Luke 18:9-14 “Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.
The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector.
I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’
And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’
I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Two men standing in the Temple praying.
One is a Pharisee, and one is a tax collector.
What is the immediate perception about which one is devout?
Oh, Lord, it’s hard to be humble!
We know our hearts, our intentions, our attempts.
“In case You forgot, I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all I possess...”
He actually goes beyond the requirements of the law, and he is proud of it!
As he “prays,” he prays out loud so everyone else knows how righteous he is.
At least I’m not like them!
In our culture, it’s not hard to find people who behave worse than we do.
Too often we use others as the standard by which we measure ourselves.
Tax collectors were traitors who worked for the Roman government…sometimes they took advantage of their authority.
Kyrie Eleison [ill-AY-iss-on] (Lord, Have Mercy)
Humility cries out for mercy.
God is the standard for measuring righteousness, not others.
Grace: I don’t deserve what I get.
Mercy: I don’t get what I deserve.
The tax collector prays for mercy out loud, so everyone else knows how far short he falls.