Children’s Sermon

Luke 18:9-14

On the Same Level

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Luke 18:9-14
On the Same Level

By Lois Parker Edstrom

Object suggested: Ladder

Jesus told a story about two men who went to the temple to pray. One was a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee said, “‘God, I thank you, that I am not like the rest of men'” (18:11) and then he listed the things he did which he thought made him better than others.

The tax collector acknowledged that he made mistakes and wasn’t perfect and he said, “‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!'” (18:13). (A sinner is a person who makes bad choices.)

Let’s see if we can get a picture in our minds of these two men. Think of the story in this way: It was as if the Pharisee was standing on a ladder where he could be seen by all and where he put himself above others. And, it was as if the tax collector was standing on the ground at the bottom of the ladder. He knew he had faults and did not try to place himself above others.

When you are up on a ladder it is more difficult to talk with those below you and if you’re not careful you might fall off. When you stand on the ground you are at the same level of others and able to look into their faces, talk to them and understand them more easily. (Ask two people to demonstrate with ladder.)

Jesus told the story of the Pharisee and the tax collector to teach us about humility, a word that means to be modest and not brag about what we have done. Jesus teaches that the tax collector, who was humble, had chosen the correct place. We need to be modest about our accomplishments and remember that we all make mistakes and we all have faults. Only God is perfect.

Scripture quotations from the World English Bible

Copyright 2008, Richard Niell Donovan