Parables, Part 4: The Pharisee and the Tax Collector
In Jesus’ parable, the tax collector knows he needs to be rescued and delivered from this state of sinfulness, and he knows he is incapable of rescuing himself. His only hope is for God to be merciful and to rescue him. And that is exactly what God does.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR SHEPHERD GROUPS
- What was one thing that you found particularly encouraging, challenging, or helpful in this message?
- Read Luke 18:9-14. How does Jesus set the context for us as we consider this parable? Why is it important to consider context when examining Scripture? What is the main point of this parable? What is the “aha! moment” of this parable?
- Compare and contrast the tax collector and the Pharisee in the parable. What do their prayers reveal about their hearts?
- How would the original readers have seen the Pharisee and the tax collector? By contrast, how does Jesus present them? What does this tell us about how Jesus views people?
- What does it mean to be justified (v. 14)?
- What person or group would you put in this blank? “God, I thank you that I am not like ________.” How do you need to grow in Christlike love and humility toward that person or group?
- In what ways do you tend to bring a list of spiritual credentials to God? How does the gospel move us toward humility instead of accomplishment?
- How is Jesus the hero of this parable?