Luke 18:18-30*

Note: From Kenneth Bailey, Poet and Peasant and Through Peasant Eyes, Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 1983.

A. 18. And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

B. 19 And Jesus said unto him,
Why callest thou me good?
none is good, save one, that is, God.

20 Thou knowest the commandments,
Do not commit adultery,
Do not kill,
Do not steal,
Do not bear false witness,
Honour thy father and thy mother.
21 And he said,
All these have I kept from my youth up.

C. 22 Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him,
Yet lackest thou one thing:
sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor,
and thou shalt have treasure in heaven:
and come, follow me.

D. 23 And when he heard this,
he was very sorrowful:
for he was very rich.

E. 24 And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said,
How hardly
shall they that have riches
 enter into the kingdom of God!
25 For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye,
than for a rich man
to enter into the kingdom of God.

D’. 26 And they that heard it said,
Who then can be saved?
27 And he said, The things which are impossible with men
are possible with God.

C’. 28 Then Peter said,
Lo, we have left all,
and followed thee.

B’. 29 And he said unto them,
Verily I say unto you,
There is no man that hath left
or parents,
or brethren,
or wife,
or children,
for the kingdom of God’s sake,

A’. 30 Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time,
and in the world to come life everlasting.

Note: Bailey suggests that the list of five commandments in B. is rearranged to have loyalty to family at the top, loyalty to parents at the bottom and the question of property in the centre – which was the rich man’s problem. In B’ the list of 5 things begins with property. E shows step parallelism. 


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