel
Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Mark Hicks.
World English Bible Footnotes:
Jesus Prays for His Disciples
17:1 Jesus said these things, and lifting up his eyes to heaven, he said, "Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may also glorify you; 17:2 even as you gave him authority over all flesh, he will give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 17:3 This is eternal life,1 that they should know you, the only true God, and him whom you sent, Jesus Christ.2 17:4 I glorified you on the earth. I have accomplished the work which you have given me to do. 17:5 Now, Father, glorify me with your own self with the glory which I had with you before the world existed.
17:6 I revealed your name to the people whom you have given me out of the world.3 They were yours, and you have given them to me. They have kept your word. 17:7 Now they have known that all things whatever you have given me are from you, 17:8 for the words which you have given me I have given to them,4 and they received them, and knew for sure that I came forth from you, and they have believed that you sent me. 17:9 I pray for them. I don't pray for the world, but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. 17:10 All things that are mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them.5 17:11 I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them through your name which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are. 17:12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in your name. Those whom you have given me I have kept. None of them is lost, except the son of destruction,6 that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 17:13 But now I come to you, and I say these things in the world, that they may have my joy made full in themselves. 17:14 I have given them your word. The world hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17:15 I pray not that you would take them from the world, but that you would keep them from the evil one. 17:16 They are not of the world even as I am not of the world. 17:17 Sanctify them in your truth. Your word is truth. 17:18 As you sent me into the world, even so I have sent them into the world. 17:19 For their sakes I sanctify myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.
17:20 Not for these only do I pray, but for those also who believe in me through their word, 17:21 that they may all be one; even as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us;7 that the world may believe that you sent me. 17:22 The glory which you have given me, I have given to them; that they may be one, even as we are one;8 17:23 I in them, and you in me, that they may be perfected into one; that the world may know that you sent me, and loved them, even as you loved me. 17:24 Father, I desire that they also whom you have given me be with me where I am, that they may see my glory, which you have given me,9 for you loved me before the foundation of the world.
17:25 Righteous Father, the world hasn't known you, but I knew you; and these knew that you sent me. 17:26 I made known to them your name, and will make it known; that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and I in them."
- And this is eternal life. Eternal life rests in the understanding that Spirit identifies and manifests itself in its idea, perfect man, through which manifest man is educated, empowered, and invested with divinity.
- that they should know you, the only true God, and him whom you sent, Jesus Christ. Jesus was asking for a full and complete unification of His consciousness with that of the Father. Jesus realized that He had been given all authority over the flesh. He was holding the realization not only for His own glorification but also for that of His disciples.
- I revealed (manifested, ASV) your name to the people whom you have given me out of the world. God's name is I AM. Man's name is I AM. When man thinks about God as omnipresent Spirit, he merges his I AM into spiritual I AM, and this conjunction exalts and glorifies both man and God.
- for the words which you have given me I have given unto them. All thoughts and words emanate from the one Logos or living Word. When man opens his consciousness for the inflow of the Logos, in Spirit he receives everything that God has to give.
- All things that are mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. Jesus made the great renunciation by giving up himself and all his possessions to Spirit. Then he realized that he had made unity with God, that all that God had belonged to him, and that he was exalted, joyous, happy in the possession of the ideas that lay back of and within all things.
- None of them is lost, except the son of destruction (perdition, ASV). The “son of destruction” is the adverse consciousness that man builds through thinking that he has existence apart from God. This thought or adversary or carnal mind must perish before man can be wholly reconciled to God. The Scripture represents the truth, which is fulfilled in man's life, when he destroys all thought of separation from God.
- even as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us. The Holy Spirit is the consciousness of unity or perfect communion with God. As mind, idea, and expression are one, so man is one with God and Christ. Mind is the source of the idea, which becomes manifest in expression.
- I have given to them; that they may be one. The following commentary is from an authoritative source within the Orthodox Church: The Greek Fathers took these and similar texts in their literal sense, and dared to speak of man’s "deification" (in Greek, theosis). If man is to share in God’s glory, they argued, he is to be "perfectly one" with God, this means in effect that man must be "deified": he is called to become by grace what God is by nature. Accordingly Saint Athanasius summed up the purpose of the Incarnation by saying: "God became man that we might be made god" (On the Incarnation, 54). [Source: Ware, Timothy, The Orthodox Church (Penguin, 2015), 20. ]
- that they may see my glory, which you have given me. The glory of Jesus Christ was His complete unification with the Father, through which He did always the things that were pleasing to God. Divine Mind is well pleased with the perfect idea or son of the Father.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Mark Hicks.
