THE PHARISEE AND TAX COLLECTOR
Read: Luke 18:9-14
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. Luke 18:11 NKJV
* * *
This religious leader may have had much to be proud of in avoiding gross sin, but he missed the fact that he was still a sinner. The tax collector, so despised for his sin, had it right. He, 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!' (18:13)
The Pharisee was like the rich young ruler who thought he could gain eternal life by doing good works. We must all come by way of repentance from sin and faith in Jesus Christ. Only then can we do genuinely good works, through the power of the Holy Spirit.
* * *
Lord, forgive me when I am guilty of looking down on someone I judge to be more sinful than I. As You have extended mercy to me, I must desire mercy for others. You look beyond the outward appearance and see our hearts. Help me to discern the heart attitudes of my children and teach them humility by example.
* * *
". . . everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." Luke 18:14 NKJV