One day, our Lord Jesus Christ was walking through the city of Jericho. Many people were with Him. A man named Zacchaeus was there too. Zacchaeus was a tax collector. In those days, tax collectors often got rich from taking extra taxes from people and keeping the extra money for themselves. Zacchaeus was a rich man. Zacchaeus also was not very tall. When the crowd was passing by, he wanted to see who Jesus was. But because Zacchaeus was short, he could not see over the crowd.
There was a sycamore tree growing nearby. Sycamore trees can grow to be very high. Zacchaeus saw the tall tree and climbed it. Now he could see who Jesus was!
When Jesus came by the place where Zacchaeus was, He looked up into the tree. Then He said, “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for I must stay at your house today!”
Zacchaeus hurried down the tree. He very happily welcomed Jesus into his home. People who saw this said to each other, “Jesus has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”
But Zacchaeus’ heart was changed. He said to Jesus, “I will give half of my stuff to people who are poor. And anyone that I cheated, I will repay four times as much as I took from them.”
Jesus said, “Today salvation has come to this house. For I came to find and save people like Zacchaeus who are lost.”
Here are some questions about the Gospel story:
1. What was the name of the man who wanted to see Jesus? What did he do to see Him?
2. What happened when Jesus passed by?
3. Tax collectors worked for the Romans. They collected money from the people to give to the government. Many people thought tax collectors were bad because they kept some money for themselves.
4. Zacchaeus told Jesus something that showed that his heart was changed. What did he say to Jesus?
5. Jesus told him the best news ever, that Jesus, the Savior, came to save people just like Zacchaeus. And like us!