SCRIPTURE TO READ
9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
CHILDREN’S BIBLE READINGS (OPTIONAL)
- Gospel Story Bible (pages 210-211)
APPLICATION: THE BIG PICTURE
As the dark clouds begin to gather, thank God, that in his providence, he allows the dark and deadly leanings of people’s hearts to betray and crucify Jesus so that ultimately, on the cross, he could demonstrate his grace and love towards us.
Let Holy Week right your heart by giving you an awareness of your need for Jesus, and a spirit of humility toward others.
Lord, thank for seeing the bigger picture even when we only see a small piece of it. It can be confusing at times and difficult to understand, but we trust that through every bump and bruise and trial and heartache, you are still at work. Thank you that even on this day in history when it seemed as though the enemy might snuff out the ministry of Jesus Christ, that your plans could not, and still cannot, be thwarted.
OPTIONAL FAMILY DISCUSSION GUIDE
- Why does the Pharisee think he’s better than the tax collector? (The Pharisee thought that he was not a sinner like the tax collector because he knew and followed the law. This made him think he was better than the tax collector but, he was still a sinner.)
- Who did Jesus say was humble in the story? Why? (The tax collector because he admitted that he was a sinner and needed God.)
- Humility is a modest or low view of one’s own importance. Jesus showed humility when he came to earth as a baby even though he was a king, but a different kind of king. A king who served people and then died on the cross for our sins. What are some other ways that Jesus showed humility?
- Talk about one area in your life where you need humility.
“but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”