Acts 13 Metaphysical Bible Interpretation

Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Acts Chapter 13

Metaphysically Interpreting Acts 13:1-3

13:1Now there were at Antioch, in the church that was there, prophets and teachers, Barnabas, and Symeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen the foster-brother of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 13:2And as they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. 13:3Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.
September 12, 1948: Acts 13:1-3

Why were Barnabas and Saul chosen for missionary work among the Gentiles?  Because of their superior qualifications for the task, mainly their firm faith, loyalty, courage, and resourcefulness, as well as their zeal for Truth. The will and imagination illumined by the Christ turn all the thoughts toward Truth.

Metaphysically Interpreting Acts 13:4-12

13:4So they, being sent forth by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.13:5And when they were at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John as their attendant. 13:6And when they had gone through the whole island unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Bar-jesus; 13:7who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of understanding. The same called unto him Barnabas and Saul, and sought to hear the word of God. 13:8But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn aside the proconsul from the faith. 13:9But Saul, who is also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, fastened his eyes on him, 13:10and said, O full of all guile and all villany, thou son of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? 13:11And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand. 13:12Then the proconsul, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord.
April 23, 1944: Acts 13:1-4

In the beginning of Saul's ministry he preached in the synagogues and to the Jews instead of the Gentiles. What is the significance of this fact? Normally we are transformed through the religious instinct, which is more readily influenced by appeals to spiritual truth then are the secular instincts.

Why were Barnabas and Saul "separated" and called to preach to the Gentiles? Barnabas represents the inspired imagination or spiritual understanding; Saul the inspired and regenerated will. These two faculties are especially fitted to influence and reclaim those parts of our nature which have been steeped in worldliness or materiality and which seem to have no place in life as it is lived in the Christ consciousness.

The two disciples passed through Seleucia without lingering there. What does this signify? The name Seleucia means "beaten by waves," "troubled." The will and inspired imagination or understanding do not allow the mind to remain in a troubled state but pass on at once to a fair, unbiased state of mind (Cyprus means "fairness").

September 9, 1923: Acts 13:1-5

In verse 2 it is recorded that the Holy Spirit said "Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them." Explain. Barnabas and Saul represent the word and the will educating the soul. These faculties, associated with zeal, speedily lift love out of darkness into light.

What is signified by: "When they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away"? Metaphysically interpreted, fasting means the denial of all thoughts that limit the growth of the soul to material sources. Prayer is the affirmation of the reality of spiritual things. The laying on of hands represents the impartation of the power of the word, and sending them away is the freedom that we give our thoughts in the unlimited realms of the absolute.

In verse 5 it is recorded that Paul and Silas proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues, with John as their attendant. Give the metaphysical meaning of this. The synagogues of the Jews represent aggressions of religious thoughts based upon Truth, thoughts that have not yet received the inspiration of the Holy Spirit; that is, the whole truth. The presence of John as an attendant represents that this inspiration was accomplished through love.

July 29, 1928: Acts 13:1-5

What is the spiritual meaning of the church that was established in Antioch? The church that was established at Antioch symbolizes and assembling of spiritual thoughts. The church at Antioch represents the first establishment of the Christ consciousness in man.

What is represented by the separation of Paul and Barnabas for a special work? Paul and Barnabas were chosen or deputized to teach and preach to the Jews. The Jews represent ideas of Truth, circumscribed by ecclesiastical narrowness. The preaching of Paul and Barnabas stirred up the people.

October 27, 1946: Acts 13:1-5

What is represented by the five prophets and teachers in the church at Antioch who are named in the beginning of this lesson? They represent the interpreters of Spirit to the outer or sense consciousness.

Individually what is each one's significance? Barnabas signifies "son of consolation." His original name was Joseph, which represents the imagination. Renamed Barnabas by the disciples, he still represents the imagination, but now it is brought into expression through association with the word of Truth (Paul). Symeon, who was called Niger, represents hearing or expectation; Lucius ("light") represents understanding; Manaen ("comforter," "consoler") represents the activity of the Holy Spirit in individual consciousness in its role of comforter or consoler. Saul ("demanded," "asked for") represents the action of the will entertaining that which it desires, in this case through the spoken word.

