The Good News According to Matthew
Online Version: https://www.truthunity.net/web/matthew
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Introduction to Matthew
Purpose of the letter. The Gospel of Matthew was written by Matthew (Levi), one of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ, around 48-50 A.D. Matthew writes to reveal Jesus Christ as “King of the Jews.”
Unique themes in Matthew. Whereas Mark aims to present Jesus Christ as “the Suffering Servant” and Luke aims to present Him as “the Perfect Man,” Matthew’s aim is to present Jesus as “the King” – Israel’s long awaited Messiah. So it is no wonder that Matthew mentions the word “Kingdom” 28 times and quotes the Old Testament Scriptures more than 60 times, in order to demonstrate that Jesus was the actual fulfilment of the words of the Jewish prophets.
Metaphysically speaking. Since the aim of Matthew is to reveal Jesus Christ as “King of the Jews,” let us consider what that means metaphysically, on the level of our inner world.
According to Charles Fillmore, “king” (RW/king) refers to the executive faculty of “the will” in each one of us, as it is guided, governed, and directed by Spirit (RW/Spirit). And metaphysically speaking, “Jews” (MBD/Jews) represent our Spirit-tending thoughts. Thus, “King of the Jews” refers to a state of consciousness of an individual who is governed, led, and lives by Truth, at every level of their being, where the Word of the I AM is going forth as the ruling suggestion (RW/suggestion) in that individual’s spirit, intellect, and general state of consciousness.
Therefore, in Matthew, the metaphysician will be able to perceive and track the stages of the ongoing process of regeneration as they relate to the unfolding of the Word of Truth within us, until it becomes the ruling authority in our consciousness, in other words the “King of our Jews”. Here are the major stages of the movement of the I AM Word of Truth (Jesus) through us:
- Its initiation within us (birth, baptism, and temptation) – Chapters 1-4
- Its powerful impartations to reinstruct, heal, and transform us (Sermon on the Mount, miracles, discourses, parables) – Chapters 5-15
- Its ability to endure and continue to disciple us, even in the face of all arising oppositional doubt, memories, and unbelief (Pharisees, scribes, Sadducees) – Chapters 16-22
- Its ability to instruct and prepare our minds with foresight regarding the signs of our transformation (a process that requires inevitable destruction of current patterns of error thinking – woes, predictions about temple destruction and the “end times”) – Chapters 23-25
- Its final necessary experiences before it resurrects a new state of consciousness within us (“handed over” transition phase, mocked by current state of consciousness, crucified in our attention, buried in our memory, resurrecting in the garden of our soul, appearing to us repeatedly, bringing joy, hope, confidence, and a new purpose–the “Great Commission”) – Chapters 26-28
Why we should read the Gospel of Matthew. Matthew's Gospel reveals to us the inner opposition that may arise during our process of transmutation (overcoming), so that expecting it, we may pray and prepare as to how to best navigate through these stages and inner changes, that we may best cooperate and facilitate the resurrection of our next, next, and next states of consciousness, as the I AM Word of Truth continues to resurrect in us and abide as our King and Rule of life.
The Genealogy of Jesus the Christ1
1:2 Abraham became the father of3 Isaac. Isaac became the father of Jacob. Jacob became the father of Judah and his brothers. 1:3 Judah became the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar. Perez became the father of Hezron. Hezron became the father of Ram. 1:4 Ram became the father of Amminadab. Amminadab became the father of Nahshon. Nahshon became the father of Salmon. 1:5 Salmon became the father of Boaz by Rahab. Boaz became the father of Obed by Ruth. Obed became the father of Jesse. 1:6 Jesse became the father of David the king.
David became the father of Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah. 1:7 Solomon became the father of Rehoboam. Rehoboam became the father of Abijah. Abijah became the father of Asa. 1:8 Asa became the father of Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat became the father of Joram. Joram became the father of Uzziah. 1:9 Uzziah became the father of Jotham. Jotham became the father of Ahaz. Ahaz became the father of Hezekiah. 1:10 Hezekiah became the father of Manasseh. Manasseh became the father of Amon. Amon became the father of Josiah. 1:11 Josiah became the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the exile to Babylon.
1:12 After the exile to Babylon, Jechoniah became the father of Shealtiel. Shealtiel became the father of Zerubbabel. 1:13 Zerubbabel became the father of Abiud. Abiud became the father of Eliakim. Eliakim became the father of Azor. 1:14 Azor became the father of Sadoc. Sadoc became the father of Achim. Achim became the father of Eliud. 1:15 Eliud became the father of Eleazar. Eleazar became the father of Matthan. Matthan became the father of Jacob. 1:16 Jacob became the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, from whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. 1:17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; from David to the exile to Babylon fourteen generations; and from the carrying away to Babylon to the Christ, fourteen generations.
- See Luke 3:23-38
- the son of David, the son of Abraham. David represents love and Abraham faith. These two faculties, when quickened in man, bring him into the Christ consciousness. The Christ in man is thus the offspring of love and faith.
- became the father of. Metaphysically, this is from faith to Christ.
The Birth of Jesus the Christ1
1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ2 was like this;3 for after his mother, Mary,4 was engaged to Joseph,5 before they came together, she was found pregnant by the Holy Spirit.6 1:19 Joseph, her husband, being a righteous man, and not willing to make her a public example, intended to put her away secretly. 1:20 But when he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord7 appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David,8 don't be afraid to take to yourself Mary, your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 1:21 She shall bring forth a son. You shall call his name Jesus, for it is he who shall save his people from their sins."
1:22 Now all this has happened, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying,
1:23 "Behold, the virgin shall be with child,
and shall bring forth a son.
They shall call his name Immanuel;"9
which is, being interpreted, "God with us."
1:24 Joseph arose from his sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took his wife to himself; 1:25 and didn't know her sexually until she had brought forth her firstborn son. He named him Jesus.
- See Luke 1:26-38
- Jesus Christ. The Christ is the perfect-idea man, whom God created, the real self of all men. Jesus Christ is the Christ self brought into perfect expression and manifestation. Christ is the Savior of mankind, the free, divine gift of God to us.
- was like this. Everything first takes place in the mind. In truth it is in mind where real demonstrations find their impetus. Joseph and Mary’s betrothal was to them such a sacred and holy thing that it stirred into activity the most spiritual forces of their souls, which forces perhaps had never been set into expression before, and their spiritual union was consummated. There followed such an outpouring of the Holy Spirit (which is God’s Word in action) that Mary, through Joseph, was over-shadowed by this heavenly power, and though she did not “know man” in a physical way, the initial germ seed was thereby projected, and she conceived and brought forth the child, Jesus.
- Mary. Metaphysically interpreted within the soul, Mary, the Virgin mother, represents a pure state of mind that ponders spiritual things in her heart and believes in revelations from angels and messengers from God. Her imagination is so intense that she vitalizes the ultra-microscopic germs of life and they multiply in her body without external contact.
- Joseph. Mary represents the soul; Joseph, intuitive wisdom. Joseph, “being a righteous man,” wished to do what was right without regard to his own interests, and he meditated on the course he should take. In meditation the mind is stilled and becomes receptive to the true ideas of universal Mind, in which all wisdom and knowledge abides. Joseph received guidance from the Lord in a dream following meditation.
- was found pregnant by the Holy Spirit. The virgin birth is the awakening of the mind of man to the conception of the Christ Spirit as the only reality. The miraculous conception by which the Virgin Mary is held to have conceived without original sin. Joseph, not fully understanding the prophecy, “was minded to put her away privily,” meaning that we do not in the first stages of the birth of Christ in us understand the process, and sometimes are moved to put it away from us. Joseph’s soul (the name Joseph meaning “from perfection to perfection”) is so heavily charged with divine life that it cannot express itself intelligently, because no union has yet taken place between it and the understanding, which union—when it is consumated—always equalizes and adjusts.
- an angel of the Lord. An angel is a messenger of the Lord. Metaphysically, our angels are our spiritual perceptive faculties, which ever dwell in the presence of the Father.
- Joseph, son of David. Wisdom is the outcome of love deeply and quietly held. We understand those whom we love. “Joseph [wisdom], thou son of David [love].” Together, wisdom and love form the mind of the Christ.
- they shall call his name Immanuel. Immanuel means “God with us,” but the metaphysician sees it as the consciousness that God is with us and that we are one with Him. The name thus means to him, “God within us.”
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Mark Hicks.
World English Bible Footnotes:
Visitation of the Wise Men
2:1 Now when Jesus1 was born in Bethlehem2 of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east3 came to Jerusalem, saying, 2:2 "Where is he who is born King of the Jews4? For we saw his star in the east,5 and have come to worship him." 2:3 When Herod the king heard it, he was troubled,6 and all Jerusalem with him. 2:4 Gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he asked them where the Christ would be born. 2:5 They said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written through the prophet,
2:6 'You Bethlehem, land of Judah,
are in no way least among the princes of Judah:
for out of you shall come forth a governor,
who shall shepherd my people, Israel.'"
2:7 Then Herod secretly called the wise men, and learned from them exactly what time the star appeared. 2:8 He sent them to Bethlehem, and said, "Go and search diligently for the young child. When you have found him, bring me word, so that I also may come and worship him."
- Jesus. The new man is called “Jesus” whose name means the same as the name “Jehovah,” the I AM, the supreme will.
- was born in Bethlehem. Bethlehem (house of bread) is the substance center where the spiritual or ideal man has his source. It represents the center of substance in our consciousness.
- Wise men from the east. Symbolize the inner resources of the soul when it is stirred to the depths by a revelation of Truth. The East symbolizes the within, and the coming of the Wise Men signifies intuitive wisdom reverently seeking out the new ideal of life that is beginning in consciousness. The law governing spiritual consciousness and its development in the individual is as sure as the law that governs the stars or the planets in their courses. We have access to divine substance within the depths of our consciousness, and out or it we fashion a new ideal of life and a fuller, more abundant life.
- he that is born King of the Jews. This is the ruling power of the spiritual consciousness when it first dawns on the mind and heart of the individual.
- we saw his star in the east. When the Jesus ego first appears in the subconsciousness it is a mere spack of light, a “Star in the east.” The star symbolizes intuition; the wise men were guided by intuition. Stars represent subjective and not fully understood guiding lights. They represent the inner realms of consciousness that, like books of life, have kept the records of past lives and held them in reserve for the great day when the soul would receive the supreme ego, Jesus. The star that pointed the way for the wise men was also in the East, and it typifies man’s inner conviction of his divine sonship.
- when Herod the king heard it, he was troubled. Herod represents the ruling power of the outer or personal consciousness. Metaphysically, "Son of a hero, heroic." When sense consciousness (Herod) rules, it dominates all intellectual, as well as ecclesiastical thoughts. These thoughts symbolise the chief priests and scribes of the people, all of which on this plane go to make up the intellectual man. The outer, personal, or sense consciousness (Herod) is disturbed by the first glimmering of a different consciousness in the mind and heart. The personal consciousness is jealous of its power and authority, and seeks to retain its dominion, whatever the cost.
The Adoration of the Magi
2:9 They, having heard the king, went their way; and behold, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, until it came and stood over where the young child was. 2:10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.1 2:11 They came into the house and saw the young child with Mary, his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Opening their treasures, they offered to him gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 2:12 Being warned in a dream that they shouldn't return to Herod, they went back to their own country another way.2
- When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. When the soul makes a spiritual demonstration there is great rejoicing. When one begins to have faith that he is destined to do the will of God, all the riches of wise experience—gifts of gold (riches of Spirit); frankincense, (the beauty of Spirit); and myrrh (the eternity of Spirit)—are bestowed upon the young child. When the wise thoughts from within bring their presents, there is great rejoicing and satisfaction in consciousness.
- they went back to their own country another way. In this instance as in all others, the Lord is continually seeking to guide man into the higher ways of life, which always lead into the “country” of peace, wisdom and good will.
The Escape to Egypt
2:13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream,1 saying, "Arise and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and stay there until I tell you, for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him."2
2:14 He arose and took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt, 2:15 and was there until the death of Herod; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, "Out of Egypt I called my son."
- an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. The Lord often speaks to this state of consciousness through what is commonly known as dreams and visions. Both the Wise-men and Joseph were guided by dreams. The message is thrown on the screen of the mind in the form of thought pictures, which the quickened soul readily interprets.
- flee into Egypt ... for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. It is wise to protect the new born spiritual consciousness from coming into contact with the personal ego, Herod. Under the guidance of Spirit no harm comes to it; it is taken down into the protected places of the subconsciousness (Egypt) until the personal ego destroys itself. When in the silence and in dreams we see a little child, we may know that the Christ body (Jesus) has begun to form in our subconscious minds. Then we should be watchful to see that the subtle desires of sense (Herod) do not rob the young child of its vitality and thus kill it out of consciousness. The young child must be cared for and fed daily with spiritual thoughts; otherwise it will pine away and we shall find ourselves back in the old sense state, with (Herod), sense consciousness in suprene control.
The Massacre of the Infants
2:16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked by the wise men, was exceedingly angry,1 and sent out, and killed all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all the surrounding countryside, from two years old and under, according to the exact time which he had learned from the wise men. 2:17 Then that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled, saying,
2:18 "A voice was heard in Ramah,
lamentation, weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children;
she wouldn't be comforted,
because they are no more."
- Herod ... was exceedingly angry. When the human self does not have its way it loses its temper, flies into a rage, is destructive and kills out many potentially good forces.
The Return from Egypt
2:19 But when Herod was dead,1 behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, 2:20 "Arise and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel, for those who sought the young child's life are dead."
2:21 He arose and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel. 2:22 But when he heard that Archelaus2 was reigning over Judea in the place of his father, Herod, he was afraid to go there. Being warned in a dream, he withdrew into the region of Galilee,3 2:23 and came and lived in a city called Nazareth;4 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophets5: "He will be called a Nazarene."
- when Herod was dead. Sense consciousness (Herod) is dead; therefore the new spiritual consciousness (the Christ child) is no longer in danger. It is free to express openly that which is real (Israel).
- Archelaus. Represents a phase of the sense will (son of Herod the Great), or ruling power, in sense consciousness which was still dominant.
- Galilee. Represents the life activity or soul energy of man acting in conjunction with substance.
- Nazareth. A city of Galilee, means a sprout, a small thing held of slight significance, hence a term of reproach. It typifies the commonplace mind of man: but it is in the commonplace mind that the Christ ideal takes root and grows up in consciousness.
- that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophets. Throughout the gospel story of Jesus there runs continually a thread of fulfilled prophecy. To the casual reader who sees nothing beyond the literal narrative, it would seem sometimes that the parallelism is far-fetched. But it is seen that the fulfillment of prophecy takes place because prophecy is a foreknowledge of Truth to be demonstrated. The I AM has knowledge of all Truth, but to the natural man this knowledge comes dimly, — as a vague presentiment, a foreknowledge or prophecy of Truth to come. With the Christ man comes Truth—fulfillment.
Fillmore Bible Society annotations by Mark Hicks.
World English Bible Footnotes:
The Proclamation of John the Baptist
3:1 In those days, John the Baptizer came,1 preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, 3:2 "Repent,2 for the Kingdom of Heaven3 is at hand!" 3:3 For this is he who was spoken of by Isaiah the prophet, saying,
"The voice of one crying in the wilderness,
make ready the way of the Lord.
Make his paths straight."
3:4 Now John himself wore clothing made of camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. 3:5 Then people from Jerusalem, all of Judea, and all the region around the Jordan4 went out to him. 3:6 They were baptized5 by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins. 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees6 coming for his baptism, he said to them, "You offspring of vipers,7 who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 3:8 Therefore bring forth fruit worthy of repentance!8 3:9 Don't think to yourselves, 'We have Abraham for our father,' for I tell you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.
3:10 "Even now the axe lies at the root of the trees.9 Therefore, every tree that doesn't bring forth good fruit is cut down, and cast into the fire. 3:11 I indeed baptize you in water for repentance,10 but he who comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit.11 3:12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will thoroughly cleanse his threshing floor. He will gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn up with unquenchable fire."
- John the Baptizer came. The voice of repentance within (John the Baptist) that leads to the appearance of the Word of Truth (Jesus) and immersion within our stream of consciousness (the Jordan). This is a continual immersion in a two-step baptism (John then Jesus) of denials and affirmations (denying the reality of the limiting condition/appearance and affirming a statement of Truth).
- Repent. A turning from a belief in sin and error to a belief in God and righteousness; a reversal of mind and heart in the direction of the All Good.
- The Kingdom of heaven. The realm of divine ideas, within human beings, producing their expression, perfect harmony.
- The Jordan. Dispenser from above; flowing (river) of judgment; the stream of thought constantly flowing through the subconsciousness, made up of thoughts good, bad, and indifferent, the life flow of thought through the organism from head to feet. This thought stream has to be crossed before the Children of Israel can go over into the Promised Land (before the true, real thoughts of the organism can enter into the divine substance and life in the subconsciousness).
- They were baptized. A time of making a commitment with the Lord of our Being by the cleansing power of denial, the activity of the faculty of renunciation in releasing old attitudes and beliefs (Jim Lewis).
- Pharisees and Sadducees. Our inner doubts and unbeliefs.
- offspring of vipers. The hypocritical attitude of some who merely pretended to change their way of thinking.
- fruit worthy of repentance! Repentance: deliberately turning from a belief in error to an all-inclusive belief in God.
- the axe lies at the root of the trees. Negative tendencies can become great trees of habit in the inner life. We are to rid ourselves completely of all negative mental growths.
- I baptize you in water for repentance. We continue to immerse (baptize) ourselves in the Truth until we get that inner confirmation in our spirit and hear the Inner Voice (Spirit descending like a dove & the Voice out of heaven), the sense comes that we are “well-pleasing” to our Father in heaven.
- He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit. an affirmative quickening of the spiritual nature, a positive acceptance of the Christ self in man. Fire symbolizes cleansing and purification. The fire of Spirit consumes error.
The Baptism of Jesus
3:15 But Jesus, answering, said to him, "Allow it now, for this is the fitting way1 for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he allowed him. 3:16 Jesus, when he was baptized, went up directly from the water: and behold, the heavens were opened to him.2 He saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming on him. 3:17 Behold, a voice out of the heavens3 said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."
- this is the fitting way. The baptism of John and the baptism of Jesus represent the two common steps in spiritual development: denial and affirmation, or the dropping of the old and laying hold of the new. Denial of error should precede affirmation of Truth. We should not focus our energies on denials, nor dwell too long on them; but rather, use them as the first step toward our affirmation of the good we desire to demonstrate.
- the heavens were opened to him. From that moment, Jesus was completely aware of God's infinite love and of his heritage as God's Son.
- a voice out of the heavens. Baptism of Jesus caused the ethers to vibrate with audible words of approval (Ed Rabel).
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Mary Salama.
World English Bible Footnotes:
The Temptation of Jesus
4:1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted1 by the devil.2 4:2 When he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was hungry afterward. 4:3 The tempter came and said to him, "If you are the Son of God,3 command that these stones become bread."
4:5 Then the devil took him into the holy city. He set him on the pinnacle of the temple, 4:6 and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, 'He will put his angels in charge of you.' and,
'On their hands they will bear you up,
so that you don't dash your foot against a stone.'"
4:8 Again, the devil took him to an exceedingly high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world, and their glory. 4:9 He said to him, "I will give you all of these things, if you will fall down and worship me."
4:11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and served him.6
- Tempted. Anything that causes us to think, feel, or act as if we were, separate and apart from God, the-All-Good.
- Devil (Satan). Names for evil thinking or the temptation to follow wrong paths: a state of consciousness adverse to the good sense consciousness.
- If You are the Son of God. The three temptations that come to the student of Truth are (1) to support himself by the spoken word divorced from physical effort (turn bread into stones); (2) The temptation of self-exaltation and ambition when he is urged to use his understanding of Divine law to gain power over his fellow men (throw Yourself down); (3) The temptation to make a display of his power before others (fall down and worship me).
- But he answered. We meet and overcome our tests with denials and affirmations of Truth: “Man shall not live by bread alone.” “Thou shalt not make trial of the Lord thy God.” “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” He thus established a pattern for us to follow.
- that proceeds out of the mouth of God. Jesus met each temptation with a positive declaration of oneness with God.
- Angels came and served Him. We triumph over temptation through denial and affirmation; by substituting good for apparent evil. “Overcome evil with good.” The angels that minister to us are the true thoughts of universal Mind, the Mind of Christ.
Jesus Begins His Ministry in Galilee
4:12 Now when Jesus heard that John1 was delivered up, he withdrew into Galilee. 4:13 Leaving Nazareth, he came and lived in Capernaum,2 which is by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali, 4:14 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying,
4:15 "The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
toward the sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles,
4:16 the people who sat in darkness3 saw a great light,4
to those who sat in the region and shadow of death,
to them light has dawned."
4:17 From that time, Jesus began to preach, and to say, "Repent! For the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand."
- John. When the spiritually quickened intellect (John) is cut off from actual expression (imprisoned), the spiritual I AM (Jesus) withdraws into Galilee (the consciousness of endless activity) in order to come into closer contact with God, the Source of all energy.
- Capernaum. “Shelter of comfort “or “covering of compassion” symbolizes an inner conviction of the abiding compassion and restoring power of Being. When one enters the state of consciousness of Capernaum, a healing virtue pours out of the soul and transforms all discord into harmony.
- The people that sat in darkness. Thoughts that lack spiritual illumination.
- saw a great light. Light has come. The inner man becomes illumined; the spiritual I AM (Jesus) fearlessly goes forth and proclaims to all people (all states of consciousness); the redemption of the whole being through repenting and following the Lord (applying the spiritual law).
Jesus Calls the First Disciples
4:18 Walking by the sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers: Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew, his brother,1 casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 4:19 He said to them, "Come after me,2 and I will make you fishers for men."3
4:20 They immediately left their nets and followed him.4 4:21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother,5 in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. He called them. 4:22 They immediately left the boat and their father, and followed him.
- Simon Peter and Andrew, his brother. Faith (Peter) and strength (Andrew); closely related spiritual qualities. Faith working by itself may be unstable or become weak, but when it is backed up by strength, it becomes undivided faith and accomplishes mighty works in the name and through the power of the Christ.
- Come after me. We are to follow Jesus’ example in accepting and living Truth and in always being receptive to God's light, wisdom, peace, power, and health. Then, through the I AM (Jesus) in us, we are enabled to do mighty works in the name of Jesus Christ.
- fishers for men. That which draws people out of negative thoughts of life into positive spiritual thoughts. This change lays the foundation for spiritual power and for healing of mind, body, and affairs.
- They immediately left their nets and followed him. Decision (nets) and positive action (followed him). Above all else our decisions should be guided by one prime consideration: What is God's will in this situation? What is for the highest good of all concerned? What does God want me to do?
- Peter, Andrew, James, and John. The faculties of faith, strength, judgment, and love. We call forth these faculties in making right decisions.
Jesus Ministers to Crowds of People
4:23 Jesus went about in all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the Good News of the Kingdom, and healing every disease and every sickness among the people. 4:24 The report about him went out into all Syria. They brought to him all who were sick, afflicted with various diseases and torments, possessed with demons, epileptics, and paralytics; and he healed them. 4:25 Great multitudes1 from Galilee, Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and from beyond the Jordan followed him.
- Great multitudes...followed Him. the multitude (of thoughts) come forth from the subconscious mind, and every disease is healed when Word is active in consciousness.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Mary Salama.
World English Bible Footnotes:
5:3 "Blessed are1 the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.2
5:4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.
5:5 Blessed are the gentle,
for they shall inherit the earth.
5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness,3
for they shall be filled.
5:7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.4
5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart,5
for they shall see God.
5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers,6
for they shall be called children of God.
5:10 Blessed are those who have been persecuted for righteousness' sake,7
for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
5:11 "Blessed are you when people reproach you, persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 5:12 Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
- Blessed are ... To bless is to invoke good upon; to call forth the action of God; to confer God's good on something or someone. Blessedness or happiness is a matter of spiritual adjustment to life under the divine law.
- kingdom of heaven. a state of consciousness in which mind, soul, and body are in harmony with Divine Mind.
