Gospel of Thomas - Chapter 087
- (86) Jesus said, "The foxes have their holes and the birds have their nests, but the son of man has no place to lay his head and rest."
There are two things:the foxes and the birds, and we expect one (foxes) to represent something earthly (they have holes in the earth/ a grave), and the other (birds) to represent something heavenly (nests in tree/cross).
This saying emphasizes the riddling rule that things which appear to be contradictory are just views of something from different angles. Both refer to his death. He would be placed in a grave and lifted to heaven.
שועל 'Fox' comes from the same root as שעל 'hollow of the hand'. The hand always represents works, and in this case, the hollow is the grave. It is his work to face the grave. The Psalmist says it in a different way:
- Ps 46:8 Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth.
Most of us 'rest' in the grave, but the grave is the work of Christ.
The idea of contradictory statements both being true can be seen in the letters כ kof and נ nun. In the square text, where letters are built around a square, the upper horizontal of the template represents heavenly things, the lower represents earthly things. The right vertical represents things coming from heaven to earth, and the left vertical the response. The kof is composed of the full length of both the upper and lower horizontals. joined by the right vertical, it represents the Son of God who was fully God and fully man. The nun is composed of short strokes on the upper and lower horizontals and represents the Son of Man, and suggests he was partially God and partially man.
To the Western mind this sounds like a contradiction. It is not. They are a riddle. How can the Son of God be fully God yet only partially God? How can the Son of Man be fully man yet only partially man?
By nature Christ was God. But he emptied himself of the attributes of deity to be found in the form of man. This is the doctrine of kenosis. He chose not to use omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence, etc.
- Php 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled [emptied] himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
As a man, he did not do the things that make man fully man. He did not marry and have children. He did not engage in the affairs of men. Both the kof and the nun accurately describe the Messiah, but give different views of him.
Out of the 22 letters only five have final forms. They have a different morphology when found at the end of a word. Both the kof and the nun have final forms which descend below the lower horizontal (though the font may not show it well) suggesting that the Son of God and the Son of Man had to die. ךן