In Luke 19:1-10, Jesus changed the life of a tax collector named Zacchaeus. This passage reminds us no matter what we’ve done, Jesus cares for us and can change us.

Key Points:

  • Jesus knows your name and cares for you.
  • God can save anyone.
  • Repentance means changing.

Lesson Guide – Zacchaeus

In Jesus’ time, many people hated tax collectors like Zacchaeus. They were often dishonest. Give your child ten small pieces of candy or fruit such as grape halves. Explain that the law says you need to tax them one out of every ten pieces. Then take five pieces. Ask them if they are angry that you took more than you should. Many people were angry at Zacchaeus for taking more taxes than he should. He was not honest.

Ask your child about a time they tried to see something but couldn’t because they were too short, or it was too crowded. Maybe they asked you to pick them up and put them on your shoulders. Share how Zacchaeus was too short to see Jesus and the people blocked his view. Speak about how some things hinder us from seeing Jesus clearly. (e.g. unhelpful tv shows, games, or people.)

Speak about someone you would like to invite to your house for food. It could be someone famous, or someone you know. Discuss why you would invite that person. Focus on that you like them and think they are good.

Jesus knew that Zacchaeus was a sinner. He knew he was dishonest, but Jesus went to Zacchaeus’ house anyway. Jesus came to seek and save the lost. Using toys, cards, or numbers, place some on the table in front of your child. These objects need to be some form of a group so that the child will know some are missing. Tell them to find all the objects. Talk about how the ones on the table do not need to be found. The ones that need finding are the ones that are lost.

Explain that repentance means changing from what is wrong to do what is right. What did Zacchaeus do with all the money he had stolen? He gave it back along with more. Take the pieces of candy or fruit from the beginning of the lesson and return them to the child along with extras. If Jesus changes our hearts, we need to show this change to others by doing right.

Repentance is doing the opposite of what we did before. Play a game of opposites by saying a word and asking your child to say the opposite. For instance, night and day or happy and sad. You may also do this by drawing simple pictures and allowing your child to draw the opposite. Such as a smiling face or a frowning face.

Talk about ways that we can show repentance. If we always disobeyed our parents, what would repentance be? Would we change by still disobeying or by obeying? If a child struggled with telling the truth, would repentance involve lying or honesty? You may continue to give examples and include some of the things with which your child may struggle.   

Pray and thank God that you can be saved through Jesus. Ask Jesus to help us repent and serve Him.

Video lesson for children

Free Printable Bible Story

Games and activities

Create an obstacle course

Create an indoor or outdoor obstacle course with objects you have on hand. Not only will children love the challenge, they will also be working on gross motor skills. Vary the activities such as walking, jumping, balancing, and climbing. Adapt them to the ability of your child, so they are challenging but doable. Speak about the obstacles that get in the way of people coming to Jesus.

Sort by size

Line up random toys or objects. On go, the child should try to arrange the toys from smallest to the tallest.

If you are in a group setting, have children arrange themselves by size. At home, you could take a family photo with your family lined in order of size.

Tree prepositions

Help your child to learn about prepositions with the help of a tree. Take photos to document your child in the following locations. In front of, under, on, in, next to and behind. Print the photos and label correctly.


Free Bible Coloring Pages – Zacchaeus

Zacchaeus Tree

Zacchaeus Bible craft template

What you need:

  • Template page (on cardstock for best results),
  • Colored pencils,
  • Scissors,
  • Tape,
  • Wool.

What to do:

  1. Color the template page.
  2. Cut around the tree, Zacchaeus, and the tag.
  3. Make a hole where indicated. Thread the wool through. Tape the wool onto Zacchaeus and tie it onto the tag.

“The Son of Man came to find lost people and save them.” Luke 19:10

Download the lessons for FREE


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