The Good News According to Luke
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Introduction to Luke
Luke was not a disciple of Jesus, but was a convert of the apostle Paul. Thus, the information contained in Luke’s Gospel is not of the firsthand type found in Matthew. Luke’s information came through the apostle Paul and other early leaders, and through personal research. The “preface” to Luke’s Gospel (Luke 1:1-4) indicates how careful and painstaking Luke was in compiling his Gospel; and it would appear that some part of the material was personally gathered during the two years Luke spent in the vicinity of Jerusalem, while Paul was in prison there. (See Acts 23-26.) This would be around A.D. 57-59—although the actual Gospel according to Luke was not completed and in circulation until around A.D. 70.
Luke, being himself a Gentile, wrote for Gentile Christians, and made his theme: “Jesus, the Saviour of Mankind.” This universal viewpoint is readily recognized in “sending out the seventy” (Luke 10:1-20), the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), and many other passages. Also, when telling of the birth of Jesus, Luke (in contrast with Matthew) uses as a background the humble shepherds and the overcrowded inn, with the birth taking place in the outbuildings of the inn. This does not mean that the stories in Matthew and Luke should be regarded as contradictory. Rather, they are complementary, and together they make one complete picture; for Jesus was both the Messiah of the Jews and also the Saviour of mankind. The Gospel of Luke is written in such an interesting and helpful way, and contains so much of what is often termed “the human touch,” that it has been designated “the most beautiful book in the world.”
The above three Gospels — Matthew, Mark, and Luke — are sometimes referred to as “the Synoptic Gospels”; and the student should become familiar with this term. The word synoptic, as here used, means “seeing from the same general viewpoint.” In other words, the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke cover similar ground, and have much in common. However, there are also some differences—and it is these similarities and differences that give rise to what is known to New Testament students as “the synoptic problem.” This problem may be briefly stated as follows:
- All three Gospels contain much similar material. Indeed, in many instances the same story is told in word-for-word fashion.
- Practically the whole of Mark’s Gospel is reproduced somewhere in Matthew or Luke.
- However, some material is found in Matthew and Luke which does not appear in Mark.
- Furthermore, in Matthew and also in Luke there are some stories which are peculiar to these Gospels. Matthew has some material which is found only in Matthew; while Luke also has material which is found only in Luke.
The “problem” is to find an explanation that will satisfactorily cover all the above points; and the suggested solution is briefly as follows:
- Mark’s was the first Gospel to be written (as noted above).
- At the time when Mark’s Gospel was first circulated there were in circulation some strips of parchment, or papyrus, on which appeared some “sayings” of Jesus. These “sayings” were highly prized by the early Christians, who seem to have used them freely at the early church gatherings; and these “sayings” are now technically known under the symbol “Q.”
- Thus, when Matthew and Luke started to write their Gospels, they would have had before them the completed Gospel of Mark, and also some collections of the “sayings of Jesus” (“Q”). The Gospel of Mark and these “sayings” were freely drawn upon by both Matthew and Luke. This would account for points 1, 2, and 3 of the “problem.”
- Both Matthew and Luke also had their own special sources of information—and the material thus at hand was incorporated by each in his Gospel. This would satisfactorily explain point 4.
The above brief explanation is given so that the student may not be confused by the similarities and differences found in the Synoptic Gospels. Of course, many other theories have been put forward from time to time; but what is given above seems to meet the situation.
Introduction to The Good News According to Luke by Herbert J. Hunt, former Dean of Bible Studies for the Unity School of Christianity.
Dedication to Theophilus
1:1 Since many have undertaken to set in order a narrative concerning those matters which have been fulfilled among us, 1:2 even as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word delivered them to us, 1:3 it seemed good to me also, having traced the course of all things accurately from the first, to write to you in order, most excellent Theophilus; 1:4 that you might know the certainty concerning the things in which you were instructed.1
- What is the meaning of the name Luke, and what is its significance in connection with the third Synoptic Gospel? The name means “luminous,” “enlightening,” “instructing.” The Book of Luke is a luminous record of events in the life of Jesus Christ, instructing and enlightening the reader in the way of Truth.
The Birth of John the Baptist Foretold
1:5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias,1 of the priestly division of Abijah. He had a wife of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.2 1:6 They were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord. 1:7 But they had no child,3 because Elizabeth was barren, and they both were well advanced in years. 1:8 Now it happened, while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his division, 1:9 according to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to enter into the temple of the Lord4 and burn incense.5 1:10 The whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense.
1:11 An angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 1:12 Zacharias was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. 1:13 But the angel said to him, "Don't be afraid, Zacharias, because your request has been heard, and your wife, Elizabeth, will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.6 1:14 You will have joy and gladness; and many will rejoice at his birth. 1:15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and he will drink no wine nor strong drink.7 He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb. 1:16 He will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord, their God. 1:17 He will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, 'to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,' and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."
1:18 Zacharias said to the angel, "How can I be sure of this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years."
1:19 The angel answered him, "I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God. I was sent to speak to you, and to bring you this good news. 1:20 Behold, you will be silent and not able to speak,8 until the day that these things will happen, because you didn't believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time."
1:21 The people were waiting for Zacharias, and they marveled that he delayed in the temple. 1:22 When he came out, he could not speak to them, and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple. He continued making signs to them, and remained mute. 1:23 It happened, when the days of his service were fulfilled, he departed to his house. 1:24 After these days Elizabeth, his wife, conceived,9 and she hid herself five months, saying, 1:25 "Thus has the Lord done to me in the days in which he looked at me, to take away my reproach among men."
- Zacharias. Zacharias represents in individual consciousness the spiritual phase of consciousness. Zacharias means “remembered by Jehovah.” His work is in the temple. He is wedded to Elisabeth, who may be compared to the soul in the exalted state that it attains through living an entirely blameless, devoted life.
- Elizabeth. The literal meaning of Elisabeth is “my God is my oath,” or “a worshiper of God.” The soul, in its adoration of God, is blameless, and its world is a world of innocence and peace.
- They had no child. They had fallen into a belief in years; that they had failed to bring forth the fruit of mature spirituality, which is a consciousness of spiritual substance, life, and intelligence. The fruit of mature spirituality is symbolized by John, “the grace of the Lord.” And it is this which every spiritual-minded individual is expected to bring forth.
- enter into the temple of the Lord. The priest’s entering into the temple represents spiritual meditation—metaphysically called “going into the silence.” All extraneous thoughts, interests, and aspirations collect by degrees around the transmuting process (“the whole multitude of the people were praying at the hour of incense”). In deep concentration on the desired Truth of one’s being, one becomes aware of the thought of the Lord (the angel, Gabriel). The thought that we as spiritual beings can control our destinies, and that we are even now making our lives what they are, at first instills fear. Zacharias was afraid of the angel. Humility of spirit hesitates to take to itself power that hitherto has been conceded to God only. However, the thought of God persistently held brings us the assurance that we are on the right road. The angel of the Lord stood “on the right side of the altar of incense.”
- and burn incense. The burning of the incense signifies the transmutation of the finer essences of the body. These essences are transmuted to what may be termed the fourth or radiant dimension, and a foundation is laid for an organism of permanent character. Paul calls it the “celestial body.” This process takes place whenever the I AM makes union in the body with the Lord, or Higher Self.
- call him John. John symbolizes the fruit of the union of the soul with spiritual consciousness. The union of soul and spiritual consciousness brings forth an ego that prepares the way for one greater than itself, the Christ of God, the highest expression of Divine Mind in man.
- strong drink. The parentage of John the Baptist accounts for the statement that he would drink no wine or strong drink but would be “filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb” in this respect, that when the soul is united with the spiritual consciousness the result of the union is dedication or consecration to God. John was so consecrated from before his birth. Consecration implies a concentration of all the thoughts and energies on the subject. Wine and strong drink scatter man’s forces, making concentration impossible. It was therefore foreign to John’s experience.
- not able to speak. The work of the Spirit goes so far beyond what the mortal consciousness can grasp, that man is rendered dumb when the nature of spiritual life and its ways are proclaimed to him for the first time. These soul processes being unusual, even the spiritually minded do not understand what is taking place, and what the result will be, although assured by the messengers of the Lord of a propitious outcome. Where no explanation can be offered, the natural attitude of the individual is one of silence.
- Elizabeth his wife conceived. Elisabeth represents the soul, which, after many apparently fruitless experiences and a long-continued search for the way of life, conceives the idea of divine grace (John) as the law of man’s being. In order to receive the blessing of a son something positive was required of Zacharias; namely the establishment of his faith in the invisible good as being present and active.
The Birth of Jesus Foretold
1:26 Now in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 1:27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. 1:28 Having come in, the angel said to her, "Rejoice, you highly favored one! The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women!"
1:29 But when she saw him, she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered what kind of salutation this might be. 1:30 The angel said to her, "Don't be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 1:31 Behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bring forth a son, and will call his name 'Jesus.' 1:32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father, David, 1:33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever. There will be no end to his Kingdom."
1:34 Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, seeing I am a virgin?"
1:35 The angel answered her, "The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.1 Therefore also the holy one who is born from you will be called the Son of God. 1:36 Behold, Elizabeth, your relative, also has conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 1:37 For everything spoken by God is possible."
1:38 Mary said, "Behold, the handmaid of the Lord;2 be it to me according to your word."
- the power of the Most High will overshadow you. As explained by the angel to Mary, we should not overlook the fact that this coming into activity of the Christ body is the result of an exalted idea sown in the mind and brought forth in the soul. Therefore, Mary, the soul, becomes devout and expectant and believes in the so-called miraculous as a possibility. Mary expected the birth of the Messiah as the Holy Spirit had promised. She was overshadowed by that high idea and it formed in her mind the seed that quickened into the cell and in due season there were aggregations of cells strong enough in their activity to attract the attention of the consciousness, and what is called the birth of Jesus took place.
- Behold, the handmaid of the Lord. The word of God is all-powerful, all-potential, as is proved by the experience of Elisabeth in bringing forth John, and Mary in bringing forth Jesus.
Mary Visits Elizabeth
The angel departed from her. 1:39 Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Judah, 1:40 and entered into the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. 1:41 It happened, when Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, that the baby leaped in her womb,1 and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 1:42 She called out with a loud voice, and said, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 1:43 Why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 1:44 For behold, when the voice of your greeting came into my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy! 1:45 Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of the things which have been spoken to her from the Lord!"
- the babe leaped in her womb. This Scripture no doubt has an esoteric meaning; yet it is also historical. The power represented by Elisabeth on the intellectual plane corresponds to that represented by Mary on the spiritual plane. These thought forces are closely related. In truth Elisabeth represents the intellectual soul and Mary the spiritual soul. Being closely related, they are naturally drawn to each other. “The babe leaped in her womb” reveals a close soul sympathy between the two reincarnating souls, John and Jesus. The song of Mary is the expression of a soul that is convinced that it is working according to law, and that the blessings of the Most High are being poured out upon it.
Mary's Song of Praise
1:46 Mary said,
"My soul magnifies the Lord.1
1:47 My spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior,
1:48 for he has looked at the humble state of his handmaid.
For behold, from now on, all generations will call me blessed.
1:49 For he who is mighty has done great things for me.
Holy is his name.
1:50 His mercy is for generations of generations on those who fear him.
1:51 He has shown strength with his arm.
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their heart.
1:52 He has put down princes from their thrones.
And has exalted the lowly.
1:53 He has filled the hungry with good things.
He has sent the rich away empty.
1:54 He has given help to Israel, his servant, that he might remember mercy,
1:55 As he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and his seed forever."
1:56 Mary stayed with her about three months, and then returned to her house.
- My soul magnifies the Lord. The creative faculty of imagination. We habitually exercise this faculty either consciously or unconsciously. Imagination makes the soul the fertile side of our nature, out of which spring the issues of life. The soul has power to magnify whatever enters it. Since it is the seat of the emotions, which control man’s happiness, it is important that we learn to magnify only that which is good and wholesome. It magnifies whatever is held in the conscious mind. In sense consciousness the soul magnifies trouble, disaster, and other negative thoughts, taking the good as a matter of course and leaving it to pass unacknowledged. In higher levels of consciousness the soul magnifies the good.
The Birth of John the Baptist
1:57 Now the time that Elizabeth should give birth was fulfilled, and she brought forth a son.1 1:58 Her neighbors and her relatives heard that the Lord had magnified his mercy towards her, and they rejoiced with her. 1:59 It happened on the eighth day, that they came to circumcise the child; and they would have called him Zacharias, after the name of the father. 1:60 His mother answered,2 "Not so; but he will be called John."
1:61 They said to her, "There is no one among your relatives who is called by this name." 1:62 They made signs to his father, what he would have him called.
1:63 He asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, "His name is John."3
They all marveled. 1:64 His mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue freed, and he spoke, blessing God. 1:65 Fear came on all who lived around them, and all these sayings were talked about throughout all the hill country of Judea. 1:66 All who heard them laid them up in their heart, saying, "What then will this child be?"4 The hand of the Lord was with him.
- she brought forth a son. The fruit of spiritual consciousness in the innocent soul is a new idea, or outward expression, of grace and mercy. The new concept of grace and mercy frees the consciousness from undesirable thoughts habits, and the soul overflows with joy. This freeing thought has come from one’s own mind; it is one’s own son.
- And his mother answered. The first thought is that the offspring of wisdom and love (Zacharias and Elisabeth) should be, like the father, an exponent of the divine law only, but mother love (Elisabeth) determines that John, meaning grace and mercy, shall be the dominant characteristic of their offspring.
- His name is John. Deep in the soul is the conviction that a special function of Spirit performs the work of preparing us to free ourself from the clutch of sense. As long as we labor under a burden of condemnation, either that of our own conscience or the external censure of others, the way to achieve freedom is not open to us. Only when we perceive the truth that grace and mercy are included in the divine law as a very integral part of it do we find the voice of praise and blessing in our own heart. So the forerunner of freedom is the knowledge that grace and mercy are inalienable from the divine law, “His name is John.”
- What then shall this child be? “And fear came on all that dwelt round about them” does not necessarily mean a state of dread or anxiety in the mind. It means rather a consciousness of an idea not fully understood, but so all-pervading and so tenacious as to be instinctive. The understanding that grace and mercy are inseparable from the redeeming action of the higher law opens up a realm of boundless expectation. “What then shall this child be?”
1:67 His father, Zacharias, was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied,1 saying,
1:68 "Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
for he has visited and worked redemption2 for his people;
1:69 and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David
1:70 (as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets who have been from of old),
1:71 salvation from our enemies, and from the hand of all who hate us;
1:72 to show mercy towards our fathers,
to remember his holy covenant,
1:73 the oath which he spoke to Abraham, our father,
1:74 to grant to us that we, being delivered out of the hand of our enemies,
should serve him without fear,
1:75 In holiness and righteousness before him all the days of our life.
1:76 And you, child, will be called a prophet3 of the Most High,
for you will go before the face of the Lord to make ready his ways,
1:77 to give knowledge of salvation4 to his people by the remission of their sins,
1:78 because of the tender mercy of our God,
whereby the dawn from on high will visit us,
1:79 to shine on those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death;
to guide our feet into the way of peace."
1:80 The child was growing, and becoming strong in spirit, and was in the desert until the day of his public appearance to Israel.
- and prophesied. Zacharias, symbolizing a prophetic state of consciousness has here received the inspiration of Spirit according to his understanding of law and is here imparting that prophecy to all responding thoughts in consciousness.
- Redemption. The “redemption” that the exaltation of reality brings is a quickening of the Christ concept in the heart. The expression of this concept leads to the establishing of peace among people of good will. It is the duty of everyone whose vision of the kingdom of heaven is a vision of the heart transformed. This transformation cannot take place in a heart that is disturbed or in a state of unrest.
- you, child, will be called a prophet. Is it possible for us to become our own prophet? Yes. As we learn to recognize causes and relate them to their effects we can tell what will follow the setting in motion of a cause. We can, by our own efforts, develop clearer understanding. The desire and the will to do right brings enlightenment. The “sun of righteousness” makes the way clear to those who habitually walk by it’s light.
- knowledge of salvation. The Son of God was born under the law “that is not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; then that which is spiritual.” Evolution from sense to Spirit is under law, otherwise the command “Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind” would be meaningless. Perfection creates after its kind, sometimes immediately, at other times by a gradual process; but in every case the divine will is that the race with its individuals shall “receive the adoption of sons.”
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Rev. Mark Hicks
The Birth of Jesus
2:1 Now it happened in those days, that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus1 that all the world should be enrolled.2 2:2 This was the first enrollment made when Quirinius3 was governor of Syria. 2:3 All went to enroll themselves, everyone to his own city. 2:4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David; 2:5 to enroll himself with Mary,4 who was pledged to be married to him as wife, being pregnant.
2:6 It happened, while they were there, that the day had come that she should give birth.5 2:7 She brought forth her firstborn son, and she wrapped him in bands of cloth,6 and laid him in a feeding trough7, because there was no room for them in the inn.
- decree from Caesar Augustus. It represents the arbitrary action of the will, ruling in selfishness and directed by human reason, to exercise domination over all the thoughts.
- all the world should be enrolled. Despite the intention of Caesar, the enrollment was in the Christ consciousness—The expression of good will under the guidance of enlightened reason and understanding.
- Quirinius. The name means “armed peace,” and Quirinius signifies the ruling power in the egotistic, purely intellectual thought. The imposing of the will of the intellect on all people leads to recognition of the rule of force. The world believes that peace can be maintained only by military force. The state of armed peace now existing in the world is proof of the failure of this conception to bring real peace.
- Joseph, Mary. Joseph and Mary represent wisdom and love, which have been ideas in mind, but are now to bring forth a manifestation in substance.
- and she gave birth. The birth of the Christ takes place in the individual soul when the soul awakens to a realization of the truth that life is spiritual, not material. The Christ is the divine-idea human.
- and wrapped him in bands of cloth (swaddling clothes). Swaddling clothes were bands of cloth in which it was customary to wrap young children. These swaddling clothes represent the confinement to the limitations of the physical nature (“manger”) of this first emanation of Divine Life, “there being no room for them in the inn” (outer consciousness).
- and laid him in a feeding trough (manger). A manger represents the animal life of the body in which the new life is first manifested. In humans this is the stomach. The inn represents the outer consciousness of spiritual things which cannot conceive, or give room to such an insignificant beginning of the great spiritual development of the soul. The instinct of the soul to express the life of God (the infant Jesus) enters into even the animal life and occupies it.
The Shepherds and the Angels
2:8 There were shepherds in the same country staying in the field, and keeping watch by night over their flock.1 2:9 Behold, an angel of the Lord2 stood by them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 2:10 The angel said to them, "Don't be afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be to all the people. 2:11 For there is born to you, this day,3 in the city of David,4 a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.5 2:12 This is the sign to you:6 you will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth, lying in a feeding trough." 2:13 Suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army praising God, and saying,
2:14 "Glory to God in the highest,
on earth peace, good will toward men."7
2:15 It happened, when the angels went away from them into the sky, that the shepherds said one to another, "Let's go to Bethlehem, now, and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us." 2:16 They came with haste, and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby was lying in the feeding trough. 2:17 When they saw it, they publicized widely the saying which was spoken to them about this child. 2:18 All who heard it wondered at the things which were spoken to them by the shepherds. 2:19 But Mary kept all these sayings, pondering them in her heart.8 2:20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God9 for all the things that they had heard and seen, just as it was told them.
- shepherds, flocks, by night. The flocks represent the divine natural forces in the subconscious, which are under the divine law of protection (shepherds), but obscure (night) to outer consciousness. Vigilance in watching our flocks (thoughts) makes us receptive to the spiritual side of existence. As the shepherds in Oriental countries have a name for every sheep, which is trained to come and go at command, so we should be familiar with our thoughts, and discipline them so thoroughly that they will be obedient to us when we send forth our desire. This familiarity with our mental realm leads to an acquaintance with the character, and gives one an opportunity to strengthen the weak points and transform the undesirable tendencies. It thus clears up and harmonizes the soul so that it is receptive to divine ideas.
- an angel of the Lord. Angels are the thoughts in Divine Mind expressed to do a specific work. Christ is the sum total of the ideas of Divine Mind incarnating in man, while the angels are special thoughts expressed by Divine Mind, working in purity and untainted by matter or material limitations.
- there is born to you this day. The spiritual birth of the Christ.
- city of David. The City of David is Bethlehem, which means “house of bread”, metaphysically, the substance center in our consciousness.
- who is Christ the Lord. “Christ” signifies our divinity or our higher self born or realized in consciousness. God’s idea of a perfect human being has always existed. It was before Adam, before David, and before Jesus. As Jesus explained in Matthew 22:41-45.
- And this is the sign to you: The physical birth of Jesus, a sign of the spiritual birth of Christ.“Jesus” signifies the Child who was brought into the manifest world.
- on earth peace, good will toward men. The proclamation of peace on earth by the heavenly host symbolizes the calling together of a great multitude of angelic thoughts praising God and giving thanks for the great demonstration. The higher or heavenly realms of consciousness praise God for this evidence in the body (or earth) of a force that will restore peace and harmony.
- But Mary kept all these sayings, pondering them in her heart. Mary represents the mother principle of the soul; by subjective thought and mediation the mother principle (Mary) builds the manifestation of the new realization of life (body of the babe).
- And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God. The shepherds’ return represents the spirit of devotion and praise, which should continue to exalt to spiritual consciousness all things that have been externally perceived.
Jesus Is Named
2:21 When eight days were fulfilled for the circumcision1 of the child, his name was called Jesus, which was given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
- circumcision. symbolical of the cutting off of mortal tendencies, and is indicative of purification and cleanliness. Under the law of Jesus Christ, circumcision is fulfilled in its spiritual meaning—the purification of the individual from the law of sin and death. We are circumcised in the true inner significance of the word only by being thoroughly purified in soul. Then the glory of the inner soul cleansing and purifying works out into the outer consciousness and the body and sets us free from all sensual, corruptible thoughts and activities. Thus we manifest wholeness and perfection throughout our being.
Jesus Is Presented in the Temple
2:22 When the days of their purification according to the law of Moses were fulfilled, they brought him up to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord 2:23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord"), 2:24 and to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, "A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons."
2:25 Behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon.1 This man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him.2 2:26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. 2:27 He came in the Spirit into the temple. When the parents brought in the child, Jesus, that they might do concerning him according to the custom of the law, 2:28 then he received him into his arms, and blessed God, and said,
2:29 "Now you are releasing your servant, Master,
according to your word, in peace;
2:30 for my eyes have seen your salvation,
2:31 which you have prepared before the face of all peoples;
2:32 a light for revelation to the nations,
and the glory of your people Israel."
2:33 Joseph and his mother were marveling at the things which were spoken concerning him, 2:34 and Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary, his mother, "Behold, this child is set for the falling and the rising of many in Israel,3 and for a sign which is spoken against. 2:35 Yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed."
2:36 There was one Anna,4 a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher (she was of a great age, having lived with a husband seven years from her virginity, 2:37 and she had been a widow for about eighty-four years), who didn't depart from the temple, worshipping with fastings and petitions night and day. 2:38 Coming up at that very hour, she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of him to all those who were looking for redemption in Jerusalem.
- Simeon. Simeon means “one who listens and obeys”. The listening faculty of mind shows itself in the devout Christian as the mental state that looks for and expects spiritual guidance and instruction direct from God. Its meaning may be summed up in the word obedient.
- and the Holy Spirit was on him. One who believes that God communes with us, and who opens the way to such communion by being obedient to every hint received in visions, or dreams, or from the “still small voice,” is guided by the Holy Spirit.
- the falling and the rising of many in Israel. Those who experience birth into the Christ consciousness find it necessary to readjust their religious convictions in many respects, discarding those which are no longer convincing in the light of spiritual understanding, and embracing instead ideas that are new to them but compelling in their reasonableness.
- Anna. Anna, the prophetess, who had long been a worshiper in the Temple, represents a certain conservation of spiritual life that has been built up by devotion and faithfulness. This spiritual life is transmitted through many incarnations as an inheritance of the soul and is of great importance in forming the Christ body. Nothing is lost in the evolution of the soul.
The Return to Galilee
2:39 When they had accomplished all things that were according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee,1 to their own city, Nazareth. 2:40 The child was growing, and was becoming strong in spirit, being filled with wisdom,2 and the grace of God was upon him. 2:41 His parents went every year to Jerusalem at the feast of the Passover.
- returned into Galilee. When the conscious and subconscious minds (Joseph and Mary) have united in carrying into effect in the body (temple) the freeing power of Spirit (all things that were according to the law of the Lord”), the mind comes down from its state of high exaltation and resumes the practical trend of everyday affairs (“they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth”). Galilee means “circuit,” and in this connection means that the normal round of life was again resumed.
- waxed strong, filled with wisdom. As we consciously dwell upon the thought of the Christ Spirit within and submit ourself to it as our guiding principle, we grow in spiritual strength and gain true wisdom.
The Boy Jesus in the Temple
2:42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast, 2:43 and when they had fulfilled the days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. Joseph and his mother didn't know it, 2:44 but supposing him to be in the company, they went a day's journey, and they looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances. 2:45 When they didn't find him,1 they returned to Jerusalem, looking for him. 2:46 It happened after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them, and asking them questions. 2:47 All who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. 2:48 When they saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us this way? Behold, your father and I were anxiously looking for you."
2:49 He said to them, "Why were you looking for me? Didn't you know that I must be in my Father's house?" 2:50 They didn't understand the saying which he spoke to them. 2:51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth. He was subject to them, and his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
- didn't find him. Mary and Joseph thought that the boy Jesus was lost, and all of us have gone through this, when our thinking and feeling nature, Mary and Joseph, thought that the boy Jesus was lost. All of us have gone through this when our thinking and feeling nature, Mary and Joseph, thought that they had lost their spiritual awareness, but it is not lost. We can lose sight of it, but even when spiritual awareness is not working or functioning through us on the level of conscious awareness, it is in the temple about our Father's business, nevertheless; so do not ever think you can lose your spiritual awareness. Ed Rabel. New Testament Lectures, the Childhood of Jesus.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Rev. Mark Hicks.
World English Bible Footnotes:
John Proclaims Truth1
3:1 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, 3:2 in the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God2 came to John, the son of Zacharias, in the wilderness.3 3:3 He came into all the region around the Jordan,4 preaching the baptism of repentance5 for remission of sins. 3:4 As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet,
"The voice of one crying in the wilderness,
'Make ready the way of the Lord.
Make his paths straight.
3:5 Every valley will be filled.
Every mountain and hill will be brought low.
The crooked will become straight,
and the rough ways smooth.
3:6 All flesh will see God's salvation.'"6
3:7 He said therefore to the multitudes who went out to be baptized by him, "You offspring of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath7 to come? 3:8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance,8 and don't begin to say among yourselves, 'We have Abraham for our father;' for I tell you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones! 3:9 Even now the axe also lies at the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that doesn't bring forth good fruit is cut down, and thrown into the fire."
3:10 The multitudes asked him, "What then must we do?"
3:11 He answered them, "He who has two coats, let him give to him who has none. He who has food, let him do likewise."
3:12 Tax collectors9 also came to be baptized, and they said to him, "Teacher, what must we do?"
3:13 He said to them, "Collect no more than that which is appointed to you."
3:14 Soldiers10 also asked him, saying, "What about us? What must we do?"
He said to them, "Extort from no one by violence, neither accuse anyone wrongfully. Be content with your wages."
3:15 As the people were in expectation, and all men reasoned in their hearts concerning John, whether perhaps he was the Christ, 3:16 John answered them all, "I indeed baptize you with water, but he comes who is mightier than I,11 the latchet of whose sandals I am not worthy to loosen. He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and fire, 3:17 whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly cleanse his threshing floor, and will gather the wheat into his barn; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."12
3:18 Then with many other exhortations he preached good news to the people, 3:19 but Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias, his brother's wife, and for all the evil things which Herod had done, 3:20 added this also to them all, that he shut up John in prison.
- See Matthew 3:1–12; 14:3–4; Mark 1:2–8; Mark 6:17–18.
- word of God. The Word of God is the divine Logos, God in His capacity as creative power, and includes all the potentialities of Being. It is the idea of God, the image and likeness of God, spiritual man. In it are all the possibilities, all the qualities, of God. (MBD/word)
- wilderness. The wilderness represents in individual consciousness the multitude of undisciplined and uncultivated thoughts. (MBD/wilderness)
- came into all the region around the Jordan. The name Jordan means “flowing of judgment” and represents the place in consciousness where we are willing to meet the result of our thoughts face to face. In this consciousness, zeal for the rule of Spirit or the principle that makes us desire to do right (John) accomplishes its best work.
- preaching the baptism of repentance for remission of sins. The word translated “baptism” could have been better expressed as “immersion”: the submerging of the whole mind into an enveloping spiritual atmosphere, which, when it is recognized, cleanses and purifies all the thoughts.
- All flesh will see God's salvation. By the salvation of God is meant the power of the Infinite to change or transform imperfect forms of expression so that they may develop into perfection. All flesh, all humankind and every human's entire nature as an individual, is capable of advancing in spiritual consciousness and expressing greater degrees of perfection.
