SAYING 60: [The saw] a Samaritan carrying a lamb as he went into Judaea. He said to his disciples, “Why is this man carrying the lamb?” They said to him, “So that he might slaughter it and have it to eat. He said to them, “He will not eat it while it is alive, but rather when he has slaughtered it so it becomes a carcass.” They said, “He cannot do it [eat the lamb] otherwise.” He said to them, “You, too, seek for yourselves a place of rest within yourselves, lest you become a corpse and be devoured.”
As far as strange sayings in Thomas’s Gospel go, this is one of the strangest.
At face value, the sequence of events is fairly clear: Jesus sees a man carrying a lamb. He asks the disciples why he is carrying it. They respond by saying it’s because he intends to slaughter the lamb and eat it. Jesus affirms this and points out that the lamb cannot be eaten until it is slaughtered and becomes a carcass. They agree, of course, and say “He can’t eat the lamb until it’s slaughtered,” and then comes the lesson: Jesus says, “Seek for yourself a place of rest within, otherwise you will become a corpse – like the lamb – and be devoured.”