To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Scripture hands us these little questions of life to look into in our busy days. This incredible verse continues to bobble my mind: Which am I most like? Am I like the pharisee or am I like the tax collector?
Some days I think certainly I am most like the tax collector. After all, I do have his name 🙂 I do not brag about my faith or turn a blind eye to most of my mistakes. Some days I tell myself forgive me Lord for I have sinned. Other days I see myself more as the pharisee. I thank and praise God for my blessings, feeling somewhat higher up than others with worse sins than mine. Some may believe that this verse is about right vs wrong, but I think there is more to it then that. Jesus is not calling either of the men evil. He’s exposing how human’s ignore their mistakes. First of all, I love how Jesus speaks in parables. When Jesus does this he’s sort of, giving us clues into how God thinks and how we should be acting. In this parable, Jesus is describing to us how we may have so much confidence in ourselves or in or faith we trounce on everyone else who may not be as blessed.
The pharisee had faith just like the tax collector. Both men are believers. The thing is the tax collector notices his mistakes instead of judging others first like the pharisee. The pharisee is, looking down upon the lost, boasting about how much faith he has in God. He see’s his success as it is like a bonus point in a game which puts him ahead of everyone else. Because of the Pharisee’s knowledge and success in life, he strongly believes he has a right to judge others, because he sins less or so he believes. On the other hand, is the tax collector. His wealth and fortune are wonderful, yet he realizes what a terrible person he may seem to be to society. The tax collector is in awe that the Lord truly does care about him even though he is a sinner like where he said” Forgive me Lord for I have sinned”
“You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:5
You know how when siblings are young children, they try to impress their parents? They say nice things to their mom or dad, trying to make themselves look better than their brothers or sisters? Children also rat out their sibling’s. Likewise is while we’re at church. Sometimes we may yawn or be checking our cell phone during the service. Once the pastor is, looking over at us we pretend to be listening and probably go tell the pastor what a wonderful sermon he just gave. I kind of get that with how some people act around God.
” Do to others as you would have them do to you,” Luke 6:31
Everyone fails sometime. We all make mistakes. Many can be oblivious to their own faults, yet like to criticize others. I laugh at their stupidity. Do we like Adam and Eve or Jonah actually believe God does not know what we’re doing wrong? He’s God and the Lord see’s all. We need to stop, pretending and be real. Take the speck out of your own eye, especially when, condemning others for their wrong doing. IMO when we do wrong, yet hide from God I think we’re disgracing Him. God knows of our sins and every action has consequences. Everyone lies, yet not everyone admits to their sins. Jesus is, telling us that if we want others to r-e-s-p-e-c-t us we should r-e-s-p-e-c-t them.