In the beginning of Saul's ministry he preached in the synagogues and to the Jews instead of the Gentiles. What is the significance of this fact? Normally we are transformed through the religious instincts, which are more readily influenced by appeals to spiritual truth than are the secular instincts.

Why were Barnabas and Saul "separated" and called to preach to the Gentiles? Barnabas represents the inspired imagination or spiritual understanding, Saul the inspired and regenerated will. These two faculties are especially fitted to influence and reclaim those parts of our nature which have been steeped in worldliness or materiality (the Gentiles) and which seem to have no place in life as it is lived in the Christ consciousness.

The two disciples passed through Seleucia without lingering there. What does this signify? The name Seleucia means "beaten by waves," "troubled." The will and inspired imagination or understanding do not allow the mind to remain in a troubled state but pass on at once to a fair, unbiased state of mind (Cyprus means "fairness").

August 7, 1921: Acts 13:1-12

What is the spiritual meaning of the church that was established at Antioch? The church at Antioch represents the first establishment of the Christ Consciousness in man.

What are the five prophets and teachers that were there? They are the interpreters of the Spirit to the outer, or sense consciousness.

What does Elymas, the sorcerer, stand for? The meaning of Elymas is magician, corrupter. He represents the mortal thought which tries to counterfeit the working of the Spirit.

When the mind resists the Truth, what is the effect? Mental resistance closes the doors and windows of the mind, and shuts out the light of Spirit. Then the darkness of ignorance pervades the consciousness; and there is dependence on external leadings.

When the personal consciousness is rendered inoperative, what is the effect? The reasoning faculty (the proconsul), observing the effect of Spirit, is astonished at its power, and believes the Truth.

July 5, 1925: Acts 13:1-12

What does the planting of the Christian church at Antioch represent in man's consciousness? The planting of the Christian church at Antioch represents the establishing of truth in man's consciousness.

Paul and Barnabas journeyed to different places, preaching the gospel and founding Christian assemblies. What is represented by these activities? One of the meanings of the word "Antioch" is "speedy as a chariot," implying swiftness and the capacity for sending forth the word of truth. From Antioch the Gospel was carried speedily to many centers in that locality, and the word of Truth was implanted especially was this work accomplished in the outer or Gentile realm of consciousness.

Why did the Lord separate Paul and Barnabas from the others and appoint them to do a chosen work? Barnabas represents the sun or thought of Spirit; Paul represents the obedient will. These two powers of mind, working together in the consciousness, produce a very progressive unfoldment in the soul development.

What does Bar-Jesus, the false prophet, represent? Bar-Jesus represents the personal ego, or adversary.

What does Sergius Paulus, the proconsul, represent? As explained in verse 7, Sergius Paulus, "a man of understanding," represents a subconscious intelligence of the soul.

When the personal ego attempts to turn aside the truth in a well-ordered, regenerating soul, what follows? The redeemed will, Paul, filled with the Spirit of truth, gives direct attention to the error; in other words, he fastens his eyes on him and says: "O full of all guile and all villainy, thou son of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?"

When one in the consciousness of Spirit makes such proclamations, what follows? The power of the Lord, or the spiritual I AM, descends upon the false ego, which loses power to assert its errors, as explained in verse 11.

After the deceptive personal consciousness is rendered inactive (verse 12), what is the next step in the development of the consciousness? "Then the proconsul, when we saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord." The understanding perceives the power of the Higher Self (the Lord), accepts Truth, and becomes a willing disciple.

June 23, 1935: Acts 13:1-12

What has spiritual service to do with the kingdom? Through spiritual service the kingdom of heaven is ushered into man's consciousness.

Why must one set one's own life in order before one is qualified to help others? Since order is heaven's first law, obedience to law begins in the realization of order within oneself.

