Hey BridgeKids Families!

Jesus was making His way to Jerusalem—the place where everything written about the Son of Man would be accomplished. (See Luke 18:31-33.) Jesus moved between towns and villages, teaching Pharisees and scribes, tax collectors and sinners, and His own disciples along the way. Luke 18:9-14 describes a parable Jesus told to a specific group: “to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and looked down on everyone else” (Luke 18:9).

Family Devotional

Open your Bibles to Luke 18:9-14. If you have younger kids you can use a story Bible to read it with them. Here you will read about the Pharisee and the tax collector. The parable presents two men who went up to the temple complex to pray. The first, a Pharisee, was proud and believed he was righteous because of his own deeds. He stood up and prayed, thanking God that he was not as sinful as other people.
The second, a tax collector, humbly acknowledged his sin and asked God for mercy. Jesus explained that the tax collector—and not the Pharisee—went home justified.
The tax collector knew he needed God to forgive him, and he cried out to God. Everyone is a sinner who needs forgiveness. Jesus took the punishment for our sin by dying on the cross. We can cry out to God like the tax collector and because of Jesus, God will forgive us.
As you talk with your kids, explain that God rejects the proud but gives grace to the humble. (See Jas. 4:6.) The sin of pride keeps us from Jesus. Pride is thinking we are better than we really are. Someone with the attitude of the Pharisee sees no need for Jesus. The Pharisee focused on sins he had avoided rather than confessing his sin, but the tax collector knew he had no standing before a righteous God. He asked for mercy, and God was merciful to him.
God did not look at the Pharisee—nor does He ever look at us—and say, “Wow, that’s impressive.” God sees us for who we really are: sinners in need of forgiveness. Jesus took the punishment for our sin by dying on the cross. God wants everyone to be saved (see 1 Tim. 2:4; 2 Pet. 3:9), and we can come to Him with nothing but empty hands of faith. We can cry out to God like the tax collector and because of Jesus, God will forgive us.

Ask these true or false questions:    

  • Jesus told a story about a Pharisee and a tax collector. (true, Luke 18:9-10)
  • The Pharisee prayed, “God, I thank You that I am not ugly.” (false, not like other people; Luke 18:11)
  • The Pharisee fasted and tithed. (true, Luke 18:12)
  • The tax collector stood next to the Pharisee. (false, he stood far away; Luke 18:13)
  • The tax collector was sorry for the things he had done. (true, Luke 18:13)
  • The tax collector prayed, “Have mercy on me, God! I am a child!” (false, I am a sinner; Luke 18:13)
  • God was happy with the tax collector, and He forgave him. (true, Luke 18:14)
  • God was happy with the Pharisee too. (false, God was not happy; Luke 18:14)
  • God rejects the humble, but gives grace to the proud. (false, God rejects the proud but gives grace to the humble; Luke 18:14; Prov. 3:34)

BridgeKids Announcements

  • Penny Wars!: Every week in BridgeKids we take an offering to teach the kids how to give back to God.  Right now we are raising money for Lakeshore Lifeworks Ministry. They provide transitional housing and loving relationships for vulnerable youth ages 18-21. They believe that having a personal relationship with Jesus is the solid foundation on which to build up our youth along with many important life skills. They utilize and combine the resources of the CHURCH, STATE and COMMUNITY to reach vulnerable youth and show them the love of Christ so they can reach their full potential. This helps the youth through the hard transition into adulthood. They currently work with mostly boys, but are starting a girls house as well.
  • Operation Christmas Child: BridgeKids has a goal of sending at least 100 shoeboxes this Christmas.  Every week we are collecting a new themed item for our boxes.  Drop items in the BK check in area. Learn more at samaritanspurse.org/occ. This week is the last week of collection.  We still need several items for the boxes.  We also need the funds for Operation Christmas Child to ship the boxes. It cost $9 for the boxes to be shipped around the world and we will be collecting those funds this week. Currently we have 82 boxes, so we need $738 to ship our boxes.