Zacchaeus and Jesus

Zacchaeus and Jesus

October 2, 2021

Bible Readings

Take a few minutes to read the Bible verses listed and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you in how this verse applies to you this week.

Luke 19:1-9

Memory Verse

1 Corinthians 13:5

Love isn’t selfish or quick tempered. It doesn’t keep a record of wrongs that others do. (CEV)

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How would you describe the character of Zacchaeus from the Bible story? Which words would you choose: wealthy, curious, or physically short? Maybe a creative problem-solver or even a good climber? Would you describe him as a man of faith?

Zacchaeus heard that Jesus was in town and out of curiosity climbed a sturdy sycamore tree to catch a glimpse of the traveling teacher.

When Jesus spotted him, he called him down by saying, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” This was no casual invitation, like “Hey, can we hang out?” Jesus used the word “must” to let Zacchaeus know how important his visit would be.

Do you know what happened next? Some people in town didn’t like the idea of Jesus visiting the home of a tax collector. They thought tax collectors weren’t very nice people. But Jesus knew something the townspeople didn’t know: Zacchaeus could change. Because of Jesus’ visit, Zacchaeus stood up in front of everyone and promised to give half of his considerable wealth to the poor. Then he vowed that if he cheated anyone, he would pay them back four times what he had stolen from them. Having Jesus stay with him touched his heart. The kindness and generosity of Jesus brought out those same things in Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus was redeemed!

The other Jews in Jericho did not think Zacchaeus was a good man. Jesus saw beyond what others saw, forgave his sins, and inspired him to give to the poor. Jesus called Zacchaeus “a son of Abraham,” not only because he was Jewish but because he shared his wealth with others. Jesus proclaimed, “Salvation has come to this house.” How has knowing Jesus changed you?

Prayer

Thank you, God, for the example of Zacchaeus. Help us to be kind and generous in our neighborhoods and cities. Thank you, God, for seeing us and forgiving our sins so that salvation can come into our homes as well. Amen.
written by Gwen Veltema Klemm
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