Opening Song: The Apostles' Creed
Big Idea: Jesus doesn't want us to show off (Luke 18:9-14)
Story: "The Pharisee and the Tax Collector" | Spark Story Bible pg. 396
Bible Story Video: The Pharisee and the Tax Collector
Ask: Have you ever tried to make yourself look better than someone else? Have you ever thought you were actually better than someone else?
The Pharisee - that's a religious leader - thought he was better than the tax collector. In those times, people really didn't like tax collectors (not that anyone likes them today...), because they took money from the people. But the tax collector knew that he needed God's help - so he asked for God's mercy. Mercy is like compassion - and it means that God forgives us even when we do wrong things and that He will help us be more like Him.
The Pharisees didn't think he needed God's help and thought he would show off by saying fancy prayers.
Which prayer do you think God cared about more - the one that was just for showing off - or the one asking for God's help?
God wants us to know that we can ask Him for help!
Are you perfect? Is anyone (besides Jesus) perfect? Do we need help to follow God's ways sometimes?
Following God's ways can be hard. But God likes it when we are brave enough to ask Him for help to live as Jesus did.
The Jesus Prayer with actions:
Lord Jesus Christ: arms out with palms up
Son of God: raise arms up with palms up
Have mercy: palms together as in prayer
On me: cross arms on your chest
A sinner: hit fists together to symbolize the cross’s nails
Song: The Beatitudes Song
Activity Sheets or Play
After the song, hand out the activity sheets. Younger children are welcome to play with the Duplos (encourage them to play out a story that fits with the lesson).
End with the Lord's Prayer when the Usher comes to let you know the prayers have started.