I must stay at your house today – a sermon on Luke 19:5 by Rev. Ralph Adams.
As we meet up with Jesus in our passage this morning, He is on a journey. His journey began back at chapter 9 of Luke’s gospel, soon after His ‘Transfiguration’ on Mount Hermon. This was just one week after the disciples had confessed Jesus to be the Christ of God.
Here, Luke begins a new division in his gospel. In this section he incorporates much of Jesus’ teaching that does not appear in any of the other three gospels. This material includes the important parables of the Good Samaritan, the Rich Fool, the Narrow Door, the Prodigal Son and so on.
But especially does Luke include highlights of Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem. The Lord has already, on several occasions, informed His disciples what was lying ahead. Jesus is now on the route He must take in order to complete His Father’s plan of salvation.
Norval Geldenhuys says it succinctly, “Now the time is approaching when, after His suffering, His death and His resurrection, Jesus will be taken up and reinstated in His former glory with the Father and invested with the new glory He has won as [our human representative in the Father’s presence].”
Listen as Luke picks up the Lord’s journey here in chapter 19, just as Jesus arrives in Jericho, “He entered Jericho and was passing through. And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax-collector and was rich.” (vv1-2).
You can hear Jesus say to Zacchaeus, “I must stay at your house today.” In that one little sentence we can detect something of the urgent necessity that thrusts Jesus towards His final objective… His final goal on earth.
The urgency that attaches to Jesus’ journey can be summed up in the thought: Jesus is today in Jericho, but tomorrow He must be in Jerusalem.