World English Bible Footnotes:
The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus
18:1 When Jesus had spoken these words,1 he went out with his disciples over the brook Kidron,2 where there was a garden, into which he and his disciples entered. 18:2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with his disciples. 18:3 Judas then, having taken a detachment of soldiers and officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons.3 18:4 Jesus therefore, knowing all the things that were happening to him, went forth, and said to them, "Who are you looking for?"
18:5 They answered him, "Jesus of Nazareth."
Jesus said to them, "I am he."4
Judas also, who betrayed him, was standing with them. 18:6 When therefore he said to them, "I am he," they went backward, and fell to the ground.
18:7 Again therefore he asked them, "Who are you looking for?"
They said, "Jesus of Nazareth."
18:8 Jesus answered, "I told you that I am he. If therefore you seek me, let these go their way," 18:9 that the word might be fulfilled which he spoke, "Of those whom you have given me, I have lost none."
18:10 Simon Peter therefore, having a sword, drew it, and struck the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear.5 The servant's name was Malchus. 18:11 Jesus therefore said to Peter, "Put the sword into its sheath. The cup which the Father has given me, shall I not surely drink it?"6
- When Jesus had spoken these words. The I AM must demonstrate that it is Spirit, omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent. The first step in this demonstration is to send forth the words of consummation, just as it had taken place. Jesus spoke such words in the previous chapter, John 17. Then these words spoken from the powerful standpoint of the I AM set up counter thought vibrations in the consciousness and there is unusual commotion. Because of this chemicalization which frequently takes place in consciousness, some people refrain from “high statements,” but high places spiritually cannot be attained by the fainthearted. When you perceive the Truth, speak the words regardless of consequences.
- he went out with his disciples over the brook Kidron. Kidron means "turbid stream" and it represents the current of confused thoughts that sometimes pour in upon us when we try to go into the silence. The "garden" locates the current in the world of universal thought. When Jesus went "over the brook Kidron" and entered the garden of Gethsemane, He passed in His own consciousness from the without to the within.
- Judas ... came there with lanterns and torches and weapons. Judas, who knows the place, and takes advantage of its darkness to capture the I AM. He comes with a “band” (combative thoughts) and “officers from the chief priests and Pharisees” (the ideas of priestly authority and religious guidance from the standpoint of the letter), “lanterns, torches, and weapons” (light of the intellect, torch of reason, and force of circumstances).
- Jesus said to them, I am he. Jesus boldly stands forth and says, “Whom seek ye? They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I AM.” (The word “he” [in “I AM he”] is not in the original Greek, and should be omitted, not only here, but in nearly every place in the scripture where Jesus uses I AM).
- Simon Peter ... struck the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. Your faith (Peter) in the righteousness of your cause may lead you to combat the thoughts of the ruling religious powers, and in your impetuosity you resent their counsel (“Malchus,” counselor), and deny their capacity to receive Truth (“cut off his right ear”), but good judgment and a broad comprehension of the divine overcoming, through which you are passing, causes you to adopt pacific means.
- The cup which the Father has given me, shall I not surely drink it? The consciousness of eternal life. This must be attained through an utter crossing out or crucifixion of the personal self, both on its objective and subjective planes of volition; hence “they lead him away,” that other processes of the divine law might be carried out.
Jesus before the High Priest
18:12 So the detachment, the commanding officer, and the officers of the Jews, seized Jesus and bound him,1 18:13 and led him to Annas first,2 for he was father-in-law to Caiaphas, who was high priest3 that year. 18:14 Now it was Caiaphas who advised the Jews that it was expedient that one man should perish for the people.
- So the detachment, the commanding officer, and the officers of the Jews, seized Jesus and bound him. The detachment and the commanding officer, and the officers of the Jews are found in the intellectual realm, and it is before this tribunal that the Christ appears, to be tested and tried.
- and led him to Annas first. Annas was a leading factor in the persecutions at the time of the ministry and crucifixion of Jesus. He represents intellectual opposition to spiritual Truth.
- he was father-in-law to Caiaphas, who was high priest. His son-in-law Caiaphas, the high priest, represents a ruling religious thought force that is also entirely intellectual. He belongs to the religious world of forms and ceremonies, the "letter" of the word. The ruthlessness of these men shows how a merely formal religion will persecute and attempt to kill the inner Christ Spirit and all that pertains to it.
