My Personal Conclusion

I had really been wrestling with something that will be of little interest to those of you who are not Thomasines.  In many ways it is a completely minor matter and not at all central to the message of the Gospel of Thomas, but has been something that haunted me.  The matter is the issue of who is Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas.  Is he just a man?  a prophet or messenger of God?  Is he Divine?  Like a sticker that gets under the skin it has brought my attention back to it again and again.  My personal bias is that I WANTED to be a Oneness Thomasine.  I believed and still do that believe in One God allows for some common ground with other faiths that also affirm one God.  However I would come across sayings that made Jesus sound divine.  They would speak of his pre-existence, himself as the light, and with an authority that almost seemed divine.  At other times he speaks as a human, reminding them there will be a time when he is not going to be around, that he too is surrendered to the Father, that we can be exactly like him.  So what is my conclusion?  Is Jesus Divine?  Is he Human?  The answer is yes.  Please allow me to explain.  Jesus existed in God in the beginning...and so did we.  Like a clay jar dropped to the floor the light which was one and was in God was broken.  We were that light - the sons and daughters of God.  We came into this world and into these bodies, forgetting who we were and where we came from.
     From my reading of the Gospel of Thomas I believe we all existed in the light as the light before our physical birth.  We came from the light and stood in the flesh.  We forgot who we were, sons and daughters of the light, of God.  Jesus remembered who he was and where he came from.  He knew his union of his interior light with the light of God, just as we are all called to do.  He lived as an elder brother to share what he had learned and experienced.  His life became a lesson, his words and the integrity with which he lived.  Thus the reason he speaks with authority is because he has experienced it.  He awakened to union with God.  This is, in my opinion, what happens with the saints of all religions.  They become the elder brothers and sisters to those around them.  As a disciple of Jesus, I follow his words and way.  He reveals were we all came from (including him) and who we are (sons and daughters of God in the same way he is). So in that way I remain a strict monotheist rejecting the trinity.  I believe in One God from whom we all emanated.  I believe in Jesus, our elder brother and son of God, who upon his awakening was sent as a prophet/messenger to any who would hear to help us awaken as he did.  Like the Buddha teaching his students but ultimately the experience of awakening is individual and cannot be done by someone else for you.  So when the Gospel of Thomas speaks of blaspheming the Father, the son and the Holy Spirit, It means you can reject the images we hold of a father god in heaven as words and descriptions are not what God is..God is beyond that.  We can reject the messenger, our elder brother Jesus and still be awakened.  He is only a messenger.  Awakening is separate from that.  However the Holy Spirit is the light inside us, that seeks to reunite with the light of God.  If you reject that...then there is problems.  You may describe it in different ways (I am only speaking in metaphors for God and light) but to out and out reject the whole thing is problematic.  So a Thomasine can be a Christian if by that you mean one who follows Christ.  We may even honor Jesus as our divine elder brother (akin to another Thomasine text The Hymn of the Pearl) but he is not the Father.  I believe Jesus lived with such integrity that he loved the outcast seeing who they really were.  I believe he rejected the claims of power made by the religions and politics of his times, and like those who stand for the outcast, he died for it.  Yet like all those who awaken, he is alive in God as are all those who awaken. 

Comments

  1. This interpretation resonates with me as well, and is also something I've been struggling with at times. Thanks for putting into words what I have not yet!

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  2. Thank you. It is not quite verbalized as I have it in my mind and heart, but has brought me a deep peace non the less.

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  3. Through reading April DeConnick's book, and her ideas of the Kernal sayings and an overwhelming possibility that the higher christological sayings were added in later, perhaps as the other communities where coming of age, I really actually feel even less now, than before, that Jesus was Divine. The passage in #77 (part two of it which originally went along with #30 in the older Greek fragments) sounds very much like Isaiah... a prophet allowing God to speak through him, without actually BEING God. The more I read Isaiah in the Torah, the more I see how similar a picture was painted with Jesus in Gospel of John as well as in saying #77.

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  4. While I personally am ambivalent about DeConnick's findings, I do feel that Jesus was a man. I finally reached a place where I could say I am not a Trinitarian without any trepidation. He was a man. One may tend to see him as a mystical rabbi. Another as a prophet or messenger. Yet another may see him as a type of Guru. Any of these are fine with me. :)

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  5. Re-reading my post, I realize I wrote it quite backwards. lol... I feel, even more so than before, that Jesus was NOT divine. Reading through the Kernal theory of April DeConnick, and looking at the very core of what she feels the original sayings were, you can certainly see how it was only after many years of being passed about, that Gospel of Thomas adopted a more Gnostic and Divine characteristic.

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  6. Inspiring post, Br. Jay. Thank you for putting this down on (cyber)paper as best as you could. I know how complicated delving into and then spreading out into a coherent argument such a topic can be.

    I share this same vision of The One. Jesus was simply a Spark of light which realized his birthright sooner than the rest of us. He wanted to share this vision of Totality with us and yep, he certainly burned a path right through our hearts, even today. That was his intention. You can't always sugar coat the truth in a nice, easy to swallow format. Sometimes you have to shout it out and let the idea burn through the population.

    This is the type of inner conviction which I believe led the Cathars to be such a strong community until their bloody end. Our lives are truly transitory, and so honestly- what did they lose by holding onto their convictions? Nothing. They lost their mortal lives but not their immortal Sparks.

    ~Angel

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