The Bible

 

Luke 24:13-35 : The Road to Emmaus

Study the Inner Meaning

        

13 And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs.

14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened.

15 And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.

16 But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.

17 And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?

18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass therein these days?

19 And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:

20 And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.

21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.

22 Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre;

23 And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive.

24 And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.

25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:

26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?

27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

28 And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further.

29 But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.

30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.

31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.

32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?

33 And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them,

34 Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.

35 And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.

   Study the Inner Meaning

Explanation of Luke 24      

By Rev. John Clowes M.A.

Verse 1. That the Lord's resurrection early in the morning involves in it the arising of a new Church, both in general and in particular, yea also in singular, thus that He rises again daily, yea every moment, in the minds of the regenerate.

Verses 2-4. On which occasion they who are in the affection of good and truth experience the removal of all false principles, so that Divine good and Divine truth are made manifest.

Verses 5-7. By which they are led into holy adoration, and are admonished that the Lord's Humanity was made Divine, when the hereditary principle received from the mother was separated by temptation combats.

Verses 8-12. They therefore communicate this truth to those, who had before been instructed concerning it, but as yet they cannot receive it.

Verse 12. Nevertheless they who are more principled in the doctrine of faith are led to make enquiry about it, and seeing that in the Lord all truth was made Divine Good, they are excited to adoration.

Verses 13-17. They too, who are in the doctrine of charity and faith united, reason together on the subject, and by their reasonings bring the Lord near to and present with them, though they do not know it.

Verses 17-27. By which nearness and presence they are finally instructed, that the Divine principle of the Lord led the Human principle into the most grievous temptations, and this even to the last of ability, that He might expel thence every thing that was merely human, until nothing remained but what was Divine.

Verse 27. And that all this was in agreement with what the Word teaches, since there is nothing written in theWord, which does not respect the Lord Himself, his kingdom and Church.

Verses 28-32. They therefore who are in the doctrine of charity and faith united are thus excited to cleave to the Lord with more earnest affection, by virtue of which affection they obtain conjunction with him, and by that conjunction are instructed in the good and truth of faith, by which the Lord makes himself manifest.

Verses 32-36. On which occasion, recollecting the warmth of heavenly love which has been inspired by the Lord's presence, they testify the doctrine of the Lord's glorification to those, who had before received the doctrine of good and truth.

Verses 36-44. So that these latter also are made sensible of the Lord's presence, which is attended with alarm and perplexity, until they are instructed, that the Lord made the very corporeal principle in Himself Divine, both as to its sensual and recipient principles.

Verse 44. And that this was in agreement with the Word throughout, since the things contained in the internal sense are all written of Him, for hence is the sanctity of the Word.

Verses 45-47. Their understandings thus become enlightened by the light of Divine Truth, which teaches, that the Lord by temptation-combats subdued the hells, and glorified His Humanity, and that all obtain remission of sins, who do the work of repentance and believe in Him.

Verses 48-49. They are therefore ordained to testify these things, as soon as the light of Divine Truth in their minds becomes conjoined with the love of Divine Good.

Verses 50-53. For which purpose they receive Divine benediction, and by that benediction are convinced of the glorification of the Lord's Humanity, through its oneness with Divinity, and that this glorified Humanity is the only proper object of worship, because it is the only source of all good and truth in the Church.

From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

Arcana Coelestia 1540, 2816, 3863, 4735, 4859, 5045, 5405, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 36, 662

Divine Providence 114, 280

Doctrine of the Lord 11, 13, 35

True Christian Religion 128, 262, 777

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 286, 294


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 340, 443, 617, 677, 806, 820, 937

Related New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:



Hop to Similar Bible Verses

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Nehemiah 8:8

Isaiah 53:10

Bible Word Meanings

furlongs
Furlongs signify progressions in a series according to thoughts proceeding from affection. Furlongs, being measured ways, signify leading truths.

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...

said
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...

walk
To walk in the Bible represents living, and usually means living according to the true things taught to us by the Lord -- to "walk...

answering
To "answer" generally indicates a state of spiritual receptivity. Ultimately this means being receptive to the Lord, who is constantly trying to pour true ideas...

mighty
'Might' denotes the forces or power of truth.

word
'Sayings' denotes persuasion. 'Sayings,' when related to Jehovah, signify informing or instructing.

chief priests
'The chief priests and scribes,' as in Matthew 20:18, signify the adulterations of good and the falsifications of truth.

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...

us
Angels do give us guidance, but they are mere helpers; the Lord alone governs us, through angels and spirits. Since angels have their assisting role,...

body
The body (Matt. 6:22), signifies the man (homo). "His body shall not remain all night upon the tree" (Deut. 21:23), signifies lest it should be...

seen
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...

angels
"Angels" in the Bible represent qualities of the Lord himself, or a variety of things that come directly from the Lord. On a lower level...

saw
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...

believe
The meaning of "believe" in the Bible is pretty straightforward, but runs deeper than what appears on the surface. When in the Old Testament people...

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

christ
Christ is one of the names of the Lord. It derives from Greek, and means "the anointed one," a King or Messiah. Christ as King...

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...

glory
Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving (Rev. 7.) signify divine spiritual things of the Lord.

moses
Moses's name appears 814 times in the Bible (KJV), third-most of any one character (Jesus at 961 actually trails David at 991). He himself wrote...

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...

bread
The idea of a “loaf” in the Bible is very closely tied to the idea of “bread,” and is often used to mean bread: Jesus...

opened
To open,' as in Revelation 9, signifies communication and conjunction.

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...

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

way
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...

rose
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...

rose up
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...

hour
The Writings tell us that time and space are aspects of the physical world, but do not exist as we know them in the spiritual...

risen
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...

simon
'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.

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Commentary

 

On the Road to Emmaus

     

By Joe David

Lelio Orsi's painting, Camino de Emaús, is in the National Gallery in London, England.

Each of the four gospels contains a story about Jesus appearing to His disciples after the Sunday morning when they had found the sepulcher empty. For example, see Matthew 28:16-20; Mark 16:14-19; Luke 24:13-33; John 20:19-31, and John 21.