- wrath. The "wrath of God" is really the working out of the law of Being destructively or inharmoniously for the individual who does not conform to the law but thinks and acts in opposition to it. (MBD/wrath)
- repentance. To repent is, in the original Greek, to "change your mind." (RW/repentance)
- tax collectors (ASV, publicans). The publicans represent the selfish thoughts.
- soldiers. The soldiers represent the thoughts by which we demand our rights and try to enforce them by violence.
- he comes who is mightier than I. The intellect asserts authority in its domain, but when it is spiritually illumined, it recognizes its limitations and yields to the supreme authority of the Christ.
- he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. The white heat of divine wisdom destroys all ignorance and folly in the heart of man, when he is filled with the Spirit of the Christ.
Jesus’ Consciousness is Spiritualized1
3:21 Now it happened, when all the people were baptized,2 Jesus also had been baptized, and was praying. The sky was opened, 3:22 and the Holy Spirit descended in a bodily form as a dove3 on him; and a voice came out of the sky, saying "You are my beloved Son. In you I am well pleased."4
- See Matthew 3:13–17; Mark 1:9–11.
- baptized. The spiritual cleansing of the mind. Typifies the cleansing power and work of Spirit that redeems men from sin. It is the first step in the realization of Truth. When the baptizing power of the word is poured on a center in consciousness, it dissolves all material thought, and through this cleansing, purifying process, the individual is prepared to see and to discern spiritually. (RW/baptism)
- Dove. Symbolizes peace of mind and confidence in divine law. The dove is nonresistant. In this state of consciousness we rest in Spirit. (RW/dove)
- You are my beloved Son. In you I am well pleased. When Jesus dedicated Himself to His God-given ministry, the dedication was followed not only by the descent of the Holy Spirit, but also by the message of divine approval. In like manner, as we dedicate ourselves to God's service and are ready and willing to follow His directions, we also become aware of divine approval. (Herbert Hunt, Jesus Prepares for His Ministry.)
From Adamic Consciousness to the Christ1
3:23 Jesus himself, when he began to teach, was about thirty years old, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli, 3:24 the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, 3:25 the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, 3:26 the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Joseph, the son of Judah, 3:27 the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, 3:28 the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmodam, the son of Er, 3:29 the son of Jose, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, 3:30 the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonan, the son of Eliakim, 3:31 the son of Melea, the son of Menan, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David, 3:32 the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon, 3:33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Aram, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, 3:34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, 3:35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, 3:36 the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 3:37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan, 3:38 the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.2
- See Matthew 1:1–17. Nearly all these names are identified in the Metaphysical Bible Dictionary.
- the son of God. This is not so much a genealogy of Jesus as it is of the Christ of Jesus. Note that the final sentence does not say Son of Man. Rather it says Son of God. That is because “Jesus represents God’s idea of man in expression (Son of man); Christ is that idea in the absolute (Son of God). The Christ is the man that God created in His image and likeness, the perfect-idea man, and is the real self of all men.” (MBD/Son of God).
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by: Rev. Michelle Vargas.
World English Bible Footnotes:
Jesus Overcomes Sense Consciousness1
4:1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit,2 returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness3 4:2 for forty days, being tempted4 by the devil.5 He ate nothing in those days. Afterward, when they were completed, he was hungry.6 4:3 The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread."7
4:4 Jesus answered him, saying, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.'"
4:5 The devil, leading him up on a high mountain, showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 4:6 The devil said to him, "I will give you all this authority, and their glory, for it has been delivered to me; and I give it to whomever I want. 4:7 If you therefore will worship before me, it will all be yours."8
4:8 Jesus answered him, "Get behind me Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God, and you shall serve him only.'"
4:9 He led him to Jerusalem, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, cast yourself down9 from here, 4:10 for it is written,
'He will put his angels in charge of you, to guard you;'
'On their hands they will bear you up,
lest perhaps you dash your foot against a stone.'"
4:12 Jesus answering, said to him, "It has been said, 'You shall not tempt the Lord your God.'"
4:13 When the devil had completed every temptation, he departed from him until another time.
- See Matthew 4:1–11; Mark 1:12–13
- Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the abiding presence of God in, through, and around us.
- wilderness. It is the soul experience wherein the undisciplined mind undergoes Spiritual discipline.
- being tempted. Jesus’ temptations in the wilderness symbolize the dominant attractions of sense consciousness that the developing soul has to meet.
- devil. The Devil is the mass of adverse thoughts that have been built up in our consciousness through many generations of earthly experience and crystallized into what is termed the personal consciousness or carnal mind.
- he was hungry. When we are intensely preoccupied with clarifying our spiritual understanding, we are scarcely conscious of the demands of the sense nature. Jesus was so absorbed in meditation and prayer that He did not feel hunger. After the forty days were completed, he hungered.
- command this stone to become bread. Jesus' temptation to turn a stone into bread symbolizes our attempt to satisfy with materiality, the hunger of our soul for Spirit.
- it will all be yours. Jesus’ second temptation is symbolical of our desire to dominate people personally, to rule the world.
- cast yourself down from here. The temptation to make a display of our power before others is a common one, but to yield to it puts us at the mercy of the personal consciousness in a most undesirable fashion.
Jesus Begins His Ministry in Galilee
4:14 Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee,1 and news about him spread through all the surrounding area. 4:15 He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.
- Galilee. Energy of life; life activity; soul energy; power, force, energy, acting in conjunction with substance.
Truth Releases and Makes Whole1
4:16 He came to Nazareth,2 where he had been brought up. He entered, as was his custom, into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. 4:17 The book of the prophet Isaiah3 was handed to him. He opened the book, and found the place where it was written,
4:18 "The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted,
to proclaim release to the captives,
recovering of sight to the blind,
to deliver those who are crushed,
4:19 and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord."4
4:20 He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fastened on him. 4:21 He began to tell them, "Today, this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing."5
4:22 All testified about him, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth, and they said, "Isn't this Joseph's son?"
4:23 He said to them, "Doubtless you will tell me this parable, 'Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we have heard done at Capernaum, do also here in your hometown.'" 4:24 He said, "Most certainly I tell you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown.6 4:25 But truly I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the sky was shut up three years and six months, when a great famine came over all the land. 4:26 Elijah was sent to none of them, except to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. 4:27 There were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed,7 except Naaman, the Syrian."
4:28 They were all filled with wrath8 in the synagogue, as they heard these things. 4:29 They rose up, threw him out of the city, and led him to the brow of the hill that their city was built on, that they might throw him off the cliff. 4:30 But he, passing through the midst of them, went his way.
- See Matthew 13:53–58; Mark 6:1–6a.
- Nazareth. Nazareth represents the commonplace, the everyday things of life. The town of Nazareth, the home of Jesus, was a village of no distinction, evidently inferior in every way.
- Isaiah. Isaiah represents that in us which discerns the reality, or the real character, of spiritual human, and which fearlessly proclaims it.
- the acceptable year of the Lord. Jesus felt the quickening of the Spirit within, and accepted the prophecy of greater things, regardless of poor environment. He proclaimed his mission to be the freeing of those in bondage to the thought of inferiority.
- this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing. In Spirit all things are now fulfilled, and those who are spiritually quickened proclaim this truth regardless of appearances to the contrary. Pray believing that you have received, and you shall receive.
- no prophet is acceptable in his hometown. The familiar acquaintance from childhood tends to emphasize personality, obscures our real Self and detracts from faith in Self.
- yet not one of them was cleansed. Not everyone receives the benefits of God's abundance and healing power because many of us do not comply with the conditions laid down. In order to be heard by Spirit and to touch the substance and life of Spirit, we must have faith in spiritual things. To our faith we must add understanding.
- They were all filled with wrath. Those who are still in mortal consciousness are not always lenient in their judgment of a prophet, especially when he tells them an unwelcome truth.
Jesus Casts Out Error Consciousness1
4:31 He came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee. He was teaching them on the Sabbath day, 4:32 and they were astonished at his teaching, for his word was with authority. 4:33 In the synagogue there was a man who had a spirit of an unclean demon,2 and he cried out with a loud voice, 4:34 saying, "Ah! what have we to do with you, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know you who you are: the Holy One of God!"
4:35 Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be silent, and come out of him!" When the demon had thrown him down in their midst, he came out of him, having done him no harm.
4:36 Amazement came on all, and they spoke together, one with another, saying, "What is this word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out!" 4:37 News about him went out into every place of the surrounding region.
Jesus Heals Many with Spiritual Truth1
4:38 He rose up from the synagogue, and entered into Simon's house. Simon's mother-in-law was afflicted with a great fever, and they begged him for her. 4:39 He stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her. Immediately she rose up and served them.2
4:40 When the sun was setting, all those who had any sick with various diseases brought them to him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them.3 4:41 Demons also came out from many, crying out, and saying, "You are the Christ, the Son of God!" Rebuking them, he didn't allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ.
- See Matthew 8:14–17; 4.23; Mark 1:29–39.
- served them. Simon's mother-in-law rose immediately and went about her work, when Jesus denied the power of fever to hold her.
- and healed them. The real healing of the human body is based upon the understanding that we are Spirit-Mind, and always healthy at our spiritual source. Jesus knew the law of faith, and the power of the word to open the consciousness to the influx of Spirit-Mind. That power of the Highest heals all diseases, both of soul and of body. When faith is sufficiently strong to dissolve all adverse obsessions and to open the mind fully to the power of God, healing is instantaneous.
Jesus Preaches the Good News of Truth
4:42 When it was day, he departed and went into an uninhabited place, and the multitudes looked for him, and came to him, and held on to him, so that he wouldn't go away from them. 4:43 But he said to them, "I must preach the good news of the Kingdom of God1 to the other cities also. For this reason I have been sent." 4:44 He was preaching in the synagogues of Galilee.
- kingdom of God. The Christ consciousness, kingdom of heaven. The kingdom of heaven is the realm of divine ideas, producing their expression, perfect harmony. It is within each of us. (RW/kingdom)
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by: Rev. Michelle Vargas.
World English Bible Footnotes:
Jesus Calls Forth the Powers of Hearing, Judgment, and Love1
5:1 Now it happened, while the multitude pressed on him and heard the word of God, that he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret.2 5:2 He saw two boats standing by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them, and were washing their nets.3 5:3 He entered into one of the boats, which was Simon's,4 and asked him to put out a little from the land. He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. 5:4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into the deep,5 and let down your nets for a catch."6
5:5 Simon answered him, "Master, we worked all night, and took nothing; but at your word I will let down the net." 5:6 When they had done this, they caught a great multitude of fish, and their net was breaking. 5:7 They beckoned to their partners in the other boat, that they should come and help them. They came, and filled both boats, so that they began to sink. 5:8 But Simon Peter, when he saw it, fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, Lord." 5:9 For he was amazed, and all who were with him, at the catch of fish which they had caught; 5:10 and so also were James7 and John,8 sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon.
Jesus said to Simon, "Don't be afraid. From now on you will be catching people alive." 5:11 When they had brought their boats to land, they left everything, and followed him. 5:12
- See Matthew 13:1–2; Matthew 4:18–22; Mark 4:1–2; Mark 1:16–20.
- Gennesaret. Gennesaret (valley of riches) represents the sea of divine life. The universal life principle unites us with all creation, both within and without the consciousness.
- nets. Fishermen represent gatherers of ideas in which there is great possibility of increase. The nets that gather these ideas are the traits of interest, attention, and application in the inquiring mind.
- Simon. Simeon (Simon) means one who listens and obeys. (MBD/Simon)
- put out a little into the deep. Many thoughts crowd the mind of the man in personal consciousness. To set them in order he employs a positive thought (a boat), and withdraws a little from personal things into the will of Spirit.
- for a catch. The I AM directs us to entrust ourself to the universal life principle (the deep) and through meditation and prayer so fix our interest and attention on this principle and so apply ourself to it in expectation of receiving new light, that we will fill our mind with new ideas.
- James. James the son of Zebedee is that disciple of Jesus Christ who represents the faculty of judgment in individual consciousness. (MBD/James)
- John. John represents the spiritual faculty of love. (MBD/John)
Jesus Cleanses a Man of His Error Thought1
It happened, while he was in one of the cities, behold, there was a man full of leprosy.2 When he saw Jesus, he fell on his face, and begged him, saying, "Lord, if you want to, you can make me clean."
5:13 He stretched out his hand, and touched him, saying, "I want to. Be made clean."
Immediately the leprosy left him.3 5:14 He commanded him to tell no one, "But go your way, and show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing according to what Moses commanded, for a testimony to them." 5:15 But the report concerning him spread much more, and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by him of their infirmities. 5:16 But he withdrew himself into the desert, and prayed.
- See Matthew 8:1–4; Mark 1:40–45.
- leprosy. [In this context, leprosy may represent our error consciousness or error thoughts (otherwise known as “sin”) and how they eat away at our lives. The leper asked Jesus to make him clean, and he was awakened to Truth when Jesus touched him.]
- the leprosy left him. There is no record that any precautions were taken by Jesus Christ to avoid infection when He was engaged in healing the sick. He was without fear of evil, because He acknowledged only the power of the Highest, which is good.
Jesus Removes the Burden of Error Consciousness from the Paralyzed Man1
5:17 It happened on one of those days, that he was teaching; and there were Pharisees2 and teachers of the law sitting by, who had come out of every village of Galilee, Judea, and Jerusalem. The power of the Lord was with him to heal3 them. 5:18 Behold, men brought a paralyzed man4 on a cot, and they sought to bring him in to lay before Jesus.5 5:19 Not finding a way to bring him in because of the multitude, they went up to the housetop, and let him down through the tiles with his cot into the midst before Jesus. 5:20 Seeing their faith, he said to him, "Man, your sins6 are forgiven you."
5:21 The scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, "Who is this that speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?"
5:22 But Jesus, perceiving their thoughts, answered them, "Why are you reasoning so in your hearts? 5:23 Which is easier to say, 'Your sins are forgiven you;' or to say, 'Arise and walk?' 5:24 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins" (he said to the paralyzed man), "I tell you, arise, and take up your cot, and go to your house."
5:25 Immediately he rose up before them, and took up that which he was laying on, and departed to his house, glorifying God.7 5:26 Amazement took hold on all, and they glorified God. They were filled with fear, saying, "We have seen strange things today."
- See Matthew 9:1–8; Mark 2:1–12.
- Pharisees. In individual consciousness Pharisees represent thoughts that arise out of the subconsciousness, binding us to external forms of religion without giving us understanding of their real meaning. (MBD/Pharisees)
- heal. To bring forth the perfect Christ human that exists within each of us. (RW/heal) See also RW/healing
- paralyzed man. The paralyzed man represents one who has sinned against divine order and cut off the free flow of life in his body.
- before Jesus. The attention should be centered at the highest point in consciousness, the housetop, and then let down into the body.
- sins. The word, sin, which comes from the Greek, means missing the goal.
- glorifying God. The realization of the perfection of human beings, as idealized by Divine Mind, will overcome all error and all bodily sickness.
Jesus Calls Forth the Power of Will1
5:27 After these things he went out, and saw a tax collector named Levi2 sitting at the tax office, and said to him, "Follow me!"
5:28 He left everything, and rose up and followed him.3 5:29 Levi made a great feast for him in his house. There was a great crowd of tax collectors and others who were reclining with them. 5:30 Their scribes and the Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, "Why do you eat and drink with the tax collectors and sinners?" 5:31 Jesus answered them, "Those who are healthy have no need for a physician, but those who are sick do. 5:32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
- See Matthew 9:9–13; Mark 2:13–17.
- Levi. Levi or Matthew represents the will. His calling is important, because until the will is disciplined and taught to work in conjunction with faith, love, and spiritual judgment, man cannot fully exert his authority and dominion.
- followed him. The appeal to come up higher or the call to spiritual living and selflessness is greater than any appeal to mere material success. When Jesus called Matthew, or Levi, to follow Him that disciple immediately left his work of collecting taxes or toll, and followed Jesus.
The Parable of the New Wineskins1
5:33 They said to him, "Why do John's disciples often fast and pray, likewise also the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours eat and drink?"2
5:34 He said to them, "Can you make the friends of the bridegroom fast, while the bridegroom is with them? 5:35 But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them. Then they will fast in those days." 5:36 He also told a parable to them. "No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old garment, or else he will tear the new, and also the piece from the new will not match the old. 5:37 No one puts new wine into old wineskins, or else the new wine will burst the skins, and it will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. 5:38 But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved. 5:39 No man having drunk old wine immediately desires new, for he says, 'The old is better.'"
- See Matthew 9:14–17; Mark 2:18–22.
- yours eat and drink. We overcome our secret sins not by ignoring them, but by uncovering and correcting them. Jesus sat down to eat with publicans and sinners not because sin appealed to Him, but because He wished to help those men and reclaim them to right ways of living. The word of Truth seeks to redeem those who are spiritually in darkness.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by: Rev. Michelle Vargas.
Jesus Teaches that People Are More Important than Laws1
6:1 Now it happened on the second Sabbath2 after the first, that he was going through the grain fields. His disciples plucked the heads of grain, and ate, rubbing them in their hands. 6:2 But some of the Pharisees said to them, "Why do you do that which is not lawful to do on the Sabbath day?"
6:3 Jesus, answering them, said, "Haven't you read what David3 did when he was hungry, he, and those who were with him; 6:4 how he entered into the house of God, and took and ate the show bread, and gave also to those who were with him, which is not lawful to eat except for the priests alone?" 6:5 He said to them, "The Son of Man4 is lord of the Sabbath."
- See Matthew 12:1–8; Mark 2:23–28.
- Sabbath. The Sabbath is a state of mind that we enter or acquire when we go into the silence of our own soul, into the realm of Spirit. There we find true rest and peace. (MBD/Sabbath)
- David. David is often referred to as a type of Christ. His life was a forerunner of that of the more perfect human being, Jesus Christ, who was of the house of David. (MBD/David)
- Son of Man. Jesus represents God's idea of man in expression (Son of man); Christ is that idea in the absolute (Son of God). The Christ is the man that God created in His image and likeness, the perfect-idea man, and is the real self of all men. (MBD/Son of Man)
For Those With A Physical Limitation1
6:6 It also happened on another Sabbath that he entered into the synagogue2 and taught. There was a man there, and his right hand3 was withered.4 6:7 The scribes5 and the Pharisees watched him, to see whether he would heal on the Sabbath, that they might find an accusation against him. 6:8 But he knew their thoughts; and he said to the man who had the withered hand, "Rise up, and stand in the middle." He arose and stood. 6:9 Then Jesus said to them, "I will ask you something: Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good, or to do harm? To save a life, or to kill?" 6:10 He looked around at them all, and said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He did, and his hand was restored as sound as the other. 6:11 But they were filled with rage, and talked with one another about what they might do to Jesus.
- See Matthew 12:9–14; Mark 3:1–6.
- synagogue. A Jewish synagogue was a little chapel, where any one could hear the law read out of the Hebrew Scriptures; or if he was a Rabbi he could read out of the law himself. There was a constant stream of people going and coming in the synagogue, and it fitly represents the mind of man, or the phase of man's mind that is given over to religious thought. In the new birth, or regeneration, the rebuilding of your consciousness begins in this synagogue or religious mentality. (MBD/synagogue)
- hand. Represents executive ability; the doing of things; outer or manual power. (RW/hand)
- was withered. James Dillet Freeman writes of Charles Fillmore: “He never accepted [his] withered leg as a handicap that he would have to put up with all the days of his life; he believed that his leg could be made whole and strong and perfect, and he worked in prayer to make it so. Those who knew him over a long period of time attest that as the years went by Charles’s leg responded to the faith of the man, for they saw it grow in strength and vigor; they saw him discard cane and braces; they saw the leg become more nearly like the other. Charles Fillmore practiced the prayer that he taught. (Household of Faith p.156)
- scribes. There is a faculty of the mind that receives and transcribes upon the tablets of memory every wave of thought that touches the consciousness, whether from the flesh or from Spirit. This faculty is Ezra the scribe; it may be exalted to a point where it will receive impressions from the spiritual side only. (MBD/scribes)
Jesus Gathers to Him All the Faculties of Humankind1
6:12 It happened in these days, that he went out to the mountain2 to pray, and he continued all night in prayer to God. 6:13 When it was day,3 he called his disciples,4 and from them he chose twelve, whom he also named apostles:5 6:14 Simon, whom he also named Peter;6 Andrew,7 his brother; James;8 John;9 Philip;10 Bartholomew;11 6:15 Matthew;12 Thomas;13 James, the son of Alphaeus; Simon, who was called the Zealot; 6:16 Judas the son of James; and Judas Iscariot, who also became a traitor.
- See Matthew 10:1–4; Mark 13–19.
- mountain. Exaltation, a high plane of consciousness, a state of spiritual realization. (MBD/mountain)
- when it was day, When prayer and meditation have calmed our mind sufficiently for us to see all the factors involved in a problem and to view them dispassionately.
- disciples. The disciples of Jesus represent, in mind analysis, the faculties. After one has been illumined by Truth, one desires to express it, to go forth in its ministry. This does not necessarily imply that all secular employment should be abandoned, but it does imply that the mind should make the dissemination of Truth the most important object of life. The various faculties of the mind have been occupied almost wholly in secular ways; now they are to be turned to spiritual ways. (MBD/disciples) Through the I AM anyone may identify with faith, strength, wisdom, love, zeal, and the other faculties that characterize the well-rounded character, and by recognizing and using, them consciously may express them more fully. (MBI/Luke 6:12-26, February 22, 1942)
- apostles. Those sent forth; messengers; ambassadors; active spiritual thoughts. Jesus conferred this title on the Twelve whom He sent forth to teach and to heal. (RW/apostles)
- Simon, whom he also named Peter. Simon (hearing), signifying his receptivity and ability to discern Truth, was changed by Jesus to Peter, or Cephas, which is the Greek for the word rock. This represents faith in God, strong, unwavering, and enduring. This faith ... is one of the first spiritual faculties to be called into expression by every one who would follow Jesus in the overcoming life. (MBD/Peter)
- Andrew. The strength of the mind that is rejoiced greatly when it finds the inexhaustible Source of all strength. Andrew symbolizes the strength, while Simon Peter symbolizes the faith capacity, of the mind. When strength finds faith, and they are brothers consciously in the mind, a bond of unity is established that carries one along, even though one may encounter the most adverse experiences. (MBD/Andrew)
- James. James the son of Zebedee is that disciple of Jesus Christ who represents the faculty of judgment in individual consciousness. We also call this faculty justice, discrimination; it is that quality in us which carefully weighs a question and draws a conclusion. (MBD/James)
- John. The apostle John represents the spiritual faculty of love. He is known as the disciple whom Jesus loved, and love is the dominant theme of all his teachings and writings. (MBD/John)
- Philip. The power faculty in humans. Philip means a lover of horses. He represents the faculty in us that, through love, masters the vital forces; hence we identify Philip as power. (MBD/Philip)
- Bartholomew. The faculty of imagination. (MBD/Bartholomew)
- Matthew. The will faculty in us. The will always enters into our decisions and the will makes the final choice to give up all and follow Jesus. The surrendering of the old ideas and conditions so that the greater increase of good may come into one's life is based on Matthew because Matthew represents the will. (MBD/Matthew)
- Thomas. The disciple of Jesus Christ who represents the understanding faculty in us. Understanding and will function, or should function, in unison. (MBD/Thomas)
Praise, Peace and Healing1
6:17 He came down with them, and stood on a level place, with a crowd of his disciples, and a great number of the people from all Judea and Jerusalem,2 and the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; 6:18 as well as those who were troubled by unclean spirits, and they were being healed.3 6:19 All the multitude sought to touch him, for power came out from him and healed them all.
- See Matthew 4:23-25.
- Judea and Jerusalem, Judea means “the praise of Jehovah.” This then is a key to the mental attitude in which the Christ consciousness will be opened to us–while we are praising the Lord. (MBD/Judaea) Jerusalem means habitation of peace. It is our abiding consciousness of spiritual peace, which is the result of continuous realizations of spiritual power tempered with spiritual poise and confidence. (MBD/Jerusalem)
- and they were being healed. The first step in all spiritual healing is to believe, and the next step is openness and receptivity to the stream of healing life. Through the exercise of faith and our words, our spiritual quality is fused into unity with the power of Christ and the work is marvelously accomplished. (RW/healing)
Happiness, Conditions and Consciousness1
6:20 He lifted up2 his eyes to his disciples, and said,
"Blessed are you who are poor,3
for yours is the Kingdom of God.
6:21 Blessed are you who hunger now,4
for you will be filled.
Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.
6:22 Blessed are you when men shall hate you, and when they shall exclude and mock you, and throw out your name as evil,5 for the Son of Man's sake.
6:23 Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven,6 for their fathers did the same thing to the prophets.
6:24 "But woe to you who are rich!7
For you have received your consolation.
6:25 Woe to you, you who are full now,
for you will be hungry.
Woe to you who laugh now,
for you will mourn and weep.8
6:26 Woe, when men speak well of you,
for their fathers did the same thing to the false prophets.
- See Matthew 5:1-12.
- lifted up. Lifted up in consciousness, resurrected. One who has discovered the Truth of Being is raised, lifted up in consciousness, resurrected daily out of their old, subconscious, negative thought condition into the one positive Reality. (RW/lifted up)
- poor. Those who have denied personal consciousness. They are poor in the spirit of selfishness, but rich in the Spirit of Christ. (RW/poor)
- Blessed are you who hunger now. Why are the hungry Blessed? Lack spurs us to seek supply, and “he that seeketh findeth.” We who discover the divine law of abundance are blessed, whatever the road by which we approaches it.
- evil. That which is not of God; unreality; error thought; a product of the fallen human consciousness; negation. (RW/evil)
- heaven. The kingdom of heaven, or of the heavens, is a state of consciousness in which the soul and the body are in harmony with Divine Mind. (MBD/heaven)
- woe to you who are rich! Why is woe pronounced upon those who know no lack and on those who are carefree and happy? A state of material well-being and absence of responsibility tend to make man conscious of externals only, so that he easily loses touch with the inner realm that is the real source of supply. When this occurs he soon falls again into the consciousness of lack and sorrow.
- mourn and weep. Grief causes one to seek comfort from the God of all comfort, and since all supply is in God the grief-stricken make contact with joy and gladness and need sorrow no more.
God Is Love, We Are Love1
6:27 "But I tell you who hear: love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 6:28 bless those who curse you, and pray for those who mistreat you. 6:29 To him who strikes you on the cheek, offer also the other; and from him who takes away your cloak, don't withhold your coat also. 6:30 Give to everyone2 who asks you, and don't ask him who takes away your goods to give them back again.
6:31 "As you would like people to do to you, do exactly so to them. 6:32 If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 6:33 If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 6:34 If you lend3 to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive back as much. 6:35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing back; and your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind toward the unthankful and evil.
6:36 Therefore be merciful,
even as your Father is also merciful.
- See Matthew 5:43-48. The Sermon on the Mount represents a high spiritual understanding, expressing the law of the absolute. After a certain restoring work is done in the individual his mind must be taught Truth. In this lesson we find the higher self impressing upon the consciousness the law of love, which includes nonresistance and one's living up to the ideals that one would hold for other persons. We can love our enemies and do good to them that hate us if we realize the truth that God is love, and that all persons are various degrees of God in manifestation. In the silence of our own soul, we quicken the consciousness of divine love and realize it throughout our being; then we pour out love upon the world. (MBI/Luke 6:27-42)
- Give to everyone. This verse is the essence of the Golden Rule, which many businessmen are seeking to carry out in the commercial world. It can be applied in every walk of life, and its effectiveness is being proved by those who use it.
- If you lend. We should give in the consciousness of God's inexhaustible resource. We should measure everything that we give out, whether in thought or in things, by the standard of divine bounty, for: “With what measure ye mete it shall be measured to you again.”
Focus On Our Own Consciousness1
6:37 Don't judge,
and you won't be judged.2
and you won't be condemned.
and you will be set free.
6:38 "Give, and it will be given to you:3 good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be given to you. For with the same measure you measure it will be measured back to you."
6:39 He spoke a parable to them. "Can the blind guide the blind? Won't they both fall into a pit? 6:40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. 6:41 Why do you see the speck of chaff that is in your brother's eye, but don't consider the beam that is in your own eye? 6:42 Or how can you tell your brother,4 'Brother, let me remove the speck of chaff that is in your eye,' when you yourself don't see the beam that is in your own eye? You hypocrite! First remove the beam from your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck of chaff that is in your brother's eye.
- See Matthew 7:1–5.
- Don't judge, and you won't be judged. Goodness is man's natural expression; thus, his true judgments are always good. His goodness can be expressed, however, only when he is set free from limited concepts of justice. Obedience to the eternal principle of Absolute Good, which includes the moral law (high principles of human conduct) lifts man into a higher state of consciousness than does just the obedience to the moral law alone, the interpretation of which is given through Moses. (Unity Correspondence School Course, Judgments and Justice)
- Give, and it will be given to you. "We are striving to educate the people on this question of giving and receiving, and show them that there is a Divine Law of equilibrium in matters financial, corresponding to the balance, poise and equilibrium that holds the suns and planets in space." Charles Fillmore, Tracts/Giving and Receiving.
