Wow! I can't believe he noticed me...

There is power in a question...
A group of children and I were exploring the story of Zacchaeus. He had climbed the tree so he could see Jesus coming. I asked the children to imagine themselves as Zac. Jesus gets closer, and then all of a sudden he stops. I asked them just one question:

What would you have said when Jesus 
stopped under your tree and looked up? 

This is what they said: 
“Wow! I can’t believe he noticed me.”
“Hi Jesus.”
“Oh dear, God’s going to tell me off. Boo hoo boo.”
“Well done Zacchaeus for listening to Jesus.”
“Why is Jesus talking to me?”
“I can’t live like this now.”

These responses reminded me that there is power in a question. Look at the depth of thinking in those answers! There is power in a question to open up possibilities, to invite imagination, and to bring to life children's feelings and responses to God. Notice that one child assumes that Zac is going to get a telling off. What image of God does this child carry that makes them see Jesus as grumpy? Another child identifies that the story comes with a challenge. "I can't live like this now". This child has recognised that meeting Jesus would change Zac's life. I wonder what questions this child had about their own life and what Jesus might be asking of them? 

There is power in a question. Just one. So, take time to think carefully about the question you want to ask when you next explore the Bible with children.

And let's not forget to ask the question of ourselves too. 

If I was Zac sitting in my tree, what would I have said when 
Jesus stopped underneath and looked up? 

A real life sycamore tree...


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