Jesus of Nazareth and the Christ are not one and the same person. This is one of the most difficult claims for many Christians to accept in connection with Maitreya, the World Teacher, and it therefore needs some further explanation.
In fact, the title Christ does not refer to an individual at all. It is the name of a function in the Hierarchy of Masters of Wisdom, that group of advanced beings who guide the evolution of humanity from behind the scenes. Whoever stands at the head of this Hierarchy automatically becomes the World Teacher, known in the East as the Bodhisattva, during the term of his office.
Maitreya, who embodies the energy we call the Christ Principle, has held that office for over two millennia. In Palestine he manifested himself as the Christ to inaugurate the Age of Pisces, then beginning. The method he used is called spiritual overshadowing, that is, his consciousness informed and guided the actions and teachings of his disciple Jesus. It was, therefore, the consciousness of the Christ, Maitreya, which was seen and experienced by those around Jesus.
The events from Jesus' life and his words have been greatly misinterpreted due to this little-understood connection between his work and that of Maitreya the Christ. This has given rise to the age-old theological point of contention -- namely, whether Jesus was God or man, or perhaps both together. The answer is that Jesus was a man who, as a result of the process of evolution, became a Son of God -- as does everyone eventually. Others had gone before him on that path and many have taken it since.
The disciple Jesus of 2,000 years ago has by now become one of the most senior Masters in the Hierarchy: the Master Jesus. During most of the current time he has lived mainly in Palestine. Since 1984, however, he has lived in Rome. The intention is that he will try to raise the Christian churches out of their state of crystallization and rivalry and, if invited to do so, to lead a newly united church. By doing so he hopes to resolve the many contradictions and misunderstandings which have arisen during the course of the centuries about his historic role and the teachings which he then disseminated as a vehicle for Maitreya.
With the emergence of Maitreya, the Master Jesus is playing a major role for the second time. This open collaboration, which will be visible to all, will end any lingering doubts concerning the true relationship between Maitreya the Christ and his disciple, the Master Jesus.
Thus the seemingly paradoxical claim that Jesus and the Christ are not the same person, in the literal sense of the word, is more reasonable than it would appear. Those Christians who find it difficult to accept that 'their' teacher is not the highest leader of all humanity may, however, take solace in a second paradox: Jesus and Maitreya the Christ were (and are) one, in the sense that they, each on his own level, work together in perfect concord to further the divine Plan.