Written by Allison Sylvester-Conliffe
Contrary to what you may think, we all will have a day of Visitation by the Lord Jesus Christ. Some recognize Him when He appears to them and some of us don’t.
The Father’s will is that all of us should come to repentance and accept His gift of Salvation. This statement is proven to be true as we see in the words of the Lord Jesus Himself as He spoke in the following verse of Scripture.
“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10
Also, the apostle Peter reveals to us God’s heart toward us as he says in the following verse –
"The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9
In the Book of Luke and chapter 19 we see, just as all of us, Zacchaeus had his day of Visitation, but he was wise enough to accept the Lord Jesus’ offer of Salvation and so was spared the agony of eternal death. Let us walk with Zacchaeus and observe him as he experienced his Visitation with Jesus.
Everyone knew Zacchaeus as a tax collector. In those days tax collectors were thieves, to put it bluntly. They took more than the actual taxes from the people and put the excess money into their own pockets. This is called extortion which is sin in the eyes of God. Zacchaeus must have heard that Jesus was passing through his town, Jericho that day, and so wanted to catch a glimpse of Him. That desire to see Jesus must have been put there by the Lord Jesus Himself. He came to save the lost – meaning those persons who are entangled in the mire of sin. Zacchaeus allowed no obstacle to get into his way so being a short man, he climbed into a sycamore tree in order to catch a glimpse of Jesus.
Not only did Zacchaeus see Jesus, but Jesus saw Zacchaeus and beckoned him to come down from the tree. Jesus said it in these words in Luke 19:5
"Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for today I must abide at thy house."
The Bible also said in verse 6 that Zacchaeus made haste and came down and received Him joyfully even in the midst of those who stood by scoffing and judging both Jesus and Zacchaeus. Their thinking was that Jesus should not be embracing sinners. They branded Zacchaeus as dammed to hell because he was a known sinner but notice that Jesus accepted him, as sinful as he was.
It is interesting when you look at the Power of God at work on a man’s soul when he experiences a Visitation with Jesus. Let us look at Zacchaeus’ conviction after meeting with Jesus. Notice that Jesus never mentioned to Zacchaeus about his sinful nature – never once did Jesus rail accusations toward Zacchaeus. However, the conviction of sin was all over Zacchaeus as he met with Jesus and as a result his response to Jesus’ invitation to dine was one of repentance. He turned away from his sin, and more than that, he knew that he had to restore money to those whom he would have stolen from in previous times. This was an act of true repentance and the Lord Jesus was pleased as He said openly -
"This day is salvation come to this house, for-so-much as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost." Luke 19:9-10
Let us bring this scenario home to our door step as I invite you to search your own heart concerning your Day of Visitation. What was your response when you were invited to a church service where Jesus was going to be present? Did you go to all lengths as Zacchaeus did to meet with Him? Or was it that you were otherwise occupied and could not be bothered? Maybe you did attend the
service, but when Jesus called you, you refused to come down from your sycamore tree and then went back to your “tax collecting”?
Since Jesus had made up in His mind that He was going to invite you to dine on that particular day you were invited to church, how do you think that He felt, when He looked for you in the service and did not see you?
The Bible says that Jesus wept over Jerusalem, because they did not know their time of Visitation …..
they even missed it.
And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, "If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and
compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation."
These are truly perilous times that we live in, and Jesus continues to call for those who were
pre-destined to be called His own to come unto Him.
He means for all of us to be saved. Saved from eternal death spiritually, saved from hell. His will is for our souls to return to the Father and not be lost in sin to the devil and hell’s fire.
Why not accept Jesus’ invitation to dine with you? You will realize that your life on earth will be sweeter as you experience a relationship with the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit and so return joyfully to the Father when your work on this earth is over.