- Or how can you tell your brother. Until man sees clearly, he cannot make himself or his ideas clear to another. The inner vision of what is true and abiding must be cleared up before man can understand either his own life purposes or the needs of his neighbor.
As Within, So Without1
6:43 For there is no good tree2 that brings forth rotten fruit; nor again a rotten tree that brings forth good fruit. 6:44 For each tree is known by its own fruit. For people don't gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. 6:45 The good man3 out of the good treasure of his heart brings out that which is good, and the evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings out that which is evil, for out of the abundance of the heart, his mouth speaks.
- See Matthew 7:15–20.
- tree. Trees represent nerves, and nerves are expressions of thoughts of unity; they connect thought centers. (MBD/tree)
- The good man. Good and evil impulses in the heart make their presence known in the outer life. Those who live a good life surrounds themselves with an atmosphere of goodness. Those whose subconscious life is evil impresses others as evil.
We Build Our Foundation in God1
6:46 "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and don't do the things which I say? 6:47 Everyone who comes to me, and hears my words, and does them, I will show you who he is like. 6:48 He is like a man2 building a house, who dug and went deep, and laid a foundation on the rock. When a flood arose, the stream broke against that house, and could not shake it, because it was founded on the rock. 6:49 But he who hears, and doesn't do,3 is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream broke, and immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great."
- See Matthew 7:24–27.
- He is like a man. Spiritual character is the rock-foundation of Being. Build yourself into God, and you will find yourself in heaven right here. Let go the little self and take hold of the Big Self. “Not my will, but thine be done.”
- But he who hears, and doesn’t do. Storms of fear, hate, strife, cowardice, and other negative waves of feeling that sweep over us cannot avail to overcome us if we have established ourselves in the consciousness of the Christ.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by: Rev. Michelle Vargas.
World English Bible Footnotes:
The Power of Expectancy1
7:1 After he had finished speaking in the hearing of the people, he entered into Capernaum.2 7:2 A certain centurion's3 servant, who was dear to him, was sick and at the point of death. 7:3 When he heard about Jesus, he sent to him elders of the Jews, asking him to come and save his servant. 7:4 When they came to Jesus, they begged him earnestly, saying, "He is worthy for you to do this for him, 7:5 for he loves our nation, and he built our synagogue for us." 7:6 Jesus went with them. When he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying to him, "Lord, don't trouble yourself, for I am not worthy for you to come under my roof. 7:7 Therefore I didn't even think myself worthy to come to you; but say the word, and my servant will be healed. 7:8 For I also am a man placed under authority, having under myself soldiers. I tell this one, 'Go!' and he goes;4 and to another, 'Come!' and he comes; and to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it."
7:9 When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turned and said to the multitude who followed him, "I tell you, I have not found such great faith,5 no, not in Israel." 7:10 Those who were sent, returning to the house, found that the servant who had been sick was well.
- See Matthew 8:5–13; John 4:46–54.
- Capernaum. Capernaum refers to 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 to harmony. (MBD/Capernaum)
- centurion. Metaphysically, the centurion represents the will, whose servant, the body, is sick. Sickness results from a person's failure to blend their will with the divine will. (MBI/Luke-7, November 17, 1940)
- I tell this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes. The centurion believed that Jesus could order about disease as he orders his soldiers: say to fever, palsy, Go! and it will go. Thus the intellect may not have faith in its own power to command disease, but its expectancy of power on a higher plane will call it into action. This is one of the peculiar laws of mind action, which is being proven everywhere by those who put it to the test. (MBI/Luke-7, April 15, 1906)
- great faith. The central truth of this lesson is spiritual man's dominion over disease and death. The foundation of this dominion is faith.
Inner Quickening Awakens the Soul To Newness Of Life
7:11 It happened soon afterwards, that he went to a city called Nain.1 Many of his disciples, along with a great multitude, went with him. 7:12 Now when he drew near to the gate of the city, behold, one who was dead was carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. Many people of the city were with her. 7:13 When the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said to her, "Don't cry." 7:14 He came near and touched the coffin, and the bearers stood still. He said, "Young man, I tell you, arise!"2 7:15 He who was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he gave him to his mother.
7:16 Fear took hold of all, and they glorified God, saying, "A great prophet has arisen among us!" and, "God has visited his people!" 7:17 This report went out concerning him in the whole of Judea, and in all the surrounding region.
- Nain. Nain means proper; suitable. Human beings are the proper and suitable dwelling place for and the expresser of life and Truth and substance and the ways of Truth are pleasant to the consecrated soul. When the individual recognizes the abidingness of Truth, and acts on it by means of his I AM (Jesus), an inner quickening takes place and he is awakened to a newness of life and youth throughout his being. This is indicated by Jesus’ raising the widow’s son to life.
- Young man, I tell you, arise! The raising of the widow’s son represents those who have quickened and made alive the sleeping consciousness of their own souls. (MBI/Luke-7, April 15, 1906)
The intellect is to prepare the way for the spiritual consciousness1
7:18 The disciples of John told him about all these things. 7:19 John, calling to himself two of his disciples, sent them to Jesus, saying, "Are you the one who is coming, or should we look for another?"2 7:20 When the men had come to him, they said, "John the Baptizer has sent us to you, saying, 'Are you he who comes, or should we look for another?'"
7:21 In that hour he cured many of diseases and plagues and evil spirits; and to many who were blind he gave sight. 7:22 Jesus answered them, "Go and tell John the things which you have seen and heard:3 that the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. 7:23 Blessed is he who is not offended by me."4
7:24 When John's messengers had departed, he began to tell the multitudes about John, "What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 7:25 But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft clothing? Behold, those who are gorgeously dressed, and live delicately, are in kings' courts. 7:26 But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and much more than a prophet. 7:27 This is he of whom it is written,
'Behold, I send my messenger before your face,
who will prepare your way before you.'5
7:28 "For I tell you, among those who are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptizer, yet he who is least in the Kingdom of God is greater than he."6
7:29 When all the people and the tax collectors heard this, they declared God to be just, having been baptized with John's baptism. 7:30 But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the counsel of God, not being baptized by him themselves.
7:31 "To what then will I liken the people of this generation? What are they like? 7:32 They are like children who sit in the marketplace, and call one to another, saying, 'We piped to you, and you didn't dance. We mourned, and you didn't weep.' 7:33 For John the Baptizer came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, 'He has a demon.' 7:34 The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, 'Behold, a gluttonous man, and a drunkard; a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' 7:35 Wisdom is justified by all her children."7
- See Matthew 11:2–19.
- Are you the one who is coming, or should we look for another? John the Baptist represents the intellect who is so preoccupied with condemning evil and sin that the person is unable to discern the activity of Christ. Some people see evil in the world as a power so formidable that it paralyzes all their efforts and they accomplish nothing in the service of Truth. To them sin seems a reality, and they fight it and it fights back. In the end it imprisons those who stoop to quarrel with it. (MBI/Luke-7, November 11, 1912)
- Go and tell John the things which you have seen and heard. The Christ does not strive with sin and evil in its many forms, but asserts absolute spiritual dominion over “plagues and evil spirits.” When intellect (John) sends out its thought of doubt as to the identity of this miracle-worker, the reply is not one of argument, but of results. This is typical of that special development of the individual, there true reform begins.
- “Blessed is he who is not offended by me.” When we put no obstruction of intellectual methods or ways in doing the Spirit's work then we shall have blessings, or increase, in that which we are doing in the Christ way.
- Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you. The intellect is to prepare the way for the spiritual consciousness, the Christ. The alert intellect that has been working toward the fulfillment of a divine ideal recognizes the development of spiritual consciousness and acknowledges its very first appearance, as John the Baptist recognized Jesus Christ. When the quickening by Spirit takes place in consciousness to the extent that the Christ is realized and felt and known, one depends on the inspiration of Spirit rather than on the reasonings of the intellectual person. (MBD/John)
- yet he who is least in the Kingdom of God is greater than he. The least of the spiritual thoughts in human beings is greater than the mightiest reasoning of the intellect, and the intellectual concept of things must give way to the understanding that comes through the Holy Spirit. (MBD/John)
- Wisdom is justified by all her children. For what do we look when we seek first the kingdom of God? We look for a state of mind in our selves that expresses in spiritual terms the things we have spiritually discerned.
Love Conquers Sin1
7:36 One of the Pharisees2 invited him to eat with him. He entered into the Pharisee's house,3 and sat at the table. 7:37 Behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that he was reclining in the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of ointment. 7:38 Standing behind at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet4 with her tears, and she wiped them with the hair of her head, kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.5 7:39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, "This man, if he were a prophet, would have perceived who and what kind of woman this is who touches him, that she is a sinner."
7:40 Jesus answered him, "Simon, I have something to tell you."
He said, "Teacher, say on."
7:41 "A certain lender had two debtors. The one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 7:42 When they couldn't pay, he forgave them both. Which of them therefore will love him most?"
7:43 Simon answered, "He, I suppose, to whom he forgave the most."
He said to him, "You have judged correctly." 7:44 Turning to the woman, he said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I entered into your house, and you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head. 7:45 You gave me no kiss, but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss my feet. 7:46 You didn't anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. 7:47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little." 7:48 He said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."6
7:49 Those who sat at the table with him began to say to themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?"
7:50 He said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you. Go in peace."
- See Matthew 26:6–13; Mark 14:3–9; John 12:1–7. The woman with the alabaster jar of ointment symbolizes the repentant soul seeking the good. The inherent desire for good brings one to the feet (understanding) of the Christ consciousness, and gladness and joy (the anointing) naturally follow. (MBI/Luke-7, November 18, 1917)
- Pharisees. A Pharisee is one who observes the forms, but neglects the spirit of religion. (MBI/Luke-7, April 22, 1906)
- Pharisee’s house. The house of the Pharisee represents the abiding consciousness of the intellect. It was here that Jesus, the I AM, came to instruct and to illumine spiritually. (MBI/Luke-7, February 15, 1931)
- feet. Jesus signifies the I AM, and the feet represent that phase of the understanding which connects one with the outer, or manifest, world and reveals the right relationship toward worldly conditions in general. The washing of the disciples' feet by Jesus therefore typifies a cleansing process, or a denial of personality and materiality. (MBD/feet)
- ointment. The fragrance of love with which understanding (feet) is often bathed. (RW/ointment) The anointing of Jesus' body by the woman is a portrayal of penance, the outpouring of the precious substance of love upon the divine body. (MBI/Luke-7, November 19, 1922)
- Your sins are forgiven. Love is the greatest thing in the world. The intellect may entertain the divine man, and give him intellectual thoughts, but love pours out her substance upon him, and he is thereby transformed, purified, and lifted up.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by: Rev. Michelle Vargas.
World English Bible Footnotes:
Some Women Accompany Jesus
8:1 It happened soon afterwards, that he went about through cities and villages, preaching and bringing the good news of the Kingdom of God. With him were the twelve,1 8:2 and certain women2 who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary who was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out; 8:3 and Joanna, the wife of Chuzas, Herod's steward; Susanna;3 and many others; who served them from their possessions.
- With him were the twelve. Jesus and his disciples represent the I AM and the twelve powers of man in each individual soul. By affirmation and prayer the I AM and the twelve spiritual powers are set into greater activity, and they begin their redeeming work in the different aggregations of thoughts, or “cities and villages.”
- and certain women. Women represent the feminine or substance side of the soul. The third person in the trinity is the Spirit of truth, the divine Shekinah, the “Shining One,” the pure substance of God. All forms arise in this substance; it is the matrix of all forms and shapes in the universe, and it continues throughout their existence to be the source of their supply.
- Mary, Joanna, Susanna. Mary: A lifting up of power in consciousness, and letting this greatly increased faculty be guided by the emotions and desires of the human soul (MBD/Magdalene). Joanna: the soul quality of intuition, discernment, which perceives the Truth that is expressed in the metaphysical explanation (MBD/Joanna). Susanna: purity of soul (white, shining, lily, pure, a woman follower of Jesus, one of those who ministered to His needs) (MBD/Susanna).
The Parable of the Sower1
8:4 When a great multitude came together, and people from every city were coming to him, he spoke by a parable. 8:5 "The farmer went out to sow2 his seed. As he sowed, some fell along the road,3 and it was trampled under foot, and the birds of the sky devoured it. 8:6 Other seed fell on the rock,4 and as soon as it grew, it withered away, because it had no moisture. 8:7 Other fell amid the thorns,5 and the thorns grew with it, and choked it. 8:8 Other fell into the good ground,6 and grew, and brought forth fruit one hundred times." As he said these things, he called out, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!"
- See Matthew 13:1-9, Mark 4:1-9
- The farmer went out to sow. Everyone who thinks in accord with Truth and who speaks a good or a true word is a sower according to this parable, which implies that the seed to be sown is good seed.
- some fell along the road. the mind that from force of long habit follows a beaten track and is unreceptive to new ideas. New and unfamiliar ideas falling into such a mind receive no attention (are trodden under foot).
- Other seed fell on the rock. One whose mind is unretentive, like a sieve, may receive the word with interest and attention, but through lack of power to concentrate on one subject and keep the thought centered on it, he allows the word spoken to him to slip out of mind and be lost.
- Other fell amid the thorns. The cares, riches, and pleasures of this life all serve to choke the word and prevent its coming to fruition. All serve to distract the thought from the truth that man seeks to instill into the mind.
- Other fell into the good ground. The receptive and retentive type of mind. The fruits, or the crops obtained from these seeds, are conditioned by the character of the soil, or the type of mind, in which the seeds, or thoughts, find lodgment.
The Purpose of the Parables1
8:9 Then his disciples asked him, "What does this parable mean?"
8:10 He said, "To you it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of God, but to the rest in parables; that 'seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.'2
- See Isaiah 6:9, Matthew 13:14, Mark 4:12.
- seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand. [Jesus] understood exactly what the conditions were on the invisible side of life, which is termed in His teaching the “kingdom of God” or the “kingdom of the heavens.” We are trying to connect His teaching with modern science in order to show the parallel; but as He said in Mark 4:23, “if any man hath ears to hear, let him hear.” This means that we must develop a capacity for understanding in terms of the atomic structure of the universe. Unless we have this spiritual capacity we do not understand. We think we have ears, but they are attuned to materiality. Atom-Smashing Power of Mind, (Thinking in the Fourth Dimension p.56)
The Parable of the Sower Explained
8:11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.1 8:12 Those along the road are those who hear, then the devil comes, and takes away the word from their heart, that they may not believe and be saved. 8:13 Those on the rock are they who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; but these have no root, who believe for a while, then fall away in time of temptation. 8:14 That which fell among the thorns, these are those who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. 8:15 That in the good ground, these are such as in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, hold it tightly, and bring forth fruit with patience.
- the word of God. the word of Truth. The soil in which the word is sown is the mind. The subconscious phase of mind is the universal substance that corresponds to the earthly soil. Many different kinds of seeds may be sown in the soil of the mind. A high thought is a seed sown in the soil of the kingdom of the mind. An intellectual thought is a seed sown on the intellectual plane. A sensual thought is a seed sown in the flesh. The fruits, or the crops obtained from these seeds, are conditioned by the character of the soil, or the type of mind, in which the seeds, or thoughts, find lodgment.
A Lamp under a Jar
8:16 "No one, when he has lit a lamp, covers it with a container,1 or puts it under a bed; but puts it on a stand, that those who enter in may see the light. 8:17 For nothing is hidden,2 that will not be revealed; nor anything secret, that will not be known and come to light. 8:18 Be careful therefore how you hear. For whoever has, to him will be given;3 and whoever doesn't have, from him will be taken away even that which he thinks he has."
- covers it with a container. See Matthew 5:15
- nothing is hidden, that will not be revealed. Nothing ever can be hidden from Spirit. It is always best to uncover the whole inner consciousness to Spirit and to pray earnestly to be thoroughly cleansed from every taint of deception and error. (MBI/Acts 5:1-5)
- whoever has, to him will be given. The Holy Spirit is always willing to give itself to us, always. God’s good is always more than willing to give its action to us. Always more willing than we are. But, since we have been given the divine idea of freedom, we also are free if we so choose to reject our highest good. (Ed Rabel, Gospel Mysteries 2)
The True Kindred of Jesus1
8:19 His mother and brothers came to him, and they could not come near him for the crowd. 8:20 It was told him by some saying, "Your mother and your brothers stand outside, desiring to see you."
8:21 But he answered them, "My mother and my brothers are these who hear the word of God, and do it."2
- See Matthew 12:46-50, Mark 3:31-35
- My mother and my brothers are these who hear the word of God, and do it. The spiritual is stronger than any human connection. We who live under the light of Spirit are doing the will of the Father; we are the true family of Jesus Christ. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 459)
Jesus Calms a Storm1
8:22 Now it happened on one of those days, that he entered into a boat,2 himself and his disciples, and he said to them, "Let's go over to the other side of the lake." So they launched out. 8:23 But as they sailed, he fell asleep. A wind3 storm came down on the lake, and they were taking on dangerous amounts of water. 8:24 They came to him, and awoke him, saying, "Master, master, we are dying!" He awoke, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water, and they ceased, and it was calm. 8:25 He said to them, "Where is your faith?"4 Being afraid they marveled, saying one to another, "Who is this, then, that he commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him?"
- See Matthew 8:23–27, Mark 4:35-41.
- boat. Metaphysically, a positive thought—a conveyance that is able to float upon the water (the unstable mind), and to bear up the disciples (the faculties of mind). The multitudes are the numberless thoughts that are seeking light, strength, and healing. (MBD/boat)
- wind. Life currents that come from within and surround the whole being; the executive power of mind clearing the way to higher states of consciousness. (RW/wind)
- Where is your faith? The perceiving power of the mind linked with the power to shape substance. Spiritual assurance; the power to do the seemingly impossible. It is a magnetic power that draws unto us our heart's desire from the invisible spiritual substance. Faith is a deep inner knowing that that which is sought is already ours for the taking. (RW/faith)
Jesus Heals the Gerasene Demoniac1
8:26 They arrived at the country of the Gadarenes,2 which is opposite Galilee. 8:27 When Jesus stepped ashore, a certain man out of the city who had demons for a long time3 met him. He wore no clothes, and didn't live in a house, but in the tombs. 8:28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, "What do I have to do with you, Jesus, you Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don't torment me!" 8:29 For Jesus was commanding the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For the unclean spirit had often seized the man. He was kept under guard, and bound with chains and fetters. Breaking the bands apart, he was driven by the demon into the desert.
8:30 Jesus asked him, "What is your name?"4
He said, "Legion,"5 for many demons had entered into him. 8:31 They begged him that he would not command them to go into the abyss. 8:32 Now there was there a herd of many pigs6 feeding on the mountain, and they begged him that he would allow them to enter into those. He allowed them. 8:33 The demons came out from the man, and entered into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake, and were drowned. 8:34 When those who fed them saw what had happened, they fled, and told it in the city and in the country.
8:35 People went out to see what had happened. They came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus' feet, clothed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 8:36 Those who saw it told them how he who had been possessed by demons was healed. 8:37 All the people of the surrounding country of the Gadarenes asked him to depart from them, for they were very much afraid. He entered into the boat, and returned. 8:38 But the man from whom the demons had gone out begged him that he might go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 8:39 "Return to your house, and declare what great things God has done for you." He went his way, proclaiming throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him.
- See Matthew 8:28–34, Mark 5:1-20
- the country of the Gadarenes. A symbol of the subconscious state of sin and evil. The energy of life (Galilee), when expressed on the lower levels, takes these forms.
- who had demons for a long time. When we fall into a negative state of consciousness, we find ourself subject to countless fears. These are demons that must be overcome before we can know self-dominion.
- What is your name? The hold of habitual error upon man is not easily loosened. Jesus, the directive will, did not immediately cast out the legion of demons from the possessed man. “He was commanding the unclean spirit to come out from the man,” when He asked the man's name, and the man replied in the character of the demons instead.
- Legion. The name Legion could identify anyone who is currently obsessed with the parts he lets play him in life. In other words, you are not playing a role consciously in this state; you become the toy of the roles who choose to play you. It is the surrendering to false personality and becoming subjective to the whims, the mental suggestions, the prevalent emotions running around. (Ed Rabel, New Testament Lectures, Jesus Heals the Gerasene Demoniac, pp.96-100)
- Pigs. [The 1936 commentary says] Swine represent the lowest stratum of subconsciousness, which drops completely out of the life of man at the command of the higher self. [Ed Rabel has another perspective:] Nowadays you read this and the average person is hurt by it, why did Jesus involve himself in an incident where an innocent herd of swine would be forced to commit suicide as they did? I can’t take it any further in that direction. But there is a metaphysical, even more strongly, there is an occult factor here. Through man’s consciousness he can directly infuse other forms of life and even natural phenomena with his emanations, now. If he is conscious and he knows who and what he is, what kind of emanations will he always be sure they are? Good, beneficial, uplifting emanations, that is the whole idea of pet ownership. The man in the parable was not aware of who or what he was; he was insane, he was possessed of negative roles, so after his healing, these demons that went from him did not go directly into the dissolving process which would have happened could he had been consciously using denials; in other words, the demon would then, as all negativity does, when you are rightly using denial, doesn’t touch anybody else in its dissolving journey. But here we have a different case; here we have a man who was in such an extreme situation that he couldn’t do his own denial.
A Woman Healed and a Girl Restored to Life1
8:40 It happened, when Jesus returned, that the multitude welcomed him, for they were all waiting for him. 8:41 Behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue. He fell down at Jesus' feet, and begged him to come into his house, 8:42 for he had an only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she was dying. But as he went, the multitudes pressed against him. 8:43 A woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her living on physicians, and could not be healed by any, 8:44 came behind him, and touched the fringe of his cloak,2 and immediately the flow of her blood stopped. 8:45 Jesus said, "Who touched me?"
When all denied it, Peter and those with him said, "Master, the multitudes press and jostle you, and you say, 'Who touched me?'"
8:46 But Jesus said, "Someone did touch me, for I perceived that power has gone out of me." 8:47 When the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared to him in the presence of all the people the reason why she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately. 8:48 He said to her, "Daughter, cheer up. Your faith has made you well. Go in peace."
8:49 While he still spoke, one from the ruler of the synagogue's house came, saying to him, "Your daughter is dead. Don't trouble the Teacher."
8:50 But Jesus hearing it, answered him, "Don't be afraid. Only believe, and she will be healed."3
8:51 When he came to the house, he didn't allow anyone to enter in, except Peter, John, James, the father of the child, and her mother. 8:52 All were weeping and mourning her, but he said, "Don't weep. She isn't dead, but sleeping."
8:53 They were ridiculing him, knowing that she was dead. 8:54 But he put them all outside, and taking her by the hand, he called, saying, "Child, arise!"4 8:55 Her spirit returned,5 and she rose up immediately. He commanded that something be given to her to eat. 8:56 Her parents were amazed, but he commanded them to tell no one what had been done.
- See Matthew 9:20-22 Mark 5:24-34
- touched the fringe of his cloak. It is good to think of Jesus as the living symbol of the conscious embodiment of a healing consciousness which is available to all of us; that is, the divine potential in all of us to develop a healing consciousness. In Jesus’ case it had already been developed; it was there in total therefore, He was a walking healing consciousness and people could tune in to Him just as you can tune in to your own Healing consciousness and get the results. This is different from thinking of Jesus as a supernatural person who had the gift to heal; don’t equate healing with a gift that anyone is given, it is a valid consciousness that can be established and developed in any person. Through touching your spiritual awareness of healing, of the healing consciousness which is really within all of us, in any way to make a connection with it and it will bring forth a healing result, that is, that healing consciousness that we touch, make a connection with, does not need to be our own; it is there. (Ed Rabel, New Testament Lectures, Woman Who Touched Christ's Garment, pp.100-103)
- Only believe, and she will be healed. Jesus saw deeper than those who were not spiritually awakened, and to him death was not what it seemed to them. They looked upon it as a total cessation of life, and the horror of it made them wail and beat their breasts. Jesus always saw that death was a very deep sleep, and so spoke of it in this as also in the case of Lazarus. It is so referred to almost universally in the Epistles — "Those who have fallen asleep." (MBI/Mark 5)
- Child, arise! The healer needs to put out of the very atmosphere of room, as well as the patient’s mind, all thoughts that believe in or fear death. Jesus put them all out of the house, and with Peter (faith), James (judgment), and John (love), went in and said unto the maiden, “Talithia cumi,” Aramaic words, which are equivalent to “Rise, dear little maiden.”
- Her spirit returned. In the last quarter of a century this case of healing has been duplicated in various phases many times by modern metaphysicians but no special attention has been called to the cases, those who were witnesses having even doubted that the persons raised were really dead. And we rejoice to say that they were not dead—that there is no such thing as that awful condition of conscious oblivion which the sense mind sees and calls death. There is no loss of identity, no departure, no forgetfulness. All that ever was is here now in its varying states of consciousness. The true resurrection is to come to a realization of this — to know it in both its subjective and objective aspects.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by: Rev. Mark Hicks
World English Bible Footnotes:
The Mission of the Twelve1
9:1 He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases.2 9:2 He sent them forth to preach the Kingdom of God, and to heal the sick. 9:3 He said to them, "Take nothing for your journey3--neither staffs, nor wallet, nor bread, nor money; neither have two coats apiece. 9:4 Into whatever house you enter, stay there, and depart from there. 9:5 As many as don't receive you, when you depart from that city, shake off even the dust from your feet4 for a testimony against them." 9:6 They departed, and went throughout the villages, preaching the Good News, and healing everywhere.
- See Matthew 10:5-15, Mark 6:6b–13; Luke 10:1–12.
- gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. When man's spiritual understanding is awakened, he discerns that he has faculties that he has not previously called into action; that through these faculties he can gain control of every condition of his mind; that through them he can cleanse all impure states of mind, and restore, heal, and harmonize ills both of mind and of body. (MBI/Matthew 10)
- Take nothing for your journey. The new man is being erected in consciousness through his faculties and their staff, or dependence, must be upon Spirit. They must not depend on material resources (money), but they must have understanding (sandals) of the relation of spiritual ideas. (MBI/Mark 6)
- shake off even the dust from your feet. Shaking the dust from under one's feet represents a denial of the contact of material thought in order that one may not be contaminated and limited in his free spiritual ministry. (MBI/Mark 6)
9:7 Now Herod2 the tetrarch3 heard of all that was done by him; and he was very perplexed, because it was said by some that John had risen from the dead, 9:8 and by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the old prophets had risen again. 9:9 Herod said, "John I beheaded,4 but who is this, about whom I hear such things?"5 He sought to see him.
- See Matthew 14:1–2; Mark 6:14–16.
- Herod. The family name of several Roman rulers of Judea (Matt. 2:1; Mark 6:14). Metaphysically, the ruling will of the physical, the ego in the sense consciousness. This ruling ego is temporal because it does not understand man's true origin or the law of man's being. (MBD/Herod)
- the tetrarch. A Roman governor or ruler of the fourth part of a kingdom (Matt. 14:1). Metaphysically, a tetrarch, a ruler of the fourth part, indicates the very carnal thought that guides and directs the outer, manifest man, or body of man in its seemingly physical, corruptible state. The first three steps in bringing forth are purely spiritual—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, or, mind, idea, and expression—but the fourth step, the outer manifestation, becomes very physical and material, apparently, whenever material thoughts and beliefs are given first place in the body-building consciousness of the individual. (MBD/tetrarch)
- John I beheaded. We must be on our guard against this subtle sense mind and take tender care of the little, innocent, new idea that has been born deep down in the heart. We must not give it over to the keeping of Herod. We must nurture it, care for it, and hide it away. If necessary we should take it down into Egypt (darkness) when Herod seeks to kill it.
- who is this, about whom I hear such things? [the question people always have asked about Jesus.] See v9:18 below.]
Feeding the Five Thousand1
9:10 The apostles, when they had returned, told him what things they had done. He took them, and withdrew apart to a deserted place of a city called Bethsaida. 9:11 But the multitudes, perceiving it, followed him. He welcomed them, and spoke to them of the Kingdom of God, and he cured those who needed healing. 9:12 The day began to wear away; and the twelve came, and said to him, "Send the multitude away, that they may go into the surrounding villages and farms, and lodge, and get food, for we are here in a deserted place."
9:13 But he said to them, "You give them something to eat."2
They said, "We have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless we should go and buy food for all these people." 9:14 For they were about five thousand men.
He said to his disciples, "Make them sit down in groups of about fifty each." 9:15 They did so, and made them all sit down. 9:16 He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to the sky, he blessed them, and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the multitude. 9:17 They ate, and were all filled. 3 They gathered up twelve baskets of broken pieces that were left over.
- See Matthew 14:13–21; Mark 6:30–44; John 6:1–14.
- You give them something to eat. To eat and drink is to appropriate; to become conscious of the food that "abideth unto eternal life," and to use it (RW/eat).
- They ate, and were all filled. Eating is symbolical of mental appropriation of thoughts of substance. "Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy words were unto me a joy and the rejoicing of my heart" (Jer. 15:16). Supplying the physical needs does not solve the whole problem of hunger for man, for his hungers are as varied as his interests and desires. They include his thoughts and feelings as well as his physical needs. (RW/eating)
Peter’s Declaration about Jesus1
9:18 It happened, as he was praying alone, that the disciples2 were with him, and he asked them, "Who do the multitudes say that I am?"3
9:19 They answered, "'John the Baptizer,' but others say, 'Elijah,'4 and others, that one of the old prophets is risen again."
