Chapter 41: The Salt of the Earth
Pontius Pilate’s wife heard about John the Baptist - and she has known only men who immediately became interested in her beauty, she has never known a man like John the Baptist. When she went to see John the Baptist, he wouldn’t even look at her, and he simply said, “Come some other day. I have to see many other people and they have their appointments before you. And here everybody is equal. It doesn’t matter that you are Pontius Pilate’s wife; take an appointment because I have to see thousands of people.” And he did not look at her, and she felt so insulted. She was politically powerful, the first lady of the land, and she was a beautiful lady. She became so angry that she ordered the arrest of John the Baptist through Pontius Pilate.
Pontius Pilate tried to persuade her, “You don’t know this kind of people. They are not to be overpowered by beauty or power or anything. You should be patient. Go again.”
She simply refused. Against his will he has to arrest John the Baptist, and the woman was so much nagging him that she wants to see John the Baptist’s head brought to her on a plate, she will not feel satisfied without it.
It took almost twelve years - because Pontius Pilate did not see any reasonableness in it.
But this is the problem with every husband. Whether the wife is reasonable or not, you cannot logically convince her. And she will go on nagging and torturing you, and finally just to get finished with the matter his head was cut off and was brought on a plate before the lady.
From the jail John the Baptist heard these declarations of Jesus. The declarations I have been criticizing were criticized by his own master too. When he heard that Jesus had been declaring himself as the only begotten son of God - that he is saying to people, “Those who believe in me shall inherit the kingdom of God and those who don’t believe in me will fall into eternal hell” - when he started declaring such egoistic statements, John the Baptist, who was a humble man, could not believe that any religious man, any sensitive man could utter such statements.
And when Jesus started doing these so-called miracles - which are below the status of an awakened being, street magicians do such things - he sent a message from the jail by one prisoner who was being released, to ask Jesus a simple question: “This is from John the Baptist who initiated you; he has a question and the question is, are you really the messiah?” Just a simple question mark, “Are you really the messiah?”
It contains much. It says, “What you are saying, what you are doing is not worthy of a messiah.”
Christians have not paid much respect to John the Baptist because of his suspicion.
But when a man like John the Baptist suspects, it cannot be meaningless. I can see that his suspicion is right.
The messiah cannot even declare himself a messiah. Those declarations are childish.
Your very being, your presence, your words, your actions, will themselves declare who you are. You need not declare again and again that you are the only begotten son of God, that you are the messiah, that you are the one for whom the whole Jewish race has been waiting. Repeating these things again and again he makes it clear that he himself is psychologically insecure.