0

In the time of Christ, were there mystics, Jewish or otherwise, with whom Christ consorted before or during the time of His ministry?

By "mystics" is meant those comparable to Sufi mystics, who seek hidden spiritual truths by various means, and not those who perform acts the results of which are unexplained by temporal science ("magicians".)

  • 1
    Could you be a bit more specific about what you mean by 'mystics'? I ask because there are people assuming you mean something other than what the word normally means. – DJClayworth May 4 '18 at 15:54
1

I do believe Jesus was a mystic, but not as we understand the term today. But to your question more directly, I don't believe Jesus had need to consort with others in order to gain such "deeper knowings." The mysteries belong to God already.

As for your distinction between magicians and sufi mystics, the distinction may be a little more subtle than most realize. Someone like Aleister Crowley, for example, called Moses an expert magician and condemned him for stealing secret knowledge out of Egypt to start a false religion. That is to say, from the perspective of a magician (listening to lying spirits), Moses appears to be a magician!

But the Egyptian magicians did the same things by their secret arts, and Pharaoh's heart became hard; he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the LORD had said. Exodus 7:22

The implication is that both worked under the same framework, albeit to different ends, in different magnitudes of power, and from a different ideological source, of course.

Now, I specifically mean to say different "ideological source" in the singular. We can construe a solid argument that the Egyptians were taught by Satan, the accuser. However, by definition, Satan has no power to create. Therefore, the framework under which Wonders appear is God's. The LORD may have imbued man with the gift of language, as another example, but how the words are set under the principles of liberty, which for the time being include Good & Evil, becomes the issue of free will. There is only One source from which to steal fire from, and that is God, but nevertheless different "ideologies" persist. Paul, in Romans, makes it clear that there's a class of man who are aware of God's Light, which is made accessible to us to glorify Him, but reject the Truth. Again, qualitatively speaking, the differences may be minimal:

Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Romans 1:18-20

Even the specificity of such Wonder being "in them" blurs the line between a sufi term, as you referred, and magic, because they are both inside, so to speak. Even the phrase "when they knew God" shares a Gnostic quality. Nevertheless, knowing God wasn't the sin, it was what became of it under their hands: an image made like to corruptible man. (This is out of the bounds of your question, but I hope that brings a little insight as to what the mark of the beast is). The phenomena is very much real, and the Bible continues to refer to the Satanic movement, if you can call it that, as Egypt.

Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these men oppose the truth—men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone. 2 Timothy 3:8-9

I'm aware of the evil connotations that follow with the term Gnostic. It is definitely an issue to contend with very carefully. But at the core, the Gospel is not ashamed to say that we have a calling, a necessity, to Walk with Him, to Be His light ("you are the light of the world"), to graft ourselves to the everlasting, living vine, to sit on God's throne with Christ, through Christ, because of Christ:

To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. Revelation 3:21

According to Jews, the mystic Kabbalah has been a tradition handed down since before Moses. They say that at the time of the second temple's destruction, the tradition was put away. Although it's been taught through the middle ages, it was collectively decided to make the tradition public only now within the last several decades by Jews themselves. It supposedly can be gleamed from the first chapter of Genesis and it teaches how to harness God's light unto our bodily vessels to restore our image. Depending on who teaches it, it sounds either wholesome or Satanic. Nevertheless, I am opposed to it because it is taught now "content free," as I see it, separate from the truth of the narrative, the word, and becomes a right to self-divination, without serious consideration for Truth in the Word.

I have no doubts that Jesus wants us to be more like Him. The Beatitudes paints a holy picture of what our characters ought to be like as his love transforms our hearts. In this way, I believe your intuition is correct to compare the experience to that of a sufi. What is repentance if not an internal struggle and surrender? And as we approach His light—that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God—, what is being born again "by the Wind(i.e. breath in Greek) & Water" if not an internal metamorphoses (John 3)?

The beatitudes are remarkably similar in structure to the Indian practice of opening up one's chakras. But if anything, Jesus wasn't borrowing or stealing the ideas, He was setting forth a higher standard, as if to say: "This is the True way, let Me teach you: you will be Sons of God, yes, but you will not gain this world as it is now, for it will persecute you as they did with the prophets before you, but you shall inherit it." Chakra work, or any other sort of self-divination, focuses on gaining spoils from this world, and works through accepting and "forgiving Yourself" according to one's own manmade principles; whereas Christ wants us to acknowledge God's principles and have our hearts transformed for it.

So, were there mystics, Jewish or otherwise, with whom Christ consorted before or during the time of His ministry? If anything, all the world's secret societies and religions of enlightenment, from before Christ and after, ought to consort with Him! For His is the kingdom, the power, the glory... and the secret societies and religions of enlightenment have done nothing but distort God's plan of redemption. I'm glad brought mysticism as a topic here! As many a condemnations God has given against magicians and sorcerers, God has set a clear path for His people, and whereas some say the word mystic or gnostic, God says "heart and mind":

thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul. For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. Deuteronomy 30:10-15

| improve this answer | |
0

In John 2 (NIV), it says:

23 Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name. 24 But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. 25 He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person.

In the KJV, it says:

23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.

24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men,

25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.

While this does not say outright that Jesus did not consort with mystics, it attacks the very basis of the mystical approach to knowledge.

In the Socratic method of the Greeks, a teacher would ask questions and the pupils would answer them and the process would lead them to truth. Jesus needed no such dialogue to establish or explore truth. He did not need a school of researchers to perform experiments and write papers that he could attach his name to. All truth originated within Jesus.

| improve this answer | |
0

Did Christ consort with mystics?

Mat 13:34,35 (NIV) Jesus spoke ... to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet: “I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.”

Mysticism means enlightenment. It is the search for the next layer below an initial superficial understanding of words.

“knowledge inaccessible to the intellect, but attainable through contemplation, or self-surrender”. (Mysticism; Wikipedia)

The Pharisees leaned a bit more towards mysticism than what the Sadducees did.

Acts 23:8 (NIV) “The Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, and that there are neither angels nor spirits, but the Pharisees believe all these things”.

However, the Essenes, who were a group of Jewish ascetic monks, probably were more ardent seekers of deeper truths of the scriptures than what the Pharisees were.

Luk 2:41-46 (NIV) Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover Festival. When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. After the festival was over, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives & friends. When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.

Thus, before his baptism, Jesus did consort with spiritual people in the temple, and he must have come across both Pharisees and Essene monks there.

| improve this answer | |
-2

Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you.

Deuteronomy 18:10-12

Mystics who hold to special secrets of knowledge in God, was not Jesus's way. He declared His truth was able to be seen by those given the ability by God.

Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven." Matthew 16:16-17

Jesus is the light bringing life and sight to the world. Any mystics would either acknowledge this truth or be condemned as liars. There is little point therefore to record or even partake in conversations between Jesus and such people who hold the secrets of spiritual knowledge which Jesus would simply stand against.

"I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

John 8:12

| improve this answer | |
  • 'Mystics' does not mean 'magicians'. – DJClayworth May 4 '18 at 14:02

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.