Before the Story:
Tell your children about tax collectors in Jesus' time: these men would often collect more taxes than they were supposed to in order to gain extra money for themselves. They would put people into prison and even slavery to pay off tax debts if they could not pay. Tax collectors were hated by the people they collected from and they were looked down on as the worst of sinners. Then along came Jesus...
Read the Story in Luke 19:1-10 (NLT):
Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich. He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way.
When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.”
Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled.
Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!”
Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”
Memory Verse: Luke 19:10 "For the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost."
1. Why do you think Zaccheaus was so interested in seeing Jesus?
2. Do you think Zaccheaus had a happy life?
3. What would it be like to be a tax collector and have people hate you and look down on you?
4. Why did Jesus ask Zacceaus to stay at his house?
5. After seeing how Jesus treated Zacchaeus, who do you think God loves? Who does Jesus want to follow Him?
6. What does Zaccheaus' reaction to Jesus tell you about how we can respond to Jesus?
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