In the last posting we discussed how the Christian Gnostics had some of the same spiritual concepts as Buddha, Lao Tzu and Kristna. You also may be surprised how closely related Jesus’ teachings are to the eastern mystics traditions. The traditions are a spiritual way of life that includes developing respect, trust, and love for all and discovering our full potential as true human beings. All spiritual concepts ask us to look within ourselves to find answers. The answers are in plain site, as Jesus tells us in various parables. “Recognize what is in your sight, and that which is hidden from you will become plain to you . For there is nothing hidden which will not become manifest.” (Saying 5)
Perhaps it is time to listen to our higher self. We all have deep seeded belief systems, affecting our understanding of not only Jesus’ parables and metaphors, but our understanding of God. Many have been engrained with orthodox Christians sources. Today we have the world at our fingertips to help us understand Jesus true teaching to help us find our way back home. The Gospel of Thomas provides new insight into the true teachings of Jesus. This 12 minute video provides an overview of the Gospel of Thomas.
Last time we discussed verses 1 through 8, Jesus’ message was to seek the truth, look within ourselves to find the kingdom. Many believed Jesus died for our sins. Perhaps one should consider he died so we could see the light and to follow his message and be like him; pure love and light. This is up to each one of us to contemplate and decide for ourselves. Now let’s discuss verses 9 through 16.
(9) Jesus said, “Now the sower went out, took a handful (of seeds), and scattered them. Some fell on the road; the birds came and gathered them up. Others fell on the rock, they did not take root in the soil, and did not produce ears. And others fell on thorns; they choked the seed(s) and worms ate them. And others fell on the good soil and it produced good fruit: it bore sixty per measure and a hundred and twenty per measure.”
There are comparable sayings in Matthew 13:3-9, Mark 4:2-9 , Luke 8: 4-8 and Luke 8:13 . Each time the author has added their interpretation of the seed parable as found in the Gospel of Thomas. Similar stories are also found in the Sirach 6:19.
The seed parable describes the divine seed God planted within each of us. In order to grow, one should find their way by seeking the truth, being caution of the pitfalls of life and false teachings that produce no fruit. Those who discover the truth, will begin to sprout and grow. The more you cultivate the divine seed with a fertile foundation, the more abundant your love and light grows. The illuminating light and love affects those around you, doubling in measure.
Jesus said, ” The truth will set you free.”
(10) Jesus said, “I have cast fire upon the world, and see, I am guarding it until it blazes.”
In a similar parable, Verse (16), Jesus said, “Men think, perhaps, that it is peace which I have come to cast upon the world. They do not know that it is dissension which I have come to cast upon the earth: fire, sword, and war. For there will be five in a house: three will be against two, and two against three, the father against the son, and the son against the father. And they will stand solitary. Comparable sayings in Luke 12:49 , and Matthew 10:34-36,
Most would agree Jesus message has cast fire on the world. He is known throughout the world as either a spiritual leader, messiah, divine prophet, Jewish preacher, religious leader, son of man, son of God and even God. Was Jesus’ message love and enlightenment or sin and repentance as the Orthodox view teaches? That difference has divided many, including religions and families. We have been indoctrinated since birth with the orthodox view. The Muslims and Christians seem to stay in conflict, both believe in Jesus but in different roles. All those in conflict believe they are right. In the end, each will stand alone.
(11) Jesus said, “This heaven will pass away, and the one above it will pass away. The dead are not alive, and the living will not die. In the days when you consumed what is dead, you made it what is alive. When you come to dwell in the light, what will you do? On the day when you were one you became two. But when you become two, what will you do?”
All of reality as we realize it, is an illusion and will pass. Even the illusion of birth and death will be realized as such. Everything is in flux, ever changing to a higher state of consciousness. We pass through periods of incarnation, eventually returning to the spirit world of light. To learn our lessons we must become two to be able to come into this world of illusion, with all the confusion and distortions. When we consume what is dead, we make alive. We are all here to learn our lessons plus the ways of love and wisdom and must return to the positive polarity to return to the One. We are here now as two, so what will you do in this material world to return to the one.
