Why is this lesson so important for me personally to hear?  

From going through the story of “Jesus came to seek and to save Zacchaeus” this past week, it reminds me that Jesus cared about me even before I knew Him. It is a good reminder that works come naturally after coming to experience Christ’s love, not the other way around. That no matter what I think or try to believe, God’s love is all grace! Nothing I earned, nothing I definitely deserve, but it is a gift from God.

has it had that impact?

Today I wasn’t feeling too well, had all these thoughts in my mind of how I failed God in many of my plans. Then this morning I got to spend time with Neilsen, and going through this passage again and again, it reminds me that Jesus came to seek and save the lost! That when I myself see my flaws, it is not to condemn me but to point me to the Savior who loved, who loves, and who will always love me!

Story Time Hook

–          Ask for a volunteer to come up: “Do you see the picture?” (Zaccheus pg. 56 picture)

–          Ask class, what do you think about the picture?

–          Why can’t you see the picture?

–          (Pass around picture) What is the picture about?

–          Does the person look comfortable? What about popular?

–          The Bible tells us about someone with the same problem you had when you couldn’t see the picture. He couldn’t see because other people were in his way.


Story Time (Flannel Graph)

Flannel pieces: 1Zacchaeus (in tree), 2crowd, 3 background, 4 Zacchaeus (standing), 5Jesus


Scene 1: 4Zacchaeus(standing) , 3 background


1. Jesus and His disciples were entering Jericho.

2. Introduce Zacchaeus, who was the chief tax collector and wealthy, very rich. Explain tax collectors (hated, cheated).


Scene 2: 4Zacchaeus(standing),2crowd, 3 background


3. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but he was too short to see over the crowd.

4. Zaccheus ran ahead of the road and climbed a very tall tree. A Sycamore-fig tree. He knew Jesus was coming this way.

5. (Describe being in a tree, don’t look so cool, express being in a tree, dangerous)


Scene 3:1Zacchaeus(in tree),2crowd,3background, 5Jesus


  1. From here he could see Jesus talking to the crowd. Everyone was so excited. He looked like a nice man. A lot of friends! Zaccheus thought about himself, that he didn’t have many friends. Even many people did not like him. Sadly, Zaccheus wished he could also be Jesus’ friend. But here he was, in a tree alone. Because he was too short. At least he was so high up in the tree that no one would be able to see how uncool he was.
  2. When Jesus passes under the tree, he looks up and says, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” Zacchaeus thinks, ‘How does He know my name? How did He know I was in the tree? But the questions didn’t matter. He was so happy that he came down at once and welcomed Jesus gladly into his house.


Scene 4:4Zacchaeus(standing), 5Jesus, 2crowd,3background,


  1. As they headed to Zacchaeus’ house the people outside were all muttering, “He has gone to be the guest of a ‘sinner.” The people were wondering, why would the good teacher Jesus go spend time with the bad tax collector Zacchaeus?
  2. But Zacchaeus and Jesus didn’t mind. While inside the house Zacchaeus told Jesus about life as a tax collector, about how no one liked him after he started cheating them in collecting taxes. Zacchaeus asked Jesus, “What can I ever do? No one would ever want to be my friend anymore, no matter what I try. What should I do, Jesus?”
  3. Jesus told him about sin, how much God hates sin, but also how much God wants to forgive his sins. “Do I first have to apologize to everyone I cheated? “Do I have to first do many good things? How can I be forgiven? “Jesus replied again, “Believe in the One God has sent. Believe in me. “ That is all Zacchaeus had to do! He didn’t have to do good things so that Jesus would love him. Jesus loved him for who he was!
  4. Hearing this, Zaccheus was so happy. Here is someone who cared about him, even a ‘sinner’ like him! And that someone was the Messiah. He was so happy that he said to Jesus, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and, with the money I have left, if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”
  5. Jesus said to Zaccheus, “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 what was lost.”


Questions and Activity

–          Who was Zacchaeus? What was a tax collector? Why couldn’t he see over the crowd?

–          What did Zacchaeus do to see Jesus?

–          What did Jesus say to Zacchaeus? Did he meet him before? How did He know Zacchaeus’ name and was in the tree?

l  Jesus pursues those who are His own.

–          What were the people muttering about Zacchaeus? Why?

–          What did Zaccheus do after he accepted Jesus as his Savior?

l  Meeting Jesus makes us see our sin and make us want to change.

–          What did Jesus say to Zaccheus?

–          Do you remember the story that Jesus told of the one lost sheep? How is God like that shepherd?

l  Jesus came to save the lost.

–          Jesus says that He came to “seek and to save the lost”. Who in this story was lost?

–          Zaccheus was lost. How was he lost?


–          Thank God that He comes after those who are lost, and thank Him that He has found you.



  • Zacchaeus was a wee little man

Memory Verse:


5When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him,”Zacceus, come down immediately, I must stay at your house today.” – Luke 19:5


Jesus came to save the lost, even when we don’t know Him!


Take Home Lesson

-Jesus pursues those who belong to Him

Jesus came to save the lost

An encounter with Jesus brings recognition of one’s sins