Bible Stories for Adults

The Pharisee and the Tax Collector

Luke 18:9-14

Welcome and Announcements
    Next Week - Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10)
    Bible Words to Remember:
      Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. Luke 18:14

Opening Prayer

Obedience to God's Law (Deuteronomy 4, Psalm 19, Psalm 119)
    What does God require of His people?
      Deuteronomy 4:1
    Can these Laws be updated and modified as society changes?
      Deuteronomy 4:2
    How readily do God's Laws fit our lives today and how clearly do they apply?
      Psalm 19:7-8

    Why do God's people want to obey His Laws?
      Psalm 19:9-11
      Leviticus 18:4-5
    What does David say about those who keep God's Laws?
      Psalm 119:1-4
    What is the prayer of God's people?
      Psalm 119:33-35, 40

The Righteous (Romans 3, etc)
    What percentage of God's people have kept God's Laws as described in Psalm 119?
      Romans 3:10-12
    Don't the good things we do count for anything?
      Isaiah 64:6

    But doesn't the Bible tell about people who were righteous?
      Luke 1:5-6
    How is this possible?
      Romans 3:21-22
    How does this righteousness from God fulfill the righteous requirements of the Law?
      Romans 8:1-4

    What happens to our righteousness if we sin?
      1 John 1:8-2:1
    What does Jesus say about those who long for His righteousness?
      Matthew 5:6; 6:33
    How proud can we be of our righteousness?
      1 Corinthians 1:30-31

Jesus and the Law (Matthew 5)
    Does all of this mean that Jesus came to abolish the Law?
      Matthew 5:17
    Which parts of the Law are we no longer required to follow since Jesus came?
      Matthew 5:18
    What instructions did Jesus give for those who want to be great in heaven?
      Matthew 5:19

    Who was recognized in Jesus' time as the ultimate example of how to live righteously?
      Acts 26:5
    Did Jesus feel they were a good example to emulate?
      Matthew 5:20
    What is the point of the details of the Law Jesus gives in Matt 5:21-47?
      Matthew 5:21-22
    What example did Jesus give on how to live righteously under the Law?
      Matthew 5:48

Obey or Disobey? (Romans 6)
    What about those who honestly try their best to obey all of God's Laws?
      Galatians 3:10-11
    Since we are unable to obey, are we free to sin to our hearts' content?
      Romans 6:15-18

Acts of Righteousness (Matthew 6, 23)
    As slaves to righteousness, how are we to show acts of righteousness for others to emulate?
      Matthew 6:1
    Why not? Give an example.
      Matthew 6:2
    How are we rewarded when we do these things in secret?
      Matthew 6:3-4

    Give another example.
      Matthew 6:5-6
    How about one more example?
      Matthew 6:16-18

    Who was Jesus using as an example that the Jews of His day would recognize?
      Matthew 23:2, 5-12
    How did Jesus explain the problem of their righteous outward appearance?
      Matthew 23:25-28

Chief of Sinners (Luke 15:1)
    What group of people were considered by the Jews as the scum of the earth?
      Luke 15:1
      Jewish traitors (collected for Rome), Forced more than required (profit)
    Did Jesus recognize this reputation?
      Matthew 18:17
      Matthew 5:44, 46

Today's Counterparts
    Give examples of people today who have respected reputations like the Pharisees did.

    Give examples of people today who have despised reputations like the tax collectors did.

The Pharisee and the Tax Collector (Luke 18:9-10)
    To whom was this parable intended?
      Luke 18:9
    What two extremes of society are used to make the point?
      Luke 18:10

The Pharisee's Prayer (Luke 18:11-12)
    What did the Pharisee pray about and what was his posture?
      Luke 18:11-12
    For what was the Pharisee grateful?
      Luke 18:11

    What evidence did the Pharisee give for deserving this praise?
      Luke 18:12
    What was so special about fasting twice per week?
      Leviticus 16:29
    What was so special about tithing everything?
      Leviticus 27:30-33
      Matthew 23:23-24

    Was the Pharisee just putting on a show or did he really feel this way?

    Positives: Good, honest, just, virtuous, temperate, benevolent, grateful
    Negatives: Religiously religious, faith in himself, no sense of need, no love of others

The Tax Collector's Prayer (Luke 18:13)
    What was the tax collector's posture in prayer?
      Luke 18:13
    For what did the tax collector pray?
      Luke 18:13

    What three key elements were in the tax collector's prayer?
      Romans 5:8
      Titus 3:5a
      Exodus 34:6-7a

The Father's Response (Luke 18:14)
    Which man received justification by the Father for his prayer?
      Luke 18:14
    What is the key message of this parable?
      Luke 18:14
      James 4:6
      James 4:10
      See story of Haman and Mordecai in Book of Esther
    What other lesson did Jesus give that is closely related?
      Matthew 16:25

Closing Prayer (Say together)
    Most merciful God, we confess that we are by nature sinful and unclean.
    We have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed,
      by what we have done and by what we have left undone.
    We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
    We justly deserve Your present and eternal punishment.
    For the sake of Your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us.
    Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in Your will and walk in Your ways
      to the glory of Your holy name. Amen.

Copyright © 1997 by Kurt Rosenhagen

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