Leo Tolstoy Archive

The Teaching of Christ Narrated for Children
Chapter 5

Written: 1908
Source: From RevoltLib.com
Transcription/Markup: Andy Carloff
Online Source: RevoltLib.com; 2021

Leo Tolstoy

Jesus clarified his teaching clearer and clearer. And once, when a lot of people gathered around him, he began telling them about how people should live, in order for the kingdom of God to come. He told: “The kingdom of God is totally different from the worldly kingdoms. It’s not the proud or the rich who will enter the kingdom of God. The proud and the rich reign now. They are having fun now, and now are praised and respected by everybody. But for as long as they stay proud and rich, and there won’t be the kingdom of God in their souls, they will not enter the kingdom of God. It is not the proud but the humble, not the rich but the poor who will enter the kingdom of God. But the humble and the poor will enter the kingdom of God only if the reason why they are humble and poor is not because they have failed to become famous and rich, but because they did not want to sin to become noble and rich. If you are the beggars only because you have failed to become rich, then you are like unsalted salt. Salt is only useful when it is salty; if it is not salty, it is already good for nothing, and it is thrown away. And so you are, if you are poor only because you were not able to become rich, then you're suited to be neither poor nor rich. And so above all, there is only one thing is necessary in the world: to be in the kingdom of God. Look for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and you will have all you need. And don't think that I teach you something new; I teach the same wisdom that all sages and holy men taught you. I only teach how to implement what they taught. And in order to implement what they taught, you need to keep the commandments of God, - not just talk about them as false teachers do, but follow them. Because only he who follows the commandments of God, and by his own example teaches others to follow them, only he will enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5, 1-20; Luke 6, 20-26)

1) What makes the kingdom of God different from worldly kingdoms?
2) What people must be like, in order to enter into the kingdom of God?
3) What did Jesus teach?