- hunger and thirst after righteousness. The desire to align one's life with what is right and lasting. For they shall be filled. This attitude of mind brings with it the blessing of fulfillment.
- for they shall obtain mercy. Under Divine law, what we give out comes back to us multiplied.
- the pure in heart. In consciousness, thought precedes the act, therefore, the impure thought leads to the impure act. With the thought fixed on the purity and oneness of the Mind of God, we become expressions of both purity and unity.
- the peacemakers. A peacemaker shares the peace that he makes between other persons.
- persecuted for righteousness’ sake. Those who meet with opposition to spiritual development grow strong through mastering their difficulties and eventually gain the kingdom. Thus persecutions are often a blessing in disguise.
Salt and Light
5:13 "You are the salt of the earth,1 but if the salt has lost its flavor, with what will it be salted? It is then good for nothing, but to be cast out and trodden under the feet of men. 5:14 You are the light of the world.2 A city located on a hill can't be hidden.3 5:15 Neither do you light a lamp, and put it under a measuring basket, but on a stand; and it shines to all who are in the house. 5:16 Even so, let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
- salt of the earth. He who is true in himself and in his contacts with others imparts to life something of the same cleanness, sweetness, and zestful flavor that salt imparts to food.
- light of the world. The faculties of all those whose understanding is quickened by the Christ consciousness are enlightened, and they in turn increase the wisdom and intelligence of their possessors.
- A city located on a hill can’t be hidden. Understanding, once acquired, cannot be concealed or lost.
The Law and the Prophets
5:17 "Don't think that I came to destroy the law or the prophets. I didn't come to destroy, but to fulfill.1 5:18 For most certainly, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not even one smallest letter or one tiny pen stroke shall in any way pass away from the law, until all things are accomplished. 5:19 Whoever, therefore, shall break one of these least commandments, and teach others to do so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whoever shall do and teach them shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.2 5:20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees,3 there is no way you will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.
- didn’t come to destroy, but to fulfill. Jesus proved that the law is a workable rule of lif by demonstrating the truth of it in His life and works. When we conform to this rule we keep or fulfill the law.
- great in the Kingdom of heaven. One who helps his fellow men to behold Truth in all, and to realize that all men are Godlike.
- Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees. Genuine righteousness is the desire to do right for the sake of the right and not for the sake of impressing others with our excellence.
5:21 "You have heard that it was said to the ancient ones, 'You shall not murder;'1 and 'Whoever shall murder shall be in danger of the judgment.' 5:22 But I tell you, that everyone who is angry2 with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment; and whoever shall say to his brother, 'Raca!' shall be in danger of the council; and whoever shall say, 'You fool!' shall be in danger of the fire of Gehenna.
5:23 "If therefore you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has anything against you, 5:24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 5:25 Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are with him in the way; lest perhaps the prosecutor deliver you to the judge, and the judge deliver you to the officer, and you be cast into prison. 5:26 Most certainly I tell you, you shall by no means get out of there, until you have paid the last penny.
- You shall not murder. The body can be killed; this is the meaning of the original commandment. The inner life also can be “killed” by anger, scorn, or implacable hatred. Under the divine law the two are equal in gravity.
- Anger. has the effect of destroying trust and confidence, friendship, good will, and other qualities that give life spiritual value. Margaret Sanford in the chapter on The Law of Love, Healing Light writes: “This judgment begins immediately. One of its first evidences is the failure of the prayer-power of the angry one. He will find that he cannot pray, no matter how hard he tries. He will also notice in his body the immediate results of anger... For the forces of spirit, mind and body are synchronized and ordered by the same inner control center, and that which affects one affects the others.”
5:27 "You have heard that it was said,  'You shall not commit adultery;'1 5:28 but I tell you that everyone who gazes at a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart. 5:29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out2 and throw it away from you. For it is more profitable for you that one of your members should perish, than for your whole body to be cast into Gehenna. 5:30 If your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off, and throw it away from you. For it is more profitable for you that one of your members should perish, than for your whole body to be cast into Gehenna.
- shall not commit adultery. Spiritually interpreted, “You shall not adulterate Truth.” When this commandment is disregarded, Truth becomes illogical and irrelevant to the sense mind.
- Pluck it out. The whole man is greater than his members.
5:31 "It was also said, 'Whoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorce,'1 5:32 but I tell you that whoever puts away his wife, except for the cause of sexual immorality, makes her an adulteress; and whoever marries her when she is put away commits adultery.
- a writing of divorce. "Jesus realized that almost all of His listeners and, later, readers would tend to think of marriage, divorce, sex on strictly literal, humanistic behavioristic terms. Mankind, in general, is not yet capable of thinking and feeling these things on metaphysical terms, because they are too important, intimate, and personal as literal things in our human life." – Ed Rabel, 1976 New Testament Lectures.
5:33 "Again you have heard that it was said to them of old time, 'You shall not make false vows,1 but shall perform to the Lord your vows,' 5:34 but I tell you, don't swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is the throne of God; 5:35 nor by the earth, for it is the footstool of his feet; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 5:36 Neither shall you swear by your head, for you can't make one hair white or black. 5:37 But let your 'Yes' be 'Yes' and your 'No' be 'No.'2 Whatever is more than these is of the evil one.
- false vows. This is because violent speech gives false weight to words and is harmful to the thought and character of the speaker. It is altogether profitless and reveals lack of reverence as well as of understanding.
- And your ‘No’ be ‘No’. Simple affirmations and denials, “Yes” and “No” are clear and unmistakable words, symbols of sincerity. No one can misunderstand their meaning, and their power is sufficient for every occasion.
5:38 "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.' 5:39 But I tell you, don't resist him who is evil;1 but whoever strikes you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also. 5:40 If anyone sues you to take away your coat, let him have your cloak also. 5:41 Whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. 5:42 Give to him who asks you, and don't turn away him who desires to borrow from you.
- Don’t resist him who is evil. Practicing nonresistance leaves our conscience free of self-condemnation, and it is of the utmost importance to have “a conscience void of offense toward God and men.
Love for Enemies
5:43 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.' 5:44 But I tell you, love your enemies,1 bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you, 5:45 that you may be children of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun to rise on the evil and the good,2 and sends rain on the just and the unjust. 5:46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Don't even the tax collectors do the same? 5:47 If you only greet your friends, what more do you do than others? Don't even the tax collectors do the same? 5:48 Therefore you shall be perfect,3 just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
- Love your enemies. by refusing to judge their conduct by worldly standards, by forgiving their “trespasses against” us, and by beholding them as children of God, the universal Father. The love we are to have is related to the Greek word agape. This term does not convey personal affection, such as that felt for our dear ones. It refers not to an emotion or sentiment, but to an attitude, to unselfish good will that is lifted above the personal level. Agape love recognizes the need of others and seeks to help them, regardless of what they have done. It does not approve of the wrongdoing but it sees the one who has done wrong as capable of being fine and good. It seeks to find and encourage the Christ in everyone.
- For He makes His sun to rise on the evil and the good. Divine love is impersonal; it loves for the sake of loving.
- you shall be perfect. Perfection is a state of mind that can be attained with the help of God
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Mary Salama.
World English Bible Footnotes:
Do Good Anonymously
6:1 "Be careful that you don't do your charitable giving before men,1 to be seen by them, or else you have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. 6:2 Therefore when you do merciful deeds, don't sound a trumpet before yourself, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may get glory from men. Most certainly I tell you, they have received their reward. 6:3 But when you do merciful deeds, don't let your left hand know what your right hand does, 6:4 so that your merciful deeds may be in secret, then your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
- Don’t do your charitable giving before men. Doing good anonymously keeps the mind single and the intent pure.
Make Union With Spirit1
6:5 "When you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites, for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Most certainly, I tell you, they have received their reward. 6:6 But you, when you pray, enter into your inner chamber, and having shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret,2 and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. 6:7 In praying, don't use vain repetitions, as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their much speaking. 6:8 Therefore don't be like them, for your Father knows what things you need, before you ask him.
6:9 Pray like this: 'Our Father3 in heaven, may your name be kept holy. 6:10 Let your Kingdom come. Let your will be done, as in heaven,4 so on earth. 6:11 Give us today our daily bread.5 6:12 Forgive us our debts, as we also forgive6 our debtors. 6:13 Bring us not into temptation,7 but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the Kingdom, the power, and the glory forever. Amen.'
- See Mark 11:25; Luke 11:2-4
- Enter into your inner chamber. Metaphysically understood, the “inner chamber” is the spiritual consciousness within the mind and soul of man, it is also called “the secret place of the Most High.” Having shut your door. Shutting the door of the mind is closing out the thoughts of the outer world from one's consciousness. Pray to your Father who is in secret. The spiritual center within every one of us is hidden and secret from the outer consciousness. When we, in the silence, center our attention upon Spirit within us, we make contact with the universal Spirit in which we live, move, and have our being.
- Our Father. The infinite wealth of the Lord's Prayer may be condensed into these two words.
- as in heaven, so on earth. This is an acknowledgment that the will of the Infinite prevails in the realm of Divine Mind, and that it can be made to prevail in the physical and material realm also.
- our daily bread. Our “daily bread” includes all our necessities; the satisfaction of all our hungers, whether physical, mental, or spiritual.
- as we also forgive. By extending forgiveness to others we qualify ourselves to receive forgiveness of our shortcomings. Without a forgiving spirit we cannot receive or accept forgiveness of our sins.
- Bring us not into temptation. Divine Mind does not bring us into temptation, but the sense mind can and does. This prayer is a plea that Divine Mind may dominate our consciousness and wholly fill us.
Hold Fast To Your Desire For God
6:16 "Moreover when you fast, don't be like the hypocrites, with sad faces. For they disfigure their faces, that they may be seen by men to be fasting.1 Most certainly I tell you, they have received their reward. 6:17 But you, when you fast, anoint your head, and wash your face; 6:18 so that you are not seen by men to be fasting, but by your Father who is in secret, and your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you.
- fasting. Denial; abstinence from error thoughts, to the end that we may meditate on Truth and incorporate it into our consciousness of oneness with the Father (RW/fasting).
The Heart Is With the Treasure1
6:19 "Don't lay up treasures for yourselves on the earth, where moth and rust consume, and where thieves break through and steal; 6:20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,2 where neither moth nor rust consume, and where thieves don't break through and steal; 6:21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.3
- See Luke 12:33-34
- treasures in heaven. The rich store of true ideas and thoughts in mind and heart that, together with true actions, form the background of Christ-like character and individuality.
- there your heart will be also. Whatever our thoughts are set upon comes to mean more to us than anything else, and feeling follows thought, clustering around the nucleus of ideas and ideals as bees about their queen. Thus the heart is with the treasure.
The Lamp Of The Body Is The Eye1
6:22 "The lamp of the body is the eye.2 If therefore your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light. 6:23 But if your eye is evil, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
- See Luke 11:34-36
- The lamp of the body is the eye. the eye typifies the ability of the mind to discern and understand the reality of Spirit that lies back of every form or symbol in the material world; to have an eye that is sound and single is to have a searching quality of mind with keen observation that selects only that which is good.
The Thought of Divided Allegiance1
6:24 "No one can serve two masters,2 for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You can't serve both God and Mammon.3
- See Luke 16:13
- two masters. No one can divide his allegiance between opposing ideals or beliefs and retain his individual integrity.
- You can't serve God and mammon. People serve mammon who leave God out of their financial affairs and try to go it alone. Catherine Ponder, Dynamic Laws of Prosperity, Chapter 1.
Do Not Worry1
6:25 Therefore, I tell you, don't be anxious for your life: what you will eat, or what you will drink; nor yet for your body, what you will wear. Isn't life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 6:26 See the birds of the sky, that they don't sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns. Your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren't you of much more value than they?
6:27 "Which of you, by being anxious, can add one moment to his lifespan? 6:28 Why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They don't toil, neither do they spin, 6:29 yet I tell you that even Solomon in all his glory was not dressed like one of these. 6:30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today exists, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, won't he much more clothe you, you of little faith?
6:31 "Therefore don't be anxious, saying, 'What will we eat?', 'What will we drink?' or, 'With what will we be clothed?' 6:32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 6:33 But seek first God's Kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things will be given to you as well.2 6:34 Therefore don't be anxious for tomorrow,3 for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Each day's own evil is sufficient.
- See Luke 12:22-32; Luke 10:41
- But seek first. We “seek God’s Kingdom and His righteousness” by developing ideas and ideals in harmony with faith, love, wisdom, and the other faculties that we wish to express, and by expressing them consistently. God’s Kingdom.The kingdom within ourselves; Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is within you"; it is the Christ consciousness, it is the inner realm of Spirit, where the Christ presence, the I AM, the Divine self of man, abides. and his righteousness. The right use of God-given attributes. And all these things will be given to you as well. As we put God first in our lives and obey His laws rightly, we attract additional blessings to fill all our needs and good desires.
- Therefore don’t be anxious about tomorrow. The spiritual and mental process of developing our Christ self does not supplant our physical efforts, but inspires and directs them rightly. Jesus was saying that the worrying is what is unnecessary, foolish, and useless.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Mary Salama.
World English Bible Footnotes:
The Problem With Judging1
7:1 "Don't judge,2 so that you won't be judged. 7:2 For with whatever judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with whatever measure you measure, it will be measured to you. 7:3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but don't consider the beam that is in your own eye? 7:4 Or how will you tell your brother, 'Let me remove the speck from your eye;' and behold, the beam is in your own eye? 7:5 You hypocrite! First remove the beam out of your own eye,3 and then you can see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother's eye.
- See Mark 4:24; Luke 6:37-38,41-42
- Don’t judge. Judging others is a habit of our personal human nature. Aside from the fact that the habit often works injustice to the one who is judged, it reacts also on we who judge by starting a vicious circle that brings back to us what we have sent out.
- First remove the beam out of your own eye. By removing whatever obstructs our understanding of Truth. Prejudice, ignorance, preconceived opinions, doubt, worry, and materiality are some of these obstructions.
Share Truth Appropriately
7:6 "Don't give that which is holy to the dogs, neither throw your pearls before the pigs,1 lest perhaps they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.
- Neither throw your pearls before the pigs. We should always keep our sense of the fitness of things and refrain from displaying our understanding of Truth to those who are opposed to it or who are temperamentally indifferent to it and therefore unable to understand it.
Ask and We Receive1
7:7 "Ask, and it will be given you. Seek, and you will find. Knock,2 and it will be opened for you.3 7:8 For everyone who asks receives.4 He who seeks finds. To him who knocks it will be opened. 7:9 Or who is there among you, who, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?5 7:10 Or if he asks for a fish, who will give him a serpent? 7:11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
- See Luke 11:9-13
- Ask/Seek/Knock. Acts of Desire. Catherine Ponder, in The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity, Ch. 4, writes that desire is the first step in the creative law and that without desire mental imaging and constant affirming are ineffective.
- and it will be opened for you. The command and its corollary show us that there is an inexhaustible supply in the invisible realm, which awaits our call upon it, and that its manifestation is dependent only on our understanding of what we are to do to bring it into manifestation.
- Everyone who asks receives. This is the law of Divine receiving. Asking is desiring, and desire unfailingly draws to us what we persist in desiring. Under this law there is no such thing as failure.
- will give him a stone? Unless what we ask for is truly the desire of our heart and our asking is backed up by faith, we “ask amiss” and receive accordingly. The outcome of our prayer is an index to our true desire.
The Golden Rule
7:12 Therefore whatever you desire for men to do to you, you shall also do to them;1 for this is the law and the prophets.
- You shall also do to them. Cause and effect underlie the Golden Rule insofar as others, in their dealings with us, naturally take their cue from our conduct toward them. Therefore we should act toward them as we would have them act toward us.
The Narrow Gate of Truth
7:13 "Enter in by the narrow gate;1 for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter in by it. 7:14 How narrow is the gate, and restricted is the way that leads to life! Few are those who find it.
- the narrow gate. the habit of thinking and speaking daily what is in harmony with Truth and of denying error at all times. The broad gate is the habit of accepting both good and evil as real.
The Fruit of True Ideas1
7:15 "Beware of false prophets,2 who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves. 7:16 By their fruits you will know them. Do you gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? 7:17 Even so, every good tree produces good fruit; but the corrupt tree produces evil fruit.3 7:18 A good tree can't produce evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree produce good fruit. 7:19 Every tree that doesn't grow good fruit is cut down, and thrown into the fire.4 7:20 Therefore, by their fruits you will know them.
- See Luke 6:43-44
- false prophets. the deceptive thoughts that have been built up by erroneous desires. Outwardly they seem harmless, they present the appearance of being candid and open; inwardly they are ravenously thirsty for personal sensation and worldly gain.
- but the corrupt tree produces evil fruit. Fruit is the fruition of ideas. An idea rooted in Truth brings forth love, joy, peace, plenty, and success; an adverse thought or one that is not rooted in Truth brings forth hatred, disappointment, lack, and bitterness.
- cut down, and thrown into the fire. Changing a thought we perceive through spiritual discernment to be evil.
Keep a Clear Consciousness1
7:21 Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he who does the will of my Father2 who is in heaven. 7:22 Many will tell me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, didn't we prophesy in your name, in your name cast out demons, and in your name do many mighty works?'3 7:23 Then I will tell them, 'I never knew you. Depart from me, you who work iniquity.'4
- See Luke 6:46; Luke 13:25-27
- but he who does the will of My Father. Obedience is action based upon law. We may know that we are obedient to the Divine law by our feeling of oneness with God; by the trend of our thought Godward; by our willingness that God's will be done in us; by the soul's unfoldment; and by the body's showing forth the strength and purity of spiritual life and substance.
- in Your name do many mighty works. We may have understanding of the law of thought and through faith in the spoken word of Truth teach and heal in the name of the Lord, yet fail to do the will of the Father in our own life. This keeps us from entering the kingdom of heaven.
- you who work iniquity. We may discern what will be the outcome of the error thoughts and actions of others and we may call their attention to it by prophesy. But to predict unwanted outcome by means of prophecy, declaring that unwanted outcome must come to pass, is to work iniquity.
We Must Live The Truth That We Know1
7:24 "Everyone therefore who hears these words of mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man, who built his house on a rock.2 7:25 The rain came down, the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it didn't fall, for it was founded on the rock. 7:26 Everyone who hears these words of mine, and doesn't do them will be like a foolish man,3 who built his house on the sand. 7:27 The rain came down, the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it fell--and great was its fall."
- See Luke 6:47-49. 5th Unity Principle: Knowing and understanding the laws of life—also called truth—is not enough. A person must live the truth that he or she knows.
- house on a rock. A life that is founded upon Principle, which nothing can shake or remove from its solid basis of right and truth. The house built upon the sand is a superficial life that is without a sound spiritual foundation. Our responsibility is to learn the truth concerning what needs to be done and to follow up our knowledge by doing our part in accordance with the direction and instruction that we receive through the Christ.
- a foolish man. A state of weakened faith when our will is functioning improperly. If we are to reveal ourselves as children of God we need the courage of our convictions and the will to do what we say we intend to do.
- for he taught them with authority. Inspired by Spirit within. The Spirit of truth is the one and only authority in the study of Truth. See John 16:13 (RW/authority)
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Mary Salama.
World English Bible Footnotes:
Leprosy Is Cleansed1
8:3 Jesus stretched out his hand, and touched him, saying, "I want to. Be made clean." Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. 8:4 Jesus said to him, "See that you tell nobody, but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded,3 as a testimony to them."
- See Mark 1:40-44; Luke 5:12-14
- leper. Leprosy here symbolizes substance so separated from the great central life Source that it has lost its vitality (stands afar off). This is caused by the impure relation of life activities in one who has by his error thoughts about life separated his life expressions from the one Source of life (MBD/lepers)
- the gift that Moses commanded. Moses represents man's development in consciousness of the law of his being, from the negative side. Out of seemingly negative conditions comes the gift of new growth.
The Centurion’s Servant Is Healed1
8:7 Jesus said to him, "I will come and heal him."
8:8 The centurion answered, "Lord, I'm not worthy for you to come under my roof. Just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 8:9 For I am also a man under authority, having under myself soldiers. I tell this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and tell another, 'Come,' and he comes; and tell my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it."
8:10 When Jesus heard it, he marveled, and said to those who followed, "Most certainly I tell you, I haven't found so great a faith, not even in Israel. 8:11 I tell you that many will come from the east and the west, and will sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the Kingdom of Heaven, 8:12 but the children of the Kingdom will be thrown out into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." 8:13 Jesus said to the centurion, "Go your way. Let it be done for you as you have believed."3 His servant was healed in that hour.
- See Luke 7:1-10; Luke 13:28-29; John 4:46-54
- my servant lies in the house paralyzed. Metaphysically interpreted, this passage is about the will (the centurion) and the body (the centurian's servant). The will must become amenable to the discipline of the higher self before the body can express the health that is its heritage under Divine law.
- Let it be done for you as you have believed. Less metaphysically interpreted, this message is about spiritual healing. By speaking the word of Truth aloud or silently to the one who is in need of healing, and by knowing without doubt that the healing is now accomplished because the word of Truth is quick and powerful. Firm faith must be present in the mind of the one who speaks the word, and also in the mind of the one to be healed or in someone who is close to him.
Jesus Heals at Peter’s House1
8:14 When Jesus came into Peter's house,2 he saw his wife's mother lying sick with a fever. 8:15 He touched her hand,3 and the fever left her. She got up and served him. 8:16 When evening came, they brought to him many possessed with demons.4 He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick; 8:17 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying: "He took our infirmities, and bore our diseases."
- See Mark 1:29-34; Luke 4:38-41
- Peter's house. The leading characteristic of Peter (faith) before he is firmly established in spiritual consciousness is changeableness. He typifies that state of unsteadiness which fluctuates from the high spiritual to the material, yet with an ever recurring desire for Spirit and for the things of Spirit, which is bound to lead into the light. (MBD/Peter). Peter's house will show up again in Acts 11:11.
- He touched her hand, and the fever left her. The I AM (here represented by Jesus) brings immediate healing to the one who is receptive to its power.
- They brought to Him many possessed with demons. Demons, or evil spirits, are conditions of mind, or states of consciousness, that have been developed because one is using their creative power in an ignorant way, and thus bringing forth an ego or a personality of like character. The mind builds states of consciousness that become established in brain and body. In the new birth, the work of every overcomer is to cast out of himself the demons of sin and evil. We are empowered by the name of Jesus Christ to "cast out demons" (MBD/demons)
Multitudes Follow Jesus1
8:18 Now when Jesus saw great multitudes2 around him, he gave the order to depart to the other side.
8:19 A scribe came, and said to him, "Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go."
8:20 Jesus said to him, "The foxes have holes, and the birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head."
8:21 Another of his disciples said to him, "Lord, allow me first to go and bury my father."
8:22 But Jesus said to him, "Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead."3
Jesus Stills the Wind and the Sea1
8:23 When he got into a boat,2 his disciples followed him. 8:24 Behold, a violent storm came up on the sea, so much that the boat was covered with the waves, but he was asleep. 8:25 They came to him, and woke him up, saying, "Save us, Lord! We are dying!"
8:26 He said to them, "Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?"3 Then he got up, rebuked the wind and the sea,4 and there was a great calm.
8:27 The men marveled, saying, "What kind of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?"
- See Mark 4:35-41; Luke 8:22-25
- When He got into a boat. The boat represents a positive thought. It is capable of floating on the water (the unstable mind). However when the subconsciousness is stirred by confusion and turmoil (violent storm) the positive thought is in danger of being engulfed.
- O you of little faith. The I AM often expects more of its thought forces than they can accomplish. Jesus, in subsequent lessons, took his disciples or faculties aside and instructed them privately. Followers of Jesus find that the faculties are likely to be disconcerted over mental storms. To overcome this tendency, the faculties must be given special lessons with the attention directed upon the brain and nerve centers through which they function.
- rebuked the wind and the sea. If we understand the truth that man has authority over all his emotions, we too, like Jesus, can rebuke the wind and sea of turbulent thoughts and emotions. The result is peace and harmony reign in mind and in body … and there was a great calm.
