Gospel of Thomas - Chapter 024
- (22) Jesus saw infants being suckled. He said to his disciples, "These infants being suckled are like those who enter the kingdom."
- They said to him, "Shall we then, as children, enter the kingdom?"
- Jesus said to them, "When you make the two one, and when you make the inside like the outside and the outside like the inside, and the above like the below, and when you make the male and the female one and the same, so that the male not be male nor the female female; and when you fashion eyes in the place of an eye, and a hand in place of a hand, and a foot in place of a foot, and a likeness in place of a likeness; then will you enter the kingdom."
Thomas has recorded hints for interpreting the Bible.
When you make the two one
When you find two things together in scripture, they are one thing. This does not mean they are the same, there is a distinction which must be made. One is of a heavenly or spiritual nature, and one is of a earthly or fleshly nature:
- Father and son are one (Joh 10:30),
- Heaven and earth are one creation (Ge 1:1, Eph 1:10)
- Soul and spirit (Heb 4:12)
- Joints and marrow (Heb 4:12)
- Thoughts and intents of the heart (Heb 4:12)
- Adam and Eve one flesh (Ge 2:24)
- Cain and Abel one picture of Christ
- Fat and oil
- Body and soul
- Abraham and Lot as a picture of Christ
- Ishmael and Isaac as a picture of Christ
- Esau and Jacob as a picture of Christ
- Isaac and the ram as a picture of Christ
When you make the inside like the outside and the outside like the inside
There are a number of applications for this hint.
- That which is inside, like the seed of Abraham is included in his covenant.
- That which is inside the covenant (Israel) is like that which is outside the covenant (Gentiles). They are both sinners in need of a redeemer kinsman.
- That which is outside the covenant (the Gentiles) must be brought into the kingdom.
- That which is our outer man must not be a hypocrite to our inner man.
- That which is hidden in scripture must agree with that which is plain.
The above like below
God has revealed himself through four voices (Prophet, Priest, King, Judge). These voices not only speak from time to time throughout scripture, but they speak simultaneously through the same scripture. Every OT scripture has four legitimate meanings as each voice speaks. Most Christians have only read 1/4 of their Bible if they have read it from cover to cover.
For example, in the account of the rod of Moses turning into a serpent when he met God at the burning bush (Ex 4:2):
- The voice of the king speaks literally
- Moses's rod turned to a serpent, he cast it to the ground, and picked it up again.
- The voice of the Judge speaks a judgement to Moses
- God says in figure, Moses, you have wielded my authority wrongly when you killed the Egyptian, but you are forgiven, pick it up again and this time do it right.
- The voice of the Prophet speaks of Christ in the flesh
- The voice of the Priest speaks of the eternal Son
- The priest tells us that the Son, in eternity before creation, did not wish to be made to be sin. He was the son who said he would not do it and then did in the parable (Mt 21:28).
That which is an earthly historical account, speaks of that which is above.
Men and women the same
Previously we saw that both Adam and Eve were symbols of Christ. This tells us that to understand scripture, gender has nothing to do with literal gender, they are figures used in riddle. Literally, there is no male of female in Christ (Ga 3:28). Those who legalistically apply roles to gender do not understand scripture (Eph 5:32 ).
But figuratively, the male represents those who see clearly, and the female those who don't. Christ is male relative to us, but female relative to the Son, because of limiting his omniscience in the incarnation. The teacher should be male, one who understands, those who do not understand (females) should learn quietly and then inquire of their husband (Christ). In the same way that we are both sheep and goats, we are both male and female; understanding some things and not understanding others.
Jumping to Thomas's riddle #114, why would Mary need to be made male? Because the blind must see! Those who don't understand must be taught! The kingdom of heaven is teaching, and everyone must be taught in order to understand it. By the way, her name, Mary, means rebellious. Those who are rebellious must be taught.
This is also the solution to the riddle in Jeremiah that says all men will become pregnant (Jer 30:6). Women must become men, (those who are blind must see) and those who see must be fruitful and multiply (through teaching).
Hands, eyes, feet and places
When you understand that these things are figures, you will understand the teaching.
- Hands - works
- Eyes - Understanding
- Feet - you life, or 'walk'
- Ears - You are drawn without understanding like a sheep to it's master's voice.
- Head - authority
- Lips - words
- Place names all mean something