Matthew 9 Metaphysical Bible Interpretation

Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Matthew Chapter 9

Metaphysically Interpreting Matthew 9:1-8

9:1And he entered into a boat, and crossed over, and came into his own city. 9:2And behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, be of good cheer; thy sins are forgiven. 9:3And behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth. 9:4And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? 9:5For which is easier, to say, Thy sins are forgiven; or to say, Arise, and walk? 9:6But that ye may know that the Son of man hath authority on earth to forgive sins (then saith he to the sick of the palsy), Arise, and take up thy bed, and go up unto thy house. 9:7And he arose, and departed to his house. 9:8But when the multitudes saw it, they were afraid, and glorified God, who had given such authority unto men.

Metaphysically Interpreting Matthew 9:9-13

9:9And as Jesus passed by from thence, he saw a man, called Matthew, sitting at the place of toll: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him.
9:10And it came to pass, as he sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with Jesus and his disciples. 9:11And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Teacher with the publicans and sinners? 9:12But when he heard it, he said, They that are whole have no need of a physician, but they that are sick.9:13But go ye and learn what this meaneth, I desire mercy, and not sacrifice, for I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.
JANUARY 27, 1957: Matt. 9:1-13

WEEKLY UNITY - Forgiveness and Health

BIBLE LESSON

Unity's Interpretation of the International Sunday School Lesson

Questions and Answers

Why is forgiveness often necessary before spiritual healing can be realized? Because sickness is the effect of sin, of missing the mark of divine perfection whether through willfulness or ignorance. Until the self-accusation of failure in this respect is put out of mind (forgiven)and a fresh start made to receive and express the Truth, healing cannot take place. Whoever wishes to be healed must relax mind and body from the tensions of self-condemnation and despair that invade the mind in times of illness.

Why was forgiveness as pronounced by Jesus reckoned by the scribes as blasphemous? Because they held that only God can forgive sin, and did not perceive that forgiveness is God being expressed through man. In the Lord's Prayer, Jesus taught the disciples to ask forgiveness only in the measure that they forgave others. Forgiveness is one of our first duties in the following of the Christ.

What proves that we’ve the authority to forgive sin? The fact that the person whom we forgive is released from all consciousness of condemnation and is left free to realize the healing flow of the life energies within him is proof of our authority to forgive. As we remove the mental conditions that cause and accompany illness, we free the body to assert its innate health. The body has undreamed-of reserves of life and healing power.

Do we sin against God or against ourselves? Against ourselves. Sin means “missing the mark,” the perfection of God being the mark. Since God is perfect Being, he cannot be offended if through willfulness or ignorance we fall short of the mark of perfection. He offers us perfect love and full and complete forgiveness if we will accept them and have faith.

Does the peacemaker deal with sin? He forgives sin when he makes peace between angry, discordant individuals by restoring the harmony that they enjoyed before they disagreed.

What does the disciple Matthew represent? He represents the will, which plays a part in all forgiveness and in all healing. Matthew “arose, and followed him.” The will follows after the conviction of power to rise.

What is signified by the Pharisees' criticism of Jesus for eating with the publicans and sinners? The Pharisees represent formalized religious thoughts, which seek to interfere directly or indirectly with the word of Truth in ministering to those who are not yet spiritually illumined.

Explain Jesus' statement “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” Metaphysically, a “sinner” is one who has not yet awakened to the full realization of his divinity, his sonship to God. Such an individual through ignorance, prejudice, or selfishness misuses the divine law, and reaps all sorts of difficulties and hardships. He needs the healing ministry of Truth. The “righteous” individual is not one who is self-righteous, but one who perceives his divinity and is endeavoring to call it forth into full expression. He has already accepted the healing ministry of Truth.

To Be Held in the Silence

I exercise the freeing power of forgiveness for all my shortcomings and offenses and those of others and I realize the freedom of the Christ consciousness from condemnation.

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.

JANUARY 24, 1965: Matt. 9:9-13; 10:17-23

WEEKLY UNITY - Facing Opposition

Facing Opposition. — Matt. 9:9-13; 10:17-23

Questions and Answers

What does the disciple Matthew represent? He represents the will, which plays a part in all forgiveness and in all healing. Matthew “arose, and followed him.” The will follows after the conviction of power to rise.

