Jesus Christ Was a Guru
Srila Prabhupada recognizes Lord Jesus Christ as "the
son of God, the representative of God... our guru... our spiritual
master," yet he has some sharp words for those who currently
claim to be Christ's followers...
The Srimad-Bhagavatam states that any bona fide preacher of
God consciousness must have the qualities of titiksa (tolerance)
and karuna (compassion). In the character of Lord Jesus Christ
we find both these qualities. He was so tolerant that even while
he was being crucified, he didn't condemn anyone. And he was
so compassionate that he prayed to God to forgive the very persons
who were trying to kill him. (Of course, they could not actually
kill him. But they were thinking that he could be killed, so
they were committing a great offense.) As Christ was being crucified
he prayed, "Father, forgive them. They know not what they
A preacher of God consciousness is a friend to all living beings.
Lord Jesus Christ exemplified this by teaching, "Thou shalt
not kill." But the Christians like to misinterpret this
instruction. They think the animals have no soul, and therefore
they think they can freely kill billions of innocent animals
in the slaughterhouses. So although there are many persons who
profess to be Christians, it would be very difficult to find
one who strictly follows the instructions of Lord Jesus Christ.
A Vaisnava is unhappy to see the suffering of others. Therefore,
Lord Jesus Christ agreed to be crucified-to free others from
their suffering. But his followers are so unfaithful that they
have decided, "Let Christ suffer for us, and we'll go on
committing sin." They love Christ so much that they think,
"My dear Christ, we are very weak. We cannot give up our
sinful activities. So you please suffer for us."
Jesus Christ taught, "Thou shalt not kill." But his
followers have now decided, "Let us kill anyway," and
they open big, modern, scientific slaughterhouses. "If there
is any sin, Christ will suffer for us." This is a most abominable
Christ can take the sufferings for the previous sins of his devotees.
But first they have to be sane: "Why should I put Jesus
Christ into suffering for my sins? Let me stop my sinful activities."
Suppose a man-the favorite son of his father-commits a murder.
And suppose he thinks, "If there is any punishment coming,
my father can suffer for me." Will the law allow it? When
the murderer is arrested and says, "No, no. You can release
me and arrest my father; I am his pet son," will the police
officials comply with that fool's request? He committed the murder,
but he thinks his father should suffer the punishment! Is that
a sane proposal? "No. You have committed the murder; you
must be hanged." Similarly, when you commit sinful activities,
you must suffer-not Jesus Christ. This is God's law.
Jesus Christ was such a great personality-the son of God, the
representative of God. He had no fault. Still, he was crucified.
He wanted to deliver God consciousness, but in return they crucified
him-they were so thankless. They could not appreciate his preaching.
But we appreciate him and give him all honor as the representative
Of course, the message that Christ preached was just according
to his particular time, place, and country, and just suited for
a particular group of people. But certainly he is the representative
of God. Therefore we adore Lord Jesus Christ and offer our obeisances
Once, in Melbourne, a group of Christian ministers came to visit
me. They asked, "What is your idea of Jesus Christ?"
I told them, "He is our guru. He is preaching God consciousness,
so he is our spiritual master." The ministers very much
Actually, anyone who is preaching God's glories must be accepted
as a guru. Jesus Christ is one such great personality. We should
not think of him as an ordinary human being. The scriptures say
that anyone who considers the spiritual master to be an ordinary
man has a hellish mentality. If Jesus Christ were an ordinary
man, then he could not have delivered God consciousness.