A couple of days ago, I was reading the story of Zaccheus in Luke 19. I love that story, but never more than I do at this moment. You see, one little word stopped my reading cold. It stopped me so cold that I went online to look at Luke 19:5 in four different translation of the Bible. I wanted to know that word was really and truly there, not just added in my NIV. Know what? It was there in every version I checked. Want to know what that word was?


When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today." (Luke 19:5, NIV, emphasis mine)

Now, I can't begin to speak to why Jesus really used that word there. Maybe God told him to visit with Zaccheus. Maybe this was a divine appointment that couldn't be denied. But you know what? I like to think Jesus was so struck by Zac's desire to see him that he felt compelled to spend time with him. I like to think Jesus was overwhelmed with love for that tiny tax collector and simply couldn't pass him by.

But here's what really got to me... Jesus feels that "must" for all of us. He loves us so much that he "must" spend time with us. He "must" reach out to us. He "must" die on the cross for us. "Must" because he has an overwhelming, compelling love for us. Do you think it's a love so strong that he "must" express it?

The thought makes my heart beat faster. That's a whole lot of love in one tiny little word, isn't it?

Must. I think it just became my very favorite word.

3 Responses
  1. kathy taylor Says:

    Your entry makes me think of the song "I must tell Jesus." He understands urgency. Thank you for blessing us with your observation.

  2. I did a sermon on Zaccheus one time and I said that if he'd been a woman and Jesus had said he was coming to his house today. A woman would've said, "Today?"