The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector
9Jesus also told this parable to people who were sure of their own goodness and despised everybody else. 10“Once there were two men who went up to the Temple to pray: one was a Pharisee, the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee stood apart by himself and prayed, ‘I thank you, God, that I am not greedy, dishonest, or an adulterer, like everybody else. I thank you that I am not like that tax collector over there. 12I fast two days a week, and I give you one tenth of all my income.’ 13 But the tax collector stood at a distance and would not even raise his face to heaven, but beat on his breast and said, ‘God, have pity on me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you,” said Jesus, “the tax collector, and not the Pharisee, was in the right with God when he went home. For those who make themselves great will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be made great.”
Reflection: My friend is a radiographer. When my daughter broke her arm, her daughter asked her to X-ray some of her toys, so they could give it to my daughter as a gift. I love the whole concept of X-rays; having the ability to look inside of someone blows me away. I was listening to a sermon from Luke 18:9-14. Outwardly the Pharisee looked holy and seemingly doing the right thing. But God sees the heart. Like an X-ray, He can see past what the human eye can see. That both comforts and frightens me. I know deep down that I am a wretch and, with God’s help, I am trying to live a
life that represents Him. Outwardly, I may seem really godly, but I know that deep in my heart the struggle is real. I get angry too quickly. I judge. I’m mean. I’m controlling. Yet, with God’s help, He works on this wretch, everyday.
Question: What might you be struggling with, that God already knows about? Have you asked for his help?
Prayer: Lord you see our heart, yet you love us. Please don’t stop working on us. Amen
Good News Translation® (Today’s English Version, Second Edition) © 1992 American Bible Society. All rights reserved. Bible text from the Good News Translation (GNT) is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by American Bible Society, 101 North Independence Mall East, Floor 8, Philadelphia, PA 19106-2155 (www.americanbible.org). LICENSEE shall reproduce the following trademark and trademark notice on the copyright page of each copy of the Licensed Products: ®