When Jesus said, “It is written, my house shall be called the house of prayer,” he’s not really quoting any scripture, he’s creating a scripture. He says, “It is written…” because those priests won’t be able to understand. He quotes the scripture, but he is not really bothering about the scripture; he is creating it. His each word is a scripture.
“…my house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.”
It is no longer a prayer house, it is no longer a temple.
And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority doest thou these things? And who gave thee this authority?”
The organized religion always asks, “By what authority?” – as if the consciousness itself is not enough authority; as if some other authority is needed; as if something from the outside has to become the proof. But consciousness in itself is the authority, the only authority – there is no other authority and no other proof. But when the priest faces a mystic like Jesus, even then he is asking about scriptures – he says, “Who has given you this authority?” He’s talking about the law, the legal code. He’s talking the language of the establishment, “Who has given you this authority?” – as if to be prayerful needs anybody else’s authority; as if to be centered one needs any license; as if to be centered one needs any sanction from the government.
But that is what organized religion becomes. In Christianity ridiculous things have been happening. They issue orders, and they issue recognitions that somebody has become a saint. The very word saint is ugly. It comes from a root term which means “sanction.” It means the church has sanctioned that a certain person is now a saint – the recognition of the church, as if it is a Nobel Prize, or a government award. The court and the legal advisers of the government have to decide, as if it is a university degree, that now you are a PhD or a DLitt, sainthood has no need of any sanction. Sainthood is its own sanction; it is an inner authority.
Unless you speak with your inner authority, please don’t speak, don’t utter a word; because those words are going to be false, untrue. The true word arises out of your own being; it is born out of you as a child is born out of a mother. You have to become pregnant with God, and then the word is born. That is the only authority; no other authority is needed.
And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority doest thou these things?”