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Brother Tom’s Adventures (The Acts of Thomas) Part Four

Posted by JVP on May 1, 2008

While Tom was speechifying in the road, still out in the suburbs, a young donkey walked up to him and started talking. “Christ’s twin brother, you work for God as an initiator into the secret words of Christ and hear his secret messages, and by being sold into servitude you’ve freed so many people. You’re kinfolk with the enemy of my enemy, the ones who’ve saved their own, that brought Life here to India. Even though you didn’t want to be here, you came anyhow, and now your teachings about the God of Truth are reaching all of our ears. Why don’t you sit on me and ride me all the way into the city, so you can rest your feet?”

Brother Tom replied with a prayer, “Merciful Lord Jesus, even the animals talk about your Peace. Saviour and provider, you bring us the rest that it’s so difficult to find in these alien bodies, and save our souls. You fight for us and help us overcome our enemies, and you’re our undefeated sports star! You give your eternal glory and joy to your own people, and help us find relief. You’re a sheepherder who gave yourself to the hungry wolf so your flock would live, and then came back to lead your lambs to sweetgrass. You are the best and most glorious, and your invisible Father and the Holy Spirit, the Mother of all creation!”

The crowd wanted to know how he’d answer the donkey. After giving it some thought, astonished, he looked up to the sky, then back down to the ass. “Where’d you come from, and who owns you? You’re a talking donkey, which is something we don’t see every day, and the words you say are amazing.”

The donkey answered, “I’m descended from the line that served Balaam and your master, too. Now I’ve been sent to you so that you can rest on me, and also so that I can have my faith confirmed by you. Once you’ve done this, I won’t be able to talk anymore.”

“Maybe the one who gave you this ability can do these things,” Tom replied, “but this is just too mysterious for me. I don’t have this power, so I’m not gonna sit on you.”

“Please?” asked the ass. “Pretty please? If you sit on me, I’ll surely be blessed. Do it for me if nothing else.”

With a sigh, Brother Tom mounted the donkey and rested on its back, and started towards the city center. The crowd cheered and surrounded them, some in front and some behind, but they all ran, wanting to know how he’d say goodbye to the talking donkey.

They finally all arrived at the city gates, and Brother Tom dismounted. He turned to the donkey and said, “Okay, now get lost. Go home, and all the best to you.” At these words, the donkey toppled over at Tom’s feet and died!

The crowd booed when they saw the animal keel over, and shouted at Tom, “Hey, that’s not good. Bring the poor thing back to life!”

Tom shook his head, answering, “Look, I could bring him back in Jesus’s name, but I’m not going to this time. If the one who gave him the power of speech wanted to bring him back, he could. It’s not that I can’t bring him back to life, but since the one who gave him speech decided he should die, it’s best we leave it at that.” That said, he requested a decent burial for the talking donkey, and the people with him dug a grave for the body.

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