that about the rich man and the kingdom of Heaven,

Category: Religion | Type: Historical | Title: Great Expectations (in Context) | Author: Charles Dickens | Ch: Chapter XIX

The reference is to Matthew 19:16-24 (Luke 18:25 and Mark 10:25). Given Joe's gently laying his hand on Pip's shoulder "with the touch of a woman" and his refusing Jaggers's compensation "fur the loss of the little child" (Chapter 18), we note the prior moment in Matthew (13-14):

Then there were brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them (those who had brought the little children): "But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for such is the kingdom of heaven.

 

And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence."

 

Then a young man approaches Jesus and asks, "what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?" Jesus tells him that he must keep the ten commandments, and the man says that he has but "what lack I yet?"

 

"If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven, and come and follow me."

 

But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, "Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall enter into the kingdoms of heaven."

 

And again I say unto you, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

In 1867 Matthew Arnold makes the epigraph of his work of social criticism Culture and Anarchy, Estote ergo vos perfecti, Be thou therefore perfect. 

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