Luke 18 Lesson

Pride and Humility


Our focus scripture today is taken from Luke Chapter 18:

  • “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.” - Luke 18:14.

God places great value on humility.  In fact, the words “ humble” or “ humility” are used more than ninety times throughout the Bible.  


As you read this parable, spoken by Jesus, pay attention to the differences between the Pharisee and the tax collector.  Then ask yourselves three questions:

  1. Who demonstrated pride?
  2. Who showed humility?
  3. Which person pleased God?

  • And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteousand viewed others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Phariseeand the other a tax collector.  The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.  I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ I tell you; this man went to his house justified rather than the other; foreveryone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”Luke 18:9-14.

In this example, the Pharisee’s behavior showed  pride , while the tax collector’s words and actions showed  humility .   As Christians, God wants us to be humble, not proud.


  • They take the focus off themselves, and take a sincere interest in others,
  • They do not think too highly of themselves,
  • They understand they need Jesus,
  • They serve others,
  • They build others up and do not tear people down,
  • They are pleasing to God,
  • They will be exalted!(Luke 18:14)


  • They make themselves the focus.   For example, in his prayer to God, the Pharisee says, “I” five times in two sentences.  The tax collector never does,  
  • The proud compare themselves to others and flaunt their accomplishments,
  • They put others down to try and elevate their own status,
  • They will be humbled! (Luke 18:14)


The Bible is full of scripture commanding us to be humble and not proud. For today’s lesson, we have highlighted the following five verses:

  1. “When  pridecomes, then comes dishonor, but with the humbleis wisdom.” - Proverbs 11:2,
  2. “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty (arrogant) spirit before stumbling.” - Proverbs 16:18,
  3. “Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor.” - Proverbs 29:23,
  4. “God is opposed to the proudbut gives grace to the humble.” - James 4:6,
  5. “Everyone who is proudin heart is an abomination to the Lord; assuredly, he will not be unpunished.” - Proverbs 16:5.


As we read Luke’s Gospel, by the time we get to chapter 18, Jesus understands that the time of His crucifixion is quickly approaching.  Because He was both God and man, Jesus experienced all the emotions that we would face if we were about to be hung on a cross to die a painful death.  He got tired, frustrated, and afraid.  Yet through it all, Jesus remained laser-focused on following His Father’s commands, and He never stopped serving others. He never stopped putting others’ needs ahead of His own. That is the humility of Jesus. That is the example that we are to follow.

  • “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” - Mathew 20:28.   


Our time on earth is meant to be spent doing two things:

  1. Glorifying God,
  2. Serving others.

That is how Jesus spent His time, that is how the Apostles spent their time, and that is how we are supposed to spend our time.

To do this, we need to make sure that we are behaving as humble servants of God and not prideful sinners. When Jesus was asked, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandmentin the Law,” He responded:

  1. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.  This is the great and foremost commandment.” –   Mathew 22:37,
  2. “The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” –   Mathew 22:38-40.

In other words, God wants us to love our lives exactly as His Son did when He was on earth:

  1. Glorifying God,
  2. Serving others.

That is what we are supposed to do.

That is why we were created.

And when we humble ourselves as Jesus did, and devote ourselves to doing these two things, our reward in Heaven will be great!

We will end today’s lesson with a beautiful scripture that reminds us to keep our eye on the prize. It reminds us of the importance of endurance and perseverance in the life of a Christian. And most of all, it gives us reason to continue to have hope through Jesus Christ, our Savior:

  • “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future, there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.2 Timothy 4:7-8.


Virtual Bible Study

1) What did today’s Bible study make you think and feel?
2) How can you apply what you have just learned to something specific that is happening in your life?


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Virtual Bible Study

1) What did today’s Bible study make you think and feel?
2) How can you apply what you have just learned to something specific that is happening in your life?