Metaphysical meaning of Jesus (mbd)
Jesus, je'-sus (Gk. fr. Heb. Jeshua or Joshua)--whose help Jehovah is; deliverance; safety; salvation; Savior; Deliverer; helper; prosperer; deliverance through Jehovah.
Jesus of Nazareth, son of Mary, and, according to the present-day Christian belief, the Savior of mankind. "Thou shalt call his name JESUS; for it is he that shall save his people from their sins" (Matt. 1:21).
Jesus represents God's idea of man in expression; Christ is that idea in the absolute. Jesus Christ was the type man, which includes all the mental phases through which man passes in demonstrating life's problems. So we find Jesus Christ passing through all the trials, temptations, and mental variations of each of us, "yet without sin," that is, not falling under the dominion of evil thoughts. The experiences of each individual are in miniature the experiences of all.
We may "put on the new man," that is, bring forth Jesus Christ in ourselves. First we must put away the "old man" of error and limitation through denial of his reality. The second step is to accept the truth of our being, in faith; then through understanding to begin diligently to live Truth in thought, word, and deed. The Christ is the man that God created, the perfect-idea man, and is the real self of all men; Jesus Christ is this Christ self brought forth into perfect expression and manifestation.
Jesus, the man of Nazareth, demonstrated that this attainment is possible to man, and as a consequence He is the type-man. We are exhorted to "have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus," which implies that all may demonstrate as He did. To make this attainment requires careful training of the thoughts. The mind that was in Christ Jesus was the mind of God, so we know that we must be perfect even as the Father in heaven is perfect. This seems an almost superhuman attainment, and so it is. The human has to be put away and the divine established in its place. The human is transient and fallible; the divine is permanent and infallible.
In the individual consciousness the meaning of Jesus' being born in Bethlehem of Judea is that the principles of Truth have laid hold of the intelligent substance of Spirit (Bethlehem), and through praise (Judea) have brought the Christ into manifestation.
It is wise to protect the newborn spiritual consciousness from contact with Herod, the personal ego. Herod seeks "the young child to destroy him," but under the guidance of Spirit no harm comes to the Child. He is taken down into Egypt (down into the protected places of the subconsciousness), to remain until the personal ego destroys itself; then the Christ child is free to come forth and to express.
Jesus' going about all the cities and villages, teaching, preaching, and healing, represents the I AM in its universal capacity as a teacher and harmonizer of its own mental and bodily conditions (Matt. 9:35).
The temptation of Jesus (Matt. 4:111) took place within Himself. The place of overcoming is within the consciousness of man. When we follow Jesus we rise above the demands of the flesh-and-sense world. The forty days' fast is an all-round denial of sense demands. In fasting, we in our thoughts live above the material needs. We are "led up," and our appetites and passions are for a season in such an eclipse that we think that they will trouble no more. But "he afterward hungered." There is a return to sense consciousness.
The Devil is personality, the adverse consciousness that has been built up in ignorance and disregard of the divine law.
The temptation to turn stones into bread illustrates the thought of ignorance that deceives people with the belief that they can satisfy the soul with materiality, without looking for the bread that comes from heaven, the Word of God. We must feed our soul with new truths daily, that we may grow in spiritual ways.
To worship the Devil is to worship personality; to live in personal consciousness and give it the substance of our life and thought. When the temptation arises in our consciousness to use our God-attained spiritual faculties and powers for the building of our personal ambitions, we should know that under the divine law there is but one worthy of our worship and service, the Lord God. To serve God we must build up spirituality in mind, body, and affairs.
In Luke 4:16-30 Jesus represents the Spirit of truth declaring its mission and power in the place of its development, the common, everyday mind. The highest spiritual Truth may be flashed into your mind while you are performing the commonest duties of life. Nazareth is a type of inferiority; it was considered a community of commonplace, if not disreputable, people. "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth ?" Yet in that mediocre village Jesus was reared--and in any one's mediocre mind the Christ Truth is expressed.
We know many of the trite statements of Truth so well that we find it hard to conceive that they are the mighty power that can relieve us from the bonds of sense. "Is not this Joseph's son?" But in no other place shall we find the Truth that sets free. The power that brings salvation from every ill is within us; it is in the gracious words of the indwelling Christ. "To-day hath this scripture been fulfilled in your ears." Every day our inner ears are filled full of this Truth. We know the right, we know the just, we know the pure. This is "this scripture" that is written on the heart.
Do you ask for a sign of power? Do you want miraculous healing without fulfilling the law of right thinking and right doing? Then you are not receiving the Christ Spirit rightly. You are seeking the temporal instead of the eternal, and if you let this superficial phase of mind rule, you will reject the Christ Spirit and cast it out of your midst.
