Monthly Archives: October 2013

IN THE WORDS OF JESUS–Part 842

ON LOVE; PART XDXXXI

ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•Α

GoodWill IS Love in Action

ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•ΑΩ•Α

The Gospel of Thomas

These are the hidden words that the living Jesus spoke. And Didymos Judas Thomas wrote them down.

(63) Jesus says: “There was a rich person who had many possessions. He said: ‘I will use my possessions so that I might sow, reap, plant, (and) fill my storehouses with fruit so that I will not lack anything.’ This was what he was thinking in his heart. And in that night he died. Whoever has ears should hear.

(64) Jesus says: “A person had guests. And when he had prepared the dinner, he sent his servant, so that he might invite the guests. He came to the first (and) said to him: ‘My master invites you.’ He said: ‘I have bills for some merchants. There are coming to me this evening. I will go (and) give instructions to them. Excuse me from the dinner.’ He came to another (and) said to him: ‘My master has invited you.’ He said to him: ‘I have bought a house, and I have been called (away) for a day. I will not have time.’ He went to another (and) said to him: ‘My master invites you.’ He said to him: ‘My friend is going to marry, and I am the one who is going to prepare the meal. I will not be able to come. Excuse me from the dinner.’ He came up to another (and) said to him: ‘My master invites you.’ He said to him: ‘I have bought a village. Since I am going to collect the rent, I will not be able to come. Excuse me.’ The servant went away. He said to his master: ‘Those whom you invited to the dinner have asked to be excused.’ The master said to his servant: ‘Go out on the roads. Bring (back) whomever you find, so that they might have dinner.’ Dealers and merchants (will) not enter the places of my Father.

(65) He said: “A [usurer] owned a vineyard. He gave it to some farmers so that they would work it (and) he might receive its fruit from them. He sent his servant so that the farmers might give him the fruit of the vineyard. They seized his servant, beat him, (and) almost killed him. The servant went (back and) told his master. His master said: ‘Perhaps <they> did not recognize <him>.’ He sent another servant, (and) the farmers beat that other one as well. Then the master sent his son (and) said: ‘Perhaps they will show respect for my son.’ (But) those farmers, since they knew that he was the heir of the vineyard, seized him (and) killed him. Whoever has ears should hear.

(66) Jesus says: “Show me the stone that the builders have rejected. It is the cornerstone.

(67) Jesus says: “Whoever knows all, if he is lacking one thing, he is (already) lacking everything.

In the last essay we discussed what we see as two distinct sayings rolled up into one saying as the sixty second from the Gospel of Thomas; we see this as the Master’s giving us some reality regarding the telling of the mysteries of Life and the Kingdom of God and then telling us as well that we should not be going about to do things for the benefit received as others see what it is that we are doing. Although the Master frames this in the synoptics as to do with fasting and praying and almsgiving, this IS a rather universal admonishment which should be seen to cover ALL of human endeavor. We should understand here that this IS a rule for the disciple as to DO for the sake of being seen doing is contrary to the very idea of discipleship where one does just for the sake of doing. In the wording of these two ideas from Thomas’ Gospel: “I tell my mysteries to those who [are worthy] of [my] mysteries. Whatever your right hand does, your left hand should not know what it is doing“, we could possibly see a connection between them as the one commentary suggests and in this we would point to the Master’s words that tell disciples “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you” (Matthew 7:6). However, this is not the likely intent of Thomas as he recorded these sayings; the latter is in regard to DOING as a disciple while the former is in regard just who would be a disciple through the idea of who would be worthy of KNOWING the mysteries.

We should note here that this idea of mysteries is found through revelation and His idea of telling should be seen in the reality of the Christ Within, a concept which had not yet been established. The Master says the same words to ALL but it is only the worthy that can understand them and this because His words are coming to the man through his own Soul; this we can say as that they are heard in the ear by ALL but they are understood by revelation only to those who are worthy, those who are focused upon the things of God. These mysteries are given to the disciple under the Master’s saying that “Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God” but there is no magical process here where those who the Master chooses magically understand; the process is simply as we read in Thomas, that it IS to the worthy that they ARE revealed as we are always discussing.

