Matthew 5 Metaphysical Bible Interpretation

Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Matthew Chapter 5

Metaphysically Interpreting Matthew 5:1-12

5:1And seeing the multitudes, he went up into the mountain: and when he had sat down, his disciples came unto him: 5:2and he opened his mouth and taught them, saying,
5:3Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
5:4Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
5:5Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
5:6Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
5:7Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
5:8Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
5:9Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called sons of God.
5:10Blessed are they that have been persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.5:11Blessed are ye when men shall reproach you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 5:12Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets that were before you.

Metaphysically Interpreting Matthew 5:13-16

5:13Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost its savor, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men.
5:14Ye are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. 5:15Neither do men light a lamp, and put it under the bushel, but on the stand; and it shineth unto all that are in the house. 5:16Even so let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

Metaphysically Interpreting Matthew 5:17-20

5:17Think not that I came to destroy the law or the prophets: I came not to destroy, but to fulfil. 5:18For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass away from the law, till all things be accomplished. 5:19Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 5:20For I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Metaphysically Interpreting Matthew 5:21-26

5:21Ye have heard that it was said to them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: 5:22but I say unto you, that every one who is angry with his brother shall be in danger of the judgment; and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council; and whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of the hell of fire. 5:23If therefore thou art offering thy gift at the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee, 5:24leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way, first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. 5:25Agree with thine adversary quickly, while thou art with him in the way; lest haply the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. 5:26Verily I say unto thee, thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou have paid the last farthing.

Metaphysically Interpreting Matthew 5:27-30

5:27Ye have heard that it was said, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 5:28but I say unto you, that every one that looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. 5:29And if thy right eye causeth thee to stumble, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not thy whole body be cast into hell. 5:30And if thy right hand causeth thee to stumble, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not thy whole body go into hell.

Metaphysically Interpreting Matthew 5:31-32

5:31It was said also, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: 5:32but I say unto you, that every one that putteth away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, maketh her an adulteress: and whosoever shall marry her when she is put away committeth adultery.

Metaphysically Interpreting Matthew 5:33-37

5:33Again, ye have heard that it was said to them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: 5:34but I say unto you, swear not at all; neither by the heaven, for it is the throne of God; 5:35nor by the earth, for it is the footstool of his feet; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 5:36Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, for thou canst not make one hair white or black. 5:37But let your speech be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: and whatsoever is more than these is of the evil one.

Metaphysically Interpreting Matthew 5:38-42

5:38Ye have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 5:39but I say unto you, resist not him that is evil: but whosoever smiteth thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 5:40And if any man would go to law with thee, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. 5:41And whosoever shall compel thee to go one mile, go with him two. 5:42Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

Metaphysically Interpreting Matthew 5:43-48

5:43Ye have heard that it was said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy: 5:44but I say unto you, love your enemies, and pray for them that persecute you; 5:45that ye may be sons of your Father who is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust. 5:46For if ye love them that love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 5:47And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the Gentiles the same? 5:48Ye therefore shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
JUNE 6, 1971: Matt. 5:1-12

WEEKLY UNITY

HOW TO BLESS AND BE BLESSED

Unity interprets a living BIBLE LESSON

Prepared by Mary Mae Oesch

Jesus’ famous Sermon on the Mount is introduced by a prose poem which we call the Beatitudes. (The word beatitude stems from words meaning happy or blessed.) Paraphrased and interpreted in the light of Truth, the Beatitudes might read:

Blessed are those who are poor in false pride, who are humble and unassuming. Because they are willing to learn, they enjoy the kingdom of growth and expansion. They know the progress that leads to well-being.

Blessed are those who use sorrow as a step toward spiritual strength, peace, and understanding. They find comfort in knowing God's presence.

Blessed are those who are meek toward God, who know that power comes not through personal prowess but through receptivity to divine power. Those who live by this attitude gain control of themselves and their world.

Blessed are those who yearn for right thinking and truly desire to use God's laws rightly. Their reward will be an abundance of good.

Blessed are those who are loving and merciful. Their mercy attracts kindness in return, for one receives in the measure that he gives.

Blessed are those who find God's peace, who harmonize their thoughts with God's laws, and radiate peace to others. They are sons of the one Father and brothers to all men.

Blessed are those who live up to their highest understanding of Truth, regardless of public opinion or mental inertia. Their increasing consciousness of indwelling divinity will bring rich rewards.

