From Swedenborg's Works


True Christianity #102

True Christianity (Rose translation)      

Study this Passage

Go to section / 853  

← Previous   Next →

102. There is a belief that the Lord in his human manifestation not only was but still is the Son of Mary. This is a blunder, though, on the part of the Christian world. It is true that he was the Son of Mary; it is not true that he still is. As the Lord carried out the acts of redemption, he put off the human nature from his mother and put on a human nature from his Father. This is how it came about that the Lord's human nature is divine and that in him God is human and a human is God. The fact that he put off the human nature from his mother and put on a divine nature from his father - a divine human nature - can be seen from his never referring to Mary as his mother, as the following passages show: "The mother of Jesus said to him, 'They have no wine. ' Jesus said to her, 'What do I have to do with you, woman? My hour has not yet come'" (John 2:4). Elsewhere it says, "Jesus on the cross saw his mother and the disciple he loved standing next to her. He said to his mother, 'Woman, behold your son. ' Then he said to the disciple, 'Behold your mother'" (John 19:26-27). On one occasion he did not acknowledge her: "There was a message for Jesus from people who said, 'Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, and they want to see you. ' Jesus said in reply, 'My mother and my brothers are these people who are hearing the Word of God and doing it'" (Luke 8:20-21; Matthew 12:46-49; Mark 3:31-35). So the Lord called her "woman," not "mother," and gave her to John to be his mother. In other passages she is called his mother, but not by the Lord himself.

(References: John 2:3-4; Matthew 12:46-50)

[2] Another piece of supporting evidence is that the Lord did not acknowledge himself to be the son of David. In the Gospels we read,

Jesus asked the Pharisees, saying, "What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?" They say, "David's. " He said to them, "Why then does David in the spirit call him his Lord when he says, 'The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at my right hand until I place your enemies as a footstool for your feet?"' If David calls him Lord, how is he his son?" And no one could answer him a word. (Matthew 22:41-46; Mark 12:35-37; Luke 20:41-44; Psalms 110:1)

[3] Here I will add something previously unknown. On one occasion I was given an opportunity to talk to Mother Mary. She happened past, and I saw her in heaven over my head in white clothing apparently made of silk. Then, stopping for a while, she said that she had been the Lord's mother in the sense that he was born from her, but by the time he became God he had put off everything human that came from her. Therefore she adores him as her God and does not want anyone to see him as her son, because everything in him is divine.

From the points above another truth now becomes manifest: Jehovah is as human in what is first as he is in what is last, as the following passages indicate: "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the One who is, who was, and who is to come, the Almighty" (Revelation 1:8, 11). When John saw the Son of Humankind in the middle of seven lampstands, he fell at his feet as if dead; but the Son of Humankind laid his right hand on John and said, "I am the First and the Last" (Revelation 1:13, 17; 21:6). "Behold, I am coming quickly to give to all according to their work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last" (Revelation 22:12-13). And in Isaiah, "Thus said Jehovah, the King of Israel and its Redeemer, Jehovah Sabaoth: I am the First and the Last" (Isaiah 44:6; 48:12).

Go to section / 853  

← Previous   Next →

   Study this Passage
From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

True Christian Religion 342

   Parallel Passages:

The Last Judgment (Continuation) 66

Last Judgment (Posthumous) 69

Spiritual Experiences 5834, 5992

True Christian Religion 827

Other New Christian Commentary

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

The Bible


Matthew 12:46-49

English: King James Version         

Study the Inner Meaning

← Previous   Full Chapter   Next →

46 While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him.

47 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.

48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?

49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!

← Previous   Full Chapter   Next →

   Study the Inner Meaning

Explanation of Matthew 12      

By Rev. John Clowes M.A.

Verse 1. The Lord teaches by representatives, that when spiritual good and truth are conjoined, which is the Sabbath, then the church may enter into the possession and appropriation of all natural good and truth.

Verse 2. Which liberty is condemned as contrary to order, by those who are in the mere representatives of the church, and thus only in the literal sense of the Word.

Verses 3-6. But the Lord teaches that it is agreeable to the internal sense of the Word.

Verse 6. And also to Himself, who is the all of that sense.

Verses 7, 8. And who wills internal worship more than external, and is the all of good and truth, and of their conjunction. 

Verses 9-14. By whom alone therefore truth, which had separated itself from good, is restored to communication and conjunction, and good is liberated from falsities.

Verse 14. Which is not believed by those who are in the mere representatives of the church, and who therefore separate themselves from the Lord's Divine Humanity.

Verse 15. But it is believed by others, who are thereby delivered from evils and falsities.

Verse 16. And this out of mere mercy.

Verses 17-22. As had been predicted.

Verse 18. By which predictions it was declared, that the Lord would glorify His Human essence, by uniting it with the Divine, that He might thus reveal Truth Divine to those who were in ignorance.

