ZacchaeusTo Remember: We should seek the Lord
publican: tax collector
Luke 19:1-10 He entered Jericho and was passing through it. A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was rich. He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see him, because he was going to pass that way. When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today." So he hurried down and was happy to welcome him. All who saw it began to grumble and said, "He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner." Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, "Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much." Then Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost."Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus. He wanted to see him really bad. Although he was a government official, he didn't care if it was embarrassing. He climbed into a tree to see Jesus. His efforts were rewarded. Not only did he get to see him, but Jesus stopped, and told Zacchaeus that he would come to his house to spend time with him. Zacchaeus was thrilled. He went home to prepare.
But others were upset. Tax collectors were not respected people. And the Jews thought it was shameful for Jesus to spend time with a sinner. But Zacchaeus repented. He not only vowed to give away half his wealth, but to repay anyone he had cheated. Jesus said this was why he had come, to seek out and save the sinner.
Discussion: Sometimes it is difficult for people to separate the sin from the sinner. It is important for us to disapprove of sin while trying to save those trapped in sin. Discuss how to approach people today whose lifestyles we cannot condone.
Discussion: Zacchaeus sought Jesus, and got closer to him than he had hoped. God says if we seek him, we will find him. He that hungers and thirsts after righteousness shall be filled. Many people wonder where God is in their lives, but never go looking for him. What are some ways we can seek after God in our lives?
Discussion: Zacchaeus didn't use his shortness as an excuse to quit looking for Jesus. What obstacles do we have to overcome to see Jesus? Are any of these obstacles great enough to separate us from Jesus?
Sing: Zacchaeus was a wee little man
Crafts: There some good crafts related to the Zacchaeus story at http://www.daniellesplace.com/html/bible_themes_w-z.html#zaccheaus.
Graphic: Color picture of Zacchaeus in a tree to use as an illustration or puzzle.
Activity: If you have space, play a game of hide and seek. Or give each student a token. Have them hide it while the "seeker" isn't looking. Then have the seeker try to find each token.
Worksheet: Redemption Word Find
True or False
James 4:8a "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you."Review Questions for gameboard