The Good News According to Mark
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Introduction to Mark
Mark is the shortest and earliest of the Gospels, and was written about A.D. 65. Mark (or John Mark, as he is sometimes called) is mentioned in other parts of the New Testament, and was associated with Barnabas and Paul on their first missionary journey (Acts 13:5). Later on, Mark attached himself to Peter, as interpreter and secretary—see I Peter 5:13. An early writer (about A.D. 140) gives the following information regarding the writing of Mark’s Gospel:
“Mark, having become the interpreter of Peter, wrote down accurately everything that he remembered, without however recording in order what was either said or done by Christ. For neither did he hear the Lord, nor did he follow Him, but afterwards, as I said, attended Peter, who adapted his instructions to the needs of his hearers, but had no design of giving a connected account of the Lord’s oracles (or words). So then Mark made no mistake while he thus wrote down some things as he remembered them; for he made it his one care not to omit anything that he heard, nor to set down any false statement therein” (Hastings, “Dictionary of the Bible,” p. 579).
Mark’s Gospel is written in a simple, straight-forward manner, and is notable for movement and dramatic effect in its descriptions. The word straightway, for example, occurs about fifty times. Actually, what we have in this Gospel bears all the marks of an eyewitness account—and this eyewitness seems to have many of those characteristics that we usually associate with Peter.
Introduction to The Good News According to Mark by Herbert J. Hunt, former Dean of Bible Studies for the Unity School of Christianity.
The Proclamation of John the Baptist1
"Behold, I send my messenger before your face,
who will prepare your way before you.
1:3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness,
'Make ready the way of the Lord!
Make his paths straight!'"
1:4 John3 came baptizing4 in the wilderness and preaching the baptism of repentance5 for forgiveness of sins. 1:5 All the country of Judea and all those of Jerusalem went out to him. They were baptized by him in the Jordan river, confessing their sins. 1:6 John was clothed with camel's hair and a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and wild honey. 1:7 He preached, saying, "After me comes he who is mightier than I, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and loosen. 1:8 I baptized you in water,6 but he will baptize you in the Holy Spirit."7
- See Mt 3:1; Lk 3:1; Jn 1:19
- Jesus Christ God's idea of man in expression; Christ is that idea in the absolute. (MBD/Jesus)
- John (the Baptist). A high intellectual perception of Truth, but one not yet quickened of Spirit. He may also be said to be that innate principle in us all which ever seeks to do right. (MBD/John)
- baptizing. water baptism symbolizes a cleansing process, the letting go of error. It is the first step in the realization of Truth. (MBD/baptism)
- repentance. A change of mind; a transformation of the mind; change of thought and purpose. (MBD/repentance)
- water. Water represents material cleansing, whereas fire represents spiritual cleansing. (MBD/water)
- Holy Spirit. The law of God in action. It is the whole spirit of God and can be known by us only through our spiritual nature. (MBD/holy-spirit)
The Baptism of Jesus1
1:9 It happened in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 1:10 Immediately coming up from the water, he saw the heavens parting, and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.2 1:11 A voice came out of the sky, "You are my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
The Temptation of Jesus1
- See Mt 4:1; Lk 4:1.
- wilderness. In individual consciousness, the multitude of undisciplined and uncultivated thought (MBD/wilderness). In the wilderness of the subconscious mind one finds both angelic thoughts and wild, undisciplined animal thoughts. One finds ambitions, too, of various degrees of selfishness which must be dealt with.
- Satan. The deceiving phase of mind in man that has fixed ideas in opposition to Truth (MBD/satan).
- angels. Messengers of God; our spiritual perceptive faculties (MBD/angel).
Truth Teaching Begins1
1:14 Now after John was taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the Good News of the Kingdom of God,2 1:15 and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand! Repent, and believe in the Good News."
The 12 Powers of Man1
1:16 Passing along by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew2 the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 1:17 Jesus said to them, "Come after me, and I will make you into fishers for men."
1:18 Immediately they left their nets, and followed him. 1:19 Going on a little further from there, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John, his brother, who were also in the boat mending the nets. 1:20 Immediately he called them, and they left their father, Zebedee, in the boat with the hired servants, and went after him.
- See Mt 4:18; Lk 5:1; Jn 1:35. See also 1 Kings 19:19.
- Simon, Andrew (and the other disciples) The disciples of Jesus represent, in mind analysis, the “Twelve Powers of Man,” (MBD/disciples) sometimes referred to as the 12 faculties of mind (MBD/faculties). The 12 powers provide a system for soul growth. They are spiritual tools for creating a life that is, as the apostle Paul said, no longer storm-tossed by difficulties and challenges to your faith. Our minds can be a link to God through these 12 capacities: wisdom, love, strength, faith, imagination, order, understanding, will, power, zeal, release, and life itself. Based on the reality of the divine spark within all people, Charles Fillmore used the disciples of Jesus as exemplars of the 12 powers.
The Man with an Unclean Spirit1
1:21 They went into Capernaum,2 and immediately on the Sabbath day he entered into the synagogue and taught. 1:22 They were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as having authority, and not as the scribes.3 1:23 Immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit,4 and he cried out, 1:24 saying, "Ha! What do we have to do with you, Jesus, you Nazarene? Have you come to destroy us? I know you who you are: the Holy One of God!"
1:25 Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be quiet, and come out of him!"
1:26 The unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. 1:27 They were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, "What is this? A new teaching? For with authority he commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him!" 1:28 The report of him went out immediately everywhere into all the region of Galilee and its surrounding area.
- See Mt 7:28; Lk 4:31.
- Capernaum. Village of consolation; shelter of comfort; covering of compassion; covering of repentance. The name thus indicates a cleansing of the mind, both conscious and subconscious. (MBD/Capernaum)
- scribes. the thoughts that come to us from other personalities or from books, as opposed to from God (MBD/scribes).
- man with an unclean spirit. The unclean spirit of doubt questions the necessity of loyalty to the Christ ideal. The doubter fears to identify himself with "the Holy One of God," lest he lose what makes his life dear to him–personality. But the Christ ideal, when steadfastly held, rebukes the unclean spirit of doubt and drives it out.
The Healing Power of Faith and Strength1
1:29 Immediately, when they had come out of the synagogue, they came into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.2 1:30 Now Simon's wife's mother lay sick with a fever, and immediately they told him about her. 1:31 He came and took her by the hand, and raised her up. The fever left her, and she served them. 1:32 At evening, when the sun had set, they brought to him all who were sick, and those who were possessed by demons. 1:33 All the city was gathered together at the door. 1:34 He healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. He didn't allow the demons to speak, because they knew him.
- See Mt 8:14; Lk 4:38.
- they came into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. In individual consciousness, signifies the coming of the spiritual I AM into a firm, unyielding, enduring consciousness of faith and strength (typified by Simon and Andrew), supported by the faculties of judgment and love (James and John). (MBD/Simon)
A Preaching Tour in Galilee1
1:35 Early in the morning, while it was still dark, he rose up and went out, and departed into a deserted place, and prayed there. 1:36 Simon and those who were with him followed after him; 1:37 and they found him, and told him, "Everyone is looking for you."
1:38 He said to them, "Let's go elsewhere into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because I came out for this reason." 1:39 He went into their synagogues throughout all Galilee,2 preaching and casting out demons.3
- See Mt 4:23; Lk 4:42.
- He went into their synagogues throughout all Galilee. Galilee represents the whole circuit of life activity in consciousness. The synagogues stand for brain and nerve centers where spiritual forces are at work.
- preaching and casting out demons. When we enter into the consciousness of the spiritual life (Galilee) we speak words of Truth (preach) and deny away all conditions of error (demons).
Truth Heals Error1
1:40 A leper came to him, begging him, kneeling down to him, and saying to him, "If you want to, you can make me clean."
1:41 Being moved with compassion,2 he stretched out his hand, and touched him, and said to him, "I want to. Be made clean." 1:42 When he had said this, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was made clean. 1:43 He strictly warned him, and immediately sent him out, 1:44 and said to him, "See you say nothing to anybody, but go show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing the things which Moses commanded,2 for a testimony to them."
1:45 But he went out, and began to proclaim it much, and to spread about the matter, so that Jesus could no more openly enter into a city, but was outside in desert places: and they came to him from everywhere.
- See Mt 8:1; Lk 5:12.
- compassion. In the heart of God exists an eternal tenderness and mercy for His children (RW/compassion).
- go show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing the things which Moses commanded. When one is healed, his first duty should be to acknowledge the true source of his healing, which is God in consciousness.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Rev. Dan Beckett.
World English Bible Footnotes:
Healing and Forgiveness1
2:1 When he entered again into Capernaum2 after some days, it was heard that he was in the house. 2:2 Immediately many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even around the door; and he spoke the word to them. 2:3 Four people came, carrying a paralytic to him. 2:4 When they could not come near to him for the crowd, they removed the roof where he was. When they had broken it up, they let down the mat that the paralytic was lying on. 2:5 Jesus,3 seeing their faith, said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven you."
2:8 Immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, said to them, "Why do you reason these things in your hearts? 2:9 Which is easier, to tell the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven;' or to say, 'Arise, and take up your bed, and walk?' 2:10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins"--he said to the paralytic-- 2:11 "I tell you, arise, take up your mat, and go to your house."6
2:12 He arose, and immediately took up the mat, and went out in front of them all; so that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, "We never saw anything like this!"
- See Mt 9:1–8; Lk 5:17–26.
- Capernaum Village of consolation; shelter of comfort; covering of compassion; covering of repentance. The name thus indicates a cleansing of the mind, both conscious and subconscious. (MBD/Capernaum)
- house, roof, Jesus All physical healing is based upon the conception of the body as spiritually perfect. This ideal of bodily perfection is conceived in the top brain (the roof of the house). From that point it is let down to the body brain, the solar plexus where Jesus Christ, (the I AM) is functioning.
- scribes Thoughts that come to us from other personalities or from books; external religious thoughts.
- Who can forgive sins but God alone? The religious authorities overlooked the truth that men in their highest and best selves are sons of God, and as such they are endowed with divine attributes. Among these attributes is the power to forgive as God forgives, without reservation and without respect of persons. At heart all are one, even one with God.
- arise, take up your mat, and go to your house. Initially, Jesus says the man’s sins are forgiven, which stirs contentious discussions in the house. Looking at this Bible story metaphysically, we can see that the “helpers” might be spiritual characteristics (like faith, strength, wisdom, and zeal) or spiritual practices (like denials and affirmations). Whether the individual is “paralyzed” or “laying by the pool,” we note the story is about an inability to take action based on what we in Unity call error thoughts (which other religions refer to as sin) or limiting beliefs. We must overcome any belief that the essence of who we are is broken or limited. See John 5:8. (Rev. Joy Wyler, Radical Wholeness)
Divine Will in Action1
2:13 He went out again by the seaside. All the multitude came to him, and he taught them. 2:14 As he passed by, he saw Levi,2 the son of Alphaeus, sitting at the tax office, and he said to him, "Follow me." And he arose and followed him.
2:15 It happened, that he was reclining at the table in his house, and many tax collectors and sinners sat down with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many, and they followed him. 2:16 The scribes and the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with the sinners and tax collectors,3 said to his disciples, "Why is it that he eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?"
2:17 When Jesus heard it, he said to them, "Those who are healthy have no need for a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
- See Mt 9:9–13; Lk 5:27–32.
- Levi (Matthew). Matthew represents the decision-making part of the brain, the Divine Power of Will: the ability to choose, lead, and decide. See also “The Twelve Powers,” Mark 1:16-20.
- eating with sinners and tax collectors. When the I AM is awakened to its spiritual power It has to make contact with all types of thoughts in consciousness. Jesus proclaimed, "Agree with thine adversary quickly," that is, get acquainted with your shortcomings and through the application of your understanding of Truth they will be reformed.
Abstinence from Error Thought1
2:18 John's disciples and the Pharisees were fasting,2 and they came and asked him, "Why do John's disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples don't fast?"
2:19 Jesus said to them, "Can the groomsmen fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they can't fast. 2:20 But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then will they fast in that day. 2:21 No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment,3 or else the patch shrinks and the new tears away from the old, and a worse hole is made. 2:22 No one puts new wine into old wineskins,4 or else the new wine will burst the skins, and the wine pours out, and the skins will be destroyed; but they put new wine into fresh wineskins."
- See Mt 9:14–17; Lk 5:33–39.
- fasting. Abstinence from error thoughts, to the end that we may meditate upon spiritual truths and incorporate them into our consciousness of oneness with the Father. (MBD/Fasting)
- unshrunk cloth on an old garment. This expression refers to new and untried truths injected into the mind of one who is wedded to old beliefs and practices.
- new wine into old wineskins. Signifies the inspiration that springs afresh in the mind of the one who has given himself to the pursuit of the ideal.
