INTRODUCTION TO THE JESUS SERIES:
The Jesus Series is a 12 lesson curriculum project based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. For the next few months, I’ll be posting notes on my blog for each lesson. These notes are a compilation of insights and ideas from a handful of Campus Ministers across the country who are partnering in this project. They have committed to join me in sharing personal experiences, struggles, observations, questions, and recommended resources and experiments for life application.
The 12 passages that I’ve selected will cover a broad range of topics, including faith, grace, legalism, salvation, discipleship, money and possessions, temptation, doubt, heaven and hell, compassion, and unity.
Lesson 3 Contributors:
- Brett Ricley: Associate Campus Minister for Impact Campus Ministries at University of Utah, Westminster College, Salt Lake Community College in Salt Lake City, UT – www.brettricley.wordpress.com
- Glen Davis: Campus Pastor of Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA – www.glenandpaula.com/wordpress/
- Tyler Ellis: Campus Minister of Blue Hens for Christ at the University of Delaware in Newark, DE – www.BTylerEllis.comMike Filicicchia: House Church Leader of New Life Church at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI – www.thisischurch.net
- Chris Bean: Campus Minister for the CCO at the University of Cincinnati in partnership with the Church of the Nazarene in Cincinnati, OH – www.ucjourney.org
- Mike Filicicchia: House Church Leader of New Life Church at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI – www.thisischurch.net
READ: Luke 18:9-14
If you could ask Jesus why he felt compelled to teach this parable, what do you think he would say?
- If I could ask Jesus why he felt compelled to teach this parable, I think he would say, “This parable was not just a random story I made up on the spot to share with a random crowd on a random day. No. This parable was but one of many ways for me to share the same message I planned to share before I left Heaven for Earth; to reach one of many crowds on one of many days. This parable addresses a serious world-wide misconception that peoples’ acceptance into Heaven depends on a religious scorecard. But that’s not the way it works. My death and resurrection was the only thing that could enable reconciliation between a sinful man and a holy God. Each individual person in the world is going to experience one of two things based on one of two choices they make. They will either humble themselves and be exalted by God (and “go home justified”), or they will exalt themselves and be humbled by God (and not “go home justified”).
- The paragraph above took me way too long to put into words, but it was worth it for me to struggle to understand why Jesus taught this particular parable. I feel like, in order to fully appreciate the message of this parable, we must not only read it in light of its immediate context, but also in light of its eternal context.
- That being said, verse 9 of Luke 15 informs us concerning the audience whom Jesus first addressed with The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector: “He told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt” (NASV).
- Luke tells us that the object of their “trust” was “themselves.” They appealed to themselves as what made them “righteous.”
- I imagine myself conducting a survey of the people in Jesus’s crowd, asking them one question: “How would you finish this statement, ‘God will accept me into Heaven because ________.’” The results that would come back would be the same. I can hear their answers coming in: “God will accept me into Heaven because I’m a good person… because I go to church… because I’m doing the best I can… because I say my prayers… because I help out at an orphanage…”
- To all people everywhere who would answer this survey question the same way, Jesus says, “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector” (v.10). For the two characters in Jesus’ parable, he intentionally selects extreme opposites. First, He selected a Pharisee, who was a Jewish religious leader whom almost all Jews would respect. Second, he selected a tax collector, who was a Jew who worked for Rome, whom almost all Jews would despise. Jesus draws a sharp contrast between these two men, making the Pharisee the character that represented his audience, and making the tax collector the character that represented the ones his audience looked down on.
- The Pharisee did not repent of his sins, and trusted in himself as the source of righteousness (v.11-12). The tax collector did repent of his sins, and trusted in God as the source of righteousness (v.13).
- In v.14, Jesus tells the crowd that the tax collector, not the Pharisee, “went home justified before God.” A memory tool I’ve often heard that helps us remember the definition of the word justified is this: justified means God can look on me just-if-I’d never sinned. More specifically, justification means “declared righteous”.
- What a powerful message! What good news this is. We too can go home today innocent in the eyes of our Creator.
- [Jesus taught this parable] To make self-righteous people question their view of themselves.
- The prideful religious person needs to understand that God is not impressed with self-gratifying obedience. But the one who grasps his own sinfulness and helpless state before God gets it.
