The Gospel Of Thomas
“I stood to my feet
In the midst of the cosmos,
Appearing outwardly in flesh.
I discovered that all were drunk
And none were thirsty,
And my soul ached for
The children of humanity.
For their hearts are blind
And they cannot see from within.
They have come into the cosmos empty
And they are leaving it empty.
At the moment they are drunk,
But when they rid themselves of their wine,
They too will turn and stand.”
I’m doing an Advent study of The Gospel Of Thomas. It’s guided by Cynthia Bourgeault, a noted scriptural scholar. Here is my reflection on today’s reading:
(Jesus is called Yeshua in The Gospel of Thomas)
“At the moment you are inebriated, but free from the effects of wine, you too may turn and stand.”
What does Yeshua mean by “turn and stand”? The Logion begins with “I stood to my feet, in the midst of the cosmos, appearing outwardly in flesh.” So Yeshua is already standing so that he can see the world as it is. He appears “outwardly in the flesh”, meaning he is both spirit and human because he appears as flesh, but can see as Spirit. We, who are inebriated by the ways of the world, are only flesh. In our inebriation we cannot see the Spirit. That is our condition, which Yeshua is describing.
Yet, there is hope. Free from the effects of the world we can “stand and turn”: stand as Yeshua has, so we can truly see; and turn as we must in order to look inside ourselves for what is real. The process being described here, according to some authors, is “metanoia”. That is, not repentance as it is used in the modern sense, but to “look again”, in this case, into ourselves to see the Spirit within. To “wake up” as it were, from the sleep of the world’s intoxication.
Peter J Nagle, M.A.R.