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THE INVITATION

Luke 19:5 "And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house." Zacchaeus positioned himself in the tree and waited for Jesus to pass. Our verse of focus states that when Jesus came to the tree, He looked up and saw Zacchaeus. The tree had served its purpose. Zacchaeus had his initial encounter with Jesus. He saw Jesus. However, having seen Jesus, is only the beginning, for there is much more to be achieved, as the spiritual relationship develops. In other words, meeting Jesus is the commencement of the salvific journey, which is the redemptive, saving encounter. On such a course, Jesus must be the driver. He has control of the steering wheel and the brakes.  In order to reach our destination, which is to spend eternity with Him, we must never see ourselves as occupying the driver's seat. Jesus desired more for Zacchaeus and as a result, He initiated a conversation with him. He said, "Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for today I must abide at thy house." Jesus invited Himself to Zacchaeus' house. Zacchaeus wanted to meet Jesus, and Jesus unexpectedly fulfilled his longing desire. It must be noted that Jesus was very precise and direct as He spoke to Zacchaeus. Jesus wanted him to know that the matter at hand, which was to accept the gift of salvation, must be executed with much urgency. Delay was not a consideration. "Make haste, and come down; for today", denotes to act now, for there is 'no tomorrow'. Just as Zacchaeus was required to act promptly to have a personal encounter with Jesus, we must respond readily to Jesus' invitation. Today, He wants to develop a saving relationship with us. 2 Corinthians 6:2  points out, "...behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." On that day, salvation came to Zacchaeus; today it comes to us. Our immediate response is critical.  The invitation is given. What will we do?

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