The Bible

 

Matthew 17:24-27 : The Temple Tax

        

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24 And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute?

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?

26 Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free.

27 Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.

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From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

Arcana Coelestia 6394

Apocalypse Revealed 405


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 513, 820

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:



Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Exodus 30:12, 16

2 Kings 6:7

2 Chronicles 24:6, 9

Nehemiah 10:33

Word/Phrase Explanations

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

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....

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...

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...

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.

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...

sea
'The sea and the waves roaring' means heresy and controversies in the church and individual.

cast
For something to be cast down or cast out generally refers to a rather dramatic move from a higher spiritual state to a lower one....

Fish
Fish signify sensual affections which are the ultimate affections of the natural man. Also, those who are in common truths, which are also ultimates of...

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

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

Commentary

 

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)

From Swedenborg's Works

 

Apocalypse Explained #820

Apocalypse Explained (Whitehead translation)      

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820. As it was shown in a preceding article (n. 817), that Cain, Reuben, and the Philistines, represent in the Word those who are in truths separated from good, I will now show that the apostle Peter in the Word of the Evangelists means truth from good which is from the Lord, and also in the contrary sense, truth separated from good. And as truth is of faith and good is of charity, "Peter" also means faith from charity, and again faith separated from charity. For the twelve apostles, like the twelve tribes of Israel, represented the church in respect to all things of it, thus in respect to truths and goods, since all things of the church have reference to these, the same as to faith and love; for truths are of faith, and goods are of love. In general, Peter, James, and John, represented faith, charity, and the works of charity; and this is why these three followed the Lord more than the others, and it is said of them in Mark:

He suffered no one to follow Him save Peter, James, and John (Mark 5:37).

(References: Revelation 13:12; The Apocalypse Explained 817)


[2] And as truth from good, which is from the Lord, is the first thing of the church, Peter was the first to be called by his brother Andrew, and afterwards James and John were called, as is evident in Matthew:

Jesus walking by the sea of Galilee saw two brethren, Simon called Peter and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishers. And He said unto them, Come ye after Me, and I will make you fishers of men. And straightway leaving their nets they followed Him (Matthew 4:18-20).

In John:

Andrew findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messiah, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. And therefore he brought him to Jesus. And Jesus looking upon him, said unto him, Thou art Simon the son of Jonah; thou shalt be called Cephas, which is, by interpretation, Peter (John 1:41-43)

In Mark:

Jesus going up into a mountain calls unto Him whom He would, first Simon upon whom He conferred the name Peter, and afterwards James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James (Mark 3:13, 16, 17).

Peter was the first of the apostles because truth from good is the first thing of the church; for, from the world a man does not know anything about heaven and hell, nor of a life after death, nor even about God. His natural light teaches nothing except what has entered through the eyes, thus nothing except what relates to the world and to self; and from these is his life; and so long as he is in these only he is in hell; and therefore, that he may be withdrawn from these and be led to heaven he must needs learn truths, which teach not only that there is a God, that there is a heaven and a hell, and that there is a life after death, but also teach the way to heaven. From this it is clear that truth is the first thing through which man has the church. But it must be truth from good, for truth without good is mere knowledge that a thing is so; and mere knowledge does nothing except to make a man capable of becoming a church; but this is not effected until he lives according to knowledges. Then truth is conjoined to good, and man is introduced into the church. Moreover, truths teach how a man ought to live; and when man is affected by truths for the sake of truths, which is done when he loves to live according to them, he is led by the Lord, and conjunction with heaven is granted him, and he becomes spiritual, and after death an angel of heaven. Nevertheless it is to be known that it is not truths that produce these effects, but good by means of truths; and good is from the Lord. Because truth from good, which is from the Lord, is the first thing of the church, Peter was the first to be called, and was the first of the apostles, and he was also named by the Lord "Cephas," which means petra [a rock]; but, that it might be the name of a person, he is called Petrus [Peter]. In the highest sense "rock" [Petra] signifies the Lord in relation to Divine truth, or Divine truth proceeding from the Lord; consequently in a relative sense "rock" signifies truth from good, which is from the Lord, the like is meant by Peter. (That "rock" has this signification see above, n. 411. But what "Simon son of Jonah" signifies see also above, n. 443.

(References: John 1:40-42; Mark 3:16-17; The Apocalypse Explained 411, 443)


[3] These three apostles were fishermen, and the Lord said unto them, "Come ye after Me, and I will make you fishers of men," because "to fish" signifies to instruct natural men; for there were at that time, both within the church and outside of it, natural men who became spiritual as they received the Lord and received truths from Him.

