Luke 18 Lesson

Pride and Humility


Our focus scripture for today’s lesson is from the eighteenth chapter of Luke:

  • “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” and “ humility” are used more than ninety times throughout the Bible.  


When we read theParable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collectorbelow, it is helpful to think about the differences between the Pharisee and the tax collector.

Below is an excerpt from Luke’s Gospel. He is speaking about Jesus:

  • 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 parable, who demonstrated pride?

Who showed humility?

Which person pleased God?

The Pharisee’s behavior demonstrated  pride , while the tax collector’s words and actions showed  humility .  

As Christians, God wants us to be humble, not proud.


  • Humble people take the focus off themselves and put it on others,
  • Humble people do not think too highly of themselves,
  • Humble people understand that they need Jesus,
  • Humble people spend their time serving others,
  • Humble people build others up,
  • Humble people are pleasing to God,
  • Humble people will be exalted! (Luke 18:14)


  • Proud people make themselves the focus, 
  • Proud people compare themselves to others and flaunt their accomplishments,
  • Proud people put others down to try and elevate their own status,
  • Proud people will be humbled! (Luke 18:14)


The Bible is full of scriptures that talk about pride and humility.

For today’s lesson, we have highlighted the following five:

  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 through Luke’s Gospel, by the time that we get to Chapter 18, Jesus understands that the time for His crucifixion is quickly approaching. 

Because Jesus was both God and man, He experienced the same emotions that we experience while He was on Earth.

He got tired.

He got frustrated.

He was afraid.

Yet through it all, time after time, Jesus obeyed His Father’s commands and selflessly served others.

That is the humility of Jesus.

That is the example 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 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 God wants us to spend our time.

Pride and ambition can sometimes get in the way of what our purpose truly is.

When this happens, we need to take the focus off of ourselves and put it on God and others.

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 live our lives exactly as His Son did when He was on earth:

  1. Glorifying God,
  2. Serving others.

And when we humble ourselves as Jesus did, our reward in Heaven will be great!

We will end today’s lesson with a beautiful passage from Paul’s second letter to Timothy.

It 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 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.


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1) What did today’s Bible study make you think or feel?
2) What questions do you have?
3) How can you apply what you have learned to something specific in your life?


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Virtual Bible Study™

1) What did today’s Bible study make you think or feel?
2) What questions do you have?
3) How can you apply what you have learned to something specific in your life?