And the argument that looked very strange to the Christians who were his contemporaries, was very simple: “In this way you are proving equality. ‘I am also a human being. If you hit me, then I will hit you. I am not a god, I cannot forgive you.’ All those who have been trying to forgive are very subtle egoists. They are enjoying reducing the other person almost to an animal. That is worse than hitting the man back hard! Just behave like man to man.”
And you can watch it: the person who gives his other cheek – you can see in his eyes and in his face and in his words great pride and great ego. Even when Jesus himself on the cross asks, “Father, forgive these people, because they do not understand what they are doing,” he is still trying to prove on the cross the same thing for which he is being crucified – that everybody is ignorant and only he knows.
Again, it was the insight of Nietzsche to see that Jesus’ emphasis is not on forgiveness, his emphasis is, “They do not know what they are doing. They do not know whom they are crucifying. They do not understand that they are crucifying the only begotten son of God.” In simple words, “These are idiots. Just forgive them – they are not worth punishment.”
Even on the cross his ego is as assertive as it has ever been. He is not a humble man. Although he teaches humility, he never shows humility in his whole life. Then certainly his teaching of humility is just the teaching for making your ego so subtle that it can use humility as food, as nourishment. He is certainly not a humble man. There is no indication in his whole life of where he has acted in a humble manner.
All his declarations that he is the messiah for whom you have been waiting for centuries, that now God has sent his own son to fulfill the promise…. These are not the words of humility, these are not the words of a person who is nobody.
Jesus is not nobody – he is higher than everybody else. Even the prophets, Moses or Abraham or Elijah, are nothing; they are only prophets, just messengers. He is the only begotten son of God, and he says clearly that he was even before Abraham.
Now, Abraham was alive almost three thousand years before Jesus; and Jesus is saying he was before Abraham. He is trying to say that he belongs to eternity, he is eternal, and all these prophets are just bubbles in time. He has always been and will always be – but prophets come and go.
Nietzsche is the only man in the whole Western history who has a deep psychological understanding of Jesus Christ, and who has a very subtle analysis – far more subtle than any Freud or Jung can do. He has almost all the insights. He could have founded psychoanalysis. He could have founded communism. He could have founded anarchism.
He is really vast, and in all dimensions he goes to the very roots. But people have understood one thing for thousands of years, and then suddenly there is a totally opposite interpretation. Rather than accepting the interpretation, they would prefer to reject the man. And he was rejected by the society in every possible way. He lived almost always lonely.