“Who has given you the authority to overthrow the tables of the money-changers? Who has given you the authority to change the rules and regulations of the temple?”
“Who gave thee this authority?” Jesus must have laughed. He didn’t answer them because even that is irrelevant; their question is absurd.
I have heard a story about Diogenes. He was caught by thieves. And then they brought him to a slave market. He was a beautiful man; very few people have been so beautiful…a very strong body. And they put him on the slave-block to be sold. He stood there smiling, humming a song, unconcerned with what was happening. Then he saw a man, a young man, very rich – his clothes were very rich, but he was standing there very absentmindedly, maybe drunk. He was standing there in the crowd, almost asleep, depressed, sad; a deep sorrow surrounded him. Diogenes said to the thieves who had caught him, and who had brought him to the slave market, “Sell me to that man. He looks as if he needs a master.”
Jesus or a Diogenes, Buddha or Mahavira, they have their own authority; they are masters of their being. It is said of Buddha that a great scholar came to him and said, “Sir, whatsoever you are saying, it is not written in the Vedas.”
Buddha said, “Then write it in the Vedas.”
The scholar was a little puzzled. He could not believe somebody could say that – “Write it!” The man said, “Sir, not only is that the case but sometimes you contradict. Whatsoever is written in the Vedas, you say contrary things.”
Buddha said, “Then amend the Vedas. Because when I am here, when the Veda is alive here, then the dead Veda has to be corrected according to me.”
A Buddha is not to follow the Vedas; the Vedas have to follow him – because they have been created by buddhas, other centered beings. From where is their authority? If you ask Jesus, “From where is your authority?” then, because you are asking, “Has Moses given you a certificate?” You will ask from where Moses gets his authority. And if Moses can get it directly from God, then why not Jesus?
You must have heard the beautiful story when Moses encountered God. He was moving on Mount Horeb and suddenly he heard God calling him from a thorn bush. He was afraid. He started trembling and God said, “Don’t be afraid. It is I. Don’t be afraid. But take your shoes off, because you are walking on holy ground.” He threw off his shoes. He ran towards God, who was like a burning flame, a burning fire in the thorn bush. He could not believe his eyes, because the bush was green and the fire was burning and the bush was not burned and he asked, “Who are you? This is a miracle.”