Peter Denies Jesus
18:15 Simon Peter followed Jesus, as did another disciple.1 Now that disciple was known to the high priest, and entered in with Jesus into the court of the high priest; 18:16 but Peter was standing at the door outside. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to her who kept the door, and brought in Peter.2 18:17 Then the maid who kept the door said to Peter, "Are you also one of this man's disciples?"
He said, "I am not."3
18:18 Now the servants and the officers were standing there, having made a fire of coals, for it was cold. They were warming themselves. Peter was with them, standing and warming himself.
- Simon Peter followed Jesus, as did another disciple. Jesus’ disciples (the faculties of the I Am) were not strong enough to sustain him through this trial. They fled, all but two. One disciple, supposed to be John, was able to follow, enter in, and support the Master. Peter (Faith) followed afar off.
- the other disciple ... brought in Peter. John (Love) is able to bring Peter (Faith) into closer touch with the Master. The spiritual warmth of love draws into closer proximity the faculty of faith, proving that these powers are closely allied with each other.
- He said, I am not. Peter is not to be condemned for denying Jesus. He had not yet unfolded to that spiritual degree where he was able to face seemingly strong adversity and stand firm.
The High Priest Questions Jesus
18:19 The high priest therefore asked Jesus about his disciples, and about his teaching.1 18:20 Jesus answered him, "I spoke openly to the world. I always taught in synagogues, and in the temple, where the Jews always meet. I said nothing in secret. 18:21 Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me what I said to them. Behold, these know the things which I said."
18:22 When he had said this, one of the officers standing by slapped Jesus with his hand, saying, "Do you answer the high priest like that?"
18:23 Jesus answered him, "If I have spoken evil, testify of the evil; but if well, why do you beat me?"
18:24 Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas, the high priest.
- The high priest therefore asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his teaching. The high priest who questioned Jesus symbolizes a form of religious thoughts in man that follows the set rule of the letter of the law with little or no thought of its inner spiritual importance. Jesus (here representing the Christ) sets forth the Truth in plain, concise language, which however has no significance for the person functioning on the natural-religious plane of existence.
Peter Denies Jesus Again
18:25 Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They said therefore to him, "You aren't also one of his disciples, are you?"
He denied it, and said, "I am not."
18:26 One of the servants of the high priest, being a relative of him whose ear Peter had cut off, said, "Didn't I see you in the garden with him?"
18:27 Peter therefore denied it again, and immediately the rooster crowed.
Jesus before Pilate
18:28 They led Jesus therefore from Caiaphas into the Praetorium.1 It was early, and they themselves didn't enter into the Praetorium, that they might not be defiled, but might eat the Passover. 18:29 Pilate therefore went out to them, and said, "What accusation do you bring against this man?"
18:30 They answered him, "If this man weren't an evildoer, we wouldn't have delivered him up to you."2
18:31 Pilate therefore said to them, "Take him yourselves, and judge him according to your law."
Therefore the Jews said to him, "It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death," 18:32 that the word of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he spoke, signifying by what kind of death he should die.
18:33 Pilate therefore entered again into the Praetorium, called Jesus, and said to him, "Are you the King of the Jews?"
18:34 Jesus answered him, "Do you say this by yourself, or did others tell you about me?"
18:35 Pilate answered, "I'm not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests delivered you to me. What have you done?"
18:36 Jesus answered, "My Kingdom is not of this world. If my Kingdom were of this world, then my servants would fight, that I wouldn't be delivered to the Jews. But now my Kingdom is not from here."
18:37 Pilate therefore said to him, "Are you a king then?"3
Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this reason I have been born, and for this reason I have come into the world, that I should testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice."
18:38 Pilate said to him, "What is truth?"
- They lead Jesus therefore from Caiaphas into the Praetorium. The Praetorium symbolizes a state of despotism, where force and cruelty and tyranny exist. The Jews, symbolizing intellectual spirituality, would because of their religious traditions turn the Jesus over to barbarians to be crucified.
- If this man weren't an evildoer, we wouldn't have delivered him up to you. The Jewish priesthood taught persecution as the unavoidable heritage of their race; even Jesus told His followers that they would suffer persecution when they taught His doctrine. Although it is true that the spiritual mind and the mortal are at war, metaphysicians see that the persecution of the Jews in every land is the result of the affirmation of the law of persecution by those with the power of the word.
- Are you a king then? The Jews and the high priests and the officers who represent intellectual religious thought forces continued to work for Jesus' execution because they realized within their hearts that He was indeed a King, and they feared His spiritual power.
Jesus Sentenced to Death
When he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, "I find no basis for a charge against him. 18:39 But you have a custom, that I should release someone to you at the Passover. Therefore do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?"
