Many of us remember learning the story about this “wee little man” as children. As kids, we were probably fascinated by the short Zacchaeus climbing up in a sycamore tree, but there is such an amazing truth demonstrated by Jesus’ interaction with Zacchaeus. As you do these activities with your kids this week, don’t miss the truth – Jesus came to seek and save us even when we were lost. Hallelujah!
HIGHLIGHTS from the Weekend…
This week your child learned that Jesus cares for us and loves us all, even though we are sinners. Zacchaeus was a wealthy tax collector. He was a man who cheated others out of their money, so many people did not like Zacchaeus. One day, Jesus was coming to his town and Zacchaeus wanted to see Him, but he was a short man. In order to see over the crowds, Zacchaeus climbed a sycamore tree. When Jesus passed by, He called out to Zacchaeus and told him to come down and that He would be coming to his house. Zacchaeus admitted to Jesus all he had done wrong and offered to repay the money. Zacchaeus rejoiced because he was forgiven. (Luke 19:1-10)
- Jesus came to seek and save the lost
"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Matthew 19:14
3 Activities that Help Us Learn This Week's Teaching Truth:
1. Where Is My Snack?
In the living room, set up several stuffed animals or dolls and give each of them a plate or napkin with a few cheerios. Have your child pretend to be Zacchaeus and take all the cheerios for himself. Ask your child, what kind of person was Zacchaeus before he met Jesus? (He cheated people and stole money for himself.) Have your child return the cheerios to the stuffed animals. Ask your child, what difference did being loved by Jesus make in Zacchaeus’ life? (He stopped his sinful ways and started living God’s way.)
As your child finishes his cheerios, discuss with him these questions:
- Does Jesus love us because we are good? (No! He loves us because HE is good.)
- Does Jesus love you no matter what?
- Do you love Jesus? What are some ways we can show Jesus that we love Him and are thankful that He loves us?
2. Act It Out
On a sheet of construction paper, help your child glue a wooden craft stick for the trunk of a tree. Cut several two inch squares of green tissue paper. Wrap the paper around the end of a pencil and glue the paper above the trunk to be the leaves. The center of the square is glued to the paper and the sides are sticking up. Use an empty half gallon container of milk as Zacchaeus’ house. Glue construction paper on each side and the top for the roof. Let your child decorate the outside of the house using crayons and stickers. Last draw and cut out a simple Zacchaeus and Jesus. Let your child act out the story using the tree, house, Jesus, and Zacchaeus.
3. Zacchaeus, Please Come Down
Grab a leftover box big enough for your child to fit into. Decorate the outside with shades of green, such as green construction paper or green crayons. Have your child crawl inside the box. While he’s inside the box, sing this song to the tune of “Are You Sleeping?”/”Frere Jacques”.
Please come down, Please come down
Jesus wants to see you, Jesus wants to see you
Please come down, Please come down
When the song is over, have your child pop up and crawl out of the box, just as Zacchaeus came down from the tree.
Pray a short, simple prayer thanking God that Jesus came to seek and save the lost.
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