The Sabbath was made for us, not we for the Sabbath1
2:23 It happened that he was going on the Sabbath day through the grain fields, and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of grain. 2:24 The Pharisees said to him, "Behold, why do they do that which is not lawful on the Sabbath day?"2
2:25 He said to them, "Did you never read what David did, when he had need, and was hungry--he, and those who were with him? 2:26 How he entered into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the show bread, which is not lawful to eat except for the priests, and gave also to those who were with him?" 2:27 He said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.3 2:28 Therefore the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath."
- See Mt 12:1–8; Lk 6:1–5.
- that which is not lawful on the Sabbath day. Jesus and His disciples were not under the man-made law. They represent the law of Spirit, by which man transcends all laws of mortal man.
- The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. For the natural man the day of rest is essential, but the spiritual man suits the occasion of the Sabbath to his needs.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Rev. Dan Beckett.
Healing of the Withered Consciousness1
3:1 He entered again into the synagogue,2 and there was a man there who had his hand withered. 3:2 They watched him, whether he would heal him on the Sabbath day,3 that they might accuse him. 3:3 He said to the man who had his hand withered, "Stand up." 3:4 He said to them, "Is it lawful on the Sabbath day to do good, or to do harm? To save a life, or to kill?" But they were silent. 3:5 When he had looked around at them with anger, being grieved at the hardening of their hearts, he said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out, and his hand was restored as healthy as the other. 3:6 The Pharisees went out, and immediately conspired with the Herodians4 against him, how they might destroy him.
- See Mt 12:9–14; Lk 6:6–11
- synagogue. 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)
- heal on the Sabbath day. The work was not done outwardly but within His consciousness. There He realized divine compassion and understanding with the absolute authority of divine love. To hold oneself in this high consciousness of Truth is spiritual work of a high order.
- Herodians. Thoughts that belong to our old-established religious ideas, but in character are very selfish and material, even as Herod and the Romans were. They bitterly and actively oppose and seek to kill out of consciousness the higher Christ life and its ideals and activities. (MBD/Herodians)
Inharmonious Thoughts Come for Healing1
3:7 Jesus withdrew to the sea with his disciples, and a great multitude followed him from Galilee, from Judea, 3:8 from Jerusalem, from Idumaea, beyond the Jordan, and those from around Tyre and Sidon.2 A great multitude, hearing what great things he did, came to him. 3:9 He spoke to his disciples that a little boat should stay near him because of the crowd, so that they wouldn't press on him. 3:10 For he had healed many, so that as many as had diseases pressed on him that they might touch him. 3:11 The unclean spirits,3 whenever they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, "You are the Son of God!" 3:12 He sternly warned them that they should not make him known.
- See Mt 4:24–25; Mt 12:15–16; Lk 6:17–19.
- multitude (from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumaea, Tyre and Sidon). The host of inharmonious thoughts that are seeking spiritual harmony. The different places from which the multitude came for healing bespeak the various characteristics of thought that throng to the place of vitality and energy represented by Jesus, I AM identified with Spirit.
- unclean spirits. Error states of mind that vainly have been seeking satisfaction through the flesh. When these behold the true, spiritual man, they acknowledge him as the Son of God and they are healed.
Our Power of Mind to Cast Out Discordant Thought1
3:13 He went up into the mountain, and called to himself those whom he wanted, and they went to him. 3:14 He appointed twelve,2 that they might be with him, and that he might send them out to preach, 3:15 and to have authority to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons:3 3:16 Simon, to whom he gave the name Peter; 3:17 James the son of Zebedee; John, the brother of James, and he surnamed them Boanerges, which means, Sons of Thunder; 3:18 Andrew; Philip; Bartholomew; Matthew; Thomas; James, the son of Alphaeus; Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot; 3:19 and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.
- See Mt 10:1–4; Lk 6:12–16.
- twelve. The twelve apostles of Jesus are the twelve powers of mind, to which power is given to cast out all discordant thoughts. See also “The Twelve Powers,” Mark 1:16-20.
- demons. or evil spirits, are conditions of mind, or states of consciousness, that have been developed because our creative power has been used in an unwise or an ignorant way. The work of every overcomer is to cast out of herself or himself the demons of sin and evil, through the power and dominion of his indwelling Christ. (MBD/demons)
We are Heir Only to the Good1
He came into a house. 3:20 The multitude came together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. 3:21 When his friends heard it, they went out to seize him: for they said, "He is insane." 3:22 The scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, "He has Beelzebul," and, "By the prince of the demons he casts out the demons."
3:23 He summoned them, and said to them in parables, "How can Satan cast out Satan? 3:24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 3:25 If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 3:26 If Satan has risen up against himself, and is divided, he can't stand, but has an end. 3:27 But no one can enter into the house of the strong man to plunder, unless he first binds the strong man; and then he will plunder his house. 3:28 Most certainly I tell you, all sins of the descendants of man will be forgiven, including their blasphemies with which they may blaspheme; 3:29 but whoever may blaspheme against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin"2 3:30 --because they said, "He has an unclean spirit."
- See Mt 12:46–50; Lk 8:19–21.
- eternal sin. The belief that God is the creator of disease or inharmony of any nature. As long as we abide in the conviction that God causes us to suffer, we close our mind against the inflow of God's gifts of health, prosperity and harmony. Our sins are forgiven when we cease to sin, and open our mind to the Truth that we are heir only to the good.
Our Family in the Mental and Soul Realms1
3:31 His mother and his brothers came, and standing outside, they sent to him, calling him. 3:32 A multitude was sitting around him, and they told him, "Behold, your mother, your brothers, and your sisters are outside looking for you."
3:33 He answered them, "Who are my mother and my brothers?" 3:34 Looking around at those who sat around him, he said, "Behold, my mother and my brothers!2 3:35 For whoever does the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother."
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Rev. Dan Beckett.
World English Bible Footnotes:
Divine Ideas Taking Root1
4:1 Again he began to teach by the seaside.2 A great multitude was gathered to him, so that he entered into a boat3 in the sea, and sat down. All the multitude were on the land by the sea. 4:2 He taught them many things in parables, and told them in his teaching, 4:3 "Listen! Behold, the farmer went out to sow, 4:4 and it happened, as he sowed, some seed fell by the road, and the birds came and devoured it. 4:5 Others fell on the rocky ground, where it had little soil,4 and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of soil. 4:6 When the sun had risen, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. 4:7 Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. 4:8 Others fell into the good ground,5 and yielded fruit, growing up and increasing. Some brought forth thirty times, some sixty times, and some one hundred times as much." 4:9 He said, "Whoever has ears6 to hear, let him hear."
- See Mt 13:1–9; Lk 8:4–8.
- sea. The sea signifies universal Mind, that great realm of unexpressed and unformed thoughts and ideas that contains all-potentiality. (MBD/sea). Water in its different aspects can, depending on context, represent weakness and negativeness, cleansing, mental potentiality, and in some cases life, or vital energy. (MBD/water)
- boat. 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)
- soil (earth). Represents the consciousness of the physical body. (RW/earth)
- good ground. The receptive mind and the fertile bent of mind that is not content merely to hear a word of Truth but that must put the word to work and make it productive. The type of mind that increases the good is both receptive and retentive.
- ears. The obedience and receptivity of the mind. (RW/ears). Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear. The Scriptures are historically fitted to the needs of the natural human being. There is, however, an inner meaning which is discerned by the spiritual consciousness in all of us. The spiritual ear is opened by an attitude of receptivity coupled with faith in the reality of things invisible. Thus faith and receptivity are the very foundation of spiritual growth. All true Scripture is based upon spiritual intelligence.
Inner Truth Revealed
4:10 When he was alone, those who were around him with the twelve asked him about the parables.1 4:11 He said to them, "To you is given the mystery of the Kingdom of God, but to those who are outside, all things are done in parables, 4:12 that 'seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest perhaps they should turn again, and their sins should be forgiven them.'"
4:13 He said to them, "Don't you understand this parable? How will you understand all of the parables? 4:14 The farmer sows the word. 4:15 The ones by the road are the ones where the word is sown; and when they have heard, immediately Satan comes, and takes away the word which has been sown in them. 4:16 These in like manner are those who are sown on the rocky places, who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with joy. 4:17 They have no root in themselves, but are short-lived. When oppression or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they stumble. 4:18 Others are those who are sown among the thorns. These are those who have heard the word, 4:19 and the cares of this age, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 4:20 Those which were sown on the good ground are those who hear the word, and accept it, and bear fruit, some thirty times, some sixty times, and some one hundred times."
- parables. A parable is a narrative of a possible event of life, by which a truth is illustrated. In the Scripture a material illustration is often used to prove a spiritual truth. See v.33.
Let Your Christ Light Shine1
4:21 He said to them, "Is the lamp2 brought to be put under a basket or under a bed? Isn't it put on a stand? 4:22 For there is nothing hidden, except that it should be made known; neither was anything made secret, but that it should come to light. 4:23 If any man has ears to hear, let him hear."
4:24 He said to them, "Take heed what you hear. With whatever measure you measure, it will be measured to you, and more will be given to you who hear. 4:25 For whoever has, to him will more be given, and he who doesn't have, even that which he has will be taken away from him."
The Emergence of Truth
4:26 He said, "The Kingdom of God1 is as if a man should cast seed2 on the earth, 4:27 and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should spring up and grow, he doesn't know how. 4:28 For the earth bears fruit: first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. 4:29 But when the fruit is ripe, immediately he puts forth the sickle, because the harvest has come."
- kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is a perfectly harmonious state of mind. That state of mind is susceptible of development in the mind of every one. Its growth is from the word or right thought “The seed is the word of God.”
- seed. The creative idea inherent in the Word. Its nature is inherited from its parent source, God. The "seed," that is, "the word of God," is the real man--not the external thinking personality that has consciousness of separation, but the internal Spirit center. (RW/seed)
Divine Ideas Grow in Mind1
4:30 He said, "How will we liken the Kingdom of God? Or with what parable will we illustrate it? 4:31 It's like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, though it is less than all the seeds that are on the earth, 4:32 yet when it is sown, grows2 up, and becomes greater than all the herbs, and puts out great branches, so that the birds of the sky can lodge under its shadow."
- See Mt 13:31–32; Lk 13.18–19.
- grows. What is mysterious about the increase of the kingdom in our consciousness since we ourselves must work toward its consummation? The miracle of growth is not yet wholly understood. We know some of the conditions under which it takes place, such as the preparing of the soil and the sowing of the seed. The growing is all done by the seed, and this still a miracle to us.
How Truth is Conveyed1
- See Mt 13:34–35.
- parables. See v.10.
The Peace of God1
4:35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, "Let's go over to the other side." 4:36 Leaving the multitude, they took him with them, even as he was, in the boat. Other small boats were also with him. 4:37 A big wind2 storm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so much that the boat was already filled. 4:38 He himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion, and they woke him up, and told him, "Teacher, don't you care that we are dying?"
4:39 He awoke, and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace!3 Be still!" The wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 4:40 He said to them, "Why are you so afraid? How is it that you have no faith?"
4:41 They were greatly afraid, and said to one another, "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?"
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Rev. Dan Beckett.
World English Bible Footnotes:
Light Banishes Darkness1
5:1 They came to the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes.2 5:2 When he had come out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,3 5:3 who had his dwelling in the tombs. Nobody could bind him any more, not even with chains, 5:4 because he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been torn apart by him, and the fetters broken in pieces. Nobody had the strength to tame him. 5:5 Always, night and day, in the tombs and in the mountains, he was crying out, and cutting himself with stones. 5:6 When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and bowed down to him, 5:7 and crying out with a loud voice, he said, "What have I to do with you, Jesus, you Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, don't torment me." 5:8 For he said to him, "Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!"
5:9 He asked him, "What is your name?"
He said to him, "My name is Legion, for we are many." 5:10 He begged him much that he would not send them away out of the country. 5:11 Now there was on the mountainside a great herd of pigs4 feeding. 5:12 All the demons5 begged him, saying, "Send us into the pigs, that we may enter into them."
5:13 At once Jesus gave them permission. The unclean spirits came out and entered into the pigs. The herd of about two thousand rushed down the steep bank into the sea, and they were drowned in the sea. 5:14 Those who fed them fled, and told it in the city and in the country.
The people came to see what it was that had happened. 5:15 They came to Jesus, and saw him who had been possessed by demons sitting, clothed, and in his right mind, even him who had the legion; and they were afraid. 5:16 Those who saw it declared to them how it happened to him who was possessed by demons, and about the pigs. 5:17 They began to beg him to depart from their region.
5:18 As he was entering into the boat, he who had been possessed by demons begged him that he might be with him. 5:19 He didn't allow him, but said to him, "Go to your house, to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you,6 and how he had mercy on you."
5:20 He went his way, and began to proclaim in Decapolis7 how Jesus had done great things for him, and everyone marveled.
- See Mt 8:28–34; Lk 8:26–39.
- Gerasenes. The word Gerasenes means "walled about," and it represents strongly organized thoughts of energy and power in the subconscious mind in man."
- man with an unclean spirit. The man who was possessed of demons and dwelt in the tombs represents ignorant thoughts, as expressed in sense life. These thoughts were so complex and sensually (see Mark 5:9) strong that in their confusion they warred against one another to the point of utter exhaustion, inertia, death.