In Luke, there’s a story of two disciples walking from Jerusalem to the village of Emmaus, a walk of about seven miles. Shortly after they leave the city they are approached by another traveler who has noticed their troubled faces and serious talk and asks them what is troubling them. Walking along together, they ask the stranger, “Haven’t you heard of the troubles in Jerusalem, how the prophet from Galilee, who we hoped would be the one to save Israel, was given up to be crucified? And strange to say, when some of the women went on the third day to anoint His body, they saw angels who told them that he was not there but was risen from the dead.”

On hearing this, the traveler chides them for not believing, and says “Don’t you see that Christ had to suffer these things and to enter into his glory?” The stranger then tells the two disciples many things concerning Jesus, from the books of Moses, and the prophets, in the Old Testament. The two disciples listen with awe, but do not recognize the stranger. At length they arrive at Emmaus. The stranger appears to want to go on when the two stop, but they beg him to stop also, because it’s getting late in the day, and they want to hear more. So they all sit down to share the evening meal, and when the stranger takes up the loaf of bread and breaks it and gives them pieces, their eyes are opened and they recognize Him, and He vanishes.

One can imagine the stunned awe that came over them both as they realized that this was Jesus. They knew He was crucified, and yet He had walked and talked to them for several hours. The women were right! The angels were right! He was alive!

The New Church believes that there are internal meanings to all the stories in the Word of the Lord, the sacred scriptures, and that this internal meaning, within the literal stories about Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Joshua, Samuel, David, and the rest, and all the sayings of the prophets from Isaiah to Malachi, and the four gospels… this meaning is what makes the Word holy.

So what can we see here in this story? Well, that internal meaning in “Moses and the prophets” is the story of Jesus’ life in the world, from His birth in Bethlehem through all His growing years until His “death” and then His rising. Because Jesus knew that, and had certainly read the Scriptures and understood them internally, He knew for a long time how His earthly life was going to close, and that it was necessary for it to close as had been “written”, in order to save the human race. So He told the two disciples that story as they walked toward Emmaus.

More about that walk... In the Word, any mention of walking is really referring to how we live our lives from day to day. In many stories of the Word, it is said that someone walked with God. It is said that we should walk in His ways and that we should walk the straight and narrow path.

Also in this story we are told that this was a journey of sixty stadia (in the original Greek). Sixty (or other multiples of "six") represents the lifelong work of rejecting the temptations that come from our inborn selfishness. Apocalypse Explained 648. So, this journey to Emmaus means our life’s journey - as a person that is trying to follow the Lord’s teachings and become an angel.

The destination was Emmaus. In the Word any city represents a doctrine, an organized set of truths that we have put in order so that we can live according to them -- our rules of life. See Arcana Coelestia 402. They are not necessarily good, as with Jerusalem or Bethlehem, but can also be evil doctrines, e.g. Sodom or Babylon. My dictionary tells me that the name Emmaus means “hot springs”. Another universal meaning in the Word is that water means truth in its beneficial uses, but can also mean truth twisted into falsity by those in hell, in an opposite sense. See, for example, Arcana Coelestia 790. Think of the wells that Abraham dug, or the waters that Jesus promised to the woman of Samaria as they talked by Jacob’s well, or the pure river of water flowing out from under the throne in the New Jerusalem in the book of Revelation. In its converse sense, where water is destructive, think of the flood that destroyed all but Noah and his family, or the Red Sea that had to be parted so that the children of Israel could cross. The springs represented by Emmaus were holy truths bubbling up from the Word for us to use. And these are hot springs, and heat means love. So that's our destination, where truth and love together are flowing out for us to use, in a continual stream from the Lord.

This plain little anecdote about the disciples meeting the Lord on the road to Emmaus isn't just a story about Jesus's resurrection with a spiritual body. It is also a story of how we should be living our lives. We can be traveling toward heaven, listening to the Lord, walking in the way with him, and at the end He will break bread and have supper with us.

The Bible

 

Matthew 28:16-20

Study the Inner Meaning

              

16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.

17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.

18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

     

   Study the Inner Meaning

Exploring the Meaning of Matthew 28      

By Rev. Dr. Ray Silverman

Chapter 28.

A New Sabbath

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1. And in the twilight of [the] Sabbaths, as it dawned toward the first [day] of the week, came Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, to behold the tomb.
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The meaning of “Sabbath”

This chapter begins with the words, “In the end of the Sabbath.” Traditionally, the Sabbath began at the end of the day on Friday and was completed at the end of the day on Saturday. Because the honoring of the Sabbath was one of the Ten Commandments, the religious authorities considered this twenty-four-hour period most holy. Therefore, the biblical injunction that no work of any kind was to be done on the Sabbath was strictly enforced. As it is written in the Hebrew scriptures, “Work is to be done for six days, but the seventh day is a day of sabbath rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day is to be put to death” (Exodus 31:15; emphasis added).

The word, “Sabbath,” in the Hebrew language is שַׁבּתָ (shabbat) which means “rest” or

“peace.” The religious leaders interpreted this to mean rest from any kind of physical labor. On one occasion, when a man was caught picking up sticks on the Sabbath, he was brought before Moses, Aaron, and all the people for a decision about what should happen to him. As it is written, “The Lord said to Moses, ‘The man must be put to death, and the whole assembly should stone him with stones outside the camp.’ So, as the Lord commanded Moses, they took him outside the camp and stoned him to death” (Numbers 15:35-36).

This is a glimpse at the state of the religious world that Jesus was born into, a world where the commandments were understood literally and enforced rigorously. We have already seen how offended the religious leaders were when Jesus’ disciples plucked corn on the Sabbath (12:1-4). Similarly, when Jesus healed a man’s withered hand on the Sabbath, the religious leaders were so enraged that “they went out and took counsel against Him, how they might destroy Him” (12:14). In their eyes, Jesus was “working” on the Sabbath. He was flaunting a sacred tradition, the violation of which was punishable by death.

