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Everyone Has a Story

Updated: Jun 25, 2022

An Encounter with Jesus: The Story of Zacchaeus

Background (what is going on):

During Jesus' time the Romans ruled Israel. The Romans demanded all people to pay taxes. They hired Jews to collect taxes from all Jews in their cities. Since only the tax collectors knew the rate required by Rome, collectors could inflate the rate and keep the difference. Thereby at times cheating the people and many tax collectors became very rich. Zacchaeus was one of these tax collectors living in Jericho, Israel. Jesus was always traveling to different cities meeting, teaching peoples and drawing crowds.

Luke 19:1-10 NLT (New Living Translation)

1 Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town.

2 There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the Chief Tax Collector in the region, and he had become very rich.

3 He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd.

4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way.

5 When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.”

6 Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy.

7 But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorioussinner,” they grumbled.

8 Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!”

9 Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham.

10 For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”

New Words:

1. Romans

2. Rate

3. Inflate

4. Chief Tax Collector

5. Guest

6. Excitement

7. Displeased

8. Notorious

9. Sinner

10. Grumbled

11. Cheated

12. Salvation

13. Abraham

Discussion Questions:

1. When was the last time you climbed a tree? Why?

2. From this story what kind of man do you think Zacchaeus (characteristics) was?

3. How do you think Zacchaeus felt when Jesus asked him to come down quickly and invited himself to his home? How would you have reacted?

4. What is important in a ‘Name’?

5. Why were others in the crowd displeased with Jesus going to Zacchaeus’ home?

6. How can you sense Jesus wanted a real Relationship with Zacchaeus?

7. We don’t know what Jesus said to Zacchaeus during his visit, but why do you think he wanted to make up for his wrongs as a Tax Collector?

8. What are some ways that Zacchaeus is a model to us how to receive Jesus?


My Story - My Identity written by Evelyn and facilitated by Eugenia

1 Corinthians 12:27 27 All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.

Opening before discussion

I am Accepted in Christ Jesus: I Corinthians 12:27 All of you together are Christ’s body (His church), and each of you is a part of it.

New Words

1. Identity

2. Recognizable

3. Educational

4. Career

5. Characteristics


1. Consider who you are. How would you share with someone your identity?

2. Is there anything about your identity you might want to change?

3. What do you see as some of your best characteristics?

4. What do others see or recognize about you?

5. Why is it important to learn about self-identity?


The Parable of the Sower

Matthew 13:1-23

13 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

10 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”

11 He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables:

“Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.

14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:

“‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. 15 For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’[a]

16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17 For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

New Words

  1. Sow and Sower

  2. Seed

  3. Spring and Sprang

  4. Scorched

  5. Withered

  6. Root

  7. Thorn

  8. Choked

  9. Crop

  10. Perceiving

  11. Calloused

  12. Heal

  13. Snatches

  14. Persecution

  15. Deceitfulness

  16. Yielding


  1. What are some critical parts of growing a healthy plant?

  2. Using the text as a reference, could you describe and explain the four different souls (path, rocky, with thorns, and good soil)?

  3. Who is the Farmer and what the Seed represent?

  4. Why did Jesus teach the crowd in parables?

  5. What do four different soils represent?

  6. What have you learned from the parable?


Blessed Is the One Who Finds Wisdom (lesson for May 19th, 2022)

3Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. 4Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will earn a good reputation.

Proverb 3:18 She (Wisdom) is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called blessed.

New Words

  1. Loyalty and kindness: what are their usages in English language?

  2. Tie

  3. Favor

  4. Reputation

  5. Wisdom, why the female gender 'She' is used to represent Wisdom not male gender?

  6. Blessed


  1. What can we learn from Proverb 3:3? How can we apply it?

  2. Could you share an example to illustrate or explain your point?

  3. What can we learn from Proverb 3:18?

  4. Why compare Wisdom with a tree?


Mattew 25:14-30 (lesson for May 5th, 2022)

14 “The kingdom of heaven will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also, he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master's money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

New Words

The kingdom of heaven Entrusted



Wicked & lazy

Weeping and gnashing of teeth


  1. There are many ways to describe the kingdom of heaven. Could you describe in your mind how the kingdom of heaven looks like?

  2. What is your view of the master in the story? Fair, unfair, hard and mean?

  3. What have you learned from this story?

  4. Have you heard the phrase Mattew principle?


Jesus washes the disciples' feet

John 13:1-17

1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2 During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, 4 rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” 8 Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” 9 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

12 When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

New Words

Washes Feet Feast Garments Betray Resumed Master Servant Messenger


1. How did Peter respond when Jesus got ready to wash his feet?

2. How does Jesus expect his followers to act after he has done?

3. What does Jesus mean when he says, “a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.” 4. Can you think of reasons why we resist following Jesus’ example?


