Mysteries of John, by Charles Fillmore, , at sacred-texts.com
THE NAME KIDRON means "turbid stream." Kidron represents the current of confused thoughts that sometimes pour in upon us when we try to go into the silence. The "garden" locates the current in the world of universal thought. But this is a small matter compared with the activity of the great personal self in the subjective consciousness, Judas, who "knew the place," and took advantage of its darkness to capture the I AM. He came with a "band" (combative thoughts) and "officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees" (the idea of priestly authority and religious guidance from the standpoint of the letter), bearing "lanterns and torches and weapons" (light of the intellect, the torch of reason, and the force of circumstances).
Judas, representing the life principle, at this phase of overcoming is not fully redeemed from carnal thoughts and desires.
When Jesus went "over the brook Kidron" and entered the garden of Gethsemane, He passed in His own consciousness from the without to the within.
For the moment the personal will (the officers and soldiers, the executors of man-made laws) is here overcome. The second question is of the personality and milder. Jesus realizes that the time has come for Him to prove that the principles of almighty God are invulnerable and must stand. The I AM faced the condition unafraid (Jesus representing the I AM, answered, "I am he").
Your faith in the righteousness of your cause (Peter) may lead you to combat the ruling religious thoughts, and in your impetuosity you resent their counsel (Malchus, counselor) and deny their capacity to receive Truth (cut off the right ear); but good judgment and a broad comprehension of the
divine overcoming through which you are passing will cause you to adopt pacific means. "Put up the sword into the sheath."
"The cup which the Father hath given me" is the consciousness of eternal life. This must be attained by a crucifixion, an utter "crossing out," of the personal self, both on its objective and subjective planes of volition; hence "they led him to Annas" that other processes of the divine law might be carried out.
"The band and the chief captain, and the officers of the Jews" are found in the intellectual realm, and it is before this tribunal that the Christ appears, to be tested and tried. Annas was a leading factor in the persecutions at the time of the ministry and crucifixion of Jesus. He represents intellectual opposition to spiritual Truth. His son-in-law Caiaphas, the high priest, represents a ruling religious thought force that is also entirely intellectual. He belongs to the religious world of forms and ceremonies, the "letter" of the word. The ruthlessness of these men shows how a merely formal religion will persecute and attempt to kill the inner Christ Spirit and all that pertains to it.
Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another apostle. Simon Peter (symbolizing the faculty of faith) and the "other disciple" (John, symbolizing love) always sustain and support the I AM man in every trial.
The high priest who questioned Jesus symbolizes a form of religious thoughts in man that follows the set rule of the letter of the law with little or no thought of its inner spiritual importance. Jesus (here representing the Christ) sets forth the Truth in plain, concise language, which however has no significance for the person functioning on the natural-religious plane of existence.
The Praetorium symbolizes a state of despotism, where force and cruelty and tyranny exist. The Jews, symbolizing intellectual spirituality, would because of their religious traditions turn the Jesus over to barbarians to be crucified.
The Jewish priesthood taught persecution as the unavoidable heritage of their race; even Jesus told His followers that they would suffer persecution when they taught His doctrine. At the age of thirteen a Jewish boy is considered a man ready to meet "persecution" and receives the blessing of the rabbi. Although it is true that the spiritual mind and the mortal are at war, metaphysicians see that the persecution of the Jews in every land is the result of the affirmation of the law of persecution by those with the power of the word. "Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof."
The Jews and the high priests and the officers who represent intellectual religious thought forces continued to work for Jesus' execution because they realized within their hearts that He was indeed a King, and they feared His spiritual power. The point to be considered by every follower of Jesus is His continued assertion that He is a King, right in the face of the desertion of His subjects and His imminent death; "a king! aye, a king! and every inch a king."
Barabbas was a prisoner charged with insurrection and murder. He was held at Jerusalem, and the Jews demanded that he be released instead of Jesus.
Metaphysically Barabbas represents the adverse consciousness (rebellion and hatred) to which man gives himself when he allows himself to oppose the Christ. Man gives free rein to this adverse consciousness when he would destroy the Christ or true spiritual I AM in himself, since it is through the Christ alone that an overcoming can be gained over the Adversary. This adverse state of thought (Barabbas) is of its father the Devil.