GANDHI AND JESUS
If we would classify him with any of the supreme figures of human history, it must be with such august religious prophets as Confucius and Lao-tse, Buddha, Zoroaster and Mohammed, and, most truly of all, the Nazarene! Out of Asia, at long intervals of time, have arisen these inspired witnesses of God. One by one they have appeared to teach men by precept and example the law of life, and therewith to save the race. Today, in this our time, there comes another of this sacred line, the Mahatma of India. In all reverence and with due regard for historic fact, I match this man with Jesus Christ.
As he moves from city to city, crowds of thirty and even fifty thousand people assemble to hear his words. As he pauses for the night in a village, or in the open country-side, great throngs come to him as to a holy shrine. He would seem to be what the Indians regard him—the perfect and universal man. In his personal character, he is simple and undefiled. In his political endeavors, he is as stern a realist as Lenin, working steadfastly toward a fair goal of liberation which must be won. At the same time, however, he is an idealist, like Romain Rolland, living ever in the pure radiance of the spirit. When I think of Rolland, as I have said, I think of Tolstoi. When I think of Lenin, I think of Napoleon. But when I think of Gandhi, I think of Jesus Christ. He lives His life; he speaks His word; he suffers, strives, and will some day —nobly die, for His kingdom upon earth.
Do you recall how it is told of Jesus, that one day, as he was journeying, he heard his disciples quarrelling. And he said, 'What were ye reasoning on the way?' And they said they had disputed who was the greatest. And Jesus said, 'If any man would be first among you, let him be the servant of all.'"
Return to Index