Commentary

The Lord Jesus Christ and His Apostles

By Joe David

The Last Supper, an 1896 work by Pascal Dagnan-Bouveret.

The Lord Jesus Christ and His Apostles

The Lord left his apostles with instructions and with great gifts. The instructions are listed in several distinct places, but the the gifts are more scattered, both in the four gospels and in the book of Acts later, being given as the apostles needed them.

First, about the apostles... just to clarify, here I'm referring to "the disciples" as including anyone who has followed along to hear the Lord, and "the apostles" to mean the twelve men that the Lord recruited specifically, as listed in Matthew 10, Mark 3, and Luke 6.

Who were the apostles? From the lists in Matthew and Mark, which are the same, we have: Simon (Peter), James and John the sons of Zebedee, Andrew (Peter’s brother), Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew (the publican), Thomas, James the son of Alpheus, (as is Matthew, so they are brothers, too), Thaddeus, (also known as Libbeus), Simon the Canaanite (also called Simon the Zealot), and Judas Iscariot. Bartholomew is almost undoubtedly another name for Nathaniel, see John 1. The list in Luke includes another Judas, "Judas the brother of James" and doesn’t have Thaddeus.

The stories of how they were individually chosen differ, especially in the gospel of John, but that these twelve were appointed by the Lord is clear. A point of interest is that - other than Simon the Canaanite and Judas Iscariot they are all from towns around the sea of Galilee - and perhaps those two are as well. These twelve have their names inscribed on the twelve foundations of the walls of the holy city New Jerusalem, in Revelation 21:14 in which there are also the twelve gates. These men were chosen to represent all the different states of the natural human being that can be receptive of the Lord. They are from Galilee because Galilee represents that natural state of the human mind. The number twelve in the Word represents all possible states of mankind.

What is indicated here is that all people, everywhere, can be saved or regenerated if they repent and turn to the Lord in their lives. No one is "outside" of His reach. We are born natural, everyone is, but we are so formed that our minds can be raised to what is higher, called spiritual for our conceptions of Divine truth, or Celestial for our perceptions of Divine good. But we all start in a natural state and can only move upward by listening to the Lord’s teachings in His Word, and following Him as those Apostles did.

Not all of our natural states are states of good; they can be selfish, domineering, and cruel. But the Lord said that He came "not to save the just but to call sinners to repentance". Perhaps this is why Simon the Canaanite and Judas were two that He called. Simon is little known, but in some places in the Word, "Canaan signifies an external worship without a true internal worship". (See Arcana Coelestia 1060). Can the Lord work with that - with external worship that's internally barren? Yes, as a starting point. And, even Judas, who betrayed the Lord so terribly, we are told, repented of his betrayal of the Lord. (Matthew 27:3-5)

The Lord's Instructions to the Apostles

The two most comprehensive sets of instructions are in Luke 10:1-17 where seventy Disciples are sent out two by two, apparently to a specified list of cities that Jesus intends to visit, and then in Matthew 20:1-19 where the chosen twelve Apostles are sent out to all Israel. Later, as recorded in different epistles, the Apostles go out further, through a wide region.

The basic instructions were to preach that the kingdom of heaven is near, that all should be led to repent of their sins, and that all who wish should be baptized in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit. The Apostles should not take any money or extra clothing along, and they were to depend entirely on the Lord’s providence with no doubt that they shall be welcomed, fed, and sheltered. If they were welcomed, they should stay and preach the good news about the risen Lord and His teachings, and if they were not, they should shake from their feet the dust of that place and go on to a place where they were welcome. See Matthew 10, 28, Mark 13, 16, Luke 9, 10:24.

There are several assurances for the twelve. The Lord has told them to stay in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit is sent to strengthen them, and in John 20 where the ten are gathered it is said that He breathed on them and said, "Receive ye the Holy Spirit". Also, in his long talk with them in John 14, 15, 16) He assures them that his crucifixion and death are necessary to his mission and they should even rejoice that it is coming. He shows them from scripture that it has all been prophesied from long ago, (see Mark 4:34) and that what seems to them a tragedy, is truly His glorification and the end of the work He came to do. They, His twelve, are in the same steam of providence and will be protected. "Don’t be anxious," He tells them, "I will put into your mouths what you are to say, I will bring into your memories the incidents to tell to the people".

Here is a listing of the chapters and verses in John where such things are said: John 14:1-3, 10, 16-18, 26-28, 15:11, 16, 26-27, 16:7, 13-15, 22, 26-27, 33. Or simply read the three chapters and pick out your favorites.

A marvelous gift is mentioned in Matthew 10:13, "But blessed are your eyes for they see and blessed are your ears, for they hear…".

In the book of Acts, the Lord vividly shows the apostles that when they speak in their Galileen dialect every listener will hear their words as his own language in his ears; not gibberish, but Arabic to the Arabs, Greek to the Greeks, and Latin to the Romans.