Verse 19. And this without doing violence to their natural affections, thoughts, and conceptions,

Verse 20. Or hurting the sensual truth belonging to the simple, or destroying any spiritual truth beginning to have life with them from ever so scanty a measure of the good of love.

Verse 21. Thus they who were in ignorance and simple good would attain eternal life through conjunction with the Lord's Divine Humanity.

Verses 22, 23. By whose Omnipotence all infernal falsities are separated, which cause an obstruction of intellectual sight and of the confession of Divine power, so that the Divine Humanity is acknowledged by all who are in any state of good and truth.

Verse 24. Nevertheless, these effects are imputed to infernal agency by those who are in hypocritical good.

Verses 25, 26. Although it is an eternal truth, that dominion grounded in what is evil and false, is altogether contrary to dominion grounded in what is good and true, and that neither dominion can stand, but must fall to pieces, unless there be unanimity in its constituent principles.

Verse 27. And if the Lord's Divine Humanity exercised power over infernal falsities, in consequence of its connection with infernal agency, then every other power of truth exercised over falsities must be in the same connection.

Verse 28. As, on the other hand, if the Lord's Divine Humanity acts from its own proper Divine power, which is the Divine Truth in union with Divine Good, to extirpate falsities, then it is ready to communicate itself for the same purpose to every one else who is in truth and good.

Verse 29. And unless this Divine power be communicated for the subjugation of infernal falsities, it is impossible that evils with their concupiscences can be subdued; whereas if the dominion of infernal falsities be destroyed, then the dominion of evils and their cravings cannot long endure.

Verse 30. Therefore whoever is not conjoined with the Lord's Divine Humanity in the good of love, must needs be disjoined in the opposite evil, and whoever is not conjoined with the same in the truth of faith must needs be disjoined in the opposite false principle.

Verse 31. And whoever denies the Divine Truth proceeding from the Lord's Divine Humanity that is, the Word, and adulterates its essential goods, and falsifies its essential truths, must needs separate himself from all conjunction with heaven.

Verse 32. But not so, if he only interprets the natural sense of the Word, which is the sense of the letter, according to appearances.

Verses 33, 34. Therefore it is not allowable. for any one to speak well and to think ill, nor to do well and to will ill, for thereby the false lies concealed inwardly in the truths which are spoken, and in the goods which are done, which is hidden poison.

Verse 35. That in the works of a regenerate man are contained all the goods and truths from which they proceed, and in the works of an unregenerate man all his evils and falsities, whatever may be the appearances to the contrary.

Verses 36, 37. The same is true of their words.

Verses 38, 39. That it is not allowable to seek testifications of the truth in anything but in the genuine effect of truth, which with the Lord was the glorification of His Humanity, and with man is regeneration.

Verse 40. Which glorification could only be effected, and which regeneration can only be effected, by temptation-combats, of which Jonah in the fish's belly, and the Lord's death and burial, were representative figures.

Verse 41. That the more interior the truths are, which are made known to man's understanding, so much the greater is his condemnation, if he does not shun evils accordingly.

Verse 42. And if he is not more interiorly affected with the love of truth.

Verses 43, 44. For however in such case the defilements of the natural man may appear externally removed, yet the internal man is without faith and charity, and full of falsities and evils.

Verse 45. Whence comes profanation of holy things, or the conjunction of evil with good, which is a more dangerous state than that of no faith.

Verses 46-50. Therefore the Lord has no conjunction with external good and truth, only so far as they proceed from the internal.

Verse 48. Because He Himself successively and continually separated from Himself, and put off what was merely human.

Verse 50. Therefore He acknowledges none as conjoined with Him, but such as are in the good of charity from Him, and in truths derived from that good, and who are thus of His spiritual church.

From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

Arcana Coelestia 2159, 2574, 2649, 3703, 5409, 6756

Apocalypse Revealed 32

Conjugial Love 119, 120

The Lord 35

True Christian Religion 102, 306

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 46, 205, 254, 746

Spiritual Experiences 5992

Marriage 102

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:

  Bible Study Videos:

Word/Phrase Explanations

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

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

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...

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...

The hand in the Bible represents power, which is easy to understand, so to reach out or stretch out the hand means to exercise power,...

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...

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.

 If Satan Cast Out Satan
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Ten Blessings Book
Suggests illustrations for the ten blessings. Quotes each blessing and then paraphrases it as one might explain it to children.
Project | Ages 4 - 14

 Walk to Emmaus
Two disciples talked to Jesus while walking to Emmaus, but did not recognize Him. The Lord talks with us in His Word but like the disciples, we do not always recognize Him.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Who Obeyed or Disobeyed the Lord?
Use names from a word bank to identify people in the Word who obeyed or who disobeyed the Lord. Story references are provided to help you.
Activity | All Ages

 Why We Worship the Lord on Sunday
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14