[4] From this the signification of the Lord's words to Peter concerning the keys may be deduced; as in Matthew:

When some had said that Jesus was John the Baptist, others Elijah, others Jeremiah or another of the prophets, Jesus said to the disciples, But whom say ye that I am? Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon son of Jonah; for flesh and blood hath not revealed this unto thee, but My Father who is in the heavens. And I say also unto thee, Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of the heavens, and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in the heavens; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in the heavens (Matthew 16:14-19).

This was said by the Lord to Peter because truth from good, which is from the Lord, is the first thing of the church, and this was what Peter signified; and this was said when he acknowledged the Lord to be the Messiah or the Christ, and to be the Son of the living God; for without such an acknowledgment truth is not truth, because truth derives its origin, essence, and life from good, and good from the Lord. Because truth from good, which is from the Lord, is the first thing of the church, therefore the Lord says, "upon this rock will I build My church." It has been said just above that "Peter" or "Rock" signifies in the highest sense Divine truth proceeding from the Lord, and in a relative sense truth from good, which is from the Lord. That "the gates of hell shall not prevail" signifies that falsities from evil, which are from the hells, will not dare to rise up against those of the church who are in truths from good from the Lord, "the gates of hell" signifying all things of hell, for there are gates to all the hells through which falsities from evil exhale and rise up. "The keys of the heavens" signify the introduction into heaven of all those who are in truths from good from the Lord; "whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in the heavens, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on the earth shall be loosed in the heavens," signifies that heaven is opened by the Lord to those who are in truths from good from Him; and that it is closed to those who are not. These things were said to Peter; but because "Peter" means truth from good, which is from the Lord, they were said of the Lord, who is the source of good and its truth; and this is why they were said when Peter acknowledged the Lord to be the Messiah or the Christ, and the Son of the living God. Moreover, as soon as good is implanted in truths with man he is conjoined with the angels; but so long as good is not implanted in truths with man heaven is closed to him; for he then has evil in place of good, and falsities in place of truths. From this it is clear how sensuously those think who attribute such authority to Peter, when yet such authority belongs to the Lord alone.

[5] That "Peter" signifies truth from good, which is from the Lord, has been made manifest to me from heaven, as may be seen in the work on The Last Judgement (n. 57). Because "Peter" signified truth from good which is from the Lord, and consequently also doctrine, and thus he represented those who are in truths from good and in the doctrine of genuine truth from the Lord, and since such as these instruct others, and are instructed by the Lord, therefore Peter so often spoke with the Lord and was also instructed by the Lord. He spoke with the Lord at His transfiguration:

About making three tabernacles (Matthew 17:1-5; Mark 9:2-8; Luke 9:26-36).

The Lord then represented the Word, which is Divine truth; and "tabernacles" signify the worship of the Lord from the good of love and truths therefrom. (See above concerning the Lord's transfiguration, n. 594; and concerning the signification of tabernacles, n. 799).

He spake about the Lord:

That He was the Christ, the Son of the living God (John 6:67-69).

He was taught by the Lord:

Respecting charity, that a brother must be forgiven as often as he sinned (Matthew 18:21, 22).

Respecting regeneration, which is signified by the one who having once bathed has no need except to wash his feet (John 13:10);

Respecting the power of truth from good from the Lord, which is meant by the power of those who have the faith of God (Mark 11:21, 23, 24);

Respecting sins, that they are forgiven to those who are in faith from love (Luke 7:40-48);

Respecting men who are spiritual, as being free; and those who are natural, as being servants, about which Peter was taught when he took the stater out of the mouth of a fish and gave it for tribute (a fish signifying the natural man, as likewise one that pays tribute. Matthew 17:24-27); as well as many other things (respecting which see Matthew 14:26-31; Luke 9:27, 28; Mark 10:28, seq.; Mark 13:3, seq.; Mark 16:7; Luke 22:8, seq.; Luke 24:12, 33, 34; John 1, 8:10, 11; 20:3-8; 21:1-11).

(References: John 13:3-10, John 18:10-11, 20:2-8; Luke 9:28-36, Luke 24:33-34; Mark 11:21-24, Mark 11:23-24; Matthew 18:21-22, 19:27-28; The Apocalypse Explained 594, The Apocalypse Explained 799)


[6] It was because Peter represented those who are in truths from the good of love to the Lord, or in doctrine from truths, and these are they who instruct others, that the Lord said to Peter when he replied that he loved Him, that "he should feed His lambs and sheep," respecting which in John:

When they had breakfasted, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon son of Jonas, lovest thou Me more than these? He saith unto Him, Yea, Lord, Thou knowest that I love Thee. He saith unto him, Feed My lambs. He saith to him again, Simon son of Jonas, lovest thou Me? He saith unto Him, Yea, Lord, Thou knowest that I love Thee. He saith unto him, Feed My sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon son of Jonas, lovest thou Me? Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, Lovest thou Me? And he saith unto Him, Lord, Thou knowest all things; Thou knowest that I love Thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed My sheep (John 21:15-17).

