Jesus promised to come back as a thief. Here the word thief symbolizes the fact that he would reappear when the entire world has fallen into great darkness of ignorance and none would be able to recognize or understand his message of Liberation and perfect enlightenment. This is just human nature, to forget what exactly we were sent here to accomplish. The modern man is very flattered by the inventions of science and technology. So much has changed in the past 2,000 years that mankind has altered his reverence for the Self and other beings too.
Below is a Zen story to help the reader to have a better picturesque of the concept being discussed herein. We are all living in a world where the profane modes of life are elevated so much so that men no longer have anywhere to escape to. Why do I say this? All forms of religion and societies have by now become equally profane – a time when the realm of the Most High have become impervious to the cries of men thanks to the destruction of spirituality that has spread everywhere. The word sacrifice is absolutely forgotten. In the Zen story, the Master Ikkyu was a supremely enlightened person but when he appeared at the party disguised as a beggar nobody would recognize him at all. The same applies to the modern world: there is a big party in the world where pleasure, information and comfort – yes, and privacy – have become natural to all men such that they (including the Christians) would easily dismiss the Christ if he appeared. I guess history repeats itself.
BEYOND POVERTY, BEYOND WEALTH
Wealthy patrons invited Ikkyu to a banquet. Ikkyu arrived dressed in his beggar’s robes. The host, not recognizing him, chased him away. Ikkyu went home, changed into his ceremonial robe of purple brocade, and returned.
With great respect, he was received into the banquet room. There, he put his robe on the cushion, saying, “Evidently you invited the robe since you showed me away a little while ago,” and left.