18:40 Then they all shouted again, saying, "Not this man, but Barabbas!"1 Now Barabbas was a robber.
- Not this man, but Barabbas! Barabbas represents the adverse consciousness (rebellion and hatred) to which man gives himself when he allows himself to oppose the Christ. Man gives free rein to this adverse consciousness when he would destroy the Christ or true spiritual I AM in himself, since it is through the Christ alone that an overcoming can be gained over the Adversary. This adverse state of thought (Barabbas) is of its father the Devil.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Mark Hicks.
World English Bible Footnotes:
Jesus Sentenced to Death (continued)
19:1 So Pilate then took Jesus, and flogged him. 19:2 The soldiers twisted thorns into a crown, and put it on his head, and dressed him in a purple garment. 19:3 They kept saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!" and they kept slapping him.
19:4 Then Pilate went out again, and said to them, "Behold, I bring him out to you, that you may know that I find no basis for a charge against him."
19:5 Jesus therefore came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple garment. Pilate said to them, "Behold, the man!"
19:6 When therefore the chief priests and the officers saw him, they shouted, saying, "Crucify! Crucify!"
Pilate said to them, "Take him yourselves, and crucify him,1 for I find no basis for a charge against him."
19:7 The Jews answered him, "We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God."
19:8 When therefore Pilate heard this saying, he was more afraid. 19:9 He entered into the Praetorium again, and said to Jesus, "Where are you from?"2 But Jesus gave him no answer. 19:10 Pilate therefore said to him, "Aren't you speaking to me? Don't you know that I have power to release you, and have power to crucify you?"
19:11 Jesus answered, "You would have no power at all against me, unless it were given to you from above.3 Therefore he who delivered me to you has greater sin."
19:12 At this, Pilate was seeking to release him, but the Jews cried out, saying, "If you release this man, you aren't Caesar's friend! Everyone who makes himself a king speaks against Caesar!"
19:13 When Pilate therefore heard these words, he brought Jesus out, and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called "The Pavement," but in Hebrew, "Gabbatha." 19:14 Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, at about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, "Behold, your King!"
19:15 They cried out, "Away with him! Away with him! Crucify him!"
Pilate said to them, "Shall I crucify your King?"
The chief priests answered, "We have no king but Caesar!"
19:16 So then he delivered him to them to be crucified.
- Take him yourselves, and crucify him. The contest for supremacy between the intellectual forces, represented by Pilate, and the pseudo-spiritual, represented by the Jews, is portrayed here. Both contenders realize that it is a momentous occasion, and they seek to shift the responsibility for the destruction of the coming King Jesus and His rule.
- Where are you from? The personal will (Pilate) is nonplused and fearful, when its efforts to exercise domination over the I AM (Jesus) are unavailing. Lacking spiritual understanding, the personal will does not understand the nature of its challenge to its domination that is made by Truth
- You would have no power at all against me, unless it were given to you from above. The authority of the personal will, while absolute in degree, does not extend to the world of Spirit, in which the I AM dwells. God is the source of all power, and the attempts of the personal will to vanquish the I AM at the behest of the religious thoughts (Jews) represent a misuse of divine power.
The Crucifixion of Jesus
So they took Jesus and led him away. 19:17 He went out, bearing his cross, to the place called "The Place of a Skull,"1 which is called in Hebrew, "Golgotha," 19:18 where they crucified him,2 and with him two others, on either side one, and Jesus in the middle. 19:19 Pilate wrote a title also, and put it on the cross. There was written, "JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS." 19:20 Therefore many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek.3 19:21 The chief priests of the Jews therefore said to Pilate, "Don't write, 'The King of the Jews,' but, 'he said, I am King of the Jews.'"
19:22 Pilate answered, "What I have written, I have written."
19:23 Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments4 and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also the coat. Now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.5 19:24 Then they said to one another, "Let's not tear it, but cast lots for it to decide whose it will be," that the Scripture might be fulfilled, which says,
"They parted my garments among them.
For my cloak they cast lots."
Therefore the soldiers did these things. 19:25 But there were standing by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 19:26 Therefore when Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing there, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold your son!" 19:27 Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother!" From that hour, the disciple took her to his own home.
19:28 After this, Jesus, seeing that all things were now finished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, "I am thirsty." 19:29 Now a vessel full of vinegar was set there; so they put a sponge full of the vinegar on hyssop, and held it at his mouth. 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, "It is finished." He bowed his head, and gave up his spirit.6
- place of a skull. The crucifixion took place at Golgotha, "The place of a skull" (the front brain, the seat of the will and conscious understanding, the throne of the mind, where all ideas are tested and either enthroned or cast out). In the crucifixion of Jesus both Pilate and the Jews (both the intellect and the ruling spiritual ideas) unite in casting out the claim that man is the Son of God.