What is signified by the Pharisees' criticism of Jesus for eating with the publicans and sinners? The Pharisees represent formalized religious thoughts, which seek to interfere directly or indirectly with the word of Truth in ministering to those who are not yet spiritually illumined.

Explain Jesus' statement “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” Metaphysically, a “sinner” is’ one who has not yet awakened to the full realization of his divinity, his sonship to God. Such an individual, through ignorance, prejudice, or selfishness, misuses the divine law, and reaps all sorts of difficulties and hardships. He needs the healing ministry of Truth. The “righteous” individual is not one who is self-righteous, but one who perceives his divinity and is endeavoring to call it forth into full expression. He has already accepted the healing ministry of Truth.

What is the significance of the word “men” in the admonition “beware of men”? “Men” are the spiritually unillumined thoughts that oppose Truth, and seek to negate or discredit it.

How does Truth face opposition? Truth is self-revealing and it is omnipotent. It does not fight against opposing forces or endeavor to justify itself. It remains serene in the face of all circumstances, for it has all eternity in which to accomplish its purpose.

When others question or are critical of our efforts to practice Truth, how should we respond? We should not argue or attempt to justify ourselves, but should await divine guidance in what to say and do (“it shall be given you in that hour what ye shall speak”).

Does our faithfulness to Truth enable us to overcome and conquer opposition? Yes, but such overcoming is not easy, and we often undergo many trials before we gain the eventual victory (“he that endureth to the end … shall be saved”).

What is the supreme value of Truth to us? Truth makes us aware of our divinity, our ultimate goal, and our oneness with all others in Christ

To Be Held in the Silence

I express my understanding of God and my awareness of the divine in my daily life.

I will chide no brother in the world but myself, against whom I know most faults.

— Shakespeare.

Undated: Matt. 9:9, Matt. 26:39; John 8:54; Acts 1:12-14

A TIME TO DO THE WILL OF GOD

Unity Interprets a Living Bible Lesson

Prepared by MARY MAE OESCH

A tax collector named Matthew was at work in his office. (We shall find Matthew symbolizing the executive faculty of mind known as the will.) When Jesus approached Matthew and said, “Follow me,” the tax collector knew he was about to change his entire way of thinking and living; and he followed Jesus willingly.

At a later time Jesus, in the Garden of Gethsemane, showed the importance of following God's will rather than letting oneself be directed by the imperfect personal will. He knew he faced arrest, false trial, and torture on the cross. His personal self tended to pray: “Let this cup pass from me.” But the Jesus Christ self triumphed in that Jesus accepted completely that which was for the highest good. “Not as I will, but as thou wilt.”

The writer of John's Gospel quotes Jesus as saying, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing; it is my Father who glorifies me.” Jesus meant that man's true glory is achieved by knowing and doing the will of God. When the will seeks to glorify the personal self, the results are puny and limited; but when man wills to glorify God in himself, all good is his to enjoy.

After Jesus Christ's ascension, His apostles returned from Mount Olivet to Jerusalem. There, in an upper room, all the apostles were gathered, and they were joined by Jesus’ mother, His brothers, and some of His friends. “All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer.” (We see in this all of them, representing all man's inherent powers - including Matthew, the will - ready to receive a consciousness of God's presence, ready to dedicate themselves to knowing and doing God's will.

Our Practical Application

“For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven”, a time to do the will of God.

Why are we thinking in the same breath of the faculty of will and the significance of glory? Is glory a word that embellishes hymns but has only a vague meaning for us? A walk in the woods or a drive through the countryside at this season readily reveals the glories of the springtime. We can see the glory of God reflected in a rose-tinted dawn or in the glow of an evening sunset. But what claim have we as individuals to glory and how can our will help us attain it?

The will is the executive faculty of mind, the directive power that enables us to make decisions and carry them out in action. We use our will every waking hour of every day, and how we use it determines our destiny.

To glorify something is to magnify it with praise, to enhance it. If our personal will glorifies the personal self, our decisions and actions are often erroneous, selfish, limited, or even destructive. When our will operates on an intellectual level only, we are not conscious of the divine Presence and our dependence upon it. Obviously our will needs to join forces with understanding, the spiritual understanding that acknowledges the presence and power and allness of God.

