Luke 18

Study the Inner Meaning

English: King James Version

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1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;

2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:

3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.

4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;

5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.

6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.

7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?

8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:

10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.

11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.

12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

15 And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them.

16 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

17 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.

18 And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

19 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.

20 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother.

21 And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up.

22 Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.

23 And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.

24 And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!

25 For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

26 And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved?

27 And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.

28 Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee.

29 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake,

30 Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.

31 Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished.

32 For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on:

33 And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.

34 And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.

35 And it came to pass, that as he was come nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side begging:

36 And hearing the multitude pass by, he asked what it meant.

37 And they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.

38 And he cried, saying, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.

39 And they which went before rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried so much the more, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.

40 And Jesus stood, and commanded him to be brought unto him: and when he was come near, he asked him,

41 Saying, What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee? And he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight.

42 And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee.

43 And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God: and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise unto God.

← Luke 17   Luke 19 →
   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

Arcana Coelestia 39, 430, 874, 1059, 1072, 2343, 2658, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 55, 809

Conjugial Love 414

Divine Providence 324

Life 30

Faith 69

Heaven and Hell 281

The Last Judgment 35

True Christian Religion 384, 764


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 63, 83, 152, 186, 239, 532, 696, ...

On the Athanasian Creed 83

An Invitation to the New Church 32

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 5, 35, 64

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:



Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Exodus 20:12

Ezra 9:6

Esther 4:16

Psalms 50:15, 23, 51:3, 55:18, 88:2

Proverbs 11:12

Isaiah 1:17, 23, 62:6

Hosea 14:3

Word/Phrase Explanations

spake
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

parable
In Luke 8:5-8. Matthew 12:3-8 and Mark 4:3-8, 'the sower' is the Lord, and 'the seed' is His Word, and so, truth. 'The seed by...

men
The relationship between men and women is deep and nuanced, and one entire book of the Writings – Conjugial Love or Love in Marriage –...

City
In the ancient world cities were very nearly nations unto themselves – they existed within walls, with their own laws and customs, generally centered on...

judge
It’s easy to see the connection between judging and truth. In a court of law, the judge’s whole purpose is to find the truth. In...

God
The Lord is love itself, expressed in the form of wisdom itself. Love, then, is His essence, His inmost. Wisdom - the loving understanding of...

fear
Fear of the unknown and fear of change are both common ideas, and together cover a broad spectrum of the fears we tend to have...

Fear not
Fear not, as in Revelation 1:17; Daniel 10:5, 12; Matthew 17:5, 7; 28:10, etc., signifies resuscitation to life, and at the same time adoration from...

Coming
Coming (Gen. 41:14) denotes communication by influx.

the Lord
The Bible refers to the Lord in many different ways, which from the text seem indistinguishable and interchangeable. Understood in the internal sense, though, there...

saith
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

night
The sun in the Bible represents the Lord, with its heat representing His love and its light representing His wisdom. “Daytime,” then, represents a state...

Long
'Long' and thence to prolong, refer to good.

Tell
'To tell' signifies perceiving, because in the spiritual world, or in heaven, they do not need to tell what they think because they communicate every...

son of man
The Lord, in some places, calls Himself 'the son of God,' at other times, 'the son of man (ἄνθρωπος).' This is always according to the...

Son
'A son,' as in Genesis 5:28, signifies the rise of a new church. 'Son,' as in Genesis 24:3, signifies the Lord’s rationality regarding good. 'A...

Find
To not to be found any more, signifies not to rise again.

faith
It's interesting to note that despite the prominent place of faith in mainstream Christian belief systems, the word itself appears exactly twice in the King...

Earth
"Earth" in the Bible can mean a person or a group of like-minded people as in a church. But it refers specifically to the external...

righteous
The word "righteous" has taken on a bit of negative shading in modern language. That may be because we hear it most often as part...

two
The number "two" has two different meanings in the Bible. The number "two" has two different meanings in the Bible. In most cases "two" indicates...

the temple
'Solomon's temple' represents heaven and the church.

temple
'The Tabernacle of God,' as in Revelation 21:3, signifies the celestial church. In a universal sense, it signifies the celestial kingdom of the Lord, and...

one
A company might have executives setting policy and strategy, engineers designing products, line workers building them, managers handling personnel and others handling various functions. They...

Pharisee
The Pharisees were a sect of the Jewish church at the time of the New Testament. The name comes from a root that means "separate",...

prayed
When people pray in the Bible, it means they are opening up their internal states. When it is the Lord praying, or a figure who...

Fast
To fast as in Mark 2:19, signifies to mourn on account of the defect of truth and good. Fasting corresponds to temptation.

Week
'A week' signifies state, and 'the seventh week,' a holy state. The ancients understood 'a week' to mean any period divided into seven, whether days,...

give
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...

