Jesus is now in Jericho on his way to Jerusalem. Last time he met Bartimaeus. Now he meets Zacchaeus. Two very different people!
To tell the story… from Luke 19:1-10
Have a tree – you can make one from a pringle container or draw one – and a person to represent Zacchaeus. Place Zacchaeus in a story bag.
Jesus was now getting nearer to Jerusalem. Lots of people wanted to see Jesus as he walked through their town. They had heard a lot about all the amazing things that he had done.
One man really wanted to see Jesus. His name was Zacchaeus (can you say that name?) Let’s say hello to Zacchaeus as he comes out of the story bag.
Now Zacchaeus was very, very rich. He had loads of money. Some of his money he had by taking what wasn’t his! So people didn’t like Zacchaeus.
But that wasn’t all. Zacchaeus was a short man. So when Jesus was coming to his town he had a problem! He couldn’t see past the crowds! The crowds of people didn’t like Zacchaeus so they weren’t going to let him get to the front. Standing on tip toe didn’t help either. So Zacchaeus began to run. He ran to a tree. Then he did something that he hadn’t done for a long, long time. He climbed the tree. Now he could see Jesus.
And there Jesus was, walking along the road. And then Jesus stopped! Right under the tree. ‘Zacchaeus, come down. I’m coming to your house today!’ said Jesus.
Zacchaeus came down the tree. ‘I will give back all the money that isn’t mine and I will give extra money too’ he said.
Zacchaeus was a different person now that he had met Jesus.
Jesus said ‘I came to look for and to save the lost’. All of us are lost without Jesus. He is looking for us and is able to save us.
I made this to use with under fives to tell the story of Zacchaeus. He moves up the tree which is great for keeping the young children interested. We are doing the story as part of our Bible Alphabet series.
The tree is a Pringles container covered in brown construction paper with large leaves stapled around the top. It’s important that the brown construction paper is taller than the Pringles container by about 4cm so you have space to staple on the leaves. Also leave the lid on so that Zacchaeus doesn’t fall inside while you are telling the story! The leaves were made from construction paper and lightweight card in two contrasting greens.
You can slide Zacchaeus up the tree trunk by blue tac-ing him to a piece of brown construction paper that has been folded and wound round the tree trunk and stapled to make a circular collar for the tree. This should be tight enough to stay in place and slide smoothly.When Zacchaeus has climbed the tree take him off the brown slider/collar and blue tac him in the leaves.
The well known children’s song ‘Zacchaeus was a very little man (or very wee man) is great to sing. There are lots of versions on the web; some have music to sing along to and others also have animation. I’ve included a link.
A few weeks ago in toddler group we learnt about our feet. To build on that we have done a Bible story that includes feet – in Luke 19 we read that a man called Zacchaeus ‘wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him.’ (Luke 19:3,4). In the story time we looked again at our feet being wonderfully made and then continued with the story of Zacchaeus. With very young children it may be enough to just teach that Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus and how he managed to do that. Children can run on the spot and pretend to climb a tree as you tell the story. With school age children you could tell the whole story.
For the craft we had a tree outline and leaves cut from different types of paper and material – which gives the picture some texture and adds different shades of green. Each child had just one man to stick in the tree.
Take a look at a giveaway I am holding here. It closes on January 31 2015. We will post to anywhere in the world so feel free to take a look and leave a comment if you would like to win!
For another idea about telling this story see here.