Of Taxes and Trees

A Story of Zacchaeus
Based on Luke 19:1-10

Download puppets here

Preparation: Scene 1


  • Townspeople (which will need two sticks),
  • Zacchaeus
  • Jesus


The tree: cut out with the space between the leaves and the trunk cut out so Zacchaeus can be seen through It. Anchor the tree by attaching some craft sticks to the back of the tree and then standing the sticks into small balls of clay, The three should stand a little to the side of your stage.


The buildings for the city of Jericho on a tan poster board,

Tips for this scene:

Zacchaeus could be a comic figure In the beginning, Children will identify with his smallness, and appreciate his humor. Then, too, his sincerity will be more pronounced when he speaks with Jesus.


The narrator stands to the side of the stage.

Jesus was coming to the city of Jericho! The townspeople were excited for they loved Jesus.
Enter the townspeople puppet on the side opposite the tree.

Soon a crowd lined up on the streets. They were waiting for Jesus to pass by. A man named Zacchaeus came along.
Enter Zacchueus from the tree side,

Many people did not like or trust Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus collected their money for taxes. Sometimes, Zacchaeus cheated them. He took more money than he was supposed to. He kept the money for himself.

Now Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus, too. But he had a problem: he was a very short man. He tried and tried to get a better view, but he could not see over the crowd.
Zacchaeus “jumps’’ up and down behind the crowd, tries to see around, etc.

Then he had an Idea! Zacchaeus ran further down the road and climbed a tree.
Zacchaeus climbs the tree.

He waited for Jesus to come down the road.
Jesus enters from the side near the crowd. He greets people but goes on walking.

When Jesus reached the tree, he called, “Zacchaeusl Come down quickly for today I must stay at your house.”
Zacchaeus jumps down from the tree to stand by Jesus.

Zacchaeus was delighted! He jumped down and said, “Oh, thank you! I will be honored to have you visit.” The other people grumbled.
Move the crowd back and forth a little.

“Why would Jesus stay with him?” they complained. “Zacchaeus has cheated us!”
Zacchaeus said to Jesus, “I will give half of what I own to poor people. If I have cheated anyone, l will give them back four times as much!”
Jesus smiled. “This Is a good day. Our God In heaven rejoices because Zacchaeus has chosen to do what Is right.”
All the puppets exit.

Closing Prayer

Reader One: Dear God, we all make mistakes and do wrong things, just like Zacchaeus.

Reader Two: Like him, we want to tell you we are sorry.

Reader Three: We will try to act in more loving ways toward others.

Reader Four: We know you love us. Thank you for forgiving us.

All: Amen.