9:20 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"
Peter answered, "The Christ of God."5
- See Matthew 16:13–23; Mark 8:27–33
- the disciples. The disciples of Jesus represent, in mind analysis, the faculties. After one has been illumined by Truth, one desires to express it, to go forth in its ministry. (MBD/disciples)
- I am. I AM is God’s name in man; it is Jehovah, the indwelling Christ, the true spiritual man whom God made in His image and likeness. The outer, manifest man is the offspring of the I AM, or inner spiritual man. By use of I AM we link ourselves with outer seemings--or we make conscious union with the Father, with Spirit, with abiding life, wisdom, love, peace, substance, strength, power, Truth, the kingdom of the heavens within us. (MBD/I AM)
- Elijah. The spiritual I AM of man's consciousness. Elijah on Mount Carmel (I Kings 18:19) represents the I AM in realization of its unfettered power. (MBD/Elijah)
- The Christ of God. Christ is the divine-idea man. Jesus is the name that represents an individual expression of the Christ idea. Jesus Christ is the form of the name that is commonly applied to the man of Galilee who demonstrated perfection. Christ Jesus is the idea that is being expressed by men as the result of their faith in and understanding of Truth. (MBD/Christ)
Jesus Foretells His Death and Resurrection1
9:21 But he warned them, and commanded them to tell this to no one, 9:22 saying, "The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and the third day be raised up."
9:23 He said to all, "If anyone desires to come after me,2 let him deny himself,3 take up his cross,4 and follow me.5 9:24 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever will lose his life for my sake, the same will save it.6 9:25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits his own self? 9:26 For whoever will be ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed, when he comes in his glory, and the glory of the Father, and of the holy angels. 9:27 But I tell you the truth: There are some of those who stand here, who will in no way taste of death, until they see the Kingdom of God."
- See Matthew 16:24–28; Mark 8:34–9.1.
- If anyone desires to come after me. When Jesus said these words He was speaking from His Christ or I AM Self. He meant that if anyone desires to come into the understanding, freedom, and abundance of life which the Christ consciousness affords, he must drop from consciousness ("deny himself") all error beliefs and accept the truth of himself as the beloved son of God with a divine inheritance. (Correspondence School Course, Denials and Affirmations, Annotations, Lesson 5)
- let him deny himself. How do we bring our will closer into accord with the divine will? By daily denying the power or importance of self, by taking up our “cross,” our realization that we have not yet demonstrated our innate perfection, and in following the Christ, who is the way to eternal life.
- take up his cross. The crystallization of two currents of thought--the state of consciousness termed sense mind. The perpendicular bar symbolizes the inner current of divine life; the horizontal bar symbolizes the cross current of human limitation. The latter symbolizes the "mind of the flesh," also, and it burdens the body with its various erroneous beliefs. The center of action of this sense mind is in the brain, and there it has to be met in the final overcoming that the I AM undertakes: "The place called The place of a skull." (MBD/cross)
- and follow me. To “follow me” is to live the laws of God in every phase of our experience. (Denials and Affirmations)
- whoever will lose his life for my sake, the same will save it. How do we lose our life and at the same time save it? We “lose” our “life” (the petty, selfish, ineffectual life of the personal or outer man) by transferring our attention to the universal life of Spirit and becoming one with it. In so doing we learn the true meaning of life as an expression of divinity, and prove the eternal at the cost of the temporal.
9:28 It happened about eight days after these sayings, that he took with him Peter, John, and James,2 and went up onto the mountain to pray.3 9:29 As he was praying, the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became white and dazzling.4 9:30 Behold, two men were talking with him, who were Moses and Elijah, 9:31 who appeared in glory, and spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.
9:32 Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep,5 but when they were fully awake, they saw his glory, and the two men who stood with him. 9:33 It happened, as they were parting from him, that Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it is good for us to be here. Let's make three tents: one for you, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah," not knowing what he said.
9:34 While he said these things, a cloud came and overshadowed them,6 and they were afraid as they entered into the cloud. 9:35 A voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is my beloved Son. Listen to him!" 9:36 When the voice came, Jesus was found alone. They were silent, and told no one in those days any of the things which they had seen.
- See Matthew 17:1–9; Mark 9:2–10.
- Peter, John, and James. The faculties, Faith, Love and Judgment are not fully awakened but through the activity of these exalted spiritual forces they are quickened, and are able to receive that spiritual message which God always sends forth, when the assurance [that it was] fully complied with is brought into evidence. “He is my Son, my chosen: hear ye him.”
- went up onto the mountain to pray. The symbolical meaning of Jesus going up into the mountain to pray, accompanied by Peter, John and James means the I AM, supported by faith (Peter), love (John), and judgment (James), enters into that high spiritual understanding, the door to which realm can be unlocked only by prayer and the sincere desire of the soul to perform unselfish service for humanity.
- the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became white and dazzling. The great spiritual work, which is about to take place, here spoken of freely is the crucifixion of Jesus (the I Am), at Jerusalem, or that spiritual process of Divine Love through which it is made possible for the Spirit of Truth (God manifest) to be born in every heart. What transformation here takes place? The countenance is changed, is fashioned anew, after the Divine Pattern. The whole being is immersed in the dazzling light of spiritual understanding and aspiration.
- Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep. Our faculties have to be awakened out of inactivity [or “sleep.”] This awakening is accomplished through prayer. Then the faculties join in the glorification of the whole man, spirit, soul, and body.
- While he said these things, a cloud came and overshadowed them. What always follows a period of great spiritual activity? A period of seeming inaction and depression, the dormant season. It is the time when, to appearances, all seems lost. In truth, it is the period of change, when the old is giving way, and the new forces are collecting their energies preparatory to the germinating season, when the new off-shoots (mind gems) come forth into “livingness.”
Jesus Heals a Boy with a Demon1
9:37 It happened on the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, that a great multitude met him. 9:38 Behold, a man from the crowd called out, saying, "Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only child. 9:39 Behold, a spirit takes him,2 he suddenly cries out, and it convulses him so that he foams, and it hardly departs from him, bruising him severely. 9:40 I begged your disciples to cast it out, and they couldn't."
9:41 Jesus answered, "Faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you and bear with you?3 Bring your son here."
9:42 While he was still coming, the demon threw him down and convulsed him violently. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the boy, and gave him back to his father. 9:43 They were all astonished at the majesty of God.4
- See Matthew 17:14-21; Mark 9:14-28.
- Behold, a spirit takes him. In dealing with healing illustrations like this, [we need to] dispense once and for all with demonology and exorcism. They do exist only now in their symbolism, they are negative thoughts and feelings, destructive and blindly uncontrolled emotions. Exorcism is not called exorcism now; it is called mental or emotional healing. So let’s get away from demons and entities. (Ed Rabel, New Testament Lectures, Jesus Cures a Boy with a Demon, pp.141-148)
- Faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? What Jesus is trying to do here is to establish once and for all the validity of always believing that healing is possible. Upon what could we base our claim to that validity? Upon the knowledge that health and life are ideas in divine mind, they are not matters of human opinion. They are first ideas in God Mind and all of God's divine ideas are now implanted in us as our divine inheritance. (Ed Rabel)
- They were all astonished at the majesty of God. Divine ideas are real, they really are, and they are always here in all their fullness, in all their purity and splendor. If you and I commit our belief to any divine idea we are capable of recognizing and allow that connection then to proceed, the very essence, the very character, the very substance of whatever divine idea of combination will manifest in my world. (Ed Rabel)
Jesus Again Foretells His Death1
But while all were marveling at all the things which Jesus did, he said to his disciples, 9:44 "Let these words sink into your ears, for the Son of Man will be delivered up into the hands of men."2 9:45 But they didn't understand this saying. It was concealed from them, that they should not perceive it, and they were afraid to ask him about this saying.
- See Matthew 17:22–23; Mark 9:30–32.
- the Son of Man will be delivered up into the hands of men. We have a great mystery here which is never really cleared up. We assume that it refers to Jesus predicting his own trial and crucifixion... Now he is talking about himself, the Christ. Here again he is predicting or telling something that is going to happen; that a son of man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, he is going to be killed, and then is going to resurrect, but the way he says it certainly sounds as if he is talking about a third person, so we have a double question here. First of all, who is he really talking about here and just why? and secondly, why is there so much uncomprehension and fear on the part of the disciples? (Ed Rabel, New Testament Lectures, Jesus Again Foretells His Death and Resurrection, pp.148a-148b)
9:46 There arose an argument among them about which of them was the greatest. 9:47 Jesus, perceiving the reasoning of their hearts, took a little child, and set him by his side, 9:48 and said to them, "Whoever receives this little child in my name receives me.2 Whoever receives me receives him who sent me. For whoever is least among you all, this one will be great."
- See Matthew 18:1–5; Mark 9:33–37.
- Whoever receives this little child in my name receives me. The famous psychologist, Piaget, wrote that the only normal mind is the child’s mind. He might have added that the only way to happiness is the child’s way because the child uses his mind properly. Imagination is the forefront of all natural thinking. We are not literal creatures with our thoughts imprisoned in facts alone. If this were so, we would hate games and sports and we certainly would not risk driving cars on the highway. Through the ages, man has turned to the excitement of adventure, surviving many risks since prehistoric times in attaining dominion over his environment. (Eric Butterworth Speaks: Essays on Abundant Living The Secret of Living Happily #20)
9:49 John answered, "Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name,2 and we forbade him, because he doesn't follow with us."
9:50 Jesus said to him, "Don't forbid him, for he who is not against us is for us."3
- See Mark 9:38–40.
- in your name. When we call upon the name of Jesus Christ, we are calling on the power of God because Jesus Christ is God incarnate. If we want to give our prayers spiritual authority, there’s no greater authority in the spiritual realm than Jesus Christ. (May Rowland, Jesus Christ, An Ever Present Reality, clip 11)
- he who is not against us is for us. In the light of Spirit there is no halfway place. When the movements of the mind turn towards the light, there is opened up in consciousness a fuller knowledge, a greater freedom. The way is made clear for the triumphant march of the Christ through the soul. See Luke 11:14-23 for more.
A Samaritan Village Refuses to Receive Jesus
9:51 It came to pass, when the days were near that he should be taken up, he intently set his face to go to Jerusalem,1 9:52 and sent messengers before his face.2 They went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, so as to prepare for him. 9:53 They didn't receive him,3 because he was traveling with his face set towards Jerusalem. 9:54 When his disciples, James and John, saw this, they said, "Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from the sky, and destroy them,4 just as Elijah did?"
9:55 But he turned and rebuked them,5 "You don't know of what kind of spirit you are. 9:56 For the Son of Man didn't come to destroy men's lives, but to save them."
- he intently set his face to go to Jerusalem. In the light of Spirit there is no halfway place. When the movements of the mind turn towards the light, there is opened up in consciousness a fuller knowledge, a greater freedom. The way is made clear for the triumphant march of the Christ through the soul.
- and sent messengers before his face. Sending messengers before his face into the realm of mixed thoughts (the Samaritans) represents the projecting of spiritual thoughts ahead to prepare the way for what is to follow. For example, metaphysicians, when about to speak the words, “The Spirit of the Lord goes before and opens the way,” project their spiritual consciousness ahead, and then utter the words.
- They didn't receive him. The meaning of Samaria is “watch mountain;” it also signifies a mixed state of consciousness. [The Samaritans didn't receive Jesus because] old worldly thought is presented that one’s enemies should be destroyed.
- Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from the sky, and destroy them? John's love was personal love, which jealously guards the prerogatives of the loved one and expresses violence and vindictiveness. Many years were required to effect the complete transformation to expressing humility and love.
- But he turned and rebuked them. All destructive thoughts should be rebuked and another state of consciousness should be entered into, according to the example of Jesus and his disciples. We should turn our thought away from resentment and from all personal ill feelings, keeping it fixed on the constructive side. Calling down fire from heaven is not the Christ-like way to deal with petty discriminations and other personal ill feelings.
Would-Be Followers of Jesus1
They went to another village. 9:57 As they went on the way, a certain man said to him, "I want to follow you wherever you go, Lord."
9:58 Jesus said to him, "The foxes have holes, and the birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head."2
9:59 He said to another, "Follow me!"
But he said, "Lord, allow me first to go and bury my father."
9:60 But Jesus said to him, "Leave the dead to bury their own dead,3 but you go and announce the Kingdom of God."
9:61 Another also said, "I want to follow you, Lord, but first allow me to bid farewell to those who are at my house."
9:62 But Jesus said to him, "No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of God."4
- See Matthew 8:18–22.
- but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head. Here Jesus is reminding us that human beings (Son of man) are evolving souls. As such, we have no fixed, final "resting place" in the universe. Every place we are in can be our right place, but none can be our permanent place. We are learning, growing, expanding units of consciousness. We are unfolding, evolving souls. (USRS Bible Interpretation, Lesson 7)
- Leave the dead to bury their own dead. Only those who believe in the reality of death are concerned with proper burial of "the dead." Those who are in Truth do not believe in the reality of death; that is, as any sort of finality. Truth reveals that there are no "dead" that are to be buried. Only a corpse is buried; and a corpse is simply the remains of abandoned physical atoms and molecules, which is not the person. (USRS Bible Interpretation)
- No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of God. The kingdom of God refers to the divine possibility, the kingdom of fulfillment. No one is fit for the fulfilling of his desires and ideals if he sets out on faith, carries with him the secret reservation, and then retreats back across the bridge in security, when he needs to. (Eric Butterworth Unity Podcast, The All or None Law #14)
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by: Rev. Mark Hicks.
World English Bible Footnotes:
The Twelve Disciples and the Seven Senses1
10:1 Now after these things,2 the Lord also appointed seventy others,3 and sent them two by two ahead of him4 into every city and place, where he was about to come. 10:2 Then he said to them, "The harvest is indeed plentiful, but the laborers are few.5 Pray therefore to the Lord of the harvest, that he may send out laborers into his harvest. 10:3 Go your ways. Behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves.6 10:4 Carry no purse, nor wallet, nor sandals. Greet no one on the way. 10:5 Into whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace be to this house.'7 10:6 If a son of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. 10:7 Remain in that same house, eating and drinking the things they give, for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Don't go from house to house. 10:8 Into whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat the things that are set before you. 10:9 Heal the sick who are therein, and tell them, 'The Kingdom of God has come near to you.' 10:10 But into whatever city you enter, and they don't receive you, go out into its streets and say, 10:11 'Even the dust from your city that clings to us, we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the Kingdom of God has come near to you.' 10:12 I tell you, it will be more tolerable in that day for Sodom than for that city.
- See Matthew 10:5-15, Mark 6:6b–13; Luke 9:1–5.
- Now after these things. In the previous chapter we are told that Jesus sent out the twelve; this act represents the disciplining of the twelve spiritual faculties, upon which the whole character of man is founded. The Seventy stand in relation to the Twelve as body to the Spirit. The Spirit does not act directly upon the outer manifestation. It has its avenues of expression; these are the Twelve Disciples. But these also are not in direct touch with body, and it is part of the law of expression that they have other avenues through which the most outer physical is reached; these are the Seventy.
- the Lord also appointed seventy others. The seventy represent the seven senses. We usually count but five senses: feeling, hearing, seeing, tasting, and smelling. There are, however, seven senses in all. The two additional ones are thinking and intuitive perception. The brain is the thinking organ, and the solar plexus the perceiving organ. In the individual consciousness the Lord represents the spiritual I AM as it sends disciplined thought forces into the exterior realms of the soul. The number seven represents completion on the natural plane of consciousness; the cipher added represents unlimited capacity.
- and sent them two by two ahead of him. The ability to send and to receive thoughts, as the telegrapher sends and receives messages, is an undeveloped power of man. Through the solar plexus man can intuitively feel everything that he contacts. This intuitive feeling is soul perception, or intuition; in the unregenerate, it functions on the physical plane as instinct. These two powers must be disciplined and made to function through the Christ mind. Those who attempt to develop them without the sure guide of the super-mind will get mixed results, and will be held in darkness.
- The harvest is indeed plentiful, but the laborers are few. The harvest is the fruition of the age-long experiences of the soul; the laborers are the forces of the soul that have been trained to serve. The laborers are few, because few have patiently borne the strain and the stress of life. They want the fruit of the harvest, but are not willing to work for it.
- I send you out as lambs among wolves. This means that the general attitude should be one of nonresistance and unselfishness. We should not be ambitious for attainment of temporal possessions in mind, body, or affairs.
- first say, 'Peace be to this house.' The work of the Spirit is to restore peace and harmony to the discordant thoughts and elements of mind and body. Hence, we should always send forth the thoughts of peace.
Woes to Unrepentant Cities1
10:13 "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida!2 For if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon which were done in you, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 10:14 But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the judgment than for you. 10:15 You, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades. 10:16 Whoever listens to you listens to me, and whoever rejects you rejects me. Whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me."
- Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum are centres in the abdomen that are dominated by very physical thoughts. Their analysis is too intricate for this lesson. It is sufficient to give them a general treatment for conformity to the law.
- Chorazin, Bethsaida. Bethsaida and Chorazin represent the state of mind that has a limited amount of Truth and believes that portion to be the full measure. This is the self-righteous phase of consciousness. The openly wanton and wicked cities of Tyre and Sidon stand a better chance in the day of judgment; that is, those who are wholly wrong will offer no excuse when their sins or shortcomings bring them before the law of adjustment; they will admit their errors and repent. But those who have a limited amount of Truth, which they hover over and declare to be the whole of Truth, are in danger of mental and spiritual crystallization. (MBD/Bethsaida)
The Return of the Seventy1
10:17 The seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons2 are subject to us in your name!"
10:18 He said to them, "I saw Satan3 having fallen like lightning from heaven. 10:19 Behold, I give you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy. Nothing will in any way hurt you. 10:20 Nevertheless, don't rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."4
- See Matthew 11:25–27; Matthew 13:16–17.
- demons. These are the discords of the body that yield to the word of Truth spoken in the consciousness of the Christ.
- Satan. Satan is the "Devil," a state of mind formed by man's personal ideas of his power and completeness and sufficiency apart from God. Besides at times puffing up the personality, this satanic thought often turns about and, after having tempted one to do evil, discourages the soul by accusing it of sin. Summed up, it is the state of mind in man that believes in its own sufficiency independent of its creative Source. (MBD/Satan)
- but rejoice that your names are written in heaven. Jesus is here saying something of great significance to those who have dedicated themselves to a life of spiritual Truth. He says that those who make a serious commitment to Spirit become known as INDIVIDUALS to the "heavenly hosts." Up to a certain level of consciousness, most persons are part of group consciousness (race consciousness.) They have individuality, but they do not really function entirely as individuals, so are not "known" (in a sense) as individuals on the higher levels of being.(USRS Bible Interpretation, Lesson 8)
The Joy of Spiritualized Senses
10:21 In that same hour Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit, and said, "I thank you, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things1 from the wise and understanding, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for so it was well-pleasing in your sight."
10:22 Turning to the disciples, he said, "All things have been delivered to me by my Father.2 No one knows who the Son is, except the Father, and who the Father is, except the Son, and he to whomever the Son desires to reveal him."
10:23 Turning to the disciples, he said privately, "Blessed are the eyes which see the things that you see,3 10:24 for I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see the things which you see, and didn't see them, and to hear the things which you hear, and didn't hear them."
- I thank you ... that you have hidden these things. Until enlightenment comes, the senses are lacking power to conceive or to impart the things of Spirit. But when the senses have been freed from the limitations of material thought and have proved their ability to fulfill the behests of the Christ mind, the higher mind rejoices and gives thanks.
- All things have been delivered to me by my Father. It is through the spiritualized senses that we come into our true nature. Under the sure guidance of the Christ Spirit, every impulse of mind and body can be permeated with the true essence of Spirit (the Father can be revealed by the Son) and can be brought into full expression of good.
- Blessed are the eyes which see the things that you see. Jesus represents the divine-human idea in expression. Anyone who is privileged to become aware of absolute good through the spiritualized senses, either that of seeing (perception) or hearing (receptivity), is blessed.
The Parable of the Good Samaritan
10:25 Behold, a certain lawyer1 stood up and tested him, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"2
10:26 He said to him, "What is written in the law? How do you read it?"
10:27 He answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself."3
10:28 He said to him, "You have answered correctly. Do this, and you will live."
10:29 But he, desiring to justify himself, asked Jesus, "Who is my neighbor?"
10:30 Jesus answered, "A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho,4 and he fell among robbers,5 who both stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead.6 10:31 By chance a certain priest was going down that way. When he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 10:32 In the same way a Levite7 also, when he came to the place, and saw him, passed by on the other side. 10:33 But a certain Samaritan,8 as he traveled, came where he was. When he saw him, he was moved with compassion,9 10:34 came to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. He set him on his own animal, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 10:35 On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, and gave them to the host, and said to him, 'Take care of him. Whatever you spend beyond that, I will repay you when I return.' 10:36 Now which of these three do you think seemed to be a neighbor to him who fell among the robbers?"
10:37 He said, "He who showed mercy on him."
Then Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."
- a certain lawyer. The “certain lawyer” represents a phase of consciousness in which the law is understood and emphasized intellectually.
- what shall I do to inherit eternal life? The intellect can reason and compare and arrive at conclusions, yet be dissatisfied, because such reasoning does not demonstrate continuity of life.
- and your neighbor as yourself. See Matthew 22:34–40; Mark 12:28–34. The strong love to God is not the fulfillment of the law that leads up to eternal life; there is a manifest, or formed God, and with this also the initiate must make complete union; he must love his neighbor as himself. God-Life is in both the invisible and the visible, the formless and the formed, God and man. Our neighbor is the whole human family, and our duty is to aid them, and do unto them as we do unto ourselves.
- A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho. This story shows what takes place in our consciousness, when we leave the spiritual realm (Jerusalem) for the material (Jericho). Such a change in our thinking and living exposes us to loss of peace and strips us of all the real values of life.
- and he fell among robbers. He represents the body fallen under the power of uncontrolled appetites and desires.
- leaving him half dead. Instead of being quick with vitalizing life, the abused body is left half dead and unconscious of the regenerative power of the Christ life. God is life, and wherever the pulse of life beats there God is. Man cannot give nor take life, but so long as he thinks he can slay the living, and so long as he proceeds to do so in man and beast, he will be at enmity with life.
- priest, Levite. Stereotyped religious thoughts such as cause a person to keep the letter of the law without realizing its practical applicability or inner spiritual import.
- a certain Samaritan. This is “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” The idea of the Christ as an indwelling Spirit is not acceptable to the school of thought that conceives of the Christ as a magnified person only. “Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.”
- he was moved with compassion. Lay hold on eternal life, like the unconventional Samaritan. Have compassion upon the life in he body of every living creature, and especially in your own body. Declare life perpetually abiding in the organism. Bind up some of the wounds through which you are dissipating the life of your organism. Robbers are at work upon your body every day. They are the lusts of passion and appetite. Drive them off and bind up the wounds. Give life the sanctuary of your pure thought and pay the price through overcoming.
Jesus Visits Martha and Mary
10:38 It happened as they went on their way, he entered into a certain village, and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. 10:39 She had a sister called Mary,1 who also sat at Jesus' feet,2 and heard his word. 10:40 But Martha was distracted with much serving,3 and she came up to him, and said, "Lord, don't you care that my sister left me to serve alone? Ask her therefore to help me."
10:41 Jesus answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 10:42 but one thing is needed. Mary has chosen the good part,4 which will not be taken away from her."
- Martha, Mary. Martha and Mary represent the outer and the inner activities of love in the soul welcoming and entertaining the Christ principle and its manifestation, represented by Jesus Christ. Both of these states of consciousness are necessary.
- Mary, who also sat at Jesus' feet. Mary's sitting at Jesus' feet represents the soul's learning the lessons of the law of life from the higher self.
- Martha was distracted with much serving. Care should be taken not to allow an excess of activity in the outer or Martha consciousness, and thus disturb the inner love consciousness. It is in quiet receptivity that we draw our strength and power from Spirit.
- Mary has chosen the good part. When the purpose to acquire ability to work under divine law is given first place in consciousness, the activity or service that follows becomes simple and easy.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by: Rev. Mark Hicks
World English Bible Footnotes:
The Lord’s Prayer1
11:1 It happened, that when he finished praying in a certain place, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, just as John also taught his disciples."
11:2 He said to them, "When you pray, say,
'Our Father in heaven,
may your name be kept holy.2
May your Kingdom come.3
May your will be done on Earth, as it is in heaven.
11:3 Give us day by day our daily bread.4
11:4 Forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
Bring us not into temptation,5
but deliver us from the evil one.'"6
- See Matthew 6:9–13; 7.7–11.
- may your name be kept holy. Are the words in which we express our prayers as important as the state of mind in which we pray? No. Faith and gratitude, acknowledgment of All-Power, and reverent expectation are more important than the words that we use, although these too are important and should be carefully chosen to express only Truth.
- May your Kingdom come. How do we help to bring an answer to this prayer? The kingdom of Truth comes into manifestation in so far as we recognize and acknowledge it to be the foundation of the unmanifested world of spiritual Truth. We bring it into manifestation in our life and affairs by means of our faith.
- Give us day by day our daily bread. How do we receive an adequate supply of our daily needs (our daily bread)? By realizing that all our needs are supplied from the universal storehouse, and by holding that the kingdom of Truth is now made manifest.
- Bring us not into temptation. Does God ever bring us into temptation? No. We fall into temptation when we allow ourselves to lose consciousness of God within us as ever-present power, might, love, and wisdom. As long as we are conscious of God and trust actively in divine love, we cannot be tempted by evil.
- but deliver us from the evil one. This phrase is not included in the ASV nor the NRSV. Footnote in NRSV says other ancient authorities add but rescue us from the evil one (or from evil)
Perseverance in Prayer
11:5 He said to them, "Which of you, if you go to a friend at midnight, and tell him, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, 11:6 for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him,' 11:7 and he from within will answer and say, 'Don't bother me. The door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I can't get up and give it to you'? 11:8 I tell you, although he will not rise and give it to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence,1 he will get up and give him as many as he needs.
11:9 "I tell you, keep asking, and it will be given you.2 Keep seeking, and you will find. Keep knocking, and it will be opened to you. 11:10 For everyone who asks receives. He who seeks finds. To him who knocks it will be opened.
11:11 "Which of you fathers, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?3 Or if he asks for a fish, he won't give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? 11:12 Or if he asks for an egg, he won't give him a scorpion, will he? 11:13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?"
- yet because of his persistence (importunity, ASV). It is like the air — plenty of it right here all the time, but we must develop lung capacity. When you were first born, the first thing you did was to yell. The louder you yelled the better the doctor said your lung capacity was. That is the starter, and if you continue increasing the lung capacity and break right into the spirit side, you find you breathe deeply, not only of this atmosphere, but you will find you are being up lifted by a spiritual atmosphere, and that is what we are up against as individuals. Because through our innate freewill, we have developed a mental capacity something like the lung capacity and it is necessary in order to understand and receive largely from this great universal Mind, God-Mind, that we increase our minds, just as we increase our lungs. (The Mysteries of The Four Gospels Lesson Twelve, Importunity)
- keep asking, and it will be given you. See Matthew 7:7. Why the necessity of the prayer or affirmation if it already is? In order that the creative law of the Word may be fulfilled. All things are in God as potentialities. It is man’s share in the creative law to bring to manifestation the unmanifest.
- if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Prayer is not supplication, nor begging, but a simple asking for, and affirmation of that which we know is waiting for us at the hands of our Father. The prayer which Jesus gave as a model is simplicity itself. There is none of that awe-inspiring “Oh, Thou!” which ministers affect in public prayer, but the ordinary informal request of a son to his father for things needed.
Jesus and Beelzebul1
11:14 He was casting out a demon,2 and it was mute. It happened, when the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke; and the multitudes marveled. 11:15 But some of them said, "He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the prince of the demons."3 11:16 Others, testing him, sought from him a sign from heaven. 11:17 But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation. A house divided against itself falls.4 11:18 If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebul. 11:19 But if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your children cast them out? Therefore will they be your judges. 11:20 But if I by the finger of God cast out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come to you.
11:21 "When the strong man, fully armed, guards his own dwelling, his goods are safe. 11:22 But when someone stronger attacks him and overcomes him, he takes from him his whole armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoils. 11:23 "He that is not with me is against me. He who doesn't gather with me scatters.
- See Matthew 12:22–30, 43–45; Mark 3:22–27.
