Who Was Jesus?

I have been thinking on this question of who Jesus is in the Gospel of Thomas.
One saying jumped out at me:

Jesus said to his students, "Compare me to something and tell me what I am like."
Simon Peter said to him, "You are like a righteous prophet."
Matthew said to him, "You are like a wise philosopher."
Thomas said to him, "Rabbi, my mouth is utterly unable to say what you are like."
Jesus said, "I am not your rabbi. Because you have drunk, you have become intoxicated from the bubbling spring-the spring that I myself, have tended."
Jesus took Thomas away from the others, and spoke three sayings to him. When Thomas came back to his friends they asked him, "What did Jesus say to you?"
Thomas said to them, "If I tell you one of the sayings he spoke to me, you will pick up rocks and stone me, and fire will come from the rocks and devour you." Saying 13

As I meditate on this saying, I think it says it all. Jesus was a righteous prophet. He called for justice for the poor. Jesus was a wise philosopher...his teachings were quite profound and could keep one thinking for some time. So Simon Peter and Matthew were not wrong. They simply provided statements of faith. I believe X, Y, Z. Thomas, oh blessed Thomas! His answer was not a statement of right doctrine or a system of beliefs that people can sign on the dotted line affirming and then get on with their lives. No. Thomas speaks from the heart. He speaks of his experience and his inability to put that experience of Jesus into words. Was Jesus just a human Wisdom teacher? a prophet or messenger from God? The Logos/Sophia descended to earth? The second person of the Trinity? He could be any or none of these. What is more important is the effect of this Jesus on our lives. I think this is something that served as a final chink in my fundamentalist armor long ago. Something I forgot. Right doctrine does not mean you have a heart changed and soften by God. And the latter is infinitely more important than the former.  Jesus speaks something to Thomas.....and when the other disciples ask him what Jesus told him....Thomas tells them the truth....you just would not get it..you won't understand it.


  1. Which is the same line of logic I use to affirm that it doesn't matter if Jesus actually existed or not. His effect can be lovely.


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