Gnostic Doctrine

Friday, 24 April 2020

the empty kingdom Gospel of Thomas Saying 97

(97) Jesus said, "[What] the kingdom of the [father] resembles [is] a woman who was conveying a [jar] full of meal. When she had traveled far [along] the road, the handle of the jar broke and the meal spilled out after her [along] the road. She was not aware of the fact; she had not understood how to toil. When she reached home she put down the jar and found it empty."

Saying 97
This parable has an eschatological and internal interpretation, the first one stressing that the unture inauguration would be unexpected and astonishing like the reaction of the woman who returns home with a jar of meal, only to find it empty because the handle had broken off on the way.
How ever, this Saying may perhaps have an other meaning. The kingdom can slip away from us. If  people are not careful they can become broken jars with nothing inside themselves.

Alternatively, just as Jesus empted himself of all privileges and rightful dignity, when he stripped Himself of the insignia of Majesty. Paul refers to the mind of Jesus in Phil. 1:8. Back in Phil.1:27 Paul starts to speak of the importance of our state of mind. This is developed in the early verses of chapter 2: "Being of one accord, of one lowliness of mind...look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus..." (Phil.2:2-5). Paul is therefore speaking of the importance of having a mind like that of Jesus, which is devoted to the humble service of others. The verses which follow are therefore commenting upon the humility of mind which Jesus demonstrated, rather than speaking of any change of nature.
Christ "made himself of no reputation", or "emptied himself" (R.V.), alluding to the prophecy of his crucifixion in Is.53:12: "He poured out his soul unto death". He "took upon himself the form (demeanour) of a servant" by his servant-like attitude to his followers (Jn.13:14), demonstrated supremely by his death on the cross (Mt.20:28). Is.52:14 prophesied concerning Christ's sufferings that on the cross "his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men". This progressive humbling of himself "unto death, even the death of the cross" was something which occurred during his life and death, not at his birth. We have shown the context of this passage to relate to the mind of Jesus, the humility of which is being held up to us as an example to copy. These verses must therefore speak of Jesus' life on earth, in our human nature, and how he humbled himself, despite having a mind totally in tune with God, to consider our needs.

Finally, a point concerning the phrase "being in the form of God". The Greek word translated "being" does not mean 'being originally, from eternity'. Acts 7:55 speaks of Stephen "being full of the Holy Spirit". He was full of the Holy Spirit then and had been for some time before; but he had not always been full of it. Other examples will be found in Lk.16:23; Acts 2:30; Gal.2:14. Christ "being in the form of God" therefore just means that he was in God's form (mentally); it does not imply that he was in that form from the beginning of time.

Thus we must do the same. We must empty ourselves Phil 1:27 2:2-5. So that the spirit or mind of Christ can fill us. Dying to ourselves, we must be conceived and reborn of the spirit as the living Jesus was Ps 2:7 89:27 Mt 3:17 Mk 1:11 Lk 3:22

97) Jesus said, "The Kingdom of the [Father] [which comes as one discovers the proper understanding of the scriptures] is like a certain woman [religion] who was carrying a jar [means "to deepen"] full of meal [so someone full of knowledge of the Truth and the higher/inward (spiritual) meanings of the Word]. While she was walking [on] a road [on her "spiritual" journey], still some distance from home [the eternal rest which comes from conversion (fullness of the spirit) in the Kingdom], the handle [the Keys of Knowledge] of the jar broke [was bankrupted/ruined by the leaven (hypocrisy) of the religious leaders] and the meal [the higher/inward (spiritual) meaning of the Word] emptied out [over time] behind her on the road [the "broad way leading to destruction" which she is on - this is the peril those who are "not of the world" living "in the world"]. She did not realize it [ha Shatan is very subtle in how he subverts the religions of man so the woman could not see the spilling out of the Truth]; she had noticed no accident [because it wasn't an accident!]. When she reached her house [was fully established in her Christo-pagan religious system], she set the jar down and found it empty [all that was left was the superficial (surface-level) understanding of the Word as the cistern in v-74]."

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