Was Jesus in a rush? He used strong words. He told the tax collector that He must stay at his house. And did you get that Jesus isn’t just inviting Himself over for dinner? Jesus used the word stay.
According to my Key-Word Study Bible, the Greek words mean:
must = unavoidable, compulsory, necessity, the opposite of obliged.
Jesus was not obliged to stay with the tax collector. It was an unavoidable, compulsory necessity.
Jesus was not obliged but rather came to Zacchaeus with a sence of urgency and compulsion.
And He was coming to stay. To dwell. To live.
We know Jesus couldn’t actually live there for years, not literally. It was custom for travellers to stay with strangers in their homes as they passed through a town. But I can’t help but feel the eternal power of His words spoken to a man so much like us.
He must dwell in our hearts today. He’s not obligated. But He knows the urgency and the unavoidable necessity. His visit changed Zacchaeus.
Pray with me?
“Jesus, come! Some of us are stuck in a tree trying to get a glimpse of You, but You know where we are and your offer is more than a dinner date. You choose us to live with You. Dwell. Hang around and do life….forever. I silence the lies that say we are unworthy. We are as important to you as a dirty tax collector. Thank you. Amen”