Matthew 5: 3, 18, 19-Answering Maharishi Dayananda Saraswati

How can the poor be the blessed? Are not the rich in a position to do greater works?

Those sentences which are colored in orange are from Maharishi Dayananda Saraswati book Satyarth Prakash (The Light of Truth) and those which are colored in black are Jerry Thomas’s response.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit; for there is the kingdom of heaven. For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one title shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven." (5:3, 18, 19)

C. If the heaven is one, there can be only one king there. If all those who are 'poor in spirit' will go to heaven, who will be the king among them? Very likely there will be a great row over this matter and all order will be set at nought. If by the term poor in spirit are meant all those who are penniless, it could never be right, but if this term means free from conceit then, too it could not be true as poor in spirit and free from conceit, can never be synonymous.

He that is poor in spirit can never be contended. To say that the law will hold good only so long as heaven and earth last can only be true of man-made laws, since they are not eternal. But this cannot be spoken of the eternal laws of the Omniscient God. "Whosoever shall break one of these commandments shall be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven" has been said merely to tempt men and inspire them with fear.

Answer: Many Vedic scholars have been stumbled at this verse- “blessed are the poor in Spirit.” In fact, this is one of the fundamental differences between God revealed Biblical faith and any of the other man made religions.

In the man’s search for God, he had tried to do every thing that he can- by giving everything even his body to extreme restrictions, and penances.

However, in the God revealed and initiated Biblical faith, all that one has to do is to humble ourselves, admit our poverty in spirit in finding Him by our own resources and submit ourselves to God.

In fact, what shall we render unto Him who owns the heavens and the earth? The Holy Bible itself argues the following: 

Isaiah 66:1-2 Thus says the LORD: "Heaven is My throne, And earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build Me? And where is the place of My rest?  For all those things My hand has made, And all those things exist," Says the LORD. "But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, And who trembles at My word.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           


Psalms 51:16-19 For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart-– These, O God, You will not despise.  Do good in Your good pleasure to Zion; Build the walls of Jerusalem.  Then You shall be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, With burnt offering and whole burnt offering; Then they shall offer bulls on Your altar.

When we admit our poverty thus to the LORD, He can fill us. Maharishi’s contention that “He that is poor in spirit can never be contended” is erroneous.

Let us see what our LORD Jesus Christ says.

John 7:37-38 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water."

John 4: 13-14 Jesus answered and said to her, "Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life." 

Matthew 11: 28-30 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke [is] easy and My burden is light."

John 5: 24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.”

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