The first question:
Who prepared the way for you?
Nobody has prepared the way for me, and neither am I preparing the way for anybody. This has to be understood.
There are four possibilities. One, the oldest and the most used, is what happened in Jesus’ case. John the Baptist prepared the way; the disciple preceded the master. It has its own benefits, but it has its own limitations and defects also – bound to be so. When the disciple precedes the master he will create limitations which belong to him and the master will have to function within those limitations. It has its benefits because when the master comes he will not be worried about preparing the ground – the ground will be ready, he can immediately start sowing the seeds. But the ground will be ready according to the disciple. It cannot be according to the master, so he will have to function under limitations. That’s what created the whole trouble in Jesus’ story.
John the Baptist is a different type of man from Jesus, a very fiery man, almost in flames – and always in flames. He uses a language which fits him, but which can never fit Jesus. Jesus is very silent, very peaceful. John the Baptist is not that type of man. He is a prophet, Jesus is a messiah, and the difference between a prophet and a messiah is great. A prophet is a religious man, deeply religious, but functioning like a politician: using the language of revolution, using a very violent language – arousing the hearts and beings of men, stirring them. A prophet is like an earthquake. A messiah is very soothing, silent like a Himalayan valley – lazy, sleepy. You can rest in a messiah. With a prophet, you will always be on the go.
Because of this, John the Baptist used the terminology of politics: revolution, the kingdom of God. And even that “kingdom” has to be taken by force. It has to be, in fact, attacked. He was misunderstood because whenever you use the language of the outside world for the inner world, you are bound to be misunderstood. The politicians became afraid: What kingdom is this man talking about? About what revolution? What does he mean by saying that the kingdom has to be taken by force? John the Baptist was very impatient. He wanted immediate change; he could not wait. He created the atmosphere in which Jesus had to function. John the Baptist died in imprisonment; he was beheaded by the rulers. He was absolutely misunderstood – but nobody was at fault, he himself was.