Gospel of Thomas, verse 13

(1) Jesus said to his disciples: “Compare me, and tell me whom I am like.”
(2) Simon Peter said to him: “You are like a just messenger.”
(3) Matthew said to him: “You are like an (especially) wise philosopher.”
(4) Thomas said to him: “Teacher, my mouth cannot bear at all to say whom you are like.”
(5) Jesus said: “I am not your teacher. For you have drunk, you have become intoxicated at the bubbling spring that I have measured out.”
(6) And he took him, (and) withdrew, (and) he said three words to him.
(7) But when Thomas came back to his companions, they asked him: “What did Jesus say to you?”
(8) Thomas said to them: “If I tell you one of the words he said to me, you will pick up stones and throw them at me, and fire will come out of the stones (and) burn you up.”

– Gospel of Thomas, verse 13

(1) Jesus wants to know his disciples’ understanding, and perhaps help them become more aware of how they see him and what their understanding is.

(2) Simon Peter sees Jesus as a messenger, someone who gives teachings and pointers. This is not wrong but it’s not the whole picture.

(3) Matthew takes what Jesus talks about as a philosophy. Again, it’s not wrong but he is missing the point.

(4) Thomas cannot speak his understanding. He recognizes Jesus as Spirit awake to itself in human form. The true nature of all of us is awake to itself in the form of Jesus. And no words can express this very well. Words make distinctions, and this is beyond and includes all distinctions. Even if we find the most accurate words to describe it, it will be misunderstood by those who don’t recognize it for themselves.

(5) Jesus is no longer his teacher, since Thomas has himself drunk from the spring. In him, as in Jesus, there is a direct realization.

(6) Jesus must have told Thomas something that only makes sense to those who have a direct realization.

(7) The other disciples are naturally curious.

(8) Perhaps because they would inevitably misunderstand?

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