Story of Mary and Martha

Luke 10: 38-42

38 Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

New Words

Welcome Distracted Serve Anxious Necessary Portion


1. Who are the main characters in this story?

2. What are their relationships?

3. Where did this story happen?

4. What was on Martha’s mind?

5. What did Mary choose to do?

6. What did Jesus say about their choices?

7. What do you think about their choices and what Jesus said?

8. What would you do if you were in a similar situation?

9. How do you set priorities and make choices in life?



The Importance of Kind Words:

“Jesus called the people to him. He said, Listen and understand what I am saying. It is not what people put in their mouth that makes them wrong. It is what comes out of their mouth that makes them wrong.” Matthew 15:10-11 Easy to Read Version.

Jesus continues in Matthew 15:18 ”But the bad things people say with their mouth come from the way they think. And that’s what can make people wrong.”

Jesus also said, Good people have good things saved in their hearts. That’s why they say good things. What people say with their mouths comes from what fills their hearts. Luke 6:45

Apostle Paul said,When you talk, don’t say anything bad. But say the good things that people need—whatever will help them grow stronger. Then what you say will be a blessing to those who hear you.” Ephesians 4:29

Proverbs 15:4,Kind words are like a life-giving tree, but lying words will crush your spirit.”

New Words:

1. Matthew, Luke and Proverbs are different books in the Bible. Matthew and Luke wrote about the life of Jesus. The book of Proverbs is a book of Wisdom.

2. Blessing

3. Life-giving

4. (Your) Spirit

Questions for Discussion:

1. Have you ever wished you could take your words back? Does anger or disappointment cause you to react to others with hard words?

2. Did your parents teach you how to talk to others? Or how have you taught your children to talk to others?

3. How can kind words be like a Life-giving tree to others?

4. What are some ways you might learn to speak kinder to others.

John 10:6-15

Good Shepherd

7 So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I tell you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 He, who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; I lay down my life for the sheep.

New Words

Thieves & robbers



Snatch & scatter


Lay down


1. What is the door symbolized in this passage?

2. What does it mean to you to have an abundant life?

3. From your experience, what are the wolves you have encountered, stealing your life and robbing your joy?

4. What a good shepherd looks like in our modern society?

5. What is the meaning of “lay down my life?”

John 6:1-14

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

6 After this Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. 2 And a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick. 3 Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. 4 Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. 5 Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” 6 He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. 7 Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii[a] worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little.” 8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to him, 9 “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?” 10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number. 11 Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted. 12 And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.” 13 So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten. 14 When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!”

New Words:

1. Crowd

2. Barley loaves,

3. Distributed,

4. Wasted,

5. Satisfied,

6. Prophet.


1. Why did the people follow Jesus to the Sea of Galilee?

2. What did the boy have that the disciples wanted?

3. How many people came to see Jesus?

4. Why did Jesus give thanks?

5. Why was there enough food for all the people?

6. Have you ever been asked to do something impossible and how did you feel?

7. What is the story telling you?

John 2:1-11

The Wedding and Miracle - Jesus Turns Water into Wine

1 Two days later there was a wedding in the town of Cana in Galilee, and Jesus’ mother was there. 2 Jesus and his followers were also invited. 3 At the wedding there was not enough wine, so Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”

4 Jesus answered, “Dear woman, why are you telling me this? It is not yet time for me to begin my work.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do what he tells you.”

6 There were six large stone water pots there that were used by the Jews in their washing ceremonies. Each one held about 20 or 30 gallons.

7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the water pots with water.” So, they filled them to the top. 8 Then he said to them, “Now dip out some water and take it to the man in charge of the feast.” So, they did what he said

9 Then the man in charge (of the wedding) tasted it, but the water had become wine. He did not know where the wine had come from, but the servants who brought the water knew. He called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “People always serve the best wine first. Later, when the guests are drunk, they serve the cheaper wine. But you have saved the best wine until now.”

11 This was the first of all the miraculous signs Jesus did. He did it in the town of Cana in Galilee. By this he showed his divine greatness, and his followers believed in him.

New words:

1. Wedding

2. Ceremonies

3. Servants

4. Bridegroom

5. Miraculous


1. What was the problem in this story? What did Jesus’ mother say to Him?

2. Why was the man in charge surprised about the wine?

3. Share your story about an unexpected event in your life

4. If you could ask for a miracle today what would it be?

5. What have you learned from this story?


John 9:1-7

Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind

1 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

6 After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. 7 “Go,” he told him, “Wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So, the man went and washed, and came home seeing.

New Words and Phrases

Rabbi, sin, mud, saliva, the light of the world

Questions to ponder

  1. Why do "bad" things happen to us?

  2. How do you build relationships?

  3. Why did Jesus do what he did?

  4. What have you learned from this story?

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