"As Jesus often pointed out, the scribes and Pharisees, who were the learned of his day, did not understand the essential message and meaning of their own scripture. And apparently, neither did the unlearned multitude generally understand what Jesus was teaching them. 'I speak to them in parables,' he said, 'because they seeing, see not; and hearing, they hear not, neither do they understand.'
"This lack of deep understanding of his message and teaching was due to the fact that the people of his day, as a rule, were not yet ripe for enlightenment into an utterly new and different level of conscious awareness that is just now awakening within mankind. The learned, as well as the unlearned multitude, did not understand the message in their own scripture or the ministry of Jesus to the extent that they did not comprehend the Infinite in themselves."
~ From: The Christ is Not a Person by J. C. Tefft
Two thousand years ago, the mass of people in the Middle East were, for various reasons, not ready to receive the deeper spiritual teachings that Jesus wanted to give them, so he could only give these insights to the few he found who were ready.
The true Gospel is the "hidden" or "secret" teaching of Jesus. It is the mystic path appearing in Christianity, just as Sufism is to Islam and Kabbalah is to Judaeism . It is clear, Jesus did not reveal all of his teachings in his public sermons. There was a hidden or direct teaching that was revealed privately, and there was a teaching for the multitudes who would not be capable of understanding deeper truths.
When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. He told them, "The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables."
Mark 4:10-11, NIV
In another instance, Judas (not Judas Iscariot) asks Jesus why he intends to show himself (the Christ) to them but not to others, implying a hidden revelation.
Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, "But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?"
John 14:22, NIV
Jesus follows with a long commentary and tells Judas that even though he (Jesus) is giving Judas (and others) special insight, there are yet even more things which Jesus will not reveal to them because they are not ready for them. That would make two layers of insight beyond the multitude.
I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. John 16:12, KJV
The Hidden Truth
Centuries before Jesus began to teach, the enlightened prophet Isaiah recognized that the Most High loved to play a kind of 'hide 'n' seek' with humankind. Children who play this game and hide, do so for the delight of being (the last one) found.
When Isaiah found at last the Infinite in a way that was utterly transformative for him, he exclaimed: "Truly you are a God who hides himself" (Isa 45:15 NIV)
A later prophet, Daniel, seems to have had a similar insight into the divine nature: "He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him." (Dan. 2:22 NIV)
The fact that at times, and for his own reasons, God does the hiding as well as the subsequent revealing is made plain in a memorable prayer of Jesus recorded by Luke.
After Jesus had shown a number of his followers the divine dimension within, he exulted, "Father ... thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike." (Luke 10:21 NLT) or, as another version puts it: "... you have kept these things secret ... " (BBE)
In his notes, the Spirit-filled founder of Methodism, John Wesley paraphrased Isaiah 42:16 as follows: "I will bring the spiritually blind by the way of truth, which hitherto has been hidden from them, ... I will take away all hindrances; I will direct then in the right way; I will enlighten their dark minds, and rectify their perverse wills and affections, until I have brought them to the end of their journey."
The apostle Paul also wrote on the same theme and said that the opposite to spiritual blindness was: "... having the eyes of your heart (understanding) enlightened (full of light), that you may know what is the hope of his calling, and what are the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints ..." (Eph 1:18 WEB) or, another version rephrases it: "Then you will have deeper insight." (GWT)
So, there are hidden teachings which Jesus discussed openly with the disciples but not with the masses simply because the masses were not spiritually prepared. To do so would have been to cast pearls before swine. How could a barnyard animal appreciate the value of a pearl?
Jesus made it clear that it was the divine intention that human consciousness would evolve to the point when these held back or hidden teachings could be received by large numbers rather than just a few.
"there is nothing hid, save that it shoud be manifested; neither was anything made secret, but that it should come to light." (Mark 4:22)
The Private Teachings
Opponents and detractors of the deeper or secret teachings of Jesus love to quote John 18:20 to prove their case that there is nothing more or other than what Christian 'orthodoxy' offers. Here's the verse ...
"I have spoken openly to the world," Jesus replied. "I always taught in synagogues or at the temple, where all the Jews come together. I said nothing in secret. (NIV) or as another version has it: "I have spoken publicly for everyone to hear. I have always taught in synagogues or in the temple courtyard, where all the Jews gather. I haven't said anything in secret. (GWT)
Here, Jesus is speaking to the temple authorities who were trying to accuse him of plotting and sedition. On the face of it, his words in defense of his modus operandi seem to contradict his own statements in other places and much of what we have presented above, but is this really the case?