Jesus Heals the Two Men Possessed by Demons1
8:28 When he came to the other side, into the country of the Gergesenes, two people possessed by demons2 met him there, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce, so that nobody could pass that way. 8:29 Behold, they cried out, saying, "What do we have to do with you, Jesus, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?" 8:30 Now there was a herd of many pigs feeding far away from them. 8:31 The demons begged him, saying, "If you cast us out, permit us to go away3 into the herd of pigs."
8:32 He said to them, "Go!"
They came out,4 and went into the herd of pigs: and behold, the whole herd of pigs rushed down the cliff into the sea, and died in the water. 8:33 Those who fed them fled, and went away into the city, and told everything, including what happened to those who were possessed with demons. 8:34 Behold, all the city came out to meet Jesus. When they saw him, they begged that he would depart from their borders.
- See Mark 5:1-17; Luke 8:26-37
- Two people possessed by demons. The negative traits of human nature which then assume personalities by suppressing negative emotions and thinking, which when suppressed become unconscious roles that can tear a person apart emotionally. (Ed Rabel New Testament Bible Lectures)
- Permit us to go away. The accumulated negativity of the personality resists going back to formless substance and in panic seeks to enter the first vulnerable state of consciousness it can enter (Rabel)
- They came out. Negative traits of human nature are recognized for what they are and we return in consciousness to an awareness of our true self, the unified Christ self, not the Legion of false personalities. (Rabel)
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Mary Salama.
World English Bible Footnotes:
Jesus Heals a Paralyzed Will1
9:1 He entered into a boat, and crossed over, and came into his own city. 9:2 Behold, they brought to him a man who was paralyzed,2 lying on a bed. Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the paralytic, "Son, cheer up! Your sins are forgiven you."
9:3 Behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, "This man blasphemes."3
9:4 Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, "Why do you think evil in your hearts? 9:5 For which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven;'4 or to say, 'Get up, and walk?' 9:6 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins..."5 (then he said to the paralytic), "Get up, and take up your mat, and go up to your house."
- See Mark 2:1-12; Luke 5:17-26
- paralyzed. Because sickness is the effect of sin, healing cannot take place until the self-accusation of failure is forgiven and a fresh start made to receive and express the Truth. We who are paralyzed, who wish to be healed, must relax mind and body from the tensions of self-condemnation and despair that invade our mind in times of illness.
- This Man blasphemes. The scribes here held that only God can forgive sin and did not perceive that forgiveness is God being expressed through man.
- Your sins are forgiven. When we sin, we sin against ourselves, not against God. Sin means “missing the mark,” the perfection of God being the mark. Since God is perfect Being, he cannot be offended.
- authority on earth to forgive sins. The fact that the person whom we forgive is released from all consciousness of condemnation and is left free to realize the healing flow of the life energies within him is proof of our authority to forgive.
Calling Forth the Will1
9:9 As Jesus passed by from there, he saw a man called Matthew2 sitting at the tax collection office. He said to him, "Follow me." He got up and followed him. 9:10 It happened as he sat in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Jesus and his disciples. 9:11 When the Pharisees3 saw it, they said to his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?"
9:12 When Jesus heard it, he said to them, "Those who are healthy have no need for a physician, but those who are sick do. 9:13 But you go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,' for I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.4"
- See Mark 2:14; Luke 5:27
- Matthew. Metaphysically, the will, which plays a part in all forgiveness and in all healing. Matthew got up and followed Jesus because those who perceive their divinity will endeavor to call it forth into full expression.
- Pharisees. Metaphysically, the formalized religious thoughts, which seek to interfere directly or indirectly with the word of Truth in ministering to those who are not yet spiritually illumined.
- I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Jesus does not call the self-righteous Pharisees but rather the will which follows after the conviction of power to rise.
Fasting and Appropriating Spiritual Substance1
9:14 Then John's disciples came to him, saying, "Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples don't fast?"
9:15 Jesus said to them, "Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them?2 But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast. 9:16 No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch would tear away from the garment, and a worse hole is made. 9:17 Neither do people put new wine into old wineskins,3 or else the skins would burst, and the wine be spilled, and the skins ruined. No, they put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved."
- See Mark 2:18-22; Luke 5:33-39
- as long as the bridegroom is with them? We do not fast from spiritual life and substance, which are appropriated when we have conscious union with our Christ nature.
- new wine into fresh wineskins. This scripture teaches us the necessity of cleansing, harmonizing, and renewing our body temples (wine-skins) by knowing the truth of their infinite nature, that they may be able to contain the constant inflow of new spiritual life and power (the new wine) which is the experience of those who continue in truth. Our body temples must be renewed by our speaking to them words of Truth, that they may be made able to receive and hold the abundant, resurrecting Christ life. We do not overcome our errors by covering them in our consciousness and refusing to recognize them in any way. A right adjustment is made by uncovering them, by correcting them through exercise of the forgiving love of the Christ mind and by feasting upon words of Truth. (Jesus' Soul Evolution p.245)
Two Methods of Spiritual Healing1
9:18 While he told these things to them, behold, a ruler came and worshiped him, saying, "My daughter has just died, but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live."
9:19 Jesus got up and followed him, as did his disciples. 9:20 Behold, a woman who had an issue of blood for twelve years came behind him, and touched the fringe of his garment; 9:21 for she said within herself, "If I just touch his garment,2 I will be made well."
9:22 But Jesus, turning around and seeing her, said, "Daughter, cheer up! Your faith has made you well." And the woman was made well from that hour.
9:23 When Jesus came into the ruler's house, and saw the flute players, and the crowd in noisy disorder, 9:24 he said to them, "Make room, because the girl isn't dead, but sleeping."3 They were ridiculing him. 9:25 But when the crowd was put out, he entered in, took her by the hand, and the girl arose. 9:26 The report of this went out into all that land.
- See Mark 5:21-43; Luke 8:40-56
- If I just touch his garment. The woman who had been ill so many years touched the hem of Jesus' garment and was healed. Her faith was in the personality—she wanted to touch the healer. The same attitude is found among a class who this day want the healer to lay hands on them. A vitalizing virtue can be transferred from healer to patient, but it is not the highest form of healing and should be employed only in very rare cases. Jesus did not voluntarily use this method—the woman crept up behind Him and surreptitiously tapped the great aura of vitality that surrounded Him. (Jesus' Soul Evolution p.530-1)
- the girl isn’t dead, but sleeping. The bringing to life of Jairus’s daughter was in line with the methods used by modern healers. Jesus said, “the damsel is not dead but sleepeth.” The crowd laughed Him to scorn. Then admitting to the room only Peter, James, John, and the parents of the child, He reaffirmed the truth that the little girl was not dead but asleep. Taking her by the hand Jesus commanded her to arise, and her spirit returned and she arose immediately. (Jesus' Soul Evolution p.531-2)
Two Men Believe in Jesus' Ability To Heal1
9:27 As Jesus passed by from there, two blind men followed him, calling out and saying, "Have mercy on us, son of David!" 9:28 When he had come into the house, the blind men came to him. Jesus said to them, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?"2
They told him, "Yes, Lord."
9:29 Then he touched their eyes, saying, "According to your faith be it done to you." 9:30 Their eyes were opened. Jesus strictly commanded them, saying, "See that no one knows about this." 9:31 But they went out and spread abroad his fame in all that land.
When the demon is cast out, the mute person speaks.1
9:32 As they went out, behold, a mute man who was demon possessed was brought to him. 9:33 When the demon was cast out, the mute man spoke.2 The multitudes marveled, saying, "Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel!"
9:34 But the Pharisees said, "By the prince of the demons, he casts out demons."
- See Mark 3:22; Luke 11:14-15
- When the demon was cast out, the mute man spoke. The casting of the devil out of the dumb man was considered the greatest of marvelous works. The man was not only dumb but possessed with a devil also. Jesus recognized all false conditions in the body as primarily false states of mind. He commanded them to “come out,” and they obeyed. This method is being applied in many ways by healers in this day, and those, who scoffed and called these methods superstition are now acceptlng and using them because of their efficiency. (Jesus' Soul Evolution p.535-6)
The Harvest of Thoughts Is Great, the Laborers Few1
9:35 Jesus went about all the cities and the villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the Good News of the Kingdom, and healing every disease and every sickness among the people. 9:36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion for them, because they were harassed and scattered, like sheep without a shepherd.2 9:37 Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest indeed is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 9:38 Pray therefore that the Lord of the harvest will send out laborers into his harvest."
- See Mark 6:6b,34; Luke 8:1; Luke 10:2;John 4:35
- like sheep without a shepherd. To know himself, man must open up the undiscovered country within himself. He must first appreciate the largeness of his God-given identity—the IAM. This step in spiritual evolution is represented by Jesus’ going about through all the cities and villages, teaching, preaching, and helping. These movements of Jesus represent the I AM in its universal capacity as a teacher and harmonizer of its own mental and bodily conditions. But there is yet no organized harmony—the people (thoughts) “were scattered, as sheep not having a shepherd.” The I AM must have agents to instruct the great throng of thoughts that surge about the consciousness—that is, the faculties of the mind must be spiritually disciplined and their right relations established, so that it will not be necessary for one’s special attention to be directed toward faculties in order to have them in spiritual ways. They must be educated, and then they will do the Master’s will obediently, whether he is consciously present or not. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution p.538-9)
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Mary Salama.
World English Bible Footnotes:
The Twelve Powers1
10:1 He called to himself his twelve disciples,2 and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every sickness. 10:2 Now the names of the twelve apostles3 are these. The first, Simon, who is called Peter; Andrew, his brother; James the son of Zebedee; John, his brother; 10:3 Philip; Bartholomew; Thomas; Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus; Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; 10:4 Simon the Canaanite; and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.
- See Mark 6:7; Mark 3:16-19; Luke 9:1; Luke 6:13-16
- He called to Himself His twelve disciples. To call a disciple (or apostle) is mentally to recognize that disciple; it is to identify oneself with the intelligence working at a center: for example, judgment at the solar plexus.
- The names of the twelve apostles. Jesus' twelve apostles are: Peter (faith); Andrew (strength); James, son of Zebedee (wisdom or judgment); John (love); Philip (power); Bartholomew (imagination); Thomas (understanding); Matthew (will); James (order); Simon the Cananaean (zeal); Thaddaeus (renunciation or elimination); and Judas (life conserver).
The Mission of the Twelve Powers1
10:5 Jesus sent these twelve out, and commanded them, saying, "Don't go among the Gentiles, and don't enter into any city of the Samaritans.2 10:6 Rather, go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.3 10:7 As you go, preach, saying, 'The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!'4 10:8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, and cast out demons. Freely you received, so freely give.5 10:9 Don't take any gold, nor silver, nor brass in your money belts. 10:10 Take no bag for your journey, neither two coats, nor shoes, nor staff: for the laborer is worthy of his food. 10:11 Into whatever city or village you enter, find out who in it is worthy; and stay there until you go on. 10:12 As you enter into the household, greet it. 10:13 If the household is worthy, let your peace come on it, but if it isn't worthy, let your peace return to you. 10:14 Whoever doesn't receive you, nor hear your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake off the dust from your feet.6 10:15 Most certainly I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city.
- See Mark 6:8-11; Luke 9:2-5
- Don't go among the Gentiles, and don't enter into any city of the Samaritans. Our faculties exist in their purity in Divine Mind as ideas, and they should not be contaminated or adulterated. We are not to limit the activity of our faculties to the thought centers (Gentiles) or mix Truth with error (Samaritans).
- the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Metaphysically, innate spiritual principles that we have lost contact with in the confusion of the material or sense life. When we begin the work of spiritualizing the mind, we redeem these principles (Israelites) by proclaiming the law in even the Egyptian darkness of materiality.
- The kingdom of heaven is at hand. The inner spiritual reality, the Divine realm of perfection. It is always right at hand awaiting our recognition.
- Freely you received, so freely give. We must place our entire faith in Spirit; the living Word within us can and does demonstrate our every need, both physically and spiritually.
- shake off the dust from your feet. When the I AM enters various states of consciousness, its work is to search out that which is worthy and establish spiritual supremacy therein, but if error is discovered which refuses to see the light, it should be left to its own destruction.
Equanimity In Face of Persecution1
10:16 "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves.2 Therefore be wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.3 10:17 But beware of men:4 for they will deliver you up to councils, and in their synagogues they will scourge you. 10:18 Yes, and you will be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony to them and to the nations. 10:19 But when they deliver you up, don't be anxious how or what you will say, for it will be given you in that hour what you will say. 10:20 For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.5
10:21 "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. 10:22 You will be hated by all men for my name's sake, but he who endures to the end will be saved. 10:23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee into the next, for most certainly I tell you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel, until the Son of Man has come.
10:24 "A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his lord.6 10:25 It is enough for the disciple that he be like his teacher, and the servant like his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul,7 how much more those of his household!
- See Mark 13:9-13; Luke 12:11-12; Luke 6:40; Luke 21:12-19
- as sheep in the midst of wolves. Going forth in the consciousness of purity, innocence, guilelessness, and Divine obedience.
- Be wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. Truth does not fight against opposing forces or endeavor to justify itself; it remains serene in the face of all circumstances, for it has all eternity in which to accomplish its purpose.
- But beware of men. Spiritually unillumined thoughts that oppose Truth, and seek to negate or discredit it.
- The Spirit of your Father who speaks in you. How God speaks to us today: in prayer we take with us a Word of Truth, go into the silence, contact God-Mind, then realize that Word of Truth until God-Mind satisfies the logic of our soul.
- A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his lord. The Spirit of God is always greater than the disciples. We must let the Christ reveal one step at a time in order to go forward.
- Beelzebub. The adverse belief that we have built up because of our mistaken idea that we are separate from God, a belief that gives rise to multitudes of thoughts in opposition to Truth.
Keep Our Attention On Spirit1
10:26 Therefore don't be afraid of them, for there is nothing covered that will not be revealed;2 and hidden that will not be known. 10:27 What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in the ear, proclaim on the housetops. 10:28 Don't be afraid of those who kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul. Rather, fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body3 in Gehenna.
10:29 "Aren't two sparrows sold for an assarion coin? Not one of them falls on the ground apart from your Father's will, 10:30 but the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 10:31 Therefore don't be afraid. You are of more value than many sparrows. 10:32 Everyone therefore who confesses me before men, him I will also confess before my Father4 who is in heaven. 10:33 But whoever denies me before men, him I will also deny before my Father who is in heaven.
- See Mark 4:22; Luke 12:2-9; Luke 8:17
- There is nothing covered that will not be revealed. God Mind is everywhere present and God Mind is Divine intelligence, therefore, it is impossible to conceal anything from Spirit. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 540-559)
- Fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body. It is possible for our soul to get so material, so wrapped up in worldly affairs, that it entirely crowds out the spiritual.
- Everyone therefore who confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father. When we acknowledge our spiritual nature to ourselves and at the start of any activity we undertake, we open the way for that nature to receive in larger measure from the Father–our spiritual Source.
Spiritual Relationships Superior to Human Relationships1
10:34 "Don't think that I came to send peace on the earth. I didn't come to send peace, but a sword.2 10:35 For I came to set a man at odds against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 10:36 A man's foes will be those of his own household. 10:37 He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me isn't worthy of me. 10:38 He who doesn't take his cross and follow after me, isn't worthy of me. 10:39 He who seeks his life will lose it; and he who loses his life for my sake will find it.
- See Mark 8:34-35; Luke 12:51-53
- I didn't come to send peace, but a sword. The human form of life is a stepping stone to the spiritual. The Spiritual man is not subject to the discord of human relationships; the one and only enduring relationship is among those who are related spiritually. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 540-559)
Rewards of Living By Principle1
10:40 He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives him who sent me. 10:41 He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet's reward: and he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man will receive a righteous man's reward. 10:42 Whoever gives one of these little ones just a cup of cold water to drink in the name of a disciple, most certainly I tell you he will in no way lose his reward."2
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Mary Salama.
World English Bible Footnotes:
The Imprisoned Intellect Questions Jesus1
11:1 It happened that when Jesus had finished directing his twelve disciples, he departed from there to teach and preach in their cities. 11:2 Now when John2 heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples 11:3 and said to him, "Are you he who comes, or should we look for another?"
11:4 Jesus answered them, "Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: 11:5 the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. 11:6 Blessed is he who finds no occasion for stumbling in me."3
- See Luke 7:18-23
- John. Metaphysically, the forerunner of Jesus Christ. John signifies a high intellectual perception of Truth, but one not yet quickened of Spirit. He represents that attitude of mind in which we are zealous for the rule of Spirit. This attitude is not spiritual, but a perception of spiritual possibilities and an activity in making conditions in which Spirit may rule. This John-the-Baptist perception of Truth leads us to quarrel with evil as a reality, not having discerned the truth about its transitory character. Eventually, quarreling imprisons the intellect.
- no occasion for stumbling in Me. In contrast to the intellect, the Christ does not quarrel with sin and evil in its many forms but rather asserts absolute spiritual dominion and heals these "plagues and evil spirits." The intellect, John, does not understand and when it sends out thoughts of doubt as to the identity of the miracle-worker, the reply of Christ is to behold the results.
Jesus Praises the Intellect1
11:7 As these went their way, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John, "What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 11:8 But what did you go out to see? A man in soft clothing? Behold, those who wear soft clothing are in king's houses. 11:9 But why did you go out? To see a prophet? Yes, I tell you, and much more than a prophet. 11:10 For this is he, of whom it is written, 'Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you.' 11:11 Most certainly I tell you, among those who are born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptizer;2 yet he who is least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he.3 11:12 From the days of John the Baptizer until now, the Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. 11:13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. 11:14 If you are willing to receive it, this is Elijah, who is to come.4 11:15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
11:16 "But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces, who call to their companions 11:17 and say, 'We played the flute for you, and you didn't dance. We mourned for you, and you didn't lament.' 11:18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon.' 11:19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' But wisdom is justified by her children."
- See Luke 7:24-35; Luke 16:16
- has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptizer. Jesus reveals that John the Baptist was the herald making straight the way of the Lord.
- is greater than he. The least of our spiritual thoughts is greater than the mightiest reasoning of our intellect. Our intellectual concepts of things must give way to the understanding that comes from the Holy Spirit.
- this is Elijah, who is to come. Elijah championed the cause of God with such enthusiasm that he became violent and destructive. This was the general state of religious affairs until the coming of the Christ.
Woes To Self-Righteousness and False Sympathy1
11:20 Then he began to denounce the cities in which most of his mighty works had been done, because they didn't repent. 11:21 "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon2 which were done in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 11:22 But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. 11:23 You, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven,3 you will go down to Hades. For if the mighty works had been done in Sodom which were done in you, it would have remained until this day. 11:24 But I tell you that it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom, on the day of judgment, than for you."
- See Luke 10:13-15
- Chorazin, Bethsaida, Tyre, Sidon. Metaphysically, cities are symbols of fixed states of consciousness. Chorazin and Bethsaida are the self-righteous phase of consciousness, fixed in their ideas of what is religiously proper. Tyre and Sidon are openly wicked and stand a better chance before the law of adjustment because they will admit their errors and repent. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 420-1)
- Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven. Metaphysically, Capernaum is exalted unto heaven for its Christian sympathy but eventually brought down to hell (nothingness) because it mourns over the dead and joins with those who grieve. In Truth, human or false sympathy is a negative quality and as such is brought down when the works of Truth cast out the demons of sickness and raise the dead.
Rest For the Weary Mind1
11:25 At that time, Jesus answered, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you hid these things from the wise and understanding, and revealed them to infants.2 11:26 Yes, Father, for so it was well-pleasing in your sight. 11:27 All things have been delivered to me by my Father.3 No one knows the Son, except the Father; neither does anyone know the Father, except the Son,4 and he to whom the Son desires to reveal him.
11:28 "Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest5. 11:29 Take my yoke upon you,6 and learn from me,7 for I am gentle and lowly in heart; and you will find rest for your souls. 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."8
- See Luke 10:21-22
- revealed them to the infants. Laws of Mind and Spirit are not made plain to the intellectually wise because such individuals would use them to further their personal ambitions.
- All things have been delivered to Me by My Father. Understanding of all Truth is given to the Christ Mind by the Father.
- Neither does anyone know the Father, except the Son. There can be no intermediary between God and humanity. In the absolute, or most intimate sense, God and humanity are one.
- I will give you rest. We who strive to sustain the demands of the worldly standard are bidden to come to this meek and lowly Christ within and find rest.
- take My yoke upon you. A yoke is a device for uniting two workers so that their combined strength may be applied to the same load.
- Learn from Me. Let Divine intelligence and power flow through us.
- For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Metaphysically, the yoke is the union with Christ, or with the high ideals of Spirit; the burden is taking on a right degree of responsibility: "For each one shall bear his or her own burden," meaning our own proper load. Service then becomes spiritual. (MBD/ulla)
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Mary Salama.
World English Bible Footnotes:
12:1 At that time, Jesus went on the Sabbath2 day through the grain fields. His disciples were hungry and began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. 12:2 But the Pharisees, when they saw it, said to him, "Behold, your disciples do what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath."
12:3 But he said to them, "Haven't you read what David did, when he was hungry, and those who were with him; 12:4 how he entered into the house of God, and ate the show bread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for those who were with him, but only for the priests? 12:5 Or have you not read in the law, that on the Sabbath day, the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are guiltless? 12:6 But I tell you that one greater than the temple is here. 12:7 But if you had known what this means, 'I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the guiltless. 12:8 For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath."3
- See Mark 2:23-28; Luke 6:1-5
- Sabbath. The consciousness that we have fulfilled the divine law in both thought and act; a state of mind that we enter or acquire when we go into the silence of our own soul, into the realm of Spirit. There we find true rest and peace. (MBD/sabbath)
- Lord of the Sabbath. Divine Mind rests in a perpetual Sabbath and that which seems work is not work at all. When we become so at one with God-Mind as to feel it consciously we also recognize this eternal peace in which all things are accomplished. We then know that we are not subject to any condition whatsoever, but are "lord of the sabbath."
The Withered Will1
12:11 He said to them, "What man is there among you, who has one sheep, and if this one falls into a pit on the Sabbath day, won't he grab on to it, and lift it out? 12:12 Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath day."3 12:13 Then he told the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out; and it was restored whole, just like the other. 12:14 But the Pharisees went out, and conspired against him, how they might destroy him.
- See Mark 3:1-6; Luke 6:6-11
- withered hand. The hand represents executive ability. By the power and understanding gained in the inner spiritual worship, we can free the mind from bondage to inefficiency. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 261)
- It is lawful to do good on the Sabbath. Jesus observed the Sabbath but He claimed that it was a very grievous sin or error to allow the mind to be so blinded by manmade laws that it could not use reason and common sense logic. It is lawful to do good on the Sabbath, whether it consists in preaching in a pulpit, healing the sick, or in any other way saving men from ignorance and its results.
Spiritual Man Does Not Fight1
12:15 Jesus, perceiving that, withdrew from there.2 Great multitudes followed him; and he healed them all, 12:16 and commanded them that they should not make him known: 12:17 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying,
12:18 "Behold, my servant whom I have chosen;
my beloved in whom my soul is well pleased:
I will put my Spirit on him.
He will proclaim justice to the nations.
12:19 He will not strive, nor shout;
neither will anyone hear his voice in the streets.
12:20 He won't break a bruised reed.
He won't quench a smoking flax,
until he leads justice to victory.
Don't Attribute Good Acts to Evil Causes1
12:22 Then one possessed by a demon, blind and mute, was brought to him and he healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw. 12:23 All the multitudes were amazed, and said, "Can this be the son of David?" 12:24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, "This man does not cast out demons, except by Beelzebul,2 the prince of the demons."
12:25 Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. 12:26 If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? 12:27 If I by Beelzebul cast out demons, by whom do your children cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. 12:28 But if I by the Spirit of God cast out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you.3 12:29 Or how can one enter into the house of the strong man, and plunder his goods, unless he first bind the strong man? Then he will plunder his house.
12:30 "He who is not with me is against me, and he who doesn't gather with me, scatters. 12:31 Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men,4 but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. 12:32 Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, neither in this age, nor in that which is to come.
