More Sayings from Thomas

Thursday, July 18, 2019

1:30 a.m. Saying 92 a:

Jesus said: Seek and you will find.

“Seek and you will find.” Perhaps the most encouraging single statement in scripture. That is a promise. It doesn’t say what to seek, or how to seek it; it concentrates on saying (I take it) “Have intent and pursue it, and you will not be left without answers.”

Perhaps in a broader sense, it says as well, What you see, you will find. It may be taken as a promise and also a caution.

“Be careful what you ask for; you might get it.”

Exactly. But this is not to downplay the promise. Now look at 92 b.

He said: In the past I did not answer the questions you asked. Now I am willing to answer, but you do not ask.

I take this to mean, at first you asked the wrong questions, or asked from the wrong standpoint, or in a wrong way, and so I could not answer without misleading you. (I admit, I take this from my own experience with TGU over the years.) And on a guess, I’d say Jesus is saying, “Now you could be asking better questions, but you don’t ask at all.” However, this is very much guesswork.

Look at the two in context, and in context of the saying before that, 91.

Saying 91 more or less said they couldn’t see what was right there in front of them. Then these two say, seek, and you will find, and why don’t you ask me now that I am willing to tell you.

It’s about perception.

Of course, but not perception in a vacuum: perception with intent, with a purpose. Go to 93, holding this in mind.

  1. Jesus said: Do not give holy things to dogs, for they might carry them off to the dung heap. Do not give pearls to pigs, for they might … [left unfinished].

It seems to say – looking at it in context as you suggest – that enhanced perception needs to be accompanied with enhanced judgment – enhanced discretion, perhaps we should say. And I get that the reason for the discretion may be that if one too openly says what one had learned, there is no shortage of people who will mock, or scoff, or argue, or in any way possible attempt to shake one’s assurance. There may be a fragility to new perceptions that must be kept in mind.

Yes, good. The reason for discretion is not always understood, but there it is: You don’t want to risk a valuable acquisition while it is vulnerable. And there is no telling how long that vulnerability may last. So, to 94.

Jesus said: Whoever seeks will find. Whoever knocks, it will be opened.

Another promise, another encouragement. It isn’t only that we can know, but that we can enter in to the greater life, if we have the intent.

So then proceed to 95, only keep in mind what these sayings have just promised.

  1. Jesus said: If you have some money, don’t lend it out at interest but give it to someone who will not return it to you.

“Pay it forward”?

Yes, only don’t leave it at that, lest it be considered a joke or a flippant remark.

We have become familiar with the concept of “paying it forward.” It means, in a way, live in faith and in gratitude. “Freely you have received; freely give.” Rather than worrying about repayment, give, and suggest to the recipient that s/he pay it in turn when someone else is in need. Well, it seems to me this saying may be saying just that, only instead of referring to money or physical resources, it may refer to what we have learned – what we have received from others or from life.

All right, then look at 96 in this context.

Jesus said: The Kingdom of the Father is like a woman who took a little leaven and concealed it in dough. She made large loaves of bread. He who has ears let him hear.

Simple enough. it takes only a little leaven to make large loaves. In effect, one multiplies what one has, greatly. If the kingdom of heaven is a state of being, one who has sought and found, who has knocked and entered, has the ability to expand not only his own life but those to whom he gives the secret. Only, no pearls before swine, so you have to keep your eyes and ears open; you have to discern.

You aren’t requiring much help this morning. What about 97?

  1. Jesus said: The Kingdom of the Father is like a woman who was carrying a jar full of grain. As she walked along a handle of her jar broke off and grain trickled out, but she didn’t notice. When she arrived in her house, she put the jar down and found it empty.

This is the inverse aspect, I’d say. If we lose our awareness – if we let it lapse, regardless of our good intentions – we may wind up with nothing. The woman in this saying is not described as careless or as in any way to blame for her misfortune except that she did not notice. And I can testify first-hand how easy it is to set out to hold one’s intent on something and wake up after a while to discover that one had fallen asleep and had lost any results that might have accrued if one had been able to remain awake and alert.

Saying 98 begins on a different tack, so perhaps we should pause here. Only half an hour’s work, but good work.

Yes indeed. Thank you.

 

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