This view of the Sabbath is based on the idea that God is rigid, rule-oriented, and determined to destroy anyone who might violate the Sabbath, even if it is something as innocent as picking up sticks, or plucking corn, or healing the sick. People were not even allowed to carry anything that was heavy on the Sabbath. As the prophet Jeremiah puts it, “Thus says the Lord, ‘For the sake of your lives, do not carry a burden on the Sabbath…. But if you do not obey Me, I will destroy the palaces of Jerusalem with a fire that cannot be quenched” (Jeremiah 17:21; 27).

Statements like these, which imply that God is angry and vengeful, can be found throughout the Hebrew scriptures. It is evident that this is not an accurate picture of a loving God who is mercy itself; but it is an accurate picture of how people saw God at that time. Although the Hebrew scriptures contain infinite depths of wisdom when spiritually understood, the literal words, apart from their spiritual meaning, reveal more about the nature of the people who wrote them than they do about the true nature of God. 1

These were the kinds of false ideas that God had to correct. And so, God Himself had to come in person to show us His true nature and to deepen our understanding of the commandments. He taught that hatred is a form of murder, that lust is a form of adultery, and that the Sabbath is not just about doing physical work or carrying heavy burdens. That is why, when He deliberately spoke about burdens, He was not referring to physical objects. On a more interior level, He was speaking about the inner burdens of worry, anxiety, and fear that we carry; He was speaking about the resentments, anger, and hatreds we are unable to put down. These are the things that weigh heavily upon the soul. That is why He said, “Come unto Me all you who labor and are heavy burdened … and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and my burden light” (11:28-29).

We find “rest for our souls” whenever we rest in the Lord. This, then, is the more interior meaning of the Sabbath. It should also be noted that the Sabbath follows what is called in sacred scripture “six days of labor.” These “six days” are times of spiritual trial. During these times we have the opportunity to live according to the truth that we know and believe, even when it is difficult to do so. As we go through this process, we experience an increasingly profound sense of peace as our inner nature becomes more perfectly aligned with God’s will. Every victory along the way introduces us to a heavenly state of mind, which, in the language of sacred scripture, is called “the seventh day” and “the Sabbath.” 2

In the previous episode, when Jesus hung on the cross, He modeled this process for us. He suffered the most agonizing trials, but did not become bitter; He endured the most excruciating pain, but did not get angry; He underwent the darkest despair, but never lost sight of His mission — the salvation of the human race. In the process, Jesus conquered the hells and made His humanity Divine. This was the end of His temptations, and the beginning of a new, more exalted idea of the Sabbath. It is the Sabbath of peace that follows our efforts to align our will with God’s will. Whenever we allow God to work through us, and with us, we rest from our labors.

This episode, then, marks the end of our old ideas about the Sabbath, about God, and even about ourselves. As the evening ends and the darkness subsides, the light of a new understanding begins to arise in us. We read, therefore, that after the old Sabbath had ended, “the first day of the week began to dawn” (28:1). Sunday was coming.

Rolling Away the Stone

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2. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for the angel of the Lord, descending from heaven [and] coming, rolled away the stone from the door, and sat on it.

3. And his countenance was as lightning, and his clothing white as snow;
---

The opening words of this final chapter speak of both an ending and a beginning. It is the end of our old way of feeling and thinking about things; we are no longer driven by selfish concerns or ruled by the demands of our lower nature. As new ways of thinking about life arise in our consciousness, we begin to realize that the Lord is in charge of the least details of our life. Knowing this, we can allow ourselves to be governed by God, ready to do His will. We can drop the inner burdens while spiritually resting in the Lord. A new Sabbath is about to begin. 3

In this new “Sabbath state,” we find ourselves once again with Mary Magdalene and the other Mary in front of the Lord’s tomb. Two days ago, Jesus was crucified and laid in a tomb. Friday evening and Saturday have passed, and it seems as though nothing has happened. Jesus still remains in the tomb. This represents those times when the Word does not seem to be speaking to us; it seems to be lifeless and dead. Although we know that God is within His Word, we do not hear His voice, sense His presence, or feel His touch. It appears as though He is “dead and buried.” The truth, however, is just the opposite. Although God is always speaking to us through His Word, we do not always hear what He says.

In order to understand this more clearly, it must be remembered that Jesus was buried in a cave, and a stone was rolled across the mouth of the cave to seal it. Before we can properly hear the Word of God and sense Jesus’ presence within it, the stone must be rolled away. This “stone” represents whatever it is that stands between us and God. Whether it be selfishness, pre-occupation with worldly matters, or, simply, a lack of faith in God’s leading, this stone must be rolled away. Sometimes, it takes a great upheaval in our lives before we come to our spiritual senses and understand that there is a whole new way to live. It can be like an earthquake in our consciousness — the human equivalent of the Lord’s crucifixion. We read, therefore, that “there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, rolled away the stone from the door, and sat on it” (28:2).

The earthquake that shook the earth on the morning of the third day calls to mind the earthquake that occurred during Jesus’ crucifixion — the earthquake that caused the curtain of the temple to be torn in two and the dead to rise from their graves. It also calls to mind another time when an earthquake shook the foundations of the earth. As it is written, “On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning … and the whole mountain shook violently” (Exodus 19:16-18). That earthquake occurred as the divine prelude to the Lord’s giving of the Ten Commandments. The voice of divine truth sometimes comes to us with earth-shaking power.

We, too, have our times of crucifixion, times of earth-shaking upheavals in our life. These spiritual shake-ups invite us to go within and summon up every ounce of courage and faith that we possess. Like Jesus, we can also go through our micro-crucifixions with the conviction that we have a mission to fulfill, not on the same level as Jesus, but nevertheless a God-given mission. Sustained by our faith in God, we can refuse to surrender to anger, self-pity, or despair. Instead, we can rest in the Lord, even while engaged in combat, relying on Him for strength and wisdom.

This is when an angel descends to roll away the stone.

