Week 1: March 20th — March 26th

The Pharisee and the Tax Collector 

Bible Lesson: The Pharisee and the Tax Collector

Bible Passage: Luke 18:9-14

Main Point: Jesus taught about being humble

Memory Verse: "Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you".  James 4:10


Lesson Plan Outline and Over View

  • Questions and Wrap Up
  • Follow up Activities
    • Prayer Walk (for all ages)
    • Sticky big deal (grades 1-5)
    • Prayer Pocket Craft (for all ages)
    • Activity and Colouring Page


Lesson Plan

Insight on the Parable of thePharisee and Tax Collector (for Parents/Guardians)

In this parable, Jesus presents two men who went up to the temple to pray. The first, a Pharisee, was 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 acknowledge  his sin and asked God for mercy. Jesus explained that the tax collector  — and not the Pharisee — went home justified.  

God rejects the proud, but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6).  Pride is thinking we are better than we really are. Someone with the attitude of the Pharisee sees no need for Jesus. 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. We can come to God 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. 


Intro Activities

I’m Proud of…( for all ages)

Have a couple of examples of things that you are proud about your child/ren.  Then ask your child/ren what they are proud of (learning to ride a bike, to tie their shoes….)

Lesson Connection: We use the word proud to talk about things we are happy we can do, or things that we have accomplished and that’s good.  The bible tells us about a wrong type of pride, such as when you feel like you are better or more special than someone else.  God can change this kind of pride into something different.  

Compare and Contrast (JK - Grade 1)

Gather and assortment of objects that are similar but not exactly the same (ie. a red apple  and green apple, a basketball and soccer ball, different musical instruments, marker and pencil, different toy cars, different books etc…). Invite children to separate same items into pairs.  Ask what is similar and different between the items. 

Lesson Connection: Even though the paired items are similar; they are also different. In today’s story Jesus told a story of two prayers. The prayers were different. God was pleased with one prayer but the other.  Let’s find out why. 

Charades (all ages)

Write or draw pictures of simple actions (ie. running, swimming, sweeping, driving etc…) Have children act out the actions. Have siblings or and or family members guess what they are doing. 

Lesson Connection: Have you heard the saying “Actions speak louder than words”? It means that just saying something is true isn’t as meaningful as showing it with your actions.  What actions  might show that a person is humble? What actions would show that person is prideful? We will learn about two men whose words and actions showed who was proud and who was humble. 


Bible Story Visual 

The Pharisees and Tax Collector Story Video #1 (LifeWay/Gospel Project)

The Pharisees and Tax Collector Story Video #2 (Saddleback Kids)

The Pharisees and Tax Collector Story Picture Slide Show


Questions and Wrap Up:

1. How would you describe the attitude of the Pharisee? 

2. Who do you really think the pharisee is trying to get to listen to him? 

3. How would you describe the attitude of the Tax Collector? 

4. Who do you think the tax collector wants his prayer to be heard by?  Do you remember what his words where? 

5. Who does Jesus say is right with God? Why?

Lesson Connection: Pride is the feeling we get when we think we are more important than the people around us. Having talents and special skills is not bad, but we need to remember that God is the One who made all of us in His image. Humility does not mean you think bad things about yourself. Humility means you understand that everyone needs Jesus, including you.


Follow Up Activities

Prayer Walk (for all ages)

Take a prayer walk outside. Remind children that  God  cannot love us more than He already does.  We know this because he sent Jesus to take the punishment we serve by dying on the cross for our sin. As you walk around you neighbour look at God’s beauty and goodness and pray: Thank you God for______ 

Sticky big deal (Grade 1- 5)

Hand out a sticky note to children and parents. Write or draw a picture representing something about Jesus that is worthy of our praise.  Collect sticky notes and place them on focal place that you can see throughout the week. Share how important Jesus is and how amazing He is, reminding ourselves that He still displayed humility 

Prayer Pocket Envelopes Craft (for all ages) (from Ministry-To-Children.com) 

Materials needed

• Construction paper or note cards

• Scissors

• Tape

• String or ribbon

• Markers/decorative materials

• Envelopes (letter sized)

• Stickers,


1.  Cut off  flap  the envelope and tape the sides. 

(If you don’t have envelopes you can make make your own pocket pouch by folding a piece of paper in half and taping the sides)

2. Write memory verse on one side of the prayer pocket.  Decorate with stickers, ribbons etc…

4. Write or draw prayer reminders or prayer requests on note cards / pieces of construction paper.

5. Place the card into the envelope. Encourage students to carry around or hang in a prominent spot. Pray daily!

Activity Sheet

Print off the activity and colour sheet and use during your lesson or throughout the week as  reminder of the story taught today. To acces printable click here.

Lesson Content and ideas from LifeWay Gospel Project for kids, Ministry-To-Children.com, Saddleback Kids and freeimages.org