The great Passover of the Jews, the feast of Spring, was calling every loyal Jew up to Jerusalem. Ten days before the feast the Lord and his disciples left the Ephraim hills and by the Jordan way, went down to Jericho.
And as they entered Jericho a wealthy publican came out to see the Lord; but he was small in stature and the throng was great and he could see him not. A tree, a sycamore, stood by the way and he climbed up the tree and found a seat among its boughs. When Jesus came, he saw the man and said, O Zaccheus, make haste, come down; I would abide with you today. And Zaccheus came down and joyfully received the Lord; but many of the stricter sect called out and said, For shame! he goes to lodge with Zaccheus, the sinner and the publican.
But Jesus did not care for what they said; he went his way with Zaccheus, who was a man of faith, and as they talked together Zaccheus said, Lord, I have ever tried to do the right; I give unto the poor half of my goods, and if by any means I wrong a man, I right the wrong by paying him four fold.
And Jesus said to him, Your life and faith are known to God, and lo, the benedictions of the Lord of hosts abide with you and all your house. (Aquarian Gospel 149:1-10)
It is not uncommon for holy people to know the names of those they meet. There was a holy Russian Orthodox priest in Spring Valley, New York, who always called people by their names when he met them. He was himself a disciple of St. Nectarios, the last great clairvoyant elder (starets) of Optina Monastery. There was a time in my sadhana when I not only would know the names of whoever I saw (including people on television), I would look at their aura and see astral movies of their daily life. I did not like it at all, so I told people about it in hopes that it would go away and it did. (Earlier I could see through walls for a while when going down a street. I wrote about it to friends and that stopped, too. Such things are just gimmicks, and potentially dangerous distractions.) Jesus, however, was a savior, and his knowledge of others was directly from God and not to be classed with mere psychic abilities. For example, ordinary clairvoyance and spiritual clairvoyance are very different. Jesus knew Zaccheus because of his love for him. So he sought him out and saved him.
Tax collectors (publicans) were hated by the people because they represented and often embodied Roman oppression, but Zaccheus was an honest man and extremely charitable, as was Jesus’ grandfather Joachim.
This incident shows that genuine virtue draws divine assistance to those who possess it. Those who purify themselves will find that the good and holy will come into their lives and affect them for the better.
Then Jesus spoke a parable to all; he said, A vassal of an emperor was made a king, and he went to the foreign land to claim his rights and take the kingdom to himself. Before he went he called ten trusted servants and to each he gave a pound and said, Go forth and use these pounds as you have opportunity, that you may gain for me more wealth, And then he went his way.
And after many days he came again, and called the ten, demanding a report.
The first one came and said, Lord, I have gained nine pounds; you gave me one and here are ten. The king replied, Well done, you faithful man; because you have been faithful in a little thing I judge that you will be a faithful servant in a greater thing; behold, I make you ruler over nine important cities of my realm.
The second came and said, Lord, I have gained for you four pounds; you gave me one, and here are five. The king replied, And you have proven up your faithfulness. Behold, I make you ruler over four important cities of my realm.
Another came and said, Lord, I have doubled what you gave to me. You gave one pound to me and here are two. The ruler said, And you have proved your faithfulness; Behold, I make you ruler over one important city of my realm.
Another came and said, Lord, here is what you gave to me. I knew you were an austere man, oft reaping where you did not sow and I was sore afraid, and so I took the pound you gave to me and hid it in a secret place; and here it is. The king exclaimed, You slothful man! you knew what I required, that I expected every man to do his best. If you were timid and afraid to trust your judgment in the marts of trade, why did you not go forth and put my money out for gain, that I could have my own with interest?
Then turning to the steward of his wealth the ruler said, Take you this pound and give it unto him who has by diligence earned nine. For lo, I say, that every one who uses what he has and gains, shall have abundantly; but he who hides away his talent in the earth shall forfeit what he has. (Aquarian Gospel 149:11-26)
This is actually a very esoteric parable. To each person the same thing was given: spiritual opening and spiritual strength. According to their karma and samskara they gained different amounts, but all were rewarded because they did their best according to their ability. In the same way we find that people who practice yoga will progress according to their individual status and makeup. But all who practice do progress. The person who just hangs on to what is given him, thinking well of himself, will lose what he has. As the king explained, he expected every one to do his best. Somewhere I once found this little verse that tells it all:
Do your best.
Leave the rest.
do no more.
As the Master Kuthumi told one aspirant: “Your best is sufficient for us,” meaning that even if it has lacks and flaws, the fact that it was the best we could do makes it acceptable to God and the holy ones.
Read the next section in the Aquarian Gospel for Yogis