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Chapter 65 of the Gospel of Thomas for Awakening

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He said, There was a good man who owned a vineyard. He leased it to tenant farmers so that they might work it and he might collect the produce from them. He sent his servant so that the tenants might give him the produce of the vineyard. They seized his servant and beat him, all but killing him. The servant went back and told his master. The master said, ‘Perhaps they did not recognize him.’ He sent another servant. The tenants beat this one as well. Then the owner sent his son and said, ‘Perhaps they will show respect to my son.’ Because the tenants knew that it was he who was the heir to the vineyard, they seized him and killed him. Let him who has ears hear. (65)

A similar parable is found in the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, but they are clearly about the rejection of Jesus as Messiah by the people of Israel. This is quite different, being about a flaw in personal judgment of a life situation.

Sometimes goodness can hinder a person rather than further them. I know that sounds strange, but I have seen how extremely truthful and guileless people can easily be fooled by liars because it never crosses their mind that someone might be lying to them. My maternal grandmother was just such a person. Though highly intelligent, since she had grown up in a family where truthfulness was always observed and she herself had always been honest and open, anyone could hoodwink her, even the most blatant fakes.

The good man of this parable was kind and easygoing. Therefore when his tenants beat the man sent to collect the rent in the form of produce, he made excuse for them, saying: “Perhaps they did not recognize him,” which is really stretching it to beyond the breaking point. In fact, it is simply being foolish and not in the least virtuous. Those who do not confront evil and name it for what it is are themselves collaborators with that evil.

But the story does not end there. The same thing happened again. And instead of realizing that his tenants were criminals that needed harsh punishment, he sent his son, naively thinking that they would not do the same to him. And they did not: they killed him. So the father was as guilty of his son’s death as were they. This is plain fact.

Many times people tolerate outrageous behavior in the form of insults and injury. For years they keep saying to themselves: “They don’t realize what they are doing,” thinking they are following the example of Jesus when he prayed: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). So this kind of nonsense can go on for years–until finally the message gets through: those people knew exactly what they were doing because they were evil and had evil intent toward us. It is the fault of those who blindly excuse them.

Being ready to see and name evil, we no longer suffer from it. So if peace is desired, then the willingness to give the boot to evil can prevent its incursion into our lives. This is a hard lesson to learn, and I hope what I have written will help you avoid a lot of pain and frustration.

Read the next article in the Gospel of Thomas for Yogis:  The Rejected is Truly Accepted

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Chapters in The Gospel of Thomas for Awakening

  1. The Open Secrets
  2. Seeking Is More Than Just Finding
  3. Seeking the Kingdom Realistically
  4. The One Goal
  5. From the Seen to the Unseen
  6. What Jesus Wants Us To Do
  7. Eat Or Be Eaten
  8. Fishing Wisely
  9. The Inner Field
  10. Guarding the Flame
  11. What Will You Do?
  12. Who Shall Lead?
  13. The Unspeakable
  14. When Virtue is Vice
  15. Father in Heaven; Father on Earth
  16. Divine Discord
  17. The Divine Gift
  18. The Origin is the End
  19. Original Being
  20. A Mustard Seed
  21. Disciples of Jesus
  22. How to Enter the Kingdom
  23. Unity of Vision
  24. Where is Christ?
  25. Love and Protect
  26. Seeing
  27. The Fasting and Sabbath of the Spirit
  28. How Jesus Saw the World
  29. Hidden Treasure
  30. One
  31. The Power of Unbelief
  32. Spiritual Strength
  33. Speak It Out
  34. The Blind
  35. The Secret of Spiritual Security
  36. Live Carefree
  37. Unashamed Before God
  38. At the Source
  39. The Religion of Ignorance
  40. Within God
  41. Spiritual Gain and Loss
  42. Move On
  43. Challenging the Master
  44. The Source of Good and Evil
  45. Great in the Kingdom
  46. Impossible Duality
  47. Peace That Moves Mountains
  48. Back to the Source
  49. Children of the Light
  50. Here and Now
  51. Seeing Yet Blind
  52. Outer Ritual or Inner Growth?
  53. Infinite Transcendence
  54. “Hate”
  55. True Understanding
  56. Wheat and Weeds
  57. Finding Life
  58. Live and Die Not
  59. “Lest Thou Also…”
  60. Who Will Die; Who Will Live
  61. The Path of Unknowing
  62. Awakened by Death
  63. Turning Ourselves Away
  64. Gullibility
  65. The Rejected is Truly Accepted
  66. All–and Nothing
  67. The Blessings of Persecution
  68. Life or Death Lie Within
  69. Admission
  70. Not a Divider
  71. Seeking the Harvest
  72. Thirsting in Vain
  73. Who Shall Enter?
  74. Unfailing Treasure
  75. The All Speaks
  76. Well-dressed Ignoramuses
  77. True Blessedness
  78. A Duplication
  79. Balancing the Inner and the Outer
  80. Near and Far
  81. Seeing the Unseeable
  82. Seeing Your Unknown Side
  83. Our Forefather Adam
  84. Blessed Homelessness
  85. Doubly Wretched
  86. Onward and Upward
  87. Twofold Life
  88. The Yoke of Christ
  89. Knowing the Unknown
  90. Asking and Hearing
  91. Give Not…
  92. Seeking and Knocking
  93. Right Generosity
  94. The Expanding Kingdom
  95. The Fulfilled Universe
  96. Taking Stock
  97. The Spiritual Family
  98. Three Debts
  99. Father and Mother
  100. Exoteric Religion
  101. Ready for Invasion
  102. Penitential Discipline, Anyone?
  103. Daring to Know
  104. Ending Duality
  105. “I Love You More…”
  106. At the Source
  107. Finding the Hidden Treasure
  108. Having Come to the End
  109. Immortal and Above the World
  110. Body and Soul
  111. Where is the Kingdom?
  112. Male and Female?
  113. In Conclusion
  114. Glossary
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