November 13, 2020 The Unlikely Z - Pastor Frankie Fugate
*This devotion was taken from the devotions Pastor Frankie wrote on Jesus' life and mailed to the children of EVNaz. These devotional books can be found at www.evnaz.org/kidsmatterministries.
“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.'” Luke 19:1-10
When Jesus spent time with Zacchaeus, a tax collector, people complained because Zacchaeus was known as a sinful man. The day that Jesus came to Zacchaeus’ house, Zacchaeus believed in Jesus and Jesus told him that he was saved from his sins and was accepted into God’s family. When the people complained about Jesus visiting a “sinner’s house,” Jesus said that He came to “seek and save what was lost.” In saying this, Jesus meant that He came to teach those who didn’t know about God and His plan for accepting everyone into His family.
Maybe you’ve met someone like Zacchaeus. The student on the playground that treats everyone badly. He/she is known as a bully and people avoid having to be around him/her. Imagine a celebrity comes to your school and the person they choose to play with is the person that bullies everyone. The students begin to complain that it isn’t fair that this celebrity would choose to play with the meanest kid at school. One of the teachers then explains that the celebrity wanted to share Jesus’ love with the unloved student.
We can help others learn about Jesus by sharing His love with them, especially by accepting those whom others reject – just as Jesus did with Zacchaeus.
Dear God, I am tempted to dislike ________. Please give me Your love for him/her.
In Jesus Name, Amen.
1. Why did the people disapprove of Zacchaeus?
2. How did Jesus show love to Zacchaeus?
3. What do other kids do that you don’t like?
4. What do you think Jesus would say to these kids if He went to their house?
5. God cannot allow any sin into heaven. What kind of plan did God make to allow for sinners to be forgiven and accepted into His family?
6. How can you help others learn about Jesus when you are with them?