Encounters with Jesus: Tree

Jesus and Zacchaeus

Jesus transformed ordinary moments into extraordinary encounters wherever he went. As we explore some of those stories together, we’re invited to come and encounter him afresh ourselves. Each week, we’re producing notes, discussion points and application questions for the Sunday talks from our ‘Encounters with Jesus’ series — helping you go deeper into everything we’re looking at together and resourcing our Small Groups during the week. Use the embedded player to listen to the talk, or click here to download it on a PC.

Key Passages

  • Luke 19:1–10
  • Luke 18:18–23
  • Philippians 3:7–11


Zacchaeus seen: Short in stature and character, Zacchaeus was a man that nobody wanted to see. But Jesus saw Him, called out to Him and came to be with Him, entering his home and transforming His life.

Jesus seen: Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus, a desire that caused him to climb the tree to catch a sight. When Zacchaeus truly saw Jesus, he saw One who was more desirable than all of the riches he had acquired in life. With gladness, Zacchaeus received Jesus and with gladness he took hold of the riches of His love, grace and acceptance…

Zacchaeus Changed: Zacchaeus’ encounter with Jesus led to true, deep, heart-felt and joyful repentance. He was transformed by the encounter. Seeing Jesus, had changed him beyond recognition, as Richard Sibbes explains, “the very beholding of Christ is a transforming sight.” Zacchaeus’ earthly wealth that had meant so much to him, now meant so little in comparison to the surpassing riches of knowing Jesus (See Philippians 3:7–11)

Application Questions

What struck you most from the talk on Sunday?

About God
What does Zacchaeus’ story tell you about God’s heart towards us?
- What did Zacchaeus encounter in Jesus and how was that a treasure greater than all others? (perhaps look at Philippians 3:7–11)

About Us
Share times when Jesus has shown himself to you (How? When? What happened?) and the impact that such a sight has had (What change did it produce?)
- Zacchaeus’ repentance was a glad response to encountering Jesus and led to blessing others. What does repentance mean? What does this look like for us? How do we walk in it?
- What is your greatest treasure? How is this reflected in how you handle every other treasure in life (e.g. your money, your possessions, your relationships, your privileges)?

About the world
Are there people around us who we tend to turn our faces away from, like the people did to Zacchaeus? What is Jesus’ heart for them? How can this change our hearts towards them? What might that look like?
- Is there a ‘Zacchaeus’ in your workplace / social circle / neighbourhood? How might you reach out to them?