Matthew 23 Metaphysical Bible Interpretation

Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Matthew Chapter 23

Metaphysically Interpreting Matthew 23:1-36

23:1Then spake Jesus to the multitudes and to his disciples, 23:2saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses seat: 23:3all things therefore whatsoever they bid you, these do and observe: but do not ye after their works; for they say, and do not. 23:4Yea, they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with their finger. 23:5But all their works they do to be seen of men: for they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, 23:6and love the chief place at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, 23:7and the salutations in the marketplaces, and to be called of men, Rabbi. 23:8But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your teacher, and all ye are brethren. 23:9And call no man your father on the earth: for one is your Father, even he who is in heaven. 23:10Neither be ye called masters: for one is your master, even the Christ. 23:11But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. 23:12And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be humbled; and whosoever shall humble himself shall be exalted.
23:13But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye shut the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye enter not in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering in to enter.23:14Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, even while for a pretence ye make long prayers: therefore ye shall receive greater condemnation.
23:15Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he is become so, ye make him twofold more a son of hell than yourselves.
23:16Woe unto you, ye blind guides, that say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor. 23:17Ye fools and blind: for which is greater, the gold, or the temple that hath sanctified the gold? 23:18And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gift that is upon it, he is a debtor. 23:19Ye blind: for which is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift? 23:20He therefore that sweareth by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon. 23:21And he that sweareth by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein. 23:22And he that sweareth by the heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon.
23:23Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye tithe mint and anise and cummin, and have left undone the weightier matters of the law, justice, and mercy, and faith: but these ye ought to have done, and not to have left the other undone. 23:24Ye blind guides, that strain out the gnat, and swallow the camel!
23:25Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye cleanse the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full from extortion and excess. 23:26Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup and of the platter, that the outside thereof may become clean also.
23:27Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which outwardly appear beautiful, but inwardly are full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. 23:28Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but inwardly ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
23:29Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye build the sepulchres of the prophets, and garnish the tombs of the righteous, 23:30and say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we should not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. 23:31Wherefore ye witness to yourselves, that ye are sons of them that slew the prophets.23:32Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. 23:33Ye serpents, ye offspring of vipers, how shall ye escape the judgment of hell? 23:34Therefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: some of them shall ye kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city: 23:35that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of Abel the righteous unto the blood of Zachariah son of Barachiah, whom ye slew between the sanctuary and the altar. 23:36Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.

Metaphysically Interpreting Matthew 23:37-39

23:37O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, that killeth the prophets, and stoneth them that are sent unto her! how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! 23:38Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. 23:39For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
March 21, 1963: Matt. 23:13-24, 37-39

WEEKLY UNITY

Unity explains this week's International BIBLE LESSON

The Recognition and Application of Truth.

Questions and Answers

What is represented in this lesson by the scribes and Pharisees? In this lesson the scribes and Pharisees represent those who have gained a certain degree of intellectual understanding of Truth and think that they understand all of Truth.

Why do such individuals "shut the kingdom of heaven against men"? They seek to persuade others to believe as they do, namely, that an intellectual understanding of Truth is all that is necessary in order to gain access to the kingdom.

Why is the proselyte of the Pharisees in worse condition than they? The Pharisees, who have gained such understanding as they have through study and overcoming, have more spiritual stability than the proselyte, who blindly accepts their beliefs and teachings, and has little or no understanding of their spiritual significance.

What is meant by Jesus' telling the scribes and Pharisees that they "have left undone the weightier matters of the law, justice, and mercy, and faith"? The scribes and Pharisees observe the forms, but neglect or ignore the spirit of religion. They lack love and mercy, the deeper and higher consciousness of Truth.

What lesson do we perceive in Jesus' denunciation of the scribes and Pharisees? Formalism in religion is not necessarily productive of spiritual progress. If we are to be truly religious, we must give attention primarily to things of the Spirit and not attach first importance to observance of outer rites and ceremonies.

What does Jerusalem symbolize? Jerusalem, "habitation of peace," symbolizes the love center in consciousness. In divine order it is the abode of the good and the pure, but error thoughts of the mind cause it to become the habitation of wickedness. How is Jerusalem redeemed? By the word of Truth, "He that cometh in the name of the Lord," which awakens the consciousness to the things of Spirit, and eventually brings the whole man, spirit, soul, and body, under the dominion of Christ.

To Be Held in the Silence

I will to know the Truth that sets me free from affectation and insincerity.

All the Time We Need

We live in God's eternity. We have all the time there is. Whenever there is a sense of being rushed, it is well to relax and remember that God blesses us with all the time we require so that we may perform needful tasks in divine order. - Daily Word.

Undated: Matt. 23:13,15, 23-28, 37-39

BIBLE LESSON

Unity's Interpretation of the International Sunday School Lesson

The Recognition and Application of Truth

What is represented in this lesson by the scribes and Pharisees? In this lesson the scribes and Pharisees represent those who have gained a certain degree of intellectual understanding of Truth and think that they understand all of Truth.

Why do such individuals "shut the kingdom of heaven against men"? They seek to persuade others to believe as they do, namely, that an intellectual understanding of Truth is all that is necessary in order to gain access to the kingdom.

Why is the proselyte of the Pharisees in worse condition than they? The Pharisees, who have gained such understanding as they have through study and overcoming, have more spiritual stability than the proselyte, who blindly accepts their beliefs and teachings, and has little or no understanding of their spiritual significance.

What is meant by Jesus' telling the scribes and Pharisees that they "have left undone the weightier matters of the law, justice, and mercy, and faith"? The scribes and Pharisees observe the forms, but neglect or ignore the spirit of religion. They lack love and mercy, the deeper and higher consciousness of Truth.

Why are the Pharisees told, "cleanse first the inside of the cup and of the platter, that the outside thereof may become clean also"? 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, lay hold of, and unify themselves with Truth.

Why are the scribes and Pharisees said to be "like unto whited sepulchres"? Such persons go through the motions of living a religious life, and appear outwardly to be worthy of respect and admiration. Actually the living substance of their religion is not present in them.

What does Jerusalem symbolize? Jerusalem, "habitation of peace," symbolizes the love center in consciousness. In divine order it is the abode of the good and the pure, but error thoughts of the mind cause it to become the habitation of wickedness. How is Jerusalem redeemed? By the word of Truth, "He that cometh in the name of the Lord," which awakens the consciousness to the things of Spirit, and eventually brings the whole man, spirit, soul, and body, under the dominion of Christ.

How is Jerusalem redeemed? By the word of Truth, "He that cometh in the name of the Lord," which awakens the consciousness to the things of Spirit, and eventually brings the whole man, spirit, soul, and body, under the dominion of Christ.

To Be Held in the Silence

I will to know the Truth that sets me free from affectation and insincerity.

Unless otherwise specified, the Bible text used in this lesson is taken from the American Standard Version of the Bible, copyright, 1929, by the International Council of Religious Education, and is used by permission.

Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 10-18-2013