Our Practical Application

Through the Beatitudes Jesus recommended certain attitudes of blessing that will prove beneficial to all of us who accept and use them. It is essential to remember that Jesus was dealing with states of mind or attitudes of being. He was not telling us what to do, but what to be, that we may gain and maintain a conscious state of blessed oneness with our highest good.

Any one of the Beatitudes might well be the subject of lengthy discourse, a springboard for a wealth of thought and spiritual growth. Here we content ourselves by summarizing Jesus’ thoughts in the Beatitudes—by recognizing that we are blessed when we have a spirit of humility, meekness, mercy, and peace, when we use God's laws of right thinking and seek the joy of His presence.

Remembering that blessing is a mental attitude of commendation for the good, we soon learn that the only way to investigate the power of blessing is to try it for ourselves.

We can change our environment by seeing the good in it and blessing those near us. A group of factory workers resented the surly demeanor of a tyrannical foreman, until one of the group stopped complaining and tried the influence of blessing. She convinced a nucleus of her coworkers that they should join her in “beaming” thoughts of blessing and praise toward the foreman.

Frequently they affirmed silently, “We bless you for the good that is in you. We like you because we understand you.” The workers substituted smiles for frowns, songs for grumbles, and a cooperative spirit for resentment. Soon they learned to know the foreman as a likable person who bore a heavier-than-usual responsibility at home. His attitude improved tremendously and the whole atmosphere of the department was transformed.

We can bless business conditions by visualizing God's substance as coming forth in appropriate form. A store manager increased his sales manyfold by regular concentration upon the thought: “Divine love blesses our customers and multiplies our sales, our profits, the service we give, and the prosperity we enjoy.”

We can bless an afflicted body by affirming and believing in God as our life and health, by seeing our body as a temple of the living God. We can multiply our blessings as we give thanks for them, and as we become ready channels of blessing to others.

Questions and Answers

What do we mean by “blessing”? To bless is to invoke good upon; to call forth the action of God; to confer God's good on something or someone.

What is the power of blessing? Blessing imparts the quickening spiritual power that produces growth and increase. It is the power of multiplication.

What was Jesus' purpose in giving us the Beatitudes? Jesus in exaltation blesses spiritual man with the attributes of God and blesses the natural man with the attributes of the spiritual man. He gives us attitudes for being in conscious oneness with God.

APRIL 24, 1960[?]: Matt. 5:6-7; 13:44-46; 18:23-33

WEEKLY UNITY

BIBLE LESSON

Unity's Interpretation of the International Sunday School Lesson

Right Attitude of Mind

Questions and Answers

What blessing is found in the hunger and thirst after righteousness? The blessing of fulfillment. The desire to align one's life with what is right and lasting puts one in the right attitude of mind, and as long as the desire continues the right attitude remains constant. Increasing perception of what is right and increasing power to do right at all times and under all conditions prove that the law is fulfilled.

Is mercy the invariable reward of those who show mercy? It is the reward of those who are conscious of the need to be merciful and who express their consciousness faithfully. Under divine law what we give out comes back to us multiplied.

What is symbolized by the “treasure hidden in the field”? The inner nature of Truth, which is hidden in the mind and spirit of man and are to be “bought” with faithful developing and practicing of Truth.

Can the kingdom of heaven be compared to Truth in the universal mind? Yes, because the kingdom of heaven is the kingdom of Truth, which is made manifest in and through the universal Mind. The realm of mind makes consciousness of Truth possible.

How do we discover the hidden treasure? By rising to a higher level of thought than that of material or sense consciousness. To do this we give up all thoughts that depress us or lower our morale, and cultivate thoughts that Lead us up to a more exalted state.

Is the forming of better thinking habits an easy undertaking? No, all our attention and devotion to Truth is required to enable us to overcome undesirable thinking habits. In order to possess the pearl we “buy” the whole field. We devote ourselves to the developing of the mental nature with all that this implies.

What mental outlook is essential to full forgiveness? That of humility and impartiality, in which love is the dominant factor.

Is humility easily realized? It is when we consider our obligation to observe the divine law of love instead of weighing the shortcomings of others.

In the sight of man does anyone deserve full forgiveness? In the sight of man no one deserves it, because all have fallen short of uniformly expressing perfect love, but God, who is divine love in perfect expression, freely forgives all who sincerely desire forgiveness.