- See Mark 3:22-29; Luke 11:14-23; Luke 12:10
- except by Beelzebul, the prince of the demons. Often when the Christ heals an error state of consciousness the Pharisaical thoughts within us refuse to see the words of the Christ, and begin quibbling and grumbling. They give credence to the “evil spirits,” over which Beelzebul is supposed to rule.
- if I by the Spirit of God cast out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you. We should recognize and acknowledge the good wherever it is manifest. If we see evil in good works it is proof that we have evil in our minds, and we cannot be wholly purified until we cast it out. Our work today is to spiritualize the external religious thought within us until they, too, are imbued with the Spirit of the Lord and behold the good and beautiful everywhere.
- the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. The central idea in this scripture is the inconsistency and stubborn ignorance of attributing good acts to evil causes. Jesus said that the charge that good was done by evil was blasphemy, and that it was the sin against the Holy Spirit, which could not be forgiven. It is a very serious matter to attribute good works to evil sources because it betrays a deplorable lack of understanding of Truth. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 443-4)
Words and Actions are the Fruit of Thought1
12:33 "Either make the tree good, and its fruit good, or make the tree corrupt, and its fruit corrupt; for the tree is known by its fruit.2 12:34 You offspring of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart,3 the mouth speaks. 12:35 The good man out of his good treasure brings out good things, and the evil man out of his evil treasure brings out evil things. 12:36 I tell you that every idle word4 that men speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. 12:37 For by your words you will be justified,5 and by your words you will be condemned."
- See Luke 6:43-45
- the tree is known by its fruit. The quality and degree of our thought is revealed by our speech and actions. Words and actions are the fruit of thought. Every word and every combination of words has back of it an idea, and the power of the word is primarily in that idea. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 447)
- Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. Both good and evil are laid up in the heart or subconscious mind through the thought habits that we form and keep.
- Every idle word. Idle words are words spoken with no underlying constructive purpose, but only for the pleasure or convenience of the passing moment. To say that a person is poor, sick, unhappy, unfortunate, or in danger of death or disaster is to speak contrary to what is true of him in Spirit, and is therefore to bear false witness against him.
- by your words you will be justified. Our words and the thoughts behind them are formative. They are the vehicles through which ideas make themselves manifest. Constructive words work for our wellbeing. Negative words are destructive and harmful.
Not By Signs, but By Spiritual Understanding1
12:38 Then certain of the scribes and Pharisees answered, "Teacher, we want to see a sign from you."2
12:39 But he answered them, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, but no sign will be given it but the sign of Jonah the prophet. 12:40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 12:41 The men of Nineveh3 will stand up in the judgment with this generation, and will condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, someone greater than Jonah is here. 12:42 The queen of the south4 will rise up in the judgment with this generation, and will condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, someone greater than Solomon is here.
- See Mark 8:11-12; Luke 11:16, 29-32
- We want to see a sign from You. The religious thoughts pertaining to the realm of form (Pharisees) do not know that Truth comes into expression in the consciousness through understanding; they seek a sign in the external realm. No sign of the Presence of Christ can be given to such a consciousness, for the things of Spirit are spiritually discerned. Those who asked for a "sign" of the power of Truth were in a mixed or adulterated state of mind, and all the signs in the world would not have convinced them. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 451-53).
- The men of Nineveh. Metaphysically, the potential thoughts of wisdom that have yet recognized that which is constructive from that which is not constructive.
- The queen of the south. The subconscious mind, which is awakened in us when the wisdom of Spirit begins its work in our consciousness. This awakening stirs up both the good and the evil thoughts and we must choose or judge them, not by intellectual wisdom (Solomon), but by that "greater than Solomon," the Christ within.
The Need For Positive Affirmation1
12:43 But the unclean spirit, when he is gone out of the man, passes through waterless places, seeking rest, and doesn't find it. 12:44 Then he says, 'I will return into my house from which I came out,' and when he has come back, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. 12:45 Then he goes, and takes with himself seven other spirits more evil than he2 is, and they enter in and dwell there. The last state of that man becomes worse than the first. Even so will it be also to this evil generation."
- See Luke 11:24-26
- Then he goes, and takes with himself seven other spirits more evil than he. Whenever we deny a negative condition we set up a mental vacuum. If a positive force is not set into activity immediately, still greater negation is encountered. One negative, unclean thought returns with seven others and the condition is worse than at the beginning. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 455)
The True Family of Jesus1
12:46 While he was yet speaking to the multitudes, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, seeking to speak to him. 12:47 One said to him, "Behold, your mother and your brothers stand outside, seeking to speak to you."
12:48 But he answered him who spoke to him, "Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?"2 12:49 He stretched out his hand towards his disciples, and said, "Behold, my mother and my brothers! 12:50 For whoever does the will of my Father who is in heaven, he is my brother, and sister, and mother."3
- See Mark 3:31-35; Luke 8:19-21
- Who is My mother? Who are My brothers? The spiritual is stronger than any human connection. We who live under the light of Spirit are doing the will of the Father; we are the true family of Jesus Christ. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 459)
- my brother, and sister, and mother. [The “family of God” are the thoughts of God. These thoughts are communicated to us by Jesus in the form of parables, precepts, promises, and healings. So the theme here of “the spiritual family” is carried forward into Chapter 13, where Jesus uses one parable after another to teach us about the Kingdom of Heaven.]
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Mary Salama.
World English Bible Footnotes:
Being a Sower of the Word1
13:1 On that day Jesus went out of the house, and sat by the seaside. 13:2 Great multitudes gathered to him, so that he entered into a boat, and sat, and all the multitude stood on the beach. 13:3 He spoke to them many things in parables, saying, "Behold, a farmer went out to sow.2 13:4 As he sowed, some seeds3 fell by the roadside, and the birds came and devoured them. 13:5 Others fell on rocky ground, where they didn't have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of earth. 13:6 When the sun had risen, they were scorched. Because they had no root, they withered away. 13:7 Others fell among thorns. The thorns grew up and choked them: 13:8 and others fell on good soil,4 and yielded fruit: some one hundred times as much, some sixty, and some thirty. 13:9 He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
- See Mark 4:1-9; Luke 8:4-8
- a farmer went out to sow. Most people think that the Word referred to by Jesus is accomplished by preaching or talking with ecclesiastical authority, but nothing is said about his official capacity as a sower of good seed. Then whoever gives forth the true word is an authorized sower. Although the words we send forth may not all find reception in the minds of those who listen, we are to speak just as if we expect them to. The farmer always plants with the expectation of getting a crop, no matter how often he or she is disappointed.
- some seeds. The seed is the Word of God. The spoken word has a special field of action in the realm of forms. Thought moves on the inner plane, where the vibratory forces have not crystallized into visible things.
- good soil, and yielded fruit: some one hundred times as much, some sixty, and some thirty. The single idea of Truth which we implant in another mind may increase beyond all computation. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 475)
The Purpose of the Parables1
13:10 The disciples came, and said to him, "Why do you speak to them in parables?"
13:11 He answered them, "To you it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven,2 but it is not given to them. 13:12 For whoever has, to him will be given, and he will have abundance, but whoever doesn't have, from him will be taken away even that which he has. 13:13 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they don't see, and hearing, they don't hear,3 neither do they understand. 13:14 In them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says,
'By hearing you will hear,
and will in no way understand;
Seeing you will see,
and will in no way perceive:
13:15 for this people's heart has grown callous,
their ears are dull of hearing,
they have closed their eyes;
or else perhaps they might perceive with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their heart,
and should turn again;
and I would heal them.'
13:16 "But blessed are your eyes, for they see;4 and your ears, for they hear. 13:17 For most certainly I tell you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see the things which you see, and didn't see them; and to hear the things which you hear, and didn't hear them.
- See Mark 4:10-12,25; Luke 8:9-10,18
- The Kingdom of Heaven. Heaven is a condition of the mind or a state of consciousness in which mind, soul, and body are in harmony with Divine Mind; a state of mind in which peace, love, and harmony fill the thought of the individual or of a group. Jesus knew the truth and gave the only description of heaven which we, immersed in the belief that forms are real, can understand—that is, by comparing it to the various conditions about us with which we are familiar.
- seeing they don’t see, and hearing, they don’t hear. It is practically useless to try to spiritualize any state of consciousness before it is prepared to receive the quickening power of the Word. When we wholly on this plane of existence we are blind to spiritual things.
- But blessed are your eyes, for they see. When we function in a negative state of consciousness, the soil of the mind is always shallow and unproductive or else rough and rocky, which makes his life tedious and hard. But when we sow the Seed in good soil (hear the Word and understand it) the results are satisfactory indeed. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 470-77)
Being a Receiver of the Word1
13:18 "Hear, then, the parable of the farmer. 13:19 When anyone hears the word of the Kingdom, and doesn't understand it, the evil one comes, and snatches away that which has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown by the roadside.2 13:20 What was sown on the rocky places,3 this is he who hears the word, and immediately with joy receives it; 13:21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while. When oppression or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. 13:22 What was sown among the thorns,4 this is he who hears the word, but the cares of this age and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. 13:23 What was sown on the good ground,5 this is he who hears the word, and understands it, who most certainly bears fruit, and brings forth, some one hundred times as much, some sixty, and some thirty."
- See Mark 4:13-20; Luke 8:11-15
- what was sown by the roadside. The soil represents our consciousness. We may be totally unreceptive to truth, we may not understand it, we may be confused, defensive and always rejecting truth.
- the rocky places. We may hear the word of truth and are happy to hear it because it will help us solve all our problems. However, when the pressures of life come along, we give in; we are not able to stick to our belief for we have no depth of consciousness.
- the thorns. We hear the word of truth but use it selfishly to get things of the world; we are so materially minded that our greed chokes out the truth. The word of truth cannot grow in this type of consciousness. We must be willing to put aside all self-seeking.
- the good ground. The good ground has variations, 30, 60, 100 which means that the good ground can be further developed. What seems to be negative and pessimistic to the human ego is that consciousness develops slowly, which is why a daily regimen of study and prayer are so essential. (Jim Lewis, Biblical Favorites, Parable of the Sower)
When To Cleanse the Mind of Weeds
13:24 He set another parable before them, saying, "The Kingdom of Heaven1 is like a man who sowed good seed in his field, 13:25 but while people slept, his enemy came and sowed darnel weeds2 also among the wheat, and went away. 13:26 But when the blade sprang up and brought forth fruit, then the darnel weeds appeared also. 13:27 The servants of the householder came and said to him, 'Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where did this darnel come from?'
13:28 "He said to them, 'An enemy has done this.'
"The servants asked him, 'Do you want us to go and gather them up?'
13:29 "But he said, 'No,3 lest perhaps while you gather up the darnel weeds, you root up the wheat with them. 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and in the harvest time4 I will tell the reapers, "First, gather up the darnel weeds, and bind them in bundles to burn them; but gather the wheat into my barn."'"
- The Kingdom of Heaven. A condition where there shall remain only the good. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution p.470-77)
- but while people slept, his enemy came and sowed darnel weeds. Good seed are constructive, true thoughts and darnel weeds are destructive thoughts. The "enemy" that came and sowed the weeds is the sense consciousness, which sows them when we are not on the alert spiritually (while people slept).
- Do you want us to go and gather them up? But he said, No. In the early stages of our spiritual development, it would be difficult for us to cleanse our mind thoroughly. If we attempted such cleansing, we might discard much that is good along with the evil.
- The harvest time. When we have attained sufficient spiritual understanding (the harvest time) we can safely cleans our mind. Then we can cast out the destructive thoughts (bind and burn them) and preserve the positive good ideas (gather the wheat into my barn).
The Power of a Small Thought of Truth1
13:31 He set another parable before them, saying, "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed,2 which a man took, and sowed in his field; 13:32 which indeed is smaller than all seeds. But when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches."
The Parable of the Yeast1
- See Luke 13:20-21
- is like yeast, which a woman. Yeast, same as leaven, is Truth and Woman is soul. When a word of Truth seems to be hidden by the inner mind, it is not idle, but is quietly spreading from point to point. This process continues until the whole consciousness is vitalized by Spirit. People who have for years had this hidden word of Truth at work in them are quick to respond to a larger exposition of the Divine Law, and we recognize that they are ripe for the Truth. Those who can lay hold of these deep truths are awakened so they can see and hear spiritually as well as physically. Those who are not ready for the deep fundamental truths of Being take them literally instead of taking them symbolically. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 487)
The Power of Parables1
"I will open my mouth in parables;
I will utter things hidden from the foundation of the world."
- See Mark 4:33-34
- Jesus spoke all these things in parables. Parables are powerful because they lend themselves to meditation, in that they stir the imagination and make us see the story as an actual event. As we meditate on a parable our perception is quickened and we begin to see the underlying truth or spiritual principle that the story illustrates.
Jesus Describes a World Cleansed of Weeds
13:36 Then Jesus sent the multitudes away, and went into the house. His disciples came to him, saying, "Explain to us the parable1 of the darnel weeds of the field."
13:37 He answered them, "He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, 13:38 the field is the world; and the good seed, these are the children of the Kingdom; and the darnel weeds are the children of the evil one. 13:39 The enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. 13:40 As therefore the darnel weeds are gathered up and burned with fire; so will it be at the end of this age.2 13:41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will gather out of his Kingdom all things that cause stumbling, and those who do iniquity, 13:42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be weeping and the gnashing of teeth. 13:43 Then the righteous will shine forth like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
- Explain to us the parable. The reapers or the angels are our helpful, constructive thoughts that gather in the good, and our devils or enemies symbolize our rebellious, opposing thoughts—that gather in evil. If we are able to separate the "weeds" from our good thoughts, we will bring that peace and harmony which is ours in Spirit, right out into visibility, and the kingdom of heaven will be established in our mind and body.
- at the end of this age. When enough people have thus been faithful, the earth itself will take on this peace and harmony and all violence will cease. Disease will be no more and death fall upon none. Our bodies will not grow old but increase in lightness and symmetry with every added spiritual thought until gravity no longer holds them to earth, and millions will build abodes in the air all about this beautiful planet. This is the kingdom of heaven to be established by humanity with this world as the center of operation. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 493)
Parables of the Kingdom
13:44 "Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field,1 which a man found, and hid. In his joy, he goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field.
13:47 "Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a dragnet,3 that was cast into the sea, and gathered some fish of every kind, 13:48 which, when it was filled, they drew up on the beach. They sat down, and gathered the good into containers, but the bad they threw away. 13:49 So will it be in the end of the world.4 The angels will come forth, and separate the wicked from among the righteous, 13:50 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth."
13:51 Jesus said to them, "Have you understood all these things?"
They answered him, "Yes, Lord."
13:52 He said to them, "Therefore, every scribe who has been made a disciple in the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who is a householder,5 who brings out of his treasure new and old things." 13:53 It happened that when Jesus had finished these parables, he departed from there.
- treasure hidden in the field. Our mind and heart are the field. They contain the hidden treasure of spiritual identity that we discover as we learn to know ourself as a child of God. The treasure hid in the field is the logical truth that all that is belongs to Being and can be brought forth by one who gives up the without and looks within for the real value.
- like a man who is a merchant seeking fine pearls. We are the merchant who is seeking the jewel of the soul, or spiritual good, through exchange of thought, discussion, and argument. The pearl is pure spiritual understanding. When we know the great worth of spiritual understanding we gladly give up everything that would hinder our realization of it. We go and sell all. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 503)
- is like a dragnet. The net represents the capacity or that state of mind that seeks for Truth in many places and gathers all kinds of thoughts, which then have to be tested; the good retained and the bad cast out.
- So will it be in the end of the world. The end of the world represents the point in consciousness where the true thoughts are in the majority and the error thoughts have lost their power. This is the final consummation of the regenerative process and everything that has been stored up in consciousness is brought forth and becomes of visible, practical value to the person. This is represented by the "householder" who brings out of his treasure “new and old things.” (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 506)
- like a man who is a householder, who brings out. The disciple of Truth has in mind a rich store of ideas that can be brought forth at will or as the need arises. We lay up this store by living consciously in touch with Divine Mind.
The Rejection of Jesus at Nazareth1
13:54 Coming into his own country,2 he taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, "Where did this man get this wisdom, and these mighty works? 13:55 Isn't this the carpenter's son? Isn't his mother called Mary, and his brothers, James, Joses, Simon, and Judas? 13:56 Aren't all of his sisters with us?3 Where then did this man get all of these things?" 13:57 They were offended by him.
But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor,4 except in his own country, and in his own house." 13:58 He didn't do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.5
- See Mark 6:1-6; Luke 4:16-30
- Coming into His own country. We are spiritual beings, and our natural estate or country is the kingdom of the heavens within. The synagogue is our spiritual consciousness in the soul.
- Aren’t all of his sisters with us? When the spiritual quickening is lacking, the prophet is frequently misunderstood. The auditors of Jesus tried to reduce Him to the level of His brothers and sisters.
- A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country. A prophet is one who reads out of the thoughts of the present mind and can determine in what these thoughts are bound to culminate.
- He didn’t do many mighty works there because of their unbelief. 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.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Mary Salama.
World English Bible Footnotes:
The Death of John the Baptist
14:1 At that time, Herod1 the tetrarch heard the report concerning Jesus, 14:2 and said to his servants, "This is John the Baptizer. He is risen from the dead. That is why these powers work in him." 14:3 For Herod had laid hold of John, and bound him, and put him in prison2 for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife. 14:4 For John said to him, "It is not lawful for you to have her." 14:5 When he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet. 14:6 But when Herod's birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced among them and pleased Herod. 14:7 Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatever she should ask. 14:8 She, being prompted by her mother, said, "Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptizer."
14:9 The king was grieved, but for the sake of his oaths, and of those who sat at the table with him, he commanded it to be given, 14:10 and he sent and beheaded John in the prison. 14:11 His head was brought on a platter, and given to the young lady: and she brought it to her mother. 14:12 His disciples came, and took the body, and buried it; and they went and told Jesus.
- At that time, Herod. Herod, sense consciousness, rules on the plane of mortality. Under its rule man does not fulfill the law of his being. If allowed full rein he kills out John the Baptist, our repentant and redemptive state of mind, which is beginning its ministry of change and purification in our soul and body. The object of this Bible lesson about Herod and his killing of John the Baptist is to show the various steps leading up to the tragedy of sense dominion. (MBD/Herod)
- For Herod had laid hold of John, and bound him, and put him in prison. If we are of haughty, domineering, self-sufficient will, we stand as Herod, the ruler in Judea. We are then married to the passions of the human soul, Herodias. She leads us into sense gratifications so deep, so degrading, that we cut off the head of John, the conscience that would have turned us into the highway of the good.
Feeding the Five Thousand
14:13 Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat, to a deserted place apart. When the multitudes heard it, they followed him on foot from the cities. 14:14 Jesus went out, and he saw a great multitude.1 He had compassion on them, and healed their sick. 14:15 When evening had come, his disciples came to him, saying, "This place is deserted, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves food."
14:16 But Jesus said to them, "They don't need to go away. You give them something to eat."
14:17 They told him, "We only have here five loaves and two fish."2
14:18 He said, "Bring them here to me."3 14:19 He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass; and he took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, broke and gave4 the loaves to the disciples, and the disciples gave to the multitudes. 14:20 They all ate, and were filled.5 They took up twelve baskets full of that which remained left over from the broken pieces. 14:21 Those who ate6 were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
- a great multitude. The multitude of thoughts (the people) have to be fed by the increasing spiritual word. The faculties (disciples), functioning through the intellect, are not at this period in full realization of the power and capacity of the I AM (Jesus) and so they do not see how so many mouths can be fed in an apparently desert place. If one listens to the intellect at this stage in development, there will be neglect of duty. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 577-79)
- five loaves and two fish. Loaves represent the five senses that have taken form or become substance in consciousness (as feeling, tasting, smelling, hearing, seeing); fishes are ideas not yet in manifestation.
- “Bring them here to me.” Practical ways in which we may apply Jesus’ methods of demonstrating supply: do not be discouraged by an appearance of lack; accept the Truth of unlimited spiritual substance as the source of all blessings; affirm that we have plenty for all our needs; never belittle present blessings; always bless and give thanks for the supply of good that is already evident, as well as that which we expect; multiply our supply by giving and sharing.
- Looking up to heaven, He blessed, broke and gave. We cannot in our own power perform this miraculous increase, but when we look up to heaven and bless and give to our disciples, all our thoughts are fed by this Divine manna and there is an abundance left over.
- They all ate, and were filled. Jesus understood and used the law of increase, so that formless substance was given form. He used the dynamic power of thought to break the bonds of atoms composing the few loaves and fish, and fed five thousand people.
- Those who ate. Mental appropriation. The multitude to be fed is our thoughts. We partake of the word of God by affirmation, and so eat of the sustaining substance of Spirit.
Jesus Walks on the Water
14:22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat, and to go ahead of him to the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. 14:23 After he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into the mountain by himself to pray. When evening had come, he was there alone. 14:24 But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, distressed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. 14:25 In the fourth watch of the night, Jesus came to them, walking on the sea.1 14:26 When the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, "It's a ghost!"2 and they cried out for fear. 14:27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying "Cheer up! It is I! Don't be afraid."
14:28 Peter answered him and said, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the waters."
14:29 He said, "Come!"
Peter stepped down from the boat, and walked on the waters to come to Jesus.3 14:30 But when he saw that the wind was strong, he was afraid,4 and beginning to sink, he cried out, saying, "Lord, save me!"5
14:31 Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand, took hold of him, and said to him, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?" 14:32 When they got up into the boat, the wind ceased.6 14:33 Those who were in the boat came and worshiped him, saying, "You are truly the Son of God!"
- Jesus came to them, walking on the sea. The race thoughts have formed a sea of thought, and to walk over it safely comes from understanding that God is Substance, the omnipresent energy that permeates all creation. Such an understanding of God establishes the mind firmly in faith and the feet walk surely over the sea of mind. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 583-90)
- They were troubled, saying, “It’s a ghost!” The Master Christ Mind seems an apparition when we try to walk the waves of life in our own personal strength. But the Christ Mind is not an apparition, rather a mighty power, and when we have faith in It, all the discordant elements of our lives are quieted and we reduce to harmony and wholeness everything our peace-giving thoughts touch.
- Peter ... walked on the waters to come to Jesus. It is not necessary that we walk on material water to follow Jesus; these are lessons in spiritual overcoming.
- when he saw that the wind was strong, he was afraid. Peter is faith in its various stages of development. When our faith in the power of Spirit to sustain us under all conditions is only partially developed, we are apt to sink into boisterous thought waves about us.
- Lord, save me! We are often ambitious and start out bravely but are soon swept under by elements weak as water. When we begin to sink, we should cry out with faith “Lord, save me,” and we will be raised up above the adverse conditions.
- the wind ceased. When union is made between the Master Mind and the mind of man, consciousness realizes its true Self and the dominion which was man’s from the beginning is restored to him.
Jesus Heals the Sick in Gennesaret
14:34 When they had crossed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret.1 14:35 When the people of that place recognized him,2 they sent into all that surrounding region, and brought to him all who were sick, 14:36 and they begged him that they might just touch the fringe of his garment. As many as touched it were made whole.
- the land of Gennesaret. Valley of riches; sea of Divine life. (MBD/Gennesaret)
- When the people of that place recognized Him. We are related, both within the consciousness and without, to all creation through the Universal Life Principle. When we recognize our unity with the One life and with all life, we are on the way to true exaltation and rulership and abundant substance. (MBD)
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Mary Salama.
World English Bible Footnotes:
Tradition or Truth?
15:3 He answered them, "Why do you also disobey the commandment of God because of your tradition? 15:4 For God commanded,3 'Honor your father and your mother,' and, 'He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him be put to death.' 15:5 But you say, 'Whoever may tell his father or his mother, "Whatever help you might otherwise have gotten from me is a gift devoted to God," 15:6 he shall not honor his father or mother.' You have made the commandment of God void because of your tradition. 15:7 You hypocrites4! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying,
15:8 'These people draw near to me with their mouth,
and honor me with their lips;
but their heart is far from me.
