This story summary is about the time Jesus ministered to a man named Zacchaeus. This is a familiar story, but you may wish to review this summary to see if there’s an emphasis you want to include when you tell the story.
Bible Text: Luke 19:1-10
- Jesus loves all people and will make a difference in the lives of those who will trust him.
Note: This story summary is also available as a downloadable PDF by clicking here or on the Get Activity button below. You should always seek to adapt the story as needed to make it appropriate for the kids under your care.
Story: There was a rich man named Zacchaeus who was a tax collector. Tax collectors got money from the people to give to the king. Some tax collectors were dishonest and took more money than they should from the people. They would keep the extra money for themselves. Zacchaeus was not an honest tax collector. He probably did not have very many friends because of the way he treated people.
One day, Zacchaeus heard that Jesus was in town. He was curious about Jesus and wanted to see Him. Crowds of people already had gathered as Jesus walked down the street. Zacchaeus was not very tall, so he could not see above the people’s heads. He decided to run ahead and climb up into a tree so he could watch as Jesus passed.
Zacchaeus found a nice large sycamore tree, climbed up the tree and waited for Jesus to come down the street. Zacchaeus watched as Jesus got closer. Suddenly, Jesus stopped right under the tree where Zacchaeus was sitting! Jesus looked up at Zacchaeus and said, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down because I am coming to your house today.” Many people around said, “Why would He go to the home of someone who is dishonest and unkind?” However, Jesus wanted Zacchaeus to know how much He loved him.
Zacchaeus quickly came down out of the tree and took Jesus to his home. Zacchaeus saw the love and kindness Jesus showed to him that day. He was sorry he had taken more money from the people than he should have taken. Zacchaeus told Jesus, “I will give back to the people more money than I took.” That day Zacchaeus chose to be a follower of Jesus.
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