Why is the kingdom of heaven compared to “a certain king”? Because it is the realm in which the will is operative. A king represents the will.

Why does the will symbolize one of such great authority? Because it is by the exercise of will that the other faculties are brought into expression. Good will is a condition precedent to the establishment of peace in the individual, in society, and in the world. Lacking will power, a person reacts weakly and ineffectually, and he is undependable. Good will freely forgives all offenses.

Is exaltation of mind compatible with good will? Yes. It is not only compatible with good will; it cannot exist where good will is not in evidence.

Is it sometimes necessary for us to forgive ourselves? Yes. Forgiving ourselves is a daily necessity if we are to drop our failures and shortcomings from mind and go forward with strength and courage toward new undertakings.

To Be Held in the Silence

My attitude is that of friendliness toward others, of expecting no evil. but of looking for the good only and acknowledging it when it comes.

Unless otherwise specified, the Bible text used in this lesson is taken from the American Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1920 by the International Council of Religious Education, and it is used by permission.

Wisdom Is from God

Many a person is really in close personal communication with the Infinite, and does not recognize who gives him such suggestions and directions. He may think that they just come to him; but the question is, from what source do they come to him? They must have an origin, and being so evidently divine in their wisdom and power, they must come from the divine Spirit. Let one recognize and acknowledge this great fact, and the whole experience of that kind becomes more and more a positive factor in one's life. One may call this direction intuition, business sagacity, spiritual insight, clairvoyance; but really it is the leading of the divine Spirit. When this is really trusted, remarkable results ensue. No longer is there reliance on human judgment or past experience; but on the word of God, the inner suggestion.

— The Gleaner.

MAY 1, 1960: Matt. 5:8, 27-37; Luke 9:61, 62

WEEKLY UNITY

BIBLE LESSON

Unity's Interpretation of the International Sunday School Lesson

Success at Home

Questions and Answers

Who are the “pure in heart”? They are the unselfish persons who see the good in all that they look upon rather than the evil. Purity of heart, motive, or intent allows its possess or to see the good.

What place does the home have in modem civilization? The home is the foundation of our civilization. The rights of the individual and of society in general rest on the home as a stable and enduring institution. The ideal of the home must be treasured and developed in order for civilization to be strong and progressive.

On what foundation does the home rest? On love, truth, and faithfulness. Single-mindedness is the keynote of this trinity. Without common interests and mutual understanding there is no real home.

Is adultery harmful to the individual alone? No. It destroys the character of the individual and threatens the stability of society, thus undermining the civilization that it pollutes.

How does the home best serve its purpose? As a training ground for character, and as the abiding place of the heart's affections.

Why is swearing forbidden? 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.

What is forswearing oneself? It is swearing to a falsehood or committing perjury. It may be also the vowing of intense vows. Whatever is vowed should be performed.

What form of speech is proper for us to use? 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.

Should we permit ties of blood to bind us when we are fully prepared and ready to go forward into greater understanding of the universal life? No. We are to see those near and dear to us as part of the universal life only. All children of God are to have equal claim to our attention and care.

To Be Held in the Silence

God within me is omnipotent, and I am immune from evil through my remembrance of His indwelling.

[Unreadable date]: Matt. 5:9, 21-22, 38-48

BIBLE LESSON

Unity's Interpretation of the International Sunday School Lesson

What Life Embraces

Questions and Answers

How does the peacemaker find peace for himself? He shares the peace that he makes between other persons. To know peace is to know happiness and demonstrate that one is a son of God.

Can the commandment “Thou shalt not kilI” be violated in more than one way? 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 which is the greater offense, the killing of the body, or the venting of anger on its object? The two are equal in gravity. Each puts its perpetrator “in danger of the judgment,” that is, of reaping what he sows.

What effect has anger on those against whom it is directed? It destroys trust and confidence, friendship, good will, and other qualities that give life spiritual value. Whoever in anger hurled the word “raca” or “fool” at another was a killjoy, a destroyer of many of life's best gifts. The angry person likewise lost the joy of living, gaining no real recompense in return.

How does hatred rank as a destroyer of spiritual life? It takes first place in destructiveness, for it kindles a reciprocal emotion in those against whom it is directed, and these two fires, burning together, destroy all that is worthwhile in the life that is shared by two or more persons.