15:9 And in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrine rules made by men.'"
- Pharisees and scribes came ... saying, “Why?” Pharisees couldn’t understand that Jesus was the son of God because they took the external. The understanding Jesus taught in this lesson comes from the development of our spiritual nature. Each one of us must know this for ourself. (Charles Fillmore, Mysteries of the Four Gospels, Things That Defile)
- The tradition of the elders. With our personal nature, tradition holds the higher place, for back of it is the weight or authority of the race mind, and its hold on the race mind is unquestioned. When we think things through for ourselves our mind lays hold of the formless stuff of Divine substance and transforms it. By this thought process, which is the proper function of the mind in us, we discern the truth of the accumulated wisdom of humanity and are enabled to discard what does not concern us.
- For God commanded. Our spiritual nature has reverence for the Divine law, not human tradition. Where tradition conflicts with the Divine law, our Christ nature sets aside tradition.
- You hypocrites! Every tradition sooner or later is superseded by something else. For example, the scientific truths of one age become the exploded superstitions of the next, and new so-called scientific truths take their place.
What Defiles the Consciousness?
15:10 He summoned the multitude, and said to them, "Hear, and understand. 15:11 That which enters into the mouth doesn't defile1 the man; but that which proceeds out2 of the mouth, this defiles the man."
15:12 Then the disciples came, and said to him, "Do you know that the Pharisees were offended,3 when they heard this saying?"
15:13 But he answered, "Every plant which my heavenly Father didn't plant4 will be uprooted. 15:14 Leave them alone. They are blind guides of the blind. If the blind guide the blind, both will fall into a pit."
15:15 Peter answered him, "Explain the parable to us."
15:16 So Jesus said, "Do you also still not understand? 15:17 Don't you understand that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the belly, and then out of the body?5 15:18 But the things which proceed out of the mouth come out of the heart,6 and they defile the man. 15:19 For out of the heart come forth evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual sins, thefts, false testimony, and blasphemies. 15:20 These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands doesn't defile the man."7
- That which enters into the mouth doesn’t defile. Harmful things which enter into us may hurt the body, but this type of harm is not the same as the defilement of the soul of which Jesus speaks. (Ed Rabel, Things that Defile)
- but that which proceeds out. If there issue from the heart of impure thoughts, thoughts of false witness, murderous thoughts, revenge and so forth, it is because erroneous thinking has established these in our consciousness at some time and must eventually all be wiped out. (Charles Fillmore, Mysteries of the Four Gospels, Things That Defile)
- The Pharisees were offended. The Pharisaical mind is within everyone to a greater or less degree
- Every plant which my heavenly Father didn’t plant. When we are not rooted in Truth, we become as plants that always seek and depend on their nourishment from other plants. Our consistent study of Truth keeps us “planted in the Father”.
- passes into the belly, and then out of the body. The faculty of renunciation eliminates old, worn-out ideas from the mind, and if poison ideas try to creep in, they are at once eliminated.
- the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart. The heart is the inner or emotional nature, which harbors will, desire, and the individual and personal thought.
- eating with unwashed hands does not defile the man. As we learn to control our thought processes and think constructively we lose our fear of contagion and become immune to outer contaminating influences.
Don’t Throw Your Energy to the Dogs of Sensation
15:21 Jesus went out from there, and withdrew into the region of Tyre and Sidon.1 15:22 Behold, a Canaanite woman came out2 from those borders, and cried, saying, "Have mercy on me, Lord, you son of David! My daughter is severely demonized!"
15:23 But he answered her not a word.
His disciples came and begged him, saying, "Send her away;3 for she cries after us."
15:24 But he answered, "I wasn't sent to anyone but the lost sheep of the house of Israel."4
15:25 But she came and worshiped him, saying, "Lord, help me."
15:26 But he answered, "It is not appropriate to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs."
15:27 But she said, "Yes, Lord, but even the dogs eat the crumbs which fall5 from their masters' table."
15:28 Then Jesus answered her, "Woman, great is your faith! Be it done to you even as you desire." And her daughter was healed from that hour.
- Tyre and Sidon. Tyre means strength and Sidon means beast of prey. They represent the region in us which may be termed "body sensation". This realm has not been illumined by Spirit and is considered too material to be worthy of spiritualization. This is the way nearly all people look upon the body and its sensations. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 607-12)
- a Canaanite woman came out. She is unspiritualized love, natural to body. Her daughter is physical sensation, which has been sensualized by impure thoughts.
- Send her away. At a certain stage in spiritual unfoldment, we may decide that a high spiritual thought force is too holy to operate in the lower forms of sense consciousness in order to redeem it. The disciples besought Jesus to send the woman away and thus refuse to heal her daughter.
- house of Israel. Jesus’ reply is that the whole person must be redeemed and that the “holier than thou” idea has no part of true Christianity.
- even the dogs eat the crumbs which fall. Life is continuous throughout nature, a stream proceeding from the highest to the lowest. This understanding of the unity and purity of the One life brings healing to the demonized sense consciousness–And her daughter was healed from that hour.
Truth Cures Countless Conditions
15:29 Jesus departed there, and came near to the sea of Galilee; and he went up into the mountain, and sat there. 15:30 Great multitudes came to him,1 having with them the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others,2 and they put them down at his feet. He healed them,3 15:31 so that the multitude wondered4 when they saw the mute speaking, injured whole, lame walking, and blind seeing--and they glorified the God of Israel.
- Great multitudes came to Him. The legions of thoughts that swarm the mind, seeking harmony. These thoughts are harmonized and unified by contact with the high spiritual consciousness of the I AM. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 615-22)
- lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others. Continuous thought about self and selfish interests throws the life force to the nerve centers and they become clogged, which we call “disease.” The remedy is a quickening of the life flow in the body and an opening of the mind to Truth. Jesus “healed them all” because He purified and raised all the elements of His organism to a high rate of vibration, and so He was like a highly electrified magnet which could impart its power to other magnets in a state of partial inertia.
- He healed them. All physical acts are first performed in the mind. There is an energy even finer than electricity through which the mind acts, when the mind concentrates upon Spirit there is an inflow of this finer force and the whole being (Spirit, soul, and body) is charged like a magnet.
- the multitude wondered. All of the various thought entities that swarm the mind recognize the healing and uplifting work of the I AM.
The Word of Truth Feeds Your 4,000
15:32 Jesus summoned his disciples and said, "I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days and have nothing to eat. I don't want to send them away fasting, or they might faint on the way."
15:33 The disciples said to him, "Where should we get so many loaves in a deserted place as to satisfy so great a multitude?"
15:34 Jesus said to them, "How many loaves do you have?"
They said, "Seven, and a few small fish."
15:35 He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground; 15:36 and he took the seven loaves and the fish.1 He gave thanks and broke them, and gave to the disciples, and the disciples to the multitudes.2 15:37 They all ate, and were filled.3 They took up seven baskets full of the broken pieces that were left over. 15:38 Those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children. 15:39 Then he sent away the multitudes, got into the boat, and came into the borders of Magdala.
- the seven loaves and the fish. The loaves symbolize universal substance, and fish represent ideas of increase. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 626-272)
- Then He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the multitudes. Truth is first established in our own consciousness, its Substance is then distributed throughout all the cells of our body through our twelve spiritual faculties. In this way, the body is fed and nourished with the living Word, the Bread from heaven.
- all ate and were filled. Every need is supplied from the universal substance, through our power to realize and use it. Faith makes the substance tangible, and through the power of thought we form the substance into whatever we may need.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Mary Salama.
World English Bible Footnotes:
Intellectual Understanding Demands a Sign
16:1 The Pharisees and Sadducees1 came, and testing him, asked him to show them a sign from heaven. 16:2 But he answered them, "When it is evening, you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.' 16:3 In the morning, 'It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.' Hypocrites! You know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but you can't discern the signs of the times! 16:4 An evil and adulterous generation2 seeks after a sign, and there will be no sign given to it, except the sign of the prophet Jonah." He left them, and departed.3
- Pharisees and Sadducees. Intellectual understanding, narrowness, self-righteousness, hardness of heart, argumentativeness, crystallization in old religious rites and ceremonies. It is this state of consciousness that opposes and tries to tear down the constructive work of Spirit. The spiritual sign is always given, but can only be discerned by the spiritually quickened soul. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 630-34)
- evil and adulterous generation. Those who have no spiritual discernment and believe only in the literal outworking of the law of cause and effect in the intellectual or manifest realm. Such persons have no understanding of the higher law of grace, love, and mercy. To them is given “the sign of the prophet Jonah,” the fulfillment of their belief that sinful man can expect only failure, bad luck, and ill conditions in body or affairs.
- He left them, and departed. The I AM cannot remain in such a limited, doubting condition of mind, but departs quickly. There are Pharisees at every turn, tempting believers to do some great thing, like the healing instantly of some well-known case in their community, to the end that everybody may believe, but experienced healers knows the futility of such methods to convince people of Truth. Truth has entrance to the mind through the understanding.
The Yeast of the Intellectual Understanding
16:7 They reasoned among themselves, saying, "We brought no bread."3
16:8 Jesus, perceiving it, said, "Why do you reason among yourselves, you of little faith, 'because you have brought no bread?' 16:9 Don't you yet perceive, neither remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many baskets you took up?4 16:10 Nor the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many baskets you took up? 16:11 How is it that you don't perceive that I didn't speak to you concerning bread?5 But beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees." 16:12 Then they understood that he didn't tell them to beware of the yeast of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
- The disciples came to the other side and had forgotten to take bread. At this point, the I AM withdrews and departs to another side of consciousness. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 635-37)
- beware of the yeast. Yeast (leaven) always means expansion. Whatever line of thought is received into consciousness goes on working until it is rooted out by another line of thinking or until it changes one’s whole consciousness and manifests fully in the outer life.
- We brought no bread. Beware of the limited thoughts. When we confine the Divine Law to the customary avenues of expression and scoff at anything beyond, we are letting the leaven of Herod work to our undoing. When the mind is raised up through affirmations of God’s omnipresent substance and life, we are not only fed, but there is a surplus.
- how many baskets you took up? It is not the outward demonstration that counts, but the increase of substance in mind and body that always follows the faithful application of the Law.
- I didn’t speak to you concerning bread. Jesus tried to get the attention of his people away from material things in order that they might realize the spiritual.
Peter Affirms the Christ Nature of Jesus
16:13 Now when Jesus came into the parts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, "Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?" 16:14 They said, "Some say John the Baptizer, some, Elijah, and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets."
16:15 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"1
16:16 Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."2
16:17 Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.3 16:18 I also tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my assembly,4 and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. 16:19 I will give to you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven,5 and whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven; and whatever you release on earth will have been released in heaven."6 16:20 Then he commanded the disciples that they should tell no one that he is Jesus the Christ.
- Who do men say that I ... am? “I am” expresses our identity. The I AM is the universal symbol of consciousness, and we who are conscious beings make use of it. Each of us thus affirms that we are the perfect idea of humanity in expression.
- You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Peter, the apostle of faith, acknowledged Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God.
- flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. Jesus tells Peter, in effect, that his answer has been prompted by the wisdom which comes only from our inner self.
- on this rock I will build my assembly. Jesus names Peter appropriately, for Peter means “rock” and represents faith in God. Upon such faith is the church of Christ (spiritual consciousness) built.
- I will give to you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Constructive thoughts and words. These thoughts and words are affirmations and denials which guide, guard, direct, and develop our faculties, such as faith, love, wisdom, and strength.
- whatever you release on earth will have been released in heaven. Through affirmations and denials we can loose ourselves from personal limitations and set free within us the power to accomplish all good. See footnote for Matt 18:18 for how this affects conflict with others.
In the End, Truth Will Always Resurrect
16:21 From that time, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders, chief priests, and scribes,1 and be killed,2 and the third day be raised up.3 16:22 Peter took him aside, and began to rebuke him, saying, "Far be it from you, Lord! This will never be done to you." 16:23 But he turned, and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me, for you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of men."
- suffer many things from the elders, chief priests, and scribes. The revelation that we are in fact the very children of the living God is too stupendous for even the illuminated one to comprehend and retain at once. Before this truth can become a constant factor in mind, we suffer many things at the hands of the "elders" and "chief priests" and "scribes," which represent the traditional beliefs and ruling religious ideas dominant in the mind.
- and be killed, and the third day be raised up. Many of these beliefs have been fixed in mind from childhood and do not yield at once to the spiritual idea. Instead they assert their power to extinguish spiritual understanding for a season; it is "killed," but shall after "the third day be raised up."
- third day be raised up. These three days are three movements of mind: perception, realization, and manifestation. The clear light of first perception is obscured, yet we know that changes are going on in consciousness, and if we are wise, we will accompany the Christ down into the tomb of matter within us and assist in every way in overcoming the hereditary sins of the flesh. Be raised up. Truth rises again to the conscious mind and establishes Itself.
Self-denial Is Required for Transformation
16:24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross,1 and follow me. 16:25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, and whoever will lose his life for my sake will find it.2 16:26 For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his life? Or what will a man give in exchange for his life?3 16:27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and then he will render to everyone according to his deeds. 16:28 Most certainly I tell you, there are some standing here who will in no way taste of death, until they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom."4
- take up his cross. The personal self sets up counter currents which put life at cross-purposes with spiritual development. Steady, daily denial of the claims of the personal self constitutes our "cross."
- whoever will lose his life for My sake will find it. In order that our spiritual nature may be supreme in consciousness, our mortal nature must be crucified.
- what will a man give in exchange for his life? To gain spiritual life and spiritual consciousness we must concentrate our energies and our desires on winning through to the spiritual realm and making ourselves at home there. This means denying ourselves all indulgence in lesser interests and activities and recognizing only the claims of the higher.
- who will in no way taste of death, until they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom. The loss of 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.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Mary Salama.
World English Bible Footnotes:
17:1 After six days, Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John1 his brother, and brought them up into a high mountain by themselves. 17:2 He was transfigured before them.2 His face shone like the sun, and his garments became as white as the light.3 17:3 Behold, Moses and Elijah4 appeared to them talking with him.
17:4 Peter answered, and said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you want, let's make three tents here: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah."
17:5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them. Behold, a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Listen to him."
17:6 When the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces, and were very afraid. 17:7 Jesus came and touched them and said, "Get up, and don't be afraid." 17:8 Lifting up their eyes, they saw no one, except Jesus alone.5 17:9 As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, "Don't tell anyone what you saw,6 until the Son of Man has risen from the dead."
17:10 His disciples asked him, saying, "Then why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?"
17:11 Jesus answered them, "Elijah indeed comes first, and will restore all things, 17:12 but I tell you that Elijah has come already, and they didn't recognize him, but did to him whatever they wanted to. Even so the Son of Man will also suffer by them." 17:13 Then the disciples understood that he spoke to them of John the Baptizer.
- Jesus took with Him Peter, James, and John. To pray effectively, one must have with him the three disciples: Peter (Faith), John (Love), James (Good Judgment).
- He was transfigured before them. A lifting up of the soul; an example of the glory that is possible through the habitual uplifting of life and thought. Metaphysically, it is the supernatural change of appearance that takes place as we experience the full flow of Divine power through our being.
- as white as the light. Jesus lives today in that body of glorified electricity in a kingdom that interpenetrates the earth and its environment. He called it the kingdom of the heavens.
- Moses and Elijah. Two processes through which purified human beings demonstrate: the Mosaic or evolutionary process of nature (Moses) and the ability of the spiritual discerner of Truth (Elijah) to make conditions rapidly change on the mental plane, which are in due season worked out in substance. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 659-71)
- they saw no one, except Jesus alone. The other two “separate” phases of our development (Moses and Elijah) blend into the One, the current state of our spiritual awareness (the One Jesus Christ self of you).
- Don’t tell anyone what you saw. Because of the inability of the mind to express the revelations of the spiritual.
Jesus Cures a Boy with a Demon
17:14 When they came to the multitude, a man came to him, kneeling down to him, saying, 17:15 "Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is epileptic, and suffers grievously;1 for he often falls into the fire, and often into the water. 17:16 So I brought him to your disciples, and they could not cure him."
17:17 Jesus answered, "Faithless and perverse generation! How long will I be with you? How long will I bear with you? Bring him here to me." 17:18 Jesus rebuked him, the demon went out2 of him, and the boy was cured from that hour.
17:19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately, and said, "Why weren't we able to cast it out?"
17:20 He said to them, "Because of your unbelief. For most certainly I tell you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. 17:21 But this kind doesn't go out except by prayer and fasting."3
- he is epileptic, and suffers grievously. Metaphysically, one in which the fleshly ego has assumed such proportions in the personality that it has lost even its physical poise and for the time being is a maniac. In this sense anyone who has lost physical poise has so suffered. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 672-77)
- Jesus rebuked him, the demon went out. Jesus (the supreme Spiritual Entity) has power to restore the poise and equilibrium of the mind under Divine Law, and this accomplishes the so-called miracle of healing.
- except by prayer and fasting. Jesus’ disciples could not cast out the demons of personality. Through fasting and prayer, one may raise their spiritual power through denying their negative thoughts and affirming the positive.
Jesus Again Foretells His Death and Resurrection
17:22 While they were staying in Galilee,1 Jesus said to them, "The Son of Man is about to be delivered up2 into the hands of men, 17:23 and they will kill him, and the third day he will be raised up."3 They were exceedingly sorry.
- Galilee. Metaphysically, the soul’s energy acting in conjunction with substance. Jesus’ abiding in Galilee symbolizes a continual expression of the activity of Truth, which always brings about a realization of Christhood after personality has been denied and the praise of God has been set up. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 686-87)
- The Son of Man is about to be delivered up. The experience one passes through, going from the natural to the spiritual consciousness.
- he will be raised up. The transformation to the spiritual plane.
Jesus and the Temple Tax
When he came into the house, Jesus anticipated him, saying, "What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth2 receive toll or tribute? From their children, or from strangers?"
17:26 Peter said to him, "From strangers."
Jesus said to him, "Therefore the children are exempt. 17:27 But, lest we cause them to stumble, go to the sea, cast a hook, and take up the first fish that comes up.3 When you have opened its mouth, you will find a stater coin. Take that, and give it to them for me and you."4
- Capernaum. In individual consciousness, Capernaum is the coming into an understanding of the comforting power of Spirit. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 683-84)
- The kings of the earth. Man-made difficulties and conditions which seem to dominate at the moment.
- Take up the first fish that comes up. Fish are the idea of accumulation, of increasing, multiplying power. Jesus used fish to exemplify the fruitfulness of spiritual ideas. When you have opened its mouth. The piece of gold in the fish’s mouth is the power of the true Word to increase the fruitfulness of nature.
- Take that, and give it to them for me and you. Jesus and those who understand the Divine Law, although they are the Sons of God and are free from earth’s bondage, yet may conform to it in certain states of unfoldment.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Mary Salama.
World English Bible Footnotes:
 v17:24. A didrachma is a Greek silver coin worth 2 drachmas, about as much as 2 Roman denarii, or about 2 days' wages. It was commonly used to pay the half-shekel temple tax, because 2 drachmas were worth one half shekel of silver.
18:1 In that hour the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Who then is greatest1 in the Kingdom of Heaven?"2
18:2 Jesus called a little child to himself,3 and set him in the midst of them, 18:3 and said, "Most certainly I tell you, unless you turn, and become as little children, you will in no way enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. 18:4 Whoever therefore humbles himself4 as this little child, the same is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. 18:5 Whoever receives one such little child in my name receives me,
- Who then is greatest. In the spiritually quickened soul, through the activity of God Mind, the personal ego is also quickened and comes forth to assert its greatness. In our sane moments we realize that none is great save God, and that he who would be great must be servant of all. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 689-90)
- the Kingdom of Heaven. The Kingdom of Heaven is a condition in which Divine Mind supplies ideals for all the thoughts of man's mind. The greatest in this Kingdom is he who is most humble and receptive to the Divine ideals.
- Jesus called a little child to Himself. The little child is a meek and lowly attitude of mind that is receptive and obedient to spiritual Law and to perfect faith. The soul must possess these qualities in order that God Mind may find full, free, and unhampered expression through it.
- Whoever therefore humbles himself. The humble, Christ-like spirit is necessary to those who desire to enter the presence of Divine Mind.
Temptations to Sin
18:6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to stumble, it would be better for him that1 a huge millstone should be hung around his neck, and that he should be sunk in the depths of the sea. 18:7 "Woe to the world because of occasions of stumbling! For it must be that the occasions come, but woe to that person through whom the occasion comes! 18:8 If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off, and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life maimed or crippled,2 rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into the eternal fire. 18:9 If your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out,3 and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into the Gehenna of fire.
- it would be better for him that. It is a dangerous thing to kill out innocent, childlike thoughts. It is better to be very negative; better to go to the very depths of the sea of mortality than to cause a single spiritual thought of childlike receptivity to be obstructed in consciousness.
- It is better for you to enter into life maimed or crippled. Eliminate external impediments to spiritual progress and enter into spirituality at any cost. Physical handicaps are nothing in comparison with spiritual shortcomings.
- pluck it out. The "eye" that should be plucked out is the lust for knowledge and power which blunts the sweet innocence of the little child within, and often leads to sins that have to be atoned for in the purifying fires of the soul.
The Parable of the Lost Sheep
18:10 See that you don't despise one of these little ones, for I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven. 18:11 For the Son of Man came to save that which was lost.
18:12 "What do you think? If a man has one hundred sheep,1 and one of them goes astray,2 doesn't he leave the ninety-nine, go to the mountains, and seek that which has gone astray? 18:13 If he finds it, most certainly I tell you, he rejoices over it more3 than over the ninety-nine which have not gone astray. 18:14 Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.
- If a man has one hundred sheep. The shepherd represents the Christ, the Master, redeeming and protecting our thoughts; the sheep represent our thoughts after they have been assembled and disciplined.
- and one of them goes astray. An error thought that has separated itself from the Master and the fold. To conform to the standard set by Jesus Christ, the first great demonstration is to overcome the errors of the mind that are formed by wrong thinking.
- he rejoices over it more. One may be ninety-nine per cent perfect and yet remain outside the Kingdom. We rejoice more over the restoration of “that one thought” than over all the thoughts that are secure in the good.
Reproving Another Who Sins
18:15 "If your brother sins against you, go, show him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained back your brother. 18:16 But if he doesn't listen, take one or two more with you, that at the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 18:17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the assembly. If he refuses to hear the assembly also, let him be to you as a Gentile or a tax collector. 18:18 Most certainly I tell you, whatever things you bind on earth1 will have been bound in heaven, and whatever things you release on earth will have been released in heaven. 18:19 Again, assuredly I tell you, that if two of you will agree on earth concerning anything that they will ask, it will be done for them by my Father who is in heaven. 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name,2 there I am in the midst of them."
- whatever things you bind on earth. How we affirm others is powerful. See footnote for Matt 16:19
- gathered together in my name. When two or three are truly gathered together in the name of Jesus Christ, they inadvertently dwell in the realm of Absolute Principle, where Jesus Christ dwells, thus harmonizing their ideas with His understanding of Divine Mind. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 698)
18:21 Then Peter came and said to him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him?1 Until seven times?"2 18:22 Jesus said to him, "I don't tell you until seven times, but, until seventy times seven.
- how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Forgiving offences to the uttermost is necessary in order that we may be God-like and bring down this Kingdom of the heavens unto the earth. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 702-04)
- Until seven times? The measure of the wrong or injury done to us by another should not be taken into consideration; one is to forgive as often as one is offended, in order to keep the mind clear and unruffled.
The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant
18:23 Therefore the Kingdom of Heaven is like a certain king,1 who wanted to reconcile accounts with his servants. 18:24 When he had begun to reconcile, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 18:25 But because he couldn't pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, with his wife, his children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. 18:26 The servant therefore fell down and kneeled before him, saying, 'Lord, have patience with me, and I will repay you all!' 18:27 The lord of that servant, being moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.2
18:29 "So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, 'Have patience with me, and I will repay you!' 18:30 He would not, but went and cast him into prison, until he should pay back that which was due. 18:31 So when his fellow servants saw what was done, they were exceedingly sorry, and came and told to their lord all that was done. 18:32 Then his lord called him in, and said to him, 'You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt, because you begged me. 18:33 Shouldn't you also have had mercy on your fellow servant,3 even as I had mercy on you?' 18:34 His lord was angry, and delivered him to the tormentors, until he should pay all that was due to him. 18:35 So my heavenly Father will also do to you, if you don't each forgive your brother from your hearts for his misdeeds."
