Sunday 14 April 2024

The Discerning Fisherman Gospel of Thomas Saying 8

Gospel of Thomas Saying 8 Then he says: "A man is like a skilled fisherman who cast his net into the sea. He brought it up out of the sea full of little fishes, and among them the skilled fisherman found one that was big and excellent. He threw all the little fishes back into the sea; without hesitating he chose the big fish. He who was ears to hear, let him hear!

Title: The Discerning Fisherman: Unveiling the Truth in the Gospel of Thomas

In the enigmatic sayings of the Gospel of Thomas, Saying 8 presents a profound allegory, likening a man to a skilled fisherman casting his net into the sea. This metaphorical tale delves into the discernment required to navigate the sea of life's teachings and ideologies, ultimately choosing the truth, represented by the big fish, over lesser doctrines symbolized by the small fish.

Drawing parallels to the preceding Saying 7, which speaks of the transformation of the beast into a human being, Saying 8 emphasizes the process of shedding attachments to lesser desires in pursuit of the higher truth. It posits that true fulfillment lies in aligning oneself with the inmost heart's desire, transcending base instincts and material desires for a higher spiritual calling. This echoes themes found throughout the Bible, such as in Matthew 6:33, where Jesus urges his followers to seek first the kingdom of God.

The internal conflict described in Saying 8 reflects the struggle between the bestial or lower aspects of the soul and the inward man, symbolizing the battle between fleshly desires and spiritual aspirations. This echoes the apostle Paul's writings in Romans 7:15-25, where he laments the conflict between his desire to do good and the inclination towards sin.

Central to the allegory is the image of the big fish, representing the truth that one must prioritize above all else. This truth, akin to the Keys of Knowledge or hidden teachings of the Messiah, must be embraced wholeheartedly, requiring the rejection of all lesser doctrines and distractions. This echoes Jesus' teachings in Matthew 16:24-26, where he calls his disciples to deny themselves and take up their crosses to follow him.

The concept of the big fish as the heavenly man and the Christ-self aligns with Christian theology, emphasizing the importance of embodying Christ's teachings and character. Just as the fish is a symbol of Christ in Greek (Ichthus), believers are called to put on Christ, as articulated in Romans 13:14.

Expanding on the metaphor, the sea represents the diversity of human thought and belief systems, mirroring the multitude of tribes, tongues, peoples, and nations. The act of casting the net into the sea symbolizes the search for truth amidst the myriad ideologies of the world, reminiscent of Jesus' parables about the kingdom of heaven being like a net cast into the sea (Matthew 13:47).

The discerning fisherman, equipped with a discerning spirit, sifts through the sea of teachings, distinguishing between the small fish of lesser doctrines and the large fish of profound truth. This calls to mind the Bereans in Acts 17:11, who examined the Scriptures daily to discern the truth of Paul's teachings.

Ultimately, Saying 8 challenges individuals to heed the call to discernment, to listen with ears attuned to both the inward and outward teachings of truth. It underscores the importance of prioritizing the truth of Christ above all else, echoing Jesus' words in John 14:6, where he declares himself to be the way, the truth, and the life.

In conclusion, the Gospel of Thomas' Saying 8 offers a compelling allegory that invites contemplation on the pursuit of truth and the discernment required to navigate life's complexities. Rooted in biblical themes and teachings, it urges individuals to prioritize the truth of Christ above all else, guiding them on a path of spiritual enlightenment and fulfillment.

The man is the one who has consumed the lion transforming the beast into a human being. Such a person has let go the attachment to all lesser and petty desires in order to fulfill the inmost heart’s desire the higher desire, all desire energy drawn inward and upward into one holy desire passion for the Beloved. The difficulty and the internal conflict you experience in the form of desire and fear reflects the opposition between the bestial part of the soul or the female part of the soul and the inward man the male part of the soul. All sorrow and suffering comes from ignorance. In ignorance one cannot discern between lesser desires and the greater desire. Add more…..the power of ignorance dissolves along with the internal conflict

The great fish is a symbol of the truth already out there in the world when we find it we have to put it first in our lives to follow Jesus and give exclusive allegiance to him as God’s Messiah.
The big fish is the heavenly man and the Christ-self you must put on. It is Jesus Christ the son of God the saviour you must put on both morally and corporeal. And fish is a symbol of Christ Jesus: Greek: Ichthus Jesus Christ, son of God, saviour.

Some also think that man corresponds to the Kingdom and the fisherman to the net in Matthew. Alternatively, the man is the son of man who is like a wise fisherman the net into the sea is the harvest at the end of the age the great fish is the body of Christ the little ones are those who will be rejected.

8)# And He said, "The Kingdom is like a wise fisherman [one who seeks the truth prudently] who cast his net [neural net – used to sift through the water (thoughts and ideas of mankind by word or written)] into the sea [tribes, tongues, peoples and nations] and drew it up from the sea full of small fish [the works and teachings of men (in the lower/outward {fleshly} forms) who are without the life in them - i.e. from the numerous Judean and Christo-pagan denominations]. Among them the wise fisherman [one with a discerning spirit] found a fine large fish [the Keys of Knowledge (true hidden teachings) of Messiah]. He threw all the small fish back into the sea [discounted all of the religions of the world] and chose the large fish without difficulty [he recognized immediately that this truth was a prize worth keeping and the rest had to be discarded for their lack - this is "Christ in you the hope of glory"]. Whoever has ears [two ears so as to hear both upper/inward and lower/outward teachings - see V.33] to hear, let him hear [what the spirit is telling him]."

1 comment:

  1. I think there's a broader truth here, that doesn't have to do with the Christian doctrine of heaven and hell. This parable strikes me that man who has a pure desire for the divine, for truth, in his search for his true self (the net being his search), draws in an abundance of little fish (theories, beliefs, theologies, distractions, the cares of this world). But the wise fisherman isn't distracted by the abundance of small fish, but rather is able to see past them to recognize and embody the greater truth, disregarding that which is not true and does not resonate with the divine.