Is it possible to gain a consciousness of eternal life, while living in close association with others? It is possible, provided we learn to live at peace with others. “He (the Christ) is our peace, who made both one.” The importance of getting on harmoniously together cannot be overemphasized.

Who is our “brother,” and why is it useless for us to try to worship God as long as he holds anything against us? Our brother is whoever shares a common life with us, or whose way runs parallel with ours. Until we can realize peace and brotherhood with one close at hand, we cannot enter into the deeper consciousness of these states.

Why is nonresistance so strongly enjoined on us in this lesson? Because practicing it leaves our conscience free of self-condemnation, no matter what the future may bring, and it is of the utmost importance to have “a conscience void of offense toward God and men always.” This is a more enduring gain than merely carrying our point by insisting on our present rights.

How can anyone love his enemies? By refusing to judge their conduct toward him by worldly standards, by forgiving their “trespasses against” him, and by beholding them as children of God, the universal Father.

To Be Held in the Silence

I think well of others, and my mind and heart are at peace.

MAY 15, 1960: Matt. 5:10-16; 13:31-35

WEEKLY UNITY

BIBLE LESSON

Unity's Interpretation of the International Sunday School Lesson

Living Witnesses to Truth

Questions and Answers

In what way do those who are “persecuted for righteousness' sake” derive a blessing from their experiences? Those who meet with opposition to spiritual development, both within and without, and are true to the highest, grow strong through mastering their difficulties and eventually gain the kingdom. Thus persecutions are often a blessing in disguise.

What is happiness or blessedness? It is a matter of spiritual adjustment to life under the divine law. God is good, and, when we refuse to accept anything but good in our life, we experience happiness that cannot be disturbed.

Why are parables helpful? 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; we begin to see the underlying truth or spiritual principle of the story.

Why are the disciples of Christ compared to salt? Salt is a preservative of food, and it also serves to enrich food flavors. The faculties of man, represented by the disciples, sustain him and enrich his life when they are imbued with the Christ Spirit.

Interpret the statement “Ye are the 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.

What significance has the reference to a “city set on a hill”? Understanding once acquired cannot be concealed or lost. When wisdom has once enlightened man, he cannot return to a condition of ignorance, but makes a permanent union with Truth.

How do we let our light “shine before men”? By consistently living according to our best understanding, we let others see the spirit that animates us and the character that we have formed.

Interpreted metaphysically, what is the kingdom of heaven? The kingdom of heaven, or more accurately, the kingdom of the heavens, is a state of consciousness in which mind, soul, and body are in harmony with Divine Mind.

Why is the kingdom of heaven like a mustard seed? The parable of the mustard seed shows us that the apparently small, thought or idea of Truth (seed), has capacity to develop and expand in consciousness, until it becomes the abiding place of a higher type of thoughts (birds of the air).

What truth is emphasized in the parable of the leaven? Leaven represents the penetrating power of Truth, which works in the substance of spirit, soul, and body (three measures of meal). A true idea transforms a mass of ignorance by allowing the light of understanding to permeate it, until all is enlightenment.

To Be Held in the Silence

We separate the true from the false in our thoughts and hold fast to what is true.

JANUARY, 1957: Matt. 5:13-20, 43-48

WEEKLY UNITY

BIBLE LESSON

Unity's Interpretation of the International Sunday School Lesson

Loyalty to Our Convictions

Questions and Answers

In what respect may the seeker after Truth be likened to salt? Truth cleanses, sweetens, and preserves everything in life that is good enough to be used and kept. 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.

Why is the life of the Christ comparable to a light? Because it is illumined by the Spirit of the Christ, which gives it new and greater meaning than it could have otherwise. The Christ is an exalting influence.” A city set on a hill cannot be hid.”

How should we let our light shine before men? By living actually from day to day in conformity with what we profess to believe and with what we invite into our mind in prayer and meditation.

How did Jesus fulfill the law? He fulfilled it by demonstrating the truth of it in His life and works. Jesus proved that the law is a workable rule of life. “When we conform to this rule we keep or fulfill the law.

How do we best keep the commandments? By obeying them.

What is the “righteousness” that exceeds “the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees”? It is the desire to do right for the sake of the right and not for the sake of impressing others with our excellence. Genuine righteousness is a quality of the heart, and it expresses itself in character or inner achievement.