When Peter starts to preach to a gathering of sympathetic Jews he speaks clearly and unafraid, saying that Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of God and that people should worship Him openly and repent of how they might have felt earlier. Peter’s talk in Acts 3 and 4 is a bold and powerful one. No more hiding behind locked doors.

The early history of the Christian church shows just how well all this worked out. You know what? The Apostles preached to the peoples in the Near East 2000 years ago, and their preaching is just as relevant today as it was then: "Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Being at hand has nothing to do with the date or the state of political history in the world, it has to do with the inside of your mind. The Lord is just as close to you now as He was then, and He never turns away, though we might turn away from him. Remember that He said "behold I stand at the door and knock and if anyone hears and opens the door He will come right in." This hasn’t changed nor will it ever change, but He leaves us in freedom to ignore His knocking, if that is what we want. We have to make the choice, but He is always ready if we choose to open the door.

The Bible

Luke 6

English: King James Version

Study the Inner Meaning

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1 And it came to pass on the second sabbath after the first, that he went through the corn fields; and his disciples plucked the ears of corn, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands.

2 And certain of the Pharisees said unto them, Why do ye that which is not lawful to do on the sabbath days?

3 And Jesus answering them said, Have ye not read so much as this, what David did, when himself was an hungred, and they which were with him;

4 How he went into the house of God, and did take and eat the shewbread, and gave also to them that were with him; which it is not lawful to eat but for the priests alone?

5 And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.

6 And it came to pass also on another sabbath, that he entered into the synagogue and taught: and there was a man whose right hand was withered.

7 And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him.

8 But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth.

9 Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it?

10 And looking round about upon them all, he said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other.

11 And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus.

12 And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.

13 And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;

14 Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew,

15 Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes,

16 And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor.

17 And he came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judaea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases;

18 And they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed.

19 And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all.

20 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.

21 Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.

22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake.

23 Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.

24 But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.

25 Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.

26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.

27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,

28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.

29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also.

30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.

31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

32 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.

33 And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.

34 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.

35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.

36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:

38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

39 And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?

40 The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.

41 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

42 Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye.

43 For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

44 For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.

45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:

48 He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.

49 But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.

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   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

Arcana Coelestia 705, 1017, 1460, 2371, 2636, 2708, 3796, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 206, 210, 334, 365, 400, 409, 526, ...

Divine Providence 80, 91, 128, 334

The Lord 27, 48

Sacred Scripture 51

Life 2, 28, 39, 51, 104

Heaven and Hell 287, 349, 357, 365

True Christian Religion 104, 226, 301, 373, 375, 411, 439, ...

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 127, 154


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 63, 100, 108, 109, 112, 118, 122, ...

Charity 118

Divine Wisdom 11

Marriage 104

Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Exodus 8:8, 23:4

Leviticus 25:37

Numbers 12:13

Deuteronomy 15:7

1 Samuel 21:7

1 Kings 13:6

2 Chronicles 28:15

Job 15:5

Psalms 37:32, 109:4, 126:5

Proverbs 19:17, 25:21, 22

Isaiah 66:5

Jeremiah 5:31

Micah 2:11

Malachi 1:6

Word/Phrase Explanations

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

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

second
The number "two" has two different meanings in the Bible. In most cases "two" indicates a joining together or unification. This is easy to see...

the first
'Resurrection' signifies salvation and eternal life. 'The first,' mentioned in Revelation 20:5, 6, does not mean a first resurrection, but the essence and primary part...

first
Why would it be insulting for a man to refer to his married partner as his “first wife”? Because it implies there will be a...

Corn
Corn,' as in Genesis 42:2, here stands for a word in the original language which means 'breaking,' and also for a similar word meaning to...

fields
When we have a desire to be good people and to do good things, the natural first questions are "What does that mean?" "What should...

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!...

eat
When we eat, our bodies break down the food and get from it both energy and materials for building and repairing the body. The process...

hands
'Washing of the hands' was an ancient declaration of innocence, and signifies purification from evils and falsities, as in Psalms 73:13 and Matthew 27:24.

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

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...

days
"Day" describes a state in which we are turned toward the Lord, and are receiving light (which is truth) and heat (which is a desire...

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

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

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

Priests
Priests' represent the Lord regarding His divine good. When they do not acknowledge the Lord, they lose their signification of the Lord.

alone
To be alone in the Bible represents being free of evil and false influences. That's why the Lord seeks solitude to pray, and why the...

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

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

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

entered
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...

Right hand
'The right hand' signifies the whole of a person regarding intellectual power, and so, regarding faith. 'To place the right hand on the head,' signifies...

hand
In Genesis 27:22, 'voice' relates to truth, and 'hand,' to good.

withered
In the Bible (and in life), the idea of withering is usually connected to plants, and plants generally wither if they don't get enough water....

