Two Men Went to Pray
This is an important story, especially for the “church kid”. This was especially convicting for me when I was much younger because I had the attitude of the self-righteous Pharisee. Jesus told this parable “to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others.” We must teach our kids that even though they may think they are pretty good compared to other people…if they do not have love and think they are better than others, their faith does not please the LORD. (1 Corinthians 13:1-3) Two men went to the temple to pray. One was basically praying to himself…bragging that he was not like all of the sinners he knew…even mentioning the tax collector! He boasted that he fasted and gave generous gifts to God while the tax collector stood afar off and could not even lift his eyes to heaven. He smote himself on his chest and begged God to be merciful to him, acknowledging his sins.
“Be Merciful to me…”
Jesus told the listeners of this parable that the tax collector went home justified.”…For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Make sure you go over the definitions of righteous, humbles, exalts and justified and merciful. You will also want to explain why the tax collectors were hated in Jewish society. Worksheets and instructions are posted at kidsbible.wordpress.com (10/30/2012)
Woman at the Well
This story is found in John chapter 4 and beautifully illustrates the Gospel. You have heard that Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans because their religion became “tainted” after the ten Northern Tribes of Israel were dispersed by the Assyrians. The Samaritans built a shrine on Mt. Gerizim during the Persian period and claimed that this shrine, not the temple in Jerusalem, was the proper place of worship. At the time of Christ, no Jew would leave Judea to go to Galilee and travel through Samaria which was the most expedient route…but Jesus was determined to go to Samaria in spite of the prejudice of His countryman. He had a divine appointment with a woman at the well of Jacob in Sychar, and their dialogue ends with His famous declaration that He was the promised Messiah. ( I recommend this scene from the 2003 movie, “The Gospel of John”, and can be viewed on You-Tube.
Woman at the Well wkst
For instructions and a worksheet without text go to the companion blog at “kidsbible.wordpress.com” Please note that I stress certain aspects of the main character’s dialogue and do not cover the immoral lifestyle of the Samaritan Woman for obvious reasons. Jesus is confronting the woman’s doctrinal errors…”that the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth”. As a result of her faith that He was indeed the promised Messiah, she immediately runs to the people of her city to invite them to hear Jesus also.
“Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony, ‘ He told me everything I ever did.’ So when the Samaritans came to Him, they urged Him to stay with them, and He stayed two days. And because of His words many more became believers.” John 4:39-41