STORIES for CHILDREN by Sister Farida


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48. Small man great liar

(Sound of a crowd of people)

Zachaeus: "Move away! Let me through!"

Man: "What’s all the pushing about? Everyone can come."

Zachaeus: "I can’t see anything."

Man: "Just be quiet and get lost."

He couldn’t get through. Everyone knew him. But no one liked him. He had a beautiful house and the most fashionable clothes. He was quite short, but very rich. Everyone knew that he didn’t earn his money honestly. His name means 'not guilty', but he was a great big crook, the little Zachaeus.

He was in charge of the tax office in Jericho. Whoever imported goods had to pay taxes there. Zachaeus didn’t abide by the rules. He took more money from the people than he should have. His boss in Rome didn’t do anything about it, so Zachaeus could do whatever he wanted. Through this, Mr. Not-Guilty made himself very guilty.

Zachaeus hat lots of money, but no happiness. One day something sensational happened in Jericho: Jesus came there!

Zachaeus, this little man didn’t want to miss his chance to get to know Jesus, but the others blocked his sight. Climb a tree – that’s a great idea! Quickly he climbed up. What a super view. Jesus came! He came closer and closer. Imagine Zachaeus’ surprise: Jesus stood still under that very tree. Zachaeus’ heart beat wildly. Jesus looked up. He looked at him right in the eyes. How did He recognize him? Jesus said to him:

Jesus: "Zachaeus, come quickly down from the tree. I’m going to visit you in your house today."

Zachaeus immediately did what Jesus told him to do – he climbed down from the tree. Joyfully he led Jesus to his house. But the others were upset about this.

Man: "Jesus is going to his house? Doesn’t He know what kind of a rascal he is?"

Yes, Jesus knew it. Nevertheless He loved him. Zachaeus got to know Jesus and told Him about all his guilt.

Zachaeus: "Lord Jesus, I promise You: I’m going to give half of my riches to the poor. And from whomever I stole, I’ll pay them back four times as much."

Jesus: "Zachaeus, now you are saved, for I came to seek and to save that which was lost."

Jesus will come to you, too. Invite Him into your life and tell Him what is troubling you. He’ll put your life in order.

People: Narrator, Zachaeus, Jesus, man

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