Gospel of Thomas: Thomas 9
Gospel of Thomas Compared to The New Testament
Thomas 9: Jesus said, “Look, the sower went out, took a handful (of seeds), and scattered (them). Some fell on the road, and the birds came and gathered them. Others fell on rock, and they didn’t take root in soil and didn’t produce heads of grain. Others fell on thorns, and they choked the seeds and worms ate them. And others fell on good soil, and it produced a good crop: it yielded sixty per measure and one hundred twenty per measure.”
Yeshua went out into the physical/material realm. He is the sower—He has scattered His words among us, through His followers. His followers are the places where the seeds fell and attempted to take root. Like the disciples, all people are the soil. The crop is the knowledge of truth grown in the good soil, which nourishes the soul on its way to becoming an enlightened Spirit.
The followers of Yeshua, who placed God outside of the self, scattered seeds on barren ground. However, those who recognised the soul as their identity scatter the seeds on fertile ground, which enabled them to yield without measure. 77th Pearl: The Perpetual Tree has grown from the good soil, which is the Gospel of Thomas.
Thomas 9 is a well-known and often quoted parable. For this reason, this is an appropriate place to point out that the Gospel of Thomas sayings were a reference point for the Synoptic Gospels. The authors did not understand the esoteric nature of the sayings. They used what they knew from the Old Testament edicts to substantiate theories about Jesus and His teachings. This re-contextualising is what Jesus warned should not occur when He cryptically asserted not to place new wine (His teachings) into old wine skins (the myths and legends of the Old Testament) in Thomas 47. The fact that the disciples found Jesus’ sayings difficult to comprehend is evident in the New Testament Gospels. The Gospel of Matthew illustrates this confusion well.
In Matthew 13, we see a plethora of sayings from the Gospel of Thomas. They are used to construct a piece of writing devised to scare and persuade the reader into believing in the salvation Matthew describes. This salvation would see the righteous taken up into heaven and the evil ones destroyed in the most agonising manner—such that there would be ‘weeping and grinding of teeth’. This kind of persuasive language, devised to create frightening imagery, would have had great impact on the uneducated people of the early Christian period, and, in some Churches, right up to the twenty-first century. This fear is abundant in the Abrahamic religions and it is why 77th Pearl: The Perpetual Tree was required for humanity to evolve.
Matthew 13 starts with the appropriation of Thomas 9. The author of the gospel uses the parable to describe the importance of faith and how the Evil One and daily life can sway and obstruct our faith. Just prior to the explanation of the sower parable, the disciples ask Jesus why He speaks to crowds in these parables. In reply, Matthew’s Jesus says: ‘Because to you is granted to understand the mysteries of the kingdom of Heaven, but to them it is not granted.’ (Matthew 13:11) This is followed by a variation on Thomas 41, which suggests that those who have the faith (implied) will be given more; those who do not, the little they have will be taken away. This is a crafty edit of the teachings found in the Gospel of Thomas. They were not meant to sit together in this way and certainly were not to be used in such a political manner—the Son of God versus the Evil One. Moreover, suggesting that the parables were only meant to be understood by the disciples is clearly an attempt by the author to reaffirm his position and authority. At the very beginning of the Gospel of Thomas we see that this was not Jesus’ intention. These teachings were for all people, but they needed to have wanted to understand them for the doors to be opened. Ironically, the statement in Matthew 13:11 confirms that there were parables that were ‘mysteries’ in Jesus’ teachings. People found them difficult to understand; this included the disciples and the generations after Yeshua. It is only now, in the twenty-first century, that these mysteries are being revealed for the first time. In the New Testament, we generally see words about love, peace, and forgiveness, with the addition of Christology in the Gospel of John. We do not see teachings which are of an esoteric nature. Thomas understood the importance of these teachings and could not ignore them—as farmers know good, fertile soil when they see it.
In the same chapter of Matthew 13, the author uses the saying of Thomas 57, which makes reference to good and bad seed. In the synoptic text, it is used to continue the narrative of the Evil One placing obstacles in the path of Christians—obstacles that will be thrown into the furnace, where yet again: ‘there will be weeping and grinding of teeth’. A brief history of the Evil One is discussed later. That section demonstrates how people are in fact Satan, which is something the synoptic writers inadvertently revealed. Following Thomas 57, the author of Matthew 13 inserts Thomas 20 (the mustard seed) and Thomas 96 (the woman who places leaven into bread). These sayings are interpreted in a peripheral, literal sense, twisted in subtle ways to suit the author’s intention. Matthew 13 demonstrates how, through careful selection and juxtaposed narrative, the cryptic sayings in the Gospel of Thomas serve the synoptic authors’ intentions. Matthew 13 also includes Thomas 109 (the treasure hidden in the field), Thomas 76 (the merchant and the pearl), and Thomas 8 (the large fish). The inclusion of the latter is used to persuade the reader of ‘how it will be at the end of time.’ The angels will separate the wicked from the upright and there will be yet more weeping and grinding of teeth. This is not the intended meaning of Thomas 8, as we clearly see in the first line the reference is to a person who is like a wise fisherman – someone who is discerning and a critical thinker. This original meaning does not have purpose in a text intended to frighten and control the diaspora.
Toward the end of Matthew 13, we see a strong polemic statement in verse 52: ‘Well then, every scribe who becomes a disciple of the kingdom of Heaven is like a householder who brings out from his storeroom new things as well as old.’ This infers a justification for using the Gospel of Thomas sayings in the context of knowledge derived from the Old Testament and previous gospels. It also presents an argument against Thomas 47, where Yeshua tells His followers that His teachings are the new wine (the new way) and should not be placed into old wine skins. Nor can one ‘mount two horses’—that is, two belief systems, which are not of the same essential construct. We should also note that the author describes himself as a ‘disciple of the kingdom of Heaven’—not a disciple of Jesus. The author of this gospel was not the direct disciple of Jesus, nor were the authors of the other gospels.
The author ends Matthew 13 with Thomas 31. Jesus states that ‘…doctors don’t cure those who know them’, referring to a visit to His hometown, where no one was healed. Their perception of Him was that He was simply the carpenter’s son. This is another device to show the reader that faith is the subject of Matthew 13. It espouses the need to believe in Jesus as the Christ if people are to be saved. This premise illustrates the main problem with the canonical texts. They do not tackle the meaning of Jesus’ teachings. They instead use them to attempt to convince an audience of what Yeshua was—a definition the authors found in the Old Testament. This fundamental problem, placing the divine outside of the self, is what Yeshua came to this realm to correct. It is an attitude derived from humanities primal heritage, where ancient peoples looked outwardly, toward nature, for an explanation of the mysteries they could not fathom.
In the Gospel of Thomas, we are shown that we have an intimate connection with the Father—the Source of all things. Those who are seeking It are the sons, just as Yeshua is the Son, because the soul is an energy that has come from the Source and aggregates in humans. Thomas 9 tells us the seeds (the teachings) grow in ‘good soil’. When we read Thomas 9 out of its context, such as in Matthew 13, we see how Yeshua’s lament about the rocks and thorns was realised. In Matthew, the ‘seeds’ become faith, which is destroyed by external, evil forces. In Thomas 9, the ‘soil’ is the focus, because it is where the roots create growth. This is what Jesus was concerned with—growth of the soul. The fertile soil is knowledge, which allows growth.
Gospel of Thomas: On the Eucharist
77th Pearl: The Perpetual Tree – audio extracts from the book on YouTube
Amazon ibook, kindle, paperback, hardcover