Gandhi and Jesus's Teachings
It’s 1897 in Durban, South Africa. An angry mob has gathered at the harbor. They are waiting for Mohandas Gandhi, who has written a pamphlet condemning the oppression of minorities. When he emerges from the ship, the mob pelts him with bricks and pounds him with their fists. Authorities move to punish his attackers, but Gandhi insists they go free. It’s 33 years later in India, and 2,500 people protesting colonial rule march into a line of police. All are beaten; some perish. The protestors never fight back. They follow the non-violent philosophy of their beloved Gandhi, who was arrested before the demonstration. Gandhi led the movement toward Indian independence—and his ideas were influenced by the Bible. As a young man, Gandhi discovered the Sermon on the Mount, a famous set of teachings from the Gospel of Matthew. It “went straight to my heart,” he said of Matthew 5:39. When he read that those who are struck on one cheek should turn the other cheek also, Gandhi said, “I was simply overjoyed.” While his personal beliefs and practices have been scrutinized, there’s no doubt his political activism had an enormous impact in India and around the world. Throughout his life, Gandhi continued to return to the Sermon on the Mount as a source of insight and inspiration.