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Luke 18:9-17

Tuesday, 31 May 2022

“He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt:”– Luke 18:9

We are at a peak time of self-exaltation, giving undue prominence to the self. Meekness is for the weak- many would say! Well, God’s Word, on the contrary, teaches that if one wants to be exalted, he first has to be humble! ‘The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector’ in our text today illustrates the importance of humility. Jesus starts the parable wanting to teach the lesson “to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt…”

Why were the “good-in-the-eyes-of-others” Pharisee not justified before God?

Self-satisfied/superior approach

His statement- ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men-extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector.” (Luke 18:11). He looked down on others while he exalted himself! Aren’t we so quick to judge others looking at our own good selves “compared” to them? How quickly we forget we have no good in ourselves!! As Paul put it in Romans 7:18: “And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t.”

Self-righteous attitude

“I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.” (Luke 18:12) He thought all his good “doings” would fetch him his right standing with God; The answer? An absolute “NO!” Isaiah 64:6 says, “…all our righteous acts are like filthy rags…” before God! No amount of good deeds done to fetch God’s righteousness will ever be acceptable to God!

We need to get the right perspective on this: God detests both self-righteous and a “looking -down-at- others” attitude. Man’s self-sufficiency is God-deficient at its best! Man’s contempt on people who God has created in His own image is dishonoring his Creator. Remember—Pride is not going to get us anywhere in life!

On the other hand, we have the example of two others in our reading, the qualities of who Jesus draws our attention:

  1. The tax collector who considered himself unworthy to stand before God- he did not stand on any of his merits but said, “God, be merciful to me a sinner!” He counted on God’s mercy to save him! His attitude was one of humility- his right standing was only that which God would give him!

  2. The little children- they were dependent on others, not “self-dependent”; And their attitude? –quite unassuming!! No “airs” about themselves! Ready to be handed out for a blessing!

Jesus concluded thus: “…whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” That is quite a statement! Well, those who come to the LORD with an unassuming, humble attitude and child-like faith, willing to trust in the righteousness He provides to be made right with God- they will surely enter into God’s Kingdom!

It is in a simple trust that- Christ Jesus has done all it takes for you and me to be made right with God by taking upon Himself our sin and dying in our place- that brings us down on our knees before Him saying- “LORD have mercy on me a sinner! Forgive me and give a right standing before God in You!” God is ready with His acceptance if you are ready with your willing surrender!

Thought for the Day: “Humility is nothing but the disappearance of self in the vision that God is all.” ― Andrew Murray

Listen: ‘I surrender



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