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Luke 18:9-14
Luke 18:9–14 (CSB)
“Main thrust”
He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and looked down on everyone else:
“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.
The Pharisee was standing and praying like this about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I’m not like other people—greedy, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.
I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of everything I get.’
“But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even raise his eyes to heaven but kept striking his chest and saying, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner!’
I tell you, this one went down to his house justified rather than the other, because everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
I remember once being involved in a video project Where I was asked to film and produce a video campaign
Where many individuals would write on a big cardboard One side would be to tell about what you were sinful of Then turn to tell how Jesus delivered you from it
It was a very successful campaign,
I was very happy with it However, one thing struck me and has remained with me even til now As everyone who partook,
were exposing their darkest sins And proclaiming the forgiveness they received from Jesus
This one woman, (Who carried herself in this way,)
Actually wrote down something like this “I’ve never really sinned that bad,
“But I am happy to know Jesus would forgive me if I did,” or something like that When I saw this,
the first thing that came to mind was the Pharisee and Tax Collector.
So, the Pharisee had this complex that he was convinced, “He was good”
He did his homework, and was able to check off the list I didn’t kill no one, I haven’t stolen form anyone, I haven’t hurt Anyone today,,, etc…
Sometimes, we as faithful Christians can fall into this trap and I’m not just referring to being self righteous as that elder was
or Like the pharisee But in regard to complacency
What I mean is reaching a level in your walk with Christ, in which You forget,
Although you’ve been forgiven for the sins you’ve Committed in your past, and indeed you’ve been forgiven
You forget you still need to repent of the sins you commit now
Or maybe you feel you Know Jesus well enough now,
He’s Got you covered type of thing.
Or we have adopted that old mindset of, I’d rather be a doorman in heaven that a leader in hell
As if, you are ok with being just good enough to get a ticket Into heaven, but you don’t really care about getting a crown
Or any special accolades with being a good servant for Christ
So, you’re ok with just knowing and accepting his saving grace But, that’s as far as you need to go?
So, as long as you can get in to heaven you’re good?
Brothers and Sisters, I hate to be the bearer of bad news
For the Gospel of Christ means the Good news But, anyone who has this mindset is in great danger of not Getting into heaven at all.
Jesus’ offer of salvation was not for Him, Its for you!
He’s already in Heaven, and He’s preparing a place for us
As we are told in John 14.
He’s been at it for a couple of thousand years, And if He could create this planet in six days, imagine what He’s Done in two thousand years so far, Amen!
Those that hold this view are in danger of not getting in
It’s a special place, It’s members only
If you aren’t sealed by the Holy Spirit, you are not getting in
Thats in Scripture!
Many make the unfortunate mistake of believing,
“All I got to do is believe in Jesus and Im home free”
Well I got news for you Judas Iscariot believed in Jesus and yet he went to hell didn’t he?
Demons believe Jesus is the Son of God, yet they won’t be saved.
Ananias & Sapphira believed yet they died at Peter’s feet
So, lets get that straight, just believing is not enough "Just believing” is just like the self-righteous Pharisee
Remember to whom He gave this parable:
He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and looked down on everyone else:
James 1:21–27 (CSB)
Therefore, ridding yourselves of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent, humbly receive the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
Because if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like someone looking at his own face in a mirror.
For he looks at himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of person he was.
But the one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer who works—this person will be blessed in what he does.
If anyone thinks he is religious without controlling his tongue, his religion is useless and he deceives himself.
Pure and undefiled religion before God the Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
You see, we shouldn’t be coming to Jesus,
like He’s just a buddy Who helped you change your tire, or loaned you some money
No, Instead we should be coming to Jesus like the woman with the Alabaster jar and anointing his feet with it and our tears…
We each owe a debt by default to Jesus for having saved us from All of our Sins,
For as Paul said, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
no matter how small or how great, they are all sins And all sin is the wages of death the Bible tells us.
Now, when we realize this, then we truly understand the story in Luke 7:36-50,
I’ll Read aloud for you.
Luke 7:36–50 (CSB)
Then one of the Pharisees invited him to eat with him.
He entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table.
And a woman in the town who was a sinner found out that Jesus was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house.
She brought an alabaster jar of perfume and stood behind him at his feet, weeping, and began to wash his feet with her tears.
She wiped his feet with her hair, kissing them and anointing them with the perfume.
When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “This man, if he were a prophet, would know who and what kind of woman this is who is touching him—she’s a sinner!”
Jesus replied to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.”
He said, “Say it, teacher.”
“A creditor had two debtors.
One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.
Since they could not pay it back, he graciously forgave them both.
So, which of them will love him more?”
Simon answered, “I suppose the one he forgave more.”
“You have judged correctly,” he told him.
Turning to the woman, he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman?
I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she, with her tears, has washed my feet and wiped them with her hair.
You gave me no kiss, but she hasn’t stopped kissing my feet since I came in.
You didn’t anoint my head with olive oil, but she has anointed my feet with perfume.
Therefore I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; that’s why she loved much.
But the one who is forgiven little, loves little.”
Then he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
Those who were at the table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this man who even forgives sins?”
And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you.
Go in peace.”
CS Lewis
wrote in his book Mere Christianity something that I can relate to here and I think it is applicable here
“In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England.
I did not then see what is now the most shining and obvious thing; the Divine humility which will accept a convert even on such terms.
The Prodigal Son at least walked home on his own feet.
But who can duly adore that Love which will open the high gates to a prodigal who is brought in kicking, struggling, resentful, and darting his eyes in every direction for a chance to escape?.”
C. S. Lewis
I can Relate
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