(12) The disciples said to Jesus, “We know that you will depart from us. Who is to be our leader?”
Jesus said to them, “Wherever you are, you are to go to James the righteous, for whose sake heaven and earth came into being.” Comparable saying can be found in Luke 9:46-48, Luke 22:24-27, Matt 18:1-4, and Mark 9:33-35. It is interesting to note, Jesus mentions no names in those parables.
James was the brother of Jesus, and the leader of the Church in Jerusalem until his death in 62 CE. There are five books of James in the New testament. Also discovered later was The Secret Book of James and The Apocryphon of James. James did not drink wine or eat meat or cut his hair. He was found kneeling and praying to the point his knees were like a camels because he was alway kneeling. He was an extraordinary character and righteous. In the Secret Book of James, he presents himself as the person who sends the other followers of Jesus on their missions. Today, Christianity has followed more of Paul’s teaching, Many biblical scholars and lay Christians have noted that Jesus preached almost exclusively about the kingdom of heaven, while Paul highlighted justification by faith—and not vice versa. Some conclude that they preached two different gospels. Others argue that really they both preached justification; still others say it’s all about the kingdom. The true teacher is within each of us, our higher selves.
(13) Jesus said to his disciples, “Compare me to someone and tell me whom I am like.”
Simon Peter said to him, “You are like a righteous angel.”
Matthew said to him, “You are like a wise philosopher.”
Thomas said to him, “Master, my mouth is wholly incapable of saying whom you are like.”
Jesus said, “I am not your master. Because you have drunk, you have become intoxicated from the bubbling spring which I have measured out.”
And he took him and withdrew and told him three things. When Thomas returned to his companions, they asked him, “What did Jesus say to you?”
Thomas said to them, “If I tell you one of the things which he told me, you will pick up stones and throw them at me; a fire will come out of the stones and burn you up.”
Consider after each answer, Jesus responded by telling them he was not their master and that they were drunken by his presence and their perceived idea of who he was. They looked upon Jesus as a being unlike themselves. When believing Jesus was more than he was, they were unable to see themselves as equals. When Jesus took Thomas aside, he said three things or words which could have been along the lines of,’ “We are equal.” “We are the from the” or “we are all sons of God”. That would justify Thomas’ response to the others when asked what was said.
(14) Jesus said to them, “If you fast, you will give rise to sin for yourselves; and if you pray, you will be condemned; and if you give alms, you will do harm to your spirits. When you go into any land and walk about in the districts, if they receive you, eat what they will set before you, and heal the sick among them. For what goes into your mouth will not defile you, but that which issues from your mouth – it is that which will defile you.” Comparable says are Luke 11:1-4, Luke 9:1-6, Luke 10:1-12, and Matt 6:2-18,
This one is probably more difficult than most because of the ways we have been taught since birth. Consider we all have a higher self, a divine spark within; a divinity from God. We are suppose to allow our higher self guide us because we have all the answers within. Like overindulgence with food, fasting for too long also harms the body. We have the ability to heal when we seek the truth and look within ourselves as Jesus said in saying 2 and 3. What we eat will not defile us but what comes out of our mouth will.
(15) Jesus said, “When you see one who was not born of woman, prostrate yourselves on your faces and worship him. That one is your father. Comparable saying is John 10:30
Not born of a woman is our father. Again, Jesus is telling us we are all equal with Jesus. When we worship other humans, there is division instead of uniting and finding our way home. We are all divine beings of infinite worth and we are here to learn our lessons specific to us, and the ways of love and wisdom.
Each parable has many answers and within your own reflection you will find a greater answer than anyone else could give you. Perhaps we should consider the Gospel of Thomas was used by the others to write the Books of the New testament. Next month we review the next group of the 114 secret sayings of Jesus.