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Story of Zacchaeus

The story of Zacchaeus the tax collector.
Contributed by Sue Bentley
Story also available on our translated websites: Portuguese, German, Hindi
There was once a man called Zacchaeus, who lived in a town called Jericho. He was very small and very selfish. His job was to collect money from people for the government. But Zacchaeus took more money than he should. If the people got angry with him, he said he would put them in jail. This made the people very frightened and very cross with Zacchaeus and he did not have many friends. He was very lonely. – Slide 1
One day, everyone in the town was very excited because Jesus was coming to visit. All the people stood by the road waiting for him. Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus too, but he was so small he couldn’t see anything. Suddenly, he had an idea. He would climb a big tree at the end of the road. – Slide 2
It was great sitting in the branches and looking down on everyone. Then the most amazing thing happened. Jesus stopped and looked up at Zacchaeus. ‘Zacchaeus,’ He said, ‘I want to come to your house for a meal!’ Zacchaeus jumped down at once and quickly showed Jesus the way to his house. Some of the people were very angry. Why was Jesus being kind to Zacchaeus? Didn’t He know how horrible he was? – Slide 3
When Jesus went into his house, Zacchaeus jumped up and down with joy. No one had ever wanted to eat with him or even talk to him before. But Jesus was so kind and so caring and so forgiving. ‘Today,’ Zacchaeus said ‘I will change. I will pay back all the money I have stolen and I will never steal again.’ Jesus smiled at him. ‘This is why I have come. To find those who are lost like you and bring them back to God.’ – Slide 4
Slide 5