Did you ever know anyone that no one
liked?  Maybe sometimes you feel like no
one likes you.  Well, no one liked Zaccheus.

When his friends in school found out he was
smarter than they were, they quit being
friends with him.  He made them look dumb.

When he got grown, he was shorter than
everyone else too.  People made fun of him,
and no one wanted to be seen with him.

Zaccheus tried to get a job as a banker or
merchant.  But no one would hire him
because he was so smart and they were
afraid he would take their job from them.

Foreign Romans who ruled his country
needed someone to collect taxes.  People
hated tax collectors.  But nobody liked
Zaccheus anyway, so he became a tax

One day he met Matthew.  Matthew was a
tax collector way up north at the other end
of the country.  They became good
friends.  Later Matthew became an apostle
to Jesus.

When Jesus turned water to wine,
Zaccheus wanted to learn how so he could
make money selling this wine that cost him
nothing.  Matthew told him the power of
miracles was not for sale.

Whenever Matthew went to Jerusalem for
one of the three main religious gatherings
at the Temple, Matthew would visit his
friend Zaccheus.

Matthew told Zaccheus he quit his job as a
tax collector so he could help Jesus teach
people about God's love.  But Zaccheus
kept working and got richer and richer.

Matthew also told him that Jesus said we
should give part of our pay to poor people.  
Then God would multiply that money in
heaven for us when we get there.  This
sounded strange.

Finally Jesus went to Jericho where
Zaccheus was living.  Of course Matthew
was with him.  There was a big parade in
town welcoming the future king ~ Jesus.

Zaccheus could not see Jesus over the
crowd, so he climbed a tree.  Just then
Jesus passed by, looked up into the tree,
and told Zaccheus he would like to go home
with him.

After getting to know Jesus in his home,
Zaccheus saw that Jesus was not a
mamby-pamby like he thought he would be.  
Zaccheus wanted to make Jesus happy, so
he decided to give most of his money away
to help the poor.

Do you sometimes feel as though no one
likes you?  Jesus will always like you no
matter what.  Forever and ever he will like
you.  He wants to be your forever friend.