If you could choose to have lunch with anyone, who would you choose?
Let’s see who Jesus chose…
Scripture: Luke 19: 1 – 10 or page 422 in the Golden Children’s Bible
Target Age Group: 1st through 6th grade
Welcome the children to the classroom and chat with them about their week as they gather around the table.
Pray and ask God to teach the children not just head knowledge, but also heart knowledge.
Have the children open their Bibles to Luke 19 or pages 422 in The Golden Children’s Bible.
(Read the story to the children because at this age some of the children do not read smoothly, which hinders comprehension for the whole class.)
- What town did Zacchaeus live in? Jericho
- What job did Zacchaeus do? He was the chief tax collector.
- Tax collectors were very unpopular. Do you know why? They would cheat the people by taxing more than was owed – and then pocket the rest for themselves.
- Who did Zacchaeus want to see? Jesus
- Why couldn’t he see Him? Because there was a large crowd around Jesus and Zacchaeus was too short to see over them.
- How did he overcome this problem? He climbed a tree.
- Zacchaeus must have wanted to see Jesus pretty badly to go to such effort! Don’t you agree? How much effort would you have gone through to see Jesus? Do you go through that much effort to meet Jesus at church or reading your Bible and praying?
- What did Jesus say when he got to the tree? “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.”
- How do you think that Zacchaeus felt then? Surprised. Happy. Curious. Excited to have a friend come to his home, because he was so disliked by the other people and they probably never came to his house.
- Do you think that he was surprised that Jesus knew his name? Yes.
- Did Zacchaeus take Jesus to his house? Yes. He welcomed him gladly.
- What did the people say? “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”
- Do you think that they thought maybe Jesus should be coming to their house instead? Why? Maybe they thought that they were the good people and so they deserved to have Jesus come to them.
- What did Zacchaeus say then? “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”
- What did Jesus say to that? “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
- What do you think that Jesus meant by that? He came to save sinners.
- Did you know that Jesus knows your name, and that He is calling you, too? Jesus says, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” Rev. 3:20
- Do you know how to open the door and let Jesus in? Pray and ask him to come into your heart.
- Let’s pray and ask Jesus to come into our hearts. And let’s tell Him that we will give up our sins and do right from now on…
During the remaining class time do activities that help to reinforce what the children have learned. Here are some suggestions…
Memorize the verse:
Luke 19:19 “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
James 4:8a “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”
Show a video of this story:
Video #1 from Crossroads Kids’ Club
Video #2 Max 7
Video #3 from the Jesus Film
Video #4 from Dan Huffman
Video #5 song
Video #6 Jesusandkidz.com
Video #7 A New Day With Jesus
Video #8 Pacific Rock Productions
Video #9 Tracy Radosevic
Video #10 New Spring Church
Here are several games and crafts featuring Zacchaeus at Danielle’s Place.
Have some helpers do this skit by Dana L. Gagnon . You could do it with puppets, as suggested, or with people.
Have the children use colors or pastels to draw their own vision of the story on a sketch pad page. Or have them color a color page related to the story. Color page #1 Color page #2 Color page #3 Color page #4 Color page #5 (scroll down) Color page #6 Color page #7 An excellent color page book is “Through-the-Bible Coloring Pages For Ages 4-8” by Janet Skiles. The pages are reproducible.
Share this object lesson from Sermons4Kids. Don’t forget the activities at the bottom of the page!
Have some helpers act out this skit from Teaching Them.
This is a great craft from Auntie’s Bible Lessons.
Bible Class Creations has a great book craft.
Have the children make the booklet “Zacchaeus Climbs a Tree” from Lambsongs. (Scroll down.) There are two activities to the right, too.
Bible Fun for Kids has a couple of links to mini-books for this story.
Have the children fill out these worksheets and color page from Calvary Curriculum.
Gospel Hall has several activities. Search for Activity 709.
Here are some great ideas from Children’s Ministry.
Younger children will enjoy these activities from Flame Creative Kids.
Older children will enjoy this activity from Flame Creative Kids.
“Stories” by the Go Fish Guys
“My Heart Your Home” by Uncle Charlie
Or sing “Come Meet Jesus” by Mary Rice Hopkins. You can purchase all of Mary’s music at her web site.
Evaluate what the children have learned. While they are coloring or crafting ask each one what they learned today.
Send each child’s parent an e-mail (or a hard copy) of the Parents’ Page.