1. Students should be able to identify Zaccheus as the short man who wanted to see Jesus.
  2. Students should know that Zaccheus’s life was changed by meeting Jesus.


Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.


  1. Scripture Reference: Luke 19:1-10. What did Zaccheus do for a living? Do we know another tax collector in the Bible? (Matthew, the disciple) Why couldn’t Zaccheus see Jesus? What did he do? What did Jesus say to Zaccheus? What did Zaccheus do for Jesus?


3. Discussion: Jesus was a famous man; people from all over came to see Him. Why? Have students list several reasons why people would want to see Jesus. (to be healed, to hear His teachings, to see a miracle, just to say they saw Him) Indeed, the blind man was healed in the gospel just before the Lord met Zaccheus. What did Jesus ask the blind man? “What do you want me to do for you?” (Luke 18:41). What do WE want from Jesus?  Zaccheus lived in Jericho, the City of Palms. Find Jericho on your maps. He heard that Jesus would be coming to town. Zaccheus was rich; he was the chief tax collector. Remember that tax collectors collected exorbitant taxes and kept the extra. Was Zaccheus popular? Do you think he had many friends? Make 2 columns on your board: “Things money can buy” and “Things money can’t buy.” Brainstorm to fill the lists. Zaccheus could have all he wanted in the first column. What about the second? Do we sometimes think that we’d be happy if only we had everything that money could buy? Was Zaccheus a happy man? Why do you think Zaccheus wanted to see Jesus? How did Jesus respond? How did Zaccheus’s visit with Jesus change him? We meet the rich young ruler also in Luke 18, unwilling to give of his riches and to follow Jesus. Jesus comments on how difficult it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Here He shows us that with God truly all things are possible – look at Zaccheus and his response to meeting Jesus! In the end, Zaccheus uses his riches for good, giving half to the poor and returning the other half fourfold to the people he had cheated. How are we using OUR riches?

  1. Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh sees another aspect of this gospel lesson. Zaccheus did something very unusual that day for a man of his social and political standing – he climbed a tree. “Zacchaeus might not have done it any more than very often we don’t do it, for the same reason: he might have been too proud, too vain, he might have counted on his own abilities, he might have thought, as many did and do and will do, that they do not need the humble help which is offered them, because they can reach soaring to the heights. Zacchaeus yet was not defeated by vanity, by pride, because something had gone on in him as we can see at the end of this reading, making it absolutely imperative for him, of necessity to meet Christ. He was ripe and at that moment, as everyone knows when this moment comes - we are prepared to face not only criticism and hatred and opposition, we are prepared to face even the ridicule of becoming like none around us, to behave in a way that is strange to our normal surroundings. This person had the position of what we should call nowadays a bank manager and yet he was not afraid or ashamed of all the fun he was giving to the crowd because he was prepared to go beyond that. It mattered too much to him to meet Christ to worry about what those, who had not reached his stage of ripe anguish for eternity, would think. And Christ saw him alone in the crowd because he alone had overcome vanity and pride in order to meet Him. The reason why he had we can see in the last words of the Gospel, in his readiness to put all his life right in order to be worthy of the Guest who now entered his house.” Are we, like the crowd, too afraid of looking ridiculous to seek the Lord, or, will we, like Zaccheus, do anything, anything He asks of us, to meet Jesus?


  1. Play a learning game: Musical Bridge. This is played as a cross between musical chairs and London Bridge. The teacher and one student form the bridge. The rest line up and circle while singing “Zaccheus was a wee little man…” Whoever the bridge catches at the end of the song must answer a question about Zaccheus. If he answers correctly, he gets to become part of the bridge. Sample questions might be:

What did Zaccheus do for a living?         What did Jesus say to Zaccheus?

Where did Zaccheus live?                         Where did Jesus have supper?

Was Zaccheus tall or short?                      How much did Zaccheus give

What kind of tree did Zaccheus climb?          to the poor?


  1. Add to your time line as usual. What does a sycamore tree look like?


  1. Close with prayer.