As we increase in understanding of the divine Presence and identify with it, we lose all desire for personal glory and want very much to let God express Himself through us. We purposely will our thoughts into line with the Truth of Divine Mind. Toward this end we resolve:” I will not accept negative thoughts or beliefs. I will to know and to do the higher will of our Father, God.” Or we may decree affirmations such as one suggested by Charles Fillmore: “The will of God is uppermost in my consciousness, and I am glorified in my understanding.”

When God is glorified in us, then we are glorified in God. When our will voluntarily seeks God's guidance in all things, we see God's glory in life's mirror; and we are in turn reflections of the same glory. The image and the reflection blend into one, and our lives are aglow with the radiance of divine light.

Questions and Answers

Why should the will work closely with understanding? Sometimes the personal will is destructive. When the will of man adheres to wisdom faithfully and carries out in its work the plans that are idealized in wisdom, it creates in man a consciousness of all good.

Is God's will changeable or varied? No. God's will is always perfection and all good for all His children.

What is the relation of glory to the faculty of will? Glory is realization of divine unity; the blending and merging of man's mind with God-Mind. When we seek to know God's presence and to do His will, we glorify God in our lives.

Metaphysically Interpreting Matthew 9:18-26

9:18While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live.9:19And Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did his disciples. 9:20And behold, a woman, who had an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: 9:21for she said within herself, If I do but touch his garment, I shall be made whole.9:22But Jesus turning and seeing her said, Daughter, be of good cheer; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour. 9:23And when Jesus came into the ruler's house, and saw the flute-players, and the crowd making a tumult, 9:24he said, Give place: for the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn. 9:25But when the crowd was put forth, he entered in, and took her by the hand; and the damsel arose. 9:26And the fame hereof went forth into all that land.
Undated: Matt. 9:20-22; 16:8-9:21:21-22

BIBLICAL KEYS TO FAITH

Prepared by Mary Mae Oesch

In Matthew's Gospel we read about the healing of a woman who had been ill for twelve years. Having heard about the remarkable healings that Jesus had effected, the woman reasoned that if she could only touch the garment the Master wore, then she would be healed. With a determined effort she made her way through a surging crowd and “touched the fringe of his garment.” Jesus realized what had happened and turned to tell the woman that her faith had made her well. From that moment the woman's healing was complete.

Matthew tells us of another time when the apostles found themselves without food, and Jesus told them to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees. Jesus’ followers probably knew that the word “leaven” was not used literally. Yet they puzzled over the meaning of the remark. Then Jesus reminded them of the times when apparently there were but a few loaves of bread to feed thousands of people, and the loaves were multiplied so that all persons were well supplied with food; he was saying that everyone should avoid the limited thoughts that put faith in material appearances. Men, as spiritual beings, should have faith in God's invisible substance, and their faith will call forth the needed supply.

Again, Matthew tells of a time when an unproductive fig tree withered at Jesus’ command. Jesus explained that the apostles, if they had persistent faith, could do much greater things, even to the moving of mountains. For, “whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”

Our Practical Application

The late Dwight D. Eisenhower, ex-President of the United States, once said: “To read the Bible is to take a trip to a fair land where the spirit is strengthened and faith renewed.”

The Gospels are replete with authentic records, true stories, examples. And parables that should help us increase our faith in God's presence and power always available to us.

In recounting the healing of the woman who touched Jesus’ garment, Matthew shows us that we, too, can gain health and wholeness. Our part is to push through the crowd of our own negative thoughts and actually contact our indwelling Christ Spirit through faith. A rejecting of doubt and discouragement, consistent acceptance of positive thoughts. meditation and affirmative prayer, understanding of God's pure life in our body, and knowledge of healings that have been accomplished—all these can help us strengthen our faith and manifest health.