- I believe [Jesus] wanted to tell this parable in order to break the cultural stereotypes of what makes a man “worthy” and justified. Clearly, the culture looks at wealth, status, and position as the pinnacle of success, but Jesus smashes this idea in this parable.
- Jesus also wanted to paint a picture of how arrogance, pride, and a lack of humility can destroy a person and their connection to God, and that only the humble will truly find God and be justified.
- The religious systems of this world follow the pattern of the human heart, which is to exalt ourselves as utterly sufficient. But God’s Kingdom is not about moral achievement, but about moral insufficiency and dependence.
What does this passage reveal about God the Father, or the Son, or the Holy Spirit?
Jesus challenges the misconception that we can be “righteous” in and of ourselves. In doing so, we learn many things about God:
- God will not accept people on the basis of their own righteous efforts.
- God wants us to “go home justified” (declared righteous) and “exalt” us, and He has provided the means by which that is possible.
- God is ready to show mercy to people who humble themselves and turn to Him to make them righteous.
- God will “humble” us in our pride if He has to.
- [This parable reveals] that God is rich in mercy.
- The primary truth being communicated in this brief passage seems to be about God the Father. He is more pleased with humility and compassion towards the other than religious service and pride.
- [This parable reveals that God] is just and does not tolerate arrogance in His presence, and honors humility and meekness.
- It also reveals that God is not fooled by our elaborate prayers, offerings, tithes, or speeches. He looks at the heart and our motivation, and justifies [after considering] our motives in the things we say and do.
- [This parable reveals that] Jesus is confrontational. Note that Jesus told this parable to “some confident of their own righteousness.” He didn’t tell this parable to an assortment of random people; he directly confronted the sin in the group of a particular people in a compelling way.
- I think it also shows that the Father is pleased to draw and receive to himself, even the lowest, most despised, most unexpected people, and has no problem rejecting those that the world esteems.
What does this passage reveal about you?
- This passage revealed the Pharisee in me, as I too once trusted in myself as the source of righteousness instead of Christ.
- This passage also connects a wrong belief to a wrong behavior. When I think I’m a good person on my own (a wrong belief), I will eventually look down on others who are not as good as I am (a wrong behavior). It’s hard to escape the natural tendency we have to overlook our own sins and be appalled by the sins of others.
- [This parable reveals] that I have to stoop to enter heaven’s gates. Humility is the key that unlocks God’s mercy.
- It can be so easy to fall into habits and patterns of comparison and judgment when looking at others. Without constant attention to my own need for grace, I too can become prideful in my own religious pedigree, education, good moral conduct, etc. Being reminded that my “holiness” is still just filthy rags compared to God helps me keep a posture of humility towards God as well as others.
- [This parable] reveals my continual need for taking a posture of humility and submission before God. I can be fooled sometimes into thinking that I know a few things about life, God, and our culture, but this passage makes it clear that in all things, we must assume a low position of humility.
- [This parable reveals] that I’m incredibly worldly. If you were to tell me every day that God is infinitely more interested in my awareness of my sin and my confession of need for him than he is in my “religious uprightness,” I actually think I’d be shocked each and every time. Because it offends every worldly inclination I have to achieve and succeed in all spheres of life, even spiritual.
What does this passage reveal about others?
This parable touches on the two major ways people try to establish their own righteousness.
- First, people try to establish their own righteousness by appealing to what they DON’T DO: Just as the Pharisee (v.11), people compare themselves to others who are worse. This is the quickest way to look good. For example, people will say, “I’m no Hitler. I’ve never… I’m not as bad as…”
- Second, people try to establish their own righteousness by appealing to what they DO: Just as the Pharisee (v.12), people list all the good things they’ve done. For example: church attendance, saying prayers, tithing, treating others kindly, etc.
- [This parable reveals] that we cannot judge others by appearances – only God knows their heart.
- “Others” are no further from God than I am in terms of sin and fallenness. In fact, I could stand to learn a great deal from others instead of becoming complacent and prideful in my own religious attitudes and rituals.
- [This parable] reveals that so many people are deceived into thinking that their outward appearances can gain them an audience with men and with God. So many people believe that if they “look the part”, that’s enough. Unfortunately, God looks at their motivation for doing those things and sees corrupt motives.
- It also reveals that so many people live their lives exalting themselves, subconsciously or consciously, and end up feeling like they are better than most people for a variety of reasons.
