“Jesus approached the tree where Zacchaeus, the region’s chief tax collector, was.  Calling him by name, Jesus said, ‘Zacchaeus, come down quickly!  I must be a guest in your home today.’

“So, Zacchaeus hurried down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy.  But many people in the crowd were upset.  ‘Jesus has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,’ they grumbled.

“Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before Jesus and said, ‘I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will return four times as much to them.’

“Then Jesus replied, ‘Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham.  For the Son of Man came to seek and save all who are lost.’”

From Luke 19:6-10


Notes for Contemplation as You Use this Devotional:

  • This story, told only by the Gospel Writer called Luke, is sometimes titled, “Zacchaeus Converted.” It teaches that a true conversion can occur when we realize our errors and failings, and chose to transform our behavior.
  • Those who are open to recognizing the Christ, the anointed self within them, can overcome their personal transgressions.
  • To fully appreciate this story’s wisdom, read it from a mystical, metaphysical perspective, rather than a literal one, noticing how it applies to your life.
  • Zacchaeus, whom Jesus calls a son of Abraham, can represent our awakened, receptive faith.
  • The crowd can represent those who judge others harshly and may be slow to forgive.
  • Jesus, in his human capacity as the Son of Man, sees the Truth. He understands the difference between Zacchaeus’s true self, his Christ nature, and his personal self, which sins and errs.
  • Furthermore, Jesus doesn’t address Zacchaeus’s failings. Neither does he judge whether Zacchaeus is worthy or deserving. Instead, he recognizes Zacchaeus’s capacity for beneficence as a child of God by inviting himself to Zacchaeus’s home.
  • Hospitality is cordiality, kindness, and good will toward others, sometimes without expectation of reward. To be hospitable is to be welcoming and receptive, attentive to details ensuring comfort, ease, and enjoyment.
  • Especially, hospitality is a gracious gift you give yourself and others when you overlook shortcomings and behold the Presence of the Christ.
  • Salvation comes through inner transformation, a change in mindset and behavior. It’s recognizing your Christ nature and behaving as your best self. This is how one who was lost is found.
  • In her essay, “Jesus Christ: An Ever Present Reality,” May Rowland, former director of Unity Prayer Ministry teaches: “Jesus came to show us the way of the Christ in him and in us.” He fully recognized his Christ nature and became a great expression of how to live in oneness with God. Thus, he “paved the way for all of us to obtain our Christ nature.  In following Jesus the Christ, we learn to follow our own indwelling Christ and to” live from that “great spiritual power within us.”

Contemplation Questions:

As you reflect on your life and circumstances, ask yourself:

  • What are some errors or transgressions I want to overcome?
    • List, word map, or illustrate whatever they are.
  • How have I judged myself harshly for these?
    • List, word map, or illustrate your judgments.
  • How have others judged me?
    • List, word map, or illustrate their judgments.
  • How am I judging others harshly for their transgressions?
    • List, word map, or illustrate your judgments.
  • What are at least three (3) ways I can behold the Christ, the anointed self, in myself?
    • List, word map, or illustrate as much as you can imagine.
    • Then note the steps you’ll take to give yourself that gift of hospitality.
  • What are at least three (3) ways I can behold the Christ, the anointed self, in others?
    • List, word map, or illustrate as much as you can imagine.
    • Then note the steps you’ll take to give them that gift of hospitality.

As you work with this devotional, remember that you are a divine child of God, just as Jesus was.  So, let him be a great example, not a great exception, for how you can live best.  Avoid revisiting previous mistakes and shortcomings, yours or anyone else’s.  Instead, affirm your worthiness.  Acknowledge what you learned and focus on all you can do differently now.  If in doubt, ask yourself: What would Jesus do?  Then make the adjustments necessary to do that. Your new outlook and ability to behold the Christ in yourself, as well as someone else, will be the greatest gift you can ever give.

© 2022 – Rev. Jennifer L. Sacks – All rights reserved.

Photo by Gabriele Maltinti from Shutterstock.

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