Scripture:  Luke 19: 1-10


Key Scripture Verses:  Luke 19:3-5, 9a, 10 Jesus was heading his way and Zacchaeus wanted to see what he was like.  But Zacchaeus was a short man and could not see over the crowd.  So he ran ahead and climbed up a sycamore tree.  When Jesus got there, he looked up and said, “Zacchaeus, hurry down!  I want to stay with you today.”…Jesus said to Zacchaeus,  “Today you and your family have been saved.  The Son of Man came to look for you and to save the people who are lost.”   (Contemporary English Version)


Memory Verse:   

 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”  Proverbs 3:5-6 (NRSV)



·        Jesus came to save the lost.

·        When we choose to follow Jesus, God changes our whole lives.




 1. Learn that Zacchaeus had such a strong desire to see and know Jesus that he boldly climbed above the people into a tree in order to see Jesus. 


2. Understand that Jesus knew that Zacchaeus was a Jewish man who worked as a tax collector for the Romans - sometimes cheating by taking too much money. 


3. Know that the interest Jesus showed caused Zacchaeus to change his life, giving back what he had wrongly taken and helping the poor.


4.  Children will not be afraid of paint mess and will create a finger paint picture of Zacchaeus up in a tree looking down at Jesus who is calling to him.



Welcome and Introductions:


1.  Welcome the children and introduce you. Wear your nametag. Make sure that everyone is in the right classroom!

2. Start the “lesson time” with prayer. Ask for volunteers, but plan on praying yourself. A short prayer thanking Jesus for being a part of our lives would be appropriate. Ask God to give us courage to try new things in order to better know what we can do.


Bible Story:


1.  Discuss the background to today’s story. Have the children use their Bibles to locate the story in Luke 19:1-10.  This story tells of Jesus passing trough Jericho on his way to Jerusalem.  A Jewish man named Zacchaeus worked as a tax collector for the Romans.  He was very rich from his work.  When Jesus was heading his way, Zacchaeus was too short to see over the crowd and he could not see Jesus.  He wanted to see Jesus very much so he climbed into a sycamore tree (a large evergreen tree with low spreading branches) to get above the crowd.  Jesus saw him there and calling him by name, told Zacchaeus to climb down because Jesus wanted him to take Jesus to his home and share a meal. 


2.  When Zacchaeus came down to Jesus, everyone else thought that Zacchaeus was a sinner and therefore should not serve as host to Jesus.  But Jesus changed his life.  Zacchaeus promised that he would follow the teachings of the Bible by giving half of his wealth to the poor and paying back four-times as much money to everyone he had cheated.


3.  Then Jesus told Zacchaeus that he and his family had been saved.  Like other lost people, Jesus as the ”Son of Man” had found Zacchaeus and saved him from his sinful life.


6.  Take a minute to talk to the children about the creation they are going to be doing in this workshop. Tell them that they will be creating a finger paint depiction of Zacchaeus up in a tree looking down at all the people and Jesus who is calling to him.




1.  Create!  Have the children put on smocks.  Remind the class that Zacchaeus did a very unusual thing when he climbed the tree in order to see Jesus.  It was a very bold thing to do and Jesus noticed him and changed his life.


2.  Tell the children that they will be making a finger paint picture of Zacchaeus up in the tree, looking down on Jesus and all the people crowded about.  They may be afraid of getting messy, but if they are bold, yet paint properly, they too will have good results.


3.  Steps:  Each child should print his or her name in pencil on the back of a piece of finger paint paper.  Placing the tub on the table, quickly run each paper through the tub of water.  Ask the shepherds to spoon small amounts of colors onto each child’s wet paper.  Using two fingers, the children should spread the paint into a tree shape and areas of people.  The entire paper should have a thin coating of some colors.  Then they should swirl and line or dab the paint to more clearly define particular people, leaves, bark, etc.


4.  Clean up! Have several thicknesses of newspaper arranged along the perimeter of the room.  Have the children place their pictures on the newspaper to dry while they journal.  Involve all kids in cleaning up so that you will have time to share together in the closing. You may want to have a prearranged signal or sound for clean up and tell them at beginning of art project what that will be - perhaps giving them a 5 minute warning and then the final clean up notice to allow those who need a bit more warning that they need to complete whatever they are working on.


5.  Turn out lights and lock the classroom door when leaving.


Reflection Time:


1.  Ask the shepherds to pass out Journals and pencils/markers.  The children should spend a few minutes reflecting upon the morning's lesson – How does it feel when everyone around you is taller and you can’t see?  Was that a brave thing that Zacchaeus did?  If he had just pushed himself to the front and not climbed the tree, do you think Jesus would have noticed Zacchaeus?  What changed in Zacchaeus’ life so that he was saved?




1.  Encourage the children to think about what it means to be chosen by Jesus.


2.  Tell them that their Pennies will be given to the One Great Hour of Sharing to help the poor.


3.  Say the Key Memory Verse together (see above). You may want to have this verse printed on a banner and hung in the room, write it on the white board in the room, or have it on slips of paper that each child can take home.


4.  Pray! Ask the children if they have any prayer requests. Thank God for giving us Jesus to help us to love God by learning how to help others.


Teacher preparation in advance:


1. Read the scripture passages and attend the Faith Quest Leaders Workshop.


2.  Prepare an opening prayer.


3.  Check the art room to see what supplies exist.  Purchase needed supplies and make a sample of texture designs – not an interpretation of the scene.


4.  Prepare all the materials you will need for the creation process.  Have the materials ready to go. Cover the tables with paper and place newspaper for drying pictures along the perimeter of the room.  Fill a tub with water.  There will be limited time for the creation process, so do everything you can to conserve time.


5.  Decide how you want to close the lesson. Prepare a prayer or use one of the group suggestions.




A rectangular plastic tub filled with water

An assortment of finger paint colors including brown and green

Spoons for each color


11” X 16” finger paint paper