Gospel of Thomas - Chapter 096
- (95) Jesus said, "If you have money, do not lend it at interest, but give it to one from whom you will not get it back."
The plain teaching is simple enough. The kingdom of heaven is not stuff that you possess. The interpretive principle here is designed to correct misunderstandings about money. It is not evil. "If you have money" implies that it is money that is in excess of what you need. It is available to be lended. Rather than invest in the things in this world, give it to those who have need in this world. It demonstrated where your heart is.
The riddle is implied by the Hebrew 'val chomer' argument. It goes like this in the general form: If this small thing is true, how much more is this similar larger thing true?
So what is the hidden large thing to which Thomas refers (as he teaches us to use the val chomer argument)?
If your excess money (which is valuable in the flesh) should be given away freely to those who have need, certainly the word of God (which has a much greater value to the spirit) should be given away to those who have need.
Put this in the context of the saying of the temple prostitutes, and you see that the money changers in the temple violated this spiritual principle.