Learning About Jesus — Lesson 9
How People Came To God Through Jesus: Humility And Dependence
This lesson is based on Luke 18:9-17.
9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: 10 "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men-- robbers, evildoers, adulterers-- or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.' 13 "But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.' 14 "I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." 15 People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."
The Man Who Was Accepted By God
Jesus, as God’s representative, offered people a chance to draw near to God. But one must approach God with a proper attitude. One day Jesus told a story to show the kind of attitude that is pleasing to God.
The story was about a Pharisee and tax collector. You remember that the Pharisees were very religious men, while tax collectors were viewed as dishonest sinners. One day both men went to pray.
1. What was the Pharisee thinking about as he prayed?
2. Why did he think that God would accept him?
3. How would you describe the tax collector’s attitude as he came before God?
4. Which man did God accept? Why?
5. What would it mean for you to be accepted by God?
Like A Little Child
When some people began bringing babies to Jesus his disciples thought they had better put a stop to it. Probably they thought the children were neither wise enough to understand his teaching nor old enough to be capable of serving God.
But Jesus did not mind giving time to children. They, too, could come and receive God’s blessing. In fact, Jesus even gave a warning to the adults who were there. He told them that the only way anybody would enter the Kingdom of God was to receive it like a little child. As we have already seen, to "enter the Kingdom of God" means to receive forgiveness of sins and the promise of God’s eternal acceptance and blessing.
What did Jesus mean when he said we must receive the Kingdom of God "like a little child"?
6. Do little children have to work and earn the things they
receive from their parents?
7. Do you think a person today can work to earn the Kingdom of God?
Go to Lesson 10