- they crucified him. The crucifixion symbolizes the final and full erasure of personality from consciousness. When man is willing to surrender himself to the Christ Mind, he begins the crucifixion. Every time that he gives up a false belief in the name of Christ it is destroyed in his consciousness. When all the errors that constitute the carnal mind are destroyed, Satan is wholly cast out and Judas is redeemed.
- it was written in Hebrew, and in Latin, and in Greek. The fact that the title, "JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS, was written in three languages signifies that the Jesus Christ Truth—life, perfection, immortality, expressed and demonstrated throughout man, even to his outer organism—must be recognized and acknowledged by man on all three planes of his consciousness. He must accept this Truth and the Christ must rule in his superconscious mind, his conscious mind, and his subconscious mind. The Hebrew language refers here to the spiritual, or superconscious phase of mind in man; Latin to the subconscious; and Greek to the conscious, reasoning mind.—MBD/Latin
- The soldiers ... took his garments. The soldiers represent the thoughts that fight against the elemental forces: earth, air, fire, and water. The garments represent the thoughts that protect the body against those forces.
- the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. Although Jesus (representing the spiritual man) was not allowed to establish His conscious rule in the front brain, He left a great unified doctrine of truth (represented by the seamless garment that the soldiers found they could not separate).
- he said, "It is finished." He bowed his head, and gave up his spirit. The popular thought, based upon theology, that Jesus died upon the cross for our sins, is not reasonable, nor true. It is a libel upon the goodness of God that He would demand the death of his beloved son in such a horrible manner, to appease His anger toward the balance of the sinners in the human family. Again, how could the death of one man atone for the sins of billions of others? Is the death of a criminal in any way an atonement for his crime, or does it help other men to be better? As we emerge from barbaric methods, we abolish capital punishment in all its forms.
It is quite evident that theology has not understood the true character of Jesus' death. Instead of dying upon the cross like the two thieves that were crucified with him, he simply passed through the human consciousness of death and came out fully alive on the other side. Jesus became alive again, was glorified, and, as is plainly taught in the Scriptures, transcended to quickening life and substance for all who will eat it and drink it. This is a great mystery to the sense man, but he who sees beyond the veil knows positively that the body of Jesus is right here in our midst radiant with eternal life.
Then Jesus did not die upon the cross to save men from their sins, but he lived. This is an important distinction, and clears up points that have always been stumbling blocks to those who wanted a reasonable theology. What we all need is a way to overcome death. We do not want anyone to die for us. There is, and always has been, enough of that sort of atonement. Thousands of men and women have heroically died for their friends and country. But who among them all has been so heroic and powerful as to master that great and “last enemy to be overcome,” death itself? None save Jesus.
Then we should quit wailing over the agony of the cross; quit looking for the Master, like Mary in the tomb, quit talking about the death and departure of Jesus, and realize the Truth, that Jesus went through the appearance called death to demonstrate for us its powerlessness in the presence of one who had made the atonement with the Father.
We are to take up our cross, square our likes by the rectitude of Truth, both in Spirit and in the material world, and then we shall follow Jesus in the crucifixion of the world, the flesh and the devil, and overcome as he overcame. This supreme attainment is not only possible to all men, but must be accomplished by all who expect to perpetuate their conscious existence.—Unity May 28, 1905
Jesus' Side is Pierced
19:31 Therefore the Jews, because it was the Preparation Day, so that the bodies wouldn't remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a special one), asked of Pilate that their legs might be broken,1 and that they might be taken away. 19:32 Therefore the soldiers came, and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who was crucified with him; 19:33 but when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was already dead, they didn't break his legs. 19:34 However one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. 19:35 He who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, that you may believe. 19:36 For these things happened, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, "A bone of him will not be broken." 19:37 Again another Scripture says, "They will look on him whom they pierced."2
- asked of Pilate that their legs might be broken. Crushing the bones destroyed the last vestige of life in the body.
- They will look on him whom they pierced. This whole Scripture reveals how those established in the intellect will seek to kill out the Christ, and also how they are ultimately defeated in His victory over death.