- [This parable reveals] that the ones I consider most spiritually deficient may in fact have the richest relationships with God, and those I consider spiritually put-together may be opposing God in the worst kind of way.
As you hold Jesus’ teaching up to your own life, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced in living it out?
- This passage was one of several scriptures God used to open my eyes and heart, so that I too could “go home justified”. When I was in High School, I was riding my bike in Portland, OR, when I was confronted by a kid in a suit at a stop light. He asked me, “If you died today, would you go to Heaven or Hell?” I said, “Heaven.” Then he asked me, “How do you know?” To which I responded, “Because I go to church and have been baptized.”
- The problem with my answer is the same problem as the answers Jesus’ initial audience would have given, and the same problem as the answers given by the hundreds of people I’ve personally surveyed over the last 15 years since I became a Christian. The problem is: I didn’t even name the name of Jesus. Instead of appealing to God as the source of righteousness, I appealed to myself as the source of righteousness. My answer exposed the object of my faith.
- I praise God for His patience with me. Through the guidance of a close friend who taught me from this very passage, I finally came to understand the significance of Jesus’ death on my behalf. My friend showed me something very special, hidden away in the tax collector’s prayer, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” Typically, when we hear the word “mercy”, we think of God not giving us what we deserve (which is eternal condemnation). This can cause us to assume that God will just forgive us if we ask Him to. However, like a good judge who can’t let a criminal go unpunished, God is good and His justice must be appeased before He can forgive us. Here is what’s awesome about the word “mercy” in the tax collector’s prayer. In the original Greek language (which the New Testament was written), the word used by the tax collector which is translated “mercy”, is actually a form of the word “propitiation” (or atonement), which means “to appease God’s justice on our behalf.” In other words, the tax collector didn’t merely ask God to not give him what he deserved. He literally asked God for a substitute! He prayed for atonement! He turned to God looking for someone to do for him what he was unable to do for himself! He needed someone to appease the justice of God on his behalf.
- WOW! What a prayer! It still amazes me. Jesus was God’s answer to that prayer. Jesus, who never sinned, being equal to the value of God, took the penalty for our sins upon himself when he died on the cross.
- It’s easy to feel smug when you’ve been following Jesus for a while, especially if you hang out with immature people who sin a lot. It’s a peril of college ministry. You can feel a lot more mature than you really are, simply because you’re always comparing yourself to people nearly two decades younger than you.
- Keeping in mind that we only love God (practically speaking) as much as we demonstrate love to those around us (our “neighbors”) challenges me not to overlook the importance of showing compassion, caring for the least.
- The biggest challenge [I’ve faced in living out this parable] comes out of verse 13, when the tax collector says, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner”. One of the hardest things in to do in life is to admit our wrongdoings and faults and ask for mercy. Usually the last thing we want to do is admit our failures and seek forgiveness from the Father.
- I find it difficult to have the attitude the tax collector had in the presence of God as well…recognizing our true state of utter dependence on God.
- I think some of my go-to activity to connect with God is pretty off-base. I think this parable suggests to me that to be near to God first and foremost involves confession of my sin and my need for his grace, but I’m more likely to enter God’s presence trying to learn and “get something”, failing to even recognize the very basis of our relationship in the first place.
- The tax collector remembered who he essentially was before God; the Pharisee wanted to acquire something. I probably tend more toward the latter.
What lies have our Adversary sown into our culture that hinder people from experiencing what Jesus intended?
Our Adversary wants us to believe the lie that…
- We can earn God’s acceptance by good works, so try harder or give up.
- Since God’s grace covers you, then you can live however you want.
- The only testimonies that are useful are the ones that are sensational. If you haven’t come out of drugs and prison, then you don’t have a story worth sharing.
- Christianity is basically the same as all other world religions. It consists of being a good person in order to advance or find peace.
- People’s worth is found in their performance. Thus, those who perform well are worth more, and those who perform less are worth less.
- Back in seminary, I read a journal article wherein a missionary described going into a middle-eastern bazaar and telling this parable, but ending with the question “which of these men went away justified in the eyes of God?” People began arguing furiously with one another, and when the missionary returned hours later they were still arguing.
- If you’ve been around church for too long, it’s easy to forget how radical this teaching is. It runs counter to human instincts. People are, by nature, [like] Job’s comforters. We believe that good things happen to good people because they deserve them, and so we are prone to believe that God’s grace comes into our lives because we are good. That’s a lie.