In the literal story, the religious leaders had sealed the stone. The sealing of the stone by the religious leaders represents the way we seal ourselves off from any hope of connecting with the living God. So the angel rolling away the stone and sitting on it pictures how a truth from the Lord’s Word, descending into our minds from heaven, can push a false belief to the side so that a truer idea might prevail. This can be an earthquake moment in our lives. 4

This, then, is our task. It is to allow truth to roll away the stone of selfishness and greed that prevents us from loving others. It is to allow truth to roll away the stone of despair and self-pity that prevents us from experiencing the joy of life. It is to allow truth to roll away the stone of ignorance that prevents us from seeing and understanding who God truly is. In essence, our task is to allow truth from God’s Word — the angel that descends — to roll away every false and twisted belief that stands like an obstructing stone between us and God. 5

The countenance of the angel who rolls away the stone is described as being “like lightning” and his clothing “as white as snow” (28:3). The description of the angel suggests the brightness and purity of the divine truth that comes into our life with insights that flash across the inner sky of our minds like lightning, and shine within our consciousness with perceptions as pure as freshly fallen snow. In sacred scripture, these brilliant insights and clear perceptions that come to us from heaven are described as “angels descending.” They roll away the stone of falsity and reveal to us the light of truth. As mentioned earlier, when the Ten Commandments were given amidst an earthquake, there were flashes of lightning in the sky. It signifies divine truth coming into our life like lightning. 6

The Women Rejoice

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4. And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead.

5. And the angel answering said to the women, “Fear ye not; for I know that you seek Jesus, who was crucified.

6. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

7. And going quickly, say to His disciples that He is risen from the dead; and behold, He goes before you into Galilee; there you shall see Him; behold, I have told you.”

8. And going out quickly from the sepulcher with fear and great joy, they ran to report [this] to His disciples.

9. And as they went to report to His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “Hail.” And they coming, took hold of His feet, and worshiped Him.

10. Then says Jesus to them, “Fear not; go, report to My brothers, that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see Me.”
---

Before the light of a new understanding can dawn, anxious thoughts must be quieted, inner turbulence must be calmed, and troubling fears must be quelled. This is when the new Sabbath begins. In the early dawn of each new state, the stone must be rolled away. To those who have been waiting patiently for the Lord, this represents the coming of a new understanding; it is the first light of a new awareness.

The two Marys, whose hearts were waiting and longing for Jesus, are ready for the stone to be rolled away. Unlike the guards, who “shook with fear and became like dead men” (28:4) when the angel rolled away the stone, the women are comforted by the angel’s words. “Do not be afraid,” the angel says to the women. “I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay” (28:5-6). As the women approach the tomb and look inside, they see that the angel’s words are true. Jesus is not there! “Go quickly,” says the angel, “and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; and there you will see Him” (28:7).

As the two women run to meet the disciples and tell them the wonderful news, Jesus meets them along the way. “Greetings,” He says. (28:9). Behind them is the empty tomb; before them the living God. This is a picture of the change that takes place in our lives when the angel rolls away the stone and proclaims the eternal truth, “He is not here; for He is risen.”

When the stone of doubt and disbelief is rolled away, we see that the living God is present everywhere, pervading the universe with His Divine life, flowing continuously into nature to produce vibrant colors and sweet fragrances, flowing continuously into human hearts and minds to produce noble thoughts and loving affections. No matter where we are in our life, God is always there, urging to be received. 7

When Jesus’ greets the two Marys, they respond with reverent awe. As it is written, “They took hold of His feet and worshipped Him” (28:10). The words, “They took hold of His feet and worshipped Him” suggest that this is much more than an ordinary reunion of good friends; rather, it is a spontaneous, heart-felt acknowledgment of Jesus’ divinity. There were moments throughout His earthly ministry when people were inspired to worship Jesus. When the wise men came to Bethlehem, “they worshipped Him” (2:11); when Jesus calmed the sea and walked on water, His disciples “worshipped Him” (14:33); and when the woman came to Jesus, begging Him to heal her demon-possessed daughter, “she worshipped Him” (15:25). Similarly, in this episode, the two Marys take hold of His feet and worship Him. 8

For the most part, every incident that led to the worship of the Lord was based on a miracle, whether it was His miracle birth in Bethlehem, His walking on water in Galilee, or His rising from the dead in Jerusalem. But worship based on miracles, while it can initiate worship, is not true worship. It is merely an external persuasion that can compel belief, but does not become a part of a person’s essential character. 9

Genuine worship of the Lord is not based on external miracles, no matter how convincing they might be. It is simply a matter of keeping the commandments — that is, doing God’s will, and not our own, even if it means that our egotistical tendencies and self-serving attitudes must go through agonies in Gethsemane and crucifixions at Calvary. Whenever we do this, the subsequent changes that take place in our spirit are the truest confirmation of God’s ability to bring about inner miracles. This alone is what leads us into true worship. 10

While the two Marys are still at His feet worshipping Him, Jesus repeats the comforting words of the angel. “Do not be afraid” He says. “Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see Me” (28:10). Earlier in this gospel, Jesus promised His disciples that no matter what happened to Him, He would eventually meet them in Galilee. They were, therefore, not to be discouraged. “Even though the shepherd would be struck,” He told them at that time, He would rise again. “After I have been raised,” He said, “I will go before you into Galilee” (26:32). And now, in the closing words of this episode, Jesus repeats His promise. This time, however, He adds an important detail; He says, “There they will see Me.” To “see the Lord” is to understand His teachings and do His will. “Blessed are the pure in heart” He said during the Sermon on the Mount, “for they shall see God.”

As we shall see, this is what it means to be in a state called “Galilee.” 11

The Report of the Temple Guards

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11. And as they were going, behold, some of the guard, coming into the city, reported to the chief priests all things that were done.

12. And being gathered together with the elders, and taking counsel, they gave considerable silver to the soldiers,

13. Saying, “Say ye that His disciples, coming by night, stole Him while we slumbered.

14. And if this shall be heard by the governor, we will persuade him, and will make you safe.”

15. And they, receiving the silver, did as they were taught; and this word was made public among the Jews even to this day.
---

Meanwhile, back in Jerusalem, the religious leaders are extremely troubled. The temple guards have just come to them and reported about the things they had witnessed (28:11) — the earthquake, the appearance of the angel, the rolling away of the stone, and the empty tomb. These are the same guards who “shook with fear” in the presence of the angel “and became like dead men.”

