Buddha’s words are abstract; they are very very high words, philosophical. Jesus’ words are down-to-earth, very earthly. They have that fragrance of the earth that you come across when the rains have started and the earth is soaking up the rains and a great fragrance arises – the fragrance of the wet earth, the fragrance that you find on a sea beach, the fragrance of the ocean, the trees. Jesus’ words are very very earthbound, rooted in the earth. He is an earthly man, and that is his beauty. Nobody else can be compared with that beauty. The sky is good, but abstract, far away, distant.
So I say to you, no other book starts the way the Gospel starts; no other book talks the way the Gospel talks.
The word gospel comes originally from a word godspel. God has spoken through Jesus. Jesus is just a hollow bamboo. The song is of God, and Jesus’ metaphors are very true to life. He is not spinning concepts, he is simply indicating the truth as it is.
First the beginning:
“The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas…. And Judas begat Phares…and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram…” and so it goes, on and on. And then: “…Jacob begat Joseph. the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.”
Then this genealogy stops suddenly. Forty-two generations have passed from Abraham to Jesus. The Gospel records the forty-two generations, and then suddenly Jesus is born and the genealogy stops. Suddenly there comes a full point. because Jesus is the fulfillment; there is no beyond. Jesus is the culmination – there is no way to go further on. So “Abraham begat Isaac, Isaac begat Jacob…” – it continues. Then there is no way to go beyond Jesus: the ultimate has come. Jesus is the flowering and the fulfillment. That’s why the Bible calls Jesus the pleroma, the fulfillment.
Those forty-two generations are fulfilled in Jesus. The whole history that has preceded Jesus is fulfilled in him. The home has arrived. He is the fruit, the growth, the evolution of those forty-two generations. Jesus is the fulfillment, that’s why the Gospel does not say anything further. Jesus did not beget anybody, Jesus begat himself. And that is the meaning of the word christ.
There are two kinds of births. One, through others – from the father, from the mother – that is a bodily birth. The other birth you have to give to yourself, you have to be born out of yourself; you have to become the womb, the father and the mother and the child. You have to die as the past and you are to be born as the future. You have to beget yourself. That’s why I say that the book starts in an incredibly beautiful way – very significant: Jesus begat nobody, Jesus begat himself.
That is the meaning of crucifixion and resurrection. The body is crucified, you cannot crucify the spirit. You can destroy the body. You cannot destroy the spirit. The body is gross: the sword can cut it, the poison can kill it; and even if nothing is going to kill it, death is going to come and the body will be gone. It has to go, it is meant to go; it is only there for the time being. Those who are conscious, they use that time to create spirit in them.