Scripture: Luke 19:1-10
Key Verse: “And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.‘” (Luke 19:5)
Have you ever felt like no one wants to be around you? No one like you? Have you been left out of text conversations or Snapchat chats? Ever been Unfriended? It doesn’t feel good. We all want to be liked. We all want to belong and feel valued—whether it’s a team or a group of friends or even a group working on a school project.
Zacchaeus wanted to belong, too. He wanted so much to be part of the crowd around Jesus that he climbed up a tree just to get a look at Jesus. Zacchaeus was a tax collector, and, in those times, tax collectors were liked about as much as criminals. So, I’m sure you can imagine that Zacchaeus didn’t have many friends. Can you imagine Zacchaeus’s excitement when he saw Jesus, and Jesus saw him? And then Jesus invited himself to stay at Zacchaeuss’s home? Crazy, right? Just like that, Zacchaeus was “in” with the best person ever. Jesus, the Son of God, chose him.
Most likely you’re not a tax collector a criminal, but Jesus has also chose you! He wants to be totally involved in your life. He wants to walk with you through the hard times, when you feel like no one likes you, and the good times, when you are feeling great and have all the friends you need. If you have a personal relationship with Jesus, then you are like Zacchaeus… you are “in” with the best person ever!
Ask yourself, “Is there someone in my school who needs a friend? What can I do to help them belong?”
Have I been mean to someone (leaving them out, bullying them, spreading rumors about them) at school? What would God have me do to stop being mean to that person?
Eat lunch with someone at school that I wouldn’t normally eat with. Invite them to join me and my friends.
Apologize to someone that I’ve been mean to.
Jesus, thank you for choosing me to be in a relationship with you. Please help me to be aware when someone feels left out and how to invite them into what I am doing.