What transformation does a clearer and fuller understanding of Truth work in our life? First, is displaces the habit of misjudgment with spiritual perception, enabling us to see the divine perfection innate in every one. Next, it invests our spoken word with power to dispel sin and sickness. It brings a consciousness of peace to our inner forces. It ends all discord, covetousness, and greed, and puts in their place sure faith and confidence.

In what world does each man live? In the world made by his own thoughts. Therefore no two persons live in exactly the same world, and it is within every one's power to remake his world according to the pattern of his desire.

August 30, 1938: Acts 13:1-12

Explain the difference between active and passive faith. Passive faith is mere intellectual acceptance of Truth without the believer's attempting to prove it for himself. Active faith is the belief on which man relies in his conducts and by which he shapes his life. The test of faith is whether it works in practical affairs.

How do we prove out faith in the physical domain? By proclaiming the truth that the body is composed of the one substance and is therefore spiritual and perfect in essence, we realize physical wholeness and are able to maintain ourselves in health that our faith assures us is our divine birthright.

How is faith made practical in the mental realm? Faith is invaluable to man in overcoming doubt, worry, anxiety, materialism, and the lack of vision that makes life monotonous and burdensome. All these mental states are controllable by faith in God, and man exerts his faith best by putting it into words of Truth either uttered or silent.

What is meant by the statement "The true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth"? (John 4:23) When the spirit shown by man is habitually Godlike, and when the mainspring of his thoughts and acts is sincerity, he worships God in spirit and truth and knows God through the very essence of being.

What is represented by Paphos? This place name represents an overzealous state of mind that leads man to overrate his understanding of Truth and his power to demonstrate it practically in his life and affairs. The word of Truth (Paul) spoken in this consciousness seems to bring to the surface both good (Sergius Paulus) and evil (Bar-Jesus).

Is personal consciousness easily displaced by spiritual consciousness in man? Man can leave personal consciousness behind and enter spiritual consciousness whenever the will to make this change comes uppermost in his mind. The I AM put into action becomes the I will by which realization is assured.

June 8, 1941: Acts 13:1-12

What does the calling of Barnabus and Saul represent? It represents in symbols the need of dedicating the illumined will and the inspired imagination to the work of transforming man from the selfish, self-centered state of personality to the selflessness of the one who has grasped the truth that all men are one.

What do the journeys of Saul and Barnabus to the various places mentioned in the lesson mean? These movements represent the teaching of the word of Truth and its illumination of the centers of consciousness in man's organism.

Are the ways to which the Holy Spirit appoints a person all ways of ease and pleasantness? No. Paul and Barnabus went first "down to Seleucia," the name of which means "beaten by waves," "troubled," "tossed," and that represents a state of uncertainty deep in the subconsciousness. This state must be overcome before a person is fitted to lead others into a knowledge of Truth.

What does Salamis as the stopping point represent? A state of thought that is protective, preservative, uplifting, fertile, harmonious, and wise.

What takes place when a person is in this state? His religious nature is developed and properly expressed. The word of God is proclaimed in the synagogues of the Jews, and its power is effective.

What does Paphos represent? Paphos (heated, boiling) represents a very zealous state of mind tending to deception.

Why is the sorcerer bar-Jesus named Elymas "by interpretation"? The name Elymas means "a magician." Bar-Jesus followed the practice of magic as a means of livelihood.

Why did the man of understanding, Sergius Paulus, have with him a person whose trade was trickery? The name Sergius Paulus means "little searcher." The proconsul was seeking Truth wherever it might be found. Until Paul and Barnabus arrived Sergius Paulus had turned to magic as a possible road to greater understanding. When occasion offered he "sought to hear the word of God."

What are the "right ways of the Lord" that are perverted by magic and sorcery? Communion with God in prayer and meditation is the right way for man to realize power. Magic puts the power of the mind to perverted uses, and the great works that it claims are but sleight of hand.

February 12, 1950: Acts 13:4, 5

The first city visited by Paul and Barnabas was so Seleucia. What is the significance of this fact? Seleucia ("beaten by waves," "troubled," "tossed") represents emotional instability, which makes peace and spiritual development  impossible to the individual. Paul and Barnabas did not linger in Seleucia but sailed from there to the island of Cyprus.