Mark 9:2-13 tells us of the Transfiguration: Jesus went up into a mountain to pray, and was there transfigured. Prayer always brings about an exalted or rapid radiation of mental energy, and when it is accompanied by faith (Peter), love (John), and judgment (James) there is a lifting up of the soul that electrifies the body; the raiment (the aura surrounding the body) shines with glistening whiteness.
The presence of Moses and Elijah represents the two processes through which this picture of the purified man is to be objectified or demonstrated in real life. The first is the Mosaic or evolutionary process of nature through which there is a steady upward trend of all things. This evolutionary process is part of a spiritual plan for the redemption of the human race from its fallen state. The other is the ability of the prophet Elijah, or spiritual discerner of Truth, to make conditions change rapidly on the mental plane, to be in due season worked out in substance. Thus we are told in the lesson that Elijah must first come and restore all things. The mind must first be set right through spiritual understanding; then comes the demonstration.
Peter's proposing to erect three tabernacles carries out this idea of a substance manifestation for each; but Peter's ideas were vague as to the process, hence the accompanying voice out of the cloud, "This is my beloved Son: hear ye him."
To "tell no man what things they had seen, save when the Son of man should have risen again from the dead," means that we shall not consider these mental pictures as real, and so. discuss them. They represent ideas that can be understood only when they are demonstrated in the risen man. ("These mental pictures" refers to visions, dreams, and all that we see in our high moments of illumination.)
Jesus rode an ass into Jerusalem (Matt. 21:1-9). In Oriental countries, in Bible times, kings and rulers rode the ass, and this animal was the accepted bearer of royalty. In the man-consciousness, the animal part is typified by the ass, and its being ridden into Jerusalem by Jesus portrays the mastery by the I AM of the animal nature and its manifestation (colt). Jerusalem means habitation of peace and signifies spiritual consciousness.
"The Lord hath need of them." These forces of the so-called lower nature in man are necessary to his full expression. A man or woman with the animal nature asleep or suppressed is but partially alive. The vital fires are in this department of being, and it is in this purifying furnace that the material man is melted and the pure gold extracted.
Those who live on the plane of mere animal generation do not ride the ass into Jerusalem--they are not masters of their animal nature--but, like the beasts of the field, are mere slaves to animal desire.
In the regeneration these animal forces are turned inward; they become powers in a higher field of action. To fulfill this part of their mission they must be wholly weaned from animal habits. So long as the animal rules, the man is a slave. When the I AM man takes charge of the body, a new order of things is inaugurated. The vitality is no longer wasted in mere sense gratification. Through high and pure ideals the whole consciousness is raised to a higher standard. Through interior thought concentration the subtle essences of the organism are transmuted to vibratory energies and become important factors in building up that pure body which is to triumph over death.
Let not the one who is indulging the sense man in his animal ways think that he is on the royal road into Jerusalem. "Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." The Lord is the higher ruling principle in man; it is to be in supremacy, not the lower. There is much sophistry among a certain school of metaphysicians who love to live the life of the animal, and call it God. The Master metaphysician said, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." Another said, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth unto his own flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth unto the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap eternal life."
The characteristics of the ass are meekness, stubbornness, persistency, and endurance. To ride these is to make them obedient to one's will. The outer thoughts, or people, recognize that some unusual movement of mind is going on, and they fall into line. Their cry, "Hosanna," means save now. A change of base from personal willfulness to meekness and obedience stirs the whole consciousness, or city, and there is questioning about the cause. Simply saying in the silence, "Not my will, but thine, be done," often stirs up a commotion, and then there is questioning as to the cause. The answer is, "This is the prophet [one who states the spiritual law], Jesus [the I AM], from Nazareth [place of development] of Galilee" (life activity). Rendered in modern metaphysical terms this would read, "This is the supreme I AM stating the law of Spirit in development of life action."
The betrayal of Jesus means, to individual consciousness, the appropriation and use in sense ways of the life and substance that the higher self imparts to us in our periods of exaltation. When we deny the bondage of sense and affirm our spiritual freedom, we set free in the organism an energy or vibratory force that goes through the nerves to every part. This is the eating of the Passover with our disciples. But these disciples, or faculties, are not all in understanding of the divine law and they do not use this spiritual force in right ways. This is shown by their desire to have first place (see Luke 9:46), implying carnal ambition. Jesus demonstrated humility and a willingness to serve--which is always a sign of the true disciple--by washing their feet.
