Jesus and Meditation

June 8, 2024

When people think of meditation, they often envision a practice that involves sitting quietly, breathing deeply and maybe repeating a mantra. But the Bible is full of references to meditation, and Jesus lived in a time and place that were steeped in diverse spiritual traditions. It’s a near certainty that Jesus was at least familiar with meditation, and probably practiced it himself, or at least benefited from the quiet contemplative practice.

The Bible doesn’t explicitly use the word “meditation,” but it recounts numerous instances of Jesus seeking solitude and engaging in deep prayer – actions that could be broadly defined as meditation. His silent retreat in the Garden of Gethsemane, for example, or his period in the desert for forty days and nights during his temptations, exemplify the power and depth of Jesus’ connection to God through quiet reflection.

Another illuminating moment is the story of the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-9), in which Jesus took Peter, James and John to a mountain to pray. Similar to other spiritual figures who seek higher planes for divine communion, this is a clear instance of meditation-like prayer.

Jesus also taught his followers to meditate on the words of Scripture. This type of meditation is different than Eastern meditation, as it focuses on reading and reflecting on the words of God rather than just being quiet. However, this form of meditation is still a powerful way to connect with God and gain insight and peace.

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