- He was casting out a demon. There are many Truth students who have to learn to stop resisting the right use of denials. They say, “I do not need denials. I have affirmations.” But, yet, they are not realizing the significance of the fact that in Jesus’ ministry, so much of it consists in doing just what we say denial is supposed to do, cast out, overcome, get rid of. In our Bible text, He casts out a devil of dumbness and when examining His work through this same period, we find numerous instances of Him casting out devils, demons, getting rid of all kinds of afflictions and plagues which have invaded various individuals. (Ed Rabel, New Testament Lectures, Jesus and Beelzebul, pp.192-197)
- Beelzebul, the prince of the demons. This adversary is self, the sense of separate identity, the sense of a separate, independent identity, which is a part of consciousness, and is the adversary to mankind; but he serves a purpose. Without him, we would not be given opportunities for choice. You would be, again, back in Eden, totally instinctive, totally obedient instinctively. By availing ourselves of freedom of choice, we are different from being totally obedient instinctively; therefore, our obedience has value. Then our obedience is creative rather than instinctive, as it was in Eden. (Rabel)
- A house divided against itself falls. Jesus does not say a house divided shall fall, only that a house divided against itself will fall. This is a significant detail. In the Bible, you remember a house means an individual consciousness. You and I often have to divide a house or partition our consciousness for useful and constructive purposes, and then this causes greater growth and wider diversity of interest. But Jesus warned only of a house divided against itself. Now this consists of thinking or feeling or acting in ways which are actually working against our own consciousness of good, and we often mistake the end as being a total sanction for whatever means are used; but this is not correct. Only right means can bring right ends. (Rabel)
The Return of the Unclean Spirit1
11:24 The unclean spirit, when he has gone out of the man, passes through dry places,2 seeking rest, and finding none, he says, 'I will turn back to my house from which I came out.' 11:25 When he returns, he finds it swept and put in order. 11:26 Then he goes, and takes seven other spirits more evil than himself, and they enter in and dwell there. The last state of that man becomes worse than the first."3
- See Matthew 12:43-45. [A continuation of the house which has been put in order by Beelzebul. It is swept and put in order, but dry.]
- dry places. Metaphysically, a dry, barren, fruitless state of thought, signifying a belief in lack, lack of vitality, of substance, of strength, of power, and of increase of good (dried, parched, barren, lifeless, stubble, brush) (MBD/Phrygia).
- The last state of that man becomes worse than the first. [The effect of using denials without hearing the Word of God and keeping it. The lesson continues with 11:27-28 below.] From the first part of this scripture we know that a house divided against itself will fall. We know that in unity alone is strength. But from Jesus’ teaching in this particular Scripture, we glean it is far better to redeem, to transmute error rather than to pass it out. Lest if it return unto us, if we cast it out in an unpurified state. (Meditation by Cora Fillmore recorded in The Mysteries of The Four Gospels Lesson Ten, Unity Interpretation of The Word)
11:27 It came to pass, as he said these things, a certain woman out of the multitude lifted up her voice, and said to him, "Blessed is the womb that bore you,1 and the breasts which nursed you!"
11:28 But he said, "On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God,2 and keep it."
- Blessed is the womb that bore you. The woman symbolizes the feminine thought on the mortal plane of consciousness. Perhaps with her face turned toward the light, she had been listening to Jesus’ teachings and was filled with inspiration and she spoke from the the sense of natural parentage. But Jesus called her attention to the Spiritual parentage. The Blessed Mary was only the vehicle through whom Jesus was clothed with a material body, but his spiritual body ... how much greater is the Word of God that really creates all things!(Meditation by Cora Fillmore recorded in The Mysteries of The Four Gospels Lesson Ten, Unity Interpretation of The Word)
- On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God. The “Word of God” becomes confused with the Bible, because we are persistently taught by certain interpreters of Jesus Christ, that this written word, that is the Bible, is the word of God. Jesus didn’t teach that. He taught that the WORD OF GOD was something superior, far superior, far greater in its grip (scope or grasp!!) and its power than the written word. But the majority of people take this to mean that because they keep the word of God and follow it and hear it and use the Scriptures as their guide, they are the ones who are spiritually minded. And in a measure this is true. But we want to call your attention to the fact that there is a creative principle right here present at all times and that it is possible for man to quicken that spiritual principle in himself and become the the LIVING, ACTIVE WORD OF GOD.
The Sign of Jonah1
11:29 When the multitudes were gathering together to him, he began to say, "This is an evil2 generation.3 It seeks after a sign. No sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah, the prophet. 11:30 For even as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will also the Son of Man be to this generation. 11:31 The Queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and will condemn them: for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, one greater than Solomon is here. 11:32 The men of Nineveh4 will stand up in the judgment with this generation, and will condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, one greater than Jonah is here.
- See Matthew 12.38–42; Mark 8.12.
- evil. That which is not of God; unreality; error thought; a product of the fallen human consciousness; negation. (RW/evil)
- generation. Metaphysically, procreation. The law of generation is undoubtedly the mystery of mysteries in human consciousness. Men have probed, with more or less success, all the secrets of nature, but of the origin of life they know comparatively nothing. It is only when the inquiring mind transcends the human and rises into the spiritual realm that light comes. (RW/generation)
- Queen of the South, men of Nineveh. [See Matthew 12:41-42. Spiritually awakened states of consciousness which seek more than a sign.]
The Light of the Body1
11:33 "No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, that those who come in may see the light. 11:34 The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore when your eye is good, your whole body is also full of light; but when it is evil, your body also is full of darkness.2 11:35 Therefore see whether the light that is in you isn't darkness. 11:36 If therefore your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly full of light, as when the lamp with its bright shining gives you light."
- See Matthew 5:15; 6.22–23; Mark 4:21.
- when [your eye] is evil, your body also is full of darkness. It matters a great deal what one watches, or gives attention to. If one persists in recognizing that which appears to be evil and error, one cannot obtain abiding life and good. We are transformed into the Christ likeness by beholding Him, not by taking cognizance of the lesser self with its seeming limitations. "If thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is the darkness!" (Matthew 6:23). (MBD/Er)
Jesus Denounces Pharisees and Lawyers1
11:37 Now as he spoke, a certain Pharisee asked him to dine with him. He went in, and sat at the table. 11:38 When the Pharisee saw it, he marveled that he had not first washed himself before dinner. 11:39 The Lord said to him, "Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the platter, but your inward part is full of extortion and wickedness. 11:40 You foolish ones, didn't he who made the outside make the inside also? 11:41 But give for gifts to the needy those things which are within, and behold, all things will be clean to you. 11:42 But woe to you Pharisees!2 For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, but you bypass justice and the love of God. You ought to have done these, and not to have left the other undone. 11:43 Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seats in the synagogues, and the greetings in the marketplaces. 11:44 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like hidden graves, and the men who walk over them don't know it."3
11:45 One of the lawyers answered him, "Teacher, in saying this you insult us also."
11:46 He said, "Woe to you lawyers also!4 For you load men with burdens that are difficult to carry, and you yourselves won't even lift one finger to help carry those burdens. 11:47 Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and your fathers killed them. 11:48 So you testify and consent to the works of your fathers. For they killed them, and you build their tombs. 11:49 Therefore also the wisdom of God said, 'I will send to them prophets and apostles; and some of them they will kill and persecute, 11:50 that the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation; 11:51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zachariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary.' Yes, I tell you, it will be required of this generation. 11:52 Woe to you lawyers! For you took away the key of knowledge.5 You didn't enter in yourselves, and those who were entering in, you hindered."
11:53 As he said these things to them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to be terribly angry, and to draw many things out of him; 11:54 lying in wait for him, and seeking to catch him in something he might say, that they might accuse him.
- See Matthew 23.1–36; Mark 12.38–40.
- woe to you Pharisees! The Scriptural name of those who follow the letter of religion instead of the spirit. Those who interpret the Scriptures literally, those who personalize God, Christ, the Devil, and who localize heaven and hell, are the Pharisees of the present time. Spiritual things must be spiritually discerned and interpreted. It is the Pharisee in ourselves that causes us to love the forms and ceremonies of religion. It is the Pharisee in us that refuses to go deep into the consciousness and cleanse the inner man. It is the Pharisee in us that is ambitious for temporal honors, and that loves to be saluted with high-sounding titles. It is the Pharisaical thoughts that exalt and sustain personality.
- you are like hidden graves, and the men who walk over them don't know it. the Pharisaic state of mind is filled with lifeless, outworn beliefs of which the person harboring them may not be conscious and which he may not express at all in words. Nevertheless these beliefs remain in the subconsciousness of the Pharisaic person and retard his spiritual progress.
- Woe to you lawyers also! They represent the perceptive faculties that have a grasp of the law of life but that lack the imagination, good will, and generosity to extend their understanding to the whole man. He who knows what is good for him but who fails to pursue this good is burdened with a heavier load than he who does not know what is for his own good.
- For you took away the key of knowledge. Those who do not admit that the mind of man is free always to delve beneath the surface and bring up new truth, interpreting it in terms intelligible to itself. Those who regard vision and the understanding of spiritual truth as belonging to a past age and who think these cannot be a present possession. All who think that the revelation of Truth is a closed chapter are tomb builders.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by: Rev. Mark Hicks
A Warning against Hypocrisy1
12:1 Meanwhile, when a multitude of many thousands had gathered together, so much so that they trampled on each other, he began to tell his disciples first of all, "Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 12:2 But there is nothing covered up, that will not be revealed, nor hidden, that will not be known.2 12:3 Therefore whatever you have said in the darkness will be heard in the light. What you have spoken in the ear in the inner chambers will be proclaimed on the housetops.
- See Matthew 16:6, Mark 8:15
- But there is nothing covered up, that will not be revealed, nor hidden, that will not be known. The one spiritual creative Mind is everywhere present and that that Mind knows. It has the Source of knowledge, and that Source is called Light, and that Light is interpenetrative, and we are told by those who study Light, that it is quickened within man, that our minds are effervescing currents of light; rays of light are always going forth... There is a habit in the human consciousness of concealing and that leads to the dropping of a curtain. When you think about concealing, you separate yourself from this light and pretty soon your eyes grow dim. This brings us down to the practical teaching of Jesus Christ ... you can't hide. Murder will out. What you are thinking will come forth in language, affairs, face, form, everything, and especially in the eyes. (Meditation by Charles Fillmore recorded in The Mysteries of The Four Gospels Lesson Ten, We Cannot Conceal Anything From Spirit)
Exhortation to Fearless Confession1
12:4 "I tell you, my friends, don't be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 12:5 But I will warn you whom you should fear. Fear him, who after he has killed, has power to cast into Gehenna.2 Yes, I tell you, fear him.
12:6 "Aren't five sparrows sold for two assaria coins? Not one of them is forgotten by God. 12:7 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.3 Therefore don't be afraid. You are of more value than many sparrows.
12:8 "I tell you, everyone who confesses me before men, him will the Son of Man also confess before the angels of God; 12:9 but he who denies me in the presence of men will be denied in the presence of the angels of God. 12:10 Everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but those who blaspheme against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.4 12:11 When they bring you before the synagogues, the rulers, and the authorities, don't be anxious how or what you will answer, or what you will say; 12:12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that same hour what you must say."
- See Matthew 10:26-33
- Gehenna. Metaphysically, a region of lamentations; place of purifying fires; place of defilement. One does not have to die in order to go to hell, any more than one has to die to go to heaven. Both are states of mind, and conditions, which people experience as a direct outworking of their thoughts, beliefs, words, and acts. If one's mental processes are out of harmony with the law of man's being, they result in trouble and sorrow; mental as well as bodily anguish overtakes one, and this is hell. (MBD/hell)
- the very hairs of your head are all numbered. You are, therefore, numbered. To be numbered is to be especially designated as having place, relation, importance, and necessity. If you are numbered, you are one of the factors that enter into the great problem of life. To number and to name mean one and the same thing. If you are numbered, you are therefore recorded in the annals of heaven, and the Omnipresent Father knows you by a name peculiar to Spirit. (Charles Fillmore sermon, In The Name of the Lord, November 1911)
- those who blaspheme against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. The Holy Spirit is always willing to give itself to us, always. God’s good is always more than willing to give its action to us. Always more willing than we are. But, since we have been given the divine idea of freedom, we also are free if we so choose to reject our highest good. To disbelieve in it, to mock it, to lie about it. That’s called sin and blasphemy against our own highest good. If we are doing that, if we are rejecting our own highest good, Holy Spirit, then our highest good can’t give itself to us. If we won’t have it, then it can’t give itself to us. (Ed Rabel, Gospel Mysteries, Why Shall blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit Not Be Forgiven?)
The Parable of the Rich Fool
12:13 One of the multitude said to him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me."
12:14 But he said to him, "Man, who made me a judge or an arbitrator over you?" 12:15 He said to them, "Beware! Keep yourselves from covetousness, for a man's life doesn't consist of the abundance of the things which he possesses."1
12:16 He spoke a parable to them, saying, "The ground of a certain rich man brought forth abundantly.2 12:17 He reasoned within himself, saying, 'What will I do, because I don't have room to store my crops?' 12:18 He said, 'This is what I will do. I will pull down my barns, and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 12:19 I will tell my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years. Take your ease, eat, drink, be merry."'
12:20 "But God said to him, 'You foolish one, tonight your soul is required of you.3 The things which you have prepared--whose will they be?' 12:21 So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."4
- a man's life doesn't consist of the abundance of the things which he possesses. In what does a man's life consist? The abundance of the things of God that man possesses makes his life a rich and satisfying experience. An abundance of the things of the world may impoverish instead of enriching him, if he sets his heart upon them and forgets to seek the true riches.
- The ground of a certain rich man brought forth abundantly. The parable of the rich man whose ground brought forth plentifully represents what? The plentiful harvest of the rich man illustrates the principle of increase that is everywhere manifest as a result of concentration or devoted attention. The pulling down of the barns in order to build greater ones represents the greed of the selfish, self-centered soul that gives no thought to sharing, although sharing is the divine purpose of increase.
- tonight your soul is required of you. In what sense is the rich man's soul required of him? He who sets his heart on material riches and lives to enjoy them to the exclusion of spiritual things forfeits his soul to materiality. Setting the heart on a thing brings into play the active vitality of the soul qualities.
- and is not rich toward God. How do we become “rich toward God”? We become rich toward God through meditating upon God and communing with Him in daily prayer, and through setting our heart on the things that enlist the deepest interest of our mind and soul.
Do Not Worry1
12:22 He said to his disciples, "Therefore I tell you, don't be anxious for your life,2 what you will eat, nor yet for your body, what you will wear. 12:23 Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. 12:24 Consider the ravens:3 they don't sow, they don't reap, they have no warehouse or barn, and God feeds them. How much more valuable are you than birds!4 12:25 Which of you by being anxious can add a cubit to his height? 12:26 If then you aren't able to do even the least things, why are you anxious about the rest? 12:27 Consider the lilies,5 how they grow. They don't toil, neither do they spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 12:28 But if this is how God clothes the grass in the field, which today exists, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, how much more will he clothe you,6 O you of little faith? 12:29 Don't seek what you will eat or what you will drink; neither be anxious. 12:30 For the nations of the world seek after all of these things, but your Father knows that you need these things. 12:31 But seek God's Kingdom, and all these things will be added to you.7 12:32 Don't be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom.8 12:33 Sell that which you have, and give gifts to the needy. Make for yourselves purses which don't grow old, a treasure in the heavens that doesn't fail, where no thief approaches, neither moth destroys. 12:34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
- See Matthew 6:25–34, 19–21.
- don't be anxious for your life, what you will eat, nor yet for your body, what you will wear. We should have faith that all our needs will be met, when we make union in consciousness with the Spirit of infinite wisdom, love, and power.
- Consider the ravens. Birds are considered to be creatures of instinct, which enables them to find the climate and food suited to them.
- How much more valuable are you than birds! Man's instinct is less clearly defined than that of the birds, because he relies chiefly on reason, intuition, or faith in a higher power to put him in touch with limitless substance and so provide for his needs. Faith, reason, and intuition can be made instinctive in man as man consciously develops these powers. Man becomes a co-worker with God by readying himself through the exercise of faith, keeping his mind clear and untroubled, his feeling confident and serene, man works with God.
- Consider the lilies. The members of the vegetable kingdom develop true to form because, being without consciousness, they offer no obstruction to their perfect unfolding. Man’s development in the kingdom of the heavens should be much surer, since he can seek it consciously through faith.
- how much more will he clothe you. The body is more than externalized thought. It is the instrument by means of which man proves his thought true or untrue and demonstrates his understanding of the principles of right living.
- But seek God's Kingdom, and all these things will be added to you. By lending himself as a willing channel to Spirit, man adapts himself to such shifts and changes as he does not alter to suit himself. The nature of his equipment for mastering his environment, both mental and physical, frees him from handicaps and enables him to enter into eternal life consciousness, thus solving the question of survival.
- it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom. Problems are matters or situations that are difficult if not impossible of solution by the personal man. Through faith man solves his problems easily and to all appearance naturally.
12:35 "Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning. 12:36 Be like men watching for their lord,2 when he returns from the marriage feast; that, when he comes and knocks, they may immediately open to him. 12:37 Blessed are those servants, whom the lord will find watching when he comes. Most certainly I tell you, that he will dress himself, and make them recline, and will come and serve them.3 12:38 They will be blessed if he comes in the second or third watch, and finds them so. 12:39 But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what hour the thief was coming, he would have watched, and not allowed his house to be broken into. 12:40 Therefore be ready also, for the Son of Man is coming in an hour that you don't expect him."
- See Matthew 24:42–44; Mark 13.33–37.
- their lord. The natural man's “lord” is the dominant desire or impulse that he serves, whether consciously or unconsciously. Christ becomes our Lord when we develop the Christ Spirit in our daily life and affairs, and express that Spirit in preference to any other.
- and will come and serve them. This takes place when man becomes established in the spiritual consciousness.
The Faithful or the Unfaithful Slave1
12:41 Peter said to him, "Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everybody?"
12:42 The Lord said, "Who then is the faithful and wise steward,2 whom his lord will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the right times? 12:43 Blessed is that servant whom his lord will find doing so when he comes. 12:44 Truly I tell you, that he will set him over all that he has. 12:45 But if that servant says in his heart, 'My lord delays his coming,' and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken, 12:46 then the lord of that servant will come in a day when he isn't expecting him, and in an hour that he doesn't know, and will cut him in two, and place his portion with the unfaithful. 12:47 That servant, who knew his lord's will, and didn't prepare, nor do what he wanted, will be beaten with many stripes,3 12:48 but he who didn't know, and did things worthy of stripes, will be beaten with few stripes. To whoever much is given, of him will much be required; and to whom much was entrusted, of him more will be asked.4
- See Matthew 24:52–51; Mark 13:33–37. Faithfulness, watchfulness, readiness, are the keynotes of this lesson. The idea that Christ would come again at some future time was met by this series of parables and illustrations of the reward that always comes to those who are alert in taking advantage of the Now Opportunity.
- faithful and wise steward. The steward represents the soul of man, whose function it is to watch over, guard, and protect the body, and nourish it with the word of Truth. Watching means preparation to receive the Christ idea.
- will be beaten with many stripes. The natural or personal consciousness leads man to misuse his soul powers, and as a consequence the body is neglected or abused.
- to whom much was entrusted, of him more will be asked. Jesus is not doing negative fortune telling, negative crystal ball gazing. He is describing factors that go into patterns of evolutions, that are, in a sense, inescapable; and especially this is typical of what we call in Unity, the final time period of a dispensation, of a world dispensation. Another term that can be used for that is an evolutionary life wave or a dispensation in more religious terms. When the final stages of these are entered into, there is always what is called tumult; a kind of chaos and confusion and things of a rather drastic and spectacular nature occur with more frequency and affect more and more people. Some of this, to those without understanding, and to those who still have the habit of negative reaction, to everything strange or unexpected, these can be very trying times; and people can be made very unhappy and fearful unnecessarily if they do not know the Truth, if they do not understand the principles behind all evolutionary activity. So Jesus is not trying to alarm us but only trying to alert us, and if we are alert with an understanding of His teachings, with at least some background of experience in practicing His teachings, then these vivid occurrences, which are typical of the end periods of dispensations, will not harm us. (Ed Rabel, New Testament Lectures, Watch and Pray, pp.280-283)
Jesus the Cause of Division1
12:49 "I came to throw fire on the earth. I wish it were already kindled. 12:50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with,2 and how distressed I am until it is accomplished! 12:51 Do you think that I have come to give peace in the earth? I tell you, no, but rather division. 12:52 For from now on, there will be five in one house divided,3 three against two, and two against three. 12:53 They will be divided, father against son, and son against father; mother against daughter, and daughter against her mother; mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law, and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law."4
- See Matthew 10:34–36; 16.2–3; 5.25–26; Mark 10:38. [The Fillmores never commented on this passage nor the passages that follow. But the commentary of Cora Fillmore in The Mysteries of the Four Gospels offers an insightful way that Spiritual Understanding lifts up life’s burdens.]
- But I have a baptism to be baptized with. [Jesus refers to] a state of consciousness into which He was developing. The cup that He drank represented the agony of soul and body in the transition, from the material plane to the spiritual plane of consciousness. The baptism with which He was baptized was the saturation of His mind and body with the diving life. (MBI/Mark 10)
- from now on, there will be five in one house divided. The Christ man doesn’t enter into the human relationships. The Christ man has nothing to do with that. However, the language is of course in this text oriental. And we all know that the oriental language always uses very, very strong phrases. Today we don’t find that we have to deny our human relationship, do we? The more we unfold the Christ in ourselves, the more the Christ is unfolded in families, among friends, the closer we will all draw together. (The Mysteries of The Four Gospels Lesson Two, Not Peace But a Sword)
- and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. At the same time, we know that human relationship is temporary. Why? Because we have all lived thousands of lives upon the earth and no doubt we have had many different parents. There is only ONE ENDURING RELATIONSHIP and that is among those who are related spiritually. “Call no man on earth your father. One is your father, even God,” are Jesus’ own words. This grand truth, of course, breaks up the idea of human relationships, because while the human life, while the human sense of life is the steppingstones to the spiritual, yet when the human becomes spiritually quickened he enters under spiritual law. (Meditation by Cora Fillmore)
Interpreting the Time1
12:54 He said to the multitudes also, "When you see a cloud rising from the west, immediately you say, 'A shower is coming,' and so it happens. 12:55 When a south wind blows, you say, 'There will be a scorching heat,' and it happens. 12:56 You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky, but how is it that you don't interpret this time?2
- See Matthew 16:3
- how is it that you don't interpret this time? You know habit itself is stronger than nature. Let us get in the habit of making ourselves necessary to God. We may do thousands of things in the Silence. We may pour out healing blessings upon this one and that one—someone in need, no one else paying any attention to them, but the Lord always rewards. Let us remember that. If we are trying to unfold real spiritual qualities, let us do these things always for those [who] no one else is thinking about. We would reap a bountiful harvest. (Meditation by Cora Fillmore)
Settling with Your Opponent1
12:57 Why don't you judge for yourselves what is right?2 12:58 For when you are going with your adversary before the magistrate, try diligently on the way to be released3 from him, lest perhaps he drag you to the judge, and the judge deliver you to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. 12:59 I tell you, you will by no means get out of there, until you have paid the very last penny."
- See Matthew 5:25-26.
- Why don't you judge for yourselves what is right? It is the grand object of the race on the path of spiritual unfoldment. Strong and beautiful soul-faculties, these are all trying to unfold. Sometimes we get a down view. We attempt more than we can accomplish actually. However, occasionally we are thrown down in the life, we believe still this is the path of wonderful growth. (Meditation by Cora Fillmore)
- try diligently on the way to be released. We are entering into a new kingdom here and now. Right now is our time for silent meditation. One presence, one power, one intelligence. The silent, scientific prayer is the very tool of heaven itself. (Meditation by Cora Fillmore)
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by: Rev. Mark Hicks
World English Bible Footnotes:
-  v12:5. or, Hell
-  v12:6. An assarion was a small copper coin worth about an hour's wages for an agricultural laborer.
-  v12:59. literally, lepton. A lepton is a very small brass Jewish coin worth half a Roman quadrans each, which is worth a quarter of the copper assarion. Lepta are worth less than 1% of an agricultural worker's daily wages.
Repent or Perish
13:1 Now there were some present at the same time who told him about the Galileans,1 whose blood Pilate2 had mixed with their sacrifices. 13:2 Jesus answered them, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered such things?3 13:3 I tell you, no, but, unless you repent, you will all perish in the same way.4 13:4 Or those eighteen, on whom the tower in Siloam fell, and killed them; do you think that they were worse offenders than all the men who dwell in Jerusalem? 13:5 I tell you, no, but, unless you repent, you will all perish in the same way."5
- Galileans. Metaphysically, active life thoughts, illumined thoughts in the activity of life consciousness that exalt the Christ (MBD/Galileans)
- Pilate. Metaphysically, the ruling principle of the sense plane, the carnal will. (MBD/Pilate) The carnal will destroys the active life thoughts, even while they are engaged in the refining process (sacrifice) by which matter is made to ascend to mind and mind to Spirit.
- Do you think that these Galileans were ... sinners ... because they suffered such things? The error is inherent in the carnal will rather than in the thoughts of man, but until these thoughts are turned into constructive channels, they remain subject to the will of the lower or sense self.
- unless you repent, you will all perish in the same way. Jesus perceives they are concerned about two recent tragedies in which a number of so called, apparently innocent victims were killed. Those who are somewhat indoctrinated in the laws of consciousness would, then, start to surmise that something was in their consciousness that drew them to that place when that event occurred. What was it bad or wrong in their consciousness that caused them to be part of that? Jesus could see the futility of that kind of response or attitude. It is error. It is pernicious, so rather than "why those persons and not other persons", the real question should be, "why any person? Do these things have to happen?" So, Jesus says, "Repent". Change your way of thinking about why tragedies, accidents, happen, and why, this, that, when, those are involved. (Ed Rabel, New Testament Lectures, Repent or Perish, p.199)
- unless you repent, you will all perish in the same way. [No condition and no tragedy—from the common cold to unspeakable abomination—is outside of the realm of God to be transformed into greater good—when we align with God and apply our Christ-like nature to the condition. We do not cause all conditions and we can not prevent all tragedies. But we have the capacity to respond to imperfect conditions and tragedies in transformative, divine ways—ways that transform them into all good. That is our claim. Why Does God Allow Evil and Suffering?]
The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree1
13:6 He spoke this parable. "A certain man had a fig tree2 planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it, and found none. 13:7 He said to the vine dresser,3 'Behold, these three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and found none. Cut it down. Why does it waste the soil?' 13:8 He answered, 'Lord, leave it alone this year also, until I dig around it, and fertilize it. 13:9 If it bears fruit, fine; but if not, after that, you can cut it down.'"
- See Matthew 7:15-20
- fig tree What is symbolized by the barren fig tree? Thought activity that is not based on Truth and that is therefore unfruitful. (MBI/Matthew 7)
- vine dresser. Who is the vinedresser? The Christ, whose mission is to save and redeem even those whom men deem unworthy. No matter how unproductive our life has been, the Father is infinitely patient with us, and through the Christ Mind in us gives us a new and enriched opportunity to fulfill our divine purpose.
Jesus Heals a Crippled Woman
13:10 He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath day. 13:11 Behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years,1 and she was bent over, and could in no way straighten herself up. 13:12 When Jesus saw her, he called her, and said to her, "Woman, you are freed from your infirmity." 13:13 He laid his hands on her, and immediately she stood up straight, and glorified God.
13:14 The ruler of the synagogue, being indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the multitude, "There are six days in which men ought to work. Therefore come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day!"
13:15 Therefore the Lord answered him, "You hypocrites! Doesn't each one of you free his ox or his donkey from the stall on the Sabbath, and lead him away to water? 13:16 Ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan had bound eighteen long years, be freed from this bondage on the Sabbath day?"
13:17 As he said these things, all his adversaries were disappointed, and all the multitude rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.
- a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years. The main point of this lesson is that we should be more active in our demonstrations and expect results. This woman who was healed after eighteen years of subjection to some idea, was immediately healed, she was made straight and glorified God. The followers of Jesus Christ in this day are not living up to their privileges. They are not realizing the power of their healing words. Jesus laid down the law that the healing word that you speak in the earth, that is from the material plane, would react upon the heavens, or the mental plane. The fact is, this so-called earthly or formed state is as fully subject to the power of the word as the free mental state. The word we speak, and when we speak that word, something occurs. We may not observe it, but in this lesson today, this woman was immediately straightened up. What was it that Jesus understood in the power of the word that accomplished this that had taken this woman eighteen years to fix in her mind and body the idea? It was probably family, or other burdens of some kind, but whatever it was, it was fixed in the mind and gradually translated into the body. (The Mysteries of The Four Gospels Lesson Two, Healing the Woman Bowed Down Eighteen Years)
The Parable of the Mustard Seed1
13:18 He said, "What is the Kingdom of God like?2 To what shall I compare it?3 13:19 It is like a grain of mustard seed,4 which a man took, and put in his own garden. It grew, and became a large tree, and the birds of the sky lodged in its branches."
- See Matthew 13:31–33; Mark 4:30–32.
- What is the Kingdom of God like? It is the inner consciousness of the Presence of God within us. The kingdom was fully established in Jesus. Biblical Favorites by Jim Lewis—The Mustard Seed
- To what shall I compare it? The externalization of the Kingdom of God is one aspect of our purpose on earth. In order to do this, we must learn how to grow in dominion and mastery of existence. We cannot demonstrate the Kingdom of God if we have not first learned to be useful and dependable in the down-to-earth business of ordinary existence. Mr. Fillmore correctly states that the externalizing of God’ s Kingdom is being accomplished "little by little." This is true, and we must learn to reconcile ourselves to this fact. Otherwise we become impatient and seek shortcuts and artificial methods. (Ed Rabel, Unity Metaphysics: 05 The Kingdom of God—5D Externalization of The Kingdom Of God)
- It is like a grain of mustard seed. The mustard seed comparison shows the capacity of the apparently small thought of Truth to develop in consciousness until it becomes the abiding place of a higher range of thoughts (birds of the air). (RW/mustard-seed)
The Parable of the Yeast
13:20 Again he said, "To what shall I compare the Kingdom of God?1 13:21 It is like yeast, which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, until it was all leavened."
