The priest is the Antichrist, the pope is the Antichrist, these thousands of Catholic and Protestant missionaries, these are the Antichrists. The Antichrist has already happened. The first Antichrist was Peter, who founded the church. In fact, far more harm has been done by Peter, the first pope, than by Judas. Judas helped Christ’s work immensely. If Judas had not sold Jesus Christ to the enemies you may not have ever heard his name. It is because of the crucifixion that Jesus became part of the human consciousness. Judas was not really his enemy.
In fact, George Gurdjieff used to tell a very beautiful story – of course his own invention. But people like George Gurdjieff, even if they invent stories, their stories have immense significance. He used to say that Judas did sell Jesus for thirty silver rupees – only for thirty silver rupees – to the enemies, on the behest of Jesus Christ himself. It was his order; he told Judas. And of course, being a devoted disciple he could not say no. With tears in his eyes, with a crying heart, he followed the commandment. And it seems a little bit relevant too, because when Jesus was crucified all the disciples escaped, they all ran away. Nobody suffered so much as Judas. Judas committed suicide the next day, within twenty-four hours. He could not live without Jesus Christ.
It is a story, but one thing has to be meditated upon, that Judas has not harmed the cause of Jesus, he is not the Antichrist, but the so-called followers, the people who established Christianity, they are the Antichrist.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, one of the greatest novelists that has ever happened in the world, writes in his beautiful book, Brothers Karamazov, a parable – a parable which has multidimensional meaning:
After eighteen hundred years, one day – one Sunday of course – Jesus thought, “It is now time for me to go back and to see how my people are doing on the earth. Eighteen hundred years before when I had gone, I was alone. I had to start from scratch, and of course the Jews were against me because I was saying things which went against their tradition, their orthodoxy. It was natural that they felt offended and they killed me. Now almost half the earth is Christian – this is the time for me to go. Now they will receive me, welcome me, they will open their hearts to me. Now the right moment has come.”
He chooses one Sunday morning, descends into the marketplace in the small town of Bethlehem. People gather around, villagers start laughing, giggling. They say, “The man looks just like Jesus Christ!”
Jesus said to them, “What are you saying? I don’t look like Jesus Christ, I am Jesus Christ!”
They all laughed and they said, “It is better if you escape from here because soon the church service will be over. And once the bishop comes out…and if he finds you pretending to be Jesus you will be in trouble. That much we can say.”
Jesus said, “But he is my bishop, he’s doing my work. If you cannot recognize me, at least he will recognize me!” And he waited.
People laughed and joked. They were thinking that “He is a good actor, and doing perfectly well – looks exactly like Jesus.”
Jesus tried to convince them but they were not ready to listen. Then he waited: the bishop is bound to recognize him – and he is the archbishop.