Posted by Paul Edwards (Fr. Paul) on Oct 24, 2013 | Comments (0)

Twenty-Fourth Sunday After Pentecost

Bottom Line Spirituality: Worldly and Godly Thinking

Click here to go to the Bottom Line Meditations for Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost

Godly Abiding Spiritually in Jesus Changes the Meaning of What we See Worldly When Not Abiding in Jesus.

Spirituality is our innate ability to feel the difference worldly or godly thinking makes to the way scripture translates to our daily life and relationships.



(see Pentecost Sunday Meditation by Clicking Here)

The Virtual Small Group

Members share once a week with their group through the internet when a shift from being out to being in the Presence made a difference.

All Scripture is a testimony to Jesus Christ, who is the Word of God. He is the complete revelation of God’s will of grace for salvation. Grace is the only unfailing rule of faith and practice for the Christian life.

The Gospel of grace is: rather than trying to be more faithful to become faithful, we become faithful by feeling the Faith God already has for and in us.

The War on Legalism

God declared War on Legalism when He sent His Word into the World. John 1:1 The Word became flesh and dwelt among us full of grace and truth. John 1:14 Legalism fought back against grace believing the Bible, not Jesus, is the word of God. Grace is based on the Two Great Love Commandments. All the Law and the Prophets have now been changed into “do the loving thing.” Matthew 22:37-40 The New Command is to be in His Presence in order to Love one another. John 13:34 “Apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

The Gospel of grace is not giving to God because we love Him but to feel the Love He has in giving Himself to us.

Galatians 3:13 “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law.”

Luke 19:1-10 Who was Zacchaeus?

Cleaning your life while being legalistic is like shoveling the drive before it has stopped snowing.

These meditations are not for learning but for understanding how to move from the head to the heart through wondering what the difference may be.

Literal thinking looks at different things in the same way.

Grace thinking looks at the same thing in a different way.

Literally, the story of Zacchaeus is fairly simple. Jesus is on His way to Jerusalem for His last time. He travels through Jericho. Zacchaeus, the rich chief tax collector, was trying to see Jesus (because he had never seen Him before). It was too crowded. He was short so he climbed a sycamore tree to see Him. Coming by, Jesus looked up and said. "Zacchaeus, come down. I want to stay at your house today." He hurried down and welcomed Him. The crowd began to grumble. "He has gone to be the guest of a sinner."

Zacchaeus said to Jesus, "Half of my possessions, I will give to the poor. If I have defrauded anyone, I will pay back four times." Jesus said, "Salvation has come to this house. The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost." End of story.

Now wait just a minute! Let us look at this same story in a different way. The evidence points to the fact that Zaccheus previously knew Jesus.

Zacchaeus may have been among the tax collectors at the Baptism of Jesus. Luke 3:12 Jesus met with many tax collectors and publicans during his short three year ministry. In Luke 5:29, a Tax collector named Levi who became the Apostle “Matthew”, made Him a feast in his house with a great company of publicans. In Luke 7:34, Jesus was accused of eating and drinking with publicans. In Luke 15:1, “All of the publicans drew near to hear Him.”

It would be difficult to believe Zacchaeus only knew of Jesus; they likely knew each other personally. How did Jesus know who that person was in the tree? After all, He called him by name!

According to Clement of Alexandria, in his book Stromata, Zacchaeus was surnamed Matthias by the apostles. He took the place of Judas Iscariot after Jesus' ascension. The later Apostolic Constitutions identify "Zacchaeus the Publican" as the first bishop of Caesarea.

If this is so, then to be an apostle required one to have been “someone who had accompanied the apostles during the time Jesus went about His ministry beginning from the baptism of John until the day He was taken up in His resurrection. They proposed Matthias.” Acts 1:21 ff

The point here is, to have the freedom to look at the same thing in a different way. Another version of the story is Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus to tell Him of his commitment. Jesus said, “let us have lunch”. Zacchaeus’ promise to give to the poor did not get him salvation. It was a sign of his salvation.

Our problems in life are mainly caused when we look at different things in the same way. Although it has always worked in the past, this time the outcome does not equate. It is no longer our time. It is time for God. Wonder what difference it would make if we were in the Presence of His Peace and Love. We know we are doing this when we get the Wisdom to do it Peacefully and Lovingly. This does not take a lot of time or effort. However, it does take a decision on our part to look at the same rational thing in a different graceful way.

THE DISCIPLE-SHIFT: The Virtual Small Group:  Members share once a week with their group through the internet when a shift from being out to being in the Presence made a difference.

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