- To what shall I compare the Kingdom of God? It is a great mystery how these comparisons of heaven ever came to be construed as referring in any way to a locality in the skies. What relation to a city with streets of gold has a mustard seed, planted in the earth and springing forth into a tree, or a little cake of yeast fermenting a baking of bread? Heaven is a condition, to be brought about in the affairs of men, here on the earth. It is to grow from small beginnings, like the mustard seed or the yeast cake. His disciples were sent forth to sow the seed in a definite way, by carrying into the midst of men the signs that evidence the power of Spirit, through which the kingdom of heaven is to be established, right here on this planet. There is no basis for any other view. All the theories about a place called “heaven,” are founded on John’s symbolical description of New Jerusalem, which was a picture, in the imagination, of the fulfillment on earth of the very movement which Jesus inaugurated and which He described as having such small beginnings. This city, which John saw, is among men. Now that men are opening up the hidden resources of nature, in earth and in air, possibilities of achievement are dawning on them, and they see that human endeavor will yet make the earth a paradise. (Charles Fillmore, The Kingdom of Heaven Is At Hand)
The Narrow Door1
13:22 He went on his way through cities and villages, teaching, and traveling on to Jerusalem. 13:23 One said to him, "Lord, are they few who are saved?"
He said to them, 13:24 "Strive to enter in by the narrow door,2 for many, I tell you, will seek to enter in, and will not be able. 13:25 When once the master of the house has risen up, and has shut the door, and you begin to stand outside, and to knock at the door, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open to us!' then he will answer and tell you, 'I don't know you or where you come from.' 13:26 Then you will begin to say, 'We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.'3 13:27 He will say, 'I tell you, I don't know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of iniquity.' 13:28 There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets, in the Kingdom of God, and yourselves being thrown outside.4 13:29 They will come from the east, west, north, and south, and will sit down in the Kingdom of God. 13:30 Behold, there are some who are last who will be first, and there are some who are first who will be last."5
- See Matthew 7:13–14, 22–23; Matthew 8.11–12; Matthew 19.30; Mark 10:31.
- Strive to enter in by the narrow door. The open mind that measures all things by the gauge of Truth. This way is "straitened" because it requires that only Truth be recognized, and it rules out untruth or evil. (RW/narrow)
- ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ The easy, negative way by which men conform to sense consciousness and the pleasures of the world, with the result that their mind-muscle becomes soft and flabby. When trials come men find that they are not able to cope with them. (RW/gate,wide)
- and yourselves being thrown outside. Now this door is expressing through every one of our faculties. The door of the Spirit in your eyes, in your ears, and in your mouth especially. It is expressed through the words that you speak and especially through the concentration and appreciation, let us say of that Something in you that you say is "I AM", your central identity. And there is really Spirit. And yet it is a very small proposition. It seems insignificant and narrow, and the multitudes in the midst of their scramble for the broad highway of externality, miss it. As Jesus said, "This master of the house will close the door sometime and then those who have lingered in the outer will say: We ate and drank in thy place, and thou didst teach in our streets." That's our outer consciousness. (The Mysteries of The Four Gospels Lesson Three, The Door)
- there are some who are last who will be first, and there are some who are first who will be last. The disciples had a problem, just as we have a problem today. In the spiritually quickened soul, in the activity of this God-Mind we get some mighty realizations; strong, powerful insistent realizations. When we come out of them, it would seem as though that realization would transform the whole world and free those who are oppressed. It is not transformed! We feel we are truly the first in the kingdom. Now the truth of the business is that the personal ego within us has not been fully redeemed and it gets this quickening just the same as our spiritual nature, and it comes forth and assumes, or affirms, its personal greatness. Sometimes we spoil it by telling our friends how very strong we are spiritually, and how wonderful we are spiritually. Sometimes we get a bit puffed up.(The Mysteries of The Four Gospels Lesson Seven, Who Should Be the Greatest?)
The Lament over Jerusalem1
13:31 On that same day, some Pharisees came, saying to him, "Get out of here, and go away, for Herod wants to kill you."2
13:32 He said to them, "Go and tell that fox, 'Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I complete my mission. 13:33 Nevertheless I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the next day, for it can't be that a prophet perish outside of Jerusalem.'
13:34 "Jerusalem, Jerusalem,3 that kills the prophets, and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, like a hen gathers her own brood under her wings, and you refused! 13:35 Behold, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me, until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!'"
- See Matthew 23:37–39.
- Get out of here ... for Herod wants to kill you. Why was Jesus thus rejected? The Gospels indicate that the rejection of Jesus came about, not because He was something less than the Messiah the people expected, but because He proved Himself to be much more of a Messiah than the people actually wanted! People expected the Messiah to inaugurate a new kingdom; but Jesus declared: "The kingdom of God is [in the midst of you}." (See Luke 17:21, margin.) People expected the Messiah to change conditions in the land; but Jesus insisted that there must first be a change in the hearts of the people. (Herbert Hunt, A Study of the New Testament, The Gathering Storm)
- Jerusalem, Jerusalem Jesus weeping over Jerusalem is the picture of a great love welling up in the heart and flowing out to all the earth—the love of the good Father for His erring and willful children. Such is the love of Christ for His own; such is the love of God through Christ for all creation. We may talk about the wisdom of God, but the love of God must be felt in the heart. It cannot be described, and one who has not felt it can have no concept of it from the descriptions of others. But the more we talk about love, the stronger it grows in the consciousness, and if we persist in thinking loving thoughts and speaking loving words, we are sure to bring into our experience the feeling of that great love that is beyond description—the very love of God. (Charles Fillmore, Talks on Truth, The Development of Divine Love)
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by: Rev. Mark Hicks
World English Bible Footnotes:
Jesus Heals the Man with Dropsy
14:1 It happened, when he went into the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees on a Sabbath to eat bread, that they were watching him. 14:2 Behold, a certain man who had dropsy1 was in front of him. 14:3 Jesus, answering, spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?"
14:4 But they were silent.
He took him, and healed him, and let him go. 14:5 He answered them, "Which of you, if your son or an ox2 fell into a well, wouldn't immediately pull him out on a Sabbath day?"
14:6 They couldn't answer him regarding these things.
- a certain man who had dropsy. Entering the Pharisee's house on the Sabbath day represents that state of mind in which one rests and meditates upon the right or wrong relation of certain thoughts to Divine principles. The Jesus Christ idea involves continual rest in Spirit, which manifests in harmonious activity without, while the Pharisee, looking to the letter and form of things, looks upon the Sabbath as a rest from outer activity, which leads to inertia and negation. This leads to inertia and negation, represented by the man with the dropsy, whom Jesus (I Am) heals.
- your son or an ox. Your son or an ox represent physical strength. If your strength has fallen into a pit, or material bondage, you will lift it up in this consciousness of the perfection of all things in God's creation. The Pharisees are mute in the presence of these things, because they do not understand spiritual forces.
Humility and Hospitality
14:7 He spoke a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the best seats, and said to them, 14:8 "When you are invited by anyone to a marriage feast,1 don't sit in the best seat, since perhaps someone more honorable than you might be invited by him, 14:9 and he who invited both of you would come and tell you, 'Make room for this person.' Then you would begin, with shame, to take the lowest place. 14:10 But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes, he may tell you, 'Friend, move up higher.' Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at the table with you. 14:11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted."
14:12 He also said to the one who had invited him, "When you make a dinner or a supper, don't call your friends, nor your brothers, nor your kinsmen, nor rich neighbors, or perhaps they might also return the favor, and pay you back. 14:13 But when you make a feast, ask the poor, the maimed, the lame, or the blind;2 14:14 and you will be blessed, because they don't have the resources to repay you. For you will be repaid in the resurrection of the righteous."
- marriage feast. The feast on the Sabbath day is the inflow of Spiritual Substance, which we realize when we enter the inner silence. A “marriage feast” is where there is a conscious union between soul and body in this silent influx of substance. Pride, ambition, and avarice are to be repressed and the spirit of true worth cultivated. When the selfish, ambitious thoughts perceive that there is an all-pervading thought-substance, upon which they can feed and grow fat and rich in all ways, they strive for first place. We should curb this selfishness and let the master of the feast, Divine Intelligence, bid to honorable places worthy thoughts.
- ask the poor, the maimed, the lame, or the blind. We should build up our weak points, “the poor, the maimed, the lame and the blind,” thus filling a vacuum in consciousness. If we fail to correct our errors, and give all our attention to the thoughts we take pride in, there will be an abnormal development, the excess acting and reacting upon itself.
The Parable of the Great Dinner
14:15 When one of those who sat at the table with him heard these things, he said to him, "Blessed is he who will feast in the Kingdom of God!"1
14:16 But he said to him, "A certain man made a great supper, and he invited many people. 14:17 He sent out his servant at supper time to tell those who were invited, 'Come, for everything is ready now.' 14:18 They all as one began to make excuses.
"The first said to him, 'I have bought a field,2 and I must go and see it. Please have me excused.'
14:19 "Another said, 'I have bought five yoke of oxen,3 and I must go try them out. Please have me excused.'
14:20 "Another said, 'I have married a wife,4 and therefore I can't come.'
14:21 "That servant came, and told his lord these things. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, 'Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor, maimed, blind, and lame.'
14:22 "The servant said, 'Lord, it is done as you commanded, and there is still room.'5
14:23 "The lord said to the servant, 'Go out into the highways and hedges,6 and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. 14:24 For I tell you that none of those men who were invited will taste of my supper.'"6
- feast in the Kingdom of God! The Great Supper typifies the feast of the pure Substance of Spirit ever accessible to the individual. Before one can partake fully of the Substance of Spirit there must be a willingness to turn the attention to the ideas of Spirit, to the exclusion of all outer attractions.
- a field. The belief in materiality which prevents feasting on the pure Substance.
- five yoke of oxen. The dependence of man upon the five senses for his satisfaction.
- a wife. Centering the affections upon the things of the without; becoming lost in personal love.
- and there is still room. These guests represent our inherent gifts which enable us to appropriate substance. If our inherent powers are not quickened by desire for the higher realm, they fail to build up our character or fit us to occupy the kingdom. We then excuse ourself from seeking the benefits of mind, soul, and spirit, and confines our desires to the purely material or physical.
- Go out into the highways and hedges. The highways and hedges are well-worn thought habits. Notions of health, prosperity, peace, and harmony are all found in these mental grooves, and must be brought into line with the substance of true thought before man's life can be rounded out and made complete.
- none of those men who were invited will taste of my supper. The substance of Truth can be appreciated only by those who partake of it, because they are conscious of needing it. One who takes up the study of Truth idly, as a pastime, fails to get from it the value that is found by the one who comes to it because of some deep need.
The Cost of Discipleship
14:25 Now great multitudes were going with him. He turned and said to them, 14:26 "If anyone comes to me, and doesn't hate1 his own father, mother, wife, children, brothers, and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he can't be my disciple. 14:27 Whoever doesn't bear his own cross,2 and come after me, can't be my disciple. 14:28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, doesn't first sit down and count the cost,3 to see if he has enough to complete it? 14:29 Or perhaps, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, everyone who sees begins to mock him, 14:30 saying, 'This man began to build, and wasn't able to finish.' 14:31 Or what king, as he goes to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 14:32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends an envoy, and asks for conditions of peace. 14:33 So therefore whoever of you who doesn't renounce all that he has, he can't be my disciple.
- and doesn't hate. The word “hate” is used here in a figurative sense to emphasize the necessity of complete loyalty to the spiritual side of life. We must “love” (give supreme allegiance to) only God: we must “hate” (consider of secondary importance) all else. In reality we are to love our neighbor as ourselves in order to keep the second great commandment of the law. We are not forbidden to love our better self, for in so doing we love life, which is of God. However, our first allegiance is to the ideal of the Christ.
- Whoever doesn't bear his own cross. The cross that we must bear if we are to merit discipleship is faithful and loyal obedience to the divine law. We must remember to be what we desire to be, instead of following the impulses of the self, vacillating between sense and Spirit, between the human and the divine.
- doesn't first sit down and count the cost. After we have begun the work of reconstructing our thought and conduct to bring them into harmony with the Christ mind, what must we do to bring the work to completion? We must give up all habits that conflict with the constructive work of the Christ (renounce all that we have). By so doing we are able to build up without interruption instead of alternating between constructive and destructive work.
14:34 Salt1 is good, but if the salt becomes flat and tasteless, with what do you season it? 14:35 It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile. It is thrown out. He who has ears2 to hear, let him hear."
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by: Rev. Mark Hicks
World English Bible Footnotes:
The Parable of the Lost Sheep
15:1 Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming close to him to hear him. 15:2 The Pharisees and the scribes murmured,1 saying, "This man welcomes sinners, and eats with them."
15:3 He told them this parable. 15:4 "Which of you men, if you had one hundred sheep, and lost one of them, wouldn't leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one that was lost,2 until he found it? 15:5 When he has found it, he carries it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 15:6 When he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me,3 for I have found my sheep which was lost!' 15:7 I tell you that even so there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous people who need no repentance.
- The Pharisees and the scribes murmured. Man's self-righteous nature (scribes and Pharisees) objects to the undisciplined thoughts of the sense mind and desires to banish them without making an effort to redeem them. The Christ knows that this cannot be done successfully.
- Which of you ... wouldn't ... go after the one that was lost? That there must be complete dedication of the thoughts to the ideal of Truth before one can claim the redeeming power of the Christ or enter into the kingdom. No stray thought can be allowed to remain out of the fold of constructive thinking.
- Rejoice with me. There more joy over one sinner who repents than over ninety and nine just persons who need no repentance because changing the mind (repenting) requires effort and depth of purpose, whereas considering oneself good enough without making an effort to improve is the static condition under which man makes no progress.
The Parable of the Lost Coin
15:8 Or what woman, if she had ten drachma coins, if she lost one drachma coin, wouldn't light a lamp, sweep the house, and seek diligently until she found it? 15:9 When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found the drachma which I had lost.'1 15:10 Even so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner repenting."
- I have found the drachma which I had lost. Finding the lost piece of silver by the woman represents the perfecting of the soul (woman) through diligent thought for the things of God.
The Parable of the Prodigal Son and His Brother1
15:11 He said, "A certain man had two sons.2 15:12 The younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me my share of your property.' He divided his livelihood between them.3 15:13 Not many days after, the younger son gathered all of this together and traveled into a far country.4 There he wasted his property with riotous living. 15:14 When he had spent all of it, there arose a severe famine in that country, and he began to be in need.5 15:15 He went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 15:16 He wanted to fill his belly with the husks6 that the pigs ate, but no one gave him any. 15:17 But when he came to himself he said, 'How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough to spare, and I'm dying with hunger! 15:18 I will get up and go to my father,7 and will tell him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight. 15:19 I am no more worthy to be called your son. Make me as one of your hired servants."'
15:20 "He arose, and came to his father.8 But while he was still far off, his father saw him, and was moved with compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. 15:21 The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'
15:22 "But the father said to his servants, 'Bring out the best robe, and put it on him. Put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. 15:23 Bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat, and celebrate; 15:24 for this, my son, was dead, and is alive again.9 He was lost, and is found.' They began to celebrate.10
15:25 "Now his elder son was in the field. As he came near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 15:26 He called one of the servants to him, and asked what was going on. 15:27 He said to him, 'Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and healthy.' 15:28 But he was angry, and would not go in. Therefore his father came out, and begged him. 15:29 But he answered his father, 'Behold, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed a commandment of yours, but you never gave me a goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. 15:30 But when this, your son, came, who has devoured your living with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.'
15:31 "He said to him, 'Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 15:32 But it was appropriate to celebrate and be glad, for this, your brother, was dead, and is alive again. He was lost, and is found.'"
- Jesus was giving a series of lessons on the subject of the repentance of sinners. In this parable he said: “I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.” From this we understand that the man who had two sons is God.
- A certain man had two sons. The two sons are soul consciousness and sense consciousness. Through the soul we are related to the Spirit, and through the sense to the flesh. These mental states are thought aggregations. All the thoughts of a spiritual character gravitate together and form a state of consciousness that is pervaded by Spirit, and perpetually sustained by the Divine Mind. This is the Spiritual Soul, or superconsciousness. The Human Soul thought aggregation finds its first pleasure in sense avenues. It is the exuberance of youth, where every human sense is flooded with life.
- He divided his livelihood between them. These are the riches of God which are divided between the states of mind. These two souls, or states of thought, are referred to by Paul as the Spirit and the flesh at enmity, one warring against the other. It is not strictly correct to say that this higher plane of thought is the Spirit, but rather that it is the spiritual consciousness. The Spirit does not war against anybody or anything.
- traveled into a far country. The mind that revels in pleasures of sense, gradually finds itself centering about the things it thinks so much of. This is a law of thought action. What you think a great deal about, and like to do, you gradually become attached to it, and in due course the attachment becomes so strong that you separate yourself from everything else. The constant thought of man about sense objects and sense pleasures gradually sunders him from the spiritual, and he grows to believe that it does not exist. This is the journey into the “far country.”
- he began to be in need. But being detached in consciousness from the real sources of existence, the sense consciousness gradually uses up the life it has in the lusts of the flesh, and not knowing how to go within and draw from the original fount, there is a “mighty famine in that country, and he began to be in want.”
- He wanted to fill his belly with the husks. Then there is a still further descent into sense conditions. The sense soul attaches itself to the realm of flesh, and tries to get sustenance out of it. The original text here indicates that he literally glued himself to the selfish personality of the flesh consciousness. He fed the swinish nature with the husks of life, and got no soul satisfaction. When we get down into the animal, and try to feed our souls with its mere outer covering of Truth (husks), we starve. The human is eliminated until there is no man in it, “and no man gave unto him.”
- I will get up and go to my father. The coming to himself of the Human Soul is the awakening of understanding. Why should the body grow old and lose its life, “perish with hunger,” when in the Father's house the hired servants have substance enough? The mind that has been groveling in sense must rise to a higher range of thought and go, or continually send its thought, in spiritual ways. This journey back to Spirit is not completed in a day, but is a gradual step by step traveling, sometimes over rough roads.
- He arose, and came to his father. The moment the thought arises to the contemplation of Spirit, there is a union with the Divine Mind; his father “fell on his neck and kissed him.” Confession of sin, or falling short, is good for the self-centred man. It opens the door to higher things, and mellows the soul.
- for this, my son, was dead, and is alive again. He who is a slave to the senses is dead to all considerations of the spiritual truths of life. He cannot express his better nature because it is lost under the thick blanket of sense that envelops his thoughts.
- They began to celebrate. When we make the unity between the outer sense and the inner Spirit there is great rejoicing, and the outer is flooded with vitality (robe), unending power is put into his hand (ring), and his understanding (feet) clothed upon. The “fatted calf “ is the richness of strength always awaiting the needy soul. When all these relations have been established between the within and the without, there is rejoicing. The dead man of sense is made alive in the consciousness of Spirit; the lost is found. “And they began to be merry.”
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by: Rev. Mark Hicks
World English Bible Footnotes:
The Parable of the Dishonest Manager
16:1 He also said to his disciples, "There was a certain rich man1 who had a manager.2 An accusation was made to him that this man was wasting his possessions.3 16:2 He called him, and said to him, 'What is this that I hear about you? Give an accounting of your management, for you can no longer be manager.'
16:3 "The manager said within himself, 'What will I do,4 seeing that my lord is taking away the management position from me? I don't have strength to dig. I am ashamed to beg. 16:4 I know what I will do, so that when I am removed from management, they may receive me into their houses.' 16:5 Calling each one of his lord's debtors to him,5 he said to the first, 'How much do you owe to my lord?'6 16:6 He said, 'A hundred batos of oil.' He said to him, 'Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.'7 16:7 Then said he to another, 'How much do you owe?' He said, 'A hundred cors of wheat.' He said to him, 'Take your bill, and write eighty.'
16:8 "His lord commended the dishonest manager because he had done wisely, for the children of this world are, in their own generation, wiser than the children of the light.8 16:9 I tell you, make for yourselves friends by means of unrighteous mammon, so that when you fail, they may receive you into the eternal tents. 16:10 He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much. He who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. 16:11 If therefore you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? 16:12 If you have not been faithful in that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own? 16:13 No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. You aren't able to serve God and mammon."
- a certain rich man. The different characters stand for our different aspects of ourselves at different times, different ways to think and feel and react, communicate. In this parable, we want to realize that the lord, the steward, and the debtors are all different aspects of each person's thinking, feeling, and being. (These annotations are from Ed Rabel, New Testament Lectures, p.220)
- who had a manager. Now, in Jesus’ parable, He refers to the lord as the rich man; and this rich man has a steward. The Lord of your being also has a steward, and the steward is your human self, the self of you, of which you are ordinarily aware and that you call "me".
- this man was wasting his possessions. The Lord makes you one with all good; and the human level of your being serves as steward to the spiritual of your being, which is Lord. Now, this means, in effect, that we can humanly draw upon the substance of the good of our Lord and cause it to become forms, formed. We are to invest these forms into life, and as we do this lovingly, generously, and faithfully, then we are fulfilling our human role of wise stewardship
- What will I do? We begin to feel very insecure and our life starts to feel burdensome and futile. This is good, that we do not like this, because it means that we are reawakening to the importance of our responsibility and privilege in wise and faithful stewardship.
- Calling each one of his lord's debtors to him. Every person, of course, goes through periods in his life when, either by making mistakes or selfish behavior or unwise attitudes, causes debtor-factors to accumulate in his life. These debtor-factors in our life can be any place where good is no longer appearing.
- How much do you owe to my lord? Notice what Jesus had this steward do, though, about his realization of his wastefulness and his mistakes, his debtor-factors. He does not try to ignore the debtors. He does not try to evade all his responsibility in this situation, but he does what to him seems the wisest and best thing to do in such a dilemma. He goes to each of his lord's recognized debtors, takes as much as payment from them as he can reasonably expect to get, and forgives the remainder of the debt.
- Take your bill ... and write fifty. When you and I recognize our unwise stewardship and we also recognize the debtor-factor we have created, then we must remember as much truth as we can and realize that nothing is ever hopeless, and it is never too late. As human beings, we can always derive at least something good out of anything. A lot of people think you must get that before you can extract the good out of anything. This is not true. Where we are now, in our human self-consciousness, we can extract something good out of anything, it does not matter what.
- the children of this world are, in their own generation, wiser than the children of the light. Jesus is saying persons are all in different levels of understanding, of development. Some have greater degrees of awareness and skills than others and that those on what we would call, for the sake of analysis, lower stages of development, lower phases of unfoldment, who do the best they can in their limitations, are actually doing something greater than those with a great deal of know-how, who do what comes naturally anyhow.
The Law and the Kingdom of God1
16:14 The Pharisees2, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they scoffed at him. 16:15 He said to them, "You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts. For that which is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God. 16:16 The law and the prophets were until John. From that time the Good News of the Kingdom of God is preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it. 16:17 But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away, than for one tiny stroke of a pen in the law to fall. 16:18 Everyone who divorces his wife, and marries another, commits adultery. He who marries one who is divorced from a husband commits adultery.
- [This parable should be considered a preface to the next parable, The Rich Man and Lazarus]
- A Pharisee observes the forms but neglects the spirit of religion. Henry Ward Beecher said: "A Pharisee is one who worships instruments. Whoever believes that churches, or books, or institutions, or customs, are more valuable than men is a Pharisee." (MBD/pharisees)
The Rich Man and Lazarus1
16:19 "Now there was a certain rich man, and he was clothed in purple and fine linen, living in luxury every day. 16:20 A certain beggar, named Lazarus, was laid at his gate, full of sores, 16:21 and desiring to be fed with the crumbs that fell from the rich man's table.2 Yes, even the dogs came and licked his sores. 16:22 It happened that the beggar died, and that he was carried away by the angels to Abraham's bosom.3 The rich man also died, and was buried. 16:23 In Hades, he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far off, and Lazarus at his bosom.4 16:24 He cried and said, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue! For I am in anguish in this flame.'
16:25 "But Abraham said, 'Son, remember that you, in your lifetime, received your good things, and Lazarus, in like manner, bad things. But now here he is comforted and you are in anguish. 16:26 Besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, that those who want to pass from here to you are not able, and that none may cross over from there to us.'
16:27 "He said, 'I ask you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father's house; 16:28 for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, so they won't also come into this place of torment.'
16:29 "But Abraham said to him, 'They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.'
16:30 "He said, 'No, father Abraham, but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.'
16:31 "He said to him, 'If they don't listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if one rises from the dead.'"
- The meaning of this parable is that, when one who has built up a consciousness of love for material things, dies, he continues to long for those things, and has no means of satisfying his desire. This brings “torment.” Lazarus, through his nonattachment to things, rests peacefully in the bosom of Abraham, Abraham representing the Father.
- desiring to be fed with the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table. The inner man craves the sustenance of man’s thought, even the least portion of the outer man’s attention. These are the crumbs that fall from the rich man’s table, but they do not avail to nourish or sustain the inner man.
- Abraham’s bosom. A Jewish name, not of heaven, but of the intermediate state of bliss, in which the souls of the just await the resurrection. Metaphysically the term means a state of faith in which man’s soul rests safe and undisturbed from all thought of worldly trials and suffering.
- and saw Abraham far off, and Lazarus at his bosom. As the worldly-minded man sees living in the same world with him some person whose mind is given to higher values, so after the death of the body the mind, which is eternal, discerns that certain states that the earthly consciousness has never penetrated afford rest and peace to those who have attained them. Perceiving this Truth is a different matter from attaining to it, for between the two states of consciousness there is a great gulf fixed.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by: Rev. Mark Hicks
World English Bible Footnotes:
Some Sayings of Jesus
17:1 He said to the disciples, "It is impossible that no occasions of stumbling1 should come, but woe to him through whom they come! 17:2 It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, rather than that he should cause one of these little ones2 to stumble. 17:3 Be careful. If your brother sins against you,3 rebuke him. If he repents, forgive him. 17:4 If he sins against you seven times in the day, and seven times returns, saying, 'I repent,' you shall forgive him."4
17:5 The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith."5
17:6 The Lord said, "If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed,6 you would tell this sycamore tree, 'Be uprooted, and be planted in the sea,' and it would obey you. 17:7 But who is there among you,7 having a servant8 plowing or keeping sheep, that will say, when he comes in from the field, 'Come immediately and sit down at the table,' 17:8 and will not rather tell him, 'Prepare my supper, clothe yourself properly, and serve me, while I eat and drink. Afterward you shall eat and drink'? 17:9 Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded?9 I think not. 17:10 Even so you also, when you have done all the things that are commanded you, say, 'We are unworthy servants.10 We have done our duty.'"
- occasions of stumbling. Occasions of stumbling come because the race consciousness, in which the majority of people live, makes such occasions inevitable. Occasions of stumbling will be done away entirely only when the whole race becomes conscious of spiritual reality.
- these little ones. These little ones are people who have only a little understanding of Truth but a sincere desire to practice it as faithfully as possible.
- If your brother sins against you. Our reaction when someone “sins” against us should be to take care that we do not in our turn offend the one who has offended us. We should make sure that our reaction is constructive and in harmony with divine law.
- you shall forgive him. If someone offends us and does not ask forgiveness, should we continue to harbor resentment against him? The habit of harboring resentment is so hurtful to the mind that consideration of our own welfare, if nothing higher, should cause us to forgive everyone immediately, without waiting to be asked to do so.
- Increase our faith. [Jesus tells them] that it is not a matter of how much [faith] you have [but rather] are you aware that you have it or not? That is all. The size, the quantity does not enter into it. Spirit has nothing to do with quantity or size. There are no dimensions in Spirit. In Spirit, the only thing that counts as far as a human being is concerned, is yea or nay, are you or aren't you, do you or don't you, will you or won't you; not how much or what size, or even what shape, but yea or nay. You either are aware of faith and what it is in you, or you are not. If you are aware of it, then being aware, of itself, is the how-to in using it; and it is strengthened. So the idea is not to worry about how much of any of these faculties you have, but are you working with them or not. Are they quickened? Do you understand what they are? (These annotations are from Ed Rabel, New Testament Lectures, pp.230-1)
- If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed. Jesus uses the fancy illustration of transforming the sycamore tree from the soil into the sea. How? Charles Fillmore says that faith is our faculty which has the power of transforming energy from one plane of consciousness to another. It is the great firmnative [formative] principle of creation. In us, it is the faculty which also does this and is our direct connection with substance. When we use our faith faculty correctly, we make our affirmations of truth directly connected with substance, which brings forth results. If the faith faculty is in alignment with the faculty of power, then it results in the moving or transforming of energy from one plane of consciousness to another, and usually invisible or potential plane to the visible or the actual.
- who is there among you? Jesus refers to the indwelling law of your highest good, your eternal unfoldment into greater degrees of goodness or awareness of goodness.
