Week 5: Wednesday

Read: Luke 19v1–10 

Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.

When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.

All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”

But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Meditate: Here again Jesus shocks everyone. Dining with a tax collector. A traitor! A sinner! Why is he always with the wrong people? But then the door flies open and Zacchaeus comes out with Jesus and announces to the crowd, “It’s all going to be different now. I’m giving half of everything I have away and I’m going to pay back fourfold to anyone I’ve cheated.” 

Then Jesus says it. “This is what I came for. This is how the world will be changed. I have come to look for the lost and rescue them.”

But there is something else going on in this story as well. Zacchaeus climbed a tree to see Jesus - and he discovered the meaning of salvation. At that same time Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem to hang on a very different tree. And that was how salvation happened.

Pray: Imagine you are Zacchaeus and Jesus comes to your house. Who talks first? What would you want to say to Jesus? What would it be like, meeting him face-to-face?

Engage: Tell stories as a family tonight by having each person share something that made them laugh this week.