October 30, 2016
Theme: Zacchaesus Receives God’s Grace
Bible Reference: Luke 19:1-10
Welcome: Good Morning girls and boys! I am so happy to see you all this morning! Do we have any new friends with us? (Welcome new friends.)
Introduction to the Bible Story:
Today I am going to read a story from the Gospel of Luke about a man who lived during the same time as Jesus. His name was Zacchaeus and he was a tax collector or someone who collected a portion of other people’s money for the government. Zacchaeus usually took more money than he needed too from the people he was collecting taxes from. He kept the extra money for himself and was very rich. Do you think other people liked Zacchaeus for taking more money from them than he should have? You’re right. Most people did not like Zacchaeus. In fact, they thought he was not a good man. One day Jesus came to the town where Zacchaeus lived. Let’s listen to the Bible story and see what happened.
Bible Story: Read Aloud from the Jesus Storybook Bible pp 264-271
Scripture reference for leaders:
19He entered Jericho and was passing through it. 2A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was rich. 3He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature. 4So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see him, because he was going to pass that way. 5When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today.” 6So he hurried down and was happy to welcome him. 7All who saw it began to grumble and said, “He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner.” 8Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much.” 9Then Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. 10For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.”
Response: When Jesus arrived in the town there were very large crowds gathered to see Jesus. People had heard that Jesus had healed people and performed miracles and they wanted to see Jesus for themselves. Zacchaeus too wanted to see Jesus. But what happened when Zacchaeus did try to see Jesus? (Allow answers.) You are right! He couldn’t see because he was a very short man so he climbed into a tree so that he could see better. And then what happened? (Allow answers.) Yes! Jesus saw Zacchaeus in the tree and then said he was going to come to his house for dinner! The towns people were upset that Jesus was going to have dinner with Zacchaeus, a tax collector, a man who was known not to be a good man. The good news for Zacchaeus is that Jesus saw past the wrong things Zacchaeus had done and he loved him anyway. Jesus’ show of love for Zacchaeus changed his heart and Zacchaeus told Jesus he wanted to do the right thing by giving back the money he had taken. There are times too when all of us may do something that is wrong or hurtful. The good news for all of us is that just like Zacchaeus, Jesus looks past anything that we do wrong and loves us anyway. We too can ask for Jesus’ forgiveness and help to be able to love others as we are asked to do by God.
Pray: Heavenly Father, we thank you for the love that you give to us even when we have done something wrong or hurtful. We ask for forgiveness for our sins and for your help that we may be strengthened by your love to also love others in the world. In your holy name, Amen.
Say the Lord’s Prayer together.
Response Activity (Crafts, Singing, or another activity will be provided.)