INNER CIRCLE: Stripped Naked

INNER CIRCLE: Stripped Naked January 6, 2023

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SAYING 37: His disciples said, “When will you be shown forth to us and when shall we behold you?” Jesus said, “When you strip naked without being ashamed, and take your garments and put them under your feet like little children and tread upon them, then [you] will see the child of the living. And you will not be afraid.”

 

At some point, the disciples of Jesus asked him when he would reveal his true self to them. As if they had suspicions that he was more than a mere man, or wise teacher, but perhaps an angel or spiritual being sent to convey a profound message from the heavens.

His response to them, as we’ve seen in previous sayings, is ripe with symbolism and metaphor, and turns their original question around in ways they were not expecting.

Their question assumes that it is Jesus who is withholding some information about himself from them, or that he is waiting for some future date to remove the veil and show them the hidden truth about himself. But Jesus suggests that what they are waiting for is waiting for them. What restrains them from seeing Jesus as he is isn’t Jesus, and it isn’t some pre-ordained date on the calendar or some unfulfilled prophetic event; it’s their own sense of privilege and spiritual pride.

In other words, when they are ready to abandon their position as wise students of the Christ, they will become like children who are not self-conscious about how others see them; their need to be regarded as spiritually enlightened is what prevents them from seeing Jesus for who he really is, and who they really are.

Becoming naked and unashamed is a metaphor borrowed from the original creation story in the book of Genesis, where humanity was fashioned in original goodness and formed in pure innocence without feeling any shame about being their full and complete – and naked – selves.

The True Self is the part of us that is unpretentious and fully accepting of oneself without judgment or criticism or shame. When we can return to this original innocence where fear and shame disappear, we can finally see who Jesus is, and see who we are; because we are one and the same.

Put another way, until we can see who we are, we cannot ever hope to see Jesus as he is. Because there is no separation between Jesus and us, or anyone else. Recognizing the true image of Christ starts by realizing Christ in everyone, especially in ourselves.

As Jesus says here, once we become like those children who are blissfully unashamed, we “will see the child of the living”, who is Christ, and we “will not be afraid.” Becoming children allows us to see the true form of Jesus which is, like us, a child of God, and when that happens all fear will be erased because we will become aware of the love of God that permeates every living thing.

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Join us for a new self-paced course in the Gospel of Thomas starting Feb. 13th, 2023. The INSIDE/OUTSIDE course is hosted by author Keith Giles and covers the historical background of the Gospel of Thomas, comparison’s the Q document and the Synoptic Gospels, as well as the Gospel of John, and the writings of the Apostle Paul. We’ll talk about cracking the code, dating the text and why this Gospel of Thomas may be the most significant discovery in our modern day about what Jesus of Nazareth actually taught his closest disciples about the reality of our connection between God, Christ and one another.

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