When the religious leaders hear this alarming news, they immediately gather together with the elders and come up with a plan to dispel belief in the possibility of an actual resurrection. They decide to offer the guards a large sum of money to say nothing about what actually happened. Instead, if anyone should ask what happened, the guards are to tell them, “His disciples came at night and stole Him while we were sleeping” (28:13). In addition, the religious leaders tell the guards that if Pilate should find out about their negligence (sleeping while on duty), they will take care of everything and keep the guards out of trouble (28:14). The guards accept the bribe. As it is written, “They took the silver and did as they were directed” (28:15).

The reality of the resurrection

It’s interesting to compare how the news of the resurrection is received by those who hate Jesus and those who love Him. For the women who love Jesus, the news of His resurrection is thrilling. Overjoyed, they race off to tell the disciples the good news. And when they meet Jesus along the way, they grasp His feet and worship Him” (28:9).

But for those who hate Jesus, the news brings no joy. Instead, the religious leaders are deeply concerned. All along, they have believed that if Jesus were destroyed, it would put an end to His growing influence; He would no longer be a threat to their power base. However, if word got out that Jesus had somehow survived the crucifixion, it would be disastrous to their efforts to prove that Jesus was a blasphemer. Therefore, they resort to bribery and lies, paying off the guards instructing them to spread a false report.

The stubborn disbelief of the religious leaders and their persistent refusal to admit that their assessment of Jesus might be wrong — even in face of the impartial testimony of the guards — represents a hardened-heart that will not change. For those who do not want to believe, no amount of evidence will ever be enough. Therefore, the religious leaders, representing our lower selves, remain hell-bent on destroying Jesus. Even if they cannot do this physically, they will endeavor to discredit Him and destroy His reputation among the people who believe in Him. 12

These are the inner voices that strive to convince us that the resurrection is not real. They insinuate the idea that the resurrection is far-fetched. When it is said that God came to earth as Jesus Christ, was crucified, and rose again, these voices raise doubts. They suggest that it is more plausible to believe that Jesus was a human being, like anyone else, and that after He was crucified, His followers stole the body from the tomb while the guards were sleeping — just as the religious leaders instructed the guards. According to the gospel account, the story that the guards reported was widely circulated among the people of that day (28:15).

Doubts about the reality of the resurrection are as old as the resurrection itself. It has been called a gigantic hoax, a pagan myth, and even a smoke and mirrors magic act. Some scholars have asserted that belief in the resurrection is a form of intellectual suicide — an outright denial of reason and logic. Clever explanations that explain away the resurrection are available for all who seek them. We are left in freedom to either accept or reject the resurrection. In the same way, we have the freedom to accept or reject the Word of God, and even God Himself.

We can also reject the idea that the earth is round; instead, we can believe that it is flat. We can reject the idea that the earth revolves around the sun; instead, we can believe that the sun revolves around the earth. To our physical eyes and natural senses, a belief in a flat earth and a rising sun certainly seems to be true. In the same way, it certainly seems to be true that we have life from ourselves and not from God. But revelation teaches, and reason confirms that there is a God and that all life is from Him alone. Although a spiritual reality like this is not observable to the naked eye, it can be rationally seen that it is true. 13

Similarly, we need not take the report about the reality of Jesus’ resurrection “on faith.” Not at all, for there is a rationally satisfying reason for the resurrection. It’s as simple as this. God cannot die. This is a reality that each of us can understand if we are willing to undergo inner crucifixions and inner resurrections. If we have been faithful in “taking up our cross and following Jesus” (16:24), we know what it means to go through the combats of temptation. We know the agony to be sure, but we also know the peace that comes to us on the other side of temptation combats. And we know that this is how we grow spiritually, through shunning evils, through calling upon God for help and strength, and through recognizing that it is the Lord alone who fights for us during times of trial. Every time we go through a combat of temptation, relying on the Lord’s truth and power, there is a resurrection in our lives. At such times, we come to know and understand, interiorly and experientially, that the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is real — for it takes place in us over and over again. It is not just an historical fact, but an ongoing reality. We can experience His rising daily in us, and even in every moment. 14

A New Promised Land

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16. And the eleven disciples went into Galilee, into the mountain where Jesus had directed them.

17. And when they saw Him, they worshiped Him; and [yet] they doubted.

18. And Jesus coming spoke to them, saying, “All authority is given to Me in heaven and on earth.

19. Going [forth], therefore, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,

20. “Teaching them to keep all things whatever I have commanded you; and behold, I am with you all the days, even to the consummation of the age. Amen.”
---

The angel has given the two women a simple message: “Go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee” (28:7). As the women hurried off to tell the disciples, Jesus Himself met them, and gave them a further message to convey: “Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee,” said Jesus, “and there they will see Me” (28:10).

As we come to the final episode in this gospel, we discover that Jesus’ promise is true. We read, “Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw Him, they worshipped Him” (28:16). Just a few verses earlier, the women took hold of Jesus’ feet and “worshipped Him” (28:9). And now, just seven verses later, the disciples do likewise. In both cases, the immediate response is one of reverence and awe. They worshipped Him. It should also be noted that there are “eleven” disciples, not twelve. On the literal level, this is because Judas is no longer with them. But as we pointed out in the parable about the workers in the vineyard, those who came at the “eleventh hour” represented the innocent, receptive states in us that are capable of responding to God and receiving what flows in from Him. 15

Galilee in us

All of this happens on a mountain in Galilee. But why Galilee? After all, it is at least seventy miles from Jerusalem to Galilee, a journey of two or three days. Why not meet somewhere in Jerusalem, or in Jericho? Why Galilee? The reasons are many. One of the more obvious reasons is that it would be safer to meet in Galilee, far away from the religious leaders who were still seeking to destroy Jesus. Another reason could be that Galilee is the original place where Jesus first gathered His disciples together. It would be a time of re-union, an opportunity to re-connect and to remember the joy and excitement of the early days when everything was fresh, new, and exciting.

