Theme: Loving My Neighbor - Jesus the Savior
"For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
A: False. The Jews hated him because he cheated them out of their money.
Even though Zacchaeus and other tax collectors were Jews, they cheated their fellow Jews by charging more taxes than necessary. Then they kept the extra, which made them very rich. Because of this, the people despised tax collectors. However, Jesus, in front of a huge crowd of people, called Zacchaeus by name and told him he was going to stay at his house that day. The people were amazed that Jesus would stay at the house of such a sinner and questioned him. Jesus told them that he came to save all people, including the lost and the worst of sinners. Zacchaeus became a changed man that day! Immediately, he promised to change his ways and pay back all the people he had cheated. Being loved, forgiven, and saved by God changes you!
In Luke 19:10 it says, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Jesus didn’t just come for those who followed his law almost perfectly, he came for everyone, even the worst of sinners. But, when you come to know Jesus, your life will be different! You will think differently and want to act differently. It will show in your life!
To read the full story about how Zacchaeus’ life was changed the day he met Jesus, see Luke 19: 1-10. Want to dig deeper and learn more about how meeting Jesus will change your life? Check out 2 Corinthians 5:17, Ephesians 4:22-24, Phillipians 1:6.
Can you imagine what Zacchaeus felt like on the day he met Jesus? What was he feeling that morning when he heard that Jesus was coming? What was he feeling as he was trying to see Jesus but couldn’t? And imagine how he felt when Jesus called him by name! By the end of the day, he was a changed man! Pretend you are Zacchaeus. What would you want to say to your friend about this exciting day? Write a letter to your friend (real or imagined) explaining all the events of the day and how you felt throughout it all. Be sure to include an invitation for your friend to come to know Jesus too! Don’t forget to sign your letter. Share what you’ve written with an adult and ask them how knowing Jesus has changed him or her. Thank God together for his amazing love!