- pigs. or swine, outpicture uncleanness and sensuality in a form that feeds on hypocrisy and pretensions of spirituality (the mountainside).
- demons. See Mk 3:15
- and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you. We can apply Truth right where we are, in our everyday routine. With no need to adjust ourselves to new circumstances or environment, we can apply our thought to our new blessings and by contemplating them in a spirit of thankfulness change our whole outlook on life.
- Decapolis (city). Cities represent fixed states of consciousness or aggregations of thoughts in the various nerve centers of the body. The presiding or central thought-meaning of a city is found in the significance of its name, combined with that of the person, tribe, country, or nation with which it is mentioned. (MBD/cities)
The Healing Power of Faith1
5:21 When Jesus had crossed back over in the boat to the other side, a great multitude was gathered to him; and he was by the sea. 5:22 Behold, one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus2 by name, came; and seeing him, he fell at his feet, 5:23 and begged him much, saying, "My little daughter is at the point of death. Please come and lay your hands on her, that she may be made healthy, and live."
5:24 He went with him, and a great multitude followed him, and they pressed upon him on all sides. 5:25 A certain woman, who had an issue of blood for twelve years, 5:26 and had suffered many things by many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better, but rather grew worse, 5:27 having heard the things concerning Jesus, came up behind him in the crowd, and touched his clothes.3 5:28 For she said, "If I just touch his clothes,4 I will be made well." 5:29 Immediately the flow of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.
5:30 Immediately Jesus, perceiving in himself that the power had gone out from him, turned around in the crowd, and asked, "Who touched my clothes?"
5:31 His disciples said to him, "You see the multitude pressing against you, and you say, 'Who touched me?'"
5:34 He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be cured of your disease."
5:35 While he was still speaking, they came from the synagogue ruler's house saying, "Your daughter is dead. Why bother the Teacher any more?"
5:36 But Jesus, when he heard the message spoken, immediately said to the ruler of the synagogue, "Don't be afraid, only believe."5 5:37 He allowed no one to follow him, except Peter, James, and John6 the brother of James. 5:38 He came to the synagogue ruler's house, and he saw an uproar, weeping, and great wailing. 5:39 When he had entered in, he said to them, "Why do you make an uproar and weep? The child is not dead, but is asleep."
5:40 They ridiculed him. But he, having put them all out, took the father of the child and her mother and those who were with him, and went in where the child was lying. 5:41 Taking the child by the hand, he said to her, "Talitha cumi;" which means, being interpreted, "Girl, I tell you, get up." 5:42 Immediately the girl rose up, and walked, for she was twelve years old. They were amazed with great amazement. 5:43 He strictly ordered them that no one should know this, and commanded that something should be given to her to eat.
- See Mt 9:18–26; Lk 8:40–56.)
- Jairus. Jairus means “shining” and “running water.” Shining, metaphysically defined, means expressing light; running water represents activity of life.
- clothes (garment). The radiation or aura that surrounds the body. (RW/garment)
- touched his clothes. Jesus was so charged with the thought of spiritual intelligence and life that His aura saturated His garments with dynamic power and strength. When the negative, weak mind of the woman touched, in faith, this mighty spiritual vibration, it flooded her with new life and she was healed.
- only believe. As an object lesson in healing, we note the necessity of unwavering faith as a concomitant of the process. When the report came that the little maiden was dead Jesus said, “Only believe.”
- Peter, James, and John. What is essential to constructive thinking in the face of apparently complete limitation? The first essential is faith, which includes an absence of fear or distress; in other words, a positive attitude of mind. The thoughts should always be inspired by faith, judgment, and love (Peter, James, and John, the three disciples closest to Jesus).
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Rev. Dan Beckett.
Lack of Faith Blocks Healing1
6:1 He went out from there. He came into his own country, and his disciples followed him. 6:2 When the Sabbath had come, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many hearing him were astonished, saying, "Where did this man get these things?" and, "What is the wisdom that is given to this man, that such mighty works come about by his hands? 6:3 Isn't this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judah, and Simon? Aren't his sisters here with us?" They were offended at him.
6:4 Jesus said to them, "A prophet2 is not without honor, except in his own country, and among his own relatives, and in his own house." 6:5 He could do no mighty work there,3 except that he laid his hands on a few sick people, and healed them. 6:6 He marveled because of their unbelief.
- See Mt 13:53–58; Lk 4:16–30.
- prophet. A teacher, one who receives the inspiration of Spirit, an understanding of spiritual law, and imparts it to others. A prophet, in individual consciousness, is a thought that is in contact with Spirit, that receives revelations direct from the Holy Spirit; it knows and understands divine law and its working, therefore it warns and instructs the other thoughts. (MBD/prophet)
- He could do no mighty work there. Why could Jesus do no mighty work in this place of unbelief, and why did He marvel at that fact? In demonstration of spiritual power, Faith is essential. In several instances mentioned in Jesus’ ministry, He could do no mighty works because in those among whom He worked there was lack of faith. He marveled at their unbelief because in His own consciousness He had a clear realization of the truths of being.
He went around the villages teaching. 6:7 He called to himself the twelve, and began to send them out two by two; and he gave them authority over the unclean spirits.2 6:8 He commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey,3 except a staff only: no bread, no wallet, no money in their purse, 6:9 but to wear sandals, and not put on two tunics. 6:10 He said to them, "Wherever you enter into a house, stay there until you depart from there. 6:11 Whoever will not receive you nor hear you, as you depart from there, shake off the dust4 that is under your feet for a testimony against them. Assuredly, I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!" 6:12 They went out and preached that people should repent. 6:13 They cast out many demons, and anointed many with oil5 who were sick, and healed them.
- See Mt 10:1, 5-15; Lk 9:1-6
- unclean spirits. What is one of the "unclean spirits" over which the Christ has power? The spirit of self-seeking and self-assertion. Wherever the self enters in no place is found for the pure love of God, compared with which the self is unclean.
- take nothing for their journey. The disciples were to depend altogether on God for their supply, thus proving the constancy of their faith in the providing divine law.
- dust, shake off the. To deny all seeming materiality. (RW/dust)
- oil, anointing. The thought of love, which is poured over anything, making it holy or a perfect whole. (RW/oil)
Sense Consciousness Begets Death1
6:14 King Herod2 heard this, for his name had become known, and he said, "John the Baptizer3 has risen from the dead, and therefore these powers are at work in him." 6:15 But others said, "He is Elijah."4 Others said, "He is a prophet, or like one of the prophets." 6:16 But Herod, when he heard this, said, "This is John, whom I beheaded. He has risen from the dead." 6:17 For Herod himself had sent out and arrested John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, for he had married her. 6:18 For John said to Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife." 6:19 Herodias5 set herself against him, and desired to kill him, but she couldn't, 6:20 for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and kept him safe. When he heard him, he did many things, and he heard him gladly.
6:21 Then a convenient day came, that Herod on his birthday made a supper for his nobles, the high officers, and the chief men of Galilee. 6:22 When the daughter of Herodias6 herself came in and danced, she pleased Herod and those sitting with him. The king said to the young lady, "Ask me whatever you want, and I will give it to you." 6:23 He swore to her, "Whatever you shall ask of me, I will give you, up to half of my kingdom."
6:24 She went out, and said to her mother, "What shall I ask?"
She said, "The head of John the Baptizer."
6:25 She came in immediately with haste to the king, and asked, "I want you to give me right now the head of John the Baptizer on a platter."
6:26 The king was exceedingly sorry, but for the sake of his oaths, and of his dinner guests, he didn't wish to refuse her. 6:27 Immediately the king sent out a soldier of his guard, and commanded to bring John's head, and he went and beheaded him in the prison, 6:28 and brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the young lady; and the young lady gave it to her mother.
6:29 When his disciples heard this, they came and took up his corpse, and laid it in a tomb.
- See Mt 14:1-12; Lk 9:7-9
- Herod. 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. It is narrow, jealous, destructive. Under its rule man does not fulfill the law of his being, and another ego must supplant the ego of sense. (MBD/Herod)
- John the Baptizer. John the Baptist symbolizes the repentant state of mind necessary before purification of soul and body can be established.
- Elijah. Represents 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)
- Herodias. The passions of the human soul, the feminine side of sense thought. (MBD/Herodias)
- Daughter of Herodias. The sex-sensation active in mortal consciousness.
Faith in Action as Prosperity1
6:30 The apostles gathered themselves together to Jesus, and they told him all things, whatever they had done, and whatever they had taught. 6:31 He said to them, "You come apart into a deserted place,2 and rest3 awhile." For there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat. 6:32 They went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. 6:33 They saw them going, and many recognized him and ran there on foot from all the cities. They arrived before them and came together to him. 6:34 Jesus came out, saw a great multitude, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd, and he began to teach them many things. 6:35 When it was late in the day, his disciples came to him, and said, "This place is deserted, and it is late in the day. 6:36 Send them away, that they may go into the surrounding country and villages, and buy themselves bread, for they have nothing to eat."
6:37 But he answered them, "You give them something to eat."
They asked him, "Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread, and give them something to eat?"
6:38 He said to them, "How many loaves4 do you have? Go see."
When they knew, they said, "Five, and two fish."5
6:39 He commanded them that everyone should sit down in groups on the green grass. 6:40 They sat down in ranks, by hundreds and by fifties. 6:41 He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he blessed and broke the loaves, and he gave to his disciples to set before them, and he divided the two fish among them all. 6:42 They all ate, and were filled. 6:43 They took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and also of the fish. 6:44 Those who ate the loaves were five thousand men.
- See Mt 14:13–21; Lk 9:10–17; Jn 6.1–13.
- deserted place. metaphysically, a state in which conscious thought is suspended: a state in which we rest from the labor of affirming and denying and have “leisure ... to eat,” or to let the recuperative power of the inner nature do its work.
- rest. By relaxing in the consciousness of innate goodness and abiding there, we rest in God.
- loaves. The loaves here referred to represent the nucleus or the seed from which abundance is to come forth. This nucleus is ample to satisfy all physical hunger and to meet any craving for the true understanding of life.
- Five, and two fish. Five loaves and two fishes formed the nucleus that fed five thousand, with much more left over than the original amount. The nucleus that we start with may be all, but it can grow to truly astounding proportions, for the law of increase is subject to no limit in the mental or spiritual realm.
Rise Above Troubled Thought1
6:45 Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat, and to go ahead to the other side, to Bethsaida,2 while he himself sent the multitude away. 6:46 After he had taken leave of them, he went up the mountain3 to pray.
6:47 When evening had come, the boat was in the midst of the sea, and he was alone on the land. 6:48 Seeing them distressed4 in rowing, for the wind was contrary to them, about the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea, and he would have passed by them, 6:49 but they, when they saw him walking on the sea, supposed that it was a ghost, and cried out; 6:50 for they all saw him, and were troubled.5 But he immediately spoke with them, and said to them, "Cheer up! It is I! Don't be afraid." 6:51 He got into the boat with them; and the wind ceased, and they were very amazed among themselves, and marveled; 6:52 for they hadn't understood about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.
- See Mt 14:22–33; Jn 6:15–21.
- Bethsaida. A consciousness of increase of ideas, of gathering substance; a state of thought that is continually searching after new ideas, and endeavors to gain knowledge, by every possible means (house of fishing, place of hunting; place of nets; fishing town; hunting town). (MBD/Bethsaida)
- mountain. Exaltation, a high plane of consciousness, a state of spiritual realization. (MBD/mountain)
- distressed. We live in a sea of thought that is moved by every impulse of the mind. Only through faith in I AM can we walk safely.
- troubled. The unawakened consciousness is troubled and afraid at the advent of the quickening Spirit.
The Healing Power of the Christ1
6:53 When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret,2 and moored to the shore. 6:54 When they had come out of the boat, immediately the people recognized him, 6:55 and ran around that whole region, and began to bring those who were sick, on their mats, to where they heard he was. 6:56 Wherever he entered, into villages, or into cities, or into the country, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged him that they might touch just the fringe of his garment;3 and as many as touched him were made well.
- See Mt 14:34–36.
- Gennesaret. The “sea of life.” We are related, both within the consciousness and without, to all creation through the Universal Life Principle.
- touch the fringe of his garment. The Omnipotence of Spirit not only penetrates one’s consciousness, but is everywhere present. If one but touches the “fringe of his garment” of Truth, he contacts a mighty healing power, and through faith in the Christ Principle is made whole. When we become conscious of righteousness and faithfulness in our mind and heart, we touch the Christ.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Rev. Dan Beckett.
World English Bible Footnotes:
The Authority of Spirit1
7:1 Then the Pharisees, and some of the scribes2 gathered together to him, having come from Jerusalem. 7:2 Now when they saw some of his disciples eating3 bread with defiled, that is, unwashed, hands, they found fault. 7:3 (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, don't eat unless they wash their hands and forearms, holding to the tradition of the elders. 7:4 They don't eat when they come from the marketplace, unless they bathe themselves, and there are many other things, which they have received to hold to: washings of cups, pitchers, bronze vessels, and couches.) 7:5 The Pharisees and the scribes asked him, "Why don't your disciples4 walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with unwashed hands?"
