Let me tell you an unbelievable story…unbelievable, but true!
It all took place in the amazing and very famous parks and gardens of the chateau of Versailles, built for the Sun King, Louis 14th, quite a long time ago.
Tourists from around the world visit the chateau all the time, so everything has to be clean and tidy.
On this particular day, a woodcutter noticed the branch of a tree hanging down onto one of the paths which could have caused trouble for visitors…and it didn’t look very nice.
Armed with his axe, the woodcutter went to chop it off. The branch fell, but that wasn’t all. Along with the branch, little yellow pieces of something rained down onto the ground. Imagine the surprise for the woodcutter!
We can all dream of trees with gold hidden in their branches, but that only happens in fairy tales.
So, who had left the treasure balanced on that branch: 1,131 pieces of gold? Any ideas?
Could some kind of bird have carried the pieces in its beak and hidden them high up in the tree?
Of course, the magpie, the big black and white bird that seems to like French parks. We even call it the thieving magpie, because it is attracted to anything that sparkles or shines, and then hides it away.
Children like to collect different kinds of treasure such as shells, stones, coloured pencils…all kinds of things.
Like the magpie, there was a man who was tempted by money that did not belong to him. We meet him in the Bible. Do you know who it is? It’s a man who collected taxes from the people (for the Romans), plus a bit extra for himself. He became very rich, but no-one liked him. They called him a thief and not one of them wanted to be his friend.
Jesus was passing through Jericho when he lifted his eyes to look up into the trees and said, “Zacchaeus, I want to come to your house today.” Zacchaeus was not very tall and had climbed up onto a branch to see Jesus. What a surprise it was for all the people there, including Zacchaeus, to hear that. Was Jesus really going to the house of a thief?
Full of excitement and joy, Zacchaeus welcomed Jesus and promised to give back everything he had stolen and give money to the poor. Zacchaeus was given a new life.
The Bible tells us, “The Son of Man came to look for the lost and save them.” Luke 19:10
Without a doubt, Zacchaeus could not have gone to Heaven while he was still a thief. But now, he was with Jesus.
As for you, you sometimes do things that God doesn’t like. We all do.
Ask him to forgive you and help your friends to be like the new Zacchaeus by telling them his story.
For sure, we will have plenty of treasure in Heaven, just being there with Jesus in the place he has prepared for us.
Your friend Joyanna- …