If you bring forth what is within you, what you have will save you—Gospel of Thomas
In the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas, we meet a Jesus who is very different from the Jesus found in the Bible gospel accounts, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The so-called ‘gnostic gospels’ are often rejected solely because Bible readers have been convinced that a ‘gospel’ is a true, historical, eyewitness account. But ‘gospel’ comes from the Greek euaggelion that described a popular literary genre aimed at personal transformation very similar to the spiritual self-help books found in bookstores today. In fact, thousands of gospels were written and passed around by Jesus’ early follower. Why? Gospels were a recruitment tool, an effort to convince readers that the author’s thoughts about Jesus were correct. In other words, gospels were far closer to propaganda than they ever were to historical fact!
Since that’s the case, we can look at Jesus’ words quoted above from a different perspective. Whoever wrote down these words understood their writing was not the answer. He/she knew that Jesus found the answers he was looking for within himself, and wanted to tell readers that was the only place any of us would find answers. Clearly this writer was not looking for followers. On the other hand, the Bible claims that we must look outside ourselves, accept Jesus as a savior and obey a strict set of rules enforced by an organized religion. Obviously there is a choice to be made; either look outside or look inside. Either expect someone else to save us, or realize we are responsible for own salvation.