- a certain king. The king is the will of a man, all of whose other faculties are under its control. Who wanted to reconcile accounts with his servants.The servant is human nature, which as a rule is not under the dominion of the Divine will, but records every emotion, every thought, every word sent out by us. It is here that man incurs the great debt of "ten thousand talents".
- released him, and forgave him the debt. The wisdom and love attributes of Being may be called into expression by man, and thus the great debt which man owes is paid by God.
- Shouldn't you also have had mercy on your fellow servant? Impatience and the habit of harboring ill will and of exacting our due regardless of the needs or feelings of others, serve to bring back upon us the full load of our responsibility. We must enter into the consciousness of forgiveness if we would rise above personality and know the Divine.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Mary Salama.
World English Bible Footnotes:
The Marriage Made in Heaven
19:1 It happened when Jesus had finished these words, he departed from Galilee, and came into the borders of Judea beyond the Jordan. 19:2 Great multitudes followed him, and he healed them there. 19:3 Pharisees came to him, testing him, and saying, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife1 for any reason?"
19:4 He answered, "Haven't you read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female,2 19:5 and said, 'For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall join to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh?' 19:6 So that they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, don't let man tear apart."
19:7 They asked him, "Why then did Moses command us to give her a bill of divorce, and divorce her?"
19:8 He said to them, "Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it has not been so. 19:9 I tell you that whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery;3 and he who marries her when she is divorced commits adultery."
19:10 His disciples said to him, "If this is the case of the man with his wife, it is not expedient to marry."
19:11 But he said to them, "Not all men can receive this saying, but those to whom it is given. 19:12 For there are eunuchs4 who were born that way from their mother's womb, and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven's sake. He who is able to receive it, let him receive it."
- Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife? Jesus is always speaking on multi-dimensional levels and so here about the male and female natures of every individual, the marriage made in heaven, and the divorce which leads to mental and emotional imbalance. (Ed Rabel)
- made them male and female. Spiritually interpreted, man symbolizes wisdom and woman symbolizes love. A true marriage under spiritual law brings about perfect unity in mind and body. These two must work together in order to fulfill the law. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 709)
- commits adultery. Divine marriage is the union of harmonious soul. Whenever two Divinely married persons separate and seek other alliances, they break the Divine law. An alliance between persons who are not Divinely united is adultery and leads to corruption of spiritual life. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 710)
- there are eunuchs. Metaphysically, a thought from which the capacity to increase life and its forms has been eliminated (MBD/Eunuch). There is a Divine asceticism which is recognized by Divine Mind and is one of the avenues through which the soul can be raised to pure spiritual consciousness. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 708). See Mark 10:1-12
Jesus Blesses the Little Divine Ideas
19:13 Then little children1 were brought to him, that he should lay his hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them. 19:14 But Jesus said, "Allow the little children,2 and don't forbid them to come to me; for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to ones like these." 19:15 He laid his hands on them, and departed from there.
- little children. Children represent thoughts of reality or the true ideas about Being that have to be brought out in every part of man’s consciousness. (RW/children-of-israel)
- Allow the little children. The matrix or realm of Divine ideas (the Kingdom of Heaven) lies all about us and within us. In order for our minds to be raised to its pure spiritual consciousness, we must make a place for these new and higher ideas (children) by taking a childlike attitude that is meek and receptive. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 712)
The Truly Rich Young Man
19:16 Behold, one came to him and said, "Good teacher, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?"
19:17 He said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but one, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments."
19:18 He said to him, "Which ones?"
Jesus said, "'You shall not murder.' 'You shall not commit adultery.' 'You shall not steal.' 'You shall not offer false testimony.' 19:19 'Honor your father and mother.' And, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'"
19:20 The young man said to him, "All these things I have observed from my youth. What do I still lack?"
19:21 Jesus said to him, "If you want to be perfect,1 go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." 19:22 But when the young man heard the saying, he went away sad,2 for he was one who had great possessions. 19:23 Jesus said to his disciples, "Most certainly I say to you, a rich man will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven3 with difficulty. 19:24 Again I tell you, 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."
19:25 When the disciples heard it, they were exceedingly astonished, saying, "Who then can be saved?"
19:26 Looking at them, Jesus said, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
19:27 Then Peter answered, "Behold, we have left everything,4 and followed you. What then will we have?"
19:28 Jesus said to them, "Most certainly I tell you that you who have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on the throne of his glory, you also will sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 19:29 Everyone who has left houses, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, will receive one hundred times, and will inherit eternal life. 19:30 But many will be last who are first;5 and first who are last.
- If you want to be perfect. Jesus considered spiritual understanding of more importance than great riches, piety, and careful observance of the moral law. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 717)
- he went away sad. The rich young man may be likened to personality. Personality is ambitious for eternal life and strives to attain it, but does not want to sacrifice the selfish attachment to things of sense. Personality may follow the commandments but there is one lack: it must give up its belief in the all-importance of earthly possessions.
- will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. All the powers of the mind must be developed Spirit-ward before we can rise to the higher consciousness called “heaven.” If we trust in riches, trust in God is weakened, and this weakens our spiritual faculties. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 719)
- we have left everything. Giving up all trust in the help of relations and earthly possessions and following the guidance of the higher self brings as a final reward a consciousness of the real, upon which these outer conditions rest. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 722)
- last who are first. In the final test, those who seem least shall be given first place. Everywhere we see quiet spiritual workers who are laying up in the heavens of the mind a store of true thoughts that will eventually precipitate into visibility and make them spiritual lights. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 723)
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by .
World English Bible Footnotes:
Working Your Inner Vineyard
20:1 "For the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who was the master of a household, who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard.1 20:2 When he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 20:3 He went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace. 20:4 To them he said, 'You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.' So they went their way. 20:5 Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did likewise. 20:6 About the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle. He said to them, 'Why do you stand here all day idle?'
20:7 "They said to him, 'Because no one has hired us.'
"He said to them, 'You also go into the vineyard, and you will receive whatever is right.' 20:8 When evening had come,2 the lord of the vineyard said to his manager, 'Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning from the last to the first.'
20:9 "When those who were hired at about the eleventh hour came, they each received a denarius.3 20:10 When the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise each received a denarius. 20:11 When they received it, they murmured4 against the master of the household, 20:12 saying, 'These last have spent one hour, and you have made them equal to us, who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat!'
20:13 "But he answered one of them, 'Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Didn't you agree with me for a denarius? 20:14 Take that which is yours, and go your way. It is my desire to give to this last just as much as to you. 20:15 Isn't it lawful for me to do what I want to with what I own? Or is your eye evil, because I am good?' 20:16 So the last will be first,5 and the first last. For many are called, but few are chosen."
- To hire laborers for his vineyard. Each one’s vineyard is his consciousness and his faculties are the workers in it. In this parable Jesus teaches that God is no respecter of persons and gives to all who give themselves wholeheartedly to the living of Truth ideas.
- When evening had come. Realization of eternal life does not necessarily come to us by the number of years that we study and practice Truth, but when we have completed preparation for it (“when even was come”) by our diligence, devotion, and obedience to the Divine law.
- They each received a denarius. Some of us grasp Truth principles quickly and apply them more faithfully than do others. Some (those who labored all day) may accept Truth ideas more slowly and take longer to use them effectively. But each receives from God that for which he agrees to work; that is, God provides all the blessings that our understanding and devotion allow us to accept and use rightly.
- They murmured. Jealousy causes misery, warps one’s perspective, and can affect one’s health adversely. We can overcome jealousy by rejoicing in the love and generosity of God, appreciating our own blessings, and remembering that God provides richly for all.
- The last will be first, and the first last. In a sense every single one of us is an “eleventh hour” worker, since the gifts of God’s love are so great that we could never actually earn them. The gifts of life, love, joy, power, and wisdom are ours because God loves us and because we have opened our minds and hearts to receive them.
Error thoughts are Condemned to Death
20:17 As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem,1 he took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said to them, 20:18 "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death,2 20:19 and will hand him over to the Gentiles to mock, to scourge, and to crucify; and the third day he will be raised up."
- Jesus was going up to Jerusalem. We reach a place in our development where the old states of mind must be wholly erased and replaced with new and higher. When this takes place there is great commotion in mind. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 732)
- They will condemn Him to death. The old and religious thoughts within us are full of condemnation and seek to “put to death” the new; but error, in its ignorance, only destroys itself.
The Soul’s Ambition to Sit at the Right and Left Hand of God
She said to him, "Command that these, my two sons, may sit, one on your right hand, and one on your left hand, in your Kingdom."
20:22 But Jesus answered, "You don't know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?"
They said to him, "We are able."
20:23 He said to them, "You will indeed drink my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with, but to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it is for whom it has been prepared by my Father."2
20:24 When the ten heard it, they were indignant with the two brothers.
20:25 But Jesus summoned them, and said, "You know that the rulers of the nations lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 20:26 It shall not be so among you, but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant.3 20:27 Whoever desires to be first among you shall be your bondservant, 20:28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
- The mother of the sons. The soul (the mother of Zebedee’s sons) wants her offspring to have first place in the new kingdom. This ambition is evident when we think our abilities should be given due recognition in the spiritual kingdom, without considering our readiness and training in the spiritual law.
- Has been prepared by My Father. Practicing the Divine Law by faith, before we even understand it, is what prepares us to understand it. This readiness is what places each one where he belongs.
- Shall be your servant. As students of Truth, we must serve in the most menial duties before we are considered a safe custodian of the higher forces of the soul and mind. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 742-44)
Truth Gives Sight to the Blind Soul
20:29 As they went out from Jericho,1 a great multitude followed him.2 20:30 Behold, two blind men sitting by the road, when they heard that Jesus was passing by, cried out, "Lord, have mercy on us, you son of David!" 20:31 The multitude rebuked them, telling them that they should be quiet, but they cried out even more, "Lord, have mercy on us, you son of David!"
20:32 Jesus stood still, and called them, and asked, "What do you want me to do for you?"
20:33 They told him, "Lord, that our eyes may be opened."3
20:34 Jesus, being moved with compassion, touched their eyes; and immediately their eyes received their sight, and they followed him.
- As they went out from Jericho. Jesus Christ (I AM) passed through Jericho (intellect) in His redemptive work. Jericho is the opposite of Jerusalem. One represents the spiritual; the other, the material.
- a great multitude followed Him. As we proceed in our spiritual development, we become a leader of our multitude of thoughts.
- That our eyes may be opened. The soul is always calling for more light, more understanding.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Mary Salama.
World English Bible Footnotes:
Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into our Life1
21:1 When they drew near to Jerusalem,2 and came to Bethsphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 21:2 saying to them, "Go into the village that is opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her.3 Untie them, and bring them to me. 21:3 If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, 'The Lord needs them,'4 and immediately he will send them."
21:4 All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophet, saying,
21:5 "Tell the daughter of Zion,
behold, your King comes to you,
humble, and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey."
21:6 The disciples went, and did just as Jesus commanded them, 21:7 and brought the donkey and the colt, and laid their clothes on them; and he sat on them. 21:8 A very great multitude spread their clothes on the road. Others cut branches from the trees, and spread them on the road. 21:9 The multitudes who went before him, and who followed kept shouting, "Hosanna to the son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!"5
- See Mark 11:1-11a; Luke 19:28-38; John 12:12-19
- drew near to Jerusalem. The I AM, in order to overcome the personal self and gain dominion and power, draws near to the center of peace in man’s heart (Jerusalem)
- and a colt with her. The donkey and colt are the untrained animal forces that are in fact being held in check by the I AM.
- The Lord needs them. We are not to crush or destroy our animal nature, but through the I AM (Jesus), we are to master it and make it serve us (He sat on them). The fact that Jesus rode the donkey was symbolical of His having conquered the forces in His own nature.
- Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! We honor the Christ Spirit that ruled in Jesus when we invite it to rule in our minds and hearts.
The Word of God Cleanses Us1
21:12 Jesus entered into the temple of God,2 and drove out all of those who sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the money changers' tables and the seats of those who sold the doves. 21:13 He said to them, "It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer,' but you have made it a den of robbers!3"
21:14 The blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them. 21:15 But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children who were crying in the temple and saying, "Hosanna to the son of David!" they were indignant, 21:16 and said to him, "Do you hear what these are saying?"
Jesus said to them, "Yes. Did you never read, 'Out of the mouth of babes and nursing babies you have perfected praise?'"
21:17 He left them, and went out of the city to Bethany,4 and lodged there.
- See Mark 11:15-17; Luke 19:45-46; John 2:13-17
- the temple of God. The temple is our individual mind and body.
- den of robbers. Destructive forces within us or that put our energies to unworthy uses. With His word, Jesus cast out these negations.
- Bethany. The place of wailing, lamentation, affliction, and signifies the demonstration over these conditions (MBD/Bethany). Jesus’ accomplishing many healings and teachings “in Bethany” is the power of the Word of Truth to both illuminate us as well as to give us victory during times of trouble.
The Word frees us from Unfruitful Thought Trees1
21:18 Now in the morning, as he returned to the city, he was hungry. 21:19 Seeing a fig tree2 by the road, he came to it, and found nothing on it but leaves. He said to it, "Let there be no fruit from you forever!"
Immediately the fig tree withered away. 21:20 When the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, "How did the fig tree immediately wither away?"
21:21 Jesus answered them, "Most certainly I tell you, if you have faith, and don't doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you told this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' it would be done. 21:22 All things, whatever you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive."
- See Mark 11:12-14,20-24
- a fig tree. Among other things, figs or fig trees represent the seed of human beings, which in its original essence is mind energy (MBD/Almon-diblathaim). As a seed, so the tree and its fruit, so also, our thoughts are seeds that ought to bear fruitful trees. When the Word of Truth (Jesus) is active within us, It has the power to immediately cast out any unfruitful patterns of thinking.
The Energy of Doubt Opposes the Authority of Spirit1
21:23 When he had come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders2 of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, "By what authority do you do these things? Who gave you this authority?"3
21:24 Jesus answered them, "I also will ask you one question, which if you tell me, I likewise will tell you by what authority I do these things. 21:25 The baptism of John, where was it from? From heaven or from men?"
They reasoned with themselves, saying, "If we say, 'From heaven,' he will ask us, 'Why then did you not believe him?' 21:26 But if we say, 'From men,' we fear the multitude, for all hold John as a prophet." 21:27 They answered Jesus, and said, "We don't know."
He also said to them, "Neither will I tell you4 by what authority I do these things.
- See Mark 11:27-33; Luke 20:1-8
- chief priests and the elders. The religious thoughts in us that do not recognize that the authority of Spirit underlying our spiritual practices is far greater than their outward forms.
- Who gave you this authority? 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 our inner conviction and knowledge is pre-eminent.
- Neither will I tell you. The Christ in us has Divine authority and thus cannot be fettered or bound by the reasonings of the intellect.
The Power of a Repentant Mind
21:28 But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first, and said, 'Son, go work today in my vineyard.' 21:29 He answered, 'I will not,' but afterward he changed his mind, and went. 21:30 He came to the second, and said the same thing. He answered, 'I go, sir,' but he didn't go.1 21:31 Which of the two did the will of his father?"2
They said to him, "The first."
Jesus said to them, "Most certainly I tell you that the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering into the Kingdom of God before you. 21:32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you didn't believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. When you saw it, you didn't even repent afterward, that you might believe him.
- but he didn’t go. Individual worthiness is measured more by what we do than what we say. The first son at first rejects a spiritual standard of living, but later accepts it. The second son knows Truth ideas intellectually, but does not try to apply them.
- did the will of his father. Those who live in error and change their ways are closer to spiritual understanding than are the religious "authorities" who ignore God's will. Our understanding of Truth and our ability to use it in every department of our life increases as we diligently and faithfully use the Truth that we know; this constitutes our entering into the Kingdom of God.
The Principle of Honoring God’s Faithful Tenants1
21:33 "Hear another parable. There was a man who was a master of a household,2 who planted a vineyard, set a hedge about it, dug a winepress in it, built a tower, leased it out to farmers,3 and went into another country. 21:34 When the season for the fruit drew near, he sent his servants4 to the farmers, to receive his fruit. 21:35 The farmers took his servants, beat one, killed another, and stoned another. 21:36 Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they treated them the same way. 21:37 But afterward he sent to them his son, saying, 'They will respect my son.' 21:38 But the farmers, when they saw the son, said among themselves, 'This is the heir. Come, let's kill him, and seize his inheritance.' 21:39 So they took him, and threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. 21:40 When therefore the lord of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those farmers?"
21:41 They told him, "He will miserably destroy those miserable men, and will lease out the vineyard to other farmers,5 who will give him the fruit in its season."
21:42 Jesus said to them, "Did you never read in the Scriptures,
'The stone which the builders rejected,
the same was made the head of the corner.
This was from the Lord.
It is marvelous in our eyes?'
21:43 "Therefore I tell you, the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you, and will be given to a nation bringing forth its fruit. 21:44 He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but on whoever it will fall, it will scatter him as dust."
21:45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he spoke about them. 21:46 When they sought to seize him, they feared the multitudes, because they considered him to be a prophet.
- See Mark 12:1-12; Luke 20:9-19
- master of a household. The householder is God; his son is the Christ or Son of God (the Divine idea of us, in expression). The vineyard represents human beings in manifestation.
- farmers. Our external religious thoughts and beliefs (scribes and Pharisees) can kill the messages sent us from God (servants).
- servants. The servants of God are that which would keep us in the evolutionary process of developing understanding.
- other farmers. We make space for the authority of intuitive Truth by letting go of external religious thoughts and beliefs.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Mary Salama.
World English Bible Footnotes:
The Spiritual Wedding Feast1
22:1 Jesus answered and spoke again in parables to them, saying, 22:2 "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a certain king, who made a marriage feast2 for his son, 22:3 and sent out his servants to call those who were invited3 to the marriage feast, but they would not come. 22:4 Again he sent out other servants, saying, 'Tell those who are invited, "Behold, I have made ready my dinner. My cattle and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the marriage feast!"' 22:5 But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his merchandise, 22:6 and the rest grabbed his servants, and treated them shamefully, and killed them. 22:7 When the king heard that, he was angry, and sent his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city.
22:8 "Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding is ready, but those who were invited weren't worthy. 22:9 Go therefore to the intersections of the highways, and as many as you may find, invite to the marriage feast.' 22:10 Those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together as many as they found, both bad and good. The wedding was filled with guests. 22:11 But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man who didn't have on wedding clothing4, 22:12 and he said to him, 'Friend, how did you come in here not wearing wedding clothing?' He was speechless. 22:13 Then the king said to the servants, 'Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and throw him into the outer darkness; there is where the weeping and grinding of teeth will be.' 22:14 For many are called, but few chosen."5
- See Luke 14:16-24
- king, who made a marriage feast. The king is God. The marriage is the union of man with Spirit. A wedding feast stands for any occasion in our life, any type of situation in our life when we are being given an opportunity to partake of some spiritual, good, usually some new spiritual good.
- those who were invited. The very large number of people who have made the union with Spirit are the first invited guests to the feast of the king. Strange yet true, these are most often the ones who are so taken up with exercising their superior abilities in material ways that they ignore the call of the Spirit. When we refuse God’s invitations and make light of Spirit’s messages (kill them), the price we pay is loss of the spiritual abundance God has for us.
- wedding clothing. The most common meaning of garment is current attitude, toward self in general, toward the external, toward life events and other persons; so our prevailing or persistent attitude is our attitude-garment, becoming the garment of the moment, the garment being worn in any given situation. We put on the “wedding clothing” when we are clothed with right understanding of the Divine Principle and a careful conformity to it in thought and word.
- few chosen. We prepare ourselves to “be chosen” for union with God by our practicing spiritual thinking and living.
Paying Taxes to the Personal Will1
22:15 Then the Pharisees went and took counsel how they might entrap him in his talk. 22:16 They sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, "Teacher, we know that you are honest, and teach the way of God in truth, no matter who you teach, for you aren't partial to anyone. 22:17 Tell us therefore, what do you think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar,2 or not?"
They brought to him a denarius.
22:20 He asked them, "Whose is this image and inscription?"
22:21 They said to him, "Caesar's."
Then he said to them, "Give therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."3
22:22 When they heard it, they marveled, and left him,4 and went away.
- See Mark 12:13-17; Luke 20:20-26
- Caesar. In consciousness, Caesar represents the tyrannical rule of the personal self unmodified by spiritual love and mercy and justice. Until the spiritual grows wise enough, sometimes we must even must make certain agreements with our unenlightened human will. Let us give the right amount of care and attention to external interests, but remain true to Spirit and to our highest Truth (the things that are God’s).
- to God the things that are God’s. We are all stewards of Truth and of the riches of the inner kingdom. To be just stewards, we must spend these riches faithfully and use them aright.
- they marveled, and left Him. Though at times it may seem we are at the mercy of our unmodified self-will (Caesar), our spiritual essence (Jesus) is outside the domain of Caesar, and the wisdom of our spiritual man is its very protection.
Resurrection is Happening Now1
22:23 On that day Sadducees (those who say that there is no resurrection) came to him. They asked him, 22:24 saying, "Teacher, Moses said, 'If a man dies, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed for his brother.' 22:25 Now there were with us seven brothers. The first married and died, and having no seed left his wife to his brother. 22:26 In like manner the second also, and the third, to the seventh. 22:27 After them all, the woman died. 22:28 In the resurrection2 therefore, whose wife will she be of the seven? For they all had her."
22:29 But Jesus answered them, "You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God. 22:30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are like God's angels in heaven. 22:31 But concerning the resurrection of the dead, haven't you read that which was spoken to you by God, saying, 22:32 'I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?' God is not the God of the dead, but of the living." 22:33 When the multitudes heard it, they were astonished at his teaching.
- See Mark 12:18-27; Luke 20:27-39
- In the resurrection. The resurrection is the lifting up of the whole man (spirit, soul, and body) into the Christ consciousness. This is accomplished by the quickening power of the Holy Spirit which lifts up all the faculties of mind until they conform to the absolute ideas of Divine Mind. This renewal of the mind makes a complete transformation of the body so that every function works in Divine order and every cell becomes incorruptible and immortal. The resurrection is an organic change that takes place daily in all who are conforming their lives to the regenerating Truth of Jesus Christ.
The Greatest Commandment1
22:34 But the Pharisees, when they heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, gathered themselves together. 22:35 One of them, a lawyer, asked him a question, testing him. 22:36 "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?" 22:37 Jesus said to him, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.'2 22:38 This is the first and great commandment. 22:39 A second likewise is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' 22:40 The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments."
- See Mark 12:28-31; Luke 10:25-28
- With all your mind. Jesus confirms that the guarding of the thoughts of our minds with all our sincerity and strength is the most essential step to self-mastery and dominion. By continually setting our thoughts on the highest concept of the indwelling God, we are lifted into the realm of true thinking, where no wrong concepts of self or others are formed. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 981-82)
Your Heritage is Divine, not “of David”1
They said to him, "Of David."2
22:43 He said to them, "How then does David in the Spirit call him Lord, saying,
22:44 'The Lord said to my Lord,
sit on my right hand,
until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet?'
22:45 "If then David calls him Lord,3 how is he his son?"
22:46 No one was able to answer him a word, neither did any man dare ask him any more questions from that day forth.
- See Mark 12:35-37; Luke 20:21-44
- Of David. Because of its limited range of perception, the intellect (the Pharisees) cannot conceive the formless, and so it attributes superior knowledge to some other man, hence the Pharisee’s reply, “The son of David.”
- David calls Him Lord. The difference between the Divine and the human lineage of man is brought out in this question. Jesus did not give power to human heredity by tracing His descent through David, but showed that the Christ man, the Son of God, was the Higher Self or Lord, of David. David called upon the universal Lord to give power to his lord (spiritual consciousness). (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 1003)
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Mary Salama.
