45 a Jesus said: They do not pick grapes from brambles, nor do they pick figs from thistles, for these do not yield the proper fruit.
45 b A good man brings good things out of his storehouse, but a bad man brings bad things from his storehouse (which is in his heart). And he says bad things. For out of the surplus in his heart he brings out bad things.
Saying 45, a and b. Bearing in mind Saying 44, which was to the effect that we must reverence the life we have been given, and that we are part of the divine trinity of non-3D creator, 3D (and non-3D) experiencer, and the spirit that flows through us and is expressed by us. Assuming that this is more than my wildly seeking to make sense of the inscrutable!
Nothing particularly hidden in saying 45. You have used it as a touchstone for these very conversations. When you cannot see beyond appearances, you can still judge causes by their effects. No good plant brings forth bad fruit, etc. But does this saying perhaps mean more than that? Excellent advice it is, but is that all it is?
Until you posed this rhetorical question, I would have thought so. Did think so.
Once again, consider a saying in context of its predecessor or predecessors.
I get – but this may be reaching – that what we see as bad fruit is nonetheless part of creation. That is, brambles and thistles may not provide what we want, but they are part of the world. Similarly (perhaps!) bad men produce bad things out of the heart they have been given. Again, they are a part of the natural order of things and should not be considered to not belong.
And why should Jesus say such a thing? That is, what would his purpose be, beyond advocating prudence?
Reminding them, perhaps, that good and evil are judgments, necessarily incomplete judgments. Life is not really good and evil but is opposed (balanced?) forces that we perceive as good and evil because of our captivity to the concept of duality as reality, the situation described metaphorically in Genesis as having eaten from the fruit of the tree of Perceiving Things as Good and Evil.
So you see, even in a transparent saying there may be hidden meanings, hidden not for the purpose of concealment but because by its nature it cannot be seen by anyone whose eyes have not been opened.
46 a Jesus said: From Adam to John the Baptist, no one born of a woman is above John the Baptist, so that he should not lower his eyes.
46 b But I have said: Whoever among you becomes like an infant will know the Kingdom and be greater than John.
Seems to me the question is: What does it mean to be someone born of a woman, on the one hand, and someone who has become like an infant, on the other. Not sure why John the Baptist is chosen as the standard of comparison.
But you know something of it, so say what you know, or think you know, and we will proceed from there.
“Or think I know” is right. I am well aware that I am out farther on the limb than usual. As always, I work against a background of concern (dread is only slightly too strong a term) lest I mislead people. I have to remember that they too have their discernment which will keep them out of trouble if they will employ it.
My assumption is that this is the concept that is familiar to us from centuries of reading or hearing Biblical verses, but would have been new to those who heard it from Jesus: those born and those born again “of water and the spirit,” I believe the saying is, though that may have been later interpolation by somebody. At any rate, I take this to be saying, John the Baptist is at a level that cannot be surpassed by anyone, no matter how good, who is still in the ordinary 3D human condition, but that John, excellent though he be, is less than anyone who “becomes like an infant” and “knows the Kingdom.”
Correct. So is there more to be gleaned from this saying?
If there is, I don’t see it.
Then proceed to the next, keeping this one in mind.
47 a Jesus said: One person cannot ride two horses at once, nor stretch two bows.
47 b Nor can a servant serve two masters, as he will respect one and despise the other.
47 c No one drinks vintage wine and immediately wants to drink fresh wine.
47 d Fresh wine is not put into old wineskins because they might burst. Vintage wine is not put into new wineskins because it might be spoiled.
47 e A patch of old cloth is not sewn onto a new garment because it would tear.
I take this to be giving multiple examples of incompatibility of old and new. In context, your life after you are born again will be incompatible with your life before, and you cannot expect to continue as if everything had not changed.
Also, you will have to choose, which implies that you can choose, between your old life and your new. In other words, you may turn your back on your new state of being, but what you will not be able to do is to both be and not be transformed.
And this leads to 48, which may be a more difficult saying to interpret.