November 2, 2014
Luke 18:9-14 ESV:  He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt:  “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.  The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.  I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’  But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up 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, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Jesus uses two different guys, with different reputations, perspectives, and prayers to make clear to us who the folks are that God is pleased with and won’t be damned.
Pharisee: Outstanding Reputation
- Stands proudly before God.
- Compares himself favorably to others.
- Lots of religious activity.
Tax Collector: Lousy Reputation
- Stands timidly before God.
- Focuses on own shortcomings.
- No religious activity to which to point.