Clearly Jesus did teach often, even regularly, in synagogue and in the temple, but not only in these places. He also taught, as we are told, on hillsides, in a boat by the sea shore, and in private houses and so on. And yes, he did teach publicly to large crowds in public places, but again, not only so.
He obviously had 'private' conversations with his inner circle which are well recorded and so also are some of his 'secret' teachings to those ready to receive what he was revealing. e.g. "He (Jesus) told them, 'The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But (not yet) to those on the outside ...'" (Mark 4:11)
When Jesus declared: "... in secret have I said nothing," he obviously meant, nothing that was any different in his public teaching to what he taught in his private communications with the Twelve or with individuals such as the Samaritan woman at the well of Sychar. What he taught privately was simply an explanation and further development of his public teaching.
The Deeper Teachings
So, we should be very clear that Jesus' private or secret teachings were not distinctly different or other than what he taught publicly, but were much, much deeper. (cf)
To the crowds, he could only give the dual dimension of what he had received from the 'Father', hence, "Our Father which art in heaven ..." etc. But to the few who were more spiritually mature, he always strove to impart the deeper nondual dimension of that reveloation, i.e. "I (you) and the Father are One."
Jesus instructed his disciples to take this complete (dual and nondual) message to every corner of the Earth. So, after his death, those who were awakened and had realized the 'Light of Christ' taught the public (dual) and private (nondual) things of God' to all who would listen.
"... we speak of God's secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began." (1 Cor. 2:7)
"So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God." (1 Cor. 4:1)
The Full Gospel
Unfortunately, however, only a few were ready to receive and live by Jesus' deeper teachings on spiritual enlightenment and the mass of people, as before, embraced his general teaching and soon made a new religion out of it.
Paul indicates that he adjusted the depth of his teachings according to the understanding of the audience. Paul clearly states that there are teachings which he holds back because the listeners lack the spiritual capacity to comprehend them.
Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly -- mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. (1 Cor. 3:1-2, NIV)
Today, what remains of Paul's teachings, his public letters, are milk for spiritual infants. The "meat" was not recorded as open letters to churches but was taught by Paul directly to those whom he considered qualified. His revelation of Melchizedek is another indication of this.
The full Gospel always includes (and indeed, is not complete without) the hidden or secret tradition of Christianity, not because it was forbidden, but because it requires a high degree of spiritual maturity and insight to grasp.
This 'esoteric' teaching is solid spiritual food that cannot be given to milk-drinking babes. AIso, early Christian mystics did not want the teachings corrupted and perverted by well-meaning but immature souls.
At the outset of the 'Christian' era, one had to prove worthiness to be taught the full or complete Gospel. The sublime teaching and spiritual practices were transmitted orally under the careful and watchful guidance of an accomplished 'elder'.
In the centuries that followed, the secret or deeper teacings of Jesus and Paul were largely lost, though the real message of the Master was always kept alive through a small number of mystics who were often misunderstood and persecuted by the official church.
Thankfully, today, in a growing number of countries, the grip of religious orthodoxy and dogmatism has lost its once dominant power and the deeper teaching of Jesus is now more freely available than ever before for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear.
So, on this site, for your consideration, are some of the secret or deeper teachings that Jesus gave only to his inner circle -- those who were open to the truth and who wanted more than anything else ... the great Pearl of spiritual enlighenment.
These are not the teachings you will find in the established and institutional Christian churches, but those that are taught mostly in house-gatherings where an awakened teacher will share this open secret with a few awakening students.
Adjectives such as, advanced, deeper, enlightenment, esoteric, hidden, higher, inner, mentored, mystical, non-dual, radical, secret and spiritual, are now being used to describe this 'true Gospel' tradition.
All those who fully understood the life and teachings of Jesus came to realize that the 'Christ' is not a person, but the infinite presence latent in each of us -- the divine Light, the scripture says, that shines in everyone that comes into the world.
This means that essentially, you too are not just a person, but the infinite, unborn, undying, field of awareness that witnesses every thought, feeling and eperience of your manifest self.
The challenge now, and in every 'now', is for you to turn from your confining egoic limitation and, like Jesus, become intentionally one with the limitless Christ-consciousness.
To return to the Inner Light main menu, click on our luminous cross & circle logo above.
If you would like to experience the inner 'Christ' directly and have questions, you're welcome to contact the author of this site >>>Pete Sumner
Speaking the Truth in Love
Pete Sumner, who presently resides in Perth, Western Australia, is also available as a guest-speaker at church gatherings, house-groups and retreats etc.
Combining deep insights with a moving account of his own encounter with the inner 'Christ' and not a little humor, he usually has an uplifting effect on his audiences.