Talk Given by Abdu’l-Baha at the Home of Lady Blomfield on 22 December 1912

What follows is a provisional translation (in other words, not official or authorized; see here for more) of a talk that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá gave at the home of Lady Blomfield on 22 December 1912. The original text of this talk is published in Khiṭábát-i-Ḥaḍrat-i-‘Abdu’l-Bahá, vol. 3, pp. 7475

He is God

Last night, there was a theatrical performance about the birth of Jesus Christ.[1] It was truly skillful to the utmost. It was, however, surprising that all those involved in this event acted as if they were awaiting the Messiah and that they recognized Him. Yet when Christ appeared, He remained a stranger, single and alone; the Messiah came and no one realized it. And so it was that the people went on searching for the Messiah in anticipation of His advent. Christ had come, but the Jewish leaders continued to await the Messiah’s appearance—a desire they cherished. But when He came, they were deprived [of Him]; indeed, they rejected Him, saying, “This is not the true Messiah!” Rather, they made allegations that I am ashamed to recount. You all have surely read the Gospel and seen that title which they gave Christ.

To put it briefly, they dubbed Him “Beelzebub,” meaning “Satan.”[2] It is with this title that they made Christ notorious. A hundred thousand times alas, a hundred thousand times indeed, that they called that celestial Beauty “Beelzebub”! A hundred thousand times alas, a hundred thousand times indeed, that they failed to recognize Him! A hundred thousand times alas, a hundred thousand times indeed, that that Sun of Truth remained concealed by the clouds of vain imaginings!

And to this very day, the Jews still await the advent of the Messiah. It has been two thousand years since the Messiah appeared, and yet the Jews continue to wait. Observe what unawareness does! They set their expectations on the text of Isaiah—that the Messiah would come from the skies, an unknown place,[3] and that, when He came, He would break the mountains apart and cause a mighty earthquake.[4] In fact, these things did happen, but they did not understand the symbolism thereof. They failed to apprehend this allegory: that by “mountains” was not meant mountains of stone, but rather people who resembled mountains and were scattered apart, and that the intended meaning of “earthquake” pertained to the realm of human thoughts, not this world of dust.

Everything that the Prophets foretold came to pass, but they were all allegories. Literal meanings were not intended, inasmuch as the Words of God are symbolic; they are mysteries. They are a treasure; treasures are hidden. They are a mine of gems; mines are always hidden. For example, Christ says, “I am the bread of heaven.”[5] It is obvious that Christ was not bread, and that to outward seeming He did not come from heaven; rather, He issued from the womb of Mary. By this “bread,” however, is meant the bread of heavenly bounty—the celestial perfections. There is no doubt that the reality of Christ was heavenly, that those perfections were heavenly—that they stemmed from the realm of divinity.

He further says, “He that eateth of this bread shall live forever,”[6] meaning that whoever draws on these divine perfections will certainly be quickened. Yet the people did not understand; they objected, saying, “This Man says, ‘I am the bread of heaven.’ Are we able to eat Him?” The meaning is that, although Christ issued from the womb, in reality He came from heaven. What was it that caused the expectant peoples to deny Him? They were waiting for Christ to literally descend from heaven, but when they saw that this did not happen, they rejected Him. The intended meaning, however, was the reality of Christ, not His body—and there is no doubt that the reality of Christ came from heaven, but because the people did not realize this, they rejected Him and have remained deprived to the present time.

Hence, the mysteries of this Holy Book must be understood, and the meanings of the Torah and the Gospel comprehended, for they are all allegories and mysteries. So long as one does not unravel these mysteries, one will remain deprived and fail to grasp the truth.

I hope that you all will unravel the mysteries of the Scriptures and correctly understand their meanings, in order that you may grasp the truth. Always discover the mysteries of reality, and never allow yourselves to be shut out by any veil. Fix your gaze on God, and pray to Him constantly for confirmation and success, that you may not be bereft of the beauty of reality—that you may benefit from the lights of the Sun of Truth and become apprised of the divine mysteries—so that you may enter the Kingdom of God, be accepted at His Threshold, and attain to eternal life.

This is my hope; this is the highest aspiration of the spiritual ones.


[1] ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was referring to the performance of Eager Heart, a play written by Alice Buckton, held at Church House Westminster on 21 December 1912. Hence, this talk had to have been given the following day on 22 December, not 21 December, which is the date assigned to it in Khiṭábát.

[2] cf. Mark 3:22 and parallel verses from the synoptic Gospels, where Jewish doctors accuse Christ of being possessed by Beelzebub.

[3] Apparently a reference to Isaiah 19:1.

[4] Apparently a reference to Isaiah 24:18–19.

[5] A paraphrase of John 6:51.

[6] John 6:58.

A typescript of the original Persian text of this talk appears below. 


دیشب تشخیص ولادت حضرت مسیح بود فی الحقیقه در نهایت اتقان بود لکن محلّ عبرت بود که این جمع جمیعاً گمان می‌کردند که منتظر حضرت مسیح هستند و آشنای آن حضرتند. امّا حضرت مسیح وقتی آمد غریب و وحید و فرید ماند زیرا حضرت مسیح آمد و هیچکس ملتفت نشد. لهذا مردم جستجوی مسیح می‌کردند که بیاید حضرت مسیح آمده بود لکن حضرات یهود منتظر ظهور مسیح بودند آرزوی ظهور مسیح می‌کردند. لکن وقتی که حضرت آمد محروم شدند بلکه انکار مسیح کردند گفتند این مسیح مسیح حقیقی نیست بلکه اِسنادهائی دادند که من از ذکرش حیا می‌کنم. البتّه انجیل را خوانده‌اید و آن لقبی را که بحضرت داده‌اند دیده‌اید مختصر این است که لقب حضرت مسیح را بعل زبول گذاشته بودند معنی این لقب یعنی شیطان باین لقب حضرت مسیح را شهرت دادند. صد هزار افسوس صد هزار افسوس که آن جمال رحمانی را بعل زبول خواندند صد هزار افسوس صد هزار افسوس که او را نشناختند صد هزار افسوس صد هزار افسوس که آن آفتاب حقیقت در ابرهای اوهام مستور ماند و الی الآن یهود منتظرند که مسیح می‌آید. حضرت مسیح دو هزار سال است آمده و هنوز یهود منتظرند ملاحظه کنید غفلت چه می‌کند. به نصّ اشعیا منتظر بودند که مسیح از آسمان بیاید از مکانی غیر معلوم بیاید و وقتی که مسیح آید کوه‌ها از هم بپاشد و زلزله عظیم گردد و اینها فی الحقیقه واقع شد و لکن رمزش را نفهمیدند و باین رمز آگاه نشدند که مقصد از کوه‌ها کوه‌های سنگ نبود بلکه نفوسی بودند مثل کوه که آنها از هم متلاشی شدند و مقصد از زلزله در عالم افکار بود نه در عالم خاک. جمیع آنچه انبیا خبر دادند واقع شد و لکن همه رمز بود و غرض و معنی ظاهری نبود زیرا کلمات الهی رمز است اسرار است دفینه است دفینه مستور است معدن جواهر است معدن همیشه مستور است. مثلاً حضرت مسیح می‌فرماید منم نان آسمانی و این واضح است که حضرت مسیح نان نبود و بحسب ظاهر از آسمان نیامد بلکه از رحم مریم آمد. امّا مقصد از این نان نعمت آسمانی است کمالات رحمانی است شبهه‌ئی نیست که حقیقت مسیح از آسمان و آن کمالات از آسمان بود از عالم لاهوت بود. باز می‌فرماید هر کس از این نان تناول فرماید حیات ابدی یابد یعنی هر کس از این کمالات الهی استفاضه نماید یقین است زنده گردد لکن نفوس نفهمیدند اعتراض کردند که این می‌گوید من نان آسمانی هستم، آیا می‌توانیم ما او را بخوریم؟ مقصود این است که هر چند مسیح از رحم بود ولی فی الحقیقه از آسمان آمد سبب چه شد که ملل منتظره انکار او کردند زیرا منتظر بودند که مسیح بحسب ظاهر از آسمان آید و چون دیدند چنین نشد انکار کردند. و حال آنکه مقصود حقیقت مسیح بود نه جسم مسیح و هیچ شبهه‌ئی نیست که حقیقت مسیح از آسمان آمد و لکن چون اقوام نفهمیدند انکار کردند و الی الآن محروم ماندند. پس باید اسرار کتاب مقدّس را فهمید و معنی تورات و انجیل را در یافت زیرا جمیع رموز و اسرار است تا انسان پی باین اسرار نبرد محروم ماند و به حقیقت پی نبرد. امیدوارم که شماها باسرار کتب پی برید و معنی آنها را درست بفهمید تا آنکه بحقیقت پی برید همیشه کشف اسرار حقیقت کنید و بهیچ حجباتی محتجب مگردید ناظر الی اللّه باشید پیوسته از خدا طلب تأیید و توفیق کنید تا از جمال حقیقت محروم نگردید و استفاضه از انوار شمس حقیقت کنید و باسرار الهی واقف شوید تا در ملکوت الهی داخل شوید و در درگاه کبریا مقبول گردید و بحیات ابدیّه موفّق شوید. این است آرزوی من این است نهایت آمال روحانیان.