- Perhaps the most damaging lie we believe in this area of self-righteousness and pride is that there is some sort of scale when it comes to the value of human beings. The truth is that every individual bears the imago dei and at least partially reflects something about our Father/Creator.
- The Enemy has convinced our culture that you are justified by what you “do” and that, by being successful, you “earn” it and work for it yourself.
- The Enemy has also convinced our culture that pride is the right pathway to being a leader and being successful.
- Another huge lie the Enemy has sown into our culture comes from verse 11: “God, I thank you that I am not like other people…”. We have bought into the lie that we are to compare ourselves to other people, and in doing that we find justification for ourselves and therefore believe we are “spiritual” and better than others. We have forgotten that the biblical process tells us to compare ourselves to God and as we do that we obviously will not measure up to His perfection. In that, we find the true beauty of the Gospel in that while we were still sinful people, Christ still chose to take our place and bring about restoration to our lives.
Our Adversary wants us to believe the lies that that say…
- “Get your act together before you consider approaching God.”
- “The more spiritual things you do, the more God is pleased with you.”
- “You’re too broken for God to accept you.”
- “God is impressed with your spirituality.”
- “Just try harder to be good next time.”
OPEN-ENDED DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
What three “ice-breaker questions” would be good for discussion? (These should be fun and light-hearted questions that invite people to express likes and dislikes, past experiences, and opinions; offering a natural segue to the lesson).
- What would you consider to be the best thing you’ve ever done?
- The “point system” is engrained in our society. What examples can you think of when people are rewarded for performing well, but not for performing poorly?
- What would you say are the pros and cons of growing up in the church? What would you say are the pros and cons of not growing up in the church?
- What is the major difference between Christianity and world religions?
- What is humility?
- Can you be humble and believe that you are better than someone else?
- What moment from your past makes you look the worst?
- What’s the most awkward thing you’ve ever heard someone pray for?
- What one characteristic makes you stand out from your friends?
- If you had to pray in a prominent public location on your campus…out loud…what would you pray for?
- Who in your life did you first esteem as a “spiritual giant”? What made them giant-like to you?
- Who did you most look up to growing up? What made you respect them so much?
- Growing up, who was the most despised person in your neighborhood? Why?
What three “observation questions” would be good for discussion? (These are the who, what, when, where, why and how questions that draw out facts and principles from the passage in a thought-provoking way).
- What did the Pharisee appeal to in order to establish his righteousness?
- What do you know about Pharisees and what do you know about tax collectors?
- What are the physical differences in the way the two men prayed?
- What are the verbal differences in the way the two men prayed?
- Who would you identify as the main characters in this parable?
- What main idea is Jesus trying to get across to his religious audience?
- According to this parable, how is someone “justified” before God?
- How do you, at times, seek to “justify” yourself in front of others?
- What does God consider to be true righteousness?
- Why do you think the tax collector was at the temple to pray?
- What do you think “justified” means in the context of this passage?
- What does this parable teach about how to be right before God?
- Based on verses 11 and 12, where did the Pharisee get his sense of identity? How does this differ from a Christian’s source of identity?
What three “reflection questions” (besides the ones listed above) would be good for discussion? (These questions focus on both the intellectual and the emotional side of things).
- Why do you think Jesus choose these two characters for his parable?
- What comment would you make about the connection between how we view ourselves and how we view others?
- Satan would have us believe that the only testimonies that are useful are the ones that are sensational, like coming out of drugs and prison. However, how can a testimony about missing the point of Jesus, make an impact?
- What good would it do us to stop comparing ourselves to others, but start comparing ourselves to God?
- Does this story require Jesus’ death and resurrection to work? In other words, if the tax collector died before Jesus did, would the tax collector have gone to heaven?
- Do you think we should always pray like the tax collector or is that a one-time “sinner’s prayer” kind of thing?
- What do you think was the initial reaction to this parable?
- What’s the connection between prayer and how we view/treat others?
- Does this parable convict or encourage you?
- What can we learn from the attitude and posture the tax collector took in his prayer to God?
- Who do you know like the Pharisee? Are they the kind of people you want to be like? Why or why not?
- What do you think it means that if you humble yourself you will be exalted? How?
- When in your life have you most profoundly experienced and confronted your own brokenness? Were you aware of God’s grace for you at that time?
