Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Matthew Chapter 11
Metaphysically Interpreting Matthew 11:20-24
11:20Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not. 11:21Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon which were done in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 11:22But I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. 11:23And thou, Capernaum, shalt thou be exalted unto heaven? thou shalt go down unto Hades: for if the mighty works had been done in Sodom which were done in thee, it would have remained until this day. 11:24But I say unto you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.
Metaphysically Interpreting Matthew 11:25-30
11:25At that season Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou didst hide these things from the wise and understanding, and didst reveal them unto babes: 11:26yea, Father, for so it was well-pleasing in thy sight. 11:27All things have been delivered unto me of my Father: and no one knoweth the Son, save the Father; neither doth any know the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son willeth to reveal him.11:28Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 11:29Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 11:30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Undated: Matt. 11:20-30
The Christ Sphere of Action
Unity explains this week's International BIBLE LESSON
What do Bethsaida and Chorazin represent? These cities represent self-righteousness, or the state of mind in which man, possessed of a limited understanding of Truth, is led to believe that he possesses all.
Why are Bethsaida and Chorazin in a worse state than Tyre and Sidon? Tyre and Sidon were openly wicked, without self-righteousness or pride of Intellect. But the Truth had never been presented to them. Therefore, they were not to be held responsible for their acts to the degree demanded of those to whom Truth had been revealed.
Is the man-made legal maxim “Ignorance of the law excuses no one” based on divine law? No. The divine law excuses ignorance in large measure. “He that knew not, and did things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes,” or in the words of today's lesson, “It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee” (Capernaum).
Why is Capernaum described as “exalted unto heaven”? The name Capernaum means “village of consolation,” and it represents Christian sympathy, which has been exalted to heaven by being considered a fine, worthy virtue. In Truth, human or false sympathy is a negative quality and as such is brought down to Hades—nothingness—when the works of Truth cast out the demons of sickness and raise the dead.
Why did Jesus thank the Father because He hid “these things from the wise and understanding”? Jesus thanked the Father that the wonderful laws of mind and Spirit were not made plain to the intellectually wise, because such individuals would use them to further their personal ambitions.
Who are the “babes” to whom Truth is revealed? The Truth is most easily revealed to the humble person whose mind is open and receptive to his good. Such are often counted “babes” by the worldly wise.
“All things have been delivered unto me of my Father.” In what sense is this true? Understanding of all Truth is in the Christ Mind. In the Spirit of the Christ we too can make this affirmation, and open our heart and mind to complete understanding of what may seem to be beyond our present comprehension.
Why does no one know the “Son, save the Father,” or the “Father, save the Son”? Since God is the living God, the divine Spirit dwelling within us, there can be no intermediary between God and man. “The relations of the soul to the divine spirit are so pure that it is profane to seek to interpose helps.” In the absolute, or most intimate sense, God and man are one.
Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me” What is the spiritual significance of this command? A yoke is a device for uniting two workers so that their combined strength may be applied to the same load. Man puts on the yoke of Christ when he learns to join his conscious mind with the Christ consciousness. When he works in this consciousness, he finds himself possessed of tireless energy, of abounding physical strength, of superabundant acumen and verve. He is filled with zest for his task, and at the end of the day feels as rested as he felt at the beginning.
What rest do we find in the Christ? We find peace of mind and rest from the endless questioning of the sense mind or personal consciousness. We find the rest of complete faith and trust, which is rest of soul.
I rest in the Lord, and am refreshed and strengthened.
Undated: Matt. 11:20-30
Developing the Christ Spirit
[TruthUnity Editor's Note: this lesson was a repeat of the lesson just shown. The two lessons are on page 1 and page 3 of the PDF. The repeated lesson had the following additional material]
How does the Christ consciousness give man rest? Through making him meek and lowly in heart the Christ leads man to find peace, and peace means rest for mind and body.
In the Spirit of Christ I am relieved of all stress and strain, all fear, all care and pettiness. Through Christ I am freed from all bonds.
Undated: Matt. 11:20-30
NOW TO LET GOD HELP YOU IN YOUR WORK
Unity interprets a living BIBLE LESSON
Prepared by Mary Mae Oesch
Our suggested reading begins on a somewhat startling note, for Matthew tells us that Jesus “began to upbraid the cities.” Jesus seldom resorted to words of reproach. But here His stern message was no doubt meant to have a certain “shock value,” to awaken those who had heard His teachings and had witnessed His mighty works, yet had ignored the opportunity to follow the Christ Way.
Jesus did not condemn the cities of Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum. He told them they had chosen a path that could lead only to woe and destruction. They were smug and complacent in their limited conceptions and error ways. The ancient cities of Tyre, Sidon, and Sodom had all suffered grievous results because of their materialism. But, had they had an opportunity to know Jesus' teachings, they would have repented and accepted the Christ.
Next, Jesus expressed His gratitude for the fact that the Truth of God had been revealed to simple, sincere men, who were willing to give up false pride and follow the Christ humbly. Worldly-wise persons, who boasted of their knowledge, were not receptive to Truth.
To all who were overworked, weary, or discouraged, Jesus offered help. He assured us that those who sincerely follow the Christ Way of living will find His yoke easy. As we work in partnership with God—availing ourselves of the Christ love, wisdom, and power—our burdens will grow lighter, our work easier, and our lives happier.
Jesus' words to the cities that had rejected Him, and His offer of help to all in need, could be applied in many phases of our everyday living. Here we shall let His words help us in our work, whether that work be a chosen vocation or the varied chores and tasks that are our responsibility.
In regard to work, Jesus' words meant: “Apply Truth ideas to improve your efficiency; to make your work easier and more interesting; to get better results with no strain, fatigue, or worry.
“But before you can accept the help that Truth gives,” Jesus might continue, “you'll have to get out of your mental rut. Right now you may be on the threshold of progress and success, refusing to walk through the door. If your job seems dull or humdrum, it may be that you lack vision. If opportunity knocks in vain at your door, perhaps you are too short-sighted to answer.
“These things can change,” Jesus would tell us, “because you can change.” But you must be willing to grow and improve, to accept and use new and better ideas. So stop asking yourself, 'Why am I overworked and unappreciated?' Ask yourself instead, How can I give better service? How can I do better work by being spiritually illumined?”
Most of Jesus’ countrymen worked long and hard for small wages. It was a familiar sight to see them using plows pulled by teams of oxen. The animals were harnessed by a single yoke fastened to the shaft of the plow.
The term yoke was also an Aramaic expression for heavy taxation and other burdens. When Jesus’ countrymen felt they were unduly burdened, they complained that their yoke was heavy. So Jesus' listeners readily understood His figure of speech when He said that His yoke was easy and His burden light.
They knew He was saying, in effect: “You'll be glad when you elect to follow the Jesus Christ Way of spiritual understanding and team up with the spiritual power that can be yours through your Christ self. Your work will go better and seem easier when you learn to let the Christ Spirit work through you. Make God your chief employer and your working partner as well, and you will be prosperous, happy, and successful.”
How will it help us in our work if we respond to Jesus' invitation to learn of Him? As we learn to think, pray, and live according to the Jesus Christ pattern, we let divine intelligence and power flow through us to accomplish great heights of service, prosperity, and success.
Why should the Jesus Christ “yoke” be easy and light? Through it we team up with the infinite life, power, and wisdom of God, and put God in charge of our affairs.
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 10-20-2013