Tithes
'Tithes,' as in tenths, signifies goods and truths stored up from the Lord in a person’s interior self. These goods are called remains. When these...

lift
The idea of "lifting" is used in a number of different ways in the Bible. In general, it means connecting with a higher spiritual state...

eyes
It’s common to say “I see” when we understand something. And indeed, “seeing” in the Bible represents grasping and understanding spiritual things. So it makes...

heaven
"Heaven" and "heavens" are used many times in the Bible, with a couple of variations of meaning. Sometimes it is relatively literal, including times when...

upon
'Upon' or 'over' signifies being within.

Breast
The breast (Ezek. 16:7), signifies natural good.

down
"Down" is used many different ways in natural language, and its spiritual meaning in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Phrases like "bowing down,"...

house
A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...

Every one
The phrase “Every one,” where it occurs in Genesis 20:7, signifies every thing or all things.

touch
Imagine having your mother touch your cheek. Then imagine having your spouse or someone you love romantically touch your cheek. Then imagine having a baby...

disciples
When we read the Gospels and see Jesus addressing the disciples, we assume His words are meant for us as well. And indeed they are!...

called
To call someone or summon someone in the Bible represents a desire for conjunction between higher and lower states of life. For instance, imagine someone...

come
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

kingdom
In the most general sense, a kingdom in the Bible represents a church. In a more specific sense, a kingdom represents a church in regards...

little child
'A little one,' or 'a little child' in the Word, signifies innocence and charity, because true innocence cannot possibly exist without charity, nor can true...

child
A child is a young boy or girl in the care of parents, older than a suckling or an infant, but not yet an adolescent....

enter
All changes of place in the Bible represent changes in spiritual state. “Entering” – usually used as entering someone’s house or “going in unto” someone...

ruler
"Rulers" or "governors" in the Bible represent the most basic, most essential true ideas that guide us in life, ideas that spring directly from the...

asked
The words "ask" and "question" are used a number of different in natural language, and a number of different ways in the Bible. The spiritual...

good
It seems rather circular to say that “good” in the Bible represents good, but in a general sense it’s true! The case is this: The...

inherit
In Biblical times, possessions passed from fathers to sons, a patriarchal system that would not be accepted in today's society – but one that is...

eternal
In many cases, the use of “eternity” in the Bible is pretty literal, simple meaning forever. This is especially true when the text is referring...

life
In John 14:6, 'the way is doctrine,' 'the truth' is every thing pertaining to doctrine, and 'the life' is the essential good which is the...

none
'No one,' or 'none' denotes the negative side of something.

commandments
In Deuteronomy 11:1, 'statutes' signify the external parts of the Word, such as rituals, and representations of the internal sense. 'Judgments' signify the internal parts...

Steal
In a natural sense, the commandment 'Thou shalt not steal,' in Exodus 20:15, means, according to the letter, not stealing, robbing, or committing piracy in...

bear
Like many verbs, the spiritual meaning of "bearing" something depends greatly on context – what it is that's being borne, and why. It is further...

bear false witness
When people lie or speak falsely in the Bible, It represents what Swedenborg calls "falsity of faith" and the resulting "evil of faith." This is...

father
Father in the Word means what is most interior, and in those things that are following the Lord's order, it means what is good. In...

mother
In general, mothers in the Bible represent the Lord's church on earth, or the church among those who know and follow the Lord. In some...

kept
"Keeping" in the Bible generally has to do with controlling the actual actions of life, though in some cases it can mean holding something away...

youth
'Tender of age' denotes the state of truths newly received not yet genuine.

Sell
'To sell,' as in Genesis 41:56, means transferring to another as their own, because what is sold becomes the property of the one who buys...

Poor
'Poor' signifies someone who is not in truths, and people who are ignorant of good and truth, but desire instruction.

Treasure
'Treasure,' as in Matthew 13:44, signifies divine truth in the Word.

follow
The basic meaning of "follow" in the Bible is pretty obvious if we consider what it means to "follow the Lord." That obviously doesn't mean...

rich
When the Bible talks about riches, it is talking about spiritual wealth, not worldly wealth – ideas and knowledge about the Lord and spiritual things,...

Camel
A camel (Matt. 22:24) signifies scientific knowledge. Camels are confirming scientifics, and cattle are the knowledges of good and truth (Jer. 49:32.)

Needle
'The eye of a needle' signifies spiritual truth.

saved
To be saved or rescued means getting true ideas that we can hold to even in the face of a storm of false thinking. Sometimes...

peter
Peter – born Simon, son of Jonah – is certainly one of the Bible's most important figures, second only to Jesus in the New Testament....

Parents
'Parents' signify the goods and truths of the church.

