In my continuing quest to make sense of what Jesus is recorded to have said and demonstrate his timeless relevance, I looked at this passage, below.

Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes” (Matthew 11:25).

The English word “babes” is translated from the Greek word νήπιος nḗpios. This Greek word is derived from νή (implying negation) and ἔπος (a word). The translators chose to translate this Greek word (literally “not word”) to the English word “babe,” or “child.” But does it make sense that God would reveal things to a babe? What could a babe do with that revelation?

In other passages of the Bible, Jesus actually did mean young children by using two different Greek words. In Matthew 11:25, he must have meant something other than a literal babe or child.

Consider the literal translation “not word.” Perhaps “not word” means listening.  When one prays, one is speaking to God. When one is meditating, one is listening, to “a still small voice.” Nine times, Jesus is recorded as saying, “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” He wants people to listen.

The “wise and prudent” are known for speaking and giving advice. When a disciple of Jesus or devotee of God engages in spiritual communion (meditation), they listen intently. Only then is God moved to reveal things.

Why should God reveal or speak to people who are not listening?

Do you yearn for God to talk to you? There are 112 spiritual practices to commune (or become united) or listen to Omnipresence. Some of these are raja yoga, arhatic yoga, kriya yoga, karma yoga, etc. Which is best? The one that resonates with you and that you will actually practice.

Honestly, do you have any sense about what this life is about? If not, then be quiet and listen. This is the eternal impulse of spirituality–-listen.

Devotional meditation is that practice that can bring sweetness of joy (bliss) into your life. Some experiences can be like “the bush burned with fire and the bush was not consumed” (Ex 3:2) that Moses experienced. Or it can be “tongues like as of fire” (Act 2:3) which disciples of Jesus experienced. This expansive, inclusive sweet spirituality, almost lost, is yet there, hidden in all religions.

Jesus said, “Verily I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little children, (the same Greek word as used in Matthew 11:25, νήπιος) ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3).

We must “become as little children” i.e., not speak, but listen in spiritual meditation. Otherwise Jesus says we will not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus taught a type of a spiritual meditation to his disciples. He taught them how to still the mind and listen. This is what he called “the way.” In India, this way is known as Kriya yoga meditation.

Saint Athanasius said, “God became human that we might become divine.”(1) This was the mission of Jesus—to show humanity his “way” (method, technique) that will reveal our own latent divinity. This teaching of original Christianity is almost lost in modern religious thought.

God, in His infinite mercy, has created many similar variations of Jesus’ way through types of spiritual meditation, through which his devotees can commune with Him.

If you want to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ, meditate. You can learn techniques, very similar to what he taught, from living Kriya Yoga masters today. Seize the opportunity!


(1) I thank Godfrey Diekmann OSB (1908 – 2002) for his tireless research on early Christianity and for the quote from Saint Athanasius.

3 thoughts on “Listen

  1. Finally getting to this as have (ironically) been waiting for a moment when I was able to take the time to read and “hear” the message. Thanks Ralph! This is a good topic which is near and dear to me. A number of years back when working a corporate/leadership job I came to the realization few of the leaders had much skill (or desire) to listen to their subordinates. All the development courses focussed on how to deliver one’s own message/agenda but not a bit of training was spent on how to listen. The only way we can support our employees, spouses, neighbors, kids, friends, and even adversaries is to shut the heck up & listen as often times those perceived adversaries become allies.

    1. Thank you Micah. Your contribution is most appreciated.
      I had not thought about this social aspect of listening. As you pointed out, it is also vital to listen in the social arena.

      My blog had presented listening in just the spiritual dimension.
      You made me realize social “listening”, is empathic and efficient.
      When I saw “listening” in these two aspects of life, I knew that listening must also be important for the third aspect of life -our body/mind complex, (our self ).
      When we don’t listen to our body or mind telling us to take a break, our body/mind might break.
      Thank you for suggesting additional aspects of listening.
      I feel this completes the three aspects of life: spiritual, social, self.

    2. Yes Micah, I totally agree with your comments. Listening is so important and so many employers do not do this. I look and listen to all that is around me and so often many will off burden all their problems. How many times I have been thanked for listening. The talkers are grateful and happy and say that they are blessed knowing me as so many times no-one has the time to listen.

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