World English Bible Footnotes:
Authentic Spirituality: Woes to Memories and Doubts1
23:1 Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to his disciples,2 23:2 saying, "The scribes and the Pharisees sat on Moses' seat.3 23:3 All things therefore whatever they tell you to observe, observe and do, but don't do their works; for they say, and don't do. 23:4 For they bind heavy burdens that are grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not lift a finger to help them. 23:5 But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad, enlarge the fringes of their garments, 23:6 and love the place of honor at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, 23:7 the salutations in the marketplaces, and to be called 'Rabbi, Rabbi' by men. 23:8 But don't you be called 'Rabbi,' for one is your teacher, the Christ,4 and all of you are brothers. 23:9 Call no man on the earth your father, for one is your Father, he who is in heaven. 23:10 Neither be called masters, for one is your master, the Christ. 23:11 But he who is greatest among you will be your servant. 23:12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
23:14 "But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you shut up the Kingdom of Heaven against men; for you don't enter in yourselves, neither do you allow those who are entering in to enter. 23:15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel around by sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much of a son of Gehenna as yourselves.
23:16 "Woe to you, you blind guides, who say, 'Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obligated.' 23:17 You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifies the gold? 23:18 'Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gift that is on it, he is obligated?' 23:19 You blind fools! For which is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifies the gift? 23:20 He therefore who swears by the altar, swears by it, and by everything on it. 23:21 He who swears by the temple, swears by it, and by him who was living in it. 23:22 He who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God, and by him who sits on it.
23:23 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cumin, and have left undone the weightier matters of the law: justice, mercy, and faith. But you ought to have done these, and not to have left the other undone. 23:24 You blind guides, who strain out a gnat, and swallow a camel!
23:25 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and unrighteousness. 23:26 You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside6 of the cup and of the platter, that its outside may become clean also.
23:27 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitened tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but inwardly are full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. 23:28 Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
23:29 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and decorate the tombs of the righteous, 23:30 and say, 'If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we wouldn't have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.' 23:31 Therefore you testify to yourselves that you are children of those who killed the prophets. 23:32 Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers. 23:33 You serpents, you offspring of vipers, how will you escape the judgment of Gehenna? 23:34 Therefore, behold, I send to you prophets, wise men, and scribes. Some of them you will kill and crucify; and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city; 23:35 that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zachariah son of Barachiah, whom you killed between the sanctuary and the altar.7 23:36 Most certainly I tell you, all these things will come upon this generation.
- See Luke 11:47-51
- Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples. Jesus (the indwelling Christ) is talking to His multitude of receptive thoughts (the multitude) and spiritual helpers (the disciples). In referring to those who love the chief places and seats, Jesus illustrated the effects of working in the outer instead of the within. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 1008)
- The Scribes and the Pharisees sat on Moses’ seat. Scribes are thoughts that come to us from other personalities or books. There is a faculty of mind that receives and transcribes upon the tablets of memory every wave of thought that touches the consciousness. Pharisees are thoughts that arise out of the subconsciousness, binding us to external forms of religion without giving us an understanding of their real meaning. (MBD/scribes)
- One is your Teacher, the Christ. We are all enrolled in Jesus Christ’s school and He is our Teacher.
- Woe to you. Formalism in religious practices is not necessarily productive of spiritual progress and may in fact prevent the natural inflow of Spirit. If we are to be truly religious, we must give attention primarily to things of the Spirit. Jesus was warning them of the many woes and sorrows that would come if they persisted in living the outward life and continued to turn a deaf ear to the inspiration of Spirit.
- First clean the inside. It is a law of Spirit that “as within, so without.” Those who would grow spiritually must first deny or cleanse the mind of the false and limited beliefs of the sense man in order that they may become receptive to and unify themselves with Truth.
- The altar. The place in consciousness where we are willing to give up the lower to the higher, the personal to the impersonal, the animal to the Divine. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 1023)
Truth Cries Out in Our Soul1
23:37 "Jerusalem, Jerusalem,2 who kills the prophets, and stones those who are sent to her! How often I would have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you would not! 23:38 Behold, your house is left to you desolate. 23:39 For I tell you, you will not see me from now on, until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!'"
- See Luke 13:34-35
- Jerusalem, Jerusalem. Jerusalem, "habitation of peace," is the love center in consciousness. It is the abode of the good and the pure, but error thoughts of the mind cause it to become the habitation of wickedness.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Mary Salama.
World English Bible Footnotes:
 v23:5. phylacteries (tefillin in Hebrew) are small leather pouches that some Jewish men wear on their forehead and arm in prayer. They are used to carry a small scroll with some Scripture in it. See Deuteronomy 6:8.
The Transformation in Consciousness Foretold1
24:1 Jesus went out from the temple,2 and was going on his way. His disciples came to him to show him the buildings of the temple. 24:2 But he answered them, "Don't you see all of these things? Most certainly I tell you, there will not be left here one stone on another, that will not be thrown down."
- See Mk 13.1–2; Lk 21.5–6.
- out from the temple. We look to this chapter both as a prophecy and symbology of the regeneration process that takes place within us; the journey from the human to the Divine consciousness. The old is passing away and the new is being ushered in. Within ourselves, a temple represents material conditions, which Jesus taught would dissolve and disappear like a dream at the end of the age. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 1035-36)
The Signs of the End of a Stage of Consciousness1
24:3 As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things be? What is the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age?"
24:4 Jesus answered them, "Be careful that no one leads you astray.2 24:5 For many will come in my name, saying, 'I am the Christ,'3 and will lead many astray. 24:6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars.4 See that you aren't troubled, for all this must happen, but the end is not yet. 24:7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there will be famines, plagues, and earthquakes in various places. 24:8 But all these things are the beginning of birth pains.
- See Mk 13.3–8; Lk 21.7–11.
- “Be careful that no one leads you astray.” because wisdom requires us to keep our thoughts constructive by contemplating life rather than death.
- “I am the Christ.” Jesus refutes the belief that the Christ will be found in this personality or in that one; the truth is that Christ must be formed in us. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 1039)
- wars and rumors of wars. Wars represent mental states that disrupt peace and well-being of the body.
The Regeneration Process Foretold1
24:9 Then they will deliver you up to oppression,2 and will kill you. You will be hated by all of the nations for my name's sake. 24:10 Then many will stumble, and will deliver up one another, and will hate one another. 24:11 Many false prophets will arise, and will lead many astray. 24:12 Because iniquity will be multiplied, the love of many will grow cold. 24:13 But he who endures to the end, the same will be saved. 24:14 This Good News of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world for a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.3
- See Mk 13.9a, 13; Lk 21.12a, 17–19.
- oppression. Oppression, or "great tribulation," means sacrifice; the giving up of things. We must be willing for the old to pass away in order for the new to come in (regeneration). (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 1039)
- the end will come. When we have the power to keep the mind stayed on Principle, refusing to be influenced by outer conditions, then the end (of our current state of consciousness) will come.
Habits of Thinking that Lead to Desolation1
24:15 "When, therefore, you see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 24:16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 24:17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take out things that are in his house. 24:18 Let him who is in the field not return back to get his clothes. 24:19 But woe to those who are with child and to nursing mothers2 in those days!3 24:20 Pray that your flight will not be in the winter, nor on a Sabbath,4 24:21 for then there will be great oppression, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, nor ever will be. 24:22 Unless those days had been shortened, no flesh would have been saved. But for the sake of the chosen ones, those days will be shortened.
24:23 "Then if any man tells you, 'Behold, here is the Christ,' or, 'There,' don't believe it. 24:24 For there will arise false christs,5 and false prophets, and they will show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the chosen ones.
24:25 "Behold, I have told you beforehand. 24:26 If therefore they tell you, 'Behold, he is in the wilderness,' don't go out; 'Behold, he is in the inner chambers,' don't believe it. 24:27 For as the lightning flashes from the east, and is seen even to the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 24:28 For wherever the carcass is, there is where the vultures gather together.
- See Mk 13.14–23; Lk 17.23–24, 37; 21.20–24
- who are with child and to nursing mothers This refers to those who live under the law of generation. This is the age of regeneration, and anyone living under the law of generation will meet with hazardous conditions. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 1037-38)
- in those days! Spiritually interpreted, "those days" do not refer to some far off future date, but to man's own consciousness. When we are awakened to the truth about God and man and begin to practice that truth, then our material consciousness is nearing its last days of existence. Every day is the "last day" of the old way of thinking and the "beginning" of the new day. It is up to us to see that we do not give birth to material thoughts, words, and actions, for if we continue “nursing” grudges, fears, griefs, or inharmonies of any kind, we are depriving ourselves of the infinite blessings which each day holds for us. In order to enjoy each day’s blessings, we must stop generating negative thoughts and instead regenerate ourselves in the way of Spirit.
- winter, nor on a Sabbath. Winter and Sabbath are seasons of rest. In consciousness, there is a time to rest but there is also a time when one must be up and doing and not resting. There must be activity (inner work). (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 1038-39)
- false christs. Ideas in individual consciousness that are not true to Principle; a mixture of Spirit with matter. These ideas endeavor to deceive our most elect thoughts. In order to discern that which is true from that which is false, we must live very close to Spirit and seek the guidance of the Spirit of Truth, moment by moment. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 1041)
The Coming of the Higher Consciousness1
24:29 But immediately after the oppression of those days, the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light, the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken;2 24:30 and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky. Then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. 24:31 He will send out his angels3 with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together his chosen ones from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.
- See Mk 13.24–27; Lk 21.25–28.
- will be shaken. This refers no doubt to the various experiences one goes through in regeneration. In passing from one step to another, one’s existing consciousness is darkened by the inrush of universal (Higher or Divine) consciousness, but only for a season. Eventually the spiritual man must come into consciousness and the person raised up (great glory). (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 1042)
- will send out His angels. Angels symbolize thoughts direct from Divine Mind, whose nature is to draw to it the elect (our chosen, spiritual thoughts). Whereas up until now we had been getting spiritual information filtering through sense consciousness, we now will get it direct from God. From the four winds. The east represents the within; the west, the manifest; the north, the cold intellect without the warmth of Spirit; and the south, life on the natural plane. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 1043-44)
We Can Learn about Consciousness by Studying Nature1
24:32 "Now from the fig tree learn this2 parable. When its branch has now become tender, and puts forth its leaves, you know that the summer is near. 24:33 Even so you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near,3 even at the doors. 24:34 Most certainly I tell you, this generation will not pass away, until all these things are accomplished. 24:35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.4
- See Mk 13.28–32; Lk 21.29–33.
- from the fig tree learn this. Nature has its seasons, mind has its seasons. Just as we can predict effects that take place in nature by observing, studying, and understanding their underlying causes and the physical laws that govern them, we also, through consistent study and observation, can learn much about the nature of our minds and consciousness.
- know that it is near. The ability to foretell the future is a desirable development of our perceptive powers to the extent that we are prepared to devote the full force of our thought and effort.
- my Words will not pass away. Words of Truth will never “pass away,” that is, become inapplicable to changed conditions or circumstances. The inner universe of causes, which we designate as Divine Mind, will always remain, since it is eternal and infinite, not subject to no limitations of either time or space.
The Necessity for Watchfulness1
24:36 But no one knows of that day and hour, not even the angels of heaven, but my Father only. 24:37 "As the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 24:38 For as in those days which were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ship, 24:39 and they didn't know until the flood came, and took them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 24:40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and one will be left; 24:41 two women grinding at the mill, one will be taken and one will be left. 24:42 Watch therefore, for you don't know in what hour your Lord comes. 24:43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what watch of the night the thief was coming, he would have watched,2 and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. 24:44 Therefore also be ready, for in an hour that you don't expect, the Son of Man3 will come.
- See Lk 17.26–27, 34–35; 12.39–40
- watch … watch. The repetition of the word “watch” points to the necessity of being continually on the alert, in this way, one is never to be taken by surprise but is ready for emergencies and able to meet them in a way that preserves poise and mental balance. Our I AM or Christ Spirit, rightly followed, keeps us alert and watchful, ready always to serve the highest. (See Luke 12:35-48)
- The Son of Man. The Son of Man is the person that God created, our real Self.
Our Consistent Obedience, the Faithful Servant1
24:45 "Who then is the faithful and wise servant,2 whom his lord has set over his household,3 to give them their food in due season? 24:46 Blessed is that servant whom his lord finds doing so when he comes. 24:47 Most certainly I tell you that he will set him over all that he has. 24:48 But if that evil servant should say in his heart, 'My lord is delaying his coming,' 24:49 and begins to beat his fellow servants, and eat and drink with the drunkards, 24:50 the lord of that servant will come in a day when he doesn't expect it, and in an hour when he doesn't know it, 24:51 and will cut him in pieces, and appoint his portion with the hypocrites. There is where the weeping and grinding of teeth will be.
- See Lk 12.42–46.
- the faithful and wise servant. Represents our soul, whose function it is to watch over, guard, and protect the body and nourish it with the Word of Truth.
- whom his lord has set over his household. The “Lord” here is the higher Law of Life that is at work within us; the Spirit of Life that governs the human being. But if our soul becomes lethargic and our mind dulled by the ascendancy of sense desires, we become an evil servant, unresponsive to the calls of the Spirit.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Mary Salama.
World English Bible Footnotes:
Parable of the Virgin Senses of the Soul
25:1 "Then the Kingdom of Heaven1 will be like ten virgins, who took their lamps, and went out to meet the bridegroom. 25:2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wise.2 25:3 Those who were foolish, when they took their lamps, took no oil with them, 25:4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 25:5 Now while the bridegroom delayed, they all slumbered and slept. 25:6 But at midnight there was a cry, 'Behold! The bridegroom is coming! Come out to meet him!' 25:7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 25:8 The foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' 25:9 But the wise answered, saying, 'What if there isn't enough for us and you? You go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.' 25:10 While they went away to buy, the bridegroom came,3 and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. 25:11 Afterward the other virgins also came, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open to us.' 25:12 But he answered, 'Most certainly I tell you, I don't know you.' 25:13 Watch therefore,4 for you don't know the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.
- The kingdom of heaven a state of consciousness in which soul and body are in harmony with Divine Mind. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution/Ten Bridesmaids)
- foolish, and five were wise. The ten virgins represent the senses. They are five in number but they have a twofold action. The outer are connected with the inner and both draw their supply from the same source. The eye has an inner eye, the ear an inner ear, feeling is more a matter of sympathy than of physical touch, tasting involves discrimination, and the sense of smell becomes the intuitive cognition of values.
- the bridegroom came. The coming of the bridegroom, which is the subtle joining of spirit, soul, and body, is so deep in consciousness that we do not know when it takes place. We feel the result in a greater satisfaction and harmony, and this is in reality the forming in us of the kingdom of heaven. This kingdom is built up in human consciousness day by day, or rather, degree by degree; time is not a factor.
- Watch therefore. The parable of the ten virgins is an object lesson in spiritual preparedness. To be prepared for the hour of union (marriage), we must remain mentally alert (constantly supplied with oil). The way to supply oil in the lamps is to affirm that the source of our seeing, hearing, smelling, feeling, and tasting is not material but spiritual understanding.
Parable of the Soul’s Talents 1
25:14 "For it is like a man, going into another country, who called his own servants, and entrusted his goods to them.2 25:15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one; to each according to his own ability. Then he went on his journey. 25:16 Immediately he who received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five3 talents. 25:17 In like manner he also who got the two gained another two. 25:18 But he who received the one went away and dug in the earth, and hid his lord's money.
25:19 "Now after a long time the lord of those servants came, and reconciled accounts with them. 25:20 He who received the five talents came and brought another five talents, saying, 'Lord, you delivered to me five talents. Behold, I have gained another five talents besides them.'
25:21 "His lord said to him, 'Well done,4 good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a few things, I will set you over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'
25:22 "He also who got the two talents came and said, 'Lord, you delivered to me two talents. Behold, I have gained another two talents besides them.'
25:23 "His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a few things, I will set you over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'
25:24 "He also who had received the one talent came and said, 'Lord, I knew you that you are a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter. 25:25 I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent5 in the earth. Behold, you have what is yours.'
25:26 "But his lord answered him, 'You wicked and slothful servant. You knew that I reap where I didn't sow, and gather where I didn't scatter. 25:27 You ought therefore to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received back my own with interest. 25:28 Take away therefore the talent from him, and give it to him who has the ten talents. 25:29 For to everyone who has will be given, and he will have abundance, but from him who doesn't have, even that which he has will be taken away. 25:30 Throw out the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'
- See Lk 19.12–27
- entrusted his goods to them. The Divine Mind is “the man who entrusted His goods” to His servants and went “into another country.” (Jesus’ Soul Evolution/The Talents)
- made another five. We have within us (our soul) both a capacity to increase our knowledge of Divine Mind, as well as to evolve and bring it forth (made another five.) The five talents also represent the five senses.
- Well done. The right use of our senses and capacities to know God is commended by the Lord.
- hid your talent. The cause of failure is not incapacity but failure to use the capacity one has. Potential capacity is really all that we possesses until we make these talents our very own by opening up their “inner” side.
The Purification of the Imagi-Nations
25:31 "But when the Son of Man1comes in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 25:32 Before him all the nations will be gathered, and he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.2 25:33 He will set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 25:34 Then the King will tell those on his right hand, 'Come, blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 25:35 for I was hungry, and you gave me food to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in; 25:36 naked, and you clothed me; I was sick, and you visited me; I was in prison, and you came to me.'
25:37 "Then the righteous3will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry, and feed you; or thirsty, and give you a drink? 25:38 When did we see you as a stranger, and take you in; or naked, and clothe you? 25:39 When did we see you sick, or in prison, and come to you?'
25:40 "The King will answer them, 'Most certainly I tell you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.' 25:41 Then he will say also to those on the left hand, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels; 25:42 for I was hungry, and you didn't give me food to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink; 25:43 I was a stranger, and you didn't take me in; naked, and you didn't clothe me; sick, and in prison, and you didn't visit me.'
25:44 "Then they will also answer, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and didn't help you?'
25:45 "Then he will answer them, saying, 'Most certainly I tell you, inasmuch as you didn't do it to one of the least of these, you didn't do it to me.' 25:46 These will go away into eternal punishment4but the righteous into eternal life."
- the Son of man. The Son of God is Christ, the Divine Idea of Man. The Son of man is Adam, the manifestation of Christ. When it dawns upon us (the Son of man) that we are in reality Christ (the Son of God), a higher consciousness is born in us and we rule instead of being ruled. This is symbolically pictured as “he will sit on the throne of his glory.” (Jesus’ Soul Evolution/Judgment of the Nations)
- sheep from the goats. The sheep represent our receptive, obedient, productive thoughts. The goats represent our aggressive, disobedient thoughts. When Divine understanding enters the mind, it quickens the discriminating faculty. Our standard becomes absolute Truth and requires us to deny all motives, thoughts, and acts that do not accord with it (the goats), and to affirm those in harmony with it (the sheep). Thus the sheep are separated from the goats.
- the righteous. The appetites, passions, and thoughts are in fact righteous servants of mind and body; they minister to us while we are yet bound in sense consciousness. When the Higher Self (the Lord) comes into dominion and recognizes the service of these silent workers, they are surprised at being set at the right hand and are told that when they served the body, which is brother of the mind, they were at the same time serving the Christ.
- eternal punishment. The goats (adverse states of thought) being sent into eternal punishment implies purification, which is not a punishment.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Mary Salama.
World English Bible Footnotes:
 v25:7. The end of the wick of an oil lamp needs to be cut off periodically to avoid having it become clogged with carbon deposits. The wick height is also adjusted so that the flame burns evenly and gives good light without producing a lot of smoke.
Plot to Release the Truth1
26:1 It happened, when Jesus had finished all these words, that he said to his disciples, 26:2 "You know that after two days the Passover2 is coming, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified."
26:3 Then the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders of the people were gathered together in the court of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas. 26:4 They took counsel together that they might take Jesus by deceit, and kill him.3 26:5 But they said, "Not during the feast, lest a riot occur among the people."
- See Mark 14:1-2; Luke 22:1-2; John 11:47-53
- the Passover. the passing over from one state of consciousness to another, preparing for a great awakening. The I Am Itself (Jesus) is the Passover Lamb. (MBD/Passover)
- and kill Him. When a new spiritual unfoldment (the Christ) takes place, the higher intellectual consciousness (symbolized by Caiaphas and his followers) plot to do away with this spiritual power. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 1083)
Truth is Empowered when we Pour ourselves out in Loving Service to Others 1
26:6 Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, 26:7 a woman came to him having an alabaster jar of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he sat at the table.2 26:8 But when his disciples saw this, they were indignant, saying, "Why this waste? 26:9 For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor."
26:10 However, knowing this, Jesus said to them, "Why do you trouble the woman? Because she has done a good work for me. 26:11 For you always have the poor with you; but you don't always have me. 26:12 For in pouring this ointment on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. 26:13 Most certainly I tell you, wherever this Good News is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of as a memorial of her."
- See Mark 14:3-9; Luke 7:36-50; John 12:1-8
- The anointing of Jesus' feet by "the woman having an alabaster jar of very expensive ointment" is the willingness of love to serve. As metaphysicians, our tendency may be to concentrate more upon our understanding of the Word of God, but we learn by experience that the cold science of mind without the warmth of the heart is a very chilly doctrine. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 1087-88)
A Life of Praise Promises to Release the Truth 1
26:14 Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas2 Iscariot, went to the chief priests, 26:15 and said, "What are you willing to give me, that I should deliver him to you?" They weighed out for him thirty pieces of silver. 26:16 From that time he sought opportunity to betray him.
- See Mark 14:10-11; Luke 22:3-6; John 11:57
- who was called Judas. Among our disciples, or faculties, is one whose tendency is such that through it we are brought into condemnation and suffering. Self-appropriation (Judas) is the sin that brings tragedy. Judas represents the unredeemed life forces which are a thief and a destroyer and a betrayer. They deliver up Jesus for gratification of flesh desire (thirty pieces of silver). As in the days of Jesus, so it is today—misuse of the life faculty is deceiving the whole world, and even metaphysicians who are free in every other way are bound by its false reasoning. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 1090-91)
The Mind’s Passover 1
26:17 Now on the first day of unleavened bread, the disciples came to Jesus, saying to him, "Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover?"2
26:18 He said, "Go into the city to a certain person, and tell him, 'The Teacher says, "My time is at hand. I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples."'"
26:19 The disciples did as Jesus commanded them, and they prepared the Passover. 26:20 Now when evening had come, he was reclining at the table with the twelve disciples. 26:21 As they were eating, he said, "Most certainly I tell you that one of you will betray me."
26:22 They were exceedingly sorrowful, and each began to ask him, "It isn't me, is it, Lord?"
26:23 He answered, "He who dipped his hand with me in the dish, the same will betray me. 26:24 The Son of Man goes, even as it is written of him, but woe to that man through whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would be better for that man if he had not been born."
26:25 Judas, who betrayed him, answered, "It isn't me, is it, Rabbi?"
He said to him, "You said it."
Establishing a Life of Inner Communion 1
26:26 As they were eating, Jesus took bread2, gave thanks for it, and broke it. He gave to the disciples, and said, "Take, eat; this is my body."3 26:27 He took the cup, gave thanks, and gave to them, saying, "All of you drink it,4 26:28 for this is my blood of the new covenant,5 which is poured out for many6 for the remission of sins.7 26:29 But I tell you that I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on, until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father's Kingdom." 26:30 When they had sung a hymn,8 they went out to the Mount of Olives.
- See Mark 14:22-26; Luke 22:15-20,39; I Cor. 11:23
- bread, wine. Bread represents the body of Christ, or Spirit [which is nonphysical and not yet formed substance]. Wine is the expressed life of the vine, a symbol of the very blood of life. We partake Spiritual communion whenever we appropriate (eat and drink) the Word of Truth, both in our minds and in our lives.
- body, blood. The body is spiritual flesh or substance made permanent by the Word of God that Jesus spoke. His blood is Spirit life, the quickening element in creation. Both are of the universal essence or substance, which cannot be destroyed.
