I Remember Now ~ How Can We Know What Jesus Taught? ~ Pastor Tim Tengblad Post 38
A reader of this column recently sent me this question:
How do we know what Jesus taught? I mean literally – – what evidence exists that would allow someone to say “OK, there it is, direct evidence (not hearsay) of the teachings of Jesus?”
Thank you so much. You ask a very good and important question. One that I ask myself every time I post an article or speak somewhere. How do I know this is true? Am I on the right path?”
There are a couple of routes I believe we can take in pursuing “knowing” what Jesus taught:
1. An academic or using the mind approach. I have done some of this in these posts with my series on the Aramaic Lord’s Prayer. I believe the Aramaic (Jesus’ own language) gets us much closer to what he was teaching than the English translations do. That’s more of an informational approach. In other words, the Aramaic (and it’s meanings) is what it is. I’m going to do more of that in future “I Remember Now” posts.
We have to be careful when using the academic approach, because the ego lives in the mind, and will often seek out only information that supports it’s own agenda. Thus you can find someone saying Jesus “really meant” X, and then another person saying X is all wrong, and Z is the way to go.
Pastors are primarily trained (at least in my day) to be what I call “perveyors of religious information.” “Right” theology/Doctrine, etc. We weren’t taught to value the second approach, and so we tended to not teach our church members to value or trust it either.
2. The second approach is an intuitive, inner knowing kind of approach. While I still value solid academic research, I have come to put greater value on our intuitive or inner knowing.
I have come to realize that within each of our souls exists an inner knowing of the true nature of God. The essence of our soul already knows and loves God. That’s the great gift we all come here with. Many are not in touch with it here. Some are. But we’re all here to grow into alignment with our inner knowing and live from it.
I like to call it our “Truth Fork”. You know how a Tuning Fork, when it’s struck resonates in perfect pitch and harmony? The same happens when real Truth comes at us and strikes our inner Truth Fork (our soul’s inherent inner knowing.) You JUST KNOW it’s right or true. It resonates. It feel peaceful and loving. There is no inner conflict with the mind (ego) which wants to complicate, argue, and resist real Truth because it feels threatened. It feels threatened because the ego diminishes when Truth prevails.
That’s why it’s so important to get in alignment with our soul’s inner knowing regularly through meditation, or deep listening, especially before we take in anything claiming to be conveying spiritual truth.
That said, I must say I’m on my own journey of getting into alignment with the inherent inner knowing of my soul (God within me/us all.) Looking back on my ministry of 35-40 years, I cringe when I remember things I said or taught in the early years. I certainly wouldn’t say those things now! We are all on a journey of growth here.
As convinced as I am of the Truth of what I have posted in this column, I still believe I/we only see in shadows here on this physical plane. And that’s OK! Light can fall upon the shadows. And that’s precisely the challenge our soul signed up for each time it decides to incarnate here.
I am like everyone else here. I’m just doing my best within the limitations I live with as a human being. And those limitations are simply part of the set up here. Don’t fight them. Love them. They are “grist for the mill” of our growth.
But here’s the key, and the reason I said I now put more value on our intuitive knowing than the academic approach: the intuitive, inner knowing of our souls is beyond all the struggle. I share with you a wonderful quote from the book “Nondual Vision” by James F. Twyman: The truth within you knows the path to the home you never really left.” “Ain’t a that a good news?” to quote an old Spiritual? Carry that one with you. Repeat it often.
So we can read or hear something, listen to our inner voice (Truth Fork), and we’ll peacefully know, “Yes. That rings true! That resonates and feels right.” The resonating reminds us that we never really left home because home never left us! For that glorious reason, it is impossible to truly leave home.
Or we’ll take in something and know “that just doesn’t feel right. I feel an anxiousness or conflict within me. I’m off the path now.”
I can’t answer the question for you, and you can’t answer it for me. That’s what we’re here for. To take responsibility for our experience here, and what we learn or don’t learn.
You Are Love!
Pastor Tim Tengblad
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