Jesus does the same for us. After our struggles in Jerusalem (temptations), He takes us back, again and again, to our first love; He rekindles our initial passion for following Him. He summons us back to Galilee — back to a simple, uncomplicated faith and trust in Him. 16

Just as the number “eleven” represents the receptivity and innocence of childhood, Galilee represents a time of innocent, childlike trust in the Lord. The people of Galilee were not sophisticated intellectuals, nor were they theologically trained. For the most part, they were uncomplicated people who lived far from the intellectual and cultural center at Jerusalem. They were country folk, farmers and fishermen who had little learning, but receptive hearts. This is where Jesus began His ministry, feeding the hungry, healing the sick, opening blind eyes, and unstopping deaf ears. He made the lame to walk and the mute to speak. While He did some preaching, and spent some time instructing His disciples, He devoted most of His energies to meeting the physical needs of these innocent, receptive people — in preparation for the time when He would also meet their spiritual needs.

Galilee, then, represents that place of simple, uncomplicated faith in each of us — a faith that is easily received by all those who lead good lives. When our hearts are in the right place, we receive truth easily. This is because we are eager to learn what is true because we long to do what is good. It is fitting, therefore, that Jesus would call together His eleven disciples in Galilee — a place that represents an innocent faith, a willingness to learn the truth, and a desire to do good. 17

The Great Commission

Having brought His disciples to Galilee — spiritually and geographically — Jesus is about to give the disciples their great commission. We can imagine their excitement and enthusiasm. Jesus, who has defeated death, has now returned to them. But even then, “some doubted” (28:17). This is understandable. After all, the disciples are still learning. And that’s what the term “disciple” means in the original Greek — μαθητής (mathētḗs) — one who is learning. It has not been easy for them. In addition to many times of wonder and awe, there have been times of confusion, bewilderment, disappointment, and fear. There also have been times when they have had to come face to face with their own weakness and selfishness. They have come far, to be sure, but they have farther to go and more to learn.

Similarly, the Lord does not expect us to be perfect or to have perfect faith. He continues to protect our freedom so that we can doubt if we choose to. The Lord knows that doubts will arise along the journey of faith and that we will have times of weakness. But He also knows our strengths. When doubts assail us — and they will — Jesus comes near, speaking words of blessed assurance, just as He now speaks to His disciples in Galilee, saying “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth’” (28:18). With these words and this promise, He strengthens His disciples for their Great Commission: “Go, therefore and make disciples of all nations,” He says, “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you” (28:19).

The disciples are now to carry on, as if on their own, Jesus’ work. They are to “baptize all nations” — not just the people of Galilee, or the lost sheep of the house of Israel, but all people everywhere who have ears to hear and hearts to receive. Those who receive the water of baptism will know and understand that this represents a willingness to be instructed in the truths of genuine Christianity. This baptism will be in the name of “the Father” — the Divine love in the heart of the Lord Jesus Christ, in the name of “the Son” — the Divine truth that comes from Jesus’ lips, and in the name of “the Holy Spirit” — the Divine Energy and Power proceeding from Jesus’ risen and glorified Humanity. All authority and all power is in Him and from Him — a Divine Trinity, not of three persons, but of three attributes in One Divine Person. 18

The closing scene

As this episode draws to a close, we are left with a beautiful picture of Jesus on the mountaintop with His disciples. We are reminded of Moses, who also stood on a mountaintop many years before, overlooking the Promised Land. Moses, however, was still mortal. It was there, on Mount Nebo that Moses died. The Lord then commissioned

Joshua to become the new leader of the people. “Moses, My servant, is dead,” the Lord said to Joshua. “Therefore, arise, go over this Jordan … every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you … Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid nor dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go’” (Joshua 1:2-3; 9).

Just as the Lord commissioned Joshua, Jesus similarly commissions His disciples to go forward — into a Promised Land of human hearts and minds. As they enter this new Promised Land, they are to seek only what is good and true in people. And they are to baptize all nations with the new and glorious truths that Jesus has taught them, preparing the way for a new religious era. They are not to be afraid, but rather they are to be strong and courageous. Just as the Lord told Joshua that He would be with him wherever he would go, Jesus says to His disciples, “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (28:20).

The End of the Age

Jesus has spoken of the “end of the age,” several times in this gospel (13:39; 13:49; 24:3) and He ends by referring to it once again (28:20). What does it mean? When will it be? Jesus does not give a specific time, nor does He indicate a certain place. This is because the “end of the age” does not take place in time and space. 19

On one level, the “end of the age” refers to the end, the close, or the consummation of a corrupt religious dispensation. Taken literally, this refers to the end of the religious era that had so dominated the people before Jesus’ coming. At the same time, it also refers to the beginning of a new religious era based on Jesus’ literal teachings. On a more interior level, however, the end of a former age and the beginning of a new age pertains not so much to religious institutions but rather to our inner lives. In other words, “the end of the age” is much more than the end of a religious establishment headed by corrupt religious leaders and the beginning of a new religion whose leaders live in integrity. More deeply, the “end of the age” is about each of us as we come to the end of our self-absorption and begin to focus more on the needs of others. It is about each of us as we come to the end of our arrogant attitudes and begin to cultivate humility and the willingness to be instructed. 20

As we come to the end of the age of self-absorption and arrogance, we enter a new age, a new era, a new dimension of existence. When this happens within us, we experience a major shift in consciousness. The old age in us gradually comes to an end, and a new age begins to dawn. When this occurs, we know that the “generation of Jesus Christ” (1:1) has begun to take place in our souls, and we are becoming ready to proclaim His divinity. No longer do we see Him as “the son of David, the son of Abraham” (1:1), but rather as the Son of God.

Therefore, we now turn to the next gospel in the continuous series, which begins with the words, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.”

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Footnotes:

1. Arcana Coelestia 3605:3-4: “People who are under the influence of evil … believe that Jehovah, like themselves, is capable of hatred, anger, wrath, and fury. Therefore, it is so expressed in the Word according to the appearance, for such as is a person’s quality, such the Lord appears to that person. See also BE 62: “God is not angry with people, but people, from the anger within themselves, are angry with God…. When evil-doers are punished by their own evil, it appears to them that the punishment is from God.”

