The THOMAS Web-Zine
March 2010 Issue 23

Jesus and the Pizza Restaurant

There's a recent newspaper story about a small pizza restaurant in New York City. The chef and his wife are passionate about providing excellent pizzas for the local community. All ingredients are from the best organic sources and each pizza is hand-made to order. Successful combination of toppings also ensured that each pizza was a delight.

This couple had a happy work-life balance by working only four days a week until a food critic visited the restaurant by chance and overwhelmed by the dining experience wrote a glowing article for a well-known magazine. New Yorkers flocked to this small restaurant. Long queues flowed along the street with diners having to wait hours for a table. Loud complaints were voiced not only about the queues but also at the restricted opening days. Many of those diners who eventually got a table wanted to change the simple choice of toppings and were disappointed by a refusal to alter the combinations. More frustrations were expressed at the length of time taken to hand-cook the pizza as most expected a typical fast-food service.

Needless to say the restaurant owners were disturbed and despairing at their so-called 'success' and the demands of the diners.

As is the manner of such things, those that wanted a 'new dining experience' moved onto the next recommendation. Those that were disappointed never returned. The small pizza restaurant returned to normal with the couple providing their local community with excellent food as well as those discerning diners who recognized the special nature of the place.

At this point you're probably wondering what this has to do with Jesus and 'Thomas'! This story is a modern analogy of what happened to the teachings of Jesus. Jesus can be seen as the restaurant owner whose offerings of wisdom and teaching provide us with spiritual nourishment.

Jesus travelled throughout his local communities sharing his knowledge with those that would listen. However, as his fame spread many flocked from far and wide to 'taste' his special food. Many however, were disappointed at what they heard. They did not wait long enough to understand Jesus' message, so left to find another suitable spiritual experience condemning what they had heard; Jesus said: there are many standing at the door, but the 'loners' are they who shall enter the marriage place [#75].

Some wanted to change parts; Jesus said to them: From what I say to you, are you not aware of who I am? But you, you are even as the Jews: for they love the tree, they dislike the fruit; and they love the fruit, they dislike the tree [#43]

Others carried the message forward but over time it got changed and adapted to fit the different communities until his teachings became a shadow of the original; Jesus said: If a blind man guides the being of a blind man, both of them fall to the bottom of a pit [#34]

In Thomas' we're closer to the original. But it's a difficult teaching which calls us to take time and effort to understand the deeper meanings as well as accepting it all as it is rather than 'cherry-pick' our favourite parts.

So like the diners of our story we need to be patient [#2], we need to accept the offerings [#17], we need to recognize the love taken in the preparation [# 77], and then we will be sustained and fulfilled [# 90].

Enjoy your 'pizza'!


© Barry McGibbon & Hugh McGregor Ross