- Take, eat ... drink. The appropriation or right use of substance is necessary to us in a threefold way: we must appropriate substance in the form of physical food, in the form of ideas, and in the form of spiritual aspirations and ideals.
- the new covenant. The new covenant is the ultimate promise of God; the promise of spiritual freedom through Christ.
- poured out for many. Through Jesus' experience on the cross, He lowered His consciousness to that of the race and thereby was enabled to administer to the race a wonderful blood transfusion which we all understand so well implanted in both soul and body, the seed of eternal life here and now — the seed of Divine Substance, here and now.
- remission of sins. The blood of Jesus Christ (the pure Christ life) takes away thirst for sin, and the world is saved through the absence of desire for sin. When we mentally appropriate the body and drink the blood of Jesus Christ, we become conscious of spiritual life and substance as the reality of being, and we are freed from the limiting thought of our flesh and blood bodies.
- sung a hymn. Inasmuch as they make the mind receptive to Truth, the giving of thanks and singing of Psalms or hymns are all expressions that aid in the ushering in of spiritual consciousness.
God anticipates our Denials 1
26:31 Then Jesus said to them, "All of you will be made to stumble because of me tonight, for it is written, 'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.' 26:32 But after I am raised up, I will go before you into Galilee."
26:33 But Peter answered him, "Even if all will be made to stumble because of you, I will never be made to stumble."2
26:34 Jesus said to him, "Most certainly I tell you that tonight, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times."
26:35 Peter said to him, "Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you." All of the disciples also said likewise.
Jesus Prays in Gethsemane1
26:36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane,2 and said to his disciples, "Sit here, while I go there and pray."3 26:37 He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee,4 and began to be sorrowful and severely troubled. 26:38 Then he said to them, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here, and watch with me."
26:39 He went forward a little, fell on his face, and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from me; nevertheless, not what I desire, but what you desire."5
26:40 He came to the disciples, and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, "What, couldn't you watch with me6 for one hour? 26:41 Watch and pray,7 that you don't enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."8
26:42 Again, a second time he went away, and prayed, saying, "My Father, if this cup can't pass away from me unless I drink it, your desire be done." 26:43 He came again and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 26:44 He left them again, went away, and prayed a third time, saying the same words. 26:45 Then he came to his disciples, and said to them, "Sleep on now, and take your rest. Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 26:46 Arise, let's be going. Behold, he who betrays me is at hand."
- See Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:40-46; John 18:1
- Gethsemane. Means "oil press." It symbolizes the place in consciousness where the finer essences of the spirit are pressed forth and raised to higher planes of expression.
- “Sit here, while I go there and pray.” In time of distress we turn instinctively to prayer for help. That Jesus brought all His faculties (disciples) with Him in this experience shows that we can meet our tests successfully, only as we apply all our powers to each as it arises.
- Peter and the two sons of Zebedee. In a crisis, some faculties need to be quickened and active before all others. Jesus took with Him Peter, John, and James (faith, love, and judgment) to the place where He was to pray, leaving the other disciples seated a little distance away.
- not what I desire, but what You desire. Jesus chose to unite His human will with the Divine will, and lose consciousness of the human in the deeper consciousness of the Divine.
- couldn’t you watch with Me? Faith (Peter) that is dulled by lack of daily exercise or application to spiritual ends is no better than skepticism; love (John) that is allowed to grow sluggish or self-centered instead of remaining alert and vigilant is of no value; and judgment (James) that ceases to function constructively is a liability instead of an asset.
- Watch and pray. Remaining watchful and prayerful is especially helpful to us in times of testing, that we may avoid the temptation of slipping back into an easy acceptance of the race thought instead of relying stoutly on the spiritual foundation that God is sufficient to support us, no matter what we go through.
- "The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." This statement speaks to the necessity of spiritualizing the "flesh" or so-called “material mind” until we are schooled to rely completely on the higher power of God in all emergencies or trials.
The Betrayal of our Inner Christ 1
26:47 While he was still speaking, behold, Judas,2 one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and clubs, from the chief priest and elders of the people. 26:48 Now he who betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, "Whoever I kiss, he is the one. Seize him." 26:49 Immediately he came to Jesus, and said, "Hail, Rabbi!" and kissed him.3
26:50 Jesus said to him, "Friend, why are you here?" Then they came and laid hands on Jesus, and took him. 26:51 Behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck the servant of the high priest, and struck off his ear. 26:52 Then Jesus said to him, "Put your sword back into its place, for all those who take the sword will die by the sword. 26:53 Or do you think that I couldn't ask my Father, and he would even now send me more than twelve legions of angels? 26:54 How then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that it must be so?"
26:55 In that hour Jesus said to the multitudes, "Have you come out as against a robber with swords and clubs to seize me? I sat daily in the temple teaching, and you didn't arrest me. 26:56 But all this has happened, that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled."
- See Mark 14:43-50; Luke 22:47-53; John 18:3-11
- Judas. Our faculties are represented by the disciples of Jesus Christ. Among them we have “a Judas” (life faculty). In its highest. 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 life faculty (Judas) is redeemed by our first letting go of the idea that we possess anything, even the life and substance of our own physical organism. This renunciation constitutes part of the “remission of sins.”
- kissed Him. Every time we use the life and substance of Spirit to further sense demands, our personal I Am or Christ (Jesus) is betrayed anew into the hands of His enemies.
The Word of God Stands Silent before our Inner High Priests 1
Then all the disciples left him, and fled. 26:57 Those who had taken Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were gathered together. 26:58 But Peter followed him from a distance, to the court of the high priest,2 and entered in and sat with the officers, to see the end. 26:59 Now the chief priests, the elders, and the whole council sought false testimony against Jesus, that they might put him to death; 26:60 and they found none. Even though many false witnesses came forward, they found none. But at last two false witnesses came forward, 26:61 and said, "This man said, 'I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.'"
26:62 The high priest stood up, and said to him, "Have you no answer? What is this that these testify against you?" 26:63 But Jesus held his peace. The high priest answered him, "I adjure you by the living God, that you tell us whether you are the Christ, the Son of God."
26:64 Jesus said to him, "You have said it. Nevertheless, I tell you, after this you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of the sky."
- See Mark 14:53-65; Luke 22:54-55,63-71; John 18:13-24
- the court of the high priest. High Intellectual thoughts (the high priests) claim to be the Truth. We may know a great deal about Truth with our intellects, but when something comes that is beyond our understanding and we have to accept it on faith, [we may often find that we are preferring to follow Truth “from a distance.”] (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 1145)
- blasphemy. When a purely spiritual thought is trying to replace an intellectual thought, it meets opposition on some ground or other. A leading significance of blasphemy is a tendency to think we can go too far in spiritualizing our thoughts and their environment.
- spit in His face and beat Him. Spitting in Jesus’ face and buffeting Him symbolizes utter disapproval and contempt of the spiritual Man.
Our Moments of Denial 1
26:69 Now Peter was sitting outside in the court, and a maid came to him, saying, "You were also with Jesus, the Galilean!"
26:70 But he denied it before them all,2 saying, "I don't know what you are talking about."
26:71 When he had gone out onto the porch, someone else saw him, and said to those who were there, "This man also was with Jesus of Nazareth."
26:72 Again he denied it with an oath, "I don't know the man."
26:73 After a little while those who stood by came and said to Peter, "Surely you are also one of them, for your speech makes you known."
26:74 Then he began to curse and to swear, "I don't know the man!"
Immediately the rooster crowed. 26:75 Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said to him, "Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times." He went out and wept bitterly.3
- See Mark 14:66-72; Luke 22:55-62; John 18:25-27
- he denied it before them all. Peter’s action reveals how our faith is often tempted to waver when we face alarming situations, adversity, and persecutions. When our faith is not yet established so that we hold firmly to Truth in the face of great opposition, we fall from our high standard. [When we reach moments when the Truth seems to have failed us (in that moment, Jesus was appearing to be a failure and a fraud), we may be tempted to go along with the popular trend instead of being faithful to the Christ (he denied it).] (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 1149)
- wept bitterly. Until faith within us is identified with the Christ, we find that it is extremely vacillating. As a result, many times we weep bitterly.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Mary Salama.
World English Bible Footnotes:
The Word of Truth Brought to the Intellect1
27:1 Now when morning had come, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death:2 27:2 and they bound him, and led him away, and delivered him up to Pontius Pilate,3 the governor.
- See Mk 15.1; Lk 22.66; 23.1; Jn 18.28.
- put Him to death. The oppositional activity of the chief priests and elders towards Jesus symbolizes the intellectual quibbling that goes on within us when we stand in a moment of new light (morning) yet are unable to lay hold of new inspiration because we are so steeped in intellectuality and more concerned with defending ourselves, and so we continue to oppose this new light (the Christ). (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 1159)
- Pilate, the governor. Pilate symbolizes the carnal will. He represents that in individual consciousness which has not caught the light sufficiently to depend wholly upon Spirit, but works to retain its worldly prestige. (MBD/Pilate)
The Transformation of Judas: from self-acquisition to a life of praise
27:3 Then Judas,1 who betrayed him, when he saw that Jesus was condemned, felt remorse, and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, 27:4 saying, "I have sinned in that I betrayed innocent blood."
But they said, "What is that to us? You see to it."
27:5 He threw down the pieces of silver in the sanctuary, and departed. He went away and hanged himself. 27:6 The chief priests took the pieces of silver, and said, "It's not lawful to put them into the treasury, since it is the price of blood." 27:7 They took counsel, and bought the potter's field2 with them, to bury strangers in. 27:8 Therefore that field was called "The Field of Blood" to this day. 27:9 Then that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled, saying,
"They took the thirty pieces of silver,
the price of him upon whom a price had been set,
whom some of the children of Israel priced,
27:10 and they gave them for the potter's field,
as the Lord commanded me."
- Judas. Judas, the last disciple Jesus called, symbolizes desire; appropriation; acquisitiveness. Exercised in its natural realm, it draws to us the supplies of the Universe, but when under the domination of the intellect, it oversteps the Law and becomes a destroyer. This brings about tragedy. Judas killed himself. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 1153)
- the potter’s field. the place in consciousness where we bury all dead, negative, impoverished thought forces. The potter's field also pertains to the redeeming blood of Jesus Christ in that Jesus lowered His consciousness to that of the race and “spilled His blood [in the field of the world],” in order to sow the seed of eternal life into the race consciousness.
The Intellect Questions the Truth 1
27:11 Now Jesus stood before the governor:2 and the governor asked him, saying, "Are you the King of the Jews?"
Jesus said to him, "So you say."
27:12 When he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing. 27:13 Then Pilate said to him, "Don't you hear how many things they testify against you?" 27:14 He gave him no answer, not even one word, so that the governor marveled greatly.
- See Mk 15.2–5; Lk 23.2–3; Jn 18.29–38.
- the governor. As our governor, the intellect questions: "Is there a ruling will over my religious nature?" But because the I AM within us (Jesus) is the Truth and so does not need to resort to outer methods of defending Itself, “He answered nothing.” (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 1160)
With whom do we identify: Barabbas or Jesus? 1
27:15 Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release2 to the multitude one prisoner, whom they desired. 27:16 They had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas. 27:17 When therefore they were gathered together, Pilate said to them, "Whom do you want me to release to you? Barabbas, or Jesus, who is called Christ?" 27:18 For he knew that because of envy they had delivered him up.
27:19 While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife3 sent to him, saying, "Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him." 27:20 Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the multitudes to ask for Barabbas, and destroy Jesus. 27:21 But the governor answered them, "Which of the two do you want me to release to you?"
They said, "Barabbas!"
27:22 Pilate said to them, "What then shall I do to Jesus, who is called Christ?"
They all said to him, "Let him be crucified!"
27:23 But the governor said, "Why? What evil has he done?"
But they cried out exceedingly, saying, "Let him be crucified!"
- See Mk 15.6–14; Lk 23.18–23; Jn 18.39–40.
- at the feast ... accustomed to release. A feast symbolizes a notable event that people celebrate by eating and drinking to the glory of God—that is, spiritually partaking of Divine Substance. When we affirm spiritually, we release or deny error and materiality, here represented by the robber, Barabbas.
- his wife. Pilate's wife symbolizes the soul having intuition, through which it is guided by the Holy Spirit in dreams. She represents that in consciousness that has in a measure received spiritual quickening and seeks to protect the Christ within, as best it can. The psychical nature may be spiritually awakened so that flashes of truth are revealed in dreams and visions, but have no enduring influence in consciousness. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 1169-70)
Just take this Truth Away from Me! 1
27:24 So when Pilate saw that nothing was being gained, but rather that a disturbance was starting, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, "I am innocent2 of the blood of this righteous person. You see to it."
27:25 All the people answered, "May his blood be on us, and on our children!"
27:26 Then he released to them Barabbas, but Jesus he flogged and delivered to be crucified.
- See Mk 15.15; Lk 23.24–25; Jn 19.16.
- I am innocent. The intellectual man would rather let the lower forces of being (Barabbas) go free. Sometimes we want to simply wash our hands of the whole affair; we know that Truth is the right way (“this righteous Person”) and yet like Pilate, we let the voice of the mob prevail and crucify our highest aspirations. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 1170)
When our Inner Forces Mock the Truth 1
27:27 Then the governor's soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium, and gathered the whole garrison together against him. 27:28 They stripped him, and put a scarlet robe on him. 27:29 They braided a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and a reed in his right hand; and they kneeled down before him, and mocked him,2 saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!" 27:30 They spat on him, and took the reed and struck him on the head. 27:31 When they had mocked him, they took the robe off of him, and put his clothes on him, and led him away to crucify him.3
- See Mk 15.16–20; Jn 19.2–3.
- mocked Him. Mockery is an exultation of the petty, personal self over the realities of love and Truth.
- to crucify Him. The crucifixion is not a destructive process but a transformative process. The personal man (Jesus) has to give up entirely to the spiritual man (Christ). The crucifixion is a great victory, not a tragedy. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 1173)
The Crossing Out of Error, to Truth 1
27:32 As they came out, they found a man of Cyrene,2 Simon by name, and they compelled him to go with them, that he might carry his cross. 27:33 They came to a place called "Golgotha,"3 that is to say, "The place of a skull." 27:34 They gave him sour wine to drink mixed with gall. When he had tasted it, he would not drink. 27:35 When they had crucified him,4 they divided his clothing among them, casting lots, 27:36 and they sat and watched him there. 27:37 They set up over his head the accusation against him written, "THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS."5
27:38 Then there were two robbers6 crucified with him, one on his right hand and one on the left. 27:39 Those who passed by blasphemed him, wagging their heads, 27:40 and saying, "You who destroy the temple, and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross!"
27:41 Likewise the chief priests also mocking, with the scribes, the Pharisees, and the elders, said, 27:42 "He saved others, but he can't save himself. If he is the King of Israel, let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him. 27:43 He trusts in God. Let God deliver him now, if he wants him; for he said, 'I am the Son of God.'" 27:44 The robbers also who were crucified with him cast on him the same reproach.
- See Mk 15.21–32; Lk 23.26–43; Jn 19.17–27.
- a man of Cyrene. Cyrene means wall; coldness (Cyrene, MBD). It refers to fixed (cold) states of thought in the realm of sense, and yet they are illumined to the measure they represent what we hope for and mentally see as possibilities in our lives. These thoughts in some degree help to relieve the pressure (carry the cross) brought to bear by the intellectual man. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 1175)
- a place called Golgotha. "The place of a skull," represents the place in consciousness where the intellect is crossed out to make way for the Spirit. In order to gain the supreme goal, God consciousness, it is necessary for the seeker after Truth to cross out the domination of the intellect or personal self and in its stead to permit the victorious Christ Spirit to have dominion. Jesus (the intellectual) was crucified at the place of the skull so that Christ (Truth) might become all in all.
- crucified Him. As when ice is melted into water and water is changed into steam the essential elements are not only preserved and nothing is lost, but the power is much increased, so it is with each change that takes place in our unfoldment, each one a forward step until the spiritual man comes forth in us, in all His glory. The crucifixion represents the final erasure of error from consciousness. Every time we give up an error, there is a crucifixion. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 1174-75, 1182)
- "THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS" Signifies the universality of the Word that was and is to go forth to all the world, reaching people everywhere, in Spirit, soul, and body (“Hebrew, Greek, and Latin,” or “religion, culture, and law”).
- there were two robbers. Represent the past and the future, which rob man of his peace and happiness; the one by means of regrets for unfulfilled promises, the other by means of apprehension for the future.
Truth Releases Its Spirit in Us 1
27:45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land2 until the ninth hour. 27:46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lima sabachthani?" That is, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"3
27:47 Some of them who stood there, when they heard it, said, "This man is calling Elijah."
27:48 Immediately one of them ran, and took a sponge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him a drink. 27:49 The rest said, "Let him be. Let's see whether Elijah comes to save him."
27:50 Jesus cried again with a loud voice, and yielded up his spirit. 27:51 Behold, the veil of the temple was torn4 in two from the top to the bottom. The earth quaked and the rocks were split. 27:52 The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised;5 27:53 and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection, they entered into the holy city and appeared to many. 27:54 Now the centurion, and those who were with him watching Jesus, when they saw the earthquake, and the things that were done, feared exceedingly, saying, "Truly this was the Son of God."6
27:55 Many women were there watching from afar, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, serving him. 27:56 Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.
- See Mk 15.33–41; Lk 23.44–49; Jn 19.25–30.
- "darkness over all the land" The failure of understanding that settles upon the soul and casts its shadow upon mind and body in times of great trial.
- "My God, my God, why have you forsaken Me?" Jesus’ words here symbolize the struggle and the passing away of the very last of the natural state of consciousness in Jesus. Like all the other allegories of Jesus' life, the death on the cross is less important as a historical event than it is as a demonstration of an experience common to everyone passing from the human to the Divine. We have our crucifixions, deaths, and burials, yet none of them are real when we believe in the power of the One Life to save us to the uttermost. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 1189)
- the veil of the temple was torn. The relinquishment of the soul to God is the final giving up of all human ambitions and aims. When this point is reached, the soul enters into glory [“beyond the veil” of materiality].
- saints who had fallen asleep were raised. We have buried away in the subconscious mind saintly thoughts. [When the Word of Truth resurrects or expands within us (Jesus resurrected), so also do all the sleeping “saintly” thoughts within us awaken.]
- “Truly this was the Son of God.” Divine Law is always being fulfilled, even in circumstances of apparent lawlessness and cruelty. Divine Mind uses human instruments in its outworking of the law and no circumstance [or human mind] is beyond its transforming touch; it brings good out of what appears to be altogether evil.
Truth Gets Buried Within Us 1
27:57 When evening had come, a rich man from Arimathaea, named Joseph,2 who himself was also Jesus' disciple came. 27:58 This man went to Pilate, and asked for Jesus' body. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given up. 27:59 Joseph took the body, and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 27:60 and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut out in the rock, and he rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb, and departed. 27:61 Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary,3 sitting opposite the tomb.
- Mk 15.42–47; Lk 23.50–56; Jn 19.38–42
- Joseph of Arimathaea. A high lofty state of consciousness that recognizes the Christ. His tomb represents an elevated, peaceful state of consciousness in which Jesus rested the three days previous to His resurrection. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 1194-95)
- and the other Mary. [While the number of “Mary’s” mentioned can be confusing, the point is that the naming of several different Mary’s (representing a phase of the soul’s evolution) at the crucifixion, death, and tomb of Jesus points to the fact that many phases of our soul support and stand witness to our own inner transformation and journey from error to Truth.]
The Memory of Truth in Us is Well-Guarded
27:62 Now on the next day, which was the day after the Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees were gathered together to Pilate, 27:63 saying, "Sir, we remember what that deceiver said while he was still alive: 'After three days I will rise again.' 27:64 Command therefore that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest perhaps his disciples come at night and steal him away, and tell the people, 'He is risen from the dead;' and the last deception will be worse than the first."
- make it as secure as you can. The reasoning, intellectual man always endeavors to make sureness doubly sure. The tomb was sealed to guard against fraudulent methods to satisfy their distrustful nature. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 1197)
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Mary Salama.
World English Bible Footnotes:
We are Resurrecting, Daily1
28:1 Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn on the first day of the week, Mary2 Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. 28:2 Behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord3 descended from the sky, and came and rolled away the stone4 from the door, and sat on it. 28:3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 28:4 For fear of him, the guards shook, and became like dead men. 28:5 The angel answered the women, "Don't be afraid,5 for I know that you seek Jesus, who has been crucified. 28:6 He is not here, for he has risen,6 just like he said. Come, see the place where the Lord was lying. 28:7 Go quickly and tell his disciples, 'He has risen from the dead,7 and behold, he goes before you into Galilee; there you will see him.' Behold, I have told you."
They came and took hold of his feet, and worshiped him.
- See Mk 16.1–8; Lk 24.1–12; Jn 20.1–18.
- as it began to dawn ... Mary. Mary is the first part of our soul or consciousness to become aware of the resurrection of the Christ within us. A ray of light penetrates the soul as it perceives that love (the Christ) abides.
- an angel of the Lord. A manifestation of the principle of denial and affirmation. This principle is needed and capable to rid our souls of fear (“For fear of him, the guards shook”).
- the stone. The stone may be likened to hard, heavy thoughts (such as prejudice, condemnation, and unbelief) that keep good from coming into manifestation.
- “Don’t be afraid.” The principle of denial and affirmation, when clothed in the garment of Truth (“clothing as white as snow”), is a power strong enough to raise the body to renewed consciousness of life.
- He has risen. We resurrect our body by putting a new mind into it, the Mind of Spirit. A resurrection takes place in us every time we rise to a realization of the perpetual in-dwelling life that connects us with the Father.
- He has risen from the dead. The Christ life is a dynamic, not a static experience. Easter commemorates not only Jesus Christ's victory over death, but also the countless "minor resurrections" in your life and mine as we seek the true Christ consciousness that will eventually spiritualize the body.
Intellectual Forces Report to the High Priest1
28:11 Now while they were going, behold, some of the guards came into the city, and told the chief priests2 all the things that had happened. 28:12 When they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave a large amount of silver to the soldiers, 28:13 saying, "Say that3 his disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept. 28:14 If this comes to the governor's ears, we will persuade him and make you free of worry." 28:15 So they took the money and did as they were told. This saying was spread abroad among the Jews, and continues until this day.
- See Mt 27:62-66.
- guards came ... and told the chief priests. The soldiers and the guards here represent forces within the consciousness that carry out the dictates of their superior, in this case the high priest (intellectuality). These forces become frightened and return to the priest in authority. (Jesus’ Soul Evolution 1207)
- Say that. When intellectual thoughts are trapped, they resort to falsehood and trickery to save themselves, which of course ends in defeat.
The Commissioning of our Mind
28:16 But the eleven disciples went into Galilee,1 to the mountain where Jesus had sent them. 28:17 When they saw him, they bowed down to him, but some doubted.2 28:18 Jesus came to them and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. 28:19 Therefore go, and make disciples of all nations,3 baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 28:20 teaching them to observe all things4 that I commanded you. Behold, I am with you always,5 even to the end of the age." Amen.
- went into Galilee. Galilee symbolizes energy of life; life activity. "Galilee" associated with "mountain" symbolizes a high consciousness of life. This is where our mind meets with our Christ (where the disciples were to meet with Jesus).
- but some doubted. The disciples represent our faculties. Our work is to train them to occupy the "kingdom of the heavens" within us. Some enter into it readily while others remain unmoved (some doubted).
- make disciples of all nations. The authority of the Christ in us is to be exercised through the quickening of our countless faculties (making disciples of all the nations), exalting them to the consciousness of God in Christ and filling them with the Spirit.
- teaching them to observe all things. We do not follow the Christ way except by our own will, and we must allow others the same opportunity. The Christ way presupposes that by teaching and example, others (the nations) will also learn to follow the Christ way of life gladly and of their own free will. To be taught the wisdom of keeping the Law is a very different thing from being forced to keep it without understanding why.
- I am with you always. These words assure us that we have the Power to live the perfect life by holding ourselves steadfastly in the Christ consciousness.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Mary Salama.
World English Bible Footnotes:
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