'Not only has God created man, as I say, but he created him perfect. He has given him the whole world; after the departure from paradise he has given him two angels to guard him, he has sent him the prophets, he has granted him the Law, he has granted him the faith, every moment he delivers him from Satan, he is fain to give him paradise; no more, God wills to give himself to man. Consider, then, the debt, if it is great! [a debt] to cancel which you would need to have created man of yourselves out of nothing, to have created as many prophets as God has sent, with a world and a paradise, no, more, with a God great and good as is our God, and to give it ne all to God. So would the debt be cancelled and there would remain to you only the obligation to give thanks to God. But since you are not able to create a single fly, and seeing there is but one God who is lord of all things, how shall you be able to cancel your debt? Assuredly, if a man should lend you an hundred pieces of gold, you would be obliged to restore an hundred pieces of gold.
Accordingly, the sense of this, O brother, is that God, being lord of paradise and of everything, can say that which pleases him, and give whatsoever pleases him. Wherefore, when he said to Abraham: "I will be your great reward," Abraham ;could not say: "God is my reward," but "God is my gift and my debt." So when you discourse to the people, O brother, you ought thus to explain this passage: that God will give to man such and such things if man works well. When God shall speak to you, O man, and shall say: "O my servant, you have wrought well for love of me; what reward seek you from me, your God?" answer you: "Lord, seeing I am the work of your hands, it is not fitting that there should be in me sin, which Satan ;loves. Therefore, Lord, for your own glory, have mercy upon' the works of your hands.
And if God say: "I have pardoned you, and now I would fain reward you"; answer you: "Lord, I merit punishment for what I have done, and for what you have done you merit to be glorified. Punish, Lord, in me what I have done, and save that which you have wrought." And if God say: "What punishment seems to you fitting for your sin?" do you answer; "As much, O Lord, as all the reprobate shall suffer." And if God say: "Wherefore seek you so great punish. men, O my faithful servant?" answer you: "Because every one of them, if they had received from you as much as I have received, would have served you more faithfully than I [have done]." And if God say: "When will you receive this punishment, and for how long a time?" answer you: "Now, and without end." As God lives, in whose presence my soul stands, such a man would be more pleasing to God than all his holy angels. For God loves true humility, and hates pride.'
Then the scribe gave thanks to Jesus, and said to him, 'Lord, let us go to the house of your servant, for your servant will give meat to you and to your disciples.' Jesus answered: 'I will come thither when you will promise to call me "Brother" and not "Lord,"; and shall say you are my brother, and not my servant.' The man promised, and Jesus went to his house.