2. Arcana Coelestia 8893: “Before a person is regenerated, or created anew, there is no serenity or rest because a person’s natural life then fights against one’s spiritual life and wishes to rule over it. Consequently, the Lord labors during this time, for He fights for a person against the hells which assault. But as soon as the good of love has been implanted [in a person], the combat ceases, and rest ensues, for the person is then introduced into heaven, and is led by the Lord according to the laws of order there, thus into a state of peace. These things are signified by ‘Jehovah rested on the seventh day.’” See also Arcana Coelestia 8494: “[A sabbath] rest signifies a state of peace when there is no temptation. This is evident from the signification of ‘a rest’ such as there was on the days of the Sabbath, as being a representative of a state of peace, in which is effected the conjunction of good and truth [in a person].”

3. Arcana Coelestia 8455: “Peace has in it confidence in the Lord, that He directs all things, and provides all things, and that He leads to a good end.”

4. True Christian Religion 71[2]: “It is a law of order that people from their micro-heaven or little spiritual world should control their microcosm or little natural world, just as God from His macro-heaven or spiritual world controls the macrocosm or natural world in all its parts.”

5. Apocalypse Explained 400:14: “The angel rolling away the stone from the mouth [of the cave] and sitting upon it, signifies that the Lord removed all the falsity that cut off approach to Him, and that He opened Divine truth…. The chief-priests and Pharisees sealed the stone with a watch, but an angel from heaven removed it, and sat upon it.” See also Apocalypse Explained 655:4: “The word ‘stone’ signifies truth, and, in the opposite sense, falsity.”

6. Apocalypse Explained 687:18: “The stone that was rolled away by the angel signifies Divine truth, thus the Word, which had been closed up…. [And now] was being opened by the Lord.” See also Arcana Coelestia 8914:2: “The Ten Commandments were declared from Mount Sinai amid thundering and lightning … the flashes of lightning were signs of the brilliant flashes that truths from good possess [or] Divine Truths emanating from the Lord’s Divine Good.”

7. True Christian Religion 49: “God is present everywhere.” See also True Christian Religion 341: “God is continuously present with everyone, giving life [along with] the ability to understand and the capacity to love” and Inv 23: “The Lord is perpetually present with every person, the evil as well as the good. Without His presence, no one can live; and the Lord constantly acts, urges and strives to be received.”

8. Apocalypse Explained 75: “The words ‘fell at His feet’ signify worship from humility of heart in the presence of the Divine.”

9. Divine Providence 130: “No one is reformed by miracles and signs, because they compel…. It cannot be denied that miracles induce a belief and a strong persuasion that what is said and taught by the one who performs the miracles is true. This, at first, so occupies the external of a person’s thought as to hold it spell-bound. When this happens, however, people are deprived of their two faculties called freedom and rationality, and therefore their ability to act from freedom and in accord with reason.”

10. Apocalypse Explained 815:4: “At that time, faith was based on miracles…. The Lord allowed Himself to be worshiped like this … because faith based on miracles must precede. It becomes saving faith, however, when a person learns truths from the Word, and lives according to them.” See also 10143:5: “In short, acting in accord with the Lord’s commandments constitutes true worship of Him…. There is nothing that a person who loves another and who believes in another would rather do than to will and do what that other wills and thinks. The person’s only desire, then, is to know the will and thought of the other person, and to do what is pleasing to that person.”

11. Arcana Coelestia 8767: “A person who leads a life in accordance with the commandments is joined to the Lord. For the commandments teach about life and also impart life, thereby opening the way to heaven and opening one's eyes to see the Lord.” See also Apocalypse Explained 447:5: “Galilee … signifies the establishment of the church with those who are in the good of life and receive truths.”

12. Apocalypse Explained 1014:2: “All who are in evils as to life, and in the falsities therefrom, are murderers; for they are enemies and haters of good and truth, since evil hates good and falsity hates truth. See also Apocalypse Explained 1012:4: “In the highest sense, the commandment, ‘You shall not murder," means that one shall not take away from anyone the faith and love of God, and thus a person’s spiritual life. This is murder itself.”

13. Arcana Coelestia 1378: “There are some who have believed nothing to be true that they did not see with their eyes . . . for example, the sailing of a ship around the globe. They who suffer themselves to be carried away by the fallacies of the senses, might believe that the ship and the sailors would fall off when they came to the opposite side, and that the people at the antipodes could never stand upon their feet. Such also is the case with many things in the other life that are contrary to the fallacies of the senses, and yet are true — as that a person has no life of himself, but from the Lord; and very many other things.”

14. Arcana Coelestia 2405: “The Lord’s resurrection on the third morning contains … the truth that He rises daily, indeed every single moment, in the minds of those who are regenerating.”

15. Apocalypse Explained 194: “The number ‘eleven’ signifies a state not yet full, but yet a state of reception, such as that of well-disposed children and infants.” (See the commentary at 20:9)

16. Arcana Coelestia 2094:2: “At the present day there are many who believe nothing unless they know from reason that it is so…. These persons cannot possibly receive any faith unless they first comprehend in some measure how it can be so, and this is why these things have been explained. However, they who believe the Word in simplicity have no need to know all these things, for they are already in the end to which the others just described cannot come except by a knowledge of such things.”

17. Apocalypse Explained 447: “The word ‘Galilee’ signifies the establishment of the church with those who are in the good of life.” See also Arcana Coelestia 2986: ““All those who are in the good of life receive truths easily.”

18. Divine Providence 262: “It is clear from the preceding and following verses that He said this to make known that in Himself now glorified there was the Divine Trinity. In the verse immediately preceding He says that to Him is given all power in heaven and on earth; and in the verse immediately following He says that He would be with them until the end of the age; thus, He speaks of Himself alone, and not of three.”

19. Arcana Coelestia 4535:5: “It is the end of the age in a church when there is no longer any charity and therefore no faith.”

20. Arcana Coelestia 2243:8: “The end of the age [or consummation of the age] in regard to a church is when evil has reached its peak. The case is similar with every person. See also Apocalypse Explained 870: “The end of the age refers to the end of the old church and the beginning of the new church…. The Lord’s coming in person is the revelation of Himself in the Word that He is Jehovah the Lord of heaven and earth, and that all who will be in His New Church which is meant by the New Jerusalem will adore Him alone. For this purpose, He has now opened the internal or spiritual sense of the Word.”