Who is great in the kingdom of heaven? He who keeps the commandments constructively rather than negatively, who uses his moral and spiritual integrity and his full understanding in helping his fellow men to behold Truth in all, and to realize that all men are Godlike.

How can we love our enemies? By remaining loyal to the truth of the Christ, which is altogether impersonal and selfless. This means that we are to behold the Christ in others, express the love of the Christ toward them, and call it forth into expression through them.

In learning to keep our reaction to life uniform, do we rise to a higher level than that of sense consciousness? Yes. We learn to act from motives of principle, instead of from self-interest. The publicans and the Gentiles represent the sense consciousness or the personal self.

Is perfection an unattainable ideal? No. It is a high ideal, but it can be attained by all who are willing to be impartial and impersonal in their relations with others.

How may this state of mind be attained? With the help of God. “As your heavenly Father is perfect.”

To Be Held in the Silence

As I keep God in all my thoughts the kingdom of heaven is made manifest in my earth.

FEBRUARY 18, 1962: Exod. 20:13; Matt. 5:21-26; Luke 12:4-7

WEEKLY UNITY

BIBLE LESSON

The Unity Interpretation of the International Sunday School Lesson

God's Estimate of Human Life

Questions and Answers

Is the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” a broad or a narrow one? It is broad, and includes every phase of life, those expressed by the mind and soul as well as the physical life expressed by the body. The body can be killed; this is the meaning of the original commandment. The inner life also can be “killed” by anger, scorn, implacable hatred.

What law underlies the commandment not to kill? The law of love, which requires us to love our neighbor as ourself. Since we cannot restore the life that is taken away, and restitution is impossible to us, we are not to take life.

What happens to a person when he takes the life of another? The divine law requires of him to restore as far as possible the equivalent of what he has just destroyed in another. Even though he may not be apprehended and punished by manmade law, he loses his hold on the life that makes him a son of divine love, and is thenceforth an outcast from the realm of spiritual values, until such time as he accepts the forgiving love of the Father that cleanses, renews, and restores.

Under the divine law which is the greater offense, the killing of the body or the venting of anger on its object? The two are equal in gravity. Each puts its perpetrator “in danger of the judgment” of reaping what he sows.

What effect has anger on those against whom it is directed? It destroys trust and confidence, friendship, good will, and other qualities that give life spiritual value. Whoever in anger hurled the word “raca “or “fool” at another was a killjoy, a destroyer of many of life's best gifts. The angry person likewise lost the joy of living, gaining no real recompense in return.

How does hatred rank as a destroyer of spiritual life? It takes first place in destructiveness, for it kindles a reciprocal emotion in those against whom it is directed, and these two fires, burning together, destroy all that is worthwhile in the life that is shared by two or more persons.

Who is our “brother,” and why is it useless for us to try to worship God, as long as he holds anything against us? Our brother is whoever shares a common life with us or whose way runs parallel with ours. Until we can realize peace and brotherhood with one close at hand, we cannot enter into the deeper consciousness of these states.

What sort of courage should one have in order to cope with life? One needs moral courage, and since moral courage enables a man to meet physical death without fear, it is both physical and moral.

What thought is uppermost in the statement that not one sparrow is forgotten in the sight of God? The universality of divine law under which not even the least expression of life can be made outside the law. “The very hairs of your head are all numbered.”

To Be Held in the Silence

Thou shalt not kill joy, faith, hope, love, good will, or anything that makes life an expression of spiritual Truth.

Undated: Exod. 70:14; Matt. 5:27-30; Mark 7:14-23

WEEKLY UNITY

BIBLE LESSON

The Unity Interpretation of the International Sunday School Lesson

Purity in Heart and Life

Questions and Answers

Why are the commandments with respect to murder, adultery, and theft brief and unqualified? These acts are universally understood to be violations of law, both divine and man-made. They therefore require no special emphasis or interpretation. Jesus included them all under the constructive commandment to love one's neighbor as oneself.

Is adultery harmful to the individual alone? No. It destroys the character of the individual and threatens the stability of society, thus undermining the civilization that it pollutes.

How is the law of moral purity interpreted spiritually? “Thou shalt not adulterate Truth.” When this commandment is disregarded, Truth becomes illogical and irrelevant to the sense mind.

What aids us in keeping pure in heart and mind? Singleness of mind and the impersonal outlook both aid us in keeping our mind and life pure.

In consciousness, how is thought related to act? The thought precedes the act. The impure thought leads to the impure act.

