Thomas, sayings 31 through 33

Sunday, June 9, 2019

8 a.m. Saying 31, then.

31 Jesus said: No prophet is accepted in his own village. No physician heals the people who know him well.

You have experienced this yourself in working with people. If they believed or were open to the possibility that you could help them, healing might occur to any greater or lesser extent. But if they disbelieved – that is, believed the negative – you could do nothing, for of course any relationship consists of both ends, not only the middle.

That doesn’t seem to be quite what the Saying means, though. Jesus doesn’t say only those who don’t actively disbelieve are open to cure; he says only those who don’t know you well. It is the inverse of the saying that “an expert is somebody more than 50 miles from home.”

But it is implied. Jesus is not providing a practical rule of thumb; he is illustrating a principle, as always. And remember, these recorded sayings were springboards for discussion and clarification, not bits to be memorized and accepted blindly. Nor is “prophet” to be overlooked. The gist is that it is difficult for people to reconceptualize what they are too familiar with – that is, what they think they know too thoroughly for any re-examination.

We’re back to the need for beginner’s mind.

It is hard to reconsider what you have never considered in the first place. And, as we have said, it is hard to see your ignorance when it is blocked by your knowledge.

Now look at this Saying in light of its predecessor in order.

Saying 30, we decided, referred to the three divine aspects of reality. So I suppose this would reinforce the message: Look carefully at what you think you experience and know.

However, in saying that this was not only a practical message, we did not say or intend to say that it was not also practical. You might look at is as Jesus saying, Here’s what is going to happen, and here’s why. But the “why” is more important to the message than the “what.” Everyone hearing and discussing this saying would already know the facts of life. They didn’t need to be told that their clearer way of seeing would not be accepted by those who clung to their accustomed context. The point was, use that blindness as an example for themselves, lest they do the same in other contexts, for anyone may blink at the unaccustomed, and reject it.

Saying 32, then?

32 Jesus said: A city built and fortified atop a tall hill cannot be taken, nor can it be hidden.

What do you suppose its context is, given that it follows an admonition not to be blind to the too-familiar?

You’re going to be invulnerable, and you are going to shine beyond the possibility of concealment. And I get that this cannot refer to physical invulnerability: Many of the apostles and disciples, and their successors, were murdered. Only, they did not give up what they had attained, and they shine to this day.

That’s right. Anything may happen to a 3D soul. You know it, everybody knows it. If belief were an invulnerable shield, everyone would believe, at least in hard times.

The cliché is that churches are full in wartime.

Only, we are not talking here of belief but of something that is both belief and experience and is not quite either one alone.

Belief alone means something closer to hope than to anything rooted in experience. Experience alone may not imply the context to properly understand it. Both together imply experience understood in a context that naturally provides hope.

Your messages since 2001, in my case, combined with my own experiences in living the implications, even though my experiences are laced heavily with failure to live the implication.

Correct. Failure and success are relative terms, comparatives without context perhaps until the final summing-up. Thus, “though your sins be as scarlet,” etc.

And 33a and b follow on these, and encourage them to live their experiences without fear: Tell their truth.

33a Jesus said: What you hear in your ears preach from your housetops.

33b For nobody lights a lamp and puts it underneath a bushel basket or in a hidden place. Rather, it is placed on a lamp stand so that all who go in and out may see the light.

Good advice, surely? And it could be paraphrased as, “You are going to be obvious to those who know you; call it out without trying to conceal what cannot be concealed; offer the gift that you have to give, fearing nothing.” Remember, in all things, the 3D world is seen as the point of application, but it is not seen as the goal. Jesus never says, be sure your retirement plan is funded. He never says, tend to your knitting and advance your career. He never says, here are things that will bring you economic or social advancement. None of that matters. He came to bring life more abundantly, and that did not refer to two donkeys in every stable, so to speak, nor to adulation from a public following nor to political influence nor to any 3D-oriented activity seen as an end rather than as means.

Yes, that’s very clear.

Not to everyone. Not at all times. It is to be kept in mind.

Enough for now.

Thanks as always.


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