The Burial of Jesus
19:38 After these things, Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked of Pilate that he might take away Jesus' body. Pilate gave him permission. He came therefore and took away his body. 19:39 Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. 19:40 So they took Jesus' body, and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury. 19:41 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden. In the garden was a new tomb in which no man had ever yet been laid. 19:42 Then because of the Jews' Preparation Day (for the tomb was near at hand) they laid Jesus there.1
- they laid Jesus there. Arimathea represents an aggregation of thoughts of lofty character, a high state of consciousness in man. Joseph represents a state of consciousness in which we increase in character along all lines. We not only grow into a broader understanding but we also increase in vitality and substance. Jesus' resting in Joseph's tomb symbolizes the truth that Jesus was resting in the consciousness of vitality and substance, was growing into a broader understanding, and was in truth gathering strength for the great demonstration over death to follow.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Mark Hicks.
World English Bible Footnotes:
The Resurrection of Jesus
20:1 Now on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene went early, while it was still dark, to the tomb, and saw the stone taken away from the tomb. 20:2 Therefore she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we don't know where they have laid him!"
20:3 Therefore Peter and the other disciple went out, and they went toward the tomb. 20:4 They both ran together. The other disciple outran Peter,1 and came to the tomb first. 20:5 Stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths lying, yet he didn't enter in. 20:6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and entered into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying, 20:7 and the cloth that had been on his head, not lying with the linen cloths, but rolled up in a place by itself. 20:8 So then the other disciple who came first to the tomb also entered in, and he saw and believed. 20:9 For as yet they didn't know the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 20:10 So the disciples went away again to their own homes.
- the other disciple outran Peter. The passage was written by John, who is presumably “the other disciple.” John represents love, which through its affections is more closely attached to the physical than is faith (Peter); consequently love (John) precedes faith (Peter) in the desire to find the physical (body of Jesus).
Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene
20:11 But Mary was standing outside at the tomb weeping. So, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb, 20:12 and she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head, and one at the feet,1 where the body of Jesus had lain. 20:13 They told her, "Woman, why are you weeping?"
She said to them, "Because they have taken away my Lord, and I don't know where they have laid him." 20:14 When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus2 standing, and didn't know that it was Jesus.
20:15 Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?"
She, supposing him to be the gardener, said to him, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away."
20:16 Jesus said to her, "Mary."
She turned and said to him, "Rhabbouni!" which is to say, "Teacher!"
20:17 Jesus said to her, "Don't touch me,3 for I haven't yet ascended to my Father; but go to my brothers, and tell them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'"
20:18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord,4 and that he had said these things to her.
- two angels in white sitting, one at the head, and one at the feet. The two angels at Jesus’ tomb symbolize our spiritual perceptions, which are always consciously in the presence of God, the perceptions which from that high spiritual state are able to make known to us that which is vital. The angel at the head “where the body of Jesus had lain” represents high spiritual perception, and the angel at the foot represents understanding in relation to the world without.
- she turned around and saw Jesus. Instead of looking without, we look within and find that there is no reality in the thought of absence; that in the inner recesses of the soul all things are omnipresent, but we know not “that it was Jesus.”
- Jesus said to her, "Don't touch me." Jesus did not want the sorrowing Mary (thought) to touch him, because it would pull him down into the darkness and ignorance of mortality. The spiritual mind does not grieve over anything, nor look to matter and the limitations of the flesh for life eternal. The most effective consolation we can get and give to others under grief, is to deny the human belief in death and separation. This dissipates the flood of sorrow-thoughts that submerge the souls of those who mourn.
- Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord. Mary Magdalene, the soul-feminine, is the connecting link between the I AM and the body. Love, cleansed of all impurity, is able to perceive spiritually, and therefore beholds the risen Lord. It then spreads the glad tidings among the disciples (the twelve powers of man) that the Lord Jesus is not dead, but has entered into a higher spiritual state.
Jesus Appears to the Disciples
20:19 When therefore it was evening, on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were locked where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, "Peace be to you."
20:20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.1 The disciples therefore were glad when they saw the Lord. 20:21 Jesus therefore said to them again, "Peace be to you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you." 20:22 When he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit! 20:23 Whoever's sins you forgive, they are forgiven them. Whoever's sins you retain, they have been retained."
- he showed them his hands and his side. After the dissolution of the carnal consciousness, represented by the crucifixion, the body takes up its activities in the psychical or astral realm, where it functions until it is sufficiently purified to enter into the kingdom of the heavens, or the fourth dimension. Metaphysicians who are in the regeneration and are putting out of mind the errors of carnality find that their bodies gradually become more refined, more ethereal in texture and in feeling, and under certain conditions they realize the unreality, of material environment. This is not the true spiritual estate, but is one degree toward it. When we fully enter the spiritual estate our bodies will be raised so high in radiation as to become invisible to physical sight. Such is the body of Jesus.
