About 20 years ago Rwandans suffered one of the worst atrocities in modern history. Twenty percent of the Rwandan population fell victim to an internal killing spree. This event gave rise to an arguably successful global peace treaty called the ICC's Rome Statute. This statute has almost 75% of all nations signed to the agreement. It was also this massacre that started my journey to work out why we did not have peace in our world.
Along the way, I came to know and respect a different Jesus than the traditional biblical one. In reconciling these two versions of Jesus I found that scholarship had long held views that contradicted the ideas of prophecy, amongst other things. The version of Jesus that made the most sense in the end was the Jesus we meet in the 114 Jesus sayings recorded in the Gospel of Thomas.
An interesting aside was that Islam's Quran had 114 surah. And Islam speaks of a missing Jesus Gospel. Further, Q source theory, developed 100 years before the Gospel of Thomas came to prominence in the 1900s, suggests there was a sayings list used in the structure of the NT Gospels.
This alternate Jesus is no less important in understanding why humanity struggles to find peace. In fact, understanding the teachings of Jesus, who could have been the righteous teacher of the Essen Jews from Qumran, is important in coming to know the correct pathway to peace.
The Jesus sayings in the Gospel of Thomas can be compared to wisdoms ranging from the Cherokee Indians to Plato.
Gospel of Thomas:
7 Jesus said, "Lucky is the lion that the human will eat, so that the lion becomes human. And foul is the human that the lion will eat, and the lion still will become human."
8 And he said, The person is like a wise fisherman who cast his net into the sea and drew it up from the sea full of little fish. Among them the wise fisherman discovered a fine large fish. He threw all the little fish back into the sea, and easily chose the large fish. Anyone here with two good ears had better listen!
Cherokee Indian story:
"An old Cherokee told his grandson, "There is a battle between two wolves inside us all. One is evil. It is anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies, and ego. The other is go(o)d. It is joy, love, peace, hope, humility, kindness, empathy and truth."
The boy thought about it and asked, "Grandfather, which wolf wins?"
The old man quietly replied, "The one you feed."
"There are three classes of men; lovers of wisdom, lovers of honour, and lovers of gain." -- Plato
I can now offer an explanation for the connection between these philosophies.
Rob Beasley has been on a search for understanding ever since 1994, when the Rwandan Massacre shocked the world. The father of seven, interested in peace, economics, politics, religions, and spirituality, was inspired by the tragedy to find a way to unite humanity, solve climate change, and bring about world peace.
"What is this thing called Go(o)d?"
By Rob Beasley
Published June 6, 2014