He came out of the church, a crowd of the so-called Christians following him. The moment he saw this young man looking exactly like Jesus, he ordered him “Get down!” – he was standing on a podium under a tree – “Get down immediately!” And he told his people, “Arrest this fellow! This is sacrilegious – somebody pretending to be Jesus? – he cannot be forgiven!”
Jesus says, “Can’t you recognize me?”
And the bishop was very angry and said, “Yes, I have recognized you.”
He was chained, imprisoned, taken to the church, thrown into a dark cell. He could not believe what is happening: “My own people…?”
In the middle of the night the archbishop came with a candle in his hands, fell down on the earth at the feet of Jesus and said, “I had recognized you, but I cannot do it in a public place. You will destroy our whole business! Forgive me, and listen to my advice. You are no longer needed – we are doing perfectly well – and if you don’t listen to my advice, we will have to crucify you again.”
Jesus could not believe his eyes, his ears, what he is seeing, what he is hearing. He said, “You belong to me, you serve me, you pray to me… I have seen you kneeling down before my statue. And now I am here alive in front of you, and you say you have recognized me – and still you don’t want me to appear before the people?”
The archbishop said, “No. I cannot allow you to appear before the people because you are a dangerous fellow. You will again disturb the whole establishment. In eighteen hundred years with great effort somehow we have been able to manage. I tell you that even the rabbis of old, when you had come for the first time, must have recognized you – they were learned people. They must have recognized you, that you are the only begotten son of God, but they had to crucify you just to save their own skins, otherwise you would have destroyed everything.
“Right now I can see why they had to crucify you. If you don’t listen to my advice, tomorrow morning we will have to crucify you! We cannot allow you to interfere any more. Whatsoever you want to do you can do through us. We are the mediators, people have to reach to you through us. You have to reach to the people through us. You cannot avoid, you cannot bypass us.”
This too is a parable. I don’t think Jesus would ever dare to come back again; it is not possible. Once is enough.
You ask me, “Please talk about the Antichrist, and tell us what it could be.” The priest – and nobody else. There is no other devil except the priest, and the priest exists in all shapes, all sizes, all forms, all colors – whatsoever you need. Each according to his need, each according to his capacity – and the priest is available to fulfill everybody’s need. The pope, the ayatollah, the shankaracharya – these are different forms of the same phenomenon.
The people who have experienced truth are christs, and the people who are exploiting in the name of their truth are the antichrists. To me, Christ is not a person. Jesus is a person. Christ only symbolizes the ultimate flowering of one’s consciousness.