The notes this week have been provided by Stuart. The Bible passage can be read here.
As God you would have thought that Jesus could do as he wished. However, we often read that there are things that he must do.
E.g. be at his father’s house/ about father’s business (Luke 2:49), preach the good news (Luke 4:43), be lifted up like the serpent in the wilderness (John 3:14), do the work of him who sent him (John 9:4), go o Jerusalem where he would be handed over to be crucified (Matt 16:21)
Let’s call these “mission musts”; those things that he had to do to bring salvation to the world. But there are also “personal musts”
E.g. In John 4: 4 we read that he had to go through Samaria, from where he spoke to the woman at the well and then the people of Sychar. There was no earthly force making him go that way, nor was it essential for bringing salvation to the world, but his heart to this woman and this town meant he had to go there.
Similarly in today’s passage Jesus told Zacchaeus to come down from the tree because he must stay at his house today (v5)
This was nothing to do with overnight accommodation or that he made the best lamb stew in town. It was all about this being Zacchaeus’ last chance to be confronted by the Lord Jesus before he was crucified. This short sinner, hated by the people, was specifically on Jesus’ heart.
We as Christians have “mission musts” for example, to witness, stand for Christ, be part of a church fellowship contributing as part of the body.
But there are also times when the Lord places personal musts on our heart e.g. Paul in Acts 16:6-10.
Paul Lloyd recalls one of the steps to him becoming a Christian was when he was in despair sitting on the sofa with his daughter and she was telling him that he should come along to church. Just then the phone rang, it was Bill Capper, “Paul, I felt I should call to invite you to church”. Bill was fulfilling a personal must because Paul was on his heart, he had open ears and ready hand to pick up the phone.
Many of us can tell stories of somebody saying or doing something at just the right time.
We are fellow workers with God (2 Cor 6:1) which involves us contributing to the “mission musts” but isn’t it is incredible/ wonderful that he prompts and uses us for “personal musts”
Lord thank you for the personal love you have for me and how you have used your children to speak to and deal with me as a personal must. Give me open ears and ready hands so that I can be used for others.