They said to him, Tell us who you are so that we may believe in you.
He said to them, You read the face of the sky and of the earth, but you have not recognized the one who is before you, and you do not know how to read this moment. (91)
Brown: They say to him: Tell us who thou art, so that we may believe in thee. He says to them: You scrutinize the face of the sky and of the earth–yet you do not recognize Him who is facing you, and you do not know to inquire of Him at this moment.
The disciples have not yet crossed over from mere intellectual assent or belief to the realm of direct intuitional experience that is not believing or accepting but knowing. Therefore they ask Jesus to define himself. Jesus tells them that they are able to tell by the appearance of earth and sky the coming changes in those material things, but they are unable to perceive his nature which transcends them. They neither know him, nor do they know how they should ask him about the way to attain such knowledge.
In the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna the yoga adept has more understanding, so he says to Krishna: “O Supreme Lord, I wish to behold your Ishwara Form, O Purushottama. If you think it is possible for me to see it, O Lord of Yogis, then show to me your eternal Self” (Bhagavad Gita 11:3-4). As a yogi Arjuna understands that what he desires is a matter of mystical experience far beyond the ordinary mind. That it must be a revelation bestowed on him. So Krishna replies: “You are not able to see me with your own eyes. I give to you the divine eye: behold my Ishwara Power” (Bhagavad Gita 11:8). Then Arjuna sees the divine universal form of Krishna through the spiritual will and power of Krishna.
In the Gospel of Matthew we find this: “When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 16:13-17).
As seekers for higher consciousness and knowledge we must realize that they come to us directly from the Supreme Source, the transcendental Being of God.
Read the next article in the Gospel of Thomas for Yogis: Asking and Hearing