INNER CIRCLE: The Impossible Grapevine

INNER CIRCLE: The Impossible Grapevine January 26, 2023

IMAGE: Pexels

SAYING 40: Jesus said, “A grapevine has been planted outside the father. And because it is not sound, it will be plucked out by the root and will perish.”


Once you begin to notice the pattern within the Gospel of Thomas that essentially every saying is either something about the illusion of separation or the oneness of all things, or perhaps sometimes about our ability to see for ourselves without requiring a guru or a guide to lead us around, you’ll start to realize how simple most of these sayings are to decipher.


In this case, the saying presents a scenario where something is “planted outside the Father,” which, to those who are starting to catch on, is an impossibility. Because nothing can exist outside of God. Therefore, the saying gives us an illustration of how foolish it is to imagine anything thriving “outside” of the Father since there is no such thing as being anywhere the Father is not.


As the Psalmist said, “Where can I go to escape from your presence, Lord? If I descend to the depths of the grave you are there. If I ascend to the highest heavens, there you are with me.”


The Apostle Paul went one step further and affirmed to unbelieving pagans in Athens that God was “the One in whom we all live and move and have our being,” so to imagine anything – a person, a plant, a kingdom, a planet, a galaxy, etc. – existing “outside” of God is to speak of nonsensical gibberish like a square circle or a hot ice cube. There are no such things, and so here Jesus uses this parable to make that point: Nothing “planted outside the father” can survive because to be separated from God is to cease to exist, and since there is nothing outside of God there can never be anything “planted” in that imaginary space to begin with.


All that there is is in Christ. Everything that is is within the field of God’s being. Without God, nothing exists. Apart from the Father there is no life, no existence, no possible place to plant anything.


Reality is completely defined by God, and surrounded by God, and sustained by God.


All things were made by him, for him and through him and nothing has been made apart from him. Christ holds all things together: You, me, the moon, the stars, the universe itself and everything that was or ever will be.


The sooner we embrace this as the ground of all being and the basis for all reality, the sooner we will begin to live in the Kingdom of God where Christ is all and is in all; where we are filled with the fullness of Christ who fills everything in every possible way.



Can’t get enough of the Gospel of Thomas? Join us starting Feb. 13th for a self-paced online course to explore the background, history, dating, and significance of this lost collection of the sayings of Jesus.


Keith Giles is the best-selling author of the Jesus Un series. He has appeared on CNN, USA Today, BuzzFeed, and John Fugelsang’s “Tell Me Everything.” His latest book, SOLA MYSTERIUM: Celebrating the Beautiful Uncertainty of Everything is available now on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.






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