Monday, January 1, 2024

Saying 22


Jesus saw infants nursing. He said to his disciples, ‘These infants nursing are like those who enter the kingdom.’

They said to him, ‘Will we enter the kingdom as infants?’

Jesus said to them, ‘When you make the two one, and when you make the inside like the outside, and the outside like the inside, and the above like the below, and when you make the male and the female into a single one, with the result that the male is not male nor the female female, when you make eyes in place of an eye, and a hand in place of a hand, and a foot in place of a foot, and an image in place of an image, then you will enter the kingdom.’


Saying 22 features another reinterpretation of the apocalyptic kingdom as something attained spiritually, heavily rewritten from a synoptic episode. We see the usual traits of the book’s later additions on being restored to the condition of the primordial, non-binary first man: instead of two (the woman created from the man), there is only the man. Male and female become ‘a single one’. This restoration secures the person’s place as a true ‘image’ of God (Gen 1.26–27). The phrasing ‘the male is not male nor the female female’ may have derived from an overly literal interpretation of teachings from Paul.



3.28 There is no longer Judean or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female, or all of you are one in the Anointed One, Jesus.


10.12 For there is no distinction between Judean and Greek. The same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him.


3.11 In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Judean, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free—but the Anointed One is all and in all!


10.13–16 People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them. And the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me. Do not stop them, for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.’ And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and favored them.

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