But Jesus said unto them, “A prophet is not without honor, save in his own country, and in his own house.”
A great insight. Why has it happened so many times, that people who are closest always misunderstand? We should have expected just the contrary, that the people of Jesus’ village would understand him first. Before anyone else would understand him, the people of Jesus’ house, family, relatives, would understand him first. But it doesn’t happen. Why? A deep insight into the human ego is needed to understand it. With those who are close to you, it is very difficult to believe that they had gone beyond and above you. If somebody else who is not close to you goes beyond you, maybe you are not bothered – he is so far away, the competitive ego does not arise. But if your own brother goes and you are left behind – and you were born to the same parents, you lived in the same house, and you were educated in the same school; and your own brother goes so far away – your ego is hurt. Then what have you been doing? You feel defeated, you feel a loser. Then the easiest way is to deny that he has gone beyond, then the easiest way is to prove that he is just as ordinary as you are ordinary. The easiest way is to disprove his claim, to deny.
“A prophet is not without honor, save in his own country, and in his own house.”
I would like to add one thing more: “And in his own time.”
You worship Buddha now, very easily. No problem arises because there is a distance of twenty-five centuries. You worship Mahavira. All over the world millions go on praying to Jesus. These same people crucified him. They are the same people who were offended in him, who denied him. What has happened? – a distance of two thousand years. Now, your ego doesn’t feel offended, you don’t have any competition with him; maybe he was really a son of God. But he offended his own contemporaries. He was talking one day in a village and somebody asked “Do you believe in Abraham, the founder of Judaism?” Jesus said something which has been offending Jews since then. Jesus said, “Abraham? Before Abraham was, I am.” Let me repeat it in another way: if Christians come to me and ask, “Do you believe in Jesus?” and I tell them, “Before Jesus was, I am,” they will be offended. They will never be able to forgive me.