7:6 He answered them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written,
'This people honors me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me.
7:7 But in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'5
7:8 "For you set aside the commandment of God, and hold tightly to the tradition of men--the washing of pitchers and cups, and you do many other such things." 7:9 He said to them, "Full well do you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. 7:10 For Moses said, 'Honor your father and your mother;' and, 'He who speaks evil6 of father or mother, let him be put to death.' 7:11 But you say, 'If a man tells his father or his mother, "Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban, that is to say, given to God;"' 7:12 then you no longer allow him to do anything for his father or his mother, 7:13 making void the word of God by your tradition, which you have handed down. You do many things like this."
7:14 He called all the multitude to himself, and said to them, "Hear me, all of you, and understand. 7:15 There is nothing from outside of the man, that going into him can defile him; but the things which proceed out of the man are those that defile the man. 7:16 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!"
7:17 When he had entered into a house away from the multitude, his disciples asked him about the parable. 7:18 He said to them, "Are you thus without understanding also? Don't you perceive that whatever goes into the man from outside can't defile him, 7:19 because it doesn't go into his heart, but into his stomach, then into the latrine, thus making all foods clean?" 7:20 He said, "That which proceeds out of the man, that defiles the man. 7:21 For from within, out of the hearts of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, sexual sins, murders, thefts, 7:22 covetings, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness. 7:23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man."
- See Mt 15:1–20.
- Pharisees, scribes. The Pharisees represent that state of consciousness which is concerned with the formalities and customs of the external realm. The scribes represent fixed ideas built up in consciousness through adhering to tradition and superstition.
- eating. Eating is symbolic 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). (RW/eating)
- “Why don't your disciples…” The significance of the attitude of the scribes and Pharisees is the overemphasis on the literal fulfillment of traditional religious custom which the attention from the spiritual meaning underlying all religious observance. “The letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life.”
- commandments of men. The doctrines and precepts of men that have their foundation in personal opinion or traditional custom are profitless. To worship God is to conform to an entirely new principle and teaching. God is Spirit and must be worshiped in spirit and in truth.
- evil. That which is not of God; unreality; error thought; a product of the fallen human consciousness; negation. (RW/evil)
Healing Our Thoughts1
7:24 From there he arose, and went away into the borders of Tyre and Sidon.2 He entered into a house, and didn't want anyone to know it, but he couldn't escape notice. 7:25 For a woman, whose little daughter had an unclean spirit, having heard of him, came and fell down at his feet. 7:26 Now the woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician3 by race. She begged him that he would cast the demon out of her daughter. 7:27 But Jesus said to her, "Let the children4 be filled first, for it is not appropriate to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs."
7:28 But she answered him, "Yes, Lord. Yet even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs."
7:29 He said to her, "For this saying, go your way. The demon has gone out of your daughter."
7:30 She went away to her house, and found the child having been laid on the bed, with the demon gone out.
- See Mt 15:21–28.
- Tyre and Sidon. Tyre and Sidon symbolize the realm of sensation in man's consciousness. This realm must be consciously entered and spiritualized by the Christ.
- Syrophoenician. The Syrophoenician woman signifies the intuitive perception of Truth reflected into the intellect from within the soul. (MBD/Syrophoenician)
- children. The “children” typify the growing thoughts in consciousness. These thoughts should be given an upward trend, that they may bring forth the spiritualized body.
Jesus Cures a Deaf Man1
7:31 Again he departed from the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and came to the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the region of Decapolis. 7:32 They brought to him one who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech.2 They begged him to lay his hand3 on him. 7:33 He took him aside from the multitude, privately, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat, and touched his tongue. 7:34 Looking up to heaven, he sighed, and said to him, "Ephphatha!"4 that is, "Be opened!" 7:35 Immediately his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was released, and he spoke clearly. 7:36 He commanded them that they should tell no one, but the more he commanded them, so much the more widely they proclaimed it. 7:37 They were astonished beyond measure, saying, "He has done all things well. He makes even the deaf hear, and the mute speak!"
- See Mt 15:29–31.
- deaf, speech impediment. In the symbology of spiritual consciousness, “deaf” is a state of mind unreceptive (not listening) to the revealing Spirit. Similarly, a spiritual “speech impediment” indicates inactivity in expressing Truth. (This is not the same as the physical conditions of being deaf or mute, both of which occur naturally in some of God’s children and as such are not deficiencies and do not need to be “fixed.”)
- hand. The hand is a symbol of activity or agency. The activity of the I AM (Jesus) brings spiritual power into play, spiritual power is the root of physical health.
- Ephphatha!. An inner freeing, healing thought or word of the Christ that releases all tension in consciousness and opens the mind and the body to spiritual receptivity and wholeness. (MBD/Ephphatha)
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Rev. Dan Beckett.
World English Bible Footnotes:
Spiritual Substance Made Manifest1
8:1 In those days, when there was a very great multitude, and they had nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples to himself, and said to them, 8:2 "I have compassion on the multitude, because they have stayed with me now three days, and have nothing to eat. 8:3 If I send them away fasting to their home, they will faint on the way, for some of them have come a long way."
8:6 He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground, and he took the seven loaves. Having given thanks, he broke them, and gave them to his disciples to serve, and they served the multitude. 8:7 They had a few small fish.2 Having blessed them, he said to serve these also. 8:8 They ate, and were filled. They took up seven baskets of broken pieces that were left over. 8:9 Those who had eaten were about four thousand.3 Then he sent them away. 8:10 Immediately he entered into the boat with his disciples, and came into the region of Dalmanutha.
- See Mt 15:32–39
- loaves and fishes. The nucleus of divine substance or seed from which supply is to come forth and be made manifest.
- four thousand. Is the supply of substance adequate to meet all demands that may be made upon it? Substance is infinite, therefore it can never be exhausted. However only those who learn to use the law of increase know how to draw upon substance at will.
Lack of Spiritual Vision1
8:11 The Pharisees2 came out and began to question him, seeking from him a sign from heaven, and testing him. 8:12 He sighed deeply in his spirit, and said, "Why does this generation seek a sign?3 Most certainly I tell you, no sign will be given to this generation." 8:13 He left them, and again entering into the boat, departed to the other side.
- See Mt 16:1–4; Lk 11:29–32; cf. Mt 12:38–42; Lk 11:16; Jn 6:30.
- Pharisees. The religious thoughts pertaining to the realm of form and do not know that Truth comes into expression in the consciousness through understanding, but seek a sign in the external realm.
- sign. No sign of the presence of Christ can be given unto the pharisaical state of mind, for the things of Spirit are spiritually discerned.
Beware the Seeds of Doubt1
8:16 They reasoned with one another, saying, "It's because we have no bread."3
8:17 Jesus, perceiving it, said to them, "Why do you reason that it's because you have no bread? Don't you perceive yet, neither understand? Is your heart still hardened? 8:18 Having eyes, don't you see? Having ears, don't you hear? Don't you remember?4 8:19 When I broke the five loaves among the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?" They told him, "Twelve." 8:20 "When the seven loaves fed the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?" They told him, "Seven." 8:21 He asked them, "Don't you understand,5 yet?"
- See Mt 16:5–12; Lk 11:1; Jn 6:32–36.
- Take heed. All the faculties of man’s mind (the disciples) must be lifted out of the limited thoughts - leaven of the Pharisees and of Herod. The leaven of Herod symbolizes the demands of the selfish will.
- no bread. The undeveloped faculties of mind, because they see not the outer manifestation of substance, are concerned with the evidence of lack.
- don’t you see/hear/remember? All the activities of mind must be centered in spiritual understanding in order to demonstrate the power of increase.
- understand. The disciples did not understand that when the mind is raised through affirmations of God’s substance and life, we are supplied abundantly in every expression, and there is always a surplus.
Persistence in Expressing Truth1
8:22 He came to Bethsaida.2 They brought a blind man to him, and begged him to touch him. 8:23 He took hold of the blind man by the hand, and brought him out3 of the village. When he had spit on his eyes, and laid his hands on him, he asked him if he saw anything. 8:24 He looked up, and said, "I see men; for I see them like trees walking."
8:25 Then again4 he laid his hands on his eyes. He looked intently, and was restored, and saw everyone clearly. 8:26 He sent him away to his house, saying, "Don't enter into the village,5 nor tell anyone in the village."
- See Jn 9:1–7.
- Bethsaida. A consciousness of increase of ideas, of gathering substance; a state of thought that is continually searching after new ideas, and endeavors to gain knowledge, by every possible means. (MBD/Bethsaida)
- brought him out. The Christ, exercising its power in consciousness, leads man out from the realm of mortal thoughts (the village) and anoints him with the healing energies of a regenerated mind.
- again. If inability to understand is dominating the consciousness, persistent effort and patience in the use of the Word of Truth is necessary in order that all thought obstructions be dissolved from the mind.
- don’t enter into the village. When man enters into spiritual consciousness, he must daily withdraw his thoughts from the ordinary trend (the village), and center them in the Christ Mind.
Two Planes of Consciousness1
8:27 Jesus went out, with his disciples, into the villages of Caesarea Philippi.2 On the way he asked his disciples, "Who do men say that I am?" 8:28 They told him, "John the Baptizer, and others say Elijah, but others: one of the prophets."3
8:29 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"
Peter answered, "You are the Christ." 8:30 He commanded them that they should tell no one about him.4
- See Mt 16:13–20; Lk 9:18–21.
- Caesarea Philippi. Two planes of consciousness are in action here. The first, Caesarea Philippi, was a Roman town; it represents the abiding external personality; personal observation; the realm of appearances.
- They told him... The first answers came from the first plane of consciousness, personal observation, the realm of appearances.
- Peter answered him... he second answer came when Jesus appealed to the spiritual discernment, instead of to the personal observation, of His disciples. Peter, representing spiritual faith, saw within the personality and told what he perceived, “Thou art the Christ.”
Living From the Christ Within1
8:31 He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 8:32 He spoke to them openly. Peter took him, and began to rebuke him. 8:33 But he, turning around, and seeing his disciples, rebuked Peter, and said, "Get behind me, Satan!2 For you have in mind not the things of God, but the things of men."
8:34 He called the multitude to himself with his disciples, and said to them, "Whoever wants to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.3 8:35 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it; and whoever will lose his life for my sake and the sake of the Good News will save it.4 8:36 For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world, and forfeit his life? 8:37 For what will a man give in exchange for his life? 8:38 For whoever will be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man also will be ashamed of him, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."5
- See Mt 16:21–28; Lk 9:22–27.
- Get behind me Satan. Get behind me Satan. Satan represents the deceiving phase of mind in man that has fixed ideas in opposition to Truth. (MBD/satan) See Mark 1:13.
- follow me. It means denying the lower self, shouldering whatever handicap we may have, and living according to our best understanding of the truth of God.
- Save his life... How does anyone save his life and yet lose it? By selfishly taking to himself all the good that he can command and turning a deaf ear to his brother’s need he loses the larger life of service to others, with its attendant joy and satisfaction.
- ...forfeit his life? Our life on earth is a God-given opportunity to grow in spiritual stature and in the consciousness of things eternal. We gain nothing of lasting value and waste our divine opportunity (“forfeit” our “life”) when we devote our energies to gaining material advancement or acquiring material possessions.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Rev. Dan Beckett.
World English Bible Footnotes:
Living From the Christ Within (continued)
9:1 He said to them, "Most certainly I tell you, there are some standing here who will in no way taste death1 until they see the Kingdom of God come with power."
- death. The loss of this personal life is the only way to find eternal life. The acceptance of this mighty truth takes away the consciousness of death, and reveals the Son of God coming into his kingdom here and now.
Radiating Spiritual Consciousness1
9:2 After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John, and brought them up onto a high mountain2 privately by themselves, and he was changed into another form in front of them. 9:3 His clothing became glistening, exceedingly white,3 like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them. 9:4 Elijah and Moses4 appeared to them, and they were talking with Jesus.
9:7 A cloud5 came, overshadowing them, and a voice came out of the cloud, "This is my beloved Son. Listen to him."
9:8 Suddenly looking around, they saw no one with them any more, except Jesus only.
- See Mt 17:1–8; Lk 9:28–36.
- Peter, and James, and John onto a high mountain. This represents the raising of faith (Peter), wisdom (James), and love (John) to spiritual consciousness, a state in which these faculties are mentally separated from the physical organism. (MBD/Peter, MBD/James, MBD/John)
- glistening, exceedingly white. A symbol of the love, wisdom, and understanding of Divine Mind.
- Elijah and Moses. In periods of spiritual exaltation the higher faculties are quickened. Elijah represents the ability to prophesy (MBD/Elijah); Moses represents understanding of the divine law (MBD/Moses). Their conversation with Jesus represents the expression of these abilities in the mind of man.
- cloud. The cloud represents the obscured perception of man through which Jehovah is compelled to reveal Himself and identify His Son as the only begotten I AM.
9:9 As they were coming down from the mountain,2 he commanded them that they should tell no one3 what things they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 9:10 They kept this saying to themselves, questioning what the "rising from the dead" meant.
