(LORD JESUS & AVATAR MEHER BABA)
Meher Baba declared that He was Christ and many had vision of Christ in Meher Baba when they met Him in person. Christ is a central figure in Christianity and is emulated as the incarnation of God by many Christians all over the world. Biography of Lord Christ and Baba’s words about His incarnation as Christ is briefly described as under:
Jesus was born circa 6 B.C. in Bethlehem. His mother, Mary, was a virgin who was betrothed to Joseph, a carpenter. Christians believe Jesus was born through Immaculate Conception. His lineage can be traced back to the house of David. According to the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus was born during the reign of Herod the Great, who upon hearing of his birth felt threatened and tried to kill Jesus by ordering all of Bethlehem’s male children under age two to be killed. But Joseph was warned by an angel and took Mary and the child to Egypt until Herod’s death, where upon he brought the family back and settled in the town of Nazareth, in Galilee.
There is very little written about Jesus's early life. The Gospel of Luke recounts that a 12-year-old Jesus had accompanied his parents on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and became separated. He was found several days later in a temple, discussing affairs with some of Jerusalem’s elders. Throughout the New Testament, there are trace references of Jesus working as a carpenter while a young adult. It is believed that he began his ministry at age 30 when he was baptized by John the Baptist, who upon seeing Jesus, declared him the Son of God.
After baptism, Jesus went into the Judean desert to fast and meditate for 40 days and nights. The Temptation of Christ is chronicled in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke (known as the Synoptic Gospels). The Devil appeared and tempted Jesus three times, once to turn stone to bread, once to cast himself off a mountain where angels would save him, and once to offer him all the kingdoms of the world. All three times, Jesus rejected the Devil's temptation and sent him off.
Jesus returned to Galilee and made trips to neighboring villages. During this time, several people became his disciples. One of these was Mary Magdalene, who is first mentioned the Gospel of Luke, and later in all four gospels at the crucifixion. Though not mentioned in the context of the "12 disciples," she is considered to have been involved in Jesus's ministry from the beginning to his death and after. According to the gospels of Mark and John, Jesus appeared to Magdalene first after his resurrection.
According to the Gospel of John, as Jesus was beginning his ministry, he and his disciples traveled with his mother, Mary, to a wedding at Cana in Galilee. The wedding host had run out of wine and Jesus's mother came to him for help. At first, Jesus refused to intervene, but then he relented and asked a servant to bring him large jars filled with water. He turned the water into a wine of higher quality than any served during the wedding. John's gospel depicts the event as the first sign of Jesus's glory and his disciples' belief in him.
After the wedding, Jesus, his mother Mary and his disciples traveled to Jerusalem for Passover. At the temple, they saw moneychangers and merchants selling wares. In a rare display of anger, Jesus overturned the tables and, with a whip made of cords, drove them out, declaring that his Father’s house is not a house for merchants.
The Synoptic Gospels chronicle Jesus as he traveled through Judea and Galilee, using parables and miracles to explain how the prophecies were being fulfilled and that the kingdom of God was near. As word spread of Jesus's teaching and healing the sick and diseased, more people began to follow him. At one point, Jesus came to a level area and was joined by a great number of people. There, at the Sermon on the Mount, he presented several discourses, known as the Beatitudes, which encapsulate many of the spiritual teachings of love, humility and compassion.
As Jesus continued preaching about the kingdom of God, the crowds grew larger and began to proclaim him as the son of David and as the Messiah. The Pharisees heard of this and publicly challenged Jesus, accusing him of having the power of Satan. He defended his actions with a parable, then questioned their logic and told them such thinking denied the power of God, which only further hardened their resolve to work against him.
Near the city of Caesarea Philippi, Jesus talked with his disciples. According to the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke he asked, "Who do you say that I am?" The question confused them, and only Peter responded, saying, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus blessed Peter, accepting the titles of "Christ" and the "Son of God," and declared the proclamation was a divine revelation from God. Jesus then proclaimed Peter to be the leader of the church. Jesus then warned his disciples of the Pharisees’ conspiracy against him and of his fate to suffer and be killed, only to rise from the dead on the third day.
Less than a week later, Jesus took three of his disciples to a high mountain where they could pray alone. According to the Synoptic Gospels, Jesus's face began shining like the sun and his entire body glowed with a white light. Then, the prophets Elijah and Moses appeared, and Jesus talked to them. A bright cloud emerged around them, and a voice said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him." This event, known as the Transfiguration, is a pivotal moment in Christian theology. It supports the identity of Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the living God.
Jesus arrived in Jerusalem, the week before the holiday of Passover, riding on a donkey. Great numbers of people took palm branches and greeted him at the city's entry. They praised him as the Son of David and as the Son of God. The priests and Pharisees, fearful of the growing public adulation, felt he must be stopped.