Brethren
Brethren (Gen. 27:29) signify the affections of good.

wife
The Hebrew of the Old Testament has six different common words which are generally translated as "wife," which largely overlap but have different nuances. Swedenborg...

Present
It was customary in the representative Ancient Church, and later in the Jewish Church, when people went to the judges, and at a later time,...

time
Time is an aspect of the physical world, but according to Swedenborg is not an aspect of the spiritual world. The same is true of...

twelve
'Twelve' and 'twenty-four' signify everything, and refer to truths.

go
In the physical world, the places we inhabit and the distances between them are physical realities, and we have to get our physical bodies through...

Go up
To go up and to go down: in the Word, mention is made of going up and going down when speaking of going from one...

written
If knowing what’s right were the same as doing what’s right, we would all be thin, healthy, hard-working, law-abiding, faithful to our spouses and free...

prophets
The idea of a "prophet" is very closely tied to the idea of the Bible itself, since the Bible was largely written by prophets. At...

Put
'To put' has reference to order, arrangement, application, and influx.

third
The Writings talk about many aspects of life using the philosophical terms "end," "cause" and "effect." The "end" is someone’s goal or purpose, the ultimate...

Third day
'The third day' signifies the end of a state of preparation for reception, and so an end of purification, as in Exodus 19:16. 'The third...

rise again
'Resurrection' symbolizes salvation and eternal life. 'The first resurrection' does not mean a first resurrection but the primary and essential implication of resurrection, thus salvation...

rise
It is common in the Bible for people to "rise up," and it would be easy to pass over the phrase as simply describing a...

knew
Like so many common verbs, the meaning of "know" in the Bible is varied and dependent on context. And in some cases – when it...

came to pass
The phrase “it came to pass,” often also translated as “it happened,” generally indicates the end of one spiritual state and the beginning of a...

Pass
'To pass,' as in Genesis 31:52, signifies flowing in. 'To pass the night,' as in Genesis 24:54, signifies having peace. 'To pass through,' as in...

Nigh
'Nigh' denotes truth in affinity with good.

Jericho
Jericho' signifies instruction and also the good of life because no one can be instructed in the truths of doctrine but he who is in...

blind
The meaning of “blind” in the Bible is not hard to see (no pun intended!). If light represents the flow of truthful ideas from the...

sat
If you think about sitting, it seems fair to say that where you're sitting is more important than that you're sitting. Sitting in a movie...

Side
'Side' signifies good or spiritual love.

hearing
Thanks to modern science, we now understand that hearing actually happens in the brain, not the ears. The ears collect vibrations in the air and...

Multitude
'A multitude' relates to truths.

cried
As with most common verbs, the spiritual meaning of “crying” or “crying out” (meaning a shout or wail, not weeping) is highly dependent on context....

david
David is one of the most significant figures in the Bible. He was a musician, one of history’s greatest poets, the boy warrior who killed...

mercy
In regular language, "mercy" means being caring and compassionate toward those who are in poor states. That's a position we are all in relative to...

went before
To "go before" in the Bible means either to lead or to prepare, depending on context. When it is said of the Lord or things...

Hold
'A hold,' 'a den,' or 'dungeon,' as mentioned in Revelation 18:2, signifies hell, because people who are there are in confinement.

Near
'Near,' in the Word, signifies presence and conjunction. 'To be near' signifies being on internal levels. Near,' as in Genesis 19:20, signifies truth bordering upon...

sight
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

people
"Man" is a tricky word to discuss, because the Hebrew of the Old Testament uses six different words that are generally translated as "man," with...

Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library by following this link.


 Healing the Blind Miracles
Activity | Ages 7 - 14

 Jesus and the Children, Children in Heaven
A lesson for younger children with discussion ideas and a project.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 Modesty
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Eyes of the Blind Shall See Him
Make a picture of the Lord in heaven with bright light all around Him. Cover the picture with fabric or another piece of paper, attaching it only at the top edge so that it can be lifted up to see the picture of the Lord. 
Project | Ages 4 - 10

 The Last Supper
The Lord celebrated Passover with His disciples and told them to remember Him by eating bread and drinking wine. The Lord is still present with people in a special way through the Holy Supper. Sample from the Jacob’s Ladder Program, Level 1, for ages 6-7.
Religion Lesson | Ages 6 - 7

 The Lord Blesses the Children
This lesson discusses a story from the Word and suggests projects and activities for young children.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 The Lord Is Our Heavenly Father (version 1)
Color picture of the Lord with children.
Picture | Ages up to 14

 The Lord Is Our Heavenly Father (version 2)
Color picture of the Lord with children.
Picture | Ages up to 14

 The Lord Loves Me
This lesson discusses a story from the Word and suggests projects and activities for young children.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 The Pharisee and the Publican
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14


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