Has imagination (Barnabas) a close connection with the intellect (the Greeks)? Yes, imagination stirs the intellect to explore and discover new truths. Barnabas was a native of Cyprus, where there were many Greeks.

Metaphysically Interpreting Acts 13:13-52

13:13Now Paul and his company set sail from Paphos, and came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departed from them and returned to Jerusalem. 13:14But they, passing through from Perga, came to Antioch of Pisidia; and they went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down. 13:15And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on. 13:16And Paul stood up, and beckoning with the hand said,
Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, hearken: 13:17The God of this people Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they sojourned in the land of Egypt, and with a high arm led he them forth out of it. 13:18And for about the time of forty years as a nursing-father bare he them in the wilderness. 13:19And when he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, he gave them their land for an inheritance, for about four hundred and fifty years: 13:20and after these things he gave them judges until Samuel the prophet. 13:21And afterward they asked for a king: and God gave unto them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for the space of forty years. 13:22And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king; to whom also he bare witness and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My heart, who shall do all My will. 13:23Of this man's seed hath God according to promise brought unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus; 13:24when John had first preached before his coming the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.13:25And as John was fulfilling his course, he said, What suppose ye that I am? I am not he. But behold, there cometh one after me the shoes of whose feet I am not worthy to unloose.
13:26Brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and those among you that fear God, to us is the word of this salvation sent forth. 13:27For they that dwell in Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath, fulfilled them by condemning him. 13:28And though they found no cause of death in him, yet asked they of Pilate that he should be slain.13:29And when they had fulfilled all things that were written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a tomb. 13:30But God raised him from the dead: 13:31and he was seen for many days of them that came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now his witnesses unto the people. 13:32And we bring you good tidings of the promise made unto the fathers, 13:33that God hath fulfilled the same unto our children, in that he raised up Jesus; as also it is written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. 13:34And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he hath spoken on this wise, I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David13:35Because he saith also in another psalm, Thou wilt not give Thy Holy One to see corruption. 
13:36For David, after he had in his own generation served the counsel of God, fell asleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption: 13:37but he whom God raised up saw no corruption. 13:38Be it known unto you therefore, brethren, that through this man is proclaimed unto you remission of sins: 13:39and by him every one that believeth is justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. 13:40Beware therefore, lest that come upon you which is spoken in the prophets: 13:41Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish; For I work a work in your days, A work which ye shall in no wise believe, if one declare it unto you.
13:42And as they went out, they besought that these words might be spoken to them the next sabbath. 13:43Now when the synagogue broke up, many of the Jews and of the devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas; who, speaking to them, urged them to continue in the grace of God. 13:44And the next sabbath almost the whole city was gathered together to hear the word of God. 13:45But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with jealousy, and contradicted the things which were spoken by Paul, and blasphemed. 13:46And Paul and Barnabas spake out boldly, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first be spoken to you. Seeing ye thrust it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. 13:47For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee for a light of the Gentiles, That thou shouldest be for salvation unto the uttermost part of the earth.
13:48And as the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of God: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. 13:49And the word of the Lord was spread abroad throughout all the region. 13:50But the Jews urged on the devout women of honorable estate, and the chief men of the city, and stirred up a persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and cast them out of their borders.13:51But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium. 13:52And the disciples were filled with joy with the Holy Spirit.
October 22, 1933: Acts 13:13-15

How is this understanding revealed? This understanding comes from the Holy Spirit, which is an epitome of Divine Mind projected into human consciousness. The church of God or of Christ is first a mental perception; it must go through certain processes before it is wholly established in the consciousness.

Metaphysically speaking, what is the meaning of Antioch? Antioch means "formulated theology." This state of mind in us must be Christianized thoroughly. Our ideas of God and of man's relation to him must undergo a great change before we can begin uplifting and unifying the whole man – spirit, soul, and body – in life.

