Sacred-Texts Islam
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25. How one ought to despise the flesh, and how one ought to live in the world.

Then said he who writeth: 'O master, true are thy words and therefore have we forsaken all to follow thee. Tell us then, how we ought to hate our flesh: for to kill oneself is not lawful, and living we needs must give it its livelihood.'

Jesus answered: 'Keep thy flesh like a horse, and thou shalt live securely. For unto a horse food is given by measure and labour without measure, and the bridle is put on him that he may walk at thy will, he is tied up that he may not annoy anyone, he is kept in a poor place, and beaten when he is not obedient: so do thou, then, O Barnabas, and thou shalt live always with God.

'And be not offended at my words, for David the prophet did the same thing, as he confesseth, saying: "I am as an horse before thee: and am always by thee."

'Now tell me, whether is poorer he who is content with little, or he who desireth much? Verily I say unto you, that if the world had but a sound mind no one would amass anything for himself, but all would be in common. But in this is known its madness, that the more it amasseth the more it desireth. And as much as it amasseth, for the fleshly repose of others doth it amass the same. Therefore let one single robe suffice for you, cast away your purse, carry no wallet, no sandals on your feet; and do not think, saying: "What shall happen to us?" but have thought to do the will of God, and he will provide for your need, insomuch that nothing shall be lacking unto you.

'Verily I say unto you, that the amassing much in this life giveth sure witness of not having anything to receive in the other. For he that hath Jerusalem for his native country buildeth not houses in Samaria, for that there is enmity between these cities. Understand ye?'

'Yea,' answered the disciples.