- If Jesus confronted you with this parable, what would he put in the Pharisee’s mouth? [i.e. How do you most try to justify yourself in life to others? To God?]
- When you approach God, what does it generally sound like? Would you say it’s more like the Pharisee or the tax collector?
What three “application questions” would be good for discussion? (These questions help people contemplate possible courses of action in order to apply what they have learned to their lives).
- Suppose God appeared to you yesterday and asked, “Why should I accept you into Heaven?” How would you have answered His question? Would your answer be different today? If so, how?
- Why is it important to understand the topics of sin, death and Hell, before we can understand the topics of Jesus’ death, grace, and Heaven?
- Who are some specific individuals you may have “looked down on”? What steps can you take to improve those relationships?
- If you were to pray a prayer of confession in light of this parable, what would you confess, and how can the rest us of pray for you?
- Would you be interested in doing an investigative faith study with a Christian at your own pace?
- Name two or three people you know who need to hear the message of this parable. How can you reach out to them this week?”
- [I suggest participants walk away with a handout, listing ideas for going deeper. These could include cross references; projects; or the books, videos, and music listed below]. As you look over the handout that lists ideas for going deeper, what experiment stands out as something you might try?
- Should we keep our eyes downcast when we pray? How does this relate to Hebrews 4?
- Is there anyone about whom you are tempted to say, “Thank God I’m not like that person?”
- How do you think studying this parable might change your prayer life?
- How will your understanding of Jesus’ message here change the way you view others?
- What must one do to avoid self-righteousness?
- How can you begin imitating the tax collectors’ attitude and posture with God this week?
- How can Christians, in community, practice humility?
- How can you practically approach God like the tax collector this week?
- What activities or accomplishments can you fast from this week to embrace the source of your true identity?
EXPERIMENTS FOR GOING DEEPER
What three experiments would you recommend that might help people dig deeper?
- A topic to research:
- Pharisees and tax collectors in Jewish culture during the time of Jesus.
- Word studies: propitiation; humility; justification.
- What various world religions teach concerning: 1.) Sin; and 2.) What can be done about sin, so as to acquire peace or salvation.
- A place to go or a project to do:
- Visit a temple.
- Write out your testimony.
- A person to interview:
- A leader of a world religion.
- A person raised in the church.
- A person not raised in the church.
- A topic to research:
- Humility & Compassion. Track down a few places in scripture where these words and topics are addressed. What does the biblical view of these concepts look like and feel like as they are lived out?
- A place to go or a project to do:
- Visit a place on your campus or in your city that makes you feel a little uncomfortable. Spend some time in prayer there, reflecting on this parable.
- A person to interview:
- Find one of the most humble people you know and ask what lessons they’ve learned in terms of prayer and how to view/treat others.
- A topic to research:
- Justification by Faith.
- A place to go or a project to do:
- Attend a Friday service at a local mosque.
- A person to interview:
- A devoted follower of a works-righteousness religion.
RESOURCES FOR GOING DEEPER
What three cross references in Scripture would you recommend that relate to this lesson?
- Psalm 51
- Isaiah 64:6a
- Romans 6:1-10; 10:1-4
- 2 Corinthians 5:21
- Galatians 1:6-9; 2:21; 3:10-11; 5:4
- Ephesians 2:8-10
- Philippians 3:3-11
- Titus 3:5-8
- James 2:10-11
- 1 John 1:7-9
- Jonah 4:1-4
- Mark 11:25
- 1 Timothy 1:15-17
- Isaiah 6 (having extreme reverence and awe of God)
- Philippians 2:3 (valuing others better than yourself)
- 1 Peter 5:5 (have humility because God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble)
- Matthew 9:9-13
- Luke 7:36-50
- Romans 3:9-5:2
What three books would you recommend that relate to this lesson?
- How Good Is Good Enough? (Andy Stanley)
- The Passion of Jesus Christ: 50 Reasons Why He Came (John Piper)
- Hell’s Best Kept Secret (Ray Comfort)
- Sidney & Norman: A Tale of Two Pigs (Phil Vischer)
- Why It’s Hard To Love Jesus (Joseph M. Stowell)
- The Cross of Christ (John Stott)
- Humility (C.J. Mahaney)
- Soul Detox; chapter 12: Religion Gone Bad (Craig Groeschel)
- Pharisectomy (Peter Haas)
- Accidental Pharisees (Larry Osborne)
- The Pursuit of Holiness (Jerry Bridges)
- The School of Obedience (Andrew Murray)
- In the Name of Jesus (Henri Nouwen)
What three movies would you recommend that relate to this lesson?