Why is drastic action in ridding the life of impurity justifiable? The whole man is greater than his members. If we are to grow spiritually and manifest our divinity in the highest degree, it is important that we keep ourselves free of self-condemnation and blame.

What is the way of wisdom for us in living? The following of all that puts us in harmony with universal law.

Is defilement or infection primarily a physical or a mental phenomenon? It is first of all mental. Where faith in the protection of Divine Mind is absolute and complete, there is no fear and no infection. Perfect faith is the greatest prophylactic.

What is “the heart,” as used by Jesus in the text for today? The heart is the inner or emotional nature, which harbors will, desire, and the individual and personal thought life of the inner man.

Where should the chief cleansing of the individual take place? In the inner nature or the heart. We should learn to control our thought processes and think constructively. As we preserve the unity of the Spirit, we lose our fear of contagion and become immune to outer contaminating influences. With the thought fixed on the purity and oneness of the Mind of God, we become expressions of both purity and unity.

To Be Held in the Silence

I guard my thoughts and desires by keeping my mind single and fixing it on the impersonal love of God.

Dwelling in Peace

Like those South African birds that seem never to light on land or sea but live among the winds, and with widespread wings find their rest and peace in the storm, you and I too can live in peace, no matter how great the turmoil in the world about us. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you” were among the last words of the Prince of Peace. And He continued, “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful.” His life too was lived in the storm; yet it contributed more to peace than any other life this world has ever known. What He had you can have by keeping God at the center of your life.

— W. G. Montgomery.

JUNE 6, 1971: Matt. 5:43-48; I John 4:18-21; Rom. 13:8-10

WEEKLY UNITY

UNITY INTERPRETS A LIVING BIBLE LESSON

LOVE IS THE ONLY WAY

Prepared by MARY MAE OESCH

Although the people of Jesus’ time generally accepted the custom that revenge for wrongdoing was justified, Jesus gave His followers a new code of living. He maintained that men should not hate their enemies, but should love them, forgive them, and pray for them.

God loves all men, in spite of their weaknesses and mistakes. And one who truly loves God, and who seeks to know the Christ perfection, must himself be perfected in the generous, forgiving, all-inclusive Christ love.

In I John is the teaching that perfect love dissolves all fear. One who is supremely conscious of the love of God cannot be afraid. Men are able to feel and understand love, and express it, because they are the children of God's love.

Emphasis is placed on the truth that love of God and love of one's fellow man are inseparable. One cannot harbor hatred for another and truly say that he loves God. Rather, wholehearted love for God is proved by unselfish love for mankind.

Paul, in his letter to the Romans, explains that followers of the Christ owe no man revenge or ill will, but only love and good will. This is the fulfillment of the law of love, to love one's neighbor unselfishly.

Paul recalls that the commandments forbidding adultery, killing, stealing, and coveting—all those dealing with men's relations to one another—can be summed up in positive form: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” In truth, “love is the fulfilling of the law” of God.

Our Practical Application

No person can long survive a life motivated by hatred, or by related emotions such as resentment, pent-up anger, jealousy, or anxiety. These negative reactions have built-in boomerangs that result in mental and physical disabilities, destruction of satisfactory human relations, spiritual poverty, and even destruction of the will to live. All such harmful emotions are basically expressions of fear; and, as we are told in I John, “He who fears is not perfected in love; perfect love casts out fear.”

When we have agreed, then, that a total commitment to love is the only healthy approach to living, how do we accept with the heart that which the mind acknowledges as a necessity? We can do this by accepting God's love for man as a prototype. Divine love is impersonal. As Jesus reminded us: God “makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”

When we consider the various meanings of the word love as used in the New Testament, we understand that 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.

The agape type of love may be bestowed upon those who seem undeserving, because it 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. With this in mind, are we not all fully capable of loving our so-called enemies?

Questions and Answers

How do we define love? “The pure essence of Being that binds together the whole human family, an inner quality that sees good everywhere and in everybody.”

How does divine love compare with personal affection? “Divine love is impersonal; it loves for the sake of loving. It is not concerned with what or whom it loves, nor with a return of love. Like the sun, its joy is in the shining forth of its nature.”

What is the relation of love to health? “Love is the great harmonizer and healer. Whoever calls on God as Holy Spirit for healing is calling on divine love.”

Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 10-22-2013