Sunday, February 24, 2013

Luke 18:10-14 - Two men; only one Righteous.

The Lord said this parable, "Two men went up into 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 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 he who humbles himself will be exalted
Humility in Prayer, so important
photo by Ryan Wiedmaier, used under the creative commons license.
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 How important it is to remain humble.  The Pharisee, looking at his own accomplishments, seeing how he did so many good works, believed that these good works made him a righteous man.  He also believed that since he was so good compared to others, that he had a right to look his nose down upon those who he saw as inferior. That man was wrong. His works were as dung.

Yet, this tax collector knew his own sin. He never made a pretense to be good because he knew he wasn't. While the Pharisee looked at the tax collector and, thus, praying to himself, he felt himself exalted- the tax collector did not even consider the Pharisee but made all his supplications to God and, regarding himself, he believed he was the chief of sinners.  This attitude made him justified in the Eyes of God. The Pharisee, on the other hand, was not and, on the last day, that Pharisee will be surprised.

O Lord, make me humble like the tax collector. Truly, I am the chief of sinners but, trusting in Your Mercy, I can be justified.  Keep me in that attitude until my last breath, I pray, Amen.

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