Jesus and Thomas
But he said to them, "Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe."
20:26 After eight days again his disciples were inside, and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, the doors being locked, and stood in the midst, and said, "Peace be to you." 20:27 Then he said to Thomas, "Reach here your finger, and see my hands. Reach here your hand, and put it into my side. Don't be unbelieving, but believing."3
20:28 Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!"4
- But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus. Thomas represents one of the twelve faculties through which man, the I AM, functions. He symbolizes the intellect. Intellect or reason connects the inner world of thought with the outer world of action. Didymus signifies the same as Thomas: “twain,” “double,” “twin.” On the constructive side the intellect functions as understanding; on the negative side as doubt and futile questioning.
- was not with them when Jesus came. Intellectual perception is slower than the other faculties to perceive the truth of the resurrection life. It is much slower than faith or love. “Thomas ... was not with them when Jesus came.” The intellect is the last of man's faculties to comprehend the supremacy of spiritual law over natural law. It must be convinced on its own plane of thought that the body has been raised after it was put to death.
- Don't be unbelieving, but believing. The great truth which spiritual understanding reveals to us is that the resurrection of the body from death is not to be confined to Jesus Christ alone, but that all men may unfold this same ability by following the teachings of Jesus Christ. The resurrection of Jesus also takes place in consciousness. Every time that man raises his realization of the perpetual indwelling life flow to the spiritual standard, he is connected with the indwelling Christ. Through the power of the living Word he enters into the realization of a new and higher life activity than that of the physical.
- My Lord and my God! When the intellect is quickened to the degree that it can comprehend the spiritual, it may be convinced of the authenticity of a spiritual demonstration.
- Blessed are those who have not seen, and have believed. When man becomes conscious of the fact that he does not have to depend upon intellectual reasoning to know and to understand the things of Spirit, he is doubly blessed. He has the power to draw on spiritual inspiration from within, which enables him to bring quickly into the manifest realm his desired demonstrations.
The Purpose of this Book
20:30 Therefore Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book; 20:31 but these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ,1 the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.2
- but these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ The question often is asked whether or not we believe that Jesus rose from the dead with the same flesh body in which He walked the earth and, if so, what became of that body. The school of "high criticism" is openly attacking Bible occurrences that it cannot account for under natural law. The historical account makes clear that the flesh body that had been crucified was the body that Jesus had after His resurrection. That Jesus knew how to restore life to dead organs is evidenced by His healing of paralytics, blind people, and in three cases by raising those who had died. He had spent whole nights in prayer, and through the intensity of His devotions had made union with Divine Mind. This union was so full and so complete that His whole being was flooded with spiritual life, power, and substance and the wisdom to use them in divine order. In this manner He projected the divine-body idea, and through it His mortal body was transformed into an immortal body where it exists to this day as a body of ethereal substance directed and controlled by His thought and mind force.
- and that believing you may have life in his name. Having a body of spiritually electrified atoms, Jesus is able to quicken the bodies of people who attract His presence by believing in Him; He radiates a glorious life that energizes those who believe in His power. By positive affirmations we must all appropriate this same Christ life, substance, and Truth as ours individually and as the very foundation and substance of our body.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Mark Hicks.
World English Bible Footnotes:
Jesus Appears to Seven Disciples
21:1 After these things, Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias. He revealed himself this way. 21:2 Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together. 21:3 Simon Peter said to them, "I'm going fishing."
They told him, "We are also coming with you." They immediately went out, and entered into the boat. That night, they caught nothing. 21:4 But when day had already come, Jesus stood on the beach, yet the disciples didn't know that it was Jesus. 21:5 Jesus therefore said to them, "Children, have you anything to eat?"
They answered him, "No."
21:6 He said to them, "Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some."1
They cast it therefore, and now they weren't able to draw it in for the multitude of fish. 21:7 That disciple therefore whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It's the Lord!"
So when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he wrapped his coat around him (for he was naked), and threw himself into the sea. 21:8 But the other disciples came in the little boat (for they were not far from the land, but about two hundred cubits away), dragging the net full of fish. 21:9 So when they got out on the land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread.2 21:10 Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish which you have just caught."
21:11 Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land, full of great fish, one hundred fifty-three; and even though there were so many, the net wasn't torn.
21:12 Jesus said to them, "Come and eat breakfast."3
None of the disciples dared inquire of him, "Who are you?" knowing that it was the Lord.
- Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some. Man's mind is the net that catches thoughts, which are the basis of external conditions. The sea is the mental realm in which man exists. The net of man's thought works hard and long in the darkness of human understanding and gains but little, but once the Christ Mind is perceived and obeyed the net is cast on the "right side," and success follows. The "right side" is the side on which man realizes the truth that inexhaustible resources are always present and can be made manifest by those who exercise their faith in that direction.
- fish laid on it, and bread. The bread and fish that Jesus provided on the shore represents the supply of Spirit for the needs of the body. Not only does the Father provide for man in the natural world, as by the draught of fishes, but in the invisible world of substance are elements that correspond to the material things. Bread symbolizes the substance of the omnipresent Christ body and fish the capacity of increase that goes with it. Whoever seeks supply through Spirit and submits his cause to the law of justice and righteousness always succeeds. The reason why men fail to demonstrate the many promises of divine support is that they cling to some selfish or unjust thought.
- Jesus said to them, Come and eat breakfast. Eating is a symbol of the appropriation of spiritual substance and life. One fasts from thinking, when one allows the thoughts to drift aimlessly in the race stream of consciousness, merely registering impressions from the outer world with no attempt to understand what underlies them or get at the truth of any subject. One breaks one's fast by mentally assimilating each idea that presents itself, considering the substance of Truth on which it rests, and understanding it.
- This is now the third time that Jesus was revealed (manifested, ASV) to the disciples. The third appearance of Jesus to the disciples corresponds to the third phase of man's being. Man is threefold: Spirit, soul, and body. On His first manifestation to the disciples Jesus “breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Spirit.” On the second He convinced Thomas of the truth of the Resurrection. On the third He satisfied the physical hunger of the disciples.
Jesus and Peter
21:15 So when they had eaten their breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me more1 than these?"
He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I have affection for you."
He said to him, "Feed my lambs." 21:16 He said to him again a second time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me?"
He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I have affection for you."
He said to him, "Tend my sheep." 21:17 He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you have affection for me?"
Peter was grieved because he asked him the third time, "Do you have affection for me?" He said to him, "Lord, you know everything. You know that I have affection for you."
Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep.2 21:18 Most certainly I tell you, when you were young, you dressed yourself, and walked where you wanted to. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you, and carry you where you don't want to go."3
21:19 Now he said this, signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. When he had said this, he said to him, "Follow me."
- love me more? Faith must be established in love and must work by love; and every faculty of man must be established in love and work by love if perfect harmony and good are to be realized. Faith established in love and working by love will remain steadfast at all times, under all circumstances; it will be our sustaining power during our every hour of need.
- Feed my sheep. After first providing them food, Jesus three times commanded Peter, “Feed my lambs” and “Feed my sheep.” Sheep represent thoughts, and we see in this admonition the importance of thinking the thoughts of the Christ and of doing the works that these thoughts enjoin. We are to follow the Christ in thought, word, and deed.
- when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you, and carry you where you don't want to go. In the first spiritual illumination there is much enthusiasm, and while we are in this state of consciousness, great works are often accomplished. Later, when the true spiritual understanding begins to unfold, when we are older in Truth, we learn to rely more and more on the Principle, until we can say with Jesus, “The Father abiding in me doeth his works.”
Jesus and the Beloved Disciple
21:20 Then Peter, turning around, saw a disciple following. This was the disciple whom Jesus sincerely loved, the one who had also leaned on Jesus' breast at the supper and asked, "Lord, who is going to betray You?" 21:21 Peter seeing him, said to Jesus, "Lord, what about this man?"
21:22 Jesus said to him, "If I desire that he stay until I come, what is that to you? You follow me."1 21:23 This saying therefore went out among the brothers, that this disciple wouldn't die. Yet Jesus didn't say to him that he wouldn't die, but, "If I desire that he stay until I come, what is that to you?" 21:24 This is the disciple who testifies about these things, and wrote these things. We know that his witness is true. 21:25 There are also many other things which Jesus did,2 which if they would all be written, I suppose that even the world itself wouldn't have room for the books that would be written.
- what is that to you? You follow me. most of us have been indoctrinated to take that statement to support the idea that it is none of your business what the other guy does. But it could also mean, how important is this to you? How concerned are you?—Ed Rabel
- And there are also many other things which Jesus did. In the Gospels that we have, there are more things we are not told than what we are told. But the important thing is what we are told, to take that, not to worry about the things Jesus said and did which have not been written down but give the entire attention and understanding to what has been written down.—Ed Rabel
Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Mark Hicks.
World English Bible Footnotes:
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