Hey BridgeKids Families!
Zacchaeus lived in the town of Jericho. He was a chief tax collector. Zacchaeus’s job was to collect money from the Jews for the Roman government. Many people knew Zacchaeus, and many did not like him.
Open your Bibles to Luke 19:1-10. If you have younger kids you can use a story Bible to read it with them. The Bible says that Zacchaeus was rich. Tax collectors often collected more money than necessary and kept the surplus for themselves. His greed and dishonesty led Zacchaeus to being looked down upon as a “sinner.” But Zacchaeus treasured his wealth more than his reputation.
Zacchaeus probably never imagined that his entire life would change in a single day. When Jesus came through Jericho, Zacchaeus wanted to see him. He couldn’t see over the crowds, so he climbed a sycamore tree and watched Jesus from a distance.
Imagine the crowd’s surprise when Jesus approached the tree and called out to Zacchaeus, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down because today I must stay at your house.”
Of all the people in Jericho, Jesus chose to visit Zacchaeus! The other people complained. What was Jesus thinking, going to stay with a sinner like Zacchaeus?
The story reveals that Zacchaeus’s encounter with Jesus changed him. He offered to give half of his possessions to the poor and pay back four times what he had cheated from others. Zacchaeus no longer treasured his wealth. He realized that Jesus offered something so much better. Jesus confirmed this evidence of a changed heart: “Today salvation has come to this house.”
Jesus came to seek and save the lost. He came after us—sinners who do not deserve Him—and He rescues us from sin. Jesus died on the cross for our sin, and He is glad when we repent and trust in Him.
People who encounter Jesus do not walk away unchanged. Pray that your kids encounter the real Jesus, the One who came into the world because we needed Him. Jesus came to seek and save the lost—people like Zacchaeus and people like us. “I didn’t come to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mark 2:17). When we repent and trust in Jesus, He changes us.
Ask the questions:
- 1. Zacchaeus lived in what city? (Jericho, Luke 19:1-2) 2. What was Zacchaeus’s job? (chief tax collector, Luke 19:2)
- What did Zacchaeus climb to see Jesus? (a tree, Luke 19:4)
- Jesus told Zacchaeus He was going to stay at Zacchaeus’s what? (house, Luke 19:5)
- How much of his possessions did Zacchaeus offer to give to the poor? (half, Luke 19:8)
- This word means “to turn away from sin and turn toward God.” (repent)
- Fill in the blank: Meeting Jesus changed __________ forever. (Zacchaeus)
- 8. Jesus came to seek and to save whom? (the lost, Luke 19:10)
- BridgeKids in the Main Gathering!: This Sunday, BridgeKids are taking over the main gathering! You do not want to miss Sunday morning services at 9 am and 11 am. The BridgeKids band will be leading worship and Mr. David will be giving a BridgeKids lesson for the sermon. BridgeBabies will still be open, but for everyone else, don’t check into BridgeKids, but head to main auditorium! It’s gonna be awesome!
- Penny Wars!: Every week in BridgeKids we take an offering to teach the kids how to give back to God. Right now we are raising money for Lakeshore Lifeworks Ministry. They provide transitional housing and loving relationships for vulnerable youth ages 18-21. They believe that having a personal relationship with Jesus is the solid foundation on which to build up our youth along with many important life skills. They utilize and combine the resources of the CHURCH, STATE and COMMUNITY to reach vulnerable youth and show them the love of Christ so they can reach their full potential. This helps the youth through the hard transition into adulthood. They currently work with mostly boys, but are starting a girls house as well.
- Operation Christmas Child: BridgeKids has a goal of sending at least 100 shoeboxes this Christmas. Every week we are collecting a new themed item for our boxes. Drop items in the BK check in area. Learn more at samaritanspurse.org/occ. This week we are collecting toys! Make sure the toys are small enough to fit into the shoe box. If you do a ball, deflate the ball and include a pump.