Jesus message is utterly benevolent. He means good in the most absolute sense, in that he means NO harm as well as ALL good.
We are like children in our ignorance. Our posturing is frankly incredible. We are sorry for our errors but not for our ignorance, which spills over the teacup of our knowledge while we pour in ever more opinions and judgements.
Like fools we are convinced we have the truth in our minds when the reality is that we ARE the truth in our heart. The special foolishness of the heart which the world calls wisdom is merely the heartfelt acknowledgement of our ignorance and inadvertence.
In the eyes of the world, the message of Jesus is the height of foolishness. The world has an excellent point. That is why there exists further teachings beside the essence. These further teachings are not essential.
The absolute essence of the teachings of Jesus can be stated as four simple and soul-saving rules. Each of these four rules eliminates a third of those who would follow Jesus.
ESSENTIAL RULE ONE: ABANDON FEAR.
That's right. Completely let go of, surrender, release, and forget about, all fear. The mind exists to find things to be afraid of, so loosening the hold on fear is like losing your mind to find your heart. It's this rule that reduces the number of people who wish to follow Jesus' teachings by a big third, from 100 % to 66 %.
ESSENTIAL RULE TWO: ABANDON JUDGMENT.
Ditto for judgment. Opinionation of any kind is a subtle form of resentment. No resentment is ever justified. The 66 % would-be followers of Jesus shrinks to 42 %, by another third.
ESSENTIAL RULE THREE: LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
With this rule only 32 % of people are left capable of following Jesus' teachings, and among Christians this is quite an accurate figure.
Unfortunately the 32 % who are capable, by and large, do not actually follow the teaching. The percentage of people following these teachings is significantly lower, in fact, for a final rule. This rule is absolutely central to the essence of Jesus' teachings, since it regards the practice that engenders the above rules. This final rule that is most significant for spirital aspiration:
ESSENTIAL RULE FOUR: DO NO RESIST EVIL, BUT SIMPLY AVOID IT.
This is the presciption, if you like, that triggers the presence of the first three rules, the presence of Love in one's life, and the relationship with God through Jesus Christ that is spoken about by many and practiced by few. A third off 32 percent makes just over 20 percent of those who would follow the teachings able and willing to practice them in their lives.
As a point of comparison, consider that only 4 % of Christians are capable of unconditional love. Compare that, however, to the ten times fewer number of people in the world at large who are capable of unconditional love (0.4%) and you have some insight into the power of Jesus' teachings to uplift and bless.
It should be added that many of the 20 % mentioned above are quite capable of conditional love, which in itself is a great blessing to humanity. But by their failure to practice essential rule four, their ability to love is obscured and forgotten. Which is precisely what happens to these teachings over time.
The essence of Jesus teachings is simple. The practice of avoiding evil is simple and unworldly.
To the worldly, of course, I understand the following teaching to apply. This is an elaborations of Jesus' teachings, not essential. There are other aspects to his teachings that apply to specific problems, like specific antidotes to specific illnesses, but this side issue of the unworldiness of Jesus teachings is most relevant to us today. Here it is:
ABANDON WHAT IS WORLDLY TO THE WORLD, AND GIVE WHAT IS SPIRITUAL TO THE SPIRIT.
Stated another way, the worldly requires attention, and the spiritual requires devotion. But worldly things only truly matter in the context of spirituality, so focus first, last and always on spiritual teachings.
These teachings I offer, intending that they be of benefit to all.