“This is and always has been and always will be an offense to the understanding. The understanding says: Too little and too much spoil everything; moderation, the middle way, and medium size, this is the truth. Therefore the understanding would certainly recommend dispensing with the star at the birth—that is too much, or so much is not required—but then it would also recommend being born in lawful wedlock and at least in a good, proper, well-to-do, middle-class family. But this is not the essentially Christian, which always has the heavenly at its disposal but not a shred of the things of this earth.
When, for example, Christ sends out the disciples—well, he surely could have supplied them with the necessities, but no, they must own nothing13—on the contrary, “Whoever gives to one of these humble people even a cup of cold water to drink because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he shall not lose his reward” (Matthew 10: 42). This is distinctive. The mightiest of all the mighty kings of the earth cannot pay for a drink of water in this manner, but of course he also sees to it that his emissaries or ministers are not at a loss for a cup of water. The disciple, however, is unconditionally in poverty; he is literally indigent when it comes to life’s primary necessities, a cup of water—and he has no money, he has nothing, nothing to give for it (so stingy God can be, and then the very next moment attend to the same man with miracles!). Well, it is true that he has a check drawn on heaven, and properly viewed (therefore, unfortunately, not in this world), that is [XII 435] worth more than all the glories of this world, but Søren Kierkegaard