Scribes
'The chief priests and scribes,' as in Matthew 20:17, signify the adulterations of good and the falsifications of truth.

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

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

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

Thoughts
There are thoughts from perception, from conscience, and from a lack of conscience. Thoughts from perception are only possible in the celestial, that is, people...

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

Stand
'To stand,' and 'come forth' as in Daniel 7:10, refers to truth. In Genesis 24:13, it signifies a state of conjunction of divine truth with...

midst
The "midst" of something in the Bible represents the thing that is most central and most important to the spiritual state being described, the motivation...

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

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

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

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

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

Round
Something 'round' relates to good. 'A small round thing,' as in Exodus 16:14, refers to the good of truth in its first formation. This is...

Round about
'Round about' denotes the things most distant from the middle, or from good and truth.

restored
Everyone knows the phrase "the natural order of things." It means that everything is in its proper place, occupying the niche it is meant to...

Filled
'To be satiated,' as in Revelation 19:21, signifies being nourished by lusts, and taking them in with delight.

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.'...

mountain
The Writings tell us that the Lord's love is the sun of heaven, and it is natural for us to look above ourselves to the...

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

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

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

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

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....

brother
There are two ways "brother" is used in the Bible, ways that are still reflected in modern language. One denotes an actual blood relationship; the...

James
James' denotes faith, charity, and the goods of charity.

Judas Iscariot
'Judas Iscariot,' represents the Jewish church.

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

Plain
'A plain' signifies good and truth in the natural self, because 'the people who dwell in plains,' or 'beneath mountains and hills' are in the...

Company
A company, congregation, and a multitude, in the Word, are predicated of truths.

Multitude
'A multitude' relates to truths.

people
The Bible generally uses two different terms for large groups: “people” and “nation.” When it uses the term “nation,” it is talking about a group...

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

Tyre and Sidon
'Tyre and Sidon' were the outer borders of Philisthea. They were near the sea, so 'Tyre' signifies interior knowledges, and 'Sidon,' exterior knowledges, both of...

Tyre
'Tyre,' as in Ezekiel 27:13-14, represents people with knowledge of celestial and spiritual things.

Sidon
'Sidon' denotes people who possess celestial and spiritual riches which are knowledges.

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

Spirits
'The seven spirits' in Matthew 12:45 signify all falsities of evil, and as a result, a total extinction of goodness and truth. 'The seven spirits'...

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

Virtue
'Virtue' denotes strength and power, and in relation to Jehovah or the Lord, denotes all power.

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

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

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

Hunger
'Hunger,' or 'famine,' signifies evils of life. 'Hunger,' or 'famine,' signifies desiring good from affection, because 'bread,' in the internal sense, is the good of...

weep
'Weeping with a loud voice' signifies the ultimate of grief.

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

hate
If you truly hate someone, that means you would kill them and destroy their reputation if you could do so without repercussion – not a...

name
It's easy to see that names are important in the Bible. Jehovah changed Abram and Sarai to Abraham and Sarah, changed Jacob to Israel and...

rejoice
Feelings of joy and rejoicing flow from our affections, not from our thoughts. Some people might argue that that's not true, that you can rejoice...

Leap
'To leap,' as in Leviticus 11:21, when related to birds, signifies living.

reward
A "reward" in the Bible represents something that brings people together, or brings spiritual states together, and binds them. It's easy to see this in...

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

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

Woe
'Woe' signifies lamentation over evils and falsities which devastate the church.

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

consolation
When the Bible talks about someone being comforted or consoled, it generally means that they are being offered ideas that will help bring them to...

Full
'To satiate' relates to the extent of a person's will, for good or evil.

mourn
In a general sense, mourning in the Bible represents a state of grief over the lack of desires for good and true ideas about life....

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

well
A pit,' or 'well which has no water,' as in Jeremiah 2:13, signifies doctrines which have no truths.

love
To some degree, there really is no spiritual meaning to the word “love” in the Bible. Why? Because if you truly love another, that is...

enemies
An enemy in the Bible refers to people who are in the love of evil and the false thinking that springs from evil. On a...

bless
The Lord is perfect love expressed as perfect wisdom. He created us so that He could love us, could give us love and wisdom of...

curse
The Lord is love itself, and his love for us never wavers and never changes. What does waver and change is the degree to which...

Cheek
The cheek, referred to in Matthew 5:39, signifies the perception and understanding of interior truth. The right cheek signifies the affection, and thence perception, and...

Coat
A coat, as in Matthew 10:10, signifies interior natural truth, or truth of the natural principle. The Lord's coat without seam, woven from above throughout...

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

goods
The “goods” that people have in the Bible – their possessions – represent spiritual possessions, which are desires to be good and knowledge that helps...

