The THOMAS Web-Zine
May 2007 Issue 6

Hearing Jesus

We learn from the other Gospels of the Bible that went around amongst the people of his land as a Teacher. At the start of his ministry he called out to Simon and his brother Andrew "Follow me". Likewise to the brothers James and John. They heard him, and they did follow him, forsaking their families' tradition of being fishermen.

The disciple nick-named Didymos Thomas also heard Jesus. He treasured some of what he heard, and before setting out to India he recorded some of those sayings. Almost certainly he spoke them again to a scribe, and what the scribe heard and recorded has come down to us.

Again and again in the Gospel of Thomas Jesus exclaims:

He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

He says this specifically when he has something important for his listeners to hear.

In saying #19 we have:

If you become my disciples
And hear my logia .

And in saying #38:

Many times you have longed to hear these logia
which I say unto you,
and you have no other
from whom to hear them.

It's all about hearing what Jesus has to say.

We, however, have to do the work to hear what Jesus says. He exclaims:

What you hear in one ear
and in the other Ear,
that proclaim from your housetops.

The 'other Ear' is your inner ear with which you can hear his spiritual teachings. For it to work you have to unblock it, to remove the deafening noises of materialism (Jesus speaks of this in his long story of the guests refusing invitations to a feast, saying #64) and work to wash away the even more sinister distracting ideas you may have absorbed from elsewhere.

Then you need to become accustomed to Jesus' distinctive way of speaking in short phrases. Our books are unique in presenting them in English:

Let him who seeks
not cease from seeking
until he finds;
and when he finds,
he will be turned around .

We do not often hear this form of speaking in our Western culture, yet we are entirely familiar with it:

  • Our Father, who art in heaven,
  • hallowed be thy name
  • Thy kingdom come.
  • Thy will be done on earth,
  • as it is in heaven .

That prayer is the only place in the New Testament Gospels where this crucial and distinctive form of Jesus' speech survives. Yet in 'Thomas' we have a whole Gospel faithfully recording Jesus speaking.

What a treasure!