- having a servant. So to do anything which increases your degree of awareness of goodness, to do anything which facilitates your encounter with your highest good, is called "serving the Lord".
- Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded? Jesus is showing us a false belief, which is that by doing what I have to do anyway, I am serving my Lord. But by doing only what you have to do, you are promulgating even exchange, in metaphysical terms. We are sustaining status quo when we do what we have to do because we have to do it.
- when you have done all the things that are commanded you, say, 'We are unworthy servants. The only person who increases his own highest good is the person who does and is more than he has to do, has to. In other words, he does his good as a matter of choice. He uses his freedom of will, his freedom of expression; and as a matter of choice, he does more than he has to, and in making that kind of a choice, he is serving his Lord. It is no longer even exchange. It is spiritual effort and growth.
Jesus Cleanses Ten Lepers
17:11 It happened as he was on his way to Jerusalem, that he was passing along the borders of Samaria and Galilee.1 17:12 As he entered into a certain village, ten men who were lepers met him, who stood at a distance. 17:13 They lifted up their voices, saying, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!"
17:14 When he saw them, he said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the priests."2 It happened that as they went, they were cleansed. 17:15 One of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice. 17:16 He fell on his face at Jesus' feet, giving him thanks;3 and he was a Samaritan. 17:17 Jesus answered, "Weren't the ten cleansed? But where are the nine? 17:18 Were there none found who returned to give glory to God, except this stranger?" 17:19 Then he said to him, "Get up, and go your way. Your faith has healed you."4
- was passing along the borders of Samaria and Galilee. The Samaritan represents a state of consciousness that gives recognition to both good and “evil.” In this case the consciousness of good prevailed over the evil, giving a quickened appreciation of benefits received and an awareness of the divine source from which the healing came. The nine Children of Israel represent formal religious thoughts, which means that they reckoned themselves the chosen of God and took their healing as a matter of course, without troubling to show what they felt.
- Go and show yourselves to the priests. Jesus commanded them to obey the Mosaic law. His high consciousness of divine law, as He spoke to them, and the willing obedience of the lepers and their expectation of healing combined to restore them to health.
- giving him thanks. What does the Christ Spirit indicate as the proper course for us to take when our prayer is answered? It inspires us to feel and express gratitude for all that we receive or expect to receive and to acknowledge God as the source of all our good.
- Your faith has healed you. To what does the Christ give credit for the work of healing? To faith. Healing rests largely with the one who lacks health. If he keeps his vision fixed on health and steadily claims health instead of disease, in full faith that his words are heard, he will realize healing.
The Coming of the Kingdom1
17:20 Being asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come, he answered them, "The Kingdom of God doesn't come with observation;2 17:21 neither will they say, 'Look, here!' or, 'Look, there!' for behold, the Kingdom of God is within you."3
17:22 He said to the disciples, "The days will come, when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man,4 and you will not see it. 17:23 They will tell you, 'Look, here!' or 'Look, there!' Don't go away, nor follow after them, 17:24 for as the lightning, when it flashes out of the one part under the sky, shines to the other part under the sky; so will the Son of Man be in his day. 17:25 But first, he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. 17:26 As it happened in the days of Noah, even so will it be also in the days of the Son of Man. 17:27 They ate, they drank, they married, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ship, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. 17:28 Likewise, even as it happened in the days of Lot: they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; 17:29 but in the day that Lot went out from Sodom, it rained fire and sulfur from the sky, and destroyed them all. 17:30 It will be the same way in the day that the Son of Man is revealed. 17:31 In that day, he who will be on the housetop, and his goods in the house, let him not go down to take them away. Let him who is in the field likewise not turn back. 17:32 Remember Lot's wife! 17:33 Whoever seeks to save his life loses it, but whoever loses his life preserves it. 17:34 I tell you, in that night there will be two people in one bed. The one will be taken, and the other will be left. 17:35 There will be two grinding grain together. One will be taken, and the other will be left." 17:36 
17:37 They, answering, asked him, "Where, Lord?"
He said to them, "Where the body is, there will the vultures also be gathered together."
- See Luke 21:25-37
- The Kingdom of God doesn't come with observation. Why is the coming of the kingdom of heaven “not with observation”? Because it is entered into consciously through right feeling, right thinking, and right acting. Only the last of these is visual, and since right feeling and right thinking precede right acting, the initial coming of the kingdom is unobserved by the senses.
- the Kingdom of God is within you. [Note: the NRSV translates this as “the kingdom of God is among you” with a footnote “Or within”.] There are many planes of life, one above or below another, yet not conflicting. All creation is based on life activity, or as it is called in physical science, rates of vibration. A certain activity in the life current forms worlds on a plane, which we may call the physical; a little increase in the vibratory rate makes another system, which we may designate as the psychical; a still higher rate makes a universe where spiritual ideas prevail. These are all interlaced and interblended in the presence around and within us, hence the 'Kingdom of God is within you’, or 'among you’, as one translator gives it. (Unity Metaphysics: 05 The Kingdom of God)
- one of the days of the Son of Man. [Unity never commented on this passage. The following may be helpful.] The "Son of God" is Jehovah God, Christ, I AM, the composite Idea of God, the image of God, the Word of God, spiritual man, the ideal pattern of man in the Mind of God. This ideal is inherent in every man as his spiritual nature. The "Son of man" is the human being or manifest man quickened in awareness to the divinity of himself. He is becoming conscious of himself as a "Son of God," and is gradually expressing and manifesting his real nature. This state of becoming conscious of himself as a "Son of God" is metaphorically referred to as the "new birth," "rebirth," being "born again," being "born anew." (Unity Correspondence School, Series 2 - Lesson 3 - Annotation 20)
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by: Rev. Mark Hicks
World English Bible Footnotes:
The Parable of the Widow and the Unjust Judge
18:1 He also spoke a parable to them that they must always pray,1 and not give up, 18:2 saying, "There was a judge in a certain city who didn't fear God,2 and didn't respect man. 18:3 A widow3 was in that city, and she often came to him, saying, 'Defend me from my adversary!' 18:4 He wouldn't for a while, but afterward he said to himself, 'Though I neither fear God, nor respect man, 18:5 yet because this widow bothers me, I will defend her, or else she will wear me out by her continual coming.'"
18:6 The Lord said, "Listen to what the unrighteous judge says. 18:7 Won't God avenge his chosen ones, who are crying out to him day and night, and yet he exercises patience with them? 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them quickly.4 Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"
- that they must always pray. Not just audible words, but a prayerful attitude of mind; silent or audible speaking of words
- who didn't fear God. Judge represents intellect, in this case stubborn in a continued way of thinking producing undesirable results
- widow. a belief in lack; though not good in of itself, serves to call attention to judge, in this case, stubborn intellect. Also note the repeated action of the widow with the same declaration; affirmative prayer.
- he will avenge them quickly. According to the original text, this verse should be translated: “And will not God grant justice to his chosen, who cry to him day and night, and have pity on them? He will, I tell you, grant them justice instantly.”
The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector
18:9 He spoke also this parable to certain people who were convinced of their own righteousness, and who despised all others. 18:10 "Two men went up into the temple to pray; one was a Pharisee,1 and the other was a tax collector.2 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed to himself like this: 'God, I thank you, that I am not like the rest of men, extortioners, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 18:12 I fast twice a week. I give tithes of all that I get.' 18:13 But the tax collector, standing far away, wouldn't even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, a sinner!' 18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself3 will be exalted."
- Pharisee. The "Pharisee" in consciousness is a selfish state of mind produced by the intellect. It is this self-satisfied mental attitude that causes man to lose sight of the real needs of soul and body, and finally results in dissolution of its own false structure, often at the expense of man's body. (MBD/Pharisees)
- tax collector. (Publican, ASV). What in consciousness is a “publican”? In consciousness a “publican” is the spirit of meekness that opens us to the inflow of cleansing, illuminating Truth.
- he who humbles himself. Those who humble themselves have reference to the crucifixion of personality. They are “far away,” but empty and receptive to the love and wisdom of God, while the consciousness is being illumined and the Christ within exalted.
Jesus Blesses Little Children
18:15 They were also bringing their babies to him, that he might touch them. But when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. 18:16 Jesus summoned them, saying, "Allow the little children to come to me, and don't hinder them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 18:17 Most certainly, I tell you, whoever doesn't receive the Kingdom of God like a little child,1 he will in no way enter into it."
- See Matthew 19:13–15; Mark 10:13–16.
- like a little child. “In entering upon this course of instruction, each of you should, so far as possible, lay aside, for the time being, all previous theories and beliefs ... If there is anything, as we proceed, which you do not understand or agree with, just let it lie passively in your mind until you have read the entire book ... for the time being, be willing to become as a little child.” (Emilie Cady, Lessons in Truth, Lesson 1, Statement of Being).
The Rich Ruler
18:18 A certain ruler asked him, saying, "Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"1
18:19 Jesus asked him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good, except one--God. 18:20 You know the commandments: 'Don't commit adultery,' 'Don't murder,' 'Don't steal,' 'Don't give false testimony,' 'Honor your father and your mother.'"
18:21 He said, "I have observed all these things from my youth up."
18:22 When Jesus heard these things, he said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have, and distribute it to the poor. You will have treasure in heaven. Come, follow me."
18:23 But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was very rich.
18:24 Jesus, seeing that he became very sad, said, "How hard it is for those who have riches to enter into the Kingdom of God! 18:25 For it is easier for a camel to enter in through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God."
18:26 Those who heard it said, "Then who can be saved?"
18:27 But he said, "The things which are impossible with men are possible with God."
18:28 Peter said, "Look, we have left everything, and followed you."
18:29 He said to them, "Most certainly I tell you, there is no one who has left house, or wife, or brothers, or parents, or children, for the Kingdom of God's sake, 18:30 who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the world to come, eternal life."
- what shall I do to inherit eternal life? Man already has inherited eternal life. Life is eternal, but no state of existence is eternal. Here is the point, to know the difference between the truth of eternal life, which never changes, and states of existence, which change constantly. Existence, itself, is a changeability. It is a state, and many persons confuse their desire to know eternal life with their desire to prolong their current state of existence, and we can’t have that because if it was possible and you succeeded in prolonging your current state of existence, you would be bored. Really you would be destroyed. You could not take it. Jesus realized, obviously, that many persons made this mistake. They think that because their current state of existence is pleasant that they want it extended into eternity, and Jesus, in His understanding, realized that that is not what you want at all. In fact, if you could have it, you would curse the day you gained it. What you really want is what you already have, eternal life, and you want a true consciousness of this; so, therefore, Jesus realized that anything at all, no matter how good or pleasant or desirable, which causes you to want your present state prolonged, is dangerous. (Ed Rabel, New Testament Lectures, pp.241)
A Third Time Jesus Foretells His Death and Ressurection1
18:31 He took the twelve aside, and said to them, "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all the things that are written through the prophets concerning the Son of Man2 will be completed. 18:32 For he will be delivered up to the Gentiles, will be mocked, treated shamefully, and spit on. 18:33 They will scourge and kill him.3 On the third day, he will rise again."
18:34 They understood none of these things. This saying was hidden from them, and they didn't understand the things that were said.
- See Cf. Matthew 20:17–19; Mark 10:32–34.
- Son of Man. See annotation for Son of Man above, Luke 17:20. The Son of Man is the state of becoming conscious of ourself as a “Son of God”.
- They will scourge and kill him. Try to remember that in metaphysical language “self” means your present concept of you human personality, while soul means your total awareness, your awareness, of your being: Spirit, soul and body of your being, that is your totality, but your awareness of your total being is your soul and then self is your present opinion of your human personality. ... Here Jesus is very strongly implying that if we want to save ourselves a great deal of unhappiness and disappointment we can begin by giving up the notion that self must come first in all things. (Ed Rabel, New Testament Lectures, pp.241)
Jesus Heals a Blind Beggar1
18:35 It happened, as he came near Jericho,2 a certain blind3 man sat by the road, begging. 18:36 Hearing a multitude going by, he asked what this meant. 18:37 They told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. 18:38 He cried out, "Jesus, you son of David, have mercy on me!" 18:39 Those who led the way rebuked him, that he should be quiet; but he cried out all the more, "You son of David, have mercy on me!"
18:40 Standing still, Jesus commanded him to be brought to him. When he had come near, he asked him, 18:41 "What do you want me to do?"
He said, "Lord, that I may see again."
18:42 Jesus said to him, "Receive your sight. Your faith has healed you."
18:43 Immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God. All the people, when they saw it, praised God.
- See Matthew 20:29–34; Matthew 9:27–31; Mark 10:46–52.
- Jericho. Meta. The definitions of Jericho express relative terms; that is, they stand in a state of dependence on the Absolute. Jericho is the opposite of Jerusalem. One represents the spiritual; the other, the material. We often start from Jerusalem with high spiritual resolves, but are robbed by outlaw thoughts on the way (MBD/Jericho).
- blind. Metaphysically, a darkened consciousness. When we are exalted and illumined in our thoughts, darkness disappears (MBD/blind eyes).
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Rev. Mark Hicks and Eddie Rodriguez.
World English Bible Footnotes:
Jesus and Zacchaeus
19:1 He entered and was passing through Jericho. 19:2 There was a man named Zacchaeus.1 He was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. 19:3 He was trying to see who Jesus was, and couldn't because of the crowd, because he was short. 19:4 He ran on ahead, and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was to pass that way. 19:5 When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and saw him, and said to him, "Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house."2 19:6 He hurried, came down, and received him joyfully. 19:7 When they saw it, they all murmured, saying, "He has gone in to lodge with a man who is a sinner."3
19:8 Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, "Behold, Lord, half of my goods I give to the poor. If I have wrongfully exacted anything of anyone, I restore four times as much."
19:9 Jesus said to him, "Today, salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham. 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost."4
- Zacchaeus means “purified.” He was small of stature and smaller still in his dealings with his fellows. Avarice had walled him in within the narrow limits of his own selfishness.
- Jesus spoke kindly to Zacchaeus, engaged him in conversation, and spent the day as a guest in his home. As He talked He taught Zacchaeus the meaning of honesty, and His own manifest integrity impressed the chief publican.
- Zacchaeus was honest with himself. He did not care what people thought of him but satisfied his curiosity at the expense of his dignity. He at least followed his impulses honestly, and when he became interested in goodness (incarnated in Jesus), he at once investigated goodness.
- Avarice gives place to honesty, and the man is transformed from a petty trickster to an open-minded, fair-dealing citizen, intent on righting the wrongs that he has done in his ignorance.
The Parable of the Ten Mina Coins
19:11 As they heard these things, he went on and told a parable, because he was near Jerusalem, and they supposed that the Kingdom of God would be revealed immediately. 19:12 He said therefore, "A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom,1 and to return. 19:13 He called ten servants of his, and gave them ten mina coins,2 and told them, 'Conduct business until I come.' 19:14 But his citizens hated him, and sent an envoy after him, saying, 'We don't want this man to reign over us.'
19:15 "It happened when he had come back again, having received the kingdom, that he commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by conducting business.3 19:16 The first came before him, saying, 'Lord, your mina has made ten more minas.'
19:17 "He said to him, 'Well done, you good servant! Because you were found faithful with very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.'4
19:18 "The second came, saying, 'Your mina, Lord, has made five minas.'
19:19 "So he said to him, 'And you are to be over five cities.' 19:20 Another came, saying, 'Lord, behold, your mina, which I kept laid away in a handkerchief, 19:21 for I feared you, because you are an exacting man. You take up that which you didn't lay down, and reap that which you didn't sow.'
19:22 "He said to him, 'Out of your own mouth will I judge you, you wicked servant! You knew that I am an exacting man, taking up that which I didn't lay down, and reaping that which I didn't sow. 19:23 Then why didn't you deposit my money in the bank, and at my coming, I might have earned interest on it?' 19:24 He said to those who stood by, 'Take the mina away from him,5 and give it to him who has the ten minas.'
19:25 "They said to him, 'Lord, he has ten minas!' 19:26 'For I tell you that to everyone who has, will more be given; but from him who doesn't have, even that which he has will be taken away from him. 19:27 But bring those enemies of mine who didn't want me to reign over them here, and kill them before me.'"
- Christ, the Son of Divine Mind, is the nobleman. The kingdom in the far country, which he is to receive, is spiritual dominion.
- Servants, mina coins (pounds). The servants represent the faculties, and the pounds represent the senses, which are dual in their expression. This incident represents the first quickening, or the first coming to our consciousness of the Christ, or spiritual self. The activity of the senses is under the direction of the faculties.
- What they had gained by conducting business. At the second coming, or the second conscious realization of Christ, we are expected to increase the capacity of every faculty, on every plane of consciousness.
- have authority over ten cities. We are given power and dominion over certain thought centers, of cities, and great increase in the ability to realize and demonstrate Spirit.
- Take the mina away from him. The inaction results in atrophy and uselessness. “Take away from him the pound, and give it unto him that hath the ten pounds.”
Jesus’ Entry into Jerusalem
19:28 Having said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.
19:29 It happened, when he drew near to Bethsphage and Bethany,1 at the mountain that is called Olivet, he sent two of his disciples, 19:30 saying, "Go your way into the village on the other side, in which, as you enter, you will find a colt2 tied, whereon no man ever yet sat. Untie it, and bring it. 19:31 If anyone asks you, 'Why are you untying it?' say to him: 'The Lord needs it.'"3
19:32 Those who were sent went away, and found things just as he had told them. 19:33 As they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, "Why are you untying the colt?" 19:34 They said, "The Lord needs it." 19:35 They brought it to Jesus. They threw their cloaks on the colt, and set Jesus on them. 19:36 As he went, they spread their cloaks in the way. 19:37 As he was now getting near, at the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice4 for all the mighty works which they had seen, 19:38 saying, "Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest!"
19:39 Some of the Pharisees5 from the multitude said to him, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!"
19:40 He answered them, "I tell you that if these were silent, the stones would cry out."6
See Matt. 21:1-10; Mark 11:1-11a; John 12:12-19
- These symbols indicate the centers where the life forces are gathered in the organism. They indicate not only subconscious spiritual potentialities, but also the houses, or cell centers, through which the forces work.
- colt. A burden bearer, and we locate its house, or center, in the abdominal region. Unregenerate people never have sat upon or controlled this animal force, and in the natural order of expression it never has been directed in the right way.
- The Lord needs it. In order to quicken and energize every cell in the organism, it is necessary that a fuller consciousness of the life force be realized.
- The loud voice represents the outer manifestation through the power of the spoken word. By our words we should joyously express the evidences of life that well up within us.
- Pharisees. The old conservative states of consciousness that would suppress the natural enthusiasm and joy of spirit.
- Stones would cry out. Crystallized and stored-up forces of the organism, which are set free in regeneration, will react upon the nerve centers and will cause them to cry out in pain.
Jesus Weeps over Jerusalem
19:41 When he drew near, he saw the city and wept over it, 19:42 saying, "If you, even you, had known today the things which belong to your peace! But now, they are hidden from your eyes. 19:43 For the days will come on you, when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, surround you, hem you in on every side, 19:44 and will dash you and your children within you to the ground. They will not leave in you one stone on another,1 because you didn't know the time of your visitation."
- Jerusalem represents peace. Whoever does not realize peace in himself, but who consciously or unconsciously promotes discord in his environment and expresses it inwardly, has no understanding of peace. For him there is no true peace of mind.
Jesus Cleanses the Temple
19:45 He entered into the temple, and began to drive out those who bought and sold in it, 19:46 saying to them, "It is written, 'My house is a house of prayer,'1 but you have made it a 'den of robbers'!"2
19:47 He was teaching daily in the temple, but the chief priests and the scribes and the leading men among the people sought to destroy him. 19:48 They couldn't find what they might do, for all the people hung on to every word that he said.
- My house is a house of prayer. The temple of our body consciousness should be constantly in touch with God through meditation and prayer.
- Den of robbers. Through entertaining fears, worries, anxieties, doubts, suspicions, and other negative thoughts, we lose our peace of mind, and our body becomes a prey to destructive forces.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Rev. Mark Hicks
World English Bible Footnotes:
Who Is Giving You This Authority?
20:1 It happened on one of those days, as he was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the Good News, that the priests and scribes came to him with the elders. 20:2 They asked him, "Tell us: by what authority do you do these things? Or who is giving you this authority?"1
20:3 He answered them, "I also will ask you one question. Tell me: 20:4 the baptism of John, was it from heaven, or from men?"2
20:5 They reasoned with themselves, saying, "If we say, 'From heaven,' he will say, 'Why didn't you believe him?' 20:6 But if we say, 'From men,' all the people will stone us, for they are persuaded that John was a prophet." 20:7 They answered that they didn't know where it was from.
20:8 Jesus said to them, "Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things."
- who is giving you this authority? The Spirit of truth is the one and only authority in the study of Truth. See Matthew 7:29 and John 16:13 (RW/authority)
- the baptism of John, was it from heaven, or from men? Jesus was trying to teach the chief priests and elders to do something for themselves. He told them He could not explain in definite language what to do from the plane of the natural man, symbolized by John the Baptist, but that they must use their inspiration. They had the same source of inspiration that He contacted—God. They should know for themselves that all authority is from God. ... Metaphysically interpreted, the indwelling Christ, symbolized by Jesus, is endeavoring to teach the highest religious thoughts in authority (the chief priests and elders) how to go to the one invisible Source and find out for themselves that all authority is from God (Jesus' Soul Evolution pp.797-8)
Throwing Christ Out of the Vineyard
20:9 He began to tell the people this parable. "A man planted a vineyard, and rented it out to some farmers, and went into another country for a long time. 20:10 At the proper season, he sent a servant to the farmers to collect his share of the fruit of the vineyard. But the farmers beat him, and sent him away empty. 20:11 He sent yet another servant, and they also beat him, and treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty. 20:12 He sent yet a third, and they also wounded him, and threw him out. 20:13 The lord of the vineyard said, 'What shall I do? I will send my beloved son.1 It may be that seeing him, they will respect him.'
20:14 "But when the farmers saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, 'This is the heir. Come, let's kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.' 20:15 They threw him out of the vineyard,2 and killed him. What therefore will the lord of the vineyard do to them? 20:16 He will come and destroy these farmers, and will give the vineyard to others."
When they heard it, they said, "May it never be!"
20:17 But he looked at them, and said, "Then what is this that is written,
'The stone which the builders rejected,
the same was made the chief cornerstone?'
20:18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces,
but it will crush whomever it falls on to dust."
20:19 The chief priests and the scribes sought to lay hands on him that very hour, but they feared the people--for they knew he had spoken this parable against them.
- man: God or Divine Mind. vineyard: the aggregation of religious ideas in the mind of man. servants: desire to keep the law and maintain a just balance between inner nature and expression through the enlightened faculties. farmer: the faculties that are given over to the dominance of the personal self. beloved son: the Christ or expression of perfect ideas in Divine Mind.
- threw him out of the vineyard. By being put out of man’s thought life or by being regarded as an impractical ideal without application to the practical affairs of everyday life, the natural or sense man suppresses or “kills” the Son of Christ by refusing to give it recognition or expression.
Our Inner Spies
20:20 They watched him, and sent out spies,1 who pretended to be righteous, that they might trap him in something he said, so as to deliver him up to the power and authority of the governor. 20:21 They asked him, "Teacher, we know that you say and teach what is right, and aren't partial to anyone, but truly teach the way of God. 20:22 Is it lawful for us to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?"
20:23 But he perceived their craftiness, and said to them, "Why do you test me?2 20:24 Show me a denarius. Whose image and inscription are on it?"
They answered, "Caesar's."
20:25 He said to them, "Then give to Caesar3 the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." 20:26 They weren't able to trap him in his words before the people. They marveled at his answer, and were silent.
- They watched him, and sent out spies. The higher self is under continual suspicion of the sense self, which challenges every altruistic motive as ulterior instead.
- Why do you test me? Old, established religious thoughts and beliefs are antagonistic toward Truth.
- give to Caesar. We should recognize the demands of the external world in which we live, since we can transform it only by our life and example.
Resurrection, Metaphysically Considered
20:27 Some of the Sadducees came to him, those who deny that there is a resurrection.1 20:28 They asked him, "Teacher, Moses wrote to us that if a man's brother dies having a wife, and he is childless, his brother should take the wife, and raise up children for his brother. 20:29 There were therefore seven brothers. The first took a wife, and died childless. 20:30 The second took her as wife, and he died childless. 20:31 The third took her, and likewise the seven all left no children, and died. 20:32 Afterward the woman also died. 20:33 Therefore in the resurrection whose wife of them will she be? For the seven had her as a wife."
20:34 Jesus said to them, "The children of this age marry, and are given in marriage. 20:35 But those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage.2 20:36 For they can't die any more, for they are like the angels, and are children of God, being children of the resurrection. 20:37 But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed at the bush, when he called the Lord 'The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.' 20:38 Now he is not the God of the dead, but of the living,3 for all are alive to him."
20:39 Some of the scribes answered, "Teacher, you speak well." 20:40 They didn't dare to ask him any more questions.
- resurrection. The resurrection is designating the state of consciousness which is completely above or greater than the current human level, even at the highest attainment.
- neither marry, nor are given in marriage. Jesus indicates that on our next higher dimension of consciousness, in the resurrection, human relationships, such as cause us trouble in figuring out now, such as marital, will no longer be what they now seem to be.
- he is not the God of the dead, but of the living. Jesus is asked a question, but it is based upon a low and faulty level of perception. Jesus simply cannot bring Himself to give the answer on that same level, so He gives the answer on a Truth level. (Ed Rabel NT Lectures, Questions about the Resurrection)
Perfect Being and Divine Love
20:41 He said to them, "Why do they say that the Christ1 is David's son? 20:42 David2 himself says in the book of Psalms,
'The Lord said to my Lord,
"Sit at my right hand,
20:43 until I make your enemies the footstool of your feet."'
20:44 "David therefore calls him Lord, so how is he his son?"
- Christ. The one complete idea of perfect human being in Divine Mind (MBD/Christ).
- David. divine love individualized in human consciousness (MBD/David).
Beware of the Accepted Authorities
20:45 In the hearing of all the people, he said to his disciples,1 20:46 "Beware of the scribes,2 who like to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts; 20:47 who devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayers: these will receive greater condemnation."
- disciples. Metaphysically, the faculties of mind.
- scribes. Religious thoughts and beliefs of men which depend for their authority on their acceptance by leaders and masses; the trait that causes a man to crave and seek to gain the applause and esteem of others.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Rev. Mark Hicks.
World English Bible Footnotes:
The Widow’s Offering
21:1 He looked up, and saw the rich people1 who were putting their gifts into the treasury. 21:2 He saw a certain poor widow2 casting in two small brass coins. 21:3 He said, "Truly I tell you, this poor widow put in more3 than all of them, 21:4 for all these put in gifts for God from their abundance, but she, out of her poverty, put in all that she had to live on."
- rich people. Thought forces that are active in accumulating material supply, and consequently have always a surplus.
- poor widow. The affectional or divine love side of the individual, which has become separated from divine wisdom and consequently is impoverished.
- this poor widow put in more. The widow gave all; she poured out all her love and substance, thereby exercising self-denial. The rich men gave of their bounty, making great display, but not in any way lessening their own comfort. That kind of giving amounts to but little in the sight of God.
The Destruction of the Temple Foretold
21:5 As some were talking about the temple and how it was decorated with beautiful stones and gifts, he said, 21:6 "As for these things which you see, the days will come, in which there will not be left here one stone on another that will not be thrown down."1
- there will not be left here one stone on another that will not be thrown down. The old is passing away and the new is being ushered in. Interpreted within ourselves a temple, as here referred to, represents material conditions, which Jesus taught would dissolve and disappear like a dream at the end of the age. No doubt today is the time to which He was looking forward. This whole chapter refers to regeneration. At the same time it has Its outer manifestation. Everything that takes place in the mind also expresses Itself in outer changes. It pictures man in his many experiences on the journey from the human to the divine consciousness. (Jesus' Soul Evolution p.1035-6)
Signs and Persecutions
21:7 They asked him, "Teacher, so when will these things be? What is the sign that these things are about to happen?"
21:8 He said, "Watch out that you don't get led astray, for many will come in my name, saying, 'I am he,' and, 'The time is at hand.' Therefore don't follow them. 21:9 When you hear of wars and disturbances,1 don't be terrified, for these things must happen first, but the end won't come immediately."
21:10 Then he said to them, "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 21:11 There will be great earthquakes, famines, and plagues in various places. There will be terrors and great signs from heaven. 21:12 But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you, delivering you up to synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for my name's sake. 21:13 It will turn out as a testimony for you. 21:14 Settle it therefore in your hearts not to meditate beforehand how to answer, 21:15 for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to withstand or to contradict. 21:16 You will be handed over even by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends. They will cause some of you to be put to death. 21:17 You will be hated by all men for my name's sake. 21:18 And not a hair of your head will perish.
21:19 "By your endurance you will win your lives.
- wars and disturbances, Such things have nothing to do with “cosmic events, but result from men's belief in separation and their selfish lust for power and possessions. The end is not immediately connected with man's personal or selfish activities.