When Jesus reminded His companions of the time when food had been provided for thousands of people, he was telling us to look to God for our supply of all good. As we gain an understanding of God's invisible, everywhere-present substance, we can use our faith in molding that substance to fill our needs. Yet, practice proves that we can use our faith effectively long before our understanding is completed. “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

Since biblical times there have been engineering feats comparable to the moving of mountains. But when Jesus suggested that faith could move mountains into the sea. He was speaking Figuratively. Aramaic and Hebrew speech often included such extravagant expressions. Doubtless the apostles knew the Master meant something like this: God's power is without limit. Your own individual power is also without limit when you have sufficient faith in God and let His Spirit work through you. Increase your faith in the good day by day. Then no mountain of difficulties can defeat you, no mountainous problem will be too great, no high goal will be unattainable. “Whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” Health, prosperity, accomplishment-these can be yours now through faith!

Questions and Answers

How can Bible reading help us increase our faith? The Bible shows how others have used faith effectively for good purposes: it helps us understand God's laws and their use; it reassures us as to the availability of God's power.

How can faith in God life heal us? When we think life, speak life, rejoice in life, we set free and bring into expression more of the life idea. We can fill our mind, body, surroundings, and affairs with glad, free, buoyant life by exercising faith in it. Give a definition of faith. In Charles Fillmore's writings we read: “Faith is the perceiving power of the mind linked with a power to shape substance.”

Metaphysically Interpreting Matthew 9:35-38

9:35And Jesus went about all the cities and the villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of disease and all manner of sickness. 9:36But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion for them, because they were distressed and scattered, as sheep not having a shepherd. 9:37Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest indeed is plenteous, but the laborers are few. 9:38Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he send forth laborers into his harvest.
Undated: Matt. 9:35-38; Matt. 10:1-8, 24, 25

BIBLE LESSON - Man's Full-Orbed Expression

Unity's Interpretation of the International Sunday School Lesson

Questions and Answers

How can we do the same kind of works that Jesus did? By taking as our standard of thought and conduct the same principle that Jesus followed, we learn to do the same kind of works.

What is the I AM, and what is its proper sphere of action? The I Am is the God-given identity of each individual, the divine essence in man with which he consciously and constantly identifies himself. Its proper sphere includes all that man is in his truest self, as well as all that he does from the prompting of his own heart.

What is the spiritual significance of Jesus' calling His twelve disciples and giving them authority to cast out unclean spirits and to heal disease and sickness? When man's spiritual understanding is awakened, he discerns that he has faculties that he has not previously called into action; that through these faculties he can gain control of every condition of his mind; that through them he can cleanse all impure states of mind, and restore, heal, and harmonize ills both of mind and of body.

What are the twelve faculties of man, and by whom is each typified? The twelve powers or faculties and the men that typify them are: faith, Simon Peter; strength, Andrew; judgment, James; love, John; power, Philip; imagination, Bartholomew; understanding, Thomas; will, Matthew; order, James, son of Alphaeus; renunciation, Thaddaeus; zeal, Simon, the Cananean; life, Judas Iscariot.

Can the mental powers or faculties be externalized in everyday life? They not only can be; they must be if they are to serve their true purpose. Good judgment, for example, is not a true opinion held in reserve, but a conviction carried out in conduct.

What is symbolized by Jesus' telling His disciples “Go not into any way of the Gentiles, and enter not into any city of the Samaritans”? Man's faculties exist in their purity in Divine Mind as ideas, and they should not be contaminated or adulterated in thought (“go not into any way of the Gentiles”). We are not to limit the activity of our faculties to the thought centers (Gentiles) or mix Truth with error (Samaritans).

What are “the lost sheep of the house of Israel”? These are innate spiritual principles that we have lost contact with in the confusion of the material or sense life. When we begin the work of spiritualizing the mind, we redeem these principles (Israelites) by proclaiming the law in even the Egyptian darkness of materiality.

Explain the meaning of “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” “The kingdom of heaven” is the inner spiritual reality, the divine realm of perfection. It is always right at hand awaiting our recognition.

How do we ourselves obey the command, “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons”? When the Christ is quickened in us, we first begin to cleanse our consciousness of sick thoughts, of unclean thoughts (lepers), of angry, jealous, demoniac thoughts (“cast out demons”), and above all to resurrect our inert, inactive thoughts (“raise the dead”). The quickening that we receive from Spirit gives us power also to help others to do for themselves what we are doing for ourselves.

To Be Held in the Silence

I exert my powers in the service of peace and good will and I reap a rich reward.

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 10-21-2013