Zacchaeus and Jesus

Children's talk: Jesus came to seek and save the lost

Kids Sermon / Sunday school introduction:

Jesus came to seek and save the lost:         Luke 19:1-10

Children’s sermon idea: Discuss and / or act out searching for someone who is lost. Explain how Jesus came to “seek and save the lost.”

(An alternative to this would be to paraphrase the story while children act out the key events. Appoint someone to be Jesus who walks through the crowd (the congregation). Have someone act out Zacchaeus. He could jump up on a platform beside a tree (a person with their arms outstretched) and look for Jesus coming. Jesus would call out to him and tell him he is coming to his house.) 
Object lesson items: None. For extra effect have a child pretend that he / she is lost by having them hide in the congregation before you start your message.
Full Children’s Sermon:
Good morning children! Have you ever been lost? Have you ever helped look for someone who was lost? (Discuss) Well, I’ve just realized that Billy is not up front with us this morning. I saw him at the beginning of the service. Perhaps he’s lost! Will you help me go and find Billy? Great. Why don’t you two go down that isle and I’ll take the rest of the kids and search at the back of the church.
(When you “find” the lost person give a big cheer.) That’s great. Come and join the rest of us up at the front of the church.
(Have the children sit down.)
Thanks for helping find the lost person. What we did reminds me of a bible reading from the gospel of Luke chapter 19. In that bible story Jesus surprised some religious leaders by staying at the house of a nasty tax collector. In those days everybody hated tax collectors because they would often steal money –even from poor people. He was someone who seemed very far away from God. It was like he was lost to God. But the good news is that Jesus found him, called him by name and even went over to his house! Some of the religious people couldn’t understand why Jesus would stay at the house of such a bad person. But Jesus said that he wanted to “seek and save” people who were lost. He didn’t want to stay away from bad people, he wanted to show love to them and have them come home to God. I think that is what Jesus wants us to do too. He wants us to go and find people who are lost and far away from God and bring them home!
Children’s Prayer: Dear God, help us to follow Jesus’ example by showing love to all those people who seem lost and far away from God.

Copyright 2010 Andrew Hewlett  Feel free to use this story on Sunday morning but please give credit to and consider linking to this site.  A.H.