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Luke 18:1-14            

Saturday, 16 March 2024

“…..If you put yourself above others, you will be put down. But if you humble yourself, you will be honored.”   -Luke 18: 14 [CEV]

We live in the heyday of self-exaltation—the giving of undue prominence to the self.  Many think, ‘Meekness is for the weak.’ 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 this lesson “to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt…

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


•        Self-satisfied/superior approach: The Pharisee stated: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector.” (v.11). He looked down on others while he exalted himself—clearly, an attitude of pride! 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: The Pharisee continued: “I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.” (v.12) He was boasting as he recounted doing all the right things to gain God’s acceptance. He assumed 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! Every sinner (unrighteous) is on the same footing before a righteous God. There is nothing good in us to boast before 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 for other humans God has created in His own image, is dishonoring his Creator. James 4: 6 quotes:  “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Remember—Pride is not going to get us anywhere in life!

     Then Jesus takes our attention to the other person—a tax collector, the class of people who were despised by Jews because of their allegiance to the Roman government. Ironically, the person who the Jews thought would least be accepted by God was the one who went away justified before Him. The tax collector viewed himself unworthy to stand before God. He did not stand on any of his merits but said, “God, be merciful to me a sinner!” (V.13). 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!

     The lesson is quite clear here: One who has a humble attitude willing to trust in the righteousness God provides for him/her- will surely enter into God’s Kingdom! It is in a simple trust—a 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!


Quote for the Day: ”Humility is the repentance of pride.”-Nehemiah Rogers

Listen: 'I Surrender'



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