Our next saying, the sixty third, is a shortened version of the Parable of the Rich Fool as we find it in Luke’s Gospel. We used this recently to further our understanding of the Master’s True idea in His saying that we should “take no thought” (Matthew 6:25, Luke 12:22) as we applied this to the thirty sixth saying from Thomas that tells us: “Do not worry from morning to evening and from evening to morning about what you will wear” (Thomas 36). Here the relationship between the Master’s words in Thomas’ Gospel and those in the synoptics should be seen in the same Light as the idea in Thomas of clothes is but the example used; the example in the synoptics is broader as it includes clothing and food and expands to include the whole of one’s Life. As one will see from reading our words in this blog, we see much more in this saying of “take no thought” than does doctrine; we see this as a clear and literal saying much like the idea of Love thy neighbor. It is for this reason that we related this to the Parable of the Rich Fool which precedes this idea in Luke’s Gospel and we present this here again for its relation to these words from the sixty third saying:

And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided ? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life” (Luke 12:16-22).

The words from Thomas are much the same:  “There was a rich person who had many possessions. He said: ‘I will use my possessions so that I might sow, reap, plant, (and) fill my storehouses with fruit so that I will not lack anything.’ This was what he was thinking in his heart. And in that night he died. Whoever has ears should hear“. Here again we should try to see that the apostle has the gist of the story which is the same as we see in Luke but that Thomas recollection results in this shortened version which is in one way more complete; here we see this as it applies to “many possessions” while in Luke it is only the fruit of the land. We should KNOW that they do both mean the total scope of possessions and that the difference IS only in style. ALL of the translations of this are much the same as we have above and while they do use different words the intent comes through rather clearly in each. Commentary on this saying includes:

  • R. McL. Wilson writes: “This is clearly a shorter version of Luke xii. 16-21, a passage peculiar to Luke; the preceding verses in Luke, which in that Gospel are the occasion of the saying, appear in Thomas as logion 72; those which follow, about anxiety over the things of this world, in logion 36. Formally, this should probably be considered a later development of the Lucan parable, but this does not necessarily mean that it was derived from Luke. Grant and Freedman suggest that the words ‘this night they will require your soul of you’ are omitted ‘perhaps because something like them will recur in saying 88,’ but the similarity is rather remote and, moreover, this would seem to presuppose a rather closer literary dependence than is justified by the gospel as a whole. In some cases we can indeed speak of intentional or unintentional harmonization, words or phrases occurring to the mind of the author by association with what he is writing, but in others it is difficult to imagine him selecting a word here, a saying there, and keeping part of another saying for use at a later stage. Explanations which are to be valid must take account of what we can learn of the writer’s methods, and free citation from memory would appear to be nearer the mark than an extensive use of scissors and paste.” (Studies in the Gospel of Thomas, pp. 99-100).
  • Joachim Jeremias writes: “The closing sentence, too, of the parable of the Rich Fool: ‘So (foolishly behaves the man) who heaps up treasure for himself and does not gather wealth toward God’ (Luke 12.21), must be an addition; it is missing from the Gospel of Thomas (63), and gives a moralizing meaning to the parable, which blunts the sharp edge of its warning.” (The Parables of Jesus, p. 106).
  • Helmut Koester writes: “There are two secondary features in the narrative of Luke: the conclusion and the moralizing discourse. Both are missing in Thomas’s version which presents this story in the more original form of a reversal parable. On the other hand, Thomas has also transferred the parable into a different milieu. The rich man is no longer a wealthy farmer but a decurion from the city who wants to invest his money successfuly. The maxim at the end of Gos. Thom. 63 is of course secondary, but it does not reveal any knowledge of Luke’s conclusion.” (Ancient Christian Gospels, p. 98)
  • Funk and Hoover write: “As a single, unelaborated tale the Thomas version retains more of the characteristics of orally transmitted tradition and is probably an earlier form of the parable than Luke’s. Thomas has nevertheless shifted the social location of the parable. His rich man is no longer a farmer. He is an investor who seeks such a high return that he will lack nothing. But on very day he has such thoughts he dies and thus loses everything. Thomas’ version seems to turn on its incongruity between his thoughts and his end, whereas Luke’s version focuses on the farmer’s folly.” (The Five Gospels, p. 508).
  • Gerd Ludemann writes: “This exemplary narrative is related to Luke 12.16-20. But the economic circumstances are slightly different. In Luke we have a farmer who wants to ‘save’, here a businessman who wants to put his money to work. The meaning of the two parables is the same. Sudden death can overtake even the shrewdest of rich men.” (Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 621-622)