Judas represents the personal self of the body, whose center of consciousness is in the sex function. This consciousness is directly connected with appetite and feeling. This is indicated by the phrase, "He that dipped his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me." In body consciousness that which we eat is finally appropriated by this function and deposited in the seminal glands as a reserve supply for the whole nervous system. In this respect its office is good, and when its work is well done, physical harmony ensues.
Judas develops selfishness and sense desire, however. He steals the substance that should go to the upbuilding of the organism, and wastes it in sexual and other sense sensations. In this way he is a "thief" and is possessed of "a devil." When the new life from the spiritual fountain is poured into the body, Judas absorbs so much of it that its identity and power are lost in the consciousness, which is typified by the betrayal of the Christ. In the end Judas destroys himself, because he is ignorant of the constructive law.
There is, however, a feeding of all the faculties through descent of the divine life and substance, which is typified by the eating and drinking of the body and the blood of the Master. When we know the ways of Judas we are on our guard and we declare the law for him, and thus pave the way for his final redemption.
At the crucifixion of Jesus it was the human consciousness of a perishable body that died. "Our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away, that so we should no longer be in bondage to sin." When the thoughts of sin and death are crossed out, the spiritual truth about life and its manifestation in the body takes form in consciousness. "The Spirit of him that raised up Jesus . . . shall give life also to your mortal bodies." This is pictured in the resurrection of Jesus as an angel of the Lord descending from heaven (the ruling spiritual kingdom) and rolling away the stone from the door of the tomb.
This angel in man's consciousness is the spiritual I AM. "I am the resurrection, and the life." The tomb represents the most negative phase of material thought or human ignorance. The descent of the spiritual ego into consciousness brings divine intelligence and power within and without. "His appearance was as lightning, and his raiment white as snow."
The first affirmation of the I AM for its body is that it is not under any limitation of material thought; that it is free with the freedom of Spirit. "He is not here: for he is risen." The second affirmation of the I AM for its body is a swift and universal proclamation of omnipresence and activity in all realms of consciousness. "Go quickly, and tell his disciples, He is risen . . . and . . . goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you."
Jesus resurrected the body that was crucified; this is forcibly brought out in the Scripture account of the crucifixion. He did this by putting into the body the true state of consciousness. "Put on the new man, that after God hath been created in righteousness and holiness of truth."
We can resurrect our body just as Jesus resurrected His. "Follow me." We can overcome, and make our body like the body of Jesus. We must do this. "The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made me free from the law of sin and of death." We resurrect our body by putting a new mind into it--the mind of Spirit. "Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind." Ignorance and sin kill the body; understanding and righteousness bring it to life.
The three days that Jesus was in the tomb represent the three movements of mind that are involved in overcoming error. First, nonresistance and humility, second, the taking on of the divine activity, or receiving the will of God; third, the assimilation and fulfillment of the divine will.
In consciousness the two women, "Mary Magdalene and the other Mary," symbolize the feminine side of the soul forces of Jesus (manifest man). "Mary Magdalene" signifies love redeemed. "The other Mary" represents pure life thoughts welling up from the subconsciousness.
The "angel of the Lord" represents positive spiritual thought of the perfect law of life. The "watchers" at the tomb are the thoughts that tend to limit the activity of the body consciousness. The "disciples" represent ideas of Divine Mind that have centers of action in body consciousness.
The spiritual meaning of the two women's being sent to tell the disciples of the resurrection is that divine love and life must be felt in the centers of action in body consciousness as a result of spiritual thought (angel) before a demonstration or resurrection is complete (Matt. 28:1-10).
Jesus did not leave the planet, at His ascension; He simply entered the inner spiritual realms. He will become visible to those who "put on Christ" and manifest their incorruptible, undying bodies. Many are conscious of His presence in some degree, but they do not see Him as He is, because they have not brought their faculties of apprehension up to His standard. When we awake in His likeness (see Psa. 17:15) then we shall see Him as He is. This does not come about through the soul's leaving the body, but it is accomplished by refining, spiritualizing, and raising both soul and body to higher degrees of power.
Jesus exists in a realm of being where the limitations of form are dissolved. He lives in the body idea. When we have identified ourselves with the Father-Mind as Jesus identified Himself with it, we shall see Him face to face in His spiritual reality. But while we are in the consciousness of the physical body Jesus appears to us in that form. Those who see Jesus in these days as a man with form see a mental picture impressed upon their souls by Jesus. He "stood by" Paul in the same way. Many have seen Him in this mind mirage; but we shall not see Him as He is until we awake in His likeness. If the mind has grasped the capacity and power of spiritual ideas, then the appearance of Jesus will be understood.