Luke 18:9-14 is the main text for this lesson: the Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector…
New International Version
The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector
9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Connect Group Discussion Guide – 4/3/22
Read Luke 18:9-14 – Spend some time in an initial discussion about this parable.
• Your thoughts, observations, questions, etc.
Pharisees Prayer – Does anybody ever pray like this?
• Out of the things he mentions (who he is not like and what he does), is there anything wrong with this? Aren’t those good things?
• Why is his prayer so off putting?
• How does this man’s spiritual pride serve as a warning to us?
Tax Collector’s Prayer – Does anybody ever pray like this?
• What is your default mode for your bodily posture when you pray?
• What is the bodily posture of the Tax Collector?
• What does his humility teach us?
• If you identify more with the tax collector types, is it possible to become prideful that you’re not like the Pharisee? How do we see this play out sometimes?
The Paradox of Humility Discussion
How do you humble yourself? What does that look like when lived out?
How do you prevent yourself from becoming prideful about your humility?
The self-description Paul gives of himself becomes progressively humble as time went on. Do you think that this shows a greater appreciation for God’s grace?
• 1 Cor. 15:9
• Eph. 3:8
• 1 Tim. 1:15
Try incorporating the attitude of the Tax Collector’s prayer into your own prayer