The Bible does not account for Christ’s life between approximately the ages of 12 and 30. It is reported that during his teens and early twenties, Christ went through training in secret orders. Then he conducted a worldwide ministry of spreading the word before returning to the Middle East to conduct the last period of his life mentioned in the Bible. Is this true?
The Guide: Jesus traveled widely during certain phases and periods of his life. The training came much more from his own inner channel with God, the Creator of all that is. But he spent some time with some sects, secret orders, and other more esoterically oriented religious schools.
His purpose was to supplement what they were lacking, and also to bring – in forms that were acceptable and comprehensible to his own culture – some of the truths of these other orientations. He unified truths of various cultures that first appeared contradictory. Even pagan cultures contained some values and truths that came directly from God.
Jesus Christ was and is and always will be the great unifier. By his presence, he left his breath on those other cultures and religions that could never be wiped out, no matter how little he was consciously understood or his influence and his teachings perpetuated on an intellectual level. This was one of the great purposes of his travels.
You must understand that no one knew more than Jesus. Even as a youngster, he astounded his elders with his wisdom, his knowledge, his profound insight way beyond his age. No possible schooling and teaching from outside could have accounted for this.
In the Gospel according to St. Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus is described as giving this final injunction to his disciples before parting with them: “All authority in heaven and on Earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”
The early Christians faithfully followed these words, seeking to convey the Gospel of salvation through Christ to the entire world, even at the risk of their lives. Much of the Christian church, to this day, takes these words very seriously as defining its mission.
The norm in spiritual circles is to not preach to others, but to respect each individual’s beliefs. Was the early church’s task different from ours today?
The Guide: You must understand that in the time of Jesus’ life, his teachings were revolutionary in many ways and it was necessary to have them widely heard. They were new concepts that man’s mentality had to familiarize himself with. At that time of general development and the evolution of consciousness, the inner and more subtle levels were not yet accessible to human awareness. The truth of Christ and the Christ consciousness had to offer primarily new thoughts, new understanding, new vision of spiritual law and, many times, new actions and behavior.
As evolution proceeds and as a result of the tremendous impact of Jesus’ life on mankind, it proceeded faster than at any previous period of human life, and approaches have to change in order to be effective. What was then a divine act of risk and courage, what electrified the deeper thinkers and imposed the stretching of the mind into new dimensions, is today nothing more than a redundant confirming of often stale and rigidified authority.
If you proselytized then, not only the proselytizer, but he who listened and followed, took a risk for the truth. Today he would not be taking any risk, but he would be praised by authority who would find itself in the same role as the Pharisees then, who opposed the new concepts brought by Jesus Christ. Those who need the ever renewing truth of Christ most, who most sincerely search for deeper and now more appropriate ways, would be untouched and unhelped by the means that were then important and right.
Today, spreading the light of Christ can be accomplished by living eternal truths on the deepest most subtle levels, rather than merely by way of mouth. For this you require a path of inner self-development. When more and more individuals are spiritually mature and ready enough for such a venture, a new society will be created that will live more in accordance with the injunctions of the Christ consciousness.
For if you mouth these truths only superficially, you do not affect outer life in all its manifestations: human, social, political, economic. For this to happen, the inner person has to be deeply affected and penetrated, and that is, as you know, a long process. Only then does the Christ awaken within to lead the personality to new tasks in this new society. These tasks do not preach, but they set a new modality of living as an example.
The more you all follow your true inner calling, the more directly, openly, unequivocally, unashamedly will you see that God is the source of all. As you serve him, and only him, you will consciously realize that you have a part to fulfill in the greatest scheme that could exist on this earth.
This should not imply that all the old ways are wrong now and no longer valid. Not at all. You can read more about the meaning of tradition – its positive and distorted aspects – in Lecture #246 Tradition: It’s Divine and Distorted Aspects.