Yitro is a precondition for the revelation of the Divine Presence in the material world (as it happened in Sinai), and they mention several reasons that we will consider later. He personifies the process that the children of Israel have to engage in our relationship with the Creator, because by hearing about Him and understanding His ways and attributes we come to Him. This means we don't need or have to see Him and know Him before we embrace Him.
Understanding is the first stage to assimilate knowledge, and in this sense our mystic Sages define the process starting with intellect as the ability to acquire wisdom, followed by discernment as understanding which leads us to knowledge as a bonding experience.
This is why our Sages consider Yitro as the epitome of the convert who comes to Judaism as the true way to return to God. By true we refer to the discerning process that precedes the knowledge of Him. In this process we Jews are all converts to the Torah as we were in Sinai, because we have to individually pursue this knowledge by first understanding its revealed and hidden messages by God.
We must understand idolatry as something rather concrete than abstract. Both the Written Torah and the Oral Torah refer to idol worship not as a delusional cult but as something real, because it is based on the belief that the forces of nature have power over life, as it indeed is.
The distinction that the Torah makes very clear is that those forces are commanded by the Creator. They serve His will as it was magnificently proven with the Exodus from Egypt, and the miracles that followed. This Exodus had the two-fold purpose of freeing Israel from bondage and oppression, and to make the entire world aware of God's ownership and control of His Creation.
This is what has made us different, and still makes us distinct from other nations: our belief in One and only God, and our relationship also exclusive with Him. Our Sages tell us that Yitro practiced and experienced all kinds of worship to the forces of nature, and coming to Sinai to recognize the sovereignty of the Creator was one of the conditions for Israel to receive the Torah.
Ego, as the modern Pharaoh, appears as the absolute and unbeatable ruler of all levels of consciousness. Becoming the contemporary Yitro seems to be near to impossible as long as we don't understand God's Love, and come to His ways and attributes as the redeeming forces that are the true rulers of our consciousness.
“And the Lord came down on Mount Sinai... and the Lord called to Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.” (19:20)
God comes down to call our understanding of His Love, for us to come up to the highest level of our consciousness to meet Him. This level becomes our knowledge of His ways and attributes.
We have to be experienced practitioners of materialistic fantasies and illusions up to the point to become as experts as high priests of idolatry. Only in full awareness of their futility we can understand that only Love works wonders and miracles capable to bring us back to the knowledge of God's Love as our One and only Creator and true Source of Life.
Let's awaken to our discernment as understanding of God's Love to embrace Him as our Creator, Redeemer, and true freedom.