The Pharisee and the Tax Collector
Open Your Bible
Luke 18:9-14, Luke 7:36-50
In this study of the Parables of Jesus, we are reading many of the stories Jesus used to teach hearers about how to live as His followers. Each day we’ll read parables in their immediate context, focusing on a different category of parables each week. Then we will work through a series of questions to understand the meaning of the text and take to heart the “secrets of the kingdom.”
Editor’s Note: In this Parables study, Jesus Himself is telling us stories—stories He wants us to reflect on and process. Rather than asking our writers to write their own stories about Jesus’ stories, we thought it would serve you and the text better to provide questions to help you dig into the meaning of each day’s parable. If you find a parable or passage particularly confusing, stop and pray. Ask the Lord to reveal Himself to you in His Word, and thank Him that we can know Him without knowing all the answers to our questions.
Week 3: Parables about following Jesus
Many of the parables Jesus told have to do with what it means to follow Him in this life. Addressing topics from anxiety and fear, to compassion for our neighbors and commitment to the truth, Jesus uses common scenarios and familiar places to teach His disciples how to live as His people. Each parable in this week’s daily readings speaks to the Christian life in some way. Use the questions below to help you dig deeper into Jesus’ teaching.
Day 18 Reading: Luke 18:9-14, Luke 7:36-50
1. What are some key differences between how the Pharisee and tax collector see the world? In what ways are you like the Pharisee in this parable? In what ways are you like the tax collector?
2. To whom does Jesus tell this parable, and what is the parable’s outcome?
3. What is the central point of this parable?
4. What was the audience’s response to hearing this parable? What is yours?