Jesus is never too busy to spend time with each one of us. If we in turn
spend time with Jesus, we will develop a close relationship with Him.
Materials You Need:
Make copies of the three patterns from the links below:
Figure 1: Copy onto a sheet of white thin cardboard.
Figure 2: Copy onto a sheet of yellow thin cardboard.
Figure 3: Copy onto a sheet of green thin cardboard.
Zacchaeus and his chest of money are shown at the start of the story.
A tree is then cut out for Zacchaeus to climb. A little man is finally
cut out of the branches so that he can go to tea with Jesus!
(Cut out the Money Chest from Figure 2, and then fold vertically and cut
out Zacchaeus' figure). Zacchaeus was a tax collector who loved
collecting money from people (Show figure of Zacchaeus and his Money
Chest ). He was supposed to give all the money to the king, but he
was wicked and always kept some for himself. Consequently, he got very
rich and this made the people very unhappy and they hated Zacchaeus as a
result. I think you would also be upset if someone took your pocket
money every month and kept it for themselves!
The Teacher's Coming!
(Fold Figure 3 vertically and cut out just the tree-trunk).
One day Jesus came to the town where Zacchaeus lived. Everyone was
excited and went out to meet Him on the road where Jesus would pass by.
They all were anxious to see and hear this famous prophet and teacher.
Zacchaeus also heard that Jesus was coming, and so he importantly followed
the crowd as they streamed past his house. As usual people probably
sneered at him and children stuck their tongues out and yelled, "Thief, Thief,
Tax Thief!" But Zacchaeus paid no attention, because he was keen to see
this Jesus he had heard so much about.
(Cut out the rest of the tree and display the unfolded Tree
Zacchaeus came to the road and looked for a good place to stand.
There were people everywhere. To his dismay he found himself at the
back of the crowd. He could not see! He was too short! He
tried to push his way through the people to the front, but a big man rumbled,
"None of that little man, we got here first!" He tried jumping up and
down, but that was no good. He still could see nothing!
The people started to cheer and in desperation Zacchaeus ran up and down the
street, trying to find an opening where he could see. The load cheering
was coming ever closer. What should he do? Everybody was standing
in front of him and no one would let him through to the front of the crowd!
A Fine Tree!
(Cut out Zacchaeus leaving a part of his head attached to the tree
Just then Zacchaeus saw a tall tree nearby. "Ha!" he thought,
"This will do the trick!" He ran and climbed up to a high branch where
he could see over all the people. He went so fast that the people below
him thought he was a monkey. Can you climb trees like that?
(Open the figure to show Zacchaeus in the tree). It was a perfect
place to watch for the Teacher. Zacchaeus saw Jesus coming and could
saw that He would pass by right underneath his tree! "I have the best
spot in the wrold to see Him," he chuckled, "Not like those people below me!"
When Jesus came up to the tree, He stopped and looked up at Zacchaeus.
"Come on down, Zacchaeus," called Jesus, "I want to come to your house and
spend some time with you." Zacchaeus was astonished. He pointed
to himself and asked, "Who me? You can't mean me Lord?" But yes,
Jesus did mean him, and He stood there smiling and waiting for Zacchaeus to
climb down the tree.
I'm Coming to Tea!
(Tear off the Zacchaeus figure from the tree
). Zacchaeus slithered
down the tree as fast as he could, scattering leaves and branches all over
the people below him. "Hey, what do you think you're doing?" shouted
one. "Watch out, little man, that branch nearly knocked me out!" yelled
another. But Zacchaeus never heard them. Just to think of it, the
Master was coming to his house, and today of all days! This was far
better than he had ever imagined!
Come on Zacchaeus," said Jesus, "I want to have some tea with you." All
the people were shocked and asked, "How can Jesus go to the house of such a
big sinner?" Zacchaeus was also surprised as he looked around at the
people who were staring at him. But he quickly gathered his wits and
led Jesus to his house.
Jesus Really Cares!
(Hold up Zacchaeus
). That day Zacchaeus gave his life to Jesus.
"Look, Lord", he said, "I am going to give half my possessions to the
poor. And if I have cheated anybody, I will repay him four times more
than what I took from him." Jesus was very pleased because He knew
Zacchaeus really meant what he said.
Jesus went out of His way to meet with Zacchaeus. You would have thought
that Jesus would have just spoken to Zacchaeus while he was in the tree, and
then moved on. But not our wonderful Lord, He chose to go out of His
way so that Zacchaeus could give his life to God. And then He was
prepared to spend time in talking to him at his own house.
We too can invite people into our homes or we can go and visit them.
If we spend time getting to know people, it will help us develop a close
relationship with them. Jesus is never too busy to spend quality time
with each one of us. In fact if you think about it, Jesus went out of
His way to pay the price for our sins, to find us, to draw us to God, to
save us and then to guide and protect us for every day of the rest of our
Jesus wants us to spend time with Him as well. That way we will develop
our friendship with Him and get to know Him as our Best Friend and Lord.
After that, who knows what God can do through us? He can help us
reach out to many people and help them get to know Jesus, just as Zacchaeus
got to know Jesus as Lord and Saviour. Let Jesus come to your house
today - He wants to!