- Les Miserables
- The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe
- Blue Like Jazz
What three songs would you recommend that relate to this lesson?
- The Pharisee & the Tax Collector (Timothy Brindle)
- Not What My Hands (Aaron Keyes)
- You Alone Can Rescue (Matt Redman)
- The Solid Rock (Charlie Hall)
- Embracing Accusation (Shane & Shane)
- Before The Throne of God Above (Shane & Shane)
- Nothing But The Blood (Seventh Day Slumber)
- I Am Nothing (Jeremy Camp)
- Cry Mercy (David Crowder Band)
- Mystery of Mercy (Caedmon’s Call)
- Be Merciful To Me (Caedmon’s Call)
- Lord, Have Mercy (Michael W. Smith)
- Forgive Me (Rebecca St. James)
- Forgiven (Sanctus Real)
- Forgiveness (TobyMac)
- I Am Nothing (Shawn McDonald)
- Tremble (Audio Adrenaline)
- White As Snow (Jon Foreman)
- Humble Thyself (Acappella)
- If You Have Ears (Kyle Chase)
- White As Snow (Jon Foreman)
- Cry Out to Jesus (Third Day)
- Came to My Rescue (Hillsong United)
What visual aids could be used to help connect with the passage?
- A movie clip.
- An old fashion scale with two sides that balance.
- Articles of clothing that might be worn by a Pharisee or a tax collector.
- Survey Questions: It is amazing how the same people who can tell you who Jesus is and how he died, can completely miss the point of why he came and what he accomplished (as I once did). Hebrews 12:15 says, “See to it that no one misses the grace of God.” One way we can try to do this is to ask people lots of questions in order to discern whether the object of their faith is themselves or Jesus. That’s why I love the question, “On what basis do you believe God will or will not accept you into Heaven?” (a.k.a. “If God asks you why He should accept you into Heaven, what would you say?”). Given my own religious experience, I’ve become sensitive to certain comments that indicate the object of a person’s trust.
- The first indicator is whether or not they even name the name of Jesus.
- Also, listen for words like “try”; “sincere”, “good”, and “bad” that describe a person’s works-based mentality.
- Another comment to listen for is if they refer to Jesus as their role model. Many people who know who Jesus is and how he died, fail to rely on his death as sufficient payment for their sins. Instead, they look to Jesus as the one whose example they should follow and whose teachings they should obey in order to be good enough for God’s forgiveness. People need to understand that God can’t forgive us unless we have a substitute who satisfied God’s justice for us. I love seeing the light bulb moment when being understand Jesus for the first time!
- Podcast: To listen to a relevant podcast, check out: “See To It That No One Misses The Grace of God”
- Illustration: There’s an illustration that I often use. I call it “The Cockroach Illustration.” On the left side of the page, I draw a cockroach and ask those whom I’m studying with, “What would happen to you if you were to kill a cockroach?” They will usually laugh and say, “Nothing.” Then, to the right of the cockroach I draw a person and ask, “What would happen to you if you were to kill a person?” Their answer usually mentions prison or even the electric chair. At that point, I make the bar chart, drawing a box around the cockroach that is low on the chart, and drawing a box around the person that is higher on the chart. Then I point out the difference regarding the penalty for killing a bug and killing a person by saying, “The penalty increases according to the value of the one offended.” Finally, to the right of the drawing of the person I write “God” and ask, “What happens if you offend God?” After they comment, I draw a box around “God” on the bar chart, making the bar go of the page. I then draw the symbol for infinity and deliver the punch line, “If the penalty increase according to the value of the one offended, then it makes sense that offending an infinite God results in an infinite penalty. We cannot appease God’s justice through a life of good works. It’s not enough.” After that point sinks in, the last part of the illustration is to write the name “Jesus” to the right of “God” followed by a box on the bar chart that also goes off the page with an infinity symbol. I then say, “The Son of God is equal to the value of God. Therefore, when Jesus died and took the penalty of our sin upon himself, God’s justice was appeased. Now, on that basis, God could forgive anyone who would come to Christ as Lord and Savior