ALL these commentaries see the same thing albeit in different ways. The idea of the rich man as an investor is to put a modern slant upon these idea and we should note that the idea here is not that the man farms or invests, the idea is that he has wealth and possessions and be they fruits or cars the idea should be seen in the same way. In Luke the rich man must build bigger barns for his treasure while in Thomas he apparently already has sufficient space and the moral here should switch to the idea that the man’s only concern is that he can fill his “storehouses with fruit so that I will not lack anything” as we read in Thomas or so that the man can say to himself that “thou hast much goods laid up for many years“. There IS NO difference in these ideas and this is a part of the moral of the story along with the blunt ending from Thomas who tells us that after ALL this achievement and ALL these possessions, that “in that night he died” while Luke shows us that the man has chance to think in the end about the relative futility of his achievements as we read: “God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided ?“. While Luke has a more parabolic way of looking at this, the intent and the moral are the same. The next line in Luke IS NOT a part of the story but rather a comment by the Master that reflects the reality of this futility, that no matter what a man may achieve and possess it is for naught and in the reality of Life a man should be “rich toward God“; and, we should understand this as so much more that wealth and possessions, we should see this as the result of one’s Life’s work.

In this IS the greater reality, that to achieve wealth and possessions and greatness in the eyes of men is of no profit to the Soul; it is only in one’s focus upon the Good, the Beautiful and the True, upon the things of God, that one can be seen as “rich toward God“. ALL things and ALL fame and ALL worldly glory is lost save as a memory by others and it IS in this light that we should read: “As he came forth of his mother’s womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labour, which he may carry away in his hand” (Ecclesiastes 5:15). This is the fate of the man in the world, ALL men; there is naught that one can carry away save whatsoever spiritual collateral that one may have accumulated in his time in this world and none of this is carnal in nature. This is the point of this saying and while Luke’s version includes the final thought by the Master, this same should be assumed by very nature of the parable itself in both versions. 

We should note as well that in Luke’s version the Master goes right into His sayings that reflect the Truth of “take no thought” which we get from Thomas in an abbreviated form in saying thirty six. Overall, the message of both versions of this parable and the next thought from Luke should have the True meaning for the aspirant and the disciple, that there IS no profit in the things of the world and to possess them is futile and if one is not going to possess them what is the use then of giving them one’s attention. This IS the overriding message to the aspirant and the disciple; it is contrary to much doctrine but then so are the aspiriant and the disciple whose focus IS upon the things of God and it IS to this end that he strives.

We will continue with our thoughts in the next post.

Aspect of God

Potency

Aspect of Man

In Relation to the Great Invocation

In relation to the Christ

GOD, The Father

Will or Power

Spirit or Life

Center where the Will of God IS KNOWN

Life

Son, The Christ

Love and Wisdom

Soul or Christ Within

Heart of God

Truth

Holy Spirit

Light or Activity

Life Within

Mind of God

Way

Note on the Quote of the Day

This daily blog also has a Quote of the Day which may not be in any way related to the essay. Many of these will be from the Bible and some just prayers or meditations that may have an influence on you and are in line with the subject matter of this blog. As the quote will change daily and will not store with the post, it is repeated in this section with the book reference and comment.

We present here again what we call the Lord’s Prayer and do so as it relates to our ideas above on the Millennium Development Goals. One could say that it is the responsibility of God to take care of these billions of people but this one would be short sighted and unawares of the Truth of the Master’s words and the Word of God. In the Truth that “there is no respect of persons with God” (Romans 2:11) we should see that He did not do this to these people, it is the natural way of the Plan of God that puts men where they can best progress and in this time of much escalated population growth we find the situations that we find. From the Master’s words on Love and in sayings like that from John which clearly tells us that: “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?  My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:17-18); we should be able to see our own role here and, for those of us who can believe that we are aspirants to discipleship, we should be able to see it ever clearer in this prayer as we pray that His Kingdom would come, the Kingdom that is within us ALL, and that His Will be done which IS our Will if we are among those who DO keep His words and strive toward the realization of the Kingdom of God for He does tell us clearly that “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). And, we should note that the ideas of us and we in the rest of this prayer are in reference to ALL men, ALL of the nearly 7.2 billion that are here in this Earth today….and so IS the idea of OUR.

Our Father, which art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done,
in earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
[For thine is the kingdom,
the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever.]
Amen.

Let the peace of God rule in your hearts!

  • 14 The Gospel of Thomas; Translated by Stephen J. Patterson and James M. Robinson; http://gnosis.org/
  • † From the Gospels of Matthew and Luke; this version is from the Book of Common Prayer of 1662

Comments Off on IN THE WORDS OF JESUS–Part 842

Filed under Abundance of the Heart, Born Again, Children of God, Christianity, Disciple of Christ, Eternal Life, Faith, Forgiveness, Light, Living in the Light, Reincarnation, Righteousness, Sons of God, The Kingdom, The Words of Jesus