Spiritual Growth and the New Testament

We must continuously seek to understand the perspective from which the New Testament was written if we want to understand how it expresses spiritual growth. First, there were multiple people who contributed the stories. The experiences and words of Jesus were reported in different ways. Many years later there were writers who wrote down the stories and recollections about Jesus. Later yet, editors took these written sources and produced the manuscripts we have come to know as the Gospels. All of the original texts have been lost.

Of the many people around Jesus, only a few could relate to the depth of his teaching. The manuscripts we have represent experiences, events, and teachings that are told from the point of view of people at various levels of spiritual growth and understanding. The wisdom of the teachings is available to anyone who sincerely seeks spiritual wisdom, but the search must be accompanied by a commitment to a spiritual process of transformation. Transformation is necessary because we become so accommodated to this world that we have to learn how to overcome ignorance and the results of pursuing, ignorantly, things of little or no true value. In addition, we must learn to understand how fear, aversion, and attachment influence our ability to understand and apply the teachings of Jesus.

The texts of the Gospels can be seen from two perspectives: from the outside looking at the appearance of things, and from the inside, understanding the spiritual condition that became manifest. By the time Jesus began his ministry, he had already reached the state of Christ consciousness, though he did not become one with God until he was going through the death process. His teachings and ministry, as described in the Gospels, reflect his constant attempt to address people at whatever stage of consciousness and spiritual growth they happened to be in at the moment, and to teach them about their true spiritual nature. Human beings interpret the teachings of Jesus and the Gospels according to the level of consciousness, and the stage of spiritual growth that they happen to be in. This understanding evolves and grows over time.