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From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

Arcana Coelestia 1607, 2026, 2708, 3704, 4535, 6197, 6970, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 23, 176, 294, 464, 476, 517, 520, ...

A Brief Exposition of New Church Doctrine 32, 44, 120

Conjugial Love 8, 82, 336

Divine Love and Wisdom 111

Divine Providence 245, 262, 330

Doctrine of the Lord 32, 46, 51

Worlds in Space 91, 159

Heaven and Hell 5

True Christian Religion 98, 104, 111, 113, 133, 137, 139, ...

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 291, 292


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 15, 137, 183, 200, 228, 397, 400, ...

On the Athanasian Creed 177

Canons of the New Church 39, 43, 44

Charity 170, 201

De Domino 46

Spiritual Experiences 857, 1368, 4340

Marriage 98, 104, 111, 113

Scriptural Confirmations 2, 4, 33, 79

Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Isaiah 9:5, 66:19

Daniel 7:14

Haggai 1:13

Bible Word Meanings

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!...

galilee
Galilee was the northernmost province of Biblical Judea, a hilly area relatively remote from the center of Jewish culture in Jerusalem and bordered by foreigners...

into a mountain
'To be taken up into a mountain,' as in Revelation 21:10, signifies being taken up into the third heaven, because it says 'in the spirit.'...

saw
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...

worshipped
'Worship,' as in Revelation 13:12, signifies acknowledging something to be sacred in the church.

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...

power
Power,' as in Revelation 4, signifies salvation, because all divine power regards this as its final purpose. A person is reformed by divine power, and...

heaven
"Air" in the Bible represents thought, but in a very general way – more like our capacity to perceive ideas and the way we tend...

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...

ghost
There are two aspects to the life of each person. We might call them "heart" and "mind," a part of us that wants and feels...

all things
The Lord is life itself, is the Creator of the universe, and is the source of life on an ongoing basis. So in a literal...

Amen
Amen signifies divine confirmation from truth, consequently from the Lord himself.Amen signifies truth, because the Lord was truth itself, therefore he so often said Amen...

Videos from the Swedenborg Foundation

The videos shown here are provided courtesy of our friends at the Swedenborg Foundation. You can find out more about them here: swedenborg.com.


Does the Bible Say There Are 3 Gods or 1?

Swedenborg emphasizes that God is one, not three. Dr. Jonathan Rose explains Bible passages that seem to indicate three separate Gods.


How to Understand the Trinity - Swedenborg and Life

“The Trinity is well known to the Christian world, yet in other ways it is unknown.” Swedenborg asserts the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one the way our soul, body, and actions are one.

Matthew 28:19-19 >> 07:40
, 53:18
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.


 A Corn of Wheat
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Angels at the Sepulcher
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Baptizing a Baby
This illustrated talk gives children a lovely introduction to baptism. 
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Children in Heaven
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Compare the Easter Story in 4 Gospels
Project | Ages 7 - 14

 Discipleship at Easter
The final events in Jesus' life unfolded quickly. The disciples responded to the changes in different ways. The twelve disciples picture qualities in us that follow the Lord. How do we respond when our faith is challenged?
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Easter
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 Easter (3-5 years)
Project | Ages 4 - 6

 Easter (6-8 years)
Project | Ages 7 - 10

 Easter (9-11 years)
Project | Ages 11 - 14

 Easter at the Tomb
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Easter Diorama
Color and assemble a diorama showing Mary looking into the tomb and seeing the two angels. 
Project | Ages 7 - 14

 Easter: Matthew
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

 Easter Morning
The story of Easter morning teaches that the Lord Jesus, who came to earth and touched us with His great love and wisdom, is more than a man. He is our God.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Father and Son Perfectly United: The Nature of the Divinity of Jesus Christ
When the Lord rose from the empty tomb on Easter morning, the Son was fully united with the Father, becoming visible as the Lord God Jesus Christ. 
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Follow Me
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Food for Thought: Baptism - A Doorway to Eternal Life
Baptism creates an introductory link between a person and the Lord.
Activity | Ages over 15

 For Reflection: Joy Comes in the Morning
Activity | Ages over 15

 Go and Teach All Nations
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Go Therefore and Make Disciples
A disciple is anyone who follows the Lord, loves Him, and obeys His commandments. How can we follow this directive in our lives?
Activity | Ages over 15

 Lo, I Am with You Always: Ideas for Picturing the Lord
Project | Ages 11 - 17

 Memory Verse: I Am with You Always
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Memory Verse: Joy Comes in the Morning
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Memory Verse: The Lord's Final Temptation
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Our Lord God Jesus Christ
The Lord rose from the tomb with His whole body, leaving nothing behind as we do.
Article | Ages over 18

 Picture of the Lord's Ascension
Let your little ones make their own picture of the Lord ascending into heaven.
Project | Ages 4 - 14

 Prayers for Adults: Joy Comes in the Morning
Activity | Ages over 18

 Prayers for Teens: I Am With You Always
Activity | Ages 15 - 17

 Prayers for Teens: Joy Comes in the Morning
Activity | Ages 15 - 17

 Quotes: Disciples of the Lord
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 Quotes: Joy Comes in the Morning
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 Quotes: The Promise of Baptism
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 Resurrection
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Resurrection
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 9 - 12

 Seeing the Lord
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 The Disciples See the Lord
A line drawing of the disciples kneeling before the Lord after His resurrection.
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 The Happiness of Easter
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 The Lord Ascends to Heaven
Project | Ages 4 - 10

 The Lord Is Always with Us
Color picture of the Lord with His disciples as He ascends to heaven.
Picture | Ages up to 14

 The Lord's Continual Presence
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story or passage and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

 The Lord’s Most Important Work
This article discusses the Lord's most important earthly work-called His glorification-and what it means for our lives today using clear illustrations from nature human experience.
Article | Ages 15 - 17

 The Resurrected Lord
Article | Ages 15 - 17

 What the Lord Accomplished
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10


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