April 9, 1939: Acts 13:16

Where did Paul preach the sermon of today's lesson, and what does the name represent? The sermon was delivered and Antioch (withstanding, lasting) of Pisidia (pitchy, clinging, tenacious), a province in Asia (a state of consciousness impregnated by old, material, outworn ideas which must be discarded by the one who would progress spiritually).

April 9, 1939: Acts 13:23-31

Why is John the Baptist mentioned in connection with the Savior? John baptized his followers, and his baptism represents denial. Baptism symbolizes the getting rid of the limited thoughts that encumber and darken the understanding, in preparation for the entering of the Christ light.

To whom is "the word of this salvation" sent? To all who believe in the spiritual content of life and who are interested in mastering the saving principle of the Christ. The natural man has no interest in the things of God, and the word of salvation makes no impression on him.

How does man lay hold of the resurrection life? By a conscious act evidencing his faith in the ever living Christ. The resurrection life can be entered into at any time, for it is eternal and not limited to life beyond the grave or to mere physical life.

What do "they that dwell in Jerusalem, and their rulers" represent; and how does ignorance of the Christ and its manifestations affect them? The religious life of man, especially the formal beliefs that a man holds in order to be in conformity with the ideas of others in his class, are represented by the phrase "they that dwell in Jerusalem, and their rulers." When a man's faith is bound up in the husks of formalism and he has no understanding of the indwelling Christ and its power, he fulfills the law negatively, and the result is adversity and suffering for him.

What is the metaphysical import of the statement "God raised him from the dead"? Jesus identified Himself so completely with the divine life principle that death could not hold him. God (life) therefore raised Him from the dead.

June 15, 1941: Acts 13:44-52

What does the gathering together of "almost the whole city . . . to hear the word of God" represent? This verse describes symbolically the concentrating of all man's thoughts on the desire for more light on the things of God.

What is the metaphysical meaning of the Sabbath? It is a season of prayer and meditation, a resting from the demands of the personal, and an abiding in the inner realm of peace and quietness for the sake of the renewed strength and poise to be gained by this means.

Why were the Jews filled with jealousy at sight of the interest shown by the multitude in this new teaching? The Jews represent traditional beliefs and opinions based on the authority of custom. This state of mind is opposed to all innovation and resists all change.

Why is it necessary to appeal first to man's religious instinct when undertaking to help him understand reality? Because the religious instinct is man's closest link with reality and gives rise to his highest and best thought.

Is faith alone enough to promote man's growth in the Christ? No, faith alone that is divorced from wisdom and love makes one bigoted instead of liberal minded. Liberal-mindedness is one of the conditions of growth.

How did the Jews to whom Paul and Barnabas spoke judge themselves unworthy of eternal life? By harboring feelings of jealousy and giving expression to these and other thoughts of strife the Jews condemned themselves instead of the objects of their ill will.

What is the "light of the Gentiles" mentioned in this lesson? By this is meant the understanding that man's whole nature – spirit, soul, and body – is subject to the action of Divine Mind, and can be lifted up and transformed into the image of perfection by its power.

What is understood by the words "as many as were ordained to eternal life believed"? As many as were disposed to believe in eternal life through the way of the Christ accepted the teaching.

Is there a power that can make the illumined will and the imagination ineffectual? The emotions (devout women of honorable estate), when aroused to the defense of inherited faith and prejudice (Jews and chief men of the city), neutralize the action of the will and the imagination. Upon the beginning of the persecution described in this lesson Paul and Barnabas left for Iconium.

April 9, 1939: Acts 13:38, 39

How is every one that believes the Christ "justified from all things" for which the law of Moses would hold him accountable? When faith in the indwelling Christ is claimed and called into active expression, it enables man to overcome all the adversaries that might otherwise wear down his resistance and conquer him.

September 6, 1931: Acts 13:42-52

What does a synagogue of the Jews represent? A synagogue of the Jews represents an aggregation of religious ideas in the subconscious mind that have received a degree of spiritual understanding.

What is symbolized by the breaking up of a synagogue? When a new statement of Truth (represented by Paul and Barnabas) enters the mind, it disintegrates fixed religious ideas, and they scatter; but the most devout ideas are attracted to Truth and follow it continually.

