Daily Archives: March 4, 2010

Ex. 15, Luke 18, Job 33, 2 Cor. 3

The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector

Luke 18:9

“He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: “Two men…””

If I’ve heard this once, I’ve heard it a hundred times; “I’m a good person, I try to live my life in such a way…, I try to be nice, I treat others with respect, etc.” I hear this line of reasoning, from believers and non-believers alike. The mindset of “earning our way” into the Kingdom seems to be a natural human desire. We get to heaven the “E. F. Hutton” way, we earn it!

It always makes me wonder… does anyone really think they are righteous in God’s eyes because they are so good? Sometimes I think growing up outside the church gave me a leg up on concepts like this. When I became a Christian, the Holy Spirit allowed me to see myself more clearly – there was no doubt in my mind as to what I deserved! I was the Tax Collector in the parable.

I’ve been a Christian for more than eighteen years now.

Luke 18:11-12

“I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else. For I don’t cheat, I don’t sin, and I don’t commit adultery. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.”

I don’t cheat, I don’t commit adultery, I go to church, I give, I serve, etc.  In some ways I’m becoming, well… kind of “religious”, a modern day Pharisee – not because I do those things, but because I pridefully believe they are beginning to justify me in God’s eye’s.

Luke 18:14

“For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

In meditating on this parable my understanding has come full circle.  “O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.”




Filed under Luke, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan