Gospel of Thomas - Chapter 098

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Saying 97

(97) Jesus said, "The kingdom of the father is like a certain woman who was carrying a jar full of meal. While she was walking on the road, still some distance from home, the handle of the jar broke and the meal emptied out behind her on the road. She did not realize it; she had noticed no accident. When she reached her house, she set the jar down and found it empty."

It would appear that Thomas is becoming emboldened to create his own illustrative sayings in order to display his ability to use the symbols. Before someone condemns Thomas for 'adding to the word of God' we should be mindful that nearly every preacher invents allegories or metaphors which hopefully are based in the truth of scripture. Thomas is doing no more than this.

We could do the same about now: If a man were to dress as a woman and lead a herd of goats by a church, it would be reminiscent of the 'dinner theater' that God called the prophets to enact in order to prophetically judge Israel. It would be a sign that someone who knew the truth (male) chose to do the works of someone who didn't see clearly (garments of the woman). It would be implied that they chose to ignore the truth in order to be attractive to the congregation represented by the goats, who were living in the flesh rather than the spirit.

This saying of Thomas is built upon the last. It is the same 'certain woman'; the church. The word for a stalk (as a stalk of corn) is קמה and for flour or meal is קמח. The difference is between the ה which represents a partial response to God's word, and ח which is a full response.

There is an old joke about the chicken being 'committed' to a breakfast by giving an egg and the pig being 'dedicated' by giving the bacon. The stalk has responded to God's word in the earth; it stands up in the earth. The meal is the seed of the stalk which has dedicated itself by enduring the tribulation of the threshing floor.

קמה After the resurrection of the Son, the covenant made in heaven is responded to in part (on earth) whereas it is responded to in full קמח by the meal.

We are also called pots and vessels....

So the church empties itself as it lives/walks. It does not consider the emptying to be an accident. It is by God's design. The teaching of the father is fully lived out through the church. When the life of the church is over (laid down) it is found to be fully poured out. It has spent it's life in total devotion even through tribulation.

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