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The Pharisee and the Tax Collector

This is a simplified version of the Bible story found in Luke 18:10-14, written for children to understand. For the original version, please refer to the Bible passage.

Once, Jesus told a story to some people who thought they were very good and looked down on others. The story goes like this:

There were two men who went to the temple to pray. One of them was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed like this: “God, I thank you that I’m not like other people who do bad things like steal, cheat, or do bad things with married people. And I also fast two times a week and give a tenth of everything I earn to God.”

The other man, the tax collector, stood far away from the Pharisee and wouldn’t even look up to heaven. He felt very bad about himself and just kept hitting his chest and saying, “God, please have mercy on me. I am a sinner.”

Jesus told the people that the tax collector was the one who went home forgiven, not the Pharisee. Jesus said that whoever thinks they’re better than others will end up being humbled, but the one who is humble will be lifted up.

Biblical Lessons

  • We should never think that we’re better than others.
  • Being humble is important.
  • We should be honest about our mistakes and ask for forgiveness.
  • God shows mercy to those who are sorry for their sins.
  • Everyone can be forgiven if they ask for it sincerely.

Related Stories

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

The Parable of the Prodigal Son

The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant

The Rich Young Ruler

Jesus and Zacchaeus

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