The Parable of the Pharisee and
the Tax Collector (18:9-14)
Receiving the Little Children
The Rich Ruler (18:18-30)
Prediction of Jesus’ Suffering,
Death, and Resurrection (18:31-34)
Trusted in themselves, despised
others, prayed with himself, be merciful, sinner, justified, exalts/humbles,
little children, kingdom of God, inherit eternal life, good, commandments,
sell, distribute to the poor, follow Me, rich, impossible with men, possible
with God, Jerusalem, accomplished.
1. He justified himself before
God and overlooked his shortcomings. He despised others. His prayer was not a
true prayer because instead of seeking God’s grace, he was only “praying with
2. We must feel contrition for
our sins and realize that we are undeserving of God’s forgiveness. Rather than
comparing ourselves with others, we should see only our sinfulness and look to
God for mercy.
3. We tend to be self-righteous
when we see only the good things we have done and when we compare ourselves
with others. But when we compare ourselves to God’s perfection and see our
sins, we will be humble.
4. The Pharisees were regarded by
the people as pious and godly. They were supposedly more just before God than
the rest. The tax collector, however, who represented the social outcasts and
sinners, were considered to have no place in God’s kingdom. Using these two
extremes, the Lord teaches us that no one can be righteous before God,
regardless of how much good he has done, unless he humbles himself and accepts
5. They might have thought that
little children, as unimportant as they were, did not deserve to distract Jesus
from His ministry.
6. We need to let them have a
personal knowledge and faith in Christ by bringing them up in the training and
admonition of the Lord (Eph 6:4).
7. Receiving the kingdom as a
little child means accepting Jesus Christ with child-like attitudes such as
humility, sincerity, and trust.
8. The ruler addressed Jesus as a
good teacher probably because he measured Jesus’ goodness with human standards.
Because of his misunderstanding of goodness, the ruler believed that he may
inherit eternal life with good deeds. So the Lord corrected him by referring
him to God’s goodness, emphasizing that no one is “good” except God alone. In
other words, no one can be justified before God by his goodness.
9a. The command to sell
everything was to reveal the ruler’s shortcoming (“you still lack one thing”).
What prevented him from entering God’s kingdom was his unwillingness to forsake
all that he had for the sake of following Christ.
9b. His reluctance shows that he
did not love the Lord God with all his heart, all his mind, and all his soul,
since he could not give up his possessions for God. Not only so, it also shows
that he failed to obey perfectly the command to love his neighbor as himself.
10. It is difficult for those
with riches to forsake ownership of their wealth and use their riches for God.
Riches pose a great challenge because we are easily tempted to serve our own
interests with our wealth and fail to serve God (16:13).
11a. From a human perspective,
what the Lord requires of us is impossible to achieve. That is why the people
asked, “Who then can be saved?” However, by His grace, God is able to save us
and accomplish in us what is humanly impossible (cf. 17:5-6).
11b. We must surrender ourselves
and all our possessions to the Lord and become a follower of Christ. We must
live for Christ and let Him be the Lord of our lives.
12. See verse 30.
13a. He knew that His journey to
Jerusalem and His impending sufferings were for the purpose of accomplishing
salvation, which the prophets had written about (31).
13b. Before the ultimate
fulfillment of God’s kingdom, the King Himself must suffer many things and die
to redeem His people (17:25; Jn 11:50).