Lend
'To lend' signifies teaching. 'To lend' signifies communicating the goods and truths of doctrine from the Word.

much
Intellectual things – ideas, knowledge, facts, even insight and understanding – are more separate and free-standing than emotional things, and it’s easier to imagine numbering...

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

Highest
'Highest' denotes the 'inmost,' because interior things, with person who is in space, appear as higher things, and exterior things as lower. But when the...

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

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

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

Measure
'To measure' signifies knowing and exploring the quality of something.

pressed
These verbs in the Bible indicate a conflict between two spiritual states, and the effort it takes to attain the higher state. It's easy to...

over
Over' or 'upon' in the Word, signifies being within, because the highest part in successive order becomes inmost in simultaneous order. This is why the...

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

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

fall
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "fall" is highly dependent on context in regular language, and is highly dependent on context in a spiritual...

ditch
Streets,' in the Word, have almost the same meaning as 'ways' because streets are ways in a city. But 'streets' signify the truths or falsities...

Disciple
A disciple in Matthew 10:41 signifies charity and at the same time, faith from the Lord. It disciple signifies the truth of life, and a...

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

Perfect
'The days of the perfect' signifies the states of people who are in good and truths from good.

Mote
'A mote' signifies a lesser falsity from evil.

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

Beam
A beam signifies the falsity of evil. (Gen. 19 18; 2 Kings 6:2, 5, 6; Habakkuk 2:11; Matt. 7 3, 5). A beam of a...

own
In many cases, the spiritual meaning of "own," both as a verb and as an adjective, is relatively literal. When people are described as the...

see
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...

tree
In general, plants in the Bible represent facts, thoughts and ideas – intellectual things. This makes sense: Plants are rooted in place, but can grow...

bring
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “bring” is highly dependent on context, but in general it represents an introduction to a new...

fruit
We tend to think of "fruit" in two ways in natural language. One is as food that grows on trees and vines, sweet and delicious,...

Thorns
'Thorns,' as in Jeremiah 12:13, signify the evils and falsities of self-love and the love of the world.

Gather
To gather, as in Genesis 6:21, refers to those things which are in the memory of man, where they are gathered. It also implies that...

Bramble
A bramble (Exod. 3:2) signifies scientific truth, because all small shrubs of every kind signify scientifics, but the greater shrubs themselves signify perceptions and knowledges....

Bush
A bush (Exod. 3:2) signifies scientific truth.

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

heart
The heart means love. A good heart means love to the Lord and to the neighbor while a hard or stony heart means the love...

evil man
'Violent man' and 'evil man,' as in Psalm 140:1, signify people who pervert the truths of the Word.

mouth
In most cases, "mouth" in the Bible represents thought and logic, especially the kind of active, concrete thought that is connected with speech. The reason...

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

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

Shew
'Shew' signifies instruction to the life.

built
There are really two meanings for "build" in the Bible. When something is being built for the first time, or built in the most typical...

Foundation
A foundation signifies truth on which heaven and the church, and its doctrines are founded.

Rock
'A rock' signifies the Lord regarding the divine truth of the Word.

flood
'Rain,' in a positive sense, denotes blessing, but in the opposite sense, damnation Rain,' as in Genesis 2:5-6, Exodus 34:25-27, and Hosea 6:3, signifies the...

Stream
A 'stream' signifies aspects of intelligence.

Shake
'To shake bread on the palm of Aaron’s hand,' as in Exodus 29:21, denotes acknowledgment that life comes from the Lord, and that it is...

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

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.


 Bring Forth Good Treasure
Activity | Ages 4 - 10

 Compare a Bramble with a Fruitful Vine
Go on a nature walk to see a prickly vine and compare it with a vine (such as a grape vine) that is without thorns and bears edible fruit.
Activity | Ages 4 - 10

 For Reflection: Treasure of the Heart
How can we gather spiritual treasure and bring forth good?
Activity | Ages over 15

 I Have Chosen You
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Judge Not
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

 Lifeline to the Lord
God reveals Himself to humankind in His Word.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Living And Growing Spiritually
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

 Memory Verse: Looking for the Good in Others
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Memory Verse: Parable of the Talents
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Name the Lord's Disciples
Consult Luke 6:13-16 to find the names of the disciples and list them in this graphic organizer.
Activity | Ages 7 - 14

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

 Quotes: Using Our Talents
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 The Speck and the Plank
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 The Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments list actions a person must do in order to connect with God. Explore the spiritual meaning to commandments using New Church online resources.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 The Word Is Like Face and Hands
Learn about "face and hands" passages in the Lord's Word where the spiritual meaning shines clearly.
Activity | Ages over 11

 True Friendship
How are we to react to the faults of others? New Church teachings say we should have a person's good in mind particularly when we deal with their bad side.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17


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