After the spiritual thoughts in the consciousness are scattered, how are they again brought together? The answer is found in the 44th verse: "And the next Sabbath almost the whole city was gathered together to hear the word of God." The Sabbath represents a period of meditation and prayer.

What is represented by the jealousy felt by the Jews when they saw the multitudes eager for the new understanding of Truth? Although the Jews represent the truest religious thoughts, these have become crystallized in adherence to religious rites and ceremonies, and thus outer ceremonies have taken the place of the inward truths that they represent. There is a legend purporting to explain how the cat became one of the sacred objects of worship in Egypt: A holy man was bothered during his meditation by his house cat's jumping into his lap. So he tied the cat to the leg of a chair. His followers, observing this, concluded that the tied cat was a part of the worship; so, before beginning a period of prayer, each tied a cat to his chair. As time went on the holy man's followers drifted away from prayer and meditation, but they continue to worship the cat.

When the inner Israel consciousness resists new statements of truth, what should we do? We should follow the example of Paul and Barnabas given in the 46 verse. When we cannot reconcile the new Truth with our inherited religious ideas, we should appeal to the logic and reason of the mind, represented by the Gentiles.

Where in this lesson do we find this appeal to the outer realms of consciousness? In the 47th verse we find the answer to this question: "For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee for a light of the Gentiles, That thou shouldest be for salvation unto the uttermost part of the earth."

Is the wording in the 48th verse: "As many as were ordained to eternal life believed," a correct translation? No. According to the original Greek, as given in the Emphatic Diaglott, this should be translated "As many as were disposed for aionian [age-lasting] Life, believed."

The 51st verse states that Paul and Barnabus "shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium." Explain. Shaking the dust off one's feet means the denying of material and mental beliefs and the affirming of the image-and-likeness-of-God consciousness, which brings one to Iconium (I-AM-age).

October 27, 1946: Acts 13:44-46, 48, 49

How did the Jews judge themselves "unworthy of eternal life"? By refusing to hear the word of Truth and receive it through the channels of spiritual understanding and regenerated will (Barnabas and Paul). They preferred instead to cling to traditional theological conceptions instead of finding original truth for themselves.

How were the Gentiles able to glorify the word of God? The Gentiles represent the unregenerate state of mind in us. This state is subject to regeneration, and as it is regenerated through faith and acceptance of Truth the word of God is glorified or proved to be of universal application. "The word of the Lord was spread abroad throughout all the region."

July 29, 1928: Acts 13:44-49

Why did the preaching of Paul and Barnabas create a commotion among the Jews? When truth is taught by those who have received the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, all persons respond who have been at all awakened spiritually.

After the spiritual or religious thoughts in the consciousness are scattered, how are they again brought together? The answer is found in verse 44: "And the next Sabbath almost the whole city was gathered together to hear the word of God." The Sabbath represents a period of meditation and prayer.

What is represented by the jealousy felt by the Jews when they saw the multitude eager for the new understanding of Truth? Although the Jews represent the truest religious thoughts, as a people they have become crystallized in religious rites and ceremonies. Thus outer ceremonies take the place of the truths which they represent. The following is a legend purporting to explain how the cat became one of the sacred objects of worship in Egypt:

A holy man was bothered during his meditation by his house cat's jumping into his lap, so he tied the cat to the leg of the chair. His followers, observing this, concluded that the tied cat was a part of the worship; so before beginning of a period of prayer, each tied a cat to his chair. As time went on, the holy man's followers drifted away from prayer and meditation, but came to worship the cat.

When the inner Jewish consciousness resists new statements of truth, what should we do? We should follow the example of Paul and Barnabas (see verse 46). When we cannot reconcile the new Truth with our inherited religious ideas, we should appeal to the logic and reason of the mind (represented by the Gentiles).

Where in this lesson do we find an appeal to the outer realms of consciousness? In verse 47 we find the answer to this question: "For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set the for a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the uttermost part of the earth."

Transcribed by Dan Beckett on 9-22-2013