INNER CIRCLE: Becoming One And The Same

INNER CIRCLE: Becoming One And The Same May 4, 2022

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Saying 4: “Jesus said, ‘The man old in days will not hesitate to ask a small child seven days old about the place of life, and he will live. For many who are first will become last, and they will become one and the same.”

On one level this appears to be an absurd statement. Why would an old man ask a seven-day-old baby anything? Why would he expect a response? How could the child answer?

What sort of foolishness is this?

But, as with most of the sayings of Thomas, there is more going on than we first suspect.

Here we have an example of a familiar saying of Jesus from the Synoptic Gospels combined with new sayings that are unique to Thomas. Yet, even these newer sayings are not vastly different from other known sayings that seem to suggest the same ideas.

Let’s start with: “…The man old in days will not hesitate to ask a small child seven days old about the place of life, and he will live.” 

In this saying, Jesus is echoing a verse in the Gospel of Mathew which says:

“He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” [Matt. 18:2-4]

Both sayings seem to suggest that we, as adults, have much to learn from children. Our mature wisdom is foolishness compared to the deeper wisdom within each child’s heart.

In the Thomas saying above, it is the old man who must ask a child what life is really all about. Even a child “seven days old” who cannot speak, or even understand the question yet, already knows the answer to the mystery of life.

So, what is this childlike wisdom we need to remember? Why have we forgotten it? How did we lose this deeper magic that we were apparently born knowing about?

Our intuitions suggest that it is the older, wiser man who holds the keys of knowledge about what life is all about. Not the infant. Not the weak. Not the helpless babe who is barely able to do more than eat, and sleep, or cry and poop.

Yet, this seems to be the entire point: the child knows all it needs to know by simply “being” itself. Nothing more is required or necessary than this.

Breathe. Sleep. Eat. Cry. There is nothing more to do than to simply be alive and rest in the moment itself.

Infants do not regret the past. They do not worry about tomorrow. They merely exist in the eternal now of every moment as it comes to them.

We must do the same.

So, what about the second half of this saying? Let’s take a look:

“For many who are first will become last, and they will become one and the same.”

At first, we might assume we already know where this saying is headed. We might be tempted to finish the first part of this phrase with…”and the last shall be first” since that is the saying we’re all familiar with from Mark 10:31 where Jesus says: “But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

However, in Thomas, Jesus takes a sudden turn and finishes the thought by suggesting that both the first and the last will “become one and the same.”

What’s going on here?

Well, as we will soon begin to realize, the sayings in Thomas are almost all about the illusion of separation and the reality of Oneness.

So, it’s not a surprise, really, that Jesus wants us to understand that both the first and the last…and the old man and the infant…have “become one and the same.” Because there is no separation between any of us. To even think in those terms – first and last, old and young, black or white, male or female – is foolishness to the one who understands that all are in Christ and Christ is in all.

When Jesus says, “On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you” [John 14:20], he is not merely talking about himself here, but about all of us. Including you.

So, once you fully understand our connection with Christ and Christ’s connection with the Father, you can honestly say: “On that day you will realize that Keith is in the Father, and you are in Keith, and Keith is in you.”

[Insert your own name here for maximum effect]

At first this may seem like blasphemy, but only if we haven’t fully understood the concept.

If Christ is in the Father, and if you are in Christ, and if Christ is in you, then doesn’t it follow that YOU are in the Father, and that Christ is in YOU, and that YOU [and everyone else] are in one another [because you’re all one in Christ]?

It only makes sense to say that “Christ is all and is in all” if we are all in Christ and Christ is in all of us, and that we are all intertwined with one another because of our oneness with the same Christ.

Simply put: There is no separation.

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Keith Giles is the author of the 7-part best-selling “Jesus Un” book series from Quoir Publishing. His latest -and final book – in this series, Jesus Unarmed: How The Prince Of Peace Disarms Our Violence is available now.  Keith is also the host of Second Cup with Keith [a new solo podcast available now on the Ethos Radio App, for Apple and Android and on Spotify; and the Heretic Happy Hour Podcast [along with co-hosts Matthew Distefano, Dr. Katy Valentine, and Derrick Day], and the new Apostate’s Anonymous podcast with Matthew Distefano.

He and his wife, Wendy, currently live in El Paso, TX.

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