This downloadable worksheet is made to accompany our Parable short video series.
You can find the videos here.
You can download the worksheet here.
Jesus’ stories often challenge the way that we see the world, and this story is no different.
A pharisee was a person who followed God’s law closely. We see the pharisee say in his prayer that he gave up eating twice a week for God and gave away a tenth of everything that he had. If you’d expect anyone to be right with God – it would be him. But that’s not what Jesus said. He says that when this man left the temple, he was not right with God – even though he had just prayed!
So why was that? Well look at his prayer. He spent the whole time puffing himself up and looking down on the tax collector nearby. He didn’t ask for God’s help with anything, he didn’t think he needed it. Instead he wanted to just tell God (and anyone around who might hear) how great he was.
The tax collector, on the other hand, could see very clearly that he needed God’s help. He stood off at a distance and couldn’t even look to heaven, he felt so sorry for the wrong things that he had done. He asked for help when know he needed it and the Jesus says that he left the temple having put things to right with God.
The pharisee in this story was comparing himself to others and judging himself as better. He thought he had it all right when in fact he needed God’s help with his pride. Jesus’ challenges his listeners to learn from that pharisee’s mistake – not to look down on others but to look up to God for help.