All four Gospels describe Jesus's final week in Jerusalem. During this time, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, confronted moneychangers and merchants in the temple, and debated with the high priests who questioned Jesus's authority. He told his disciples about the coming days and that Jerusalem's temple would be destroyed. Meanwhile, the chief priests and elders met with high priest Caiaphas, and set plans in motion to arrest Jesus. One of the disciples, Judas, met with the chief priests and told them how he would deliver Jesus to them. They agreed to pay him 30 pieces of silver.
Jesus and his 12 disciples met for the Passover meal, and he gave them his final words of faith. He also foretold of his betrayal by one of the disciples and privately let Judas know it was he. Jesus told Peter that before a rooster crowed the next morning, he would have denied knowing Jesus three times. At the end of the meal, Jesus instituted the Eucharist, which in the Christian religion, signifies the covenant between God and humans.
After the Last Supper, Jesus and his disciples went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. Jesus asked God if this cup (his suffering and death) might pass by him. He implored a group of his disciples to pray with him, but they kept falling asleep. Then the time had come. Soldiers and officials appeared, and Judas was with them. He gave Jesus a kiss on the cheek to identify him and the soldiers arrested Jesus. One disciple tried to resist the arrest, brandished his sword and cut the ear off one of the soldiers. But Jesus admonished him and healed the soldier's wound.
After his arrest, many of the disciples went into hiding. Jesus was taken to the high priest and interrogated. He was hit and spat upon for not responding. Meanwhile, Peter had followed Jesus to the high priests' court. As he hid in the shadows, three house servants asked if he was one of Jesus' disciples and each time he denied it. After each denial, a rooster crowed. Then Jesus was led out of the house and looked directly at Peter. Peter remembered how Jesus had told him he would deny him and he wept bitterly. Judas, who was watching from a distance, became distraught by his betrayal of Jesus and attempted to return the 30 pieces of silver. The priests told him his guilt was his own. He threw the coins into the temple and later hanged himself.
The next day, Jesus was taken to the high court where he was mocked, beaten and condemned for claiming to be the Son of God. He was brought before Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea. The priests accused Jesus of claiming to be the king of the Jews and asked that he be condemned to death. At first Pilate tried to pass Jesus off to King Herod, but he was brought back, and Pilate told the Jewish priests he could find no fault with Jesus. The priests reminded him that anyone who claimed to be a king speaks against Caesar. Pilate publicly washed his hands of responsibility, yet ordered the crucifixion in response to the demands of the crowd. The Roman soldiers whipped and beat Jesus, placed a crown of thorns on his head and then led him off to Mount Calvary.
Jesus was crucified with two thieves, one at his left and the other at his right. Above his head was the charge against him, "King of the Jews." At his feet were his mother, Mary, and Mary Magdalene. The Gospels describe various events that occurred during the last three hours of his life, including the taunting by the soldiers and the crowd, Jesus's agony and outbursts, and his final words. While Jesus was on the cross, the sky darkened, and immediately upon his death, an earthquake erupted, tearing the temple's curtain from top to bottom. A soldier confirmed his death by sticking a spear into his side, which produced only water. He was taken down from the cross and buried in a nearby tomb.
Three days after his death, Jesus's tomb was found empty. He had risen from the dead and appeared first to Mary Magdalene and then to his mother Mary. They both informed the disciples, who were in hiding, and later, Jesus appeared to them and told them not to be afraid. During this brief time, he beseeched his disciples to go into the world and preach the gospel to all humanity. After 40 days, Jesus led his disciples to Mount Olivet, east of Jerusalem. Jesus spoke his final words to them, saying that they would receive the power of the Holy Spirit, before he was taken upward on a cloud and ascended into heaven.
Avatar Meher Baba’s activities as Christ
On August 24, 1932, in Cairo, Egypt, Baba told Kaka and Chanji, "The Coptic Church contains a cave where Mary and Joseph stayed after fleeing Herod. The reason why I came to Egypt is to visit this church.” They visited the Coptic Church the next day. Baba's face was radiant with joy as he walked through the church. He said, "This is my dear old place," and explained that Jesus and had come and stayed there with his apostles.
Outside the church, Baba explained the church's architecture and its spiritual significance. He had them count and write down the number of pillars, domes and arches, which came out to exactly 120. Baba said, “This church is one of the four great spiritual centers of Europe. The whole structure corresponds to the Avatar's twelve disciples of the inner circle and 108 disciples of the outer circles.”
Baba and mandali went to a church built on a mountain, where Baba remained seated for ten to fifteen minutes. There were pictures of Jesus and his disciples on the walls, and a large crucifix was over the altar at the front of the church. Baba explained, "It is I who is on the crucifix, and for this reason, I did not remove my hat when entering the church. They visited St. Mark's Square. Baba said, "I was here as Jesus Christ with two of my apostles one month before my crucifixion, and sat on the exact spot where St. Mark's was later built." As Christ, I told Peter to give his other cheek to be slapped. (June, 1939, LA p276-277)
On April 20, 1933, Baba took them to Harvan village in two buses and a car. Dressed in disguise so as not to be recognized by the villagers, Baba showed them where he stayed in seclusion and fasted in 1929. Pointing to a hill, Baba Said, “There is the place where two of Christ's apostles, Bartholomew and Thaddeus, buried his body.