From this it is clearly evident that Peter represented truth from the good of love to the Lord, and this is why he was now called Simon son of Jonas, for "Simon son of Jonas" signifies faith from charity; "Simon" signifies hearkening and obedience, and "Jonas" means a dove, which signifies charity. That those who are in the doctrine of truth from love to the Lord are to instruct those who will be of the Lord's church is meant by the Lord's asking, "Lovest thou Me?" and afterwards by "Feed My lambs" and "My sheep." Not that Peter only would instruct, but all those who were represented by Peter, who, as has been said, are those who are in love to the Lord, and thence in truths from the Lord. Peter was asked three times to signify the full time of the church from its beginning to its end, for this is the signification of "three;" so when he was asked the third time it is said that "Peter was grieved."

[7] And as the third asking signified the end of the church, therefore these words of the Lord to Peter immediately follow in John:

Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast younger thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldst; but when thou shalt be old thou shalt stretch forth thy hands and another shall gird thee, and lead thee whither thou wouldst not. And when He had thus spoken He saith unto him, Follow Me. Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved, following; which also leaned on His breast at supper. Peter, seeing then, 1 saith to Jesus, Lord, but what about this one? Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? Follow thou Me. This saying therefore went forth among the brethren, that that disciple should not die. Yet Jesus said not unto him that he should not die, but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? (John 21:18-23).

What all this signifies no one can know unless he knows that "Peter" signifies faith from charity, and also faith without charity, faith from charity in the church at its beginning, and faith without charity when the church comes to its end; thus "Peter when he was younger" signifies the faith of the church in its beginning, and "when he became old" the faith of the church coming to an end; and "to gird himself and walk" signifies to learn truths and live according to them. From this it is evident that "I say unto thee, when thou wast younger thou girdedst thyself and walkedst whither thou wouldst," signifies that the church in its beginning will be instructed in truths that are from good, and by means of them will be led by the Lord; and that "When thou shalt be old thou shalt stretch forth thine hands and another shall gird thee, and lead thee whither thou wouldst not," signifies that the church at its end will not know truths, but falsities that belong to faith without charity, and will be led by them, "to gird oneself" like as "to be clothed" signifying to be instructed in truths, because "garments" signify truths clothing good (see above, n. 195, 395, 637), and "to walk" signifying to live according to truths (see above, n. 97[1-2]); consequently "to gird himself and walk whither he would" signifies to consider freely and to see truths, and do them; while "to stretch forth the hands" signifies not to be in such freedom; for "the hands" signify the power of truth from the understanding and perception of it, and "to stretch forth the hands" signifies not to have that power, thus neither the freedom to think and to see truth. "Another shall gird thee, and lead thee whither thou wouldst not," signifies to acknowledge as truths what another dictates, and what one does not see for oneself, as is done at this day with the religion of faith alone. This faith is what is now meant by "Peter," and therefore it is said that Peter turning about saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following, and said of him, "But what about this one?" likewise that Jesus said to Peter, "What is that to thee?" "The disciple following Jesus" signifies the goods of life, which are good works; and that these will not perish to the end of life is signified by the words that here follow.

(References: The Apocalypse Explained 97, 195, 395, The Apocalypse Explained 637)


[8] From this it can now be seen that "Peter" signifies also faith separated from charity, as also when:

Peter thrice denied the Lord (Matthew 26:69-75; Mark 14:29-31, 54, 66-72; Luke 22:33, 34, 50, 51, 55-62; John 13:36-38; 18:16-18, 25-27).

Also when the Lord, turning away from Peter, said to him, Get thee behind Me, Satan, thou art a stumbling-block unto Me; for thou savorest not the things that are of God, but the things that are of men (Matthew 16:21-23).

Also when the Lord said to him, Simon, Simon, Behold Satan demanded you that he might sift you as wheat (Luke 22:31).

All these things have been cited to make known that "Peter" in the representative sense signifies in the Gospels truth from good, which is from the Lord; also faith from charity; and also in the contrary sense truth separated from good, which in itself is falsity; also faith separated from charity, which in itself is not faith.

-----
Footnotes:

1. The photolithograph has "tunc" for "hunc," "then" for "him."

-----

(References: John 1:40-42, John 13:3-10, John 21:15-23; Luke 22:33-34, 22:50-51; Mark 11:21-24; Revelation 13:12)

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   Study this Passage
From Swedenborg's Works

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 821, 836

Other New Christian Commentary
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.


 Peter's Denial
There is something so familiar about Peter. He was sometimes strong and sometimes weak. This is the nature of faith.
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 The First Disciples
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 Twelve Apostles
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


Thanks to the Swedenborg Foundation for their permission to use this translation.


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