Belief Vs. Experience

Some people said to him, "Tell us who you are so that we may believe in you." Jesus said to them, "You observe the face of heaven and earth, but you have not come to know the one who is in your presence, and you do not know how to be mindful of the present moment." Gospel of Thomas 91

When I first began to meditate upon this passage, I had a hard time understanding what the contrast between the peoples words and Jesus response was.  Then as I held it in my mind and heart it began to reveal itself to me like a tiny seed sprouting up.  The people are wanting him to tell them who he is.  They want to rely on another's word for it.  They want belief or what is commonly called "faith alone".  Believe this and this and you will be saved.  However Jesus refutes this.  He challenges them to know experience his life and words in a living and transformative way, and thus to truly be here now.  Jesus has revealed himself as a son of God and challenges us to do the same.  To have a relationship with the Divine as a son would his father or a daughter her mother.  The Thomasine way is not easy.  We cannot rely on another's words.  Even the Gospel of Thomas speaks of having to discover or experience the sayings in it to find life.  We have to experience their truth for ourselves.


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