I switched the order around slightly, I’d originally intended to write about the man at the pool, but I discovered the lesson wasn’t quite done, so we’ve gone straight from the Samaritan Woman at the Well in our Sunday School lessons to Zacchaeus and the Rich Young Ruler.
Why pair a Zacchaeus Sunday School lesson with the Rich Young Ruler?
This is going to seem somewhat counter-intuitive, they’re both pretty straight forward stories, and could easily be their own lesson, but to my mind the lessons go well together.
When you get to the story of Zacchaeus it’s the story of a man who desperately knows he needs Jesus. He has no illusions he is anything other than a sinner.
Tax collectors were viewed even worse than we view IRS agents because they won the job by telling Rome how much they could bring in tax revenue, and then anything they made above that they could keep.
So Zacchaeus knew full well how sinful he was and how much he needed salvation by Jesus, and that’s why it amazed him so much when Jesus spoke to him.
By contrast the Rich Young Ruler thought he was perfect. He went to Jesus and basically said “I’ve lived a perfect life what final detail do I need to earn heaven?” He was confident in his family, his actions, and his money. But Jesus knew what the Rich Young Ruler was relying on, and it wasn’t God. So Jesus dared the boy to get rid of his security and that scared him.
These two men had very different reactions to Jesus. One came knowing how desperately he needed Jesus, the other came proud of himself and his actions. So the question is, which is it better to be?
My kids loved this craft because we got out the paints for this, which always makes them happy. I’ve also learned the hard way to make sure they change out of their good clothes because the boys now have some nice new shirts and shorts that were ruined the first time they wore them by acrylic paint.
Oh well, they’re learning and growing right?
I guess since this is such a simple craft there wasn’t as much opportunity for the kids to go wildly different in their versions from the intended craft. Though some of their Zacchaeus do look rather amusing to me…… I think Superman created a ninja Zacchaeus, but I could be wrong.
Zacchaeus Sunday School lesson resources
- Zacchaeus and the Rich Young Ruler storybook and lesson
- Zacchaeus construction paper craft
- Zacchaeus in a tree craft
As you can see I didn’t have as much for the Rich Young Ruler as for Zacchaeus, there’s just not as many crafts for them. We did this lesson back when we were getting ready to go out of town, so I didn’t get to do my brilliant lesson on holding tightly to stuff and watching it slip away versus holding it with an open hand and allowing God to use you to bless others.