Jesus is the Friend of Sinners

May 10-16

Jesus is the Friend of Sinners

May 10-16 Family Devotions
Part 2

These short devotions are from Sally Lloyd-Jones’ book,
“Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing.”

Week of May 10-16



One day, Jesus visited the important city of Jericho and had a meeting.

Who with? The mayor? The bishop?

No. Jesus made a beeline straight for… the biggest sinner he could find. (Who, by the way, was quite small and up a tree.)

It would be like going to Washington D.C. and instead of having tea with the president, finding the worst criminal and having tea with him.

Zacchaeus was the most hated, despised man in the whole city and—of all people—he was the one Jesus chose to have tea with. (Back then it was scandalous—it was like saying, “Let’s be friends!”)

The important people sneered, “Jesus is the friend of sinners!”

They were right.
Jesus loves sinners. And they’re the whole reason he came.

“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” —1 Timothy 1.15

Zacchaeus was a big sinner. He stole, cheated, lied—why would Jesus love him? Did Zacchaeus say, “I’ll be a better person,” and that’s why Jesus wanted to be his friend?

No. It was entirely the other way around.

Even when no one else wanted anything to do with Zacchaeus, even before Zacchaeus mended his ways, Jesus was his friend. Jesus accepted him and loved him.

Zacchaeus didn’t have to do anything to make Jesus love him. And neither do you. Because, you see, God’s love is a free gift. You can’t earn it. You don’t deserve it. You can’t pay for it.

You need only to open your hands to receive it.

“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this, it is a gift from God.” —Ephesians 2.


Tell about a time when you climbed up in a tree.

If Jesus would go have tea at Zacchaeus’ house, do you think he’d want to come to your house too?

What would you serve at your tea party with Jesus?

Family Project

Get out some coloring crayons or markers and color the tree and Zacchaeus on the inside of this booklet.