This is such an amazing Bible Lesson on Unreality. It is just jammed with strong stories to help us shine the light of Truth on any situation that might come into our own experience.
I have always loved the story of Jesus and his meeting with Zacchaeus, the chief of the Publicans. Zacchaeus is described as 'very rich' and the implication is that he gained those riches by cheating others. But there must have been some good in the man because when he heard that Jesus was coming to town he wanted very much to see who he was. So much so that he sacrificed his own dignity by running ahead and climbing up a tree to see him. (Zacchaeus was apparently 'little of stature')
So here is this chief of the Publicans sitting up in a tree, probably hoping no one would see him, when Jesus comes to the place where he is. How like the Master to always meet people right where they were in thought. He looks up, not just physically I am sure, but metaphysically to see what was true about his man, this child of God who is Principle. Then he speaks to him and tells him to make haste and come down for Jesus has chosen to eat at Zacchaeus' house that day.
Zacchaeus recieves this news with great joy. He must have known on one level that this would bring a whole crowd of people into his house but he makes haste and comes down. He must have known what the people were thinking as they murmured that Jesus was going to be the guest of a sinner. They probably walked on together at that point, Jesus continuing to teach along the way.
His words must have had quite an effect. Later when the meal was ending, Zacchaeus stood up before everyone and made a startling announcement. (I LOVE the book A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, this scene with Zacchaeus always reminds me of Scrooge when he has finished his visits with the ghosts and become a new man) Zacchaeus now announces that he will give half of what he owns to the poor. But there is more! He also vows to repay fourfold anyone he has cheated in the past. Can you imagine the stir that created!
Now Jesus confirms to all that salvation has come to that household. He had come to save that which was lost and here was living proof of that. Mrs. Eddy has something interesting to say about repaying others. "In trying to undo the errors of sense one must pay fully and fairly the utmost farthing, until all error is finally brought into subjection by Truth. The divine method of paying sin's wages involves unwinding one's snarls, and learning from experience how to divide between sense and Soul." (S&H 447) Zacchaeus was certainly untangling all those snarls he had created and anyone who wishes to follow the Christ can do the same. All we need is ' a truer sense of Love' and that redeems us so that we are only subject to the law of divine Love.
If Scrooge and Zacchaeus could be redeemed and restored to their rightful place as the children of God, divine Love, that path is open to everyone. The Christ will meet you right where you are and come to your house (your consciousness) today. Will you hasten to meet him?