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People of the Bible: Zacchaeus

Who was Zacchaeus?

  • Rich Tax Collector

  • Short Man

  • Known as an evil man, “notorious sinner”

The account of Jesus and Zacchaeus is not a long one, but it is one that we can learn quite a bit from. As Jesus was making his way through town, Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus but he couldn’t see over the crowd. Because of this, Zacchaeus decided to climb a tree to get a better view of Jesus passing by.

However, to Zacchaeus’s surprise, instead of passing by, Jesus stops and calls him by name. Jesus then proceeds to invite himself to Zacchaeus’s house. Zacchaeus was very happy about this, there is no doubt that he had heard of all the good things Jesus had done and here he is wanting to go to his own house.

But the people around Zacchaeus had different feelings. You see, they knew Zacchaeus. They knew he was an evil tax collector that would take more money from people than he was supposed to. No one really liked Zacchaeus, he was considered an extra bad sinner. But this did not stop Jesus. Jesus knew he was a sinner, and that is precisely why he wanted to get close to him.

After Zacchaeus saw the love Jesus gave him, his heart was transformed. He vowed to pay everyone he stole from four times as much back. Seeing this heart transformation Jesus declared that salvation had come to Zacchaeus’s home.

There are several things we can learn from this account. The first is that Jesus loves sinners. The Bible says that Jesus came for the sinners because it is the sick who need a doctor, not the healthy. Jesus shows us that we should love all people, even the ones we think are evil because they need God’s love too.

The second thing we learn is that Jesus wants to be our friend. He invited himself to Zacchaeus’s house because he wanted to spend time with him and get to know him better. He wants to do the same thing with us. Jesus is inviting himself into our heart, and when we accept him like Zacchaeus did, we receive salvation.

The third thing we learn is that Jesus changes people’s hearts. Zacchaeus went from an evil, greedy person, to a loving and generous person after his encounter with Jesus. Being around Jesus changes everything. He can take the biggest sinner and make them into the biggest saint. He does it with all of us, we are all sinners but because of him our hearts can be changed and we can become more like him.

Key Takeaways:

  • Jesus Loves Sinners

  • Jesus Wants to be Your Friend

  • Jesus Changes Our Heart

Parents, 3treesKIDS will also be learning about Zacchaeus, this Sunday, both in-person and online.

Be sure to check out their lesson at

To find service times and locations, visit


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