I Love Money!
Zacchaeus was a tax collector who loved collecting money from people.
He was supposed to give all the money to the king, but he was wicked and
always kept as much as he could for himself! And so he got very
rich and this made the people very unhappy and they hated Zacchaeus as a
I think you would also be upset if someone took all your pocket money and
kept it for themselves? (Let the children respond).
The Teacher's Coming!
One day Jesus came to the town where Zacchaeus lived. Everyone was
very excited and went out to meet Jesus on the road where He would pass
by. They were anxious to see and hear this famous 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.
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 to the front, but a big man shouted, "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 Zacchaeus ran up and down the street, trying
to find an opening where he could see. The cheering was coming
closer. Everybody was standing in front of him and nobody would let
him through to see Jesus!
What should he do? (Let the children respond).
Climb a 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? (Let
the children respond
It was a perfect place to watch for the Teacher. Zacchaeus saw Jesus
coming and saw that He would pass by right under his tree! "Wow!
I have the best spot to see Him," he chuckled, "Not like those
silly 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!
Zacchaeus slid down the tree as fast as he could, scattering leaves and
branches all over the people below. "Hey, what do you think you're
doing?" shouted one. "Watch it, little man, that branch nearly
knocked me down!" 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 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 and saw people staring at
him, and so he quickly led Jesus to his house.
Jesus Really Cares!
That day Zacchaeus got to know Jesus. "Look, Lord", he said, "I am
going to give half my goods to the poor. And if I have cheated anyone,
I will repay him four times more than I took from him." Jesus was
very pleased because He knew Zacchaeus really going to do what he said.
Jesus went out of His way to meet with Zacchaeus, but He could have just
spoken to him while he was in the tree. But not our wonderful Lord, He
chose to go out of His way to spend time with Zacchaeus, so that he could
give his life to God.
Getting to Know Jesus:
If you spend time getting to know other children, it will help you to become
friends with them. Jesus is the same and wants to be your Friend as
well. He is never too busy to spend time with you, because He cares
and watches over you all the time.
I hope you are going to be like Zacchaeus and ask Jesus to be your Best
Friend, and make you into one of God's children.