Gospel of Thomas, coda 23.
“Jesus said, ‘I shall choose you, one from a thousand and two from ten thousand, and they will stand as a single one.’”
We do not choose Jesus. Jesus chooses us. The disciple does not choose the Master. The Master chooses the disciple. Jesus, as Master, chooses his disciples from among those who are spiritually ripe or mature. He chooses only those who are ready. But, “ready for what,” you may ask? He chooses those ready to stand spiritually alone with Jesus, in unity with him, and unity with the God.
Jesus spoke to various size groups of people. He taught the crowds. To these Jesus presented very important teachings. These are people he ministered in a variety of ways; teaching, blessing, healing, driving out demons, and feeding for instance. Then there were his disciples. These carried out much of the work of preaching, healing, driving out demons, and feeding. This was a smaller group. His instruction of them was more exacting. And then there were the Apostles. There were only twelve of them. They were given the responsibility to lead and teach in addition to the other responsibilities given to the disciples. His instruction to them was at a deeper level according to their further understanding. And there was even a smaller, inner circle. Different scriptures suggest that different apostles were in his inner circle. In the synoptic gospels, Matthew, Mark and Luke, it appears it was Peter, James and John. Other non-canonical gospels suggest Thomas, Mary Magdalene, Philip, and Judas. John suggests the “Beloved disciple.”
In the Gospel of Thomas, Thomas is such a one, spiritual twin to Jesus, in consciousness. He is no longer Jesus’ disciple but equal. He has been chosen by Jesus and received from Jesus the knowledge of Self or God and understood it.
Thomas has attained to what he has as the result on his relationship with his Master Jesus. But, according to certain Gnostic schools, he has arrived at that relationship as the result of many lifetimes. He is a mature soul. Anyone who has come this far in this study of Thomas is a mature enough soul, not necessarily to achieve in this lifetime what Thomas has, but is moving towards that. They are likely one of the thousands chosen or one of the two of ten thousand. Others will attain to this as well, but perhaps they are not ready to be part of this number. They have additional incarnations to go through.
As of 2010, the world’s population was 6,840,507,000. There are 2,300,000,000 Christians. 1,100,000,000 consider themselves to be non-religious or atheist. 84% of the world population is religious, 33% Christian. Of these, religious and Christian, likely only 20% consider themselves religious in the sense that they seriously seek spiritual development. The level of spiritual development referred to in Thomas is likely of a subset of this 20%. Among Christians, 1 in 1000 equals 2,300,000, small, but significant and 2 in 10,000 equals 460,000.
Jesus’ point is that only a few will have the preparation and commitment to realize the fruit of discipleship at this level.