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Two Men Who Said Prayers

People in Jesus’ time were like people today. Some of them had the feeling they were better than others. These people had faith in themselves. They had faith that they were good on their own. They did not have faith in God to give them forgiveness. Jesus gave this story to give them understanding.

Two men went to the house of worship. They both said prayers.

One man was a very good man. He was part of a group of very religious people. Every one had knowledge that he was good.

The other man was a tax taker. Tax takers worked for a country that had power over Jesus' country. People said tax takers worked for the enemy. Many tax takers also made people give more than their tax. This money made them rich. Tax takers were not fair. Everyone had knowledge that this man was bad.

The good man said a prayer. He said, “God, I am grateful that I am not like other people. I do not unfairly take other people’s money. I am not unfaithful to my wife. I am not even like this tax taker. I go without food for religion two times every week. I give part of everything I have to help my religion.”

The tax taker also said a prayer. He did not look up to heaven. He had shame. He struck himself with his hands. He said, “God give me forgiveness. I am a sinner.”

The two men went to their homes. God had knowledge of them both. He said the man who said he was good still had his sins. God said the tax taker was now a good man.

No one is good in front of God. We all have done wrong. God is able to give us forgiveness. We need to say we have done wrong. We need to have faith in God to give us forgiveness. Then, God will give us forgiveness and make us good.

To learn more about God's forgiveness, click here: Jesus and You.

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