23 Oct

161023He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 18:9-14, NRSV)

Who are you, the pharisee or the tax collector?

We all hope to be the tax collector, but are we the pharisee?

Here is what I see, or hear, when I read this passage.

The pharisee prays, I…., I…., I…. Everything the pharisee says is about me and what I have done, the reason I am better than others.

The tax collector admits he is unworthy of God and asks for mercy.

Are we self-confident?

Or do we see our faults and lay them at the cross?

And do we think more highly of ourselves, and look down on others?

Or do we lift them up and pray that God not only have mercy on us, but on all?


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