Thursday, January 4, 2024

Saying 76


Jesus said, ‘The kingdom of the Father is like a merchant who had some merchandise and found a pearl. That merchant was wise. He sold the merchandise and then purchased for himself this single pearl.’

‘You too, seek his incorruptible and enduring treasure, where neither moth draws near to eat nor worm destroys.’


Saying 76 comprises two teachings. The first part, in contrast to the previous series of parables which illustrate the sort of person who is not ‘worthy’ to be a follower of Jesus and learn from his wisdom, now provides a parable which illustrates the kind of person who is worthy. In the second part, an independent saying was appended to the previous parable to make clear that the treasure which the merchant discovered is not the material wealth of this life, but treasure which will be rewarded in the eschaton. Both sayings were probably part of an early version of the book.



6.19–21 ‘Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.’

13.45–46 ‘Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls. On finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.’


12.33–34 ‘Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.’

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