The Bible


Matthew 17:25

King James Version         

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25 He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers?

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Explanation of Matthew 17      

By Rev. John Clowes M.A.

Verses 1, 2. That after previous states of preparation and purification, they who are principled in faith, in charity, and in works of charity, are elevated into interior truths of good, and therein behold intellectually the Lord's Divine Humanity as the supreme good and supreme truth.

Verse 3. Thus as the all of the Word, both historical and prophetical.

Verse 4. Which state of interior perception affects the wills of those who are in the truths of the church, and moves them to desire the reception and accomplishment of the whole Word in themselves.

Verse 5. Accordingly, from the sense of the letter, in which they are principled, they are instructed that the Lord's Divine Humanity is the Divine Truth Itself, and the one living Source of all truth in the church.

Verses 6, 7. Which instruction causes humiliation of the interiors, and a holy dread, until elevation and confidence are effected by communication with the Divine Humanity of the Lord.

Verse 8. Who on this occasion is perceived to be the whole of the Word.

Verse 9. Howbeit this perception could not have been communicated, unless the Lord had glorified His Humanity by uniting it with the Divine.

Verses 10, 11, 12, 13. And this by temptation-combats, in which the Humanity was representative of the Word, and suffered itself to be treated as the Word itself had been treated by the church.

Verses 14, 15. When yet it is the proper Object of man's worship, and to be adored as the sole power of deliverance by such as are in evils and falsities.

Verse 16. Who cannot be delivered by any goods or truths but such as are in connection with the Divine Good and Truth of the Lord's Divine Humanity.

Verses 17, 18. To effect which connection, the Lord assumed the Humanity, and endured temptations, that thus they who desire to be delivered from evils and falsities may approach to Him, and thereby be separated from the infernal association, and restored to conjunction of life with the divine.

Verses 19, 20. For man has no power against infernal evils and falsities, but what he derives from faith in the Divine Humanity of the Lord, by virtue of which faith, if grounded in any degree of heavenly good, the infernal love of self is cast out, and man has communication with the Divine Omnipotence.

Verse 21. Nevertheless, a full deliverance cannot be effected, until the interiors are opened to heavenly influence by temptation-combats.

Verses 22, 23. Therefore the Lord endured those combats, and thus glorified His Humanity.

Verse 24 to the end. For the Divine Law requires that the Humanity shall be subject to the Divine, and the natural to the spiritual, and not vice versa.

From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

Arcana Coelestia 6394

Apocalypse Revealed 405

References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 513, 820

Related New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:

Bible Word Meanings

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...

'Simon, son of Jonah,' as in John 21:15, signifies faith from charity. 'Simon' signifies worship and obedience, and 'Jonah,' a dove, which also signifies charity.

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 at the New Church Vineyard website.

 Finding the Deeper Meaning of the Word
Lesson and activities looking at the inner meaning of the Old and New Testaments.
Religion Lesson | Ages over 15

 How Does God Lead People?
The Bible lays out a path to happiness. By making God's truth our Guide and following Him we can hear His voice through friends, conscience, inspiring books or by reflecting on events we experience.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 How Does the Lord Lead People?
Lesson and activities looking at ways the Lord leaves us while leaving us in freedom.
Religion Lesson | Ages over 15

 Mountains Moved by Faith
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Lord Is Transfigured
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 9 - 12

 The Transfiguration
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3

 The Transfiguration
Since His resurrection, the Lord appears in heaven much as He looked when He was transfigured so this is a wonderful project for children to do! 
Project | Ages 4 - 10

 The Transfiguration
A lesson for younger children with discussion ideas and a project.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 The Transfiguration (3-5 years)
Project | Ages 4 - 6

 The Transfiguration (6-8 years)
Project | Ages 7 - 10

 The Transfiguration (9-11 years)
Project | Ages 11 - 14

 The Transfiguration: A Wonderful Vision
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Transfiguration: One Lord, Two Prophets, Three Disciples
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Ways That the Lord Appeared to People on Earth
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 9 - 12



Incorporating the New      

By Rev. Todd Beiswenger

To continue browsing while you listen, play the audio in a new window.

There's an old saying that says, "When the student is ready the master will appear." The idea is that the student must incorporate everything they've already been taught into their life before the next master will come to teach them the next steps. We see something similar in the Word, where Jesus opens the eyes of Peter, James and John to a new spiritual reality, but now they have a difficult time trying to synthesize what they've just been taught with everything they've always believed. (note - Todd offers his apologies for an error; where he mistakenly says in this audio that the "spiritual serves the natural"... he meant to say, "natural serves the spiritual.")

(References: Arcana Coelestia 6394; Matthew 17:14-20, 17:24-27; The Apocalypse Explained 64, 405)

The Bible


Nehemiah 10:33

King James Version         

Study the Inner Meaning

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33 For the shewbread, and for the continual meat offering, and for the continual burnt offering, of the sabbaths, of the new moons, for the set feasts, and for the holy things, and for the sin offerings to make an atonement for Israel, and for all the work of the house of our God.

   Study the Inner Meaning
Related New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:

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