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Jesus and Zacchaeus (Rabel)

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This is a series of lectures given by Mr. Edward Rabel, member of the faculty of S.M.R.S.
Winter semester 1976 - 2nd. Yr. Class. Part of Lecture 42 given on May 13, 1976

Luke 19:1-10, pp. 256-258 of transcript.

19:1And he entered and was passing through Jericho. 19:2And behold, a man called by name Zacchaeus; and he was a chief publican, and he was rich. 19:3And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the crowd, because he was little of stature. 19:4And he ran on before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way. 19:5And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to-day I must abide at thy house. 19:6And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. 19:7And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, He is gone in to lodge with a man that is a sinner. 19:8And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord, Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have wrongfully exacted aught of any man, I restore fourfold. 19:9And Jesus said unto him, To-day is salvation come to this house, forasmuch as he also is a son of Abraham.19:10For the Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost.

Our next event is a very pleasant little story, which is found in our Harmony Gospels, on page 150, Luke 19:1-20.

Here, again, we have an example of how the Gospels leave out so much more than they tell, so much that we would like to know. I guess it is for a good reason. I am sure it is; because it will kind of force us to figure some things out for ourselves. Here I, at least, would like to know what they talked about in that house. What did Jesus say to him in that short time that brought about such a revolutionary action on his part, or did Zacchaeus have an enlightenment or an illumination before all this which motivated him to even climb that tree in the first place? Those things are not really explained. We have something to go on.

Zacchaeus could stand for many things, but one of the things that he must stand for would be a person's eagerness to gain greater spiritual awareness. You see in this particular incident, one thing that characterizes Zacchaeus was his eagerness to see Jesus. Jesus, standing for spiritual awareness, or Christ consciousness, would be this eager desire to do anything necessary to gain greater spiritual consciousness. Now, because his desire was a true desire, Spirit always provides the means to fulfill for anyone who has such a desire, the way and means to fulfill it, even if, only temporarily. So, there "was a sycamore tree and that that sycamore tree would be symbolic. There is always a means provided, and it is always a means which is at hand, because if it is not at hand, it is not a means, it is still a potential.

The potential way and means become an actual, available method; and there is that wonderful sycamore tree, in the right place at the right time. That tree was built so that man like Zacchaeus could climb it. My guess is that Zacchaeus was not in very good physical shape, but he could climb that tree. So he was able to see Jesus, but remember the description of Zacchaeus was that he was little, small of stature. He was short. He had many shortcomings. He had this great thing, this eagerness to grow in spiritual awareness to see Jesus, but he still had this lack of height as a disadvantage. That lack of height could symbolize shortcomings, shortcomings of consciousness, character; but in the long run, in the overall picture, do our shortcomings ever really hinder our righteous desires? Not really. We can accomplish any true or righteous desire of our heart in spite of shortcomings. They are still there, but they do not really eliminate our opportunities for greater spiritual awareness, and development of consciousness. He was willing, and he was determined. So this willingness and determination brought him into contact with the sycamore . . .

[Transcriber’s note: Page 257 is missing from the PDF scan. We ask anyone who has this transcript to see if they have page 257 and to send it to us.]

[Presume that someone is asking Ed a question] It is trapped within the condition created by the drugs. Now, in a sense, you climb a tree, and there you are, trapped, right there. You cannot go anywhere. There is nothing but a fall, and it even says here that before Jesus could deal with him, he had to come back out of that tree, he had to come back out of the entrapments. Taking drugs is really a psychic shock. There may be some growth, but there is a total shock to the psyche in the drugs.

A. That is right. You have a very interesting point. Again, the analogy holds here. If you climb that tree and you have gotten your altered state of consciousness, and you realize that you must come down out of that tree, you, yourself, are in charge. You do the descending. You are not entrapped. You still are free in your choice, so you have done your ascending, you have gotten what you want, you realized, then, that you do not want to stay there; then you descend back, and you are perfectly safe and normal all the way. When it is time for the drug person to come back, it is not a matter of his choice, his returning to where he should be. It is all a thing dictated by the power of that chemical. He is helpless with it and comes back to normality badly bruised and damaged, as a rule. When you have a hangover, you are returning to sobriety under chemical laws, not under your conscious choice in the matter. You were returning to sobriety under the same chemical law that projected you into intoxication, and because it was something that you, yourself, did not consciously choose to do along the way, it had a damaging effect on you, and you had all the symptoms of a hangover. The same is true with the drug addict and the same as with anything which is induced to cause you to become something other than your own conscious choice.

Remember, we can always stick to Jesus and we will never be led astray. Jesus very definitely stated, "I am the good shepherd. I am the gate and anything that cometh to the sheep in any other means than by the gate is really an enemy of the sheep." The gate means conscious, willing acceptance.

Q. I think you could say that people who are taking drugs are climbing over the wall instead of using the gate.

A. That is true. Even when they get what they are seeking, they rob another part of their nature of something that is really more important than what they have sought and found. Jesus said that anything that comes to your sheep, the contents of your consciousness, by any means other than your direct, conscious, willing awareness is a thief and a robber and that the only legitimate way of spiritual growth and unfoldment is through conscious contact and acceptance, learning the truth and practicing it, not by find gimmicks, which are shortcuts that work quicker than the learning process, but even these shortcuts can make contributions to learning if we will view them as such.

Q. I have a feeling that the whole crux of this story rests on verse 10.

A. Zacchaeus, in the state he was in prior to his encounter with Jesus, was pretty much in a lost state, so to speak. Any person who is loaded with shortcomings and who is engaged in a kind of life involvement which is somehow oppressive to others, and that would be the case of Zacchaeus, is really lost in so far as they are not in their true pathway, they are not finding their true purpose in life. It is only by accepting your contact with and involvement with your own spiritual awareness that you are no longer lost, that you will be shown what your true pathway and purpose should be in this current existence.

Zacchaeus, you see, did such a drastic about face there, that it seems almost a little ridiculous to say, but again, it is symbolic.

Remember, the son of man refers to the human nature. Your spiritual awareness really is part of your human nature. That is a part of the son of man aspect of you. The spiritual awareness is not the same as the Christ or the Christ consciousness. He refers to the human nature's awareness of his Christ self or the Christ qualities or capabilities. This is where Jesus is a little bit difficult. Jesus, as a symbol in the Gospels, is not consistently one or the other. He is not always enacting spiritual awareness in man. He is not always the Christ, so it is ambiguous. I am sure He has wonderful reasons for this. That is why son of man and son of God are used so much by Him. His role is not always one or the other. Sometimes they overlap, but when He is definitely one or the other, it is usually quite clear, it is quite discernible.

So here, He is saying of course, that spiritual awareness, which is in the human nature, is where the choice is made. In the case of Zacchaeus, the choice was made as commitment to Spirit; therefore salvation was guaranteed.

Text of the original transcript of fourth paragraph of p.256 through p.258. Note: page 257 is missing from the transcript.
Transcribed by Margaret Garvin on 04-11-2014