if you want to experience what he meant
saying- 74; many in need, few accept.
O Lord, there are many around the drinking trough,
but there is nothing in the cistern.
Quispel (2004) translates this saying as follows: O Lord, many are standing around
the water well, but no one descends into it. Hedrick (2010) suggests a similar translation.
Many people are around the well, but no one is in the well (DeConick, 2006).
If the many in this saying would also refer to the number of people around inclined to
listen to Jesus' teachings, like the meaning of the great harvest in saying-73, then the
nothing in the cistern or the no one descends into would refer to Jesus' teaching;
this is unlikely.
Therefore, this saying has a similar meaning as saying-73, in the sense
that Jesus laments that so few people drew near to listen to his teachings, or at least
so many failed to see the fundamental meaning of it, or even that he
meant that so many actually needed his message, but so few were inclined
to take it.
In the light of these sayings it seems that "the multitudes" of Jesus'
followers in the Biblical gospels were mere wishful exaggerations of the gospel writers.
The exclamation o lord should not be taken as a cry of devotion or a prayer,
but rather as similar as in the previous saying. Plisch (2008) states to this: the gospel of
Thomas shows no interest in prayer elsewhere - the least in a prayer of Jesus. Besides,
designating God as Lord is as unusual in the gospel of Thomas.