The Destruction of Jerusalem Foretold
21:20 "But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is at hand. 21:21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let those who are in the midst of her depart. Let those who are in the country not enter therein. 21:22 For these are days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. 21:23 Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who nurse infants in those days!1 For there will be great distress in the land, and wrath to this people. 21:24 They will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
- those days! Spiritually interpreted, "those days" do not refer to some far off future date, but to man's own consciousness. When we are awakened to the truth about God and man, and begin to practice that that truth, then our material consciousness is nearlng its last days of existence. Every day is the "last day" of the old way of thinking and the "beginning" of the new day. (Jesus' Soul Evolution p.1035-6)
The Coming of the Son of Man
21:25 There will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars; and on the earth anxiety of nations, in perplexity for the roaring of the sea and the waves; 21:26 men fainting for fear, and for expectation of the things which are coming on the world: for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 21:27 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.1 21:28 But when these things begin to happen, look up, and lift up your heads, because your redemption is near."
- glory. Realization of divine unity; the blending and merging of man's mind with God-Mind. Glorification is the highest spiritual state of consciousness attainable by man. (RW/glory). the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Each one of us is a son of man, and our glory and power is in the keeping of the divine Logos. (Teach Us To Pray p.69)
The Kingdom Of God Is Near
21:29 He told them a parable. "See the fig tree, and all the trees. 21:30 When they are already budding, you see it and know by your own selves that the summer is already near. 21:31 Even so you also, when you see these things happening, know that the Kingdom of God is near.1 21:32 Most certainly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things are accomplished. 21:33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will by no means pass away.
- the Kingdom of God is near. Heaven is a condition to be brought about in the affairs of men here on the earth. It is to grow from small beginnings, like the mustard seed or the yeast cake. His disciples were sent forth to sow the seed in a definite way, by carrying into the midst of men the signs that evidence the power of Spirit through which the kingdom of heaven is to be established, right here on this planet. There is no basis for any other view. Unity Tract; The Kingdom of God Is At Hand.
Be Watchful All The Time
21:34 "So be careful, or your hearts will be loaded down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that day will come on you suddenly.1 21:35 For it will come like a snare on all those who dwell on the surface of all the earth. 21:36 Therefore be watchful all the time, praying that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will happen, and to stand before the Son of Man."
21:37 Every day Jesus was teaching in the temple, and every night he would go out and spend the night on the mountain that is called Olivet.2 21:38 All the people came early in the morning to him in the temple to hear him.
- that day will come on you suddenly. The Christ comes again, as to Jesus, in the mind and heart of man, when he experiences birth into the consciousness of spiritual things.
- Olivet. Mount of Olives; height yielding illuminating oil; high luminous principle; shining mount; exalted enlightenment. A mountain, or ridge of hills, near Jerusalem, to the east of the city. The ascension of Jesus Christ took place there (Acts 1:12),
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Rev. Mark Hicks.
World English Bible Footnotes:
The Plot to Kill Jesus
22:1 Now the feast of unleavened bread, which is called the Passover, drew near. 22:2 The chief priests and the scribes sought how they might put him to death, for they feared the people. 22:3 Satan1 entered into Judas,2 who was surnamed Iscariot, who was numbered with the twelve. 22:4 He went away, and talked with the chief priests and captains about how he might deliver him to them. 22:5 They were glad, and agreed to give him money. 22:6 He consented, and sought an opportunity to deliver him to them in the absence of the multitude.
See Matt. 26:1-5; Mark 14:1-2; John 11:47-53
- Satan The deceiving phase of mind that has fixed ideas in opposition to Truth (adversary, lier in wait, accuser, opposer, hater, an enemy). Satan assumes various forms in our consciousness, among which may be mentioned egotism, a puffing up of the personality; and the opposite of this, self-deprecation, which admits the "accuser" into the consciousness. This "accuser" makes us believe that we are inherently evil.
- Judas. Judas Iscariot—the custodian of life. This Judas represents the unredeemed life forces. He also typifies that in humanity which, though it has caught the higher vision of life, still resorts to underhanded methods in order to meet its obligations. Judas carried the money bag, and he betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver.
The Preparation of the Passover
22:7 The day of unleavened1 bread came, on which the Passover2 must be sacrificed. 22:8 He sent Peter and John, saying, "Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat."
22:9 They said to him, "Where do you want us to prepare?"
22:10 He said to them, "Behold, when you have entered into the city, a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you. Follow him into the house which he enters. 22:11 Tell the master of the house, 'The Teacher says to you, "Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?"' 22:12 He will show you a large, furnished upper room.3 Make preparations there."
22:13 They went, found things as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover.
See Matt. 26:17-19; Mark 14:12-16
- leaven. The law of increase observable throughout the entire creation is represented by leaven. Unleavened bread. The coming of a time when sincerity and truth shall form the mainspring of our life.
- passover. The Passover is a symbol of our passing from sense to spiritual consciousness. It is therefore consistent with the giving up of pretense and duplicity for the sake of sincerity and truth.
- large, furnished upper room. The mind with its exhaustless store of ideas.
The Institution of the Lord's Supper
22:14 When the hour had come, he sat down with the twelve apostles. 22:15 He said to them, "I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer, 22:16 for I tell you, I will no longer by any means eat of it until it is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God."1 22:17 He received a cup, and when he had given thanks, he said, "Take this, and share it among yourselves, 22:18 for I tell you, I will not drink at all again from the fruit of the vine, until the Kingdom of God comes."
22:19 He took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it,2 and gave to them, saying, "This is my body which is given for you. Do this in memory of me."3 22:20 Likewise, he took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood,4 which is poured out for you. 22:21 But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table.5 22:22 The Son of Man indeed goes, as it has been determined, but woe to that man through whom he is betrayed!" 22:23 They began to question among themselves, which of them it was who would do this thing.
See Matt. 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-26; I Cor. 11:23
- until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God. The outer symbols used are inadequate to the spiritual appropriation of life and substance. Jesus, in his spiritual consciousness, could take no part in the material observance, but that he would soon be raised to a kingdom where he could partake of the real spiritual life and substance which the bread and wine represent. Those who observe the letter of the law in partaking of the Lord's supper do not receive the essence of spiritual life and substance. Spiritual things must be spiritually discerned and spiritually appropriated.
- he broke it. Bread signifies the body of Christ or divine substance, and it is broken to indicate that we can appropriate it by degrees. No one can assimilate limitless substance, but each may partake of it according to their understanding or their mental and soul capacity.
- do this in remembrance of me. The disciples had not yet been raised to spiritual consciousness; therefore, they needed the outer representation to lead men to the inner realization of the substance and life which the bread and the wine symbolize.
- the new covenant in my blood. The promise of new life through the appropriation of the principle of the Christ in our life and daily activities.
- the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table. The betrayer is sense consciousness, whose hand or power enters into all outer manifestation.
The Dispute about Greatness
22:24 There arose also a contention among them, which of them was considered to be greatest.1 22:25 He said to them, "The kings of the nations lord it over them, and those who have authority over them are called 'benefactors.' 22:26 But not so with you.2 But one who is the greater among you, let him become as the younger, and one who is governing, as one who serves. 22:27 For who is greater, one who sits at the table, or one who serves? Isn't it he who sits at the table? But I am in the midst of you as one who serves. 22:28 But you are those who have continued with me in my trials. 22:29 I confer on you a kingdom, even as my Father conferred on me,3 22:30 that you may eat and drink at my table in my Kingdom. You will sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."4
See Matt. 20:24-28; Matt. 19:28; Mark 10:41-45
- was considered to be greatest. Before we enter into this Gethsemane experience, self being still enthroned, there will be strife as to “who should be accounted greatest.”
- not so with you in the kingdom of heaven: but we that would attain to true spiritual greatness, let hus be least as to self: for spiritual eminence is attained by the Gethsemane victory over self by self-renunciation.
- even as my Father conferred on me. What I have done in overcoming, you can do; and, as I have full dominion in my kingdom in the name of the Father, so shall you have full dominion in your kingdom in the name of Christ.
- the twelve tribes of Israel. The number twelve represents spiritual fulfillment or perfection. The twelve tribes of Israel symbolize our twelve faculties, which we raise to perfection through the I AM.
Jesus Predicts Peter's Denial
22:31 The Lord said, "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan1 asked to have you, that he might sift you as wheat,2 22:32 but I prayed for you,3 that your faith wouldn't fail. You, when once you have turned again, establish your brothers."
22:33 He said to him, "Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death!"4
22:34 He said, "I tell you, Peter, the rooster will by no means crow today until you deny that you know me three times."
See Matt. 26:30-35; Mark 14:27-31; John 13:36-38
- Satan (the adversary) represents fear in our personal mind, causing us to take thought for our own safety regardless of the claims of all others.
- sift you as wheat. An unstable faith is largely due to our failure to identify himself with our spiritual source and draw upon divine strength in meeting temptation and tests that seem too much for us to meet successfully.
- but I prayed for you. The Christ prayer of understanding will ultimately bring to our consciousness the pure “wheat” of True Being. When we reach this state of spiritual understanding, we shall be able to “strengthen the brethren.” Only those who have passed through the great stages of overcoming know how to strengthen the weak, who have not made these demonstrations.
- I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death. Simon has not yet learned the great lesson of self-renunciation: he is self-sufficient; we can never go with Christ “to prison and to death,” until we demonstrate over self and self-will in Gethsemane; although with self exalted we may think we can demonstrate over “death”; self and spirit are antipodal; self must be dethroned.
Purse, Bag, and Sword
22:35 He said to them, "When I sent you out without purse, and wallet, and shoes, did you lack anything?"
They said, "Nothing."
22:36 Then he said to them, "But now, whoever has a purse, let him take it,1 and likewise a wallet. Whoever has none, let him sell his cloak, and buy a sword. 22:37 For I tell you that this which is written must still be fulfilled in me: 'He was counted with the lawless.' For that which concerns me has an end."
22:38 They said, "Lord, behold, here are two swords."
He said to them, "That is enough."
- But now, whoever has a purse, let him take it. When you are alive to the Christ's voice, “sending you out” in his service, you will “lack nothing”; you will be provided for and defended. But when that voice is not heard within, and you are not alive to the spiritual, you had better carefully procure the things of worldly supply and defense
Jesus Prays on the Mount of Olives
22:39 He came out, and went, as his custom was, to the Mount of Olives.1 His disciples also followed him. 22:40 When he was at the place, he said to them, "Pray that you don't enter into temptation."
22:41 He was withdrawn from them about a stone's throw,2 and he knelt down and prayed, 22:42 saying, "Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done."
22:43 An angel from heaven appeared to him, strengthening him. 22:44 Being in agony he prayed more earnestly.3 His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground.
22:45 When he rose up from his prayer, he came to the disciples, and found them sleeping because of grief, 22:46 and said to them, "Why do you sleep? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation."
- Mount of Olives. The meaning of this name is “high luminous principle.” And it represents the exaltation of divine love and wisdom in consciousness. The great work in the life of everyone is to incorporate the Christ mind in soul and body. The process of eliminating the old consciousness and entering into the new may be compared to the “wine press and oil,” which is the meaning of Gethsemane.
- he was departed from them about a stone's throw. The disciples represent the various faculties of the mind: faith, strength, judgment, love, power, imagination, understanding, will, order, zeal, elimination, and life. They are still under the law of sense.
- in an agony he prayed more earnestly; From birth we are identified with sense consciousness, until it becomes ingrained in us. Separation from sense then causes us to suffer. The prayer that springs from overwrought emotion aroused by fear or apprehension does not prove effectual, unless faith in God proves stronger than the fear. Of itself agonizing does not make prayer effectual.
The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus
22:47 While he was still speaking, behold, a multitude, and he who was called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He came near to Jesus to kiss him. 22:48 But Jesus said to him, "Judas, do you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?"1
22:49 When those who were around him saw what was about to happen, they said to him, "Lord, shall we strike with the sword?" 22:50 A certain one of them struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear.
22:51 But Jesus answered, "Let me at least do this"--and he touched his ear, and healed him. 22:52 Jesus said to the chief priests, captains of the temple, and elders, who had come against him, "Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? 22:53 When I was with you in the temple daily, you didn't stretch out your hands against me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness."
See Matt. 26:47-56; Mark 14:43-50; John 18:3-11
- you betray the Son of man with a kiss? Every time the life and substance of Spirit is used to further sense demands Jesus (the personal human being) is betrayed anew into the hands of His enemies.
Peter Denies Jesus
22:54 They seized him, and led him away, and brought him into the high priest's house. But Peter followed from a distance. 22:55 When they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard, and had sat down together, Peter sat among them. 22:56 A certain servant girl saw him as he sat in the light, and looking intently at him, said, "This man also was with him."
22:57 He denied1 Jesus, saying, "Woman, I don't know him."
22:58 After a little while someone else saw him, and said, "You also are one of them!"
But Peter answered, "Man, I am not!"
22:59 After about one hour passed, another confidently affirmed, saying, "Truly this man also was with him, for he is a Galilean!"
22:60 But Peter said, "Man, I don't know what you are talking about!" Immediately, while he was still speaking, a rooster crowed. 22:61 The Lord turned, and looked at Peter.2 Then Peter remembered the Lord's word, how he said to him, "Before the rooster crows you will deny me three times." 22:62 He went out, and wept bitterly.
See Matt. 26:69-75; Mark 14:66-72; John 18:25-27
- he denied. Peter denied the I AM (the Christ) instead of the limited personal self. Faith that is in the grip of fear is powerless to express itself truly.
- And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. When we turn our attention within and examine our faith in the light of his I AM power, we sometimes find it deviating from its rightful center. A true disciple is always open to repentance. We may backslide and seem to be slipping spiritually, but our spiritual nature finally asserts its supremacy. The turning about of the Lord or the revealing of the face of the Lord represents discernment.
The Mocking and Beating of Jesus
22:63 The men who held Jesus mocked him and beat him. 22:64 Having blindfolded him, they struck him on the face and asked him, "Prophesy! Who is the one who struck you?" 22:65 They spoke many other things against him, insulting him.
Jesus Before the Council
22:66 As soon as it was day, the assembly of the elders of the people was gathered together, both chief priests and scribes, and they led him away into their council, saying, 22:67 "If you are the Christ, tell us."
But he said to them, "If I tell you, you won't believe, 22:68 and if I ask, you will in no way answer me or let me go. 22:69 From now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God."
22:70 They all said, "Are you then the Son of God?"
He said to them, "You say it, because I am."
22:71 They said, "Why do we need any more witness? For we ourselves have heard from his own mouth!"
Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Rev. Mark Hicks
World English Bible Footnotes:
Jesus before Pilate
23:1 The whole company of them rose up and brought him before Pilate.1 23:2 They began to accuse him, saying, "We found this man perverting the nation, forbidding paying taxes to Caesar, and saying that he himself is Christ, a king."
23:3 Pilate asked him, "Are you the King of the Jews?"
He answered him, "So you say."
23:4 Pilate said to the chief priests and the multitudes, "I find no basis for a charge against this man." 23:5 But they insisted, saying, "He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee even to this place."
- Pilate. Metaphysically, the ruling principle of the sense plane, the carnal will. Pilate questioned the I AM, Jesus, "Art thou the King of the Jews?" Applying this to the each of us, we would say to ourself, "Is there a ruling will over my religious nature?" The personal will has no concept of the factors of that inner higher realm, and believes that it is the ruler of the whole person. It is jealous of any attempt to usurp its power, but when it is assured that the kingdom that the higher self would rule is "not of this world," it finds in that self no fault."
Jesus before Herod
23:6 But when Pilate heard Galilee mentioned, he asked if the man was a Galilean. 23:7 When he found out that he was in Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod,1 who was also in Jerusalem during those days.
23:8 Now when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceedingly glad, for he had wanted to see him for a long time, because he had heard many things about him. He hoped to see some miracle done by him. 23:9 He questioned him with many words, but he gave no answers. 23:10 The chief priests and the scribes stood, vehemently accusing him. 23:11 Herod with his soldiers humiliated him and mocked him. Dressing him in luxurious clothing, they sent him back to Pilate. 23:12 Herod and Pilate became friends with each other that very day, for before that they were enemies with each other.
- Herod. Metaphysically, the ruling will of the physical, the ego in the sense consciousness. We who live in our appetites, in our passions, in our flesh, does not want anything but the flesh consciousness. Herod, sense consciousness, rules on the plane of mortality. If allowed full rein he kills out the repentant and redemptive state of mind, represented by John the Baptist, which is beginning its ministry of change and purification in soul and body. We must be on our guard against this subtle sense mind and take tender care of the little, innocent, new idea that has been born deep down in the heart. We must not give it over to the keeping of Herod. We must nurture it, care for it, and hide it away. If necessary we should take it down into Egypt (darkness) when Herod seeks to kill it. MBD/Herod.
Jesus Sentenced to Death
23:13 Pilate called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, 23:14 and said to them, "You brought this man to me as one that perverts the people, and see, I have examined him before you, and found no basis for a charge against this man concerning those things of which you accuse him. 23:15 Neither has Herod, for I sent you to him, and see, nothing worthy of death has been done by him. 23:16 I will therefore chastise him and release him."
23:17 Now he had to release one prisoner to them at the feast. 23:18 But they all cried out together, saying, "Away with this man! Release to us Barabbas!"-- 23:19 one who was thrown into prison for a certain revolt in the city, and for murder.
23:20 Then Pilate spoke to them again, wanting to release Jesus, 23:21 but they shouted, saying, "Crucify! Crucify him!"
23:22 He said to them the third time, "Why? What evil has this man done?1 I have found no capital crime in him. I will therefore chastise him and release him." 23:23 But they were urgent with loud voices, asking that he might be crucified. Their voices and the voices of the chief priests prevailed. 23:24 Pilate decreed that what they asked for should be done. 23:25 He released him who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, for whom they asked, but he delivered Jesus up to their will.
- What evil has this man done? Charles Fillmore wrote in December 1906 “It is evident that Jesus ... expected to overcome death to the full and retain his physical body on the physical plane of consciousness. Before going to Jerusalem he had proclaimed that he could take his body temple up and lay it down at will, and that if it were destroyed he could rebuild it in three days ... Here is where he evidently met more opposition than he anticipated. He had condemned the Pharisees severely, and the reaction of their thought was so great that he could not meet it... When Jesus met the full force of this, he was evidently stunned, and this accounts for his silence when questioned at the various trials to which he was subjected... The lesson for us is that we shall be on our guard against religious bigotry and especially the condemnation of those who differ from us, or are doing what we consider wrong. In the great overcoming of sins, which these final trials of Jesus symbolize, it is those of an ecclesiastical character that cause us most trouble. We think we shall be condemned for the sins of the flesh, but the verdict of Pilate, who represents the outer plane of consciousness, is that there is nothing in the man worthy of death.” (MBI/Luke 23)
The Crucifixion of Jesus
23:26 When they led him away, they grabbed one Simon of Cyrene, coming from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it after Jesus. 23:27 A great multitude of the people followed him, including women who also mourned and lamented him. 23:28 But Jesus, turning to them, said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, don't weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 23:29 For behold, the days are coming in which they will say, 'Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.' 23:30 Then they will begin to tell the mountains, 'Fall on us!' and tell the hills, 'Cover us.' 23:31 For if they do these things in the green tree, what will be done in the dry?"
23:32 There were also others, two criminals, led with him to be put to death. 23:33 When they came to the place that is called The Skull,1 they crucified him2 there with the criminals,3 one on the right and the other on the left.
23:34 Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they don't know what they are doing."
Dividing his garments4 among them, they cast lots. 23:35 The people stood watching. The rulers with them also scoffed at him, saying, "He saved others. Let him save himself,5 if this is the Christ of God, his chosen one!"
23:36 The soldiers also mocked him, coming to him and offering him vinegar, 23:37 and saying, "If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!"
23:38 An inscription was also written over him in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew:6 "THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS."
23:39 One of the criminals who was hanged insulted him, saying, "If you are the Christ, save yourself and us!"
23:40 But the other answered, and rebuking him said, "Don't you even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? 23:41 And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong." 23:42 He said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom."
23:43 Jesus said to him, "Assuredly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise."
- The place that is called the skull. The place of the crucifixion being named a skull, which is the meaning of the Latin Kranion, translated Calvary, and Golgotha, skull in Aramaic, the language of the Jews in Palestine, is quite suggestive of the place of the intellect, and points to a symbolism not hard to interpret. The seat of the conscious mind is the front brain, and it is here that the will has established its dominion.
- they crucified him. Every time that the developing soul overcomes an error thought, there is a crucifixion. The error is cancelled. When all error has been overcome, the sense mind is completely erased and the body restored to spiritual perfection. This final cancellation of error is represented by the crucifixion of Jesus; which was the final and complete re1inquishament of the hold that error, represented by Judas, had upon His body.
- with the criminals. The two malefactors represent the duality of good and evil that functions in human consciousness (1925). They also represent the past and the future. The past is full of regrets and accusations, but the future is hopeful and sees good ahead in spite of the great trial at hand (1906).
- dividing his garments. The seamless garment is the consciousness of the indestructible unity of life and substance in the body entity. This consciousness inheres in the executive department of mind (soldiers).
- Let him save himself. Jesus was acting out that which takes place in everyone who passes through regeneration. The carnal mind and its body of flesh must go through a transformation. Jesus said that this was done that the Scripture might be fulfilled. The Scripture veils in symbols and figures the law of mind and body regeneration.
- Greek, Latin and Hebrew. The superscription written over Jesus signifies the rule of I AM in Spirit (Hebrew), soul (Greek), and body (Latin).
The Death of Jesus
23:44 It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land1 until the ninth hour. 23:45 The sun was darkened,2 and the veil of the temple was torn in two. 23:46 Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!"3 Having said this, he breathed his last.
23:47 When the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, "Certainly this was a righteous man." 23:48 All the multitudes that came together to see this, when they saw the things that were done, returned home beating their breasts. 23:49 All his acquaintances, and the women who followed with him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.
- darkness came over the whole land. When error gives up its hold on the body, the bodily material consciousness is broken up, and the ignorance, evil, and error in which it functions envelop the whole land or body consciousness.
- The sun was darkened. The sun, representing the light of Spirit, seems temporarily to fail. The veil of sense is rent preparatory to the coming forth of the new body in Christ.
- I commit my spirit. Did Jesus die on the cross? No; Jesus gave up mortal consciousness with all its attachments, and merged himself into the mind of Spirit.
The Burial of Jesus
23:50 Behold, a man named Joseph,1 who was a member of the council, a good and righteous man 23:51 (he had not consented to their counsel and deed), from Arimathaea, a city of the Jews, who was also waiting for the Kingdom of God: 23:52 this man went to Pilate, and asked for Jesus' body. 23:53 He took it down, and wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid him in a tomb that was cut in stone, where no one had ever been laid. 23:54 It was the day of the Preparation, and the Sabbath was drawing near. 23:55 The women, who had come with him out of Galilee, followed after, and saw the tomb, and how his body was laid. 23:56 They returned, and prepared spices and ointments. On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.
- Joseph. of Arimathæa, signifies the imaging faculty functioning on a very high plane of consciousness (Arimathæa means a height). MBD/Joseph.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Rev. Mark Hicks.
World English Bible Footnotes:
The Resurrection of Jesus
24:1 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they and some others came to the tomb, bringing the spices which they had prepared. 24:2 They found the stone rolled away1 from the tomb. 24:3 They entered in, and didn't find the Lord Jesus' body. 24:4 It happened, while they were greatly perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling clothing.2 24:5 Becoming terrified, they bowed their faces down to the earth.
They said to them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead? 24:6 He isn't here, but is risen. Remember what he told you when he was still in Galilee, 24:7 saying that the Son of Man must be delivered up into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again?"
24:8 They remembered his words, 24:9 returned from the tomb, and told all these things to the eleven, and to all the rest. 24:10 Now they were Mary Magdalene,3 Joanna, and Mary the mother of James. The other women with them told these things to the apostles. 24:11 These words seemed to them to be nonsense, and they didn't believe them. 24:12 But Peter got up and ran to the tomb. Stooping and looking in, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he departed to his home, wondering what had happened.4
- the stone rolled away. The material concept of the body (represented by the stone) has been taken away.
- two men stood by them in dazzling clothing. Represent spiritual thoughts of wisdom within the soul, thoughts which understand the resurrecting power of the Word.
- Now they were Mary Magdalene ... The coming of the women at early dawn to the tomb represents the early awakening of the soul-feminine, through which the body is quickened into life.
- Peter ... wondering what had happened. Faith (Peter) functions almost wholly in spiritual consciousness and does not readily comprehend that the body is essentially spiritual and is being raised into the fine essence of spiritual life.
The Walk to Emmaus
24:13 Behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus,1 which was sixty stadia from Jerusalem. 24:14 They talked with each other about all of these things which had happened. 24:15 It happened, while they talked and questioned together, that Jesus himself came near, and went with them. 24:16 But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 24:17 He said to them, "What are you talking about as you walk, and are sad?"
24:18 One of them, named Cleopas,2 answered him, "Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who doesn't know the things which have happened there in these days?"
24:19 He said to them, "What things?"
They said to him, "The things concerning Jesus, the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people; 24:20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. 24:21 But we were hoping that it was he who would redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. 24:22 Also, certain women of our company amazed us, having arrived early at the tomb; 24:23 and when they didn't find his body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. 24:24 Some of us went to the tomb, and found it just like the women had said, but they didn't see him."
24:25 He said to them, "Foolish men, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 24:26 Didn't the Christ have to suffer these things and to enter into his glory?" 24:27 Beginning from Moses and from all the prophets, he explained to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. 24:28 They drew near to the village, where they were going, and he acted like he would go further.
24:29 They urged him, saying, "Stay with us, for it is almost evening, and the day is almost over."
He went in to stay with them. 24:30 It happened, that when he had sat down at the table with them, he took the bread and gave thanks.3 Breaking it, he gave to them. 24:31 Their eyes were opened, and they recognized him, and he vanished out of their sight. 24:32 They said one to another, "Weren't our hearts burning within us, while he spoke to us along the way, and while he opened the Scriptures to us?" 24:33 They rose up that very hour, returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and those who were with them, 24:34 saying, "The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!" 24:35 They related the things that happened along the way, and how he was recognized by them in the breaking of the bread.
- Emmaus. A place in consciousness where the healing, restoring love and life and Truth of Spirit spring up and flow freely through our being (MBD/Emmaus).
- Cleopas. Metaphysically, a faculty of mind not yet awakened fully to spiritual understanding. It has heard the Truth but has never affirmed as its own the Truth that Jesus taught. (MBD/Cleopas)
- he took the bread... Through the blessing and breaking of bread his eyes were opened–his comprehension was cleared–and he realized the Truth as his own. and gave thanks. The bread represents the pure spiritual substance of the resurrected body, and it is appropriated by positive affirmations.
Jesus Appears to His Disciples
24:36 As they said these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, "Peace be to you."1
24:37 But they were terrified2 and filled with fear, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.
24:38 He said to them, "Why are you troubled? Why do doubts arise in your hearts? 24:39 See my hands and my feet, that it is truly me. Touch me and see, for a spirit doesn't have flesh and bones, as you see that I have." 24:40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 24:41 While they still didn't believe for joy, and wondered, he said to them, "Do you have anything here to eat?"
24:42 They gave him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb. 24:43 He took them, and ate in front of them. 24:44 He said to them, "This is what I told you, while I was still with you, that all things which are written in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms, concerning me must be fulfilled."3
24:45 Then he opened their minds,4 that they might understand the Scriptures. 24:46 He said to them, "Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 24:47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name to all the nations,5 beginning at Jerusalem. 24:48 You are witnesses of these things. 24:49 Behold, I send forth the promise of my Father6 on you. But wait in the city of Jerusalem until you are clothed with power from on high."
- Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, "Peace be to you." Standing "among them" represents the Christ presence abiding in the individual. With the Christ presence dominant in consciousness, the mind becomes peaceful and receptive.
- But they were terrified. They think Jesus is dead and expect him to appear in ghostly form in which the spirits of the dead are supposed to come.
- must be fulfilled. Truth, being eternal, is never lost, but is always made manifest.
- Then he opened their minds. In order to interpret the Scriptures spiritually it is necessary that the mind have the quality usually called spiritual illumination. They learned what the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms had to say concerning the Christ.
- should be preached in his name to all the nations. That is, the entire consciousness, embracing mind, soul, and body. The “whole creation” of manifest and unmanifest being is to learn what insures its peace and to lay hold of the saving power of faith and concentrated denial (baptism).
- the promise of my Father. the gift of the Holy Spirit, which is promised to us by reason of our potential capacity to express the divine. Luke again writes of this promise in Acts 1 and of its fulfillment in Acts 2.
The Ascension of Jesus
24:50 He led them out as far as Bethany,1 and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. 24:51 It happened, while he blessed them, that he withdrew from them, and was carried up into heaven.2 24:52 They worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 24:53 and were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.
- Bethany. Bethany means “fruitage.” Jesus' fulfillment of the spiritual law enabled Him to ascend into the pure realm of Spirit.
- carried up (ascended) into heaven. The Ascension is the final step in attaining complete union with Divine Mind. Through the realization of His oneness with Divine Mind Jesus completely spiritualized His Physical body. Luke again writes of the ascension in Acts 1.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Rev. Mark Hicks.
World English Bible Footnotes:
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