saying-54; who is poor?



if you want to experience what he meant

saying-54; who is poor?



(latest update: 04-12-2018)




Jesus says,

Blessed are the poor,

for yours is the kingdom of heaven.







Poor not only refers to the absence of sufficient material means for living, but symbolically

also the absence of any craving or longing for material goods, including such things as influence,

power, respect, beauty, or whatever. When even craving itself has been abandoned, one is

really “poor”. That such a “poor” state is absolute conditional for experiencing ”the Divine”

is a tenet also held in Advaita Vedante: “when every desires that finds lodging in the

heart of man, has been loosened from its moorings, then this mortal puts on immortality:

even here he tastes God, in this human body” (Sri Aurobindo, 1996 – Katha Upanishad 6:14).

“When are liberated all the desires that lodge in one’s heart, the a mortal becomes immortal!

Therein he reaches Brahma” (= God)” (Hume, 1921 – BrihadAranyaka Upanishad:4.4.7). Perhaps

that is what Jesus’ paradoxical speaking of “the poor” refers to. From various sayings and

also from the NT stories it is clear that the Jesus' circle itinerant-to-be had to give up all

possessions freely and without sulking, whereas she/he had to leave involvement in worldly

affairs, which included family ties, behind – such one became “poor”.



Perhaps the original phrasing might have been something like:


Blessed our you when you are poor.

For then the kingdom is yours.



In our time the poor may be considered those who are satisfied with what they have

without craving for more, whereas they are without any clinging to what they do have,

how little it may be. In Buddhism, however, there is no such cultural mitigation, as those

"following the Buddha" still give up everything and become dependent on others, although

the full itinerant Buddhist live has become an exception nowadays rather than the rule



Quispel (2004) remarks that for once Thomas acts out of character when he speaks of

“the kingdom of heaven” instead of just the kingdom. Thomas' Jesus

was rather reluctant to use the word God (Quispel,2004), and the kingdom of God cannot be

found in the kernel Thomas' sayings. Just the kingdom appears four times, but the

kingdom of the father five times. In addition, saying-79 contains the word of my father, and

saying-99 the kingdom of my father.

However, we should realize that according to Jewish piety using the word God was

avoided and all expressions, whether the kingdom alone or with the additional of heaven or

of the father, may similarly refer to the divine rule the significance of which is discussed in the

comments of saying-3. Most likely Jesus respected this form of Jewish piety, rather than

his use of the different designations signified different religious concepts he had in mind.

However, that he used the addition of the father, does not necessarily mean he had

adopted the classical Hebrew interpretation; he might just have respectfully been using

phrasings that just sounded familiar to the ears of his hearers.





Also in:

Luke 6:20; Matthew 5:3.