Chapter 1: Grace for Grace
Because of these words “in the beginning,” much controversy has continued for centuries. There have even been foolish priests and bishops who have tried to fix the exact date: four thousand four years before Christ, on a certain Monday, the world started. And what was God doing before that? Eternity must have preceded it - four thousand years is nothing. What was he doing before that? Not doing anything at all? Then why suddenly on a certain date did he start the creation?
It has been a problem, but the problem arises because of a wrong interpretation. No, “in the beginning” is just a way of speaking. One has to start from somewhere, the gospel has to begin from somewhere. Life is eternity, life never starts from anywhere, but every story has to start and every scripture has to start. Arbitrarily we have to choose a certain word and you could not choose better: in the beginning. “In the beginning” simply says that we don’t know.
But from the very beginning, if there was any beginning, God has been creative. Let me try to say it in a different way: God is creativity. You can even drop the word God. In fact the gospel itself does not want to use the word God. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
In the beginning was the Word. What word are you talking about? What is this word? Somebody who has known truth knows well that to name God is futile - there is no name, no definition, and all words are small, they cannot contain the whole. “The word” is simply a way of indicating the nameless, the unknown: In the beginning was the Word.
Jews, who preceded Jesus, of whom Jesus was the very culmination.. The Judaic spirit came to a fulfillment in Jesus. Of course they denied Jesus; that is another story. Sometimes it happens that somebody amongst you attains to the fulfillment of the whole race, but the fulfillment is so vast and so great and you are so low that you cannot believe it, you have to deny it.
Christ rose high. Jews had been waiting for centuries for this man - look at the irony! They had been waiting for centuries for this man to happen. All their hope was with this man who would transform their lives and who would bring the kingdom of God on earth.and then this man happened and they themselves who had been waiting for him could not believe, could not trust. What happened? They became too addicted to waiting itself. Now if this is the man, then what will they do? Then the waiting will have to stop, will have to be stopped. And they had waited so long - in fact, waiting itself had become their whole activity, their whole religious activity - waiting for the son of God to come. And now suddenly this man is there and says, “I am here.” But now they would rather cling to their waiting than look at this man - because to look at this man will be the end; now there is nothing else to wait for. Future disappears, hope disappears, desire disappears. This man will kill all hopes, all desires, all future - that is too much! The old mind has become addicted to its own waiting, the old mind has become addicted to its own misery, frustration - now it is too much.