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The Challenge of Lazarus-John

An Esoteric Interpretation

Richard Seddon

158 pp.  
6" x 9"

Temple Lodge Press




The Gospel of John, in contrast to the “synoptic gospels,” offers the most esoteric and challenging account of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. John, whose identity has been much debated, refers to himself mysteriously as “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” However, didn’t Jesus love each of the twelve Apostles? Indeed, did he not love all human beings? Nevertheless, the Gospel says of Lazarus only that Jesus loved him.

In this profound study, Richard Seddon gathers essential though frequently overlooked quotations from the work of Rudolf Steiner. Steiner made no claim to divine inspiration, but described how—through the vigorous discipline of inner development—a capacity for spiritual-scientific research could be acquired. Steiner undertook research into many of the incidents recorded in John’s Gospel and reported his results in lectures across Europe. In compiling Steiner’s various statements, The Challenge of Lazarus–John shows that John’s Gospel not only gives a historical account, but also represents a path of personal development toward initiation.

Following a prelude describing Creation, the Gospel describes how the Christ-being descended into the physical and spiritual constitution of Jesus of Nazareth at his baptism. Crossing the threshold between physical and spiritual worlds, the Gospel emphasizes the development of the higher self in freedom, rebirth of the soul, and the raising of Lazarus. The Gospel then considers the significance of the seven events called “signs” and the seven “I AM” statements in relation to higher levels of cognition.

The remainder of the Gospel may be seen as expressing the seven stages of Rosicrucian–Christian initiation and its reformulation in the process of human evolution as described by Anthroposophy. This leads to an examination of the spiritual processes in the constitution of Jesus Christ during his Crucifixion and Resurrection. It is Lazarus–John’s personal witness of these events that allows him to write his unique Gospel.

Drawing together such insights and interpretations, Seddon has produced a comprehensive text that supplements existing biblical commentaries and illumines John’s enigmatic Gospel as a truly Christian path of modern initiation—a challenge to all humankind that will remain for millennia to come.

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  • And If He Had Not Been Raised... : The Stations of Christ’s Path to Spirit Man
  • Christ and Sophia : Anthroposophic Meditations on the Old Testament, New Testament, and Apocalypse
  • The Temple Sleep of the Rich Young Ruler : How Lazarus Became the Evangelist John
  • And the Earth Becomes a Sun : The Mystery of the Resurrection

    Related Titles by Subject:

    Anthroposophy: Christianity ; Esoteric: Christianity and Religion: Esoteric Christianity