9:11 They asked him, saying, "Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?"
9:12 He said to them, "Elijah indeed comes first, and restores all things. How is it written about the Son of Man, that he should suffer many things and be despised? 9:13 But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they have also done to him whatever they wanted to, even as it is written about him."
Faith Conquers Error1
9:14 Coming to the disciples, he saw a great multitude around them, and scribes questioning them. 9:15 Immediately all the multitude, when they saw him, were greatly amazed, and running to him greeted him. 9:16 He asked the scribes, "What are you asking them?"
9:17 One of the multitude answered, "Teacher, I brought to you my son, who has a mute spirit; 9:18 and wherever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams at the mouth, and grinds his teeth, and wastes away. I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they weren't able."
9:19 He answered him, "Unbelieving generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to me."
9:20 They brought him to him, and when he saw him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground, wallowing and foaming at the mouth.
9:21 He asked his father, "How long has it been since this has come to him?"
He said, "From childhood. 9:22 Often it has cast him both into the fire and into the water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us, and help us."
9:23 Jesus said to him, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes."
9:24 Immediately the father of the child cried out with tears, "I believe. Help my unbelief!"2
9:25 When Jesus saw that a multitude came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to him, "You mute and deaf spirit,3 I command you, come out of him, and never enter him again!"
9:26 Having cried out, and convulsed greatly, it came out of him. The boy became like one dead; so much that most of them said, "He is dead." 9:27 But Jesus took him by the hand, and raised him up; and he arose.
- See Mt 17:14–20; Lk 9:37–43a.
- help my unbelief. Faith and confidence on the part of an individual often calls out faith in another and reassures him.
- mute and deaf spirit. In consciousness, deafness represents inability, or opposition to the word of Spirit; dumbness represents stubbornness in speaking the word of Spirit. These errors are cast out by prayer, that is, by making union with the mind of Spirit, which is open and receptive, and at the same time expressive. Regarding modern understanding of deafness, see annotation at Mark 7:32.
The Coming Realization1
9:30 They went out from there, and passed through Galilee. He didn't want anyone to know it. 9:31 For he was teaching his disciples, and said to them, "The Son of Man is being handed over to the hands of men, and they will kill him; and when he is killed, on the third day he will rise again."
9:32 But they didn't understand2 the saying, and were afraid to ask him.
A Lesson in Humility
9:33 He came to Capernaum, and when he was in the house he asked them, "What were you arguing among yourselves on the way?"
9:34 But they were silent, for they had disputed one with another on the way about who was the greatest.
9:35 He sat down, and called the twelve; and he said to them, "If any man wants to be first, he shall be last of all, and servant of all."1 9:36 He took a little child, and set him in the midst of them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them, 9:37 "Whoever receives one such little child in my name, receives me, and whoever receives me, doesn't receive me, but him who sent me."
- servant of all. Whole-hearted service requires a detachment from the self that the self-centered person finds it difficult to accomplish.
Partners in the Spirit1
9:38 John said to him, "Teacher, we saw someone who doesn't follow us casting out demons in your name; and we forbade him, because he doesn't follow us."
9:39 But Jesus said, "Don't forbid him, for there is no one who will do a mighty work in my name, and be able quickly to speak evil of me. 9:40 For whoever is not against us is on our side. 9:41 For whoever will give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because you are Christ's, most certainly I tell you, he will in no way lose his reward.2
- See Lk 9:49–50.
- in no way lose his reward. In the Christ consciousness, fulfillment is the working out of principle, and principle admits of no exceptions. Therefore the smallest unselfish act done in this consciousness must bear fruit in character.
Importance of the Inner Life1
9:42 Whoever will cause one of these little ones who believe in me2 to stumble, it would be better for him if he was thrown into the sea with a millstone3 hung around his neck. 9:43 If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having your two hands to go into Gehenna, into the unquenchable fire, 9:44 'where their worm doesn't die, and the fire is not quenched.' 9:45 If your foot4 causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life lame, rather than having your two feet to be cast into Gehenna, into the fire that will never be quenched-- 9:46 'where their worm doesn't die, and the fire is not quenched.' 9:47 If your eye5 causes you to stumble, cast it out. It is better for you to enter into the Kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into the Gehenna of fire, 9:48 'where their worm doesn't die, and the fire is not quenched.' 9:49 For everyone will be salted with fire, and every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt.6 9:50 Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, with what will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another."
- See Mt 18:6–9; Lk 17:1–2.
- one of these little ones who believe in me. Refers to the dawning of spiritual and soul qualities in one who has been absorbed in material thinking and living.
- millstone. A seeming hindrance of an earthly nature; a heavy burden. (RW/millstone)
- hand, foot. The importance of the inner life is emphasized by the teaching that it is better to lose a hand or a foot than to miss perfecting the expression of the inner life to its highest point. Love, sympathy, and faith are worth cultivating at any cost.
- eye. More than the preservation of the physical sight, the inner vision or understanding of life is far more worthwhile than physical vision.
- salt. The thoughts in man that understand, love, and obey Truth as Jesus taught and demonstrated it. (RW/salt)
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Rev. Dan Beckett.
World English Bible Footnotes:
Marriage as Spiritual Union1
10:1 He arose from there and came into the borders of Judea2 and beyond the Jordan.3 Multitudes came together to him again. As he usually did, he was again teaching them. 10:2 Pharisees came to him testing him, and asked him, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?"
10:3 He answered, "What did Moses command you?"
10:4 They said, "Moses allowed a certificate of divorce to be written, and to divorce her."
10:5 But Jesus said to them, "For your hardness of heart, he wrote you this commandment. 10:6 But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female. 10:7 For this cause a man will leave his father and mother, and will join to his wife, 10:8 and the two will become one flesh, so that they are no longer two, but one flesh. 10:9 What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate."4
10:10 In the house, his disciples asked him again about the same matter. 10:11 He said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife, and marries another, commits adultery against her. 10:12 If a woman herself divorces her husband, and marries another, she commits adultery."
- See Mt 19:1–9.
- Judea. "the praise of Jehovah"; This 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)
- Jordan. There is a stream of thought constantly flowing through the subconsciousness (the south flowing), made up of thoughts good, bad, and indifferent, which is typified in Scripture by the river Jordan. (MBD/Jordan)
- separate. Did Jesus sanction divorce? Jesus did not sanction the divorce of a man and a woman who are spiritually married. But, instead of living in spiritual unity, the majority of married persons live under the Mosaic dispensation (intellectuality). Their marriage is not of the Spirit. Jesus gave the cause of divorce among such persons as “hardness of heart.”
The Heart of a Child1
10:13 They were bringing to him little children, that he should touch them, but the disciples rebuked those who were bringing them. 10:14 But when Jesus saw it, he was moved with indignation, and said to them, "Allow the little children to come to me! Don't forbid them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.2 10:15 Most certainly I tell you, whoever will not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child, he will in no way enter into it." 10:16 He took them in his arms, and blessed them, laying his hands on them.
- See Mt 19:13–15; Lk 18:15–17.
- such as these. Why does the kingdom of God belong to little children? Because little children have trusting faith and singleness of heart, as well as obedience, humility, and teachableness; they are free from the self-righteousness that prevents the material-minded person from accepting Truth.
10:17 As he was going out into the way, one ran to him,2 knelt before him, and asked him, "Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?"
10:18 Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good except one--God. 10:19 You know the commandments: 'Do not murder,' 'Do not commit adultery,' 'Do not steal,' 'Do not give false testimony,' 'Do not defraud,' 'Honor your father and mother.'"
10:20 He said to him, "Teacher, I have observed all these things from my youth."
10:21 Jesus looking at him loved him, and said to him, "One thing you lack. Go, sell whatever you have,3 and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me, taking up the cross."
10:22 But his face fell at that saying, and he went away sorrowful,4 for he was one who had great possessions. 10:23 Jesus looked around, and said to his disciples, "How difficult it is for those who have riches to enter into the Kingdom of God!"
10:24 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus answered again, "Children, how hard is it for those who trust in riches to enter into the Kingdom of God! 10:25 It is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God."
10:26 They were exceedingly astonished, saying to him, "Then who can be saved?"
10:27 Jesus, looking at them, said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God, for all things are possible with God."5
10:28 Peter began to tell him, "Behold, we have left all, and have followed you."
10:29 Jesus said, "Most certainly I tell you, there is no one who has left house, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or land, for my sake, and for the sake of the Good News, 10:30 but he will receive one hundred times more now in this time, houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and land, with persecutions; and in the age to come eternal life. 10:31 But many who are first will be last; and the last first."
- See Mt 19:16–30; Lk 18:18–30.
- one ran to him. What does the person symbolize who came to Jesus to inquire the way to eternal life? He symbolizes personality or that in us which values the things that have form and shape.
- sell whatever you have. What was Jesus’ object in commanding the rich man to give his goods to the poor, and turn his attention toward God? The rich man needed to be set free from a responsibility that absorbed all his thought and attention in order that he might learn a surer approach to life.
- sorrowful. Personality is disappointed because it cannot retain its belief in earthly possessions and at the same be conscious of spiritual things. It is ambitious for eternal life, but its belief in the supreme value of earthly possessions separates it from its real good.
- all things are possible with God. Because the principle of All-Good cannot be exhausted. It is adequate to all demands made upon it in faith.
The Coming Victory Over Death1
10:32 They were on the way, going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus was going in front of them, and they were amazed; and those who followed were afraid. He again took the twelve, and began to tell them the things that were going to happen to him. 10:33 "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem. The Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes. They will condemn him to death, and will deliver him to the Gentiles.2 10:34 They will mock him, spit on him, scourge him, and kill him. On the third day he will rise again."
Living in Service to Others
10:35 James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came near to him, saying, "Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we will ask."
10:36 He said to them, "What do you want me to do for you?"
10:37 They said to him, "Grant to us that we may sit, one at your right hand, and one at your left hand, in your glory."1
10:38 But Jesus said to them, "You don't know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?"
10:39 They said to him, "We are able."
Jesus said to them, "You shall indeed drink the cup that I drink, and you shall be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with; 10:40 but to sit at my right hand and at my left hand is not mine to give, but for whom it has been prepared."
10:41 When the ten heard it, they began to be indignant towards James and John.
10:42 Jesus summoned them, and said to them, "You know that they who are recognized as rulers over the nations lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 10:43 But it shall not be so among you, but whoever wants to become great among you shall be your servant.2 10:44 Whoever of you wants to become first among you, shall be bondservant of all. 10:45 For the Son of Man also came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
- in your glory. When James and John asked to be placed, one at the right and one at the left hand of Jesus when He came into His glory, they were in personal consciousness; personality thought that it could obtain a favor of a friend merely by asking.
- great...servant. One becomes great through service because the same qualities are necessary for both: self-control, self detachment, self-discipline, and self-knowledge are products of the all-round development fostered by service. Greatness enters into them all.
Persistence Leads to Healing1
10:46 They came to Jericho. As he went out from Jericho,2 with his disciples and a great multitude, the son of Timaeus, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the road. 10:47 When he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to cry out, and say, "Jesus, you son of David, have mercy on me!" 10:48 Many rebuked him, that he should be quiet, but he cried out much more, "You son of David, have mercy on me!"
10:49 Jesus stood still, and said, "Call him."
They called the blind man, saying to him, "Cheer up! Get up. He is calling you!"
10:50 He, casting away his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus.
10:51 Jesus asked him, "What do you want me to do for you?"
The blind man said to him, "Rhabboni, that I may see again."
10:52 Jesus said to him, "Go your way. Your faith has made you well." Immediately he received his sight,3 and followed Jesus in the way.
- See Mt 20:29–34; Lk 17:35–43.
- Jericho. Jericho is the opposite of Jerusalem. One represents the spiritual; the other, the material. (MBD/Jericho)
- received his sight. Faith that is blinded by the pollution of sense is without understanding of the purity of the Christ Spirit, but it persists in appealing to the power of that Spirit. The compassion of the Christ is so overpowering that it heals even where understanding is inactive. But healing means seeing, and he who receives the healing power of the Christ is cleansed of his pollution and gains spiritual understanding.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Rev. Dan Beckett.
World English Bible Footnotes:
Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem1
11:1 When they drew near to Jerusalem,2 to Bethsphage and Bethany,3 at the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, 11:2 and said to them, "Go your way into the village that is opposite you. Immediately as you enter into it, you will find a young donkey tied, on which no one has sat.4 Untie him, and bring him. 11:3 If anyone asks you, 'Why are you doing this?' say, 'The Lord needs him;'5 and immediately he will send him back here."
11:4 They went away, and found a young donkey tied at the door outside in the open street, and they untied him. 11:5 Some of those who stood there asked them, "What are you doing, untying the young donkey?" 11:6 They said to them just as Jesus had said, and they let them go.
11:7 They brought the young donkey to Jesus, and threw their garments on it, and Jesus sat on it. 11:8 Many spread their garments on the way,6 and others were cutting down branches from the trees, and spreading them on the road. 11:9 Those who went in front, and those who followed, cried out, "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!7 11:10 Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is coming in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!"
11:11 Jesus entered into the temple in Jerusalem. When he had looked around at everything, it being now evening, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.
- See Mt 21:1-10; Lk 19:28-38; Jn 12:12-19.
- In his journey towards peace, the follower of the Christ reaches a stage where he must assert his powers of mastery and dominion.
- Bethphage and Bethany. Both names mean “house of figs,” the former meaning also “house of unripe figs.” Bethany means also “wailing, lamentation, affliction,” from the sound of the wind in the foliage of the fig trees and from the “tears” (drops of gum that exude from the fruit). The significance of these meanings is that man, when he lacks self-dominion, is powerless to cope with life unaided. In this state his powers are not mature, but are as unripe fruit, without usefulness.
- Colt whereon no man ever yet sat. We first train our faculties (disciples) to do our bidding. Next we transform the forces of our sense or animal nature (the “colt whereon no man ever yet sat”).
- The animal nature is meant to be brought into the service of the ideal self and to express their share of his self-realized destiny as a son of God.
- Spread their garments. Praise and appreciation for the animal nature. The natural forces are not evil in themselves. They are evil only when they are misdirected.
- Who “cometh in the name of the Lord” He who expresses the Christ Spirit through his right use of the I AM comes in the name of the Lord or divine law.
Jesus Curses the Fig Tree1
11:12 The next day, when they had come out from Bethany, he was hungry. 11:13 Seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came to see if perhaps he might find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 11:14 Jesus told it, "May no one ever eat fruit from you again!" and his disciples heard it.
Jesus Cleanses the Temple1
11:15 They came to Jerusalem, and Jesus entered into the temple, and began to throw out those who sold and those who bought in the temple,2 and overthrew the tables of the money changers, and the seats of those who sold the doves. 11:16 He would not allow anyone to carry a container through the temple. 11:17 He taught, saying to them, "Isn't it written, 'My house will be called a house of prayer for all the nations?' But you have made it a den of robbers!"3
11:18 The chief priests and the scribes heard it, and sought how they might destroy him. For they feared him, because all the multitude was astonished at his teaching.
11:19 When evening came, he went out of the city.
- See Mt 21:12–22;Lk 19:45–48; Jn 2:13–22.
- Casting out of the temple those that sold and bought. In the regeneration one's mind is changed in regard to commercial transactions. The old thoughts of greed and gain must be cast out; even the very foundation (tables) must be overturned. “For other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
- a den of robbers. Fear, greed, anger, malice, evil speaking, and other discordant and negative forces that enter into the body and rob it of health, peace, and all the other blessings that are its heritage under divine law.
The Lesson from the Withered Fig Tree1
11:22 Jesus answered them, "Have faith in God. 11:23 For most certainly I tell you, whoever may tell this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' and doesn't doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is happening; he shall have whatever he says. 11:24 Therefore I tell you, all things whatever you pray and ask for, believe that you have received them, and you shall have them.2 11:25 Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father, who is in heaven, may also forgive you your transgressions. 11:26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your transgressions."
Jesus’ Authority Is Questioned1
11:27 They came again to Jerusalem, and as he was walking in the temple, the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders2 came to him, 11:28 and they began saying to him, "By what authority do you do these things? Or who gave you this authority to do these things?"3
11:31 They reasoned with themselves, saying, "If we should say, 'From heaven;' he will say, 'Why then did you not believe him?' 11:32 If we should say, 'From men'"--they feared the people, for all held John to really be a prophet. 11:33 They answered Jesus, "We don't know."
Jesus said to them, "Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things."4
- See Mt 21:23–27;Lk 20:1–8.
- The religious thoughts that follow strictly the forms and ceremonies of religion, but do not recognize that the authority of Spirit that underlies them is greater than the outward forms and ceremonies.
- The teacher of Truth must know Truth, be able to distinguish it from error, and be conscious of its essence within him. The authority of man's inner conviction and knowledge is pre-eminent.
- The Christ, having divine authority, cannot be fettered or bound by the reasonings of the intellect.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Mark Hicks
World English Bible Footnotes:
12:1 He began to speak to them in parables. "A man planted a vineyard,2 put a hedge around it, dug a pit for the winepress, built a tower, rented it out to a farmer, and went into another country. 12:2 When it was time, he sent a servant to the farmer to get from the farmer his share of the fruit of the vineyard.3 12:3 They took him, beat him, and sent him away empty. 12:4 Again, he sent another servant4 to them; and they threw stones at him, wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully treated. 12:5 Again he sent another; and they killed him; and many others, beating some, and killing some. 12:6 Therefore still having one, his beloved son, he sent him last to them, saying, 'They will respect my son.' 12:7 But those farmers said among themselves, 'This is the heir. Come, let's kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.' 12:8 They took him, killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard. 12:9 What therefore will the lord of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the farmers, and will give the vineyard to others. 12:10 Haven't you even read this Scripture:
'The stone which the builders rejected,
the same was made the head of the corner.
12:11 This was from the Lord,
it is marvelous in our eyes'?"
12:12 They tried to seize him, but they feared the multitude; for they perceived that he spoke the parable against them. They left him, and went away.
- See Mt 21:33–46; Lk 20:9–19
- vineyard. The fruit of the vine is a symbol of life. Jesus said, "I am the vine." The vineyard represents the manifest human being, or humanity which was planted in perfection, and perfection is its destiny. (RW/vineyard)
- fruit of the vineyard. “The fruits of the vineyard” represent the perfection of God expressed in the character of man. “Ye therefore shall be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
- servant. The servants who were sent for the fruits of the vineyard represent the spiritually illumined thoughts in human consciousness. They come expecting to find a welcome and a companionship in the our mind, but are destroyed by selfishness and ignorance.
To Each Their Own1
12:13 They sent some of the Pharisees and of the Herodians to him, that they might trap him with words. 12:14 When they had come, they asked him, "Teacher, we know that you are honest, and don't defer to anyone; for you aren't partial to anyone, but truly teach the way of God. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? 12:15 Shall we give, or shall we not give?"
But he, knowing their hypocrisy,2 said to them, "Why do you test me? Bring me a denarius,3 that I may see it."
12:16 They brought it.
He said to them, "Whose is this image and inscription?"
They said to him, "Caesar's."4
12:17 Jesus answered them, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."5
They marveled greatly at him.
- See Mt 22:15–22; Lk 20:20–26.
- hypocrisy. Jesus considered the Sadducees and the Pharisees hypocrites because they pretended to be what they were not. Secretly, they were trying to evade the taxes imposed by Caesar, but in asking Jesus whether or not they should pay tribute, they pretended they were honest.
- denarius. After Jesus called for the tribute money He showed them the stamp of Caesar's face on the coin, signifying that the coin was identified with temporality and should be respected for what it was worth, but that we should not forget to put the thought of God into our monetary transactions.
- Caesar. In consciousness Caesar represents the tyrannical rule of the personal will unmodified by spiritual love and mercy and justice.
- Render unto Caesar...things that are God's. The secret of a harmonious life is to balance God and God manifest in one's thoughts and acts. Persons who become overzealous in religious observances are apt to treat with contempt temporal laws and conditions. This results in contention and discord between mind and body, and between the laws of God and the laws of human beings.
God is Life1
12:18 There came to him Sadducees, who say that there is no resurrection.2 They asked him, saying, 12:19 "Teacher, Moses wrote to us, 'If a man's brother dies, and leaves a wife behind him, and leaves no children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up offspring for his brother.' 12:20 There were seven brothers. The first took a wife, and dying left no offspring. 12:21 The second took her, and died, leaving no children behind him. The third likewise; 12:22 and the seven took her and left no children. Last of all the woman also died. 12:23 In the resurrection, when they rise, whose wife will she be of them? For the seven had her as a wife."
12:24 Jesus answered them, "Isn't this because you are mistaken,3 not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God? 12:25 For when they will rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 12:26 But about the dead, that they are raised; haven't you read in the book of Moses, about the Bush, how God spoke to him, saying, 'I am the God of Abraham,4 the God of Isaac,5 and the God of Jacob'6? 12:27 He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You are therefore badly mistaken."
- See Mt 22:23–33; Lk 20:27–40.
- resurrection. The raising of man's mind and body from sense to spiritual consciousness. (MBD/resurrection)
- mistaken. Jesus told the Sadducees that they knew not the Scriptures because, although they were familiar with the wording of the Scriptures, they did not understand the meaning of what they read. Without this understanding they did not really know the law or inner truth underlying the words.
- Abraham. The power of the mind to reproduce its ideas in unlimited expression. This ability of the mind to make substance out of ideas is called faith. (MBD/Abraham)
- Isaac. Divine sonship. Isaac, meaning laughter, signifies the joy of the new birth and the new life in Christ, which is the spiritual consciousness of relationship to God the Father. (MBD/Isaac)
- Jacob. Jacob represents an idea of the I AM identity, through which the faculties of the mind receive their original inspirations. Jacob had twelve sons, to each of whom he gave an office and each of whom he blessed, or inspired, with his spiritual wisdom. (MBD/Jacob)
Love Over All1
12:28 One of the scribes2 came, and heard them questioning together. Knowing that he had answered them well, asked him, "Which commandment is the greatest of all?"
12:29 Jesus answered, "The greatest is, 'Hear, Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one: 12:30 you shall love3 the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment. 12:31 The second4 is like this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."
12:32 The scribe said to him, "Truly, teacher, you have said well that he is one, and there is none other but he, 12:33 and to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbor as himself, is more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices."
12:34 When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the Kingdom of God."5 No one dared ask him any question after that.
- See Mt 22:34–40; Lk 10.25–28.
- scribe. The definition of the word scribe is “a copyist” or “a writer”; metaphysically considered, a scribe is the faculty within us that endeavors to engrave upon the tablets of the mind an interpretation of the Scriptures and of the law.
- love. Love is the great unifying element. When our consciousness is saturated with love, it overflows into our body and into our affairs, and brings harmony into every hitherto discordant condition within and without.
- second. After the love consciousness has been established in us, our next attitude should to make love the basis of all our relations, especially our relations with the persons and the things that are nearest to us, that is, our “neighbor.” In this way we shall fulfill the law of God and demonstrate divine harmony within and without.
- You are not far from the Kingdom of God. The scribe understood that loving God and his neighbor are our two chief duties, but his attitude showed that his interest was intellectual, not spiritual. He was not following what he understood to be essential.
Of the House of David1
'The Lord said to my Lord,
"Sit at my right hand,
until I make your enemies the footstool of your feet."'
12:37 Therefore David himself calls him Lord, so how can he be his son?"
The common people heard him gladly. 12:38 In his teaching he said to them, "Beware of the scribes, who like to walk in long robes, and to get greetings in the marketplaces, 12:39 and the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts: 12:40 those who devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayers.2 These will receive greater condemnation."
- See Lk 20:45–47.
- prayers. In Truth, prayer is a means of connecting us with source, in order that we may know wisdom and use it in our life. To love Truth with all the heart, soul, mind, and strength is to do away, once and forever, with all that is not true in life.
12:41 Jesus sat down opposite the treasury, and saw how the multitude cast money2 into the treasury. Many who were rich cast in much. 12:42 A poor widow came, and she cast in two small brass coins, which equal a quadrans coin. 12:43 He called his disciples to himself, and said to them, "Most certainly I tell you, this poor widow gave3 more than all those who are giving into the treasury, 12:44 for they all gave out of their abundance, but she, out of her poverty, gave all that she had to live on."
- See Lk 21.1–4.
- cast money. Personality delights in making a show of giving. It is prone to think it does much toward the maintenance of the body temple and toward the mind's religious worship; but until the intellect is quickened by Spirit and comes under the instruction of true wisdom, its gifts do not really count for much.
- gave. How is true giving to be measured? True giving is measured by the love and substance and faith that the giver puts into the gift.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Rev. Dan Beckett.
World English Bible Footnotes:
-  v12:11. Psalm 118:22-23
-  v12:26. Exodus 3:6
-  v12:30. Deuteronomy 6:4-5
-  v12:31. Leviticus 19:18
-  v12:36. Psalm 110:1
-  v12:42. literally, lepta (or widow's mites). Lepta are very small brass coins worth half a quadrans each, which is a quarter of the copper assarion. Lepta are worth less than 1% of an agricultural worker's daily wages.
-  v12:42. A quadrans is a coin worth about 1/64 of a denarius. A denarius is about one day's wages for an agricultural laborer.
The Body Temple1
13:1 As he went out of the temple,2 one of his disciples said to him, "Teacher, see what kind of stones and what kind of buildings!"
13:2 Jesus said to him, "Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone on another, which will not be thrown down."
13:3 As he sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately, 13:4 "Tell us, when will these things3 be? What is the sign that these things are all about to be fulfilled?"
13:7 "When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, don't be troubled. For those must happen, but the end is not yet. 13:8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places. There will be famines and troubles. These things are the beginning of birth pains.
- See Matt. 24.3-8; Luke 21.5–11
- temple. The temple represents the body of man, its destruction represents the death of the body.
- these things. Do wars, earthquakes, and famines serve as true portents of what is in store for us? Such calamities are not signs except in a negative sense. They show that humanity has not yet learned to exercise the dominion that it is capable of exercising, when it learns to develop the power that is its innate heritage.
Spirit Always Triumphs1
13:9 But watch yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils. You will be beaten in synagogues. You will stand before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony to them. 13:10 The Good News must first be preached to all the nations. 13:11 When they lead you away and deliver you up, don't be anxious beforehand, or premeditate what you will say, but say whatever will be given you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.
13:12 "Brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child. Children will rise up against parents, and cause them to be put to death. 13:13 You will be hated by all men for my name's sake, but he who endures to the end, the same will be saved.
13:14 But when you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, 13:15 and let him who is on the housetop not go down, nor enter in, to take anything out of his house. 13:16 Let him who is in the field not return back to take his cloak. 13:17 But woe to those who are with child and to those who nurse babies in those days! 13:18 Pray that your flight won't be in the winter. 13:19 For in those days there will be oppression, such as there has not been the like from the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never will be. 13:20 Unless the Lord had shortened the days, no flesh would have been saved; but for the sake of the chosen ones, whom he picked out, he shortened the days. 13:21 Then if anyone tells you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or, 'Look, there!' don't believe it. 13:22 For there will arise false christs and false prophets,2 and will show signs and wonders, that they may lead astray, if possible, even the chosen ones. 13:23 But you watch.
- See Matt. 24.15-24; Luke 21.20-24
- false prophets. Deceptive thoughts that have been built up by error, selfish desires. Outwardly they present the appearance of being candid and open; inwardly they are ravenous for personal sensation and worldly gain. In order to attain their end they deceive even "the elect." (MBD/false-prophets)
"Behold, I have told you all things beforehand. 13:24 But in those days, after that oppression, the sun will be darkened, the moon2 will not give its light, 13:25 the stars will be falling from the sky, and the powers that are in the heavens will be shaken. 13:26 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 13:27 Then he will send out his angels, and will gather together his chosen ones from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the sky.
- See Matt. 24.29-31; Luke 21.25-28
- sun, moon. The sun represents spiritual intelligence. Light is always a symbol of intelligence, and the sun, the supreme source of light in man's world, represents the highest form of intelligence, spiritual intelligence. The moon, which symbolizes the intellect, receives all its light from the spiritual intelligence. (MBD/sun)
The Impermanent World of Form1
13:28 "Now from the fig tree, learn this parable. When the branch has now become tender, and puts forth its leaves, you know that the summer is near; 13:29 even so you also, when you see these things coming to pass, know that it is near, at the doors. 13:30 Most certainly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things happen. 13:31 Heaven and earth2 will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
- See Matt. 24.32-35; Luke 21.29–33
- heaven and earth. If heaven and earth are destined to pass away, what is to remain to prove the truth of these principles? The inner universe of causes, which we designate as Divine Mind, will always remain, since it is eternal and infinite, subject to no limitations of either time or space.
13:34 "It is like a man, traveling to another country, having left his house, and given authority to his servants, and to each one his work, and also commanded the doorkeeper to keep watch. 13:35 Watch therefore, for you don't know when the lord of the house is coming, whether at evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning; 13:36 lest coming suddenly he might find you sleeping. 13:37 What I tell you, I tell all: Watch."
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Rev. Dan Beckett.
World English Bible Footnotes:
The Plot to Kill Jesus1
14:1 It was now two days before the feast of the Passover2 and the unleavened bread, and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might seize him by deception, and kill him.3 14:2 For they said, "Not during the feast, because there might be a riot of the people."
- See Matt. 26:1-5;Luke 22:1-2; John 11:47-53
- passover. The Passover typifies the freeing of the spiritual man from the dominion of sense.
- seize him by deception, and kill him. Explain. During such periods of transition the conservative ideas of the individual (the chief priests and scribes), actuated by fear of the Christ Spirit stirring in the heart, seek to suppress that Spirit, in order to keep the life unchanged and subject to its original allegiances.
The Anointing at Bethany1
14:3 While he was at Bethany,2 in the house of Simon the leper,3 as he sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster jar of ointment of pure nard--very costly. She broke the jar, and poured it over his head. 14:4 But there were some who were indignant among themselves, saying, "Why has this ointment been wasted? 14:5 For this might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii, and given to the poor."4 They grumbled against her.
14:6 But Jesus said, "Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her?5 She has done a good work for me. 14:7 For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want to, you can do them good; but you will not always have me. 14:8 She has done what she could. She has anointed my body beforehand for the burying. 14:9 Most certainly I tell you, wherever this Good News may be preached throughout the whole world, that which this woman has done will also be spoken of for a memorial of her."
- See Matt. 26:6-13;Luke 22:1-2; John 11:47-53
- Bethany. Means “fruitage.” It represents a place in consciousness where our thoughts become established, and through which we can return whenever we so desire, and find a welcome.
- in the house of Simon the leper. Leprosy is a disease of the body, the result of impure thoughts. Jesus was cleansing his consciousness of all impurity, and the woman with the alabaster cruse of ointment represents the activity of pure love.
- and given to the poor. The poor represent thoughts of need, lack, insufficiency. The external mind sees these conditions, and its thought is that the first use of every good thing would be to meet the needs of the outer man. But through spiritual wisdom, we should often conserve spiritual substance for the building up of the new body in Christ.
- Why do you trouble her? We are transformed by the renewing of our minds. The old thoughts die and pass away, and the cells of the organism follow. When we have the inner communion with Spirit, and the love consciousness is gradually built up, there is an outflow of a fine love essence which acts as a preservative. The pure substance of the body is thus being daily restored and forms the foundation of a new organism. This was symbolically described as preparing “my body beforehand for the burying.”
Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus1
14:10 Judas2 Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went away to the chief priests, that he might deliver him to them. 14:11 They, when they heard it, were glad, and promised to give him money. He sought how he might conveniently deliver him.
- See Matt. 26:14-16;Luke 22:3-6; John 11:57
- Judas. Judas (the generative function) is a disciple of Jesus (the I AM). He is entrusted with the control and conservation of the life force or substance, under the direction of the I AM, or divine intelligence. But because he does not recognize or is unwilling to acknowledge the divinity of the I AM, he rebels and seeks to increase the expression of life in ways that are contrary to the divine law. In so doing he betrays the I AM, and the expression of life in the body is impaired or destroyed.
The Passover with the Disciples1
14:12 On the first day of unleavened bread, when they sacrificed the Passover, his disciples asked him, "Where do you want us to go and make ready that you may eat the Passover?"
14:13 He sent two of his disciples,2 and said to them, "Go into the city, and there you will meet a man carrying a pitcher of water. Follow him, 14:14 and wherever he enters in, tell the master of the house, 'The Teacher says, "Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?"' 14:15 He will himself show you a large upper room furnished and ready. Make ready for us there."
14:16 His disciples went out, and came into the city, and found things as he had said to them, and they prepared the Passover.3
14:19 They began to be sorrowful, and to ask him one by one, "Surely not I?" And another said, "Surely not I?"
14:20 He answered them, "It is one of the twelve, he who dips with me in the dish. 14:21 For the Son of Man goes, even as it is written about him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would be better for that man if he had not been born."
- See Matt. 26:17-25;Luke 22:7-14,21-23; John 13:21-26
- He sent two of his disciples. The faculties must be called into action, becoming obedient to the instruction of the Christ.
- they prepared the Passover. Whatever makes the mind receptive to Truth prepares us to enter into spiritual consciousness. The “passing over” from sense consciousness to spiritual consciousness. This transition involves sacrifice. Clarification of the perceptive powers in that vision becomes an inner knowing rather than a seeing with the physical eyes.
- one of you will betray me. Among our faculties, represented by the disciples of Jesus Christ, we have a Judas. In its highest office this faculty is Judah, spiritual appropriation through prayer and praise. Inverted in human consciousness, this faculty becomes Judas, acquisitiveness. In essence it is good, but in its personal sense and exercise, it brings about suffering and crucifixion.
The Institution of the Lord's Supper1
14:22 As they were eating, Jesus took bread,2 and when he had blessed, he broke it, and gave to them, and said, "Take, eat. This is my body."
14:23 He took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave to them. They all drank of it. 14:24 He said to them, "This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many.3 14:25 Most certainly I tell you, I will no more drink of the fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it anew in the Kingdom of God."
- See Matt. 26:26-30;Luke 22:15-20,39; I Cor. 11:23
- bread, the cup. Of our partaking spiritually of the life and substance that Christ externalized and raised to Spiritual consciousness. Bread represents the body of Christ, which is spiritual substance. The “cup” is one of the symbols of the life principle, the quickening element in creation, the “blood” of Christ.
- poured out for many. For remission of the world's sins, which is accomplished by the power of spiritual life to displace sin with a thirst for righteousness.
Peter's Denial Foretold1
14:26 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
14:27 Jesus said to them, "All of you will be made to stumble2 because of me tonight, for it is written, 'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.' 14:28 However, after I am raised up, I will go before you into Galilee."
14:29 But Peter said to him, "Although all will be offended, yet I will not."3
14:30 Jesus said to him, "Most certainly I tell you, that you today, even this night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times."
14:31 But he spoke all the more, "If I must die with you, I will not deny you." They all said the same thing.
- See Matt. 26:31-36;Luke 22:31-34; John 13:36-38
- All of you will be made to stumble. They were to fall away from Him because of their fear and spiritual immaturity. The Christ way of gratitude and thanksgiving, of recognition of God as the source of all things, is sometimes despised and rejected of men even today, and credit for success is given to lesser sources: initiative, perseverance, business ability, or personality.
- Peter said unto him ... yet I will not. Peter here represents untried faith, which sometimes leads one into overconfidence through imperfect self-knowledge. All untried faculties are subject to the same defect: “In like manner also said they all.”
Jesus Prays in Gethsemane1
14:32 They came to a place which was named Gethsemane.2 He said to his disciples, "Sit here, while I pray." 14:33 He took with him Peter, James, and John, and began to be greatly troubled and distressed. 14:34 He said to them, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here, and watch."3
14:35 He went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass away from him. 14:36 He said, "Abba, Father, all things are possible to you. Please remove this cup from me. However, not what I desire, but what you desire."4
14:37 He came and found them sleeping,5 and said to Peter, "Simon, are you sleeping? Couldn't you watch one hour? 14:38 Watch and pray, that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."6
14:39 Again he went away, and prayed, saying the same words. 14:40 Again he returned, and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy, and they didn't know what to answer him. 14:41 He came the third time, and said to them, "Sleep on now, and take your rest. It is enough.7 The hour has come. Behold, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 14:42 Arise, let us be going. Behold, he who betrays me is at hand."
- See Matt. 26:36-46;Luke 22:40-46; John 18:1
- Gethsemane. Jesus, representing the spiritual I Am, and his disciples, the faculties of mind, entering Gethsemane (meaning wine press and oil; a farm), typify these mind powers entering into the state of consciousness where the I Am goes through the final preparation for the supreme test, the crucifixion on the cross.
- watch. While Jesus (the I AM) entered farther into the garden (deeper into spiritual consciousness), the disciples (faculties of mind) were bidden to watch in the “without” for the betrayer, Judas, the disciple with the consciousness adverse to the Truth.
- but what you desire. In other words, Jesus was acknowledging God as the one and only Power, able to save from the coming experience, though it seemed inevitable.
- found them sleeping. Because Judas, representing the Life faculty, no longer gave his support; consequently, they fell asleep.
- but the flesh is weak. The Spirit, that in man which sees and knows from the God viewpoint, is always willing and ready to carry out the edicts of the I Am, but the flesh man, the mortal part of us, which sees from the limited viewpoint, and is not awakened to the larger vision, falls down, does not measure up to the spiritual standard.
- take your rest. It is enough. Jesus had found the greater light; he had found that inner strength, that sustaining power through which he would be able to carry out that Divine Plan, the Ideal Redemption of man, which he had been sent forth to accomplish, “to give his life a ransom for many,” or in other words, to plant in the heart of humanity the seed of Divine Purity and Life everlasting.
The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus1
14:43 Immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, came--and with him a multitude with swords and clubs,2 from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders. 14:44 Now he who betrayed him had given them a sign, saying, "Whoever I will kiss, that is he. Seize him, and lead him away safely." 14:45 When he had come, immediately he came to him, and said, "Rabbi! Rabbi!" and kissed him.3 14:46 They laid their hands on him, and seized him. 14:47 But a certain one of those who stood by drew his sword, and struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.
14:48 Jesus answered them, "Have you come out, as against a robber,4 with swords and clubs to seize me? 14:49 I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and you didn't arrest me. But this is so that the Scriptures might be fulfilled."
14:50 They all left him, and fled. 14:51 A certain young man followed him, having a linen cloth thrown around himself, over his naked body. The young men grabbed him, 14:52 but he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked.
- See Matt. 26:47-56;Luke 22:47-53; John 18:3-11
- multitude with swords and clubs. The chief priests represent our natural religious tendencies; the scribes, our established religious thoughts. These desire to rule over the religious life by force, and to this end would destroy original truth as expressed in the Christ principle. Judas, representing appropriation, directs them to their selfish end.
- and kissed him. This mark of greeting is also a token of love and allegiance. The Christ consciousness is the consciousness of divine love.
- Have you come out, as against a robber? By willingly surrendering all that belongs to personality. One cannot be robbed of what one gives willingly. The acquisitive faculty is thus defeated.
Jesus before the Council1
14:53 They led Jesus away to the high priest. All the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes came together with him.
14:54 Peter had followed him from a distance,2 until he came into the court of the high priest.3 He was sitting with the officers, and warming himself in the light of the fire. 14:55 Now the chief priests and the whole council sought witnesses against Jesus to put him to death, and found none. 14:56 For many gave false testimony against him, and their testimony didn't agree with each other. 14:57 Some stood up, and gave false testimony against him, saying, 14:58 "We heard him say, 'I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another made without hands.'" 14:59 Even so, their testimony did not agree.
14:60 The high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, "Have you no answer? What is it which these testify against you?" 14:61 But he stayed quiet, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?"
14:62 Jesus said, "I am. You will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of the sky."
14:63 The high priest tore his clothes, and said, "What further need have we of witnesses? 14:64 You have heard the blasphemy! What do you think?" They all condemned him to be worthy of death. 14:65 Some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to beat him with fists, and to tell him, "Prophesy!" The officers struck him with the palms of their hands.
- See Matt 26:57-68;Luke 22:54-55,63-71; John 18:13-24
- Peter had followed him from a distance. We often find our faith far out-[stepped] by our efforts to live the abundant life. We need to keep our faith keyed to our present understanding, if we would avoid the stress and strain of fruitless striving.
- the high priest. Represents each person's highest intellectual concept of religion.
Peter Denies Jesus1
14:68 But he denied it, saying, "I neither know, nor understand what you are saying." He went out on the porch, and the rooster crowed.
14:69 The maid saw him, and began again to tell those who stood by, "This is one of them." 14:70 But he again denied it. After a little while again those who stood by said to Peter, "You truly are one of them, for you are a Galilean, and your speech shows it." 14:71 But he began to curse, and to swear,3 "I don't know this man of whom you speak!" 14:72 The rooster crowed the second time. Peter remembered the word, how that Jesus said to him, "Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times." When he thought about that, he wept.
- See Matt. 26:69-75;Luke 22:55-62; John 18:25-27
- one of the maids of the high priest. The maid represents spiritual intuition. She discerns that Peter (faith) belongs with Jesus and she proceeds to test him by saying, “Thou also wast with the Nazarene, even Jesus.” Even when our faith in Truth wavers we intuitively connect our identity with that of the spiritual I AM, Jesus.
- he began to curse, and to swear. Our minds work in a threefold manner. This trinity of thought action is metaphysically described as mind, idea, and manifestation. When we start thinking a wrong thought the natural tendency is to continue in the error state of consciousness, until the impetus of the thought is exhausted.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Mark Hicks.
World English Bible Footnotes:
The Christ and the Will1
15:1 Immediately in the morning the chief priests,2 with the elders and scribes, and the whole council, held a consultation, and bound Jesus, and carried him away, and delivered him up to Pilate.3 15:2 Pilate asked him, "Are you the King of the Jews?"
He answered, "So you say."
15:5 But Jesus made no further answer, so that Pilate marveled.
15:6 Now at the feast he used to release to them one prisoner, whom they asked of him. 15:7 There was one called Barabbas, bound with those who had made insurrection, men who in the insurrection had committed murder. 15:8 The multitude, crying aloud, began to ask him to do as he always did for them. 15:9 Pilate answered them, saying, "Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?" 15:10 For he perceived that for envy the chief priests had delivered him up. 15:11 But the chief priests stirred up the multitude, that he should release Barabbas2 to them instead. 15:12 Pilate again asked them, "What then should I do to him whom you call the King of the Jews?"
15:13 They cried out again, "Crucify him!"
15:14 Pilate said to them, "Why, what evil has he done?"
But they cried out exceedingly, "Crucify him!"
15:15 Pilate, wishing to please3 the multitude, released Barabbas to them, and handed over Jesus, when he had flogged4 him, to be crucified.
- See Matt. 27.11–23; Luke 23.13–25; John 18.28–40
- Barabbas. Why was Barabbas released instead of Jesus? Barabbas represents the adverse consciousness, rebellion and hatred. The personal will gives way to such expressions as a matter of course, making little if any effort to discipline them. Truth is abandoned as of no consequence.
- wishing to please. Why did Pilate wish to please the multitude? Pilate represents the human will, which occupies itself with the random thoughts that swarm through the mind of sense, undertaking to satisfy each in its turn.
- flogged. Why was Jesus flogged before being delivered to the Jews? The outer ruling power (Pilate) flouts the spiritual power of Truth and subjects it to the extreme of abuse in order to remove any suggestion of blame attaching to the personal will.
Jesus Stands in His Truth1
15:16 The soldiers led him away within the court, which is the Praetorium; and they called together the whole cohort. 15:17 They clothed him with purple, and weaving a crown of thorns, they put it on him. 15:18 They began to salute him, "Hail, King of the Jews!" 15:19 They struck his head with a reed, and spat on him, and bowing their knees, did homage to him. 15:20 When they had mocked him, they took the purple off of him, and put his own garments on him. They led him out to crucify him.
New Life in Spirit1
15:21 They compelled one passing by, coming from the country, Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to go with them, that he might bear his cross. 15:22 They brought him to the place called Golgotha,2 which is, being interpreted, "The place of a skull." 15:23 They offered him wine mixed with myrrh3 to drink, but he didn't take it.
15:24 Crucifying him, they parted his garments among them, casting lots4 on them, what each should take. 15:25 It was the third hour, and they crucified5 him. 15:26 The superscription of his accusation was written over him, "THE KING OF THE JEWS." 15:27 With him they crucified two robbers; one on his right hand, and one on his left. 15:28 The Scripture was fulfilled, which says, "He was numbered with transgressors."
15:31 Likewise, also the chief priests mocking among themselves with the scribes said, "He saved others. He can't save himself. 15:32 Let the Christ, the King of Israel, now come down from the cross, that we may see and believe him." Those who were crucified with him insulted him.
- See Matt. 27.32–54; Luke 23.26–48; John 19.16b–37
- Golgotha. What is the meaning of “Golgotha”? Golgotha means “place of the skull.” The skull is the center of the intellect, which must be given over to the eternal ascendancy of Spirit. Jesus (the intellectual) was crucified at “the place of a skull” that Christ (Truth) might become all in all.
- wine mixed with myrrh. What does the “wine mingled with myrrh” represent? Wine means life, and myrrh means bitterness. Jesus would not drink this bitterness of life; He merely tasted it, which means that He did not allow Himself to be swallowed up by the bitterness of death.
- casting lots. What does the casting of lots for His garments represent? Garments represent the most external thought realm; casting lots for them means that those in the outer sense consciousness, in their ignorance, overlook spiritual things and gamble for the transitory things of externality.
- crucified. The lesson of the crucifixion is a prophecy of a change in the real Christian's aspect toward life. The material concept of life which he has been living, must be killed and the new life in Spirit must be substituted.
The Soul's Experience of the Eclipse of Truth1
15:33 When the sixth hour had come, there was darkness2 over the whole land until the ninth hour. 15:34 At the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" which is, being interpreted, "My God, my God,3 why have you forsaken me?"
15:35 Some of those who stood by, when they heard it, said, "Behold, he is calling Elijah."
15:36 One ran, and filling a sponge full of vinegar, put it on a reed, and gave it to him to drink, saying, "Let him be. Let's see whether Elijah4 comes to take him down."
15:37 Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and gave up the spirit. 15:38 The veil5 of the temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom. 15:39 When the centurion, who stood by opposite him, saw that he cried out like this and breathed his last, he said, "Truly this man was the Son of God!"
15:40 There were also women watching from afar, among whom were both Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome; 15:41 who, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and served him; and many other women who came up with him to Jerusalem.
- See Matt. 27.32–54; Luke 23.26–48; John 19.16b–37
- darkness. Darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour signifies the feeling of desolation that the soul experiences, when in time of extreme crisis it temporarily loses its awareness of God.
- My God. Why did Jesus cry with a loud voice, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” The cry, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” was the cry of the personal consciousness that believes in a personal God, who fails in the hour of trial. The “loud voice” represents the outer consciousness which is losing its hold on physical life.
- Elijah. The meaning of the sentence Let us see whether Elijah cometh to take him down is that those on the natural plane of thought look for salvation through Elijah, or the highest expression of the natural man. Elijah does not save man. Man is saved through Christ; Jesus gave himself up to Spirit.
- veil. What is the meaning of the rending of the veil of the temple from top to bottom? The temple represents the body, which loses its physical cohesion, when the tension of the mortal will relinquishes its hold on the invisible thought substance (veil).
An Act of Kindness From High Consciousness1
15:42 When evening had now come, because it was the Preparation Day, that is, the day before the Sabbath, 15:43 Joseph of Arimathaea,1 a prominent council member who also himself was looking for the Kingdom of God, came. He boldly went in to Pilate, and asked for Jesus' body. 15:44 Pilate marveled if he were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he had been dead long. 15:45 When he found out from the centurion, he granted the body to Joseph. 15:46 He bought a linen cloth, and taking him down, wound him in the linen cloth, and laid him in a tomb which had been cut out of a rock. He rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. 15:47 Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Joses, saw where he was laid.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Rev. Dan Beckett.
World English Bible Footnotes:
Dynamic Life Revealed1
16:1 When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene,2 and Mary the mother of James, and Salome,3 bought spices, that they might come and anoint him. 16:2 Very early4 on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb5 when the sun had risen. 16:3 They were saying among themselves, "Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?" 16:4 for it was very big. Looking up, they saw that the stone was rolled back.
16:5 Entering into the tomb, they saw a young man6 sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were amazed. 16:6 He said to them, "Don't be amazed. You seek Jesus, the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen.7 He is not here. Behold, the place where they laid him! 16:7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, 'He goes before you into Galilee. There you will see him, as he said to you.'"
- See Matt. 28.1–8; Luke 24.1–12; John 20.1–10
- Magdalene. A thought exalting and magnifying strength in consciousness. (MBD/Magdalene, MBD/Magadan)
- Salome. Represents the soul clothed in the thought of wholeness, soundness, love, peace, and Truth. (MBD/Salome)
- very early. What is represented by the coming of Mary Magdalene and the other women to the tomb of Jesus “very early” in the morning? The women represent the various faculties of the individual soul; their coming early to the tomb, the fact that the soul is first to awake to the truth of resurrection. See also note at 16:9 below.
- tomb. The tomb where Jesus was laid to rest represents an elevated, peaceful state of consciousness in which He rested the three days previous to His resurrection. (RW/tomb)
- young man. The young man sitting on the right side, arrayed in a white robe represents the principles of affirmation and denial as a power strong enough to raise the body to new life.
- He has risen. What is the significance of these words? The Christ life is a dynamic, not a static, experience. The body is to be transformed, regenerated by the Spirit. Jesus did not remain in “the place where they laid him” but went before the disciples “into Galilee,” the high consciousness of life that He called “the kingdom of the heavens.”
The Christ First Appears to the Intuitive Perception of Truth1
16:9 Now when he had risen early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene,2 from whom he had cast out seven demons. 16:10 She went and told those who had been with him, as they mourned and wept.3 16:11 When they heard that he was alive, and had been seen by her, they disbelieved.
- See Luke 24.9–11; 13-35
- he appeared first to Mary Magdalene. See note on 16:2 above. See also RW/woman. There lingers in the mind the old idea that Spirit does not include the body in its redemptive process, but the body cries out for cleansing and purification. (MBD/woman)
- they mourned and wept. Although their whole thought had been turned from personal love and attachment to the spiritual realm, they had not yet attained understanding of the great demonstration made by Jesus over death.
The Christ in the World
16:14 Afterward he was revealed to the eleven themselves as they sat at the table, and he rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they didn't believe those who had seen him after he had risen. 16:15 He said to them, "Go into all the world, and preach the Good News to the whole creation. 16:16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved;1 but he who disbelieves will be condemned.2 16:17 These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new languages; 16:18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it will in no way hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."
- He who believes and is baptized will be saved. What has baptism to do with salvation? Baptism represents denial, and it is necessary to deny that error has any power over us before we can be saved from the effects on mind and body of our former acceptance of error as true and unavoidable.
- condemned. Who condemns the disbeliever? His disbelief condemns him to suffer the effects of his faith in negation.
The Ascension of Jesus
16:19 So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.1 16:20 They went out, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word by the signs that followed. Amen.
- right hand of God. Why is Jesus represented as seated at the right hand of God? Symbolically this means that the Christ is the indispensable power or authority that avails to consummate our desire and efforts to unite with God in order to realize our true nature and being.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Rev. Dan Beckett.
World English Bible Footnotes:
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