In Gospels Christ had said to his apostles, "You will deny me." This did happen when Peter, the chief apostle, denied Jesus. At the time of Jesus, I uttered many warnings, yet none could grasp in advance the necessity of my crucifixion. (8 September 1957, Meherazad, GM p291)
I suffered so when I was Jesus, hanging on the cross, that I even felt for a moment as if God had forsaken me, and I uttered that line, 'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?' (24 May 1958, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, HM p310)
Avatar Meher Baba on Christ
Jesus Christ was nailed to the cross. But did not change his state.
The truth is, He who is perfect is not moved by any disaster. He remains perfect even if the whole world speaks against him. All have to suffer for love. Jesus suffered all his life for love. I suffered none the less, and have yet to suffer much. These times are no better than those of old, when Jesus was stoned and had to suffer crucifixion. I am crucified every moment, as none of you can ever imagine. (6 June 1935, Bombay, LM6 p1961)
All miracles are child's play, whereas spirituality is far above them. Miracles in themselves have no spiritual value or significance. But they are necessary, and at times are performed by the Master as a means to convince people of Truth and spirituality. Jesus performed miracles, not for his own gain, but to make people recognize the Truth and to create faith in them. Yet when he was crucified, he who could raise the dead did not stop it. (13 March 1937, Nasik, interview with a Catholic priest, LM6 p2130)
Jesus Christ suffered the tortures of crucifixion to take on the suffering of the world. Being simultaneously the Father and Son, his own infinite bliss was neither interrupted by the cross, nor did it intervene in his bodily suffering, which he suffered as an ordinary human being. (22 July 1956, New York, Gl Nov. 1987 p22). Jesus Christ got himself crucified. Though he had infinite power, he took on suffering, and made himself helpless for the sake of humanity. He felt infinite bliss, but also human suffering. He felt the suffering of all the world. (1956, United States, Aw 5:2 p9 Also HM p740)
Christ Jesus, the individual Jesus was The Avatar (Prophet) of Nazareth-the son of God state. Baba said, “Jesus, like other incarnations of the Avatar, had no definite program, scheme or organization, his purpose being to spread his teachings, and impress upon humanity the worthlessness of the world and worldly life through the very vagueness of his plans and schemes. Jesus too had no definite plan – (reread the Sermon on the Mount.)"
Jesus Christ was the ocean of love, Father and Son both in one, simultaneously. No one can know him. No one realised what he said them. He was all-mighty, all-powerful, and yet he appeared so helpless. He got himself crucified in the end in order to teach humanity humility. Christ lived for love and died for love. He was love personified.
His crucifixion was an expression of his universal love. He abides in all, and therefore selfless service to humanity is service to God.
Peter loved Jesus the most. Jesus loved him the most, although the love of Jesus for all was the same. Can you explain this? Loving all the same, and yet some more than others? It is like the different parts of the body. They all belong to you, but you love some parts more than others. The eyes are dearer than your fingers. Is this clear? Jesus loved Peter the most in this respect. Peter was his eyes. When Jesus said to Peter, “You will betray me,” Peter knew he would betray his Master, the one whom he loved most, and yet he bore it bravely. It was the most difficult thing to do, to know that he would betray, and yet not to become weak. Jesus made Peter know that he would betray him for his work.
Judas was also made to betray. Peter betrayed willingly. It is most difficult when you love the one you betray. For example, suppose you (pointing to one) love me the most. You are Peter. You (pointing to another) are Judas. I want you both to kill me. Now you, Peter, are made to kill me. You would not willingly do so. You are asked by me to kill me, and you love me more than your own life. But you will lovingly kill me for Mt work.
Even Arjuna could not be like Peter. Krishna had to show him his universal body before he would kill his brothers and relatives in battle.
John the Baptist was a wonderful being. He gave his neck. He was the Master of Jesus. You have read how the disciples of John found fault with Jesus' disciples for living in comfort and having good food, when they had nothing of the kind. (21 September 1954, Meherabad, GM p255)
Christ often said, 'I forgive you, I forgive you.' Those who loved Christ accepted his prasad of forgiveness. But those who would not recognize Christ naturally could not understand him. His words were just words to them. (November 1955, Meherabad, Listen Humanity pp-68 November 1955)
Jesus would meet daily with his disciples at a fixed time, and forgive their weaknesses and advise them. From this act of Jesus, the Catholics go to a priest for confession to this day. It is a good practice. But after confessing and being pardoned, the actions should not be repeated. If they are repeated, where is the benefit? It does no good if you commit 700 wrongs in seven days, and go to a priest to confess, only to repeat them later.
The priests, dasturs, mullahs and preachers give long-winded sermons, but they prove ineffective. People listen with one ear and it goes out the other, for they continue committing wrongs.
Avatar Meher Baba
Biography of Meher Baba is written in previous episode no 27