Fate knows no better way to punish the great for their greatness than by sending them disciples. Every disciple, just because he is a disciple, cannot understand all that his master says, but at the very best only half, and that according to the kind of mind he has. Thus without wishing to falsify the teaching of his master, he deforms it, vulgarizes it, belittles it, corrupts it.....

And yet no one has been able to dispense with these pupils and followers, nor even to wish to. For the great man is so foreign to the multitude, so distant, so alone, that he needs to feel some one near him. He cannot teach without the illusion that some one understands his words, receives his ideas, transmits them to others far away before his death and after his death. This wanderer who has no home of his own needs a friendly hearth. To this uprooted man who cannot have a family of his own flesh and blood, the children of his spirit are dear. The prophet is a captain whose soldiers spring up only after his blood has soaked into the ground, and yet he longs to feel a little army about him during his life-time. Here is one of the most tragic elements in all greatness: disciples are repugnant and dangerous, but disciples, even false ones, cannot be dispensed